“Enjoy Every Idle Hour”


John Boswell via free people


A Winter Manifesto


Winter 2014

1.  Make mini gingerbread houses  2.  Make Fire Cider  3.  Make a snowflake curtain 4.  Hand write letters  5.  Read by the fire  6. Go sledding  7.  See the ice flows on Lake Michigan  8.  Roast chestnuts  Photo credits: snowflake, “Winter”




My 2014 Planner

My favorite part about beginning a new year has always been the starting of a new planner.  However,  I found that throughout the year, I was actually managing 3 different books, a planner, a journal, and a sketchbook. So, last year I decided to make one large blank book to use for all three.  Instead of trying to keep track of 3 books, I now can easily log  everything into one book.

This is the planner that I crafted for 2014.

2014 planner

Planner binding

calander pageIn the front there is a calendar for each month. The page on the left is actually a flap that opens so that there is plenty of space to write reminders.

daily drawng pageOne of my goals for 2014 is to practice the discipline of drawing something everyday.  It doesn’t matter what I draw, or how large it is.  After each calendar page there is a page spread full of squares for me to draw inside daily.

Blog ideas pageThe rest of the planner is full of blank pages for brainstorming, journaling, and drawing. Throughout the year I usually end up dividing these pages into  other sections as the need arises.

I love that I have the ability to create a planner that is crafted specifically for my needs. Last year I appreciated having just one place to keep all of my thoughts.  I used the planner throughout the entire year, which says a lot for it’s usefulness, since before I usually ended up abandoning whatever method of organization I was attempting to use. It will be fun to see how much the book changes by the end of the year.

Our Winter Guest

snowy owlLast night we had an unexpected, but most welcome visitor ~ a snowy owl!

He’s actually paid us a visit 2 other times.  The last 3 years now we’ve had a snowy owl come perch outside our bedroom window.  As we lay in bed, we start to notice the sound of an owl hooting. He seems to prefer an old ladder that I have in our flower garden right outside our window, so with the lights off we can see him very close-up. One of us will quietly rush off to get the camera, but he’s on to us every time.  As soon as we return with the camera, he’ll turn to face us and fly away without a single picture taken. This year our owl arrived earlier in the night.  Our son was the one to first hear his call.  Now Jacob has loved birds since the time he was born.  The sound of birds chirping was his favorite “white noise” to fall asleep too. So naturally, for  the first few months of Jacob’s life, our house sounded like a bird sanctuary.  Last night, Jacob was in brushing his teeth, when he came rushing out with this excited, searching look on his face.  I knew immediately that our friend had arrived.  I heard him too. This time he brought a friend with him and we could hear them call back and forth to each other. Neither came to our flower garden ( I moved the ladder this past summer), but stayed in the tree instead.

photo credit: a watercolor painted by Arline Wagner

Color Scouting: Winter Rainbow

winter rainbow

As a result of the “polar vortex” that has been effecting most of America, my region has had extreme, arctic-like temperatures. It has caused all kinds of inconveniences, shutting down entire cities in a declaration of emergency. However, it has also shared with us a winter-time beauty that we have not experienced before in this part of the world.

What is color scouting?