journal girl loves...

Mixed-media & art journal artist. Author. Spoonie. Christian. The ask box is always open for advice, questions, & to say hello.i usually live on my blog journal girl.

Recent Tweets @samanthakira

Across these great miles, I’m sending you love, darling, as you read these words. The love is flowing to you straight from my heart. 

I think for awhile, I forgot what an art journal is. I got swept up in paint and pictures and lots of covered space.  

I forgot that art journals are for recording how you FEEL. For being inspired by an artist and making a tribute page for them. A place for COLOR and EXPRESSION.  


















I took myself out to my favorite cafe, armed with collage materials, a glue stick, and some markers & pens. Sitting there with a dopy smile on my face, I stopped thinking about if I covered something up or if my pages were complex. They just ARE. And I love how reflective they are of me…quotes I love, songs I’m listening to, lists of thoughts I don’t want to forget. A declaration because I needed one. 

Just get out of your own way, Samie. And enjoy yourself while you’re at it.  



It seems like I have a bit of catching up to do!

When I got home yesterday, I started to feel the itch of a panic attack building between my shoulder blades. What should have been easy conversations and a good dinner and maybe a movie became something much more overwhelming, each attempt to engage like nails on a chalkboard. I didn’t develop an anxiety disorder until after my concussion/brain injury, so this is still new territory for me; whenever I can identify one coming on, I try to get away ASAP. That wasn’t possible last night with what triggered it, so I hid in my room and made a pretty graphic to apologize for no post yesterday. 



BTW, for those curious, I used the new Rhonna Designs Magic app to layer the words over some artwork and put some layers in-between. I wrote this scripture out on paper with Sumi ink and a Sumi-e brush when I did my blog redesign, and imported it right into the magic app from Dropbox!

As I need to get to bed, here are the pages from September 5-6.  I’ll write more tomorrow in the Ning group, or maybe here.

I do know that I ended up writing a little story on my typewriter post-Ambien, which means I don’t remember doing so, but I love the idea of little crumbs on each page. I’ll have to write more - or can you? Give me what happens next, and we’ll write it all together.







How goes your Book? Tell me! I want to hear your stories. I have a few pics and comments I’m going to collect here and post…I love how big this is getting…bigger than just me and my urge to reconnect. Thank you for being part of the magic. 


For some reason, taking a picture of our artwork and then playing with it more, is just so fun!

yesterday saw me cleaning out bookcases and weeding out my collection. I’d already gotten rid of 70% of my blook collection when me moved here from Chicago, so you’d think having to cull down the contents even further would be hard. 

It was easy, but more in that later.

In this collection were a bunch of manga and magazine and travel guides. Travel guides! And nestled back, behind the college-level books on geisha history I love the read, was my little scrapbook. It’s mostly pictures, with locations written down, and most paper things taped in with packing tape or paper clips, but it’s a little book of memories.

I say all this to lead to the pink haired girl that leaped off the page. I feel like she’s giving me some additude, a younger me who wore all the weird clothes and make up trends. I had to not do that on my trip, so take a picture of me and Meg at the Teahouse of Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsuo, Japan, 9 years ago. 



My very first #tbt, even though it’s now Friday. My problem is I come to bed early and play and such! It helps to tire out my pup!

Anyway, who is she? That girl I see and recognize. If I try, I can close my eyes and BE there, my own time machine, memory is. I remember sitting out on the deck running around the Teahouse, eyes closed, just listening to the koi in the water and the way the water was running…the little cup that’s always around stomping an even beat. The mountains were covered in green. Just barely, at the edge of my hearing, were the low murmurs of daily life, ready and waiting for when we got back. 

What I really remember is the sense of peace and love I felt, looking over the water. I was in the middle of living a really big dream, and yet, I felt calm. Centered. Like a new space was made in my soul to help me later on, when it all came crashing down. 

At least I have My Moment to use to reconnect before I lay pen to paper. Goodbye crazy dressing, Japanese fashion magazine reading Kira. I learned so many things.

Now, I’m in charge of my life, and this little group of fellow travelers joining us on the Art Journal Re-Connect on my Ning network. We talked a little about supplies. Also!  You can tag your pics #30pages30days. I love sharing! And I’m purging supplies this month, so I think I can make prizes be involved!

Enough from me! I want to see what YOUR page looks like!   



And yes, there are church notes under her hair that I should probably transfer somewhere safer.

Here’s your closing thought. Maybe it can be a prompt for tomorrow. I love little quotes or ideas, and this one I want to paint on the wall with big red letters:

You were wild once, don’t let them tame you.


For some reason, taking a picture of our artwork and then playing with it more, is just so fun!

yesterday saw me cleaning out bookcases and weeding out my collection. I’d already gotten rid of 70% of my blook collection when me moved here from Chicago, so you’d think having to cull down the contents even further would be hard. 

It was easy, but more in that later.

In this collection were a bunch of manga and magazine and travel guides. Travel guides! And nestled back, behind the college-level books on geisha history I love the read, was my little scrapbook. It’s mostly pictures, with locations written down, and most paper things taped in with packing tape or paper clips, but it’s a little book of memories.

I say all this to lead to the pink haired girl that leaped off the page. I feel like she’s giving me some additude, a younger me who wore all the weird clothes and make up trends. I had to not do that on my trip, so take a picture of me and Meg at the Teahouse of Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsuo, Japan, 9 years ago. 



My very first #tbt, even though it’s now Friday. My problem is I come to bed early and play and such! It helps to tire out my pup!

Anyway, who is she? That girl I see and recognize. If I try, I can close my eyes and BE there, my own time machine, memory is. I remember sitting out on the deck running around the Teahouse, eyes closed, just listening to the koi in the water and the way the water was running…the little cup that’s always around stomping an even beat. The mountains were covered in green. Just barely, at the edge of my hearing, were the low murmurs of daily life, ready and waiting for when we got back. 

What I really remember is the sense of peace and love I felt, looking over the water. I was in the middle of living a really big dream, and yet, I felt calm. Centered. Like a new space was made in my soul to help me later on, when it all came crashing down. 

At least I have My Moment to use to reconnect before I lay pen to paper. Goodbye crazy dressing, Japanese fashion magazine reading Kira. I learned so many things.

Now, I’m in charge of my life, and this little group of fellow travelers joining us on the Art Journal Re-Connect on my Ning network. We talked a little about supplies. Also!  You can tag your pics #30pages30days. I love sharing! And I’m purging supplies this month, so I think I can make prizes be involved, 

Enough from me! I want to see what YOUR page looks like!   



And yes, there are church notes under her hair that I should probably transfer somewhere safer.

Here’s your closing thought. Maybe it can be a prompt for tomorrow. I love little quotes or ideas, and this one I want to paint on the wall with big red letters:

You were wild once, don’t let them tame you.


After I hit publish on yesterday’s post, I hid in my room and texted my best friend. 

I just put my blog to zero and wrote the fuck out of the truth and my heart. I am freaking out. I hope to God I did the right thing.

And in the tradition of best friends everywhere, she said That post took guts, and I commend you for it! You’re gonna be fine. Actually, I smiled the whole time I was reading the post, cause all I’ve been seeing for you is the word renew. I think it’s all gonna be good.

That was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. My blog & art is my lifeblood. If I don’t have readers or buyers of art & classes, I don’t pay the rent. And maybe it’s silly to believe such things can sustain a girl into her thirties, but lately, wow, lately I feel like blessings have been falling on my head. Not that it hasn’t been difficult — that visitor badge is part of a collection from the past few months (+ one armband for myself). But I feel more capable of handling it. Like I just burst forth from a tight bud with the arc of water extending out in front of me, my eyes finally open. Finally

And now my digital life reflects my inner one. 

Thank you for all your awesome, kind replies, across FB, Instagram, & comments here. I felt like my day was peppered with people along the sidelines of my own personal race through life, shouting or holding up signs or handing me water. My own cheer squad. And here’s the thing: we are all each other’s cheer squad

Because the thing is, I want to inspire you. I want to see us all jump back into our art journals and really make a mess of it all. 



I loved what I wrote here. Sit here in the thick of it messy + imperfect with the water cup balanced between my thick thighs, my supplies spilled on the bed. No clean studio magic. Just me, + a movie + a sleeping dog. And wow, doesn’t that sound like the perfect night? Being true to how life really is, loving your curves, and the secret joy of a pup trusting & loving you enough to sleep, well, sprawled across the bottom of your bed? 

That’s what I want. And what I want for you. And if that means opening a door to my messy, imperfect, crazy life, then I’m throwing open the door and the windows & saying come in as you are, because you’re always welcome here

So which way is the wind blowin’,
and what does your heart say?
So follow, follow the sun,
and which way the wind blows
when this day is done…
- Follow the Sun, Xavier Rudd (it’s on Spotify & you should take a listen now)

More pictures & words over in the Art Journal Re-Connect group (it’s free!)






Almost a week ago, I wrote about how I missed working in my art journal. 

In a life full of care-taking, spontaneous demands on my time, learning & loving with my new church family, and a month of cruddy health, I’d lost my tether to that which brought me here in the first place — deep and soulful exploration of myself in an art journal.

I adore my journals. I’m Journal Girl, for pete’s sake! My studio is full of books and stretched spines from layers of paper and paint.

But somewhere in this shift from young adult to part-time caretaker, I lost sight of that. The way I checked in with myself each day was gone, and what’s worse, I barely noticed it. It was like I’d been asleep for weeks and suddenly woke up, the knowledge that I’d cut myself off from a source of so much healing a jarring revelation.  

Who am I? 

I feel like the past year has been one of intense blooming. 

I wrote about some of the issues I’ve been dealing with at the beginning of this year. I felt like I took a huge load of dirty laundry and shook it out, attracted attention, and put it out to dry. Writing about those things we see as shameful in such a public way can be nerve-wracking; I’ve become more comfortable with these experiences. They lead to me, now. The me I love, have allowed to be imperfect after a lifetime of failed perfectionism. 

I’ve been a victim of domestic abuse, questioning my very worth as a human being (and exploring the intersection between disability + do we deserve all the things others do to us?) & dealing with the very real reality that women aren’t always there for each other, no matter what pretty words they say online. Friendships died and made room for new ones to blossom. Amazing ones. Deep ones that get through the rocks and come out battered but better. 

I took on the role of caretaker to two amazing, loving, beautiful parents, one of which was in a car accident and bedridden for months. My life became one of service to them, and I continue to do so with joy and love in my heart. They have been so radiantly supportive of my dreams & art; this is the least I can do. I love listening to their stories and holding their hands as we wait for a doctor (I edited all the photos in this post while sitting next to my dad’s bed in the ER — he’s fine, BTW, just dealing with a concussion). 

My health has taken a nosedive in the past month because I wasn’t caring for myself. It became easy to focus on others, and ignore the signals from my body. As someone living with a chronic illness, I’m usually so attentive, but just…pushed forward. Pushed through. Leaned on my new love for the Lord and let Him give me strength. And then I fell right on my face and have spent most of August in bed (this laptop hasn’t been on in weeks). I literally fell on my face last week. Just a total skid face-first into rocks. God has made his message clear — step back, go inside, rediscover yourself. 

The things that happen in our lives are catalysts for change & growth. 

If not for all that came before, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I’ve made mistakes. But I’ve also learned a lot about who I am and why I do what I do. Why I create paintings and strive to understand color. Why I push myself to draw each and every day. Why I think spending an night in bed with a good movie, a journal, and some markers is awesome. It’s all lead up to this. To now. To this very deep breath in a still moment, a guide by my side and my heart broken but beating. 

"I got two hands one beating heart, and I’ll be alright…" - Ingrid Michaelson

You might be wondering where all the blog posts have gone. They’re there, under About > Blog (2007 - Aug 2014). It’s just time for a clean slate, digital zero, as Gwen Bell says. 



"That you are here - that life exists and identity, that powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Walt Whitman

It may be cheesy, but that iPad commercial got me. What will my verse be? How will it read? Last night, I stayed up, enthralled by ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ (it’s on Netflix). If I could have one ounce of that 85 year old man’s dedication to his craft, I could die a happy woman. We are all radiant souls, with our own talents and dreams and magnificent purposes, if only we dive deep and find that jewel of a soul we have deep inside. 

I miss my art journal. I miss playing every night. Not trying the newest supply or hottest technique, but living out of a book. My Book. The one I live out of. That holds notes and scraps of poems and phone numbers and doodles and dreams. I miss it! 

My goal this September is to do one page a day in my art journal. 

I’m going to take it everywhere, bound with a rubber band holding my new favorite pen



And I’m going to post here every morning with the finished/unfinished imperfect mess of it all. Full of discovery and heart-medicine. 

You’re invited to join me. I’ll be posting a few pictures every morning, and some thoughts, but will add more to the group on the Journal Girl Ning network. This is where you can go to connect, or read more, or just look at more pictures. I’m doing this for myself, mostly. And to prove I’m a new woman. I can post on time,  get projects done, commit, and get back to my roots & what I love. 

Here’s me, standing in front of you, vulnerable to the world, saying: “Hello, I’m Samie. It’s nice to meet you (again).”

Me this week. Rage then cry then eat then not sleep. I think I slept from 6am to 10am and now it’s nap time…

Me this week. Rage then cry then eat then not sleep. I think I slept from 6am to 10am and now it’s nap time…

An understated but favorite spread in The Red Storybook. Inspired by the awesome howtomakeart. I’m thinking I may want to do more with these girls!

(But I’m on steroids now, and pain meds, which means I’m a po-ta-to watching Netflix and bored. Which is a step up from sobbing-at-the-ER yesterday; chronic illness sucks, but when you can’t get seen because you’re on public assistance, the ER is the only place you can go.)

I have this cool idea to make coloring book pages. If I did a couple, would you be into printing and coloring them? Just a random loopy brain idea….a friend writes hippy coloring books and it seems fun!

Feel free to ask me things. I will answer!

Don’t hang out with people who don’t love you. Don’t try to impress people who aren’t worth it. Don’t try to win people over who aren’t worth it. Focus on yourself, and focus on the people who are really awesome and who love you. Don’t hang out with people who make you feel like shit. Don’t spend your energy on them. There is so much pressure to be part of the right thing: well, you should create the right thing. If you don’t see it, create it. If you don’t see what you want, be the change you want to see.
Beth Ditto (via chinning59)

(via dangerdedame)