Sunday, October 10, 2010

Art From the Heart -- Free Online Art Course by Willowing


Even if you don't consider yourself and artist, you CAN create art!  Take a moment to check out this FREE art course by whimsical artist Tam.  Her talent and life philosophy is inspiring and fun!  
Did I mention it's a full art course and it's FREE.  Give it a shot... what do you have to loose?


To sign up for the course, go to go to "Art Courses" and sign up.  Classes start on October 18th.  You can share your work on this site, if you wish; although, that's the beauty of an online class--you don't have to share when you don't want to!

Check it out for yourself and decide if it's something you're interested in.  There are also many other products, courses, and inspiration all around the site.

Te Amo'

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jack O'Lantern Candy Dish

Sweet Halloween Gift

How cute is this? 

If you like it, click on over to The Sparkle Studio for instructions and check out her adorable blog.

I will be working on some of these this weekend!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sweet Memories Paper Bag Album

A fancier, more adult take on the paper bag scrapbook. The artist did a great job on this project and I thought you might enjoy the video and possibly be inspired to create one for yourself or as a gift.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Comments Section

Hi Everyone.

I want to thank everyone for visiting my blog. I know it's been a pain in the butt to leave a Comment for me, but I think I've finally figured out how to fix it. I appreciate your loyalty as I get this thing off the ground. Please try to comment on any post you like.

Te Amo'

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fun & Quick Summer Project for Kids

Here's a fun and quick project idea that you can share with your children this summer.  I wanted to so something with my child and give him the opportunity to be creative and constructive at the same time.  They also make great gifts for adults and children!!

These simple, cute, cheap, bag books with optional pockets, can be used as a mini journal, storybook, mini scrapbook, mini photo album to document your summer fun and more. So collect your scrap papers, some photographs, scissors, glue, ribbon/string/binder rings and get started.

I did not originate this idea and there are many was to create this project. I'm only going to show you how "I" did it.  For more ideas on this and many other great projects, surf on over to YouTube and search the videos for "Paper Bag Scrapbook" and SOOOO much more!

If you do this project, please post your pic(s) and list your link in the comments so others can see your design and it can inspire some new or unique ideas and techniques.


Stuff You'll Need
    + paper lunch bags (3-6), any color -- they're not just for lunch anymore!
    + decorative paper, loose leaf, etc.
    + glue
    + scissors
    + hole punch
    + yarn, ribbon, or rings
    + stuff: stickers, rubber stamps, markers, photos, etc.

Step 1 - Fold each paper bag individually in half BEFORE you punch the holes. Stack them to the open sides are on the bottom, with the fold on your left, which is where you will bind your book.

Step 2 - Stack your bags on top of each other and evenly punch three (or more) holes in the stack, on the left fold.

Step 3 (optional) - Cut a strip of scrap paper about 2 inches wide and the length of your bag (approx 5"). BEFORE you punch the holes, fold evenly over the binding edge of the bag (the folded side) and glue into place, then punch your holes. 

 I usually only do this for the front and back cover (because I'm lazy, mostly), but you can do this for every page if you want, to reinforce you holes.  I use YES! glue.  It's a bit thick and is applied with a brush (or your finger when you don't want to gunk up your good brushes or  when the dog took off with your glue brush and ate it into a furry stub). It won't wrinkle your paper.

Step 4 - Cut some squares of colored or decorative paper and glue onto the bag on each page.  This will strengthen your pages and it looks cute if you want to create a "theme" based mini book (bugs, beaches, etc.).

Step 5 - Cut ribbons in 7"-9" pieces stack your pages on top of each other and thread through each hole and tie in a double knot. You can mix and match ribbons, use rings, etc.  **Don't tie the ribbon too tight, you want to be able to open the pages and have them lay flat for decorating and writing. 

Step 6 - I put a tab of the inside of the pocket(s) for fun. The pockets can be used to hold extra photos, cards, coupons, invitations, tickets, or what ever corresponds with the page content/theme. If you don't want the pockets, glue them together.  You can add a small circle of VELCRO to keep them closed individually, or add a ribbon tie on the front and back cover to keep the whole book closed upon completion.

Step 7 - Add your background papers to the inside pages. You can piece scraps of paper, fabric, or anything flat that you can glue down.

I also decorate inside and outside of the flap to write secret notes or a small token.  You can also glue your background page over the flap if you don't want to use it.

Step 8 - You are now ready to personalize and decorate your book.  Use colorful paper, buttons, stickers, ribbons, rubber stamps, and photographs. Be creative and keep it as simple or elaborate as you wish.

(The book to the left is one I made using plain brown lunch bags.)


Keep most of the decorations to the corners and edges to allow your pictures to lay flat.

Make a blank book for a friend as a gift or as an activity for a sleep over, birthday party, or play date.

Great for collecting souvenirs, a brag books for grandparents, teacher gifts, scrapbook clubs for children and adults.


This book is not meant to last two hundred years. If you want to create an archival quality book I suggest investing in acid-free supplies (the bags are not acid-free but can be treated to be) and heavy-duty supplies.

Have fun!!!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Something Special from the Heart

The beautiful child in this photo is Gabby, one of my incredible third grade student who passed away on Good Friday of this year after a brave battle against Neuroblastoma.  

You can read about her courageous life and the inspiring, spiritual, journey of her family at

This family continues to inspire faith and awe in the power of love in our community. It would be awesome if you would consider making a donation to the great organizations mentioned on the site in her name.

Now, back to the necklace.. Gabby has two sweet sisters that I also teach and love.  When she passed away I felt the desire to create something special for the girls.  Since one of my passions is making jewelry, I wanted to give them a piece that when they wore it, they would feel close to Gabby.

I have been making photo jewelry for a few years now, but recently tried a new UV resin by Lisa Pavelka called Magic Glos and fell in love with it. I knew it would stand the test of time and two active girls.

I created the pendants with a not-the-clearest photo I printed from the web (I didn't want to impose on the family at such a sensitive time for a clearer image), but was pleased with the results. Then, I attached the pendant to a delicate seed-beaded coated wire/string.  The girls loved them!

However, literally within minutes, my precious second-grader returned to my classroom with the necklace broken in two places.  (I think she was pulling on it to look at the picture of her sister, but the length was not long enough for it, causing it to break.)  So... I took it home and changed a couple of the findings and cemented the things I could to strengthen it. I wanted to get it back to her as quickly as possible. I thought that would do it. (Here I go "thinking" again.)

Well that repair lasted about a month, and on the last day of school, I returned to my desk and discovered a plastic baggie with the necklace in it. How heart broken that made me!!  I felt so bad (and embarrassed) that this thing kept coming apart on her.  If give someone a gift and the darn thing keeps breaking, you feel really crappy and that you let them down. It was beyond disappointing for the both of us.  But that sweet brave girl just keeps smiling!!!

To present day... that necklace has been sitting in my studio for the past 4-weeks. I wasn't quite sure how I could put it back together and make it strong enough to withstand this spunky, active young girl. Starring at this thing for weeks without a solution was driving me nuts. I want it to be strong, but still be feminine. I wanted her to be able to pull it up to look at her sister when she wanted to without fear of having it fall apart (again) in her hands.  What to do?

While cruising the art store, I purchased a "ball" chain knowing it's really strong.  I had concerns because it wasn't a "delicate" look. The length is longer so she can now look down at it and see her sister sitting close to her heart.  But still, the metal looked cold and sort of "boyish" to me.  Then today, I was sorting out some ribbon and VIOLA, I came up with what you see above.  The ribbon softens the look of the hard chain and is fitting for a young girl, don't you think?  The ends of the ribbons are secured from fraying with another product I use a lot on fabric called Fray Check; it's really cheap and works and looks so much better than clear nail polish--trust me :)

What's left now, is to get this thing mailed out to her ASAP.  I really hope she likes the changes, especially since it is styled completely different.  I figure if she doesn't care for the ribbons she can always cut them off.  And if she wants the beads again, I can always restring the original and hope for the best.

I am open to any other ides or suggestions you may want to share.  How do you "kid-proof" a necklace?
♡♡Please keep Gabby and her family in your prayers. They are truly remarkable, faith-filled, and inspiring!♡♡
Te Amo',

Please Note:  I do not get any type of compensation from endorsing the products mentioned on my blog (that would be nice, though), and am only supplying the product information in the event you would like to create something along the same lines for yourself.

Have a fun and safe 4th of July!!!!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Beach Memories (pre oil spill nightmare)

Hi everyone.  I hope you are enjoying your summer. We start back to school in a little over 4-weeks.  It sure is flying by.

Since we choose to cancel our Gulf Coast beach vacay this year, I wanted to remember our last trip that was filled with fun, sun, & memories. It greatly saddens me to think it might not be safe to bring my child back to the beach for many years.  While I am not a sun goddess by any stretch (my auto immune issues prevent this), I love the sound and smell of the water.

I love watching my son discover and catch the many small creatures living in the sand and water.
I love watching his pride as he releases these small animals back to their watery home.
I love the laughter after a big wave has just swept him off his feet.
I love watching him win ALL the boogie board races against his dad.

Little toes in the sand--there's nothing sweeter.

The wave sneaking up behind him caught him off guard and off of his feet.

Silly, Silly, boy!
The boy can't keep a straight face for nothing - I love that about him!
One of my favorite shots of the day!  Just soaking it all in.

Just seconds before the wave washed his hard work away.
Bye-Bye beach, until......

I read that it takes 3 large bottles of Dawn to clean just one pelican--THREE!!  I am going to find an organization I can donate some Dawn to!

Have you canceled your plans to visit the Gulf Coast beaches this summer? Where are you going instead?  Do tell!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fun-Fun Photo Site

I couldn't sleep last night and was trolling the internet (as usual).  I went to a blog, then clicked on another blog, then another, then.... - you know how that happens!  Anyway, I landed on what was the most fun I've had in a while.  Okay, that's exaggerated, but it was fun nonetheless.  Since I am a photographer and have spent thousands of dollars on everthing photography, this fun, fun, and FREE site especially peaked my interest at 2:00 am.

The site is  Here are some of the cool pics I created - FREE.  You can download them, order prints (these you have to pay for, of course), publish them, etc.  Here are just a few examples.

Me, on the side of a building.
(just ignore the light post stuck up my nose)

           My daughter on the cover.                    My Godchild on the wall of a museum.

My son on Angelina's tank top.

 My 7-year old as Jack Sparrow.

Fun stuff, right?  So the next time you find yourself randomky clicking away or cyber stalking the blogs (or something borderline), give this site a whirl.

Have a great weekend.

Te Amo'


Friday, June 11, 2010

Illustration Friday

I wanted to tell you about something I am participating in.  It's called Illustration Friday. In the future, I will be creating my own creative challenges in different media.  Until then, I highly recommend you participating and checking out this fun site.  Every Friday they post a "topic."  You come up with your own interpretation via any type of media (mixed media, drawing, paint, watercolor, etc.).  It can be a cartoon, abstract, collage, or what ever you're into.  Here is a snippet from their site, including a link:
Illustration Friday is a weekly creative outlet/participatory art exhibit for illustrators and artists of all skill levels. It was designed to challenge participants creatively. We believe that every person has a little creative bone in their body. Illustration Friday just gives a no-pressure, fun excuse to use it. No clients looking for a particular thing. No one judging the outcome of the work. It's a chance to experiment and explore and play with visual art.  So welcome, novices and pros alike. 
It doesn't matter what anyone around you thinks of your art.  So what if your family and friends think it's crap, or just don't understand it.  JUST KEEP CREATING!!  It's an important part of you.  Do it for yourself!  Share your creative expression with others and learn from others.

In order to participate, you will need to upload a link to where your art is displayed.  To accomplish this you either have to have a webite/blog you can create a link to OR post a pic of your art in a free flickr®
 account and post that link on the Illustration Friday site.  It's really simple and you can use your flickr® account to post all your pictures and artwork and share them with your family, friends, etc.  Did I mention that it's FREE?

