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Brush Lettering~My Favorite Brush Markers

Hi everyone!  (What do you think of the new blog design?  Considering it's the first time I've really changed the look of the blog since 2012, I'm kind of excited about it.)

I want to let you in on my newest obsession--brush lettering.  (And, if you are a crafty type,  maybe you'll  become obsessed too!)

favorite brush markers for brush lettering~anartfulmom.com


Blogging These Days

I love to blog. I love it.  (Even though you all haven't seen me around here as much as I'd like to be lately. Pesky old life gets in the way.)

Have you noticed, though, that blogs have lost some of the personality and flavor they used to have?  I started my first real blog in 2007. (Want to see it?  A Studio in My Basement   Kind of raw, wouldn't you say? ha!) Not too many people were really reading that blog, but it was fun. Some of the navigation buttons don't even work, because I didn't know how to fix such things back then!

A Failproof Teacher Gift



It's nearing the end of another school year.  Teachers are tired.

When my kids were little, for a few years we gave, (with the best intentions!), the standard things that we thought teachers would like (mugs and such.)

Capture Memories of Childhood Places


Our neighborhood library closed a few weeks ago. It made me sad.

No worries, the brand new one that was built to replace it is huge, light-filled, and amazing. But, the library that closed was the library of my children's childhood, so our last visit there before it closed was a bit sad.  Even a little teary.

A Quote for Tuesday: Autumn

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
Albert Camus


Autumn leaves are like flowers in spring.

I love that quote so much because my daughter has often expressed that same feeling about leaves. I have mentioned many times (even here at my blog) how irritated I get with the trees in our yard, because of the work they create. 

My daughter's eyes widen in disbelief every time I say that I'm annoyed by the leaves.  "But mom, the leaves are so pretty, just like flowers."

This view from the rear of our back yard, reminds me how true that is!

Linking to:


Painted Pumpkins (Kid Style)

Painted Pumpkins

When your kids are making a project, do you get the urge to "fix it"  it a little?  (As in, "let's straighten those candies on the gingerbread roof just a bit," etc.) Yes, that was always my tendency too. (By the time my second one was making projects, though, I had loosened up a lot..)

I thought I'd share this picture of the pumpkins my niece and nephew painted for their fall centerpiece, as a reminder that perfect is not always better, and budding creativity shouldn't be squelched.

Here's to our fall projects (especially the kids'!)

A Letter to My Younger Self

Getting older often (usually, hopefully)  means getting wiser. (To that, my wisecracking son would say, "Wow, Mom, then you must be really wise by now."    He would probably follow that up with, "But you look young for your age, usually.")


I've shared many of these thoughts with my kids as they grew up.  (Probably much more often than they would have liked!)

Color and Design Ideas are Everywhere

When you are planning to create an art project or craft or redecorate a room,  do you agonize over color and design choices?  There's Pinterest, of course.  But do you still feel a little lost?  It took me so long to realize that inspiration is everywhere.  

That last sentence makes me sound absolutely oblivious.  Well...

I'm not completely oblivious, but I am much more conscious now than in the past that color combinations and design ideas are all around me.  (I know some of you are saying, "Duh.")

Color and Design Tips


Photography Tips: Bouncing the Flash

Contrary to popular belief, flash photography is not the evil stepsister of natural light photography.  When used well, in fact, the flash can be completely undetectable. So my first piece of advice here is, Don't be afraid of flash!

These days, DSLRs are so good in low light, that many people decide they will never use flash.  The truth is, though, there are times when a flash will help. When it's too dark inside or when shooting outdoors in bright, harsh sunlight where there is no open shade, for example.

Those pop-up flashes on DSLRs are pretty bad (unless you like washed out faces and harsh shadows!) But an external flash changed my photography forever.

An external flash spreads more light, and you can use it to bounce the light, eliminating all of the nasty, direct flash problems. My flash swivels and tilts in different directions, so that I can bounce it to get the best light available. (In Nikon lingo, the external flashes are called Speedlights, and in Canon, they are Speedlites.)

How to use Bounce Flash

Photography Tips

Learning to Zentangle

Well, the title of this post is Learning to Zentangle, but you really don't have to learn a lot.  It's actually just a way to create images with structured patterns. Very relaxing and fun.  I bought a book, but there is also a lot of Zentangle inspiration on Pinterest.

Zentangle at anartfulmom.com


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