The Magic of Art Journaling

Let’s talk about Art Journaling.

This week I have been brought back to the center of my journey, to a practice that has guided me home time and time again. I am reminded that art journaling has held me in the grip of awareness and grace for a long time. When I forget, I can still dive right back into the middle.


Art journaling came to me about seven years ago following years of purely written words. It was something that I didn’t quite understand and I quickly became focused on the product of it instead of the process of it. It was easy to get distracted by tutorial videos and supplies and techniques. The long-time companion of comparison screamed through every page. In my words, in my images, all I could see was my brokenness.

One day I planned a funeral. I decided to release all of those words and the work of my hands. I burned every journal. It was a heaping pile of not good enough. From those ashes, I awoke and rose to a new purpose, a new way of being, of discovering myself for the first time.


The pages lay silent for a few months but when I returned to them, I allowed grace to be my rule. I sank into a consistent practice of showing up, of recording the day, of marking time, of reaching forward, of creating a path to the future that I wanted.

Sometime just a few words say it all.

a thin line



Other times, the words of others are just what I need to remind me which way to go.

catching the dream

Often, my pen chases my intuition across the page, bringing a peace to me that I find no where else.


Most often, my journal is a processing of the day to day.

exist with attitude


little boxes


my day

Art Journaling is like walking a path through your life, taking a journey through the dark and the light, the valleys and the peaks. Along the way, you encounter many versions of yourself and conversations are had. Sometimes you sit awhile and allow the quiet and peace to heal, to stitch together that which is worn out. Other times you laugh and squeal and play. Always you are picking up and carrying on.

My practice has shifted a bit this year and quite honestly, I haven’t been entirely happy or content with the process. I have even questioned the purpose. Then I was invited to write about Art Journaling, invited to share the magic and mystery of what this practice actually is, what it does. This week, I pulled down my box of journals and flipped through them. My breath caught in my throat, my heart pounded, tears filled my eyes, as I saw over and over and over how art journaling captured moments that I had forgotten. I was able to trace my journey and identify exactly when everything seemed to change. Just when I was processing my mother’s late days of life, her death, I seemed to have lost the magical way. I’ve been going through the motions but my heart has not been in it. I am ready to return to the center, to the heart.

Most importantly, I know that one day, I will look back at the images, the words, and the blank spaces of most of the months of this year and I will see too how those months carried me when I wasn’t able to carry myself. I will see the healing that was happening. Maybe that is the true magic. I think I lost my way but all along this practice was leading me home.

So why all of these words about Art Journaling today?

I am inviting you to join with me and my friend, Anna Meade, to give the gift of Art Journaling. She has started a beautiful campaign to share the healing work of Art Journaling.

HH_kit1Healing He[art]s is a mechanism to put art supplies in the hands of women who are struggling. The vision is for women to give the gift of art to other women. Because we know that art heals. We have lived it, and we would like to pass along that encouragement to others.

The goal is to gift 144 Art Journaling kits this holiday season. Each kit will include some basic art journaling supplies and will cost $25. You can donate by visiting this link and scrolling down to the donate button. (major credit cards, paypal, checks and money orders are accepted)

Please share the information far and wide. Let’s work together to bless as many women as we can.

You can read more stories of Art Journaling and Healing as well as track the progress of the campaign at The Healing He[art]s Blog. 



The Scattered Life Collective



Another short version this week.

I spent most of this week in the mountains of North Carolina, ignoring the clock, dipping deep into my inner wisdom. It was glorious. Minus not great sleep, I still came home rested and renewed and full of creative ideas. This morning, I remembered that in the past I have taken the month of November as a break from online activity. Not an easy task when so much of my work and home life depends on email and facebook groups. I do feel that ease is calling me for a short season. Beyond the commitments I have to show up for courses and keeping up with homeschool co-op activities and art work related tasks, I will be scarce online for the next four weeks. We have four birthdays and an anniversary to celebrate. Thanksgiving will roll around too. I am going to sink deep into my creative practice.

I will be stopping in here on the blog once, on November 17th, to write about a wonderful opportunity. I am going to pre-share the link below in my round and about list.

I’ll be back in December, participating in some end of the year reflection. Until then,

Grace and Peace



book of strange new things


I read this book months ago to review for Fiction Addiction, the book store where I work. Quite simply, I loved it.

It is rare for me to read science fiction much less love it and recommend it but I found this to be one of my favorite reads in quite a while. Michel Faber brilliantly weaves a story of faith, calling and vocation, relationships and the many forms of distance. It is s story of salvation and redemption, subjects that do not belong exclusively to any religion. Though the main character is a Christian, sharing his faith, the themes are universal. Full of complex characters and shifting perspectives, the books manages to flow easily through the imagination. It pulled me in and along.

Round and About – 

Let’s spread the art journaling love - I’ll be writing more about this in a couple of weeks.

You don’t have to go to college

Unofficial Guide to Creative Prompts 

Moon Mail? oh yes.