I look forward to seeing some of your creations posted. Please post a comment and let us know if you participated.  I added a new widget that makes it easier to post a comment--hope you like it.

Te Amo',

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gallery Started

Happy Hump Day.

I uploaded a few (yes, only 3 for now) images in the "Gallery" this weekend.  I will be sharing more of my work with you as it relates to my posts or because I think you will enjoy them. (Or, when I get off of my lazy rear end and scan them--which ever happens first.)

The image I want to highlight today is late for Memorial Day (life happens, right), but dedicated to all the soldiers in my life, none-the-less. (I never completely understood that phrase).

Although Memorial Day is to honor those who have given and lost their life in the line of duty, my soldiers, thank God, are still here and often aggravating the crap out of me. Again, thank God, right?!

My son-in-law, Layton (see pic insert), is in Iraq right now.  Please pray that he comes home safely in September and can work on making me a grandmother (Nana, actually).  My brother, Kendall, who I never get to see even though he lives on 45-minutes away-- I know he's alive and well because he has current posts on Facebook.  Last but not least my husband, Michael, who should be awarded a medal of honor just for putting up with me and and constantly stepping over my never ending piles of books and art supplies.

I will be starting my post(s) on visual art journaling later this week - CHECK BACK SOON!

Te Amo'

***Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to my blog even if you follow me on Facebook.  It will double your chances of winning my forthcoming Giveaways.***

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hand In Hand Passion - no...not that kind!!!

Happy Monday.

I am SO excited.  My husband bought me an iPad this weekend!!! Can you believe it?  I have no idea how I will utilize it, but I love it.  It is the coolest thing.  I really have no designated utility for it yet, but did I mention that I love it?  It's a 32mb+Wi-Fi +3G.  Totally cool!!

My first thought is I would use it when I'm melting my makeup off at my 7 year old sons baseball practice (as opposed to walking, exercising, or pretending I'm watching, of course) and all the while wondering is anybody else's ass sweating??  Or, when I'm watching that a kid doesn't stick their grimy fingers in my pizza while it's sitting on the table at the germ-topia Chuck-e-Cheese.  Yea, that's when I could really use it.

Of course there are the more practical uses that I will discuss with you as I discover them.  For beginners, keeping up and developing this Blog.  Especially because as I sit here and write, I am the only one who is subscribed to my blog.  How sad is that?  I've been assured that will change.  (I will be having a sign up Give-Away soon, so keep checking back.) Although, I did have 37 hits on my Facebook page.  That's encouraging.

As some of you may know, I am a computer technology teacher by day, and a whole bunch of other things by night...mother, wife, photographer, artist, avid book reader, and the list goes on.  The passions at the top of my list are photography and technology/computer stuff.  Since everything is grown "digitally" these days, it makes sense right?  The two go hand in hand.  What good is a digital image without a computer to store and process it?  While you can get a decent (and I use that word loosely) print from an image you either edit in camera, or don't edit at all, a whole new world of creativity, sharpness and color open up when you process your image using Imaging Software.

So... I found the coolest thing while trolling my blog roll tonight.  Something that definitely says "Tena." Something that signifies the two things I love and "do."  I found it on a site called Photojojo.  I've looked through a book at B&N they currently have published, but I have to admit I didn't purchase it.  In fact I can't even tell you what is in it--but the site is pretty cute.

(and no, I don't get paid to talk about or refer you to other blogs--in case you were wondering)  Hmm, I wonder how I can make that happen?

Anyway, what the heck am I rambling about?  It's called a "Camera Dial Laptop Decal."  I HAVE to get one.  My dilemma?  Which one do I get?  I can't decide.
This one can go on my MacBook - technically not my property but I won't be giving it up soon or without a fight.

This one is for the iPad - technically, I do own.



**notice the pretty Nikon camera**

It's not cheap enough (for me) at $18 each, to get both - so what do you think?  It is removable, and I think reusable.

[Yes, I already thought about creating a similar image and printing it on a vinyl sheet and using that, but they always peel off and get dirty around the edges. So that's out.]

