Friday, July 21, 2017

Juliet Meeks -- a Sketchbook Conversation

Today's colorful, pattern-filled Sketchbook Conversation is with Juliet Meeks. Juliet is a surface pattern designer and artist working in New Orleans, LA and I know you'll enjoy getting a peek into her sketchbooks. Here's here story:


I started keeping sketchbooks in high school and college and I actually had a hard time keeping a sketchbook daily. I've always kept books and books of notes for creative ideas though, since I'm a big list person and can't write my ideas down enough! I started taking a visual sketchbook more seriously when I began working on my various 30 day challenges. 

Juliet Meeks, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, painted patterns, My Giant Strawberry

Most of the photos you see here are from my most recent series I just wrapped up, #30PaintedFlorals. I love using Instagram to share my creative challenges, because it keeps me accountable by having an audience and a schedule that helps me stay on track and inspired to create. 

Juliet Meeks, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, painted patterns, My Giant Strawberry

I like to be organized to stay inspired. If I'm feeling out of whack or just blah, I'll pick up around my office to feel like I have a fresh space to create. It's also really helpful to have an end goal, even a small self-initiated one. 

Juliet Meeks, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, painted patterns, My Giant Strawberry

Whether that's completing 30 pieces of art, or designing a greeting card for my shop. I like my projects to have some sort of direction or guidelines, which may sound counter-intuitive but it really helps me feel free to create. 

Juliet Meeks, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, painted patterns, My Giant Strawberry

It's been about two years since I started painting regularly with watercolor, and then gouache. I often paint on watercolor paper or in my watercolor sketchbook like you see here (I love the square format!). 

Juliet Meeks, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, painted patterns, My Giant Strawberry

I am just now getting into painting with acrylics on wood panels. I am so excited to start working with a new medium, while still using my trusty watercolor. I often get asked which journal I use, so you can find it here.

Juliet Meeks, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, painted patterns, My Giant Strawberry

I really found my style, or at least the beginnings of it, by completing the 100 Day Project. My project was 100 Days of Painted Patterns (#100DaysofPaintedPatterns on Instagram). If you have the time, no matter how small the daily task, I highly recommend it! You don't even have to do it 100 days in a row, but my suggestion is to try. It IS an intense commitment but it's one you won't regret! 

Juliet Meeks, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, painted patterns, My Giant Strawberry

Thank you, Juliet, for sharing your sketchbooks with us today!


Dear reader, you can connect with Juliet:




Missed the other Sketchbook Conversations posts? It's easy to catch up at the series web page.

And for even more inspiration, check out my Artist Interviews




*Photos in this post ©Juliet Meeks. Used with permission.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

on growth (and taking time to savor)

I've been thinking about growth lately. It's been a strange summer. Some things are thriving in the garden. Some things are S-L-O-W.

sweet peas, flowers, garden, gardening, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I planted my sweet peas before I planted my snap peas. We've been eating snap peas every day for over a month. The sweet peas only just started blooming.

I planted my cucumbers at the same time I planted my beans. My bean plants, scrambling up the arch are probably 8 feet tall. The cucumber plants barely reach my shins.

The sunflowers I grew from seed are spindly and nowhere near ready to flower, but the self-seeded sunflowers started blooming a month ago.

garden, gardening, raised beds, container gardening, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Things grow at their own pace.

That's not just true of gardens.

I've been thinking about the growth of my business and my growth as an artist. I feel as if this year I am finally making headway with my business. Until this point things felt so S-L-O-W. In truth, I was frustrated that it wasn't growing faster. That I wasn't growing faster.

heliotrope, garden, flowers, gardening, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

When you're in the thick of things it's hard to remember that each of us has to grow at our own pace. In a society where everything moves at light speed and instant gratification and "overnight success" are glorified as the ideal, it can be hard to move more slowly.

It's also tempting, if your growth is more like my sweet peas or cucumbers, to compare yourself to the snap peas and beans. But how can you compare a sweet pea to a snap pea or a cucumber to a bean?

You can't. And you certainly can't compare the maturity of one sunflower started months before another sunflower.

So why do we do it?

Peach Drift Rose, roses, garden, gardening, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I'm not asking for an answer. But I do hope that you'll remember that everything grows at its own pace, whether you're growing a garden, a business or yourself.

garlic, harvest, summer, gardening, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

One of my words for this year is "Nourish".  We need to remember to nurture ourselves and our endeavors. It can be all too easy to disparage ourselves if we don't measure up, when what we really need is time and nourishment.