8 quotes for your bedroom wall



I’d love for you to join me in reflecting on your week.
We could truly make this a collective.
You can replicate my format or use your own.
There are no rules. Just sharing together.

If you’d like to play along, feel free to save one or both of the images below to use in your postings.
Of course, please comment with a link back to your post …
OR try my new Mr. Linky widget … OR if you don’t have your own blog, leave your Scattered Life capture here as a comment.


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Previously, I have included a good things list in my Scattered Life Collective posts but lately I have sensed the need to be even more intentional about nurturing gratitude in my life. Today, I am joining and committing to future posts of Gratitude Sunday. ( found via Danni at Whimsical Cottage) If you’d like to join, click the image at the end of this post.

  • Peacemaking is returning to me. I have never been one to build walls or to hold grudges. In my raw state of being since my mother died in May, I have allowed myself to abide in hurt and to pick at wounds, preventing the healing. A shift happened in the past week. I don’t know the outcome, I don’t know how to proceed forward really. But I do know, that I have softened back to the center of my way in the world.
  • Dreaming of a forever home. Pouring energy in that direction. Releasing my Negative Nelly mindset and allowing magical mind wanderings foremost place in my heart. I planted dream pouches in the woods this week, asking for them to take root.
  • Friendships and Kinships. I am blessed to have these in my face to face life and in the mysterious bits and bytes place of the online world. Sometimes the two converge and I am allowed to sit across from those I have only known from an online connection. It is a blessing to share sacred and creative energy.
  • I spent a few hours at a nearby art festival, Art on the Trail. Many conversations and inspirations. AND I found the treasure I have been seeking for a year . . . !!!!



  • Building anticipation for my son’s returning home from Yellowstone. I am counting down the days.
  • Beautiful Autumn weather. I LIVE for this time of year. Crisp and cool in the mornings and evening and warm enough during the day. Sky is brilliant blue and the leaves are tinged with color. We spent this week cleaning up the yard because it is time for the FIRES!
  • Lots of love for our homeschool co-op. They are an eclectic and interesting and fun bunch of people. We knocked out a planning meeting for next semester in just over an hour. To have that many personalities come together to brainstorm upcoming classes is an amazing accomplishment.
  • The grounding force that is my art journal and planner. No other creative practice I have is this consistent and I return to it, glean from it, heal and go forth from it. I am grateful for the many offerings that contribute to it as well. ( Right Brain Planner, The Art Journaling Community, Secret Message Society Zine, and more that I can’t think of right now. LOL!)
  • The mountains are calling me. Heading out in a bit to spend a few days away with other Unschooling families. I also have plans to meet up with another creative soul. I always look forward to this time walking in the woods, sitting on the porch and reading.

Click the image to find out more and join us in sharing your gratitude list

The Scattered Life Collective


The Way I See It:


On the book of faces:

had an interesting “dear cynthia” conversation tonight while on the way to pick up my son from work. It’s interesting to me how these conversations uncover twisted and mostly unhealthy ways of being in the world.

For instance, I have been denying myself the privilege and wondrous beauty of dreaming, of hoping, and ultimately that circles back to a core belief that it is not within my right to want for better things. I have deeply believe that if I allow myself to dream too big, too much, that the universe, karma, god, whatever, will counter that with something horrible in my life. Like a slap on the wrist or a punch in the face.

Like I said, dark and twisty.

I am untangling these thoughts.


From the Pages:



I am still stuck in the no-reading zone. I think it’s time for a plan.

Thoughts on Reading


Coldplay – Sky Full of Star


We are huge Project Runway fans here. I love the creativity of designing. Here is my favorite runway:

and we are looking forward to this spin off show:

Round and About – 

Some forgotten words – my favorite? tardigradous

Mother-Daughter Tequila Taste Test 

It’s getting cooler. Time for some Hot Chocolate

I’ve been collecting glass jars. I think I’ll try this tutorial on making amber glass. 

7 day art journal plan

Paper geometric masks

Making my Fall Movie List

33 mantras to quickly calm your stress response

New Moon/Solar Eclispse – It’s time to fly


I’d love for you to join me in reflecting on your week.
We could truly make this a collective.
You can replicate my format or use your own.
There are no rules. Just sharing together.

If you’d like to play along, feel free to save one or both of the images below to use in your postings.
Of course, please comment with a link back to your post …
OR try my new Mr. Linky widget … OR if you don’t have your own blog, leave your Scattered Life capture here as a comment.


Timeline_Cover_doNotRename58             Timeline_Cover_doNotRename58

How am I?

Cynthia Lee:

“Probably, one of the things that is less visible about me, is my spiritual life. I am not an overt Christian any longer. Wow, I cringed when I wrote that. How many ways could that be misinterpreted.”