I promise I will get back to the art journaling after I wind down this final week at school.  This has been the longest week of my life.  I don't really understand it since we had a really good year and it went by super fast.  Summer art projects are beckoning, I guess that's it.

Have a wonderful week and Welcome Summer Vaca !!!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Are you a Digital scrapbooker? Free Offer.

Sponsor Giveaway : Free Digital Kit From

Posted using ShareThis

While I'm into preserving memories through photography and digital imaging, I am not "that into" traditional scrapbooking.  I purchase scrapbooking supplies to dress up my visual art journal pages and card making, but have only created one scrapbook page in three years.  However, I have created some Digital scrapbook pages and love it--and you can use the "pieces" to create other stuff too.

The link above is a FREE digital kit you might be interested in.  It is being offered by one of the fun blogs I follow, by Ali Edwards, this sponsor offer is posted on her site. 

If you're into digital scrapbooking, art, etc., or have always wanted to give it a whirl, check out her site and the offer. 

Don't forget to use the code Ali-52010.

Tell me if you digital scrapbook.  What program(s) do you use?  Where do you buy your digital supplies?  Do you print your pages and bind them yourself or do you order your pages in book form from Snapfish, Apple, or a similar service?  Share your techniques.

Have a great week!!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Custom Book for Fathers Day at Picaboo - 30% off

If you're undecided about what to get Dad for Father's Day, check out

Their books are beautiful and affordable.  Use the Code below when you checkout.

Enjoy 30% Off All Custom Cover Photo Books - Use Code MAY30 at Checkout.

There's still time! 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why Expressionology?

Why did I choose the name Expressionology for my blog?  I'll break down the words and the definition(s) and you’ll see why.  I underlined the definitions I related to when considering a blog name.


            expression - noun
1 the process of making known one's thoughts or feelings: his views found expression in his moral sermons | she accepted his expressions of sympathy.
• the conveying of opinions publicly without interference by the government : the right to freedom of expression.
• the look on someone's face that conveys a particular emotion : a sad expression.
• the ability to put an emotion into words : envious beyond expression.
• the style or phrasing of written or spoken words : subtlety of expression.
the conveying of feeling in the face or voice, in a work of art, or in the performance of a piece of music : eyes empty of expression | their instruments have a rich variety of expression.

2 the production of something, esp. by pressing or squeezing it out : essential oils obtained by distillation or expression.

combining form
1 (usu. as -ology) denoting a subject of study or interest : psychology.
2 denoting a characteristic of speech or language : eulogy.
• denoting a type of discourse : trilogy.

Like breathing oxygen, every living human being has an intense, vital necessity to express him or herself.  Self expression can happen audibly or visually—and a lot of times, both at the same time.   I have had a natural tendency to visually express myself since I was a very young child.  I always drew, wrote stories, created Barbie clothing out of my mom’s discarded material scraps, old clothes, and discarded “stuff.”  I would get excited about the social studies and science fairs at school.  The anticipation of seeing my idea in a tangible form was intoxicating to me.

My parents were divorced when I was 4 (or so), and my biological (soul) sister was 2-ish.  My sister and I lived a lot of our childhood in fear.  Don’t get me wrong, we had one (mostly) stable home with a mother who we knew loved us, showed us, and told us. But none-the-less, the turmoil of having divorced parents and living in two completely different environments, we often felt terrified.  

In one home there was no swearing, church every Sunday (for my sister and I), and NEVER leaving your room without your robe on.  In the other home, there was a revolving door of women and men partying and drinking, barroom fights, weapons, Playboy books, nudity, and the strangest sounds from the other side of the doors.   

    Okay, I’m rambling now, so I’ll just stop.  I’m sure at some point more details will surface.   
    But keep reading… I promise I have a point.

To distract and entertain myself  “quietly” I would often read, write, and create “things.” I started creating things for my sister and me. Once she was old enough, then “with” her.  My sister (who is the polar opposite of me) doesn’t realize the inspiration she gave me then, and continues to so to this very day.  She still underestimates her gifts and her worth.