I've been realizing lately how nourishing it is to take the time to savor my days. I've been very busy, but I've been trying to incorporate little bits of slowness into my days. Prioritize them. A morning tour through the garden first thing each day. Writing in my journal. A long walk with Matthias and the dogs. Visiting the farmers market on Saturday mornings and enjoying thoughtful cooking with farm (and garden) fresh ingredients. I've also been letting the cats remind me to take breaks.

cats, rescue cats, studio cats, adopt don't shop, studio, work table, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

When they jump up on my table I put my work away for a few minutes and take the time to scratch and snuggle them.

After all, what's the point if we don't take the time to enjoy our days?

Oh, and what have I been busy with lately?

In between commissions I finally finished my bachelor button painting:

watercolor, botanical watercolor, bachelor buttons, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's now available in my shop.

I also decided that I'm willing to part with this little coleus painting.

watercolor, coleus, botanical watercolor, coleus painting, coleus watercolor, Etsy, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's available now in my Etsy shop.

What have you been busy with lately?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Livia Saba -- A Sketchbook Conversation

Today's Sketchbook Conversation is with Livia Saba. I've been following her on Instagram for a while and I think you'll find her artwork delightful.

Here's her story:

Hi! My name is Livia. I am an illustrator/pattern designer living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (moving soon to Worcester, Massachusetts). I create patterns for handmade pouches that I sell in my Etsy shop, Handmade Philosophy


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

I also sell prints of my illustrations and original artwork. I don’t think I have found my style yet. But, by working and reworking things that please me, I’m learning a lot and getting more satisfied with what I do.

Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

I think of my sketchbook as a gym, where I go to work out motor skills, ideas, and techniques. It is a place to exercise. I also use it to brainstorm about my paintings, try new color combinations, and record memories. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the work that I sell, but it is fundamental for my creative process.


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

I’m a self-taught artist and I have been using sketchbooks since the time I started, almost 4 years ago. In the beginning I was afraid to draw something that would ruin my sketchbook and, in the future, would make me embarrassed of my work. 


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

But now I see a sketchbook as a timeline of my ideas and improving techniques. Right now, I use many sketchbooks of different sizes and papers. Some are for drawing with graphite, others for painting with watercolor or gouache. Each sketchbook inspires me to work on different styles depending on the size and paper.


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

Sometimes it is hard to find motivation. Art can make you very frustrated. I constantly judge my work, and usually feel that I have a long way to go. To overcome lack of motivation I push myself to create something every day even if I’m not feeling it. Usually, it is just a matter of getting started: once I see paint flowing and forms taking shape, motivation suddenly comes. 


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

However, I believe that sometimes it is good to take some time off. Nature is my main source of inspiration. There is nothing like looking at a flower, listening to a bird, or admiring a tree to make me inspired. I also love to watch documentaries about wildlife, distant places, science, architecture, and design. I’m interested in how creativity can make the world a better place.


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

I love watercolor and gouache. My favorite brands are Daniel Smith and M. Graham. But I’m always trying other brands. I love to play with new art supplies and see how I can work with them in different ways. I don’t think I have a favorite sketchbook, but I love Stillman & Birn. I usually sketch with B or HB pencil. I’m a fan of Blackwing pencils and Alvin Draftmatic Mechanical Pencil for fine details. I just started using ArtGraf watercolor graphite and I’m having a lot of fun with it.


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

My advice for someone who is just starting out is to go for it, draw and paint as often as you can, don’t be afraid of the blank page, and, most important, don’t compare yourself with others. Everybody was a beginner once, and we are always improving. Art is not a competition. Starting is the hardest part but, if you keep going, great things will happen.

Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry


Thank you, Livia, for sharing your story and your sketchbooks with us today.

Dear reader, you can connect with Livia:




Missed the other Sketchbook Conversations posts? It's easy to catch up at the series web page.

And for even more inspiration, check out my Artist Interviews




*Photos in this post ©Livia Saba. Used with permission.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

fast and slow

I've been feeling a bit discombobulated. Last week Matthias' dad was visiting with his greyhound (it's always fun to have the three dogs together!). Matthias and I were both working, while also trying to savor the days.

Potosi, travels, Wisconsin, Breweries, summer, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

On top of that I had a headache that just wouldn't go away. It hung around for about five days. By the time Monday rolled around I was exhausted.