It is interesting to read words that I wrote so long ago, to read how I interpreted everything in my life through the lens of my faith. I wrote a lot during my transition out of Christianity. The deconstruction of my faith required a lot of sifting through the rubble. About a year or so after these words were written, in a conversation centered on Emergent Christianity, I spoke another defining sentence, “I no longer believe in the deity of Jesus” That was the true beginning of the end. I am now an agnostic atheist. I don’t believe in God, a god, a higher power, a creator. But I do believe in something. I am still learning to wrap words around what I believe and that is more posts to come.

Importing my former blog here and re-reading my posts from so long ago in an exercise in loving every step of my journey. I want to hold the woman I was then with love, compassion, and grace.

Originally posted on Just Cynthia:

Who am I? How am I? Just a few letters rearranged and the dynamics of that question change dramatically. I can make a running list of who I am … a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend, an artist, a daughter, a sister. Maybe I even want to speak more poetically and say that I am a thinker, a dreamer, a believer, a doubter. But how am I? That makes me strip down the masks, the labels, the roles and become vulnerable. Maybe it’s easier to write about what I do or even what I think or believe than to write about how I am. That’s the stuff for diaries and journals, right?

But Barb asked and I am going to attempt to answer.

Today, I am stronger than I ever dreamed I could be yet at the same time, as unsure of myself as ever. My insecurities speak…

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stop and listen

pick up and go

follow the sound of your beating heart

trust the wisdom that flows

from your belly center

the space of your truth and wisdom

the substance of you abides and resides

deep within

take a gulping breath

step into the portal

descend below the surface

to where there is nothing

no thing

no one

just you and your spirit

in communion

loving and honoring

the essence and the instinctive nature

the primal

the raw and real

guiding light

trust and surrender

to the call

to the return of the wild

you once were


This post is brought to you


of  my art journals

as I am participating in the #write31days challenge


#write31days – Grace is for All

To anyone who makes their way to my tiny corner of the interwebs today,
I have a message for you.

You are enough and what you are doing is enough.

It doesn’t matter if you started late.

It doesn’t matter if you change course.

It doesn’t matter if you need to take a break.

You are enough and what you are doing is enough.

On this sweet, soul-full Sunday,
remember to heap piles of grace
upon every endeavor
every challenge
every choice.

Your life deserves to be bathed
in the grace of which you believe.

Grace is for all.


The Scattered Life Collective


Short and sweet version of the scattered life collective this week. Life feels a bit crazy and demanding right now. Let this be my message to you, be gentle with yourself. Believe deeply in grace and wash yourself in it. Allow yourself to show up in smaller ways when you need the space in other places.

On the book of faces:

Hey people … this really is a legitimate question, I would love some conversation around this concept … do you believe fake it till you make it is a valid way to move throughout the world?


Yesterday, My husband told me about Pink’s new collaborative album with Dallas Green. I immediately went searching. OH my, oh my, oh my. I have chills.

How it came to be:

and another song from the album:

Round and About – 

been adding mini chocolate chips to these pumpkin muffins. yum!

make poetry tiles for your art journal

Stevie Nicks and the practice of hand-writing in journals

Lately, I have been combating my doubts by dressing like an artist

Life Book

7 myths about creativity - my favorite: It doesn’t have a time or place. YOU give it that time and place.

true facts about the introvert

Open the gate

Women, don’t hold back


I’d love for you to join me in reflecting on your week.
We could truly make this a collective.
You can replicate my format or use your own.
There are no rules. Just sharing together.

If you’d like to play along, feel free to save one or both of the images below to use in your postings.
Of course, please comment with a link back to your post …
OR try my new Mr. Linky widget … OR if you don’t have your own blog, leave your Scattered Life capture here as a comment.


Timeline_Cover_doNotRename58             Timeline_Cover_doNotRename58

Learning Everyday

Cynthia Lee:

this post is brought to you from the archives in response to #write31days and a nod to the #tbt ( throwback thursday) meme.
I have only recently transferred my former blog to this site. My life has changed so much that I found it difficult and triggering to read my journey, to revisit my past life as a Christian. It wounds me to see how much of myself I gave away. I am one person. Just me. Just Cynthia. This has prompted me to bring all my pieces together, to hold them with worth and gratitude.
This is from a day in my life ten years ago. A day where we learned together, lived and loved together. I credit God with reminding me of the goodness in my life. Today, I would credit my own awareness. It might not be that big of a difference.

Originally posted on Just Cynthia:

From a doubting week to a week full of life, love and learning . . .

I am making a quilt. I designed it sometime last year and bought the material I would need to make the quilt. Then, I packed it all in a box and never got around to doing anything with it. Yesterday, I pulled it all out of the box and decided to just do it, just get busy and make this quilt.

I couldn’t find the pattern though. I have all this material . . . blue plaid, red plaid, blue stripe and muslin. . . that I bought for the pattern I had designed and I couldn’t find the pattern. Ok, have to get busy designing a quilt based on what I have here to make it.

My children helped me along the way. We had to measure the cloth and figure out how…

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