Besides entertaining myself while attempting to keep a low profile, I felt a great sense of accomplishment with each of my creations.  Although others either didn’t acknowledge  my masterpieces (which was usually the case) or saw my Barbie clothes as just rags wrapped around a doll, I saw beauty, color, style, texture, and a story.  Often times the creation would inspire the storyline in which I played with my dolls that day.

Art takes on many shapes and forms.  It’s no secret that Art heals.  It’s also no secret that Art Saves!!!  I am only one story of how—second only to my belief in God--Art helped save “ME”!  It saved my sanity, and my spirit.  Albeit damaged to some extent, my overall spirit remains intact.  My desire to create and produce something beautiful, fun, or that someone else with cherish or appreciate, gives me tremendous satisfaction.  Is it like that for you?

Not much else gives me a greater sense of tranquility (another favorite word) than creating art.  I am going to muster the courage to share some of me—my stuff--with you.  It may not be to your liking, heck, you might even think its crap.  But that’s okay.  It’s my Bliss and perhaps in some small way it will inspire you to start or accomplish something creative, or have some fun, or at the very least, give you something to laugh about.

One thing I find therapeutic and fun is Art Journaling. I want to start this chapter of my blog discussing visual art journaling.  What is an Art Journal? I will tell you and show you bits and pieces of my journals.  I will offer suggestions about how to start one, materials used, and direct you to further resources (there are TONS out there).  Then we can discuss your process, your technique, and your inspiration.

I am interested in YOU and look forward to sharing this personal artistic expression in the near future.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

10 Ways you are getting ripped off.

Are you like me... trying to save a buck or two whenever possible - and as painlessly as possible?  I love the Consumer Reports site and Yahoo Finance had some interesting articles/links.  From time to time I will upload an article or link I think might interest or benefit you.  It's not very creative, but it may trigger some creative thinking!

I thought this was interesting... if nothing else.

I was especially interested in the Shape-Up athletic shoes.  It just so happens I went shopping for these this past weekend.  I suffer from plantar fasciitis and just recently ruptured the entire ligament--ouch!!  Back in the darn ugly Frankenstein boot again.

My Opinion:
I tried on the Reebok and the Skechers.  The Reebok shoe didn't have enough padding and I could feel the air pockets individually.  The Skechers felt wonderful and put the weight and pressure points away from my heel.  The only problem is they look like rubber platforms--ugly ones.  The look, I would just have to get over, but it was the price I had a problem with.  Granted there was a bit more rubber to the sole, but other than that, it's just a plain same-old, same-old, athletic shoe--not worth the $120 price tag.  I don't know if I'll have much choice because of my foot issue, but I won't be happy about it, and I won't buy another of their over priced shoe for me or my family.  Any alternative suggestions?  I would love to know if you or someone you know is dealing with this issue and what they have done to heal and get rid of it.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Blogs I Heart!

I have started adding some links to the "Blogs & Stuff" section that I regularly read and often get inspiration from.  I strongly suggest you take a peek at them.  Scroll down the page and look on the right side to locate the section.

Tell me which one(s) you liked best by clicking on the word "comments" on the bottom of this post.

Blog Update:

Starting this blog is more labor intensive then I initially thought.  I want it to be unique, interesting, and inspiring.  The process is exciting and my head is swimming with ideas.  No doubt I am making this much more complicated than is necessary--this will come as no surprise to those who know me well. I over-think every detail, things are moving along nicely.

It's easy to Sign Up and become a Follower of Expressionology.  Just click the link on the right of the first post on the Home page. 
Have a great weekend.

Te Amo'

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Photo Print Deal

Get some of those images off of the memory card!  This is a pretty good deal and you can download them and order online.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Welcome to my Blog

How do you express your creative side?
What are you passionate about?
What inspires you?

Expressionology is a fun, expressive, creative environment to share ideas, images, art techniques, and inspirations.

In the mix of everything will be my personal posts, freebies and deals I find on the web, and more.   Future plans include class offerings, contests, challenges, swaps, and giveaways. While I don't promise perfect grammar, I will strive to offer quality useful content, and at minimum, make you smile or shake you head every now and then.

I hope you visit often and have fun!

Te Amo',


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