If I had been fully paying attention I would have realized that my body was telling me to slow down. I'm not always so good at listening.

poppies, breadseed poppies, garden, gardening, flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Last week I also kept trying to work on paintings of bachelor buttons and I kept getting frustrated as the paintings "failed."

bachelor buttons, botanical sketches, sketchbook, watercolor, paint palette, color swatches, process, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I've talked before about sticking with a painting that doesn't seem to be "working". Sometimes the middle stages of a painting don't look right, but it's only part of the process and if I stick with it, things will turn around.

Sometimes, though, when a painting (or any endeavor) isn't working it's time to step away and do something else.

Again, a message to slow down. Again, I'm not always so good at listening.

greyhounds, rescue dogs, sunshine, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

So what's the answer?

I don't know if there is an answer. I think it's always a process. I've been thinking about Meda's comment about letting go on my post from the other day and Liz's perspective from her interview last week that "you don't find a balance, you just live". I've also been pondering what Ria Sharon said in her latest Secret Sketches email. Her prescription for July: "Drink lots of water. Take lots of naps." She suggests that we're more productive if we schedule some time to do nothing, whether it's napping or daydreaming.

roses, Aunt Honey Rose, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I think she might be right. Sometimes when I go out to the garden with my sketchbook, I find more inspiration just sitting and being, than sketching.

sketchbooks, markers, Tombow Markers, Koi Watercolor Brush Pen, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Listening. Watching. Smelling. Touching. Tasting.

garden, summer, peas, snap peas, Cascadia Snap Pea, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Noticing the joys of summer. Discovering little bits of magic. The first cicada song of the year. A garden friend in a flower pot.

toad, garden, container gardening, basil seedlings, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

The promise of the first cherry tomatoes.

gardening, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, summer, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I took some time on Sunday to stare up at the sky and watch the clouds.

I need to do more of that.

More being.

More savoring.

More slow.

I also took some time on Sunday to reorganize some of my paints in a new palette box. I took some time to paint swatches of color in my current watercolor sketchbook.

sketchbook, watercolor, paint swatches, color charts, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's slow work. And satisfying.

When I came back to my painting table yesterday, although I was tired, the painting came easier.

watercolor, botanical watercolor, botanical painting, painting process, bachelor buttons, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's a process. It's always a process.

I hope your week is filled with more slow than fast.

Friday, July 7, 2017

An Interview with Liz Lamoreux

Today I'm chatting with Liz Lamoreux, a creative soul who wears many hats, but whose business is built upon the calling to help others realize their worthiness. I encountered her blog before I'd embarked on my own creative journey and bought her book when I was taking my first steps. Her thoughtful presence in this world was an inspiration to create the life I wanted to be living and a reminder to explore this world with an adventurous heart.

I'm delighted to have her here sharing her story with us!

Liz Lamoreux, Artist Interview, Tara Whitney, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

ab: Liz, there are so many facets to this creative life that you're living. On your website you give yourself these titles: "teacher, author, guide, maker, curator of inspiration and ambassador of worthiness". Is there one, above all others, that is most you? What aspects of your business do you most cherish?

ll: So delighted to be chatting with you today! Such a great question. I’m in the brainstorming mode of updating my “about” page and your question pushes me to honor this truth: I think of myself as a guide and companion inviting you to feel less alone in the world. Sometimes we need a guide to shine a light for us and say, “I’ve been here before. Let me share a bit about what helped me. Then you can think about what might help you.” And other times we need a companion who just sits beside us.

My hope is to do versions of both of these roles through my writings, workshop and retreat offerings, and through Soul Mantras (my online shop).

Liz Lamoreux, Artist Interview, Lauren Oliver Photography, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I cherish the connections I make with others as we share our stories and have conversations about the beautiful, messy, joyful, tough stuff that make up our lives. And through the magic of our online worlds, this can happen via emails with customers, as conversation in Facebook groups I host, or in person at retreats. It really does make me so happy.

ab: After you graduated with a psychology degree from the University of Notre Dame, you became a teacher embracing a life of poetry, yoga and mediation. Everything changed when you experienced a traumatic birth experience followed shortly thereafter by the necessity of a life-saving open heart surgery for your four-month-old daughter. Writing, photography and poetry saved you. Can you elaborate on this? Did your salvation come on your own or did you have guides or mentors? Was your recovery gradual or did you have an epiphany? What lessons have you taken with you from that experience?

ll: Throughout my life I’ve had guides and mentors who have supported me. Some have been in person, online, and others have been authors who have felt like dear friends. The creative practices I began using on an almost daily basis - photography and writing and mindfulness - became handholds to me in small, significant ways during the first year of my daughter’s life.

Liz Lamoreux, Artist Interview, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

These practices were in some ways things I had always been drawn to, but I didn’t see them as true practices supporting me until I was in the midst of my two-year yoga teacher training while also starting to attend art retreats. I began to see ways to connect creativity and mindfulness and that became the focus of my blog that I started back in 2005. That same year, I experienced deep loss for the first time, and I guess you could say I started to put myself back together again through writing and photography and yoga and as I began to find my “kindreds” in the blogging world.

Five years later, when my daughter was born, I had been experiencing, writing about, and teaching these practices, so grabbing onto them in small ways when I could was somewhat automatic. I was in the depths of it - the newborn stuff that is often hard but also the fear that my daughter was going to die. Though I did have some support, I felt very alone in it (even though my husband was in it with me of course). I began a self-portrait practice that helped me feel seen by the one person who understood this space I was standing in: me. I called it the What is Real series and you can see it over on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lizelayne/albums/72157624409343447).

Liz Lamoreux, Artist Interview, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

This practice of taking a photo and writing the truth of that moment helped me feel like I was more than just a head making tough decisions but was actually a person with a body and a heart and a soul experiencing everything.

Honestly, I’m still recovering from pieces of that year. My daughter is a healthy, exuberant, happy 7 year old, and my business has grown from the growing hobby it was before she was born to a thriving business that I work at full-time with an assistant. So many good things have happened. And yet, that year cracked me open in new and intense ways, and I’ve learned that it really is okay to still be healing years later. One step. One breath. Repeat.

The lessons I’ve taken have helped me articulate the idea of The And Space, and how we can let ourselves hold multiple feelings and experiences and let the multitudes of who we are be true.

Liz Lamoreux, Artist Interview, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

ab: You talk about navigating The AND Space -- "where we hold beauty in one hand and grit in the other". Can you explain more about this? What sorts of strategies or practices do you have for finding your way back to joy when the grit becomes overwhelming and you're consumed by negativity?

ll: The And Space is the phrase I use to describe this place we are each in, in different ways, where we hold the beauty and the tough stuff, the everyday routines and our longings, daily life and where we want to go next. Instead of insisting you must feel this OR this, I’ve learned that I can feel both.

The reality is that feeling both can be profoundly confusing, especially when you’ve just realized you can hold both. But giving ourselves permission to sift through our feelings and experiences and find the stories, longings and desires, and truths helps us live a richer life. We get to tell the truth to ourselves when we realize we live in The And Space.

I use quite a few self-care practices when I’m trying to come back to center when I get overwhelmed by the chatter or swirling thoughts of negativity, but two that help me that you can do almost anywhere are the Five Deep Breaths practice and finding my senses.

Liz Lamoreux, Artist Interview, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

The Five Deep Breaths practice is exactly what it sounds like: Pausing to take five deep breaths with intention. Try it every day this week at least once a day and notice how it supports you.

Finding my senses grounds me in the beauty and realness around me. Noticing them one at a time (sometimes by just breathing and noticing - other times in my journal or through my camera lens) helps me get out of my brain and back into my body.

Getting creative also helps - from dancing it out to painting in my journal to free writing for five minutes, and so on.

Liz Lamoreux, Artist Interview, Lauren Oliver Photography, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

ab: I love the story you tell about being 10 years old and joining 4H. You were so proud of the Laura Ingalls Wilder-esque dress you made when everyone else was sewing 80s-style miniskirts. As you got older did you continue to have the courage to be uniquely you, even when what was most you was not the popular choice? How do you find the courage to face the challenges of following your heart to this day?

ll: One of the things I’m always trying to do is cultivate the inner conversation inside me. In some ways, this is what the practices I do are really all about. That inner self-talk can be so negative at times, for all of us in different ways. Mine can be particularly brutal when it comes to making new business decisions or when we’re in a tough bit of parenting with our daughter.

And it can be hard to see daily decisions as courageous, but they are. Yes. Yes. Yes.

I think about Mister Rogers looking at the three-year-old me through that TV screen in my childhood home on Garland Circle and saying, “I like you just the way you are.” When I’m in that space of knowing it is time to quiet the swirling thoughts, the voices of others, the shoulds and the what ifs, I try to treat myself with the same kind, gentle, honest respect Mister Rogers did all those years ago.

This is where the Soul Mantras I’ve been stamping into jewelry over the years so often come from. Those moments when I fine the quiet and listen to the light within me and greater than me for guidance.

Cultivating practices that support finding the quiet to listen helps me find that courage.

Liz Lamoreux, Artist Interview, Lauren Oliver Photography, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

ab: Your honesty and openness is one of the things that I find most inspiring about you. On your blog earlier this year you shared a story about how making a point to make the bed (when that hadn't been a priority in the past) was an act of attention (your word of the year). Making the bed was more than just the physical act, but was also a symbol of turning the page on the old stories that you were carrying that weren't truly our own. Can you share more about this? How do you recognize these old stories as not being legitimate and then how do you move on to create and embrace your own, true stories?

ll: One phrase that we’ve been using in our family this year is trying to be kind, brave, and curious. This helps when interacting with others and experiencing new things but also in getting to know yourself. So this is one place to start.

Although I haven’t read a lot of Byron Katie’s work, one thing she shares that comes up again and again with the women I work with is the question she asks, “Is that true?” While I might try to uncover that truth by writing in my journal, talking things out with friends, or getting outside, I think her way of getting right to it with this question is so simple and profound.

Another practice that helps me is trying to name who is actually speaking the old story when it comes up. Meaning, when I’m having a strong emotion about something, often there’s a story attached. When I realize this, I can begin to identify whose story it is. Asking myself questions, sometimes in my journal, helps.

It has taken me years to be able to do this. So I suggest seeing this as a practice too. Keep finding your way by being kind, brave, and curious toward yourself and your stories.

Liz Lamoreux, Artist Interview, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

ab: You are a wife, mother and creative business woman. What would you say is the most challenging part of running your creative business and embracing your roles of wife and mother? What is next on the horizon for you?

ll: One of the most challenging aspects is the internal and external pressure to find balance between work and family and self. I’ve come to believe you don’t find a balance, you just live.

Even though I believe this, the challenge of showing up in all areas of your life as your best self is one that stands before me every day. Even though my work in this world is to remind you that you are enough just as you are, I can struggle to remember this as my daughter comes into my studio and says, “I thought we were going on a walk right now. Why are you still on your laptop, Mama?” and I feel the push and pull of being “all the things” to “all the people.” Add in being an informed citizen, a good friend, and and and...if I keep adding to this list, I’ll have to go back to bed.

So I practice. I practice what I teach to remind myself to keep living and doing the best I can and trying again tomorrow. I remind myself that we are in this together and I look up from the pile of “all that must get done” and realize it will be there tomorrow but getting outside to play with my daughter won’t always be.

I push back on society’s pressure and try to stay close to my own truths.

Liz Lamoreux, Artist Interview, Lauren Oliver Photography, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

As for what’s next? Well, this year has been about a strong desire to show up as a companion for others in this really intense time in the world. One way I’m doing that is looking for more ways to stand at the intersection of the practices I teach and the Soul Mantra companions I make that you can hold in your hand. The Talisman of the Month Club was born from this idea, and its success has helped me to know I’m on the right track.

I’m also dreaming about writing my next book and feeling that push to take it from ideas in my head and journal into an actual outline and daily writing routine.

Liz Lamoreux, Artist Interview, Lauren Oliver Photography, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Thank you, Liz, for sharing your thoughts with us today.

Dear readers, you can connect with Liz here:



Want to check out my other artist interviews? You can catch up here. And find more inspiration from the Sketchbook Conversations series of mini, sketchbook-related interviews, all of which can be accessed here.






*Photos in this post © 1 -- Tara Whitney, 2, 7, 8, 10, 11 -- Lauren Oliver Photography all others -- Liz Lamoreux. Used with permission.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

remembering who you are, exciting news (and some inspiration)

Do you ever feel as if you're forgetting something very important? Sometimes it's something that you've forgotten to do. Sometimes it's something else. Just on the tip of your tongue.

It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day. The to-do lists and schedules. We're carried along on the swiftly moving current of time itself. (Where the heck did June go?). It's something that I constantly fight against, but I know it's not something I can win.

studio, watercolor, art print calendar, nasturtiums, paint brushes, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Moving so fast and being so focused (and having our focus fractured into so many pieces) makes it easy to lose things along the way. The other day I realized that I haven't been filling the house with little flower arrangements. It's something that I always used to do during the summer months. I told myself, oh, it's because there aren't many flowers yet. Although I am still waiting for a lot of plants to start blooming, there are flowers. There are always flowers. I just