Art-Making: A Companion in Solitude

Exhausted from just the thought of trying to fill another covid-isolation “Blursday?”

Coming to the rescue is “Art-Making: A Companion in Solitude,” a new book published in December 2020. Written by a friend of mine, Dr. Irene Naested, her book couldn’t come at a better time.

Irene encourages us all to start an artist journal (any size will do) where we draw, paint, doodle, or whatever in our journal every day. Her book is written in a series of letters (38 of them!) to her readers, making it an engaging, entertaining, and enlightening read.

Irene presents us with images from her own art journals created over the years, plus she serves up easy-to-follow art instructions to keep us occupied and engaged during isolation. Fancy or expensive tools and equipment are not necessary. Just bring your curiousity, along with some colours or pencils or paints — whatever you happen to have — then begin. It’s a great way to learn about art while experiencing it, especially since Irene is a national award-winning teacher of art. Her way with words is totally motivating. I doubt it will take her long to convince you to start your own artist’s journal ASAP!

Perhaps art-making in our journals can become a point of light in our months of Blursdays still ahead. And, just to make things even more interesting, Irene is hosting an online Book Club in association with “Art-Making: A Companion in Solitude” for the first three months of the year.

As for me, I can’t think of a lovelier thing to do than to start an artist’s journal as we start 2021. I wonder what it might say when we look back at it years from now.

You can find out more about Irene’s latest book, including where to purchase it, at


Moms to the rescue!

Moms are coming to the rescue in Portland, Oregon where federal troopers are storming the streets.

Self-identified Moms have come out en masse in July 2020 to protest Trump’s order of sending in federal troops to take back control of cities where Black Lives Matter (#BLM) protests, fueled by the senseless killing of George Floyd in May 2020 by Minneapolis police, continue. These federal troopers are unidentified, have taken protestors into unmarked vehicles, and have been accused of “blatant abuse of power.”

According to a July 22, 2020 story in the Washington Post, “Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) has for days called for the immediate removal of federal troops.”

It’s hard to believe that we’ve come to this. We are definitely living in dangerous times. But, never fear, the Moms are here! Not only are they setting a great example of courage, the Moms are also showing us the importance of fighting against what is looking more and more like authoritarian rule.

Thank you, Moms.


Connecting the dots on climate change

People talk about connecting the dots all the time, especially when it comes to climate change. But, it seems to me we very seldom do it.

That’s why I am very excited to share this visual representation of how much our climate has warmed over the past almost 140 years. Whether literally or figuratively, now we can connect some of those the dots.




A Campaign Primer

An awareness campaign is an important way of getting your message heard, understood, and accepted.

If you wanted to learn the basics of running an effective awareness campaign, look no farther than this wonderful primer from NCVO Knowhow Nonprofit.

This organization has tons of resources that might help you with your cause, so be sure to spend some time checking them out.

: )



Drink Beer, Do Good

Now here’s a campaign I can really get behind!

An email with a caption like the title of this post arrived in my inbox today. How clever is that for getting people’s attention, not to mention for putting a smile on people’s faces, too?

Just thought I’d share this with you as a PERFECT EXAMPLE of how a good email caption can make all the difference.

beer glasses groundwork

(Full disclosure: The entire email caption read like this: “Drink Beer, Do Good – Support Groundwork all month long with Pour for More! Enter to win 2 FREE tickets to Harvest at the Commons!” However, the only part I saw on my screen was “Drink Beer, Do Good” and that is the text that got me to open it up.)

In case you are interested in learning more about how you can drink beer to do good, then check out the Pour for More campaign in support of Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization.