I have a penchant for buttons. It has something to do with my grandma and my Mom collecting them in wonderful old tins and jars. They were sooooo much fun!


It should have been an indicator of my personality when, as a kid, I spent hours organizing all of the stray buttons in my Mom’s big jar. By the time I was done, all those that were alike were threaded together onto their own strings in neat little clusters.


No, I don’t know why, except that it gave me great satisfaction. That same attention to details and organization has followed me my whole life.


And this little grouping? A friend was cleaning out her closet. I told her to give me all those little button packets that come with business clothing. Who knew there would be so many? Aren’t they pretty? And no, at this moment I have no idea what to do with them, but being an artist and a crafter, there is no telling how they will be re-purposed.

Now the greatest fun of all is finding antique buttons. Up for an antique hunt?

The Golden Ratio

Do you notice the Golden Ratio in everyday things? Periodically I receive a pleasant surprise when I am not looking for it.


And then other times… not so pleasant. This little curled up opossum landed in my garage trash can this past week.


We found a happy home for him in the woods, but I couldn’t help but notice nature’s perfection, even if it was not as perfect or cute as my cat. (Ok, so I am biased.)

This has inspired me to dive into a book I have been wanting to read for some time now. Now I get to practice using the Golden Ratio in my creative endeavors.


The Mother of Modern Infographics

We all learned about Florence Nightingale in grade school – how she was a wonderful nurse, saved lives, was a woman to look up to, and all that. I have to admit, I found it boring in my pre-teen outlook on the world, but that may have been the fault of the presentation style at the time, because she is one very interesting woman.


However, what I want to know is why we were never told she was also the mother of the modern infographic? She created a chart (in 1858) that probably saved even more lives than her nursing, because it convinced Queen Victoria to improve conditions within military hospitals. Wow! The power of data visualization!


Ok, so in my case, we were probably not told this because the terms “data visualization” and “infographic” had not yet entered into mainstream use when I was in school and statistics are pretty boring to kids. That point aside, with over 20 years of technical writing under my belt, data visualization has been one of my biggest challenges. How to do it right, how to convey the correct message, how to present the visuals.

I became suspicious of all graphs after my marketing manager showed me how he *really* wanted the graph to look… thus making our numbers far more visually appealing to the folks paying our salaries. Hmmm. Yeah.

I can finally relate to Florence Nightingale, after all these years, and I am very impressed! I celebrate the mother of the infographic. She has impacted my world directly.

Further reading:

Flowing Data: 9 Ways to Visualize Porportions

Wikipedia: Florence Nightingale

National Archives (UK): Florence Nightingale

A seed of my creative roots

Have you ever run across  something from your childhood that strikes a long forgotten emotional cord? That is what happened today when I came across these 2 paintings tucked among my stashed art resources such as frames and canvases.



As I stared at them I felt nostalgia, puzzlement, as well as deep pleasure of a found treasure. At the same time I was thinking, “What in the world did I save paint-by-numbers for?” Then I saw the initials.



No – that is not e.e.cummings, but these are the initials of my beloved uncle who introduced me to his writings!

Then the memories came flooding back of these hanging on my grandmother’s wall all my growing up years, painted by her son when he was still a young sprite battling polio in the 1950s or early 60s.


My uncle was one of the major influences in my very early artistic endeavors. What a precious find.

So what if they are paint-by-number; there is such a funky charm, as well as deep connected-ness to sweet memories and tender relationships held within these youthful, exploratory strokes. What a treasure.

I will hang them in my new art studio.

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
― E.E. Cummings

Insite Rebrand





A 12 year old project management training business rebrand.

The original logo:


In discussions with the client, the important piece of the logo is the directional arrows (they have solid meaning behind them when she speaks to a classroom.)

Tag line

Your Guide to Effective Project Management

New logo

The new logo creates the sense of movement, as well as the hint of a compass.



Blog header






22 Illustrators

5 Things I love:

  1. Creating books
  2. Making things people love
  3. Giving thoughtful gifts that strengthen relationships
  4. Teaching kids how to have giving hearts
  5. And especially involving others in the joy of doing something creative (because I believe EVERY person is creative!)

These loves coalesced a month before Mother’s Day this year when I saw this book sitting tucked away in a little store. It was like fireworks went off!


In April of this year my mother had 22 (in June #23 arrived) grandchildren ranging in ages of 17 to a year. 14 of them are under the age of 12, so this was perfect. It even had 22 blank pages!

With a little logistics work, it happened and I got it back in time to present one of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts of all time — from all of them! (This, another book, is now my second favorite – I believe this one tops it.)

Here are some delightful excerpts:

Simeon gave grandma a colorful superhero cape – it was fun to see some of the kids use that same concept on their pages. Kids are so creative!





Lizzy knows Grandma loves her hummingbirds so she drew one and pasted it in. Several of the older kids wrote notes on their pages.



Flashback Fun


In the early 1980s I began painting Christmas ornaments using oil paints and tiny brushes (sometimes my own hair or a cat whisker was used to make the smallest of lines.)

Most of the time I was painting people’s homes or farmsteads, but occasionally I would do a humorous ornament for my family. This was for my brother, Stephen, who really did not like school.

(PS. No, I did not sell trademarked images. This was for fun. I was a huge Garfield fan.)

Here is one that I did for myself simply because I enjoyed the image. I still own this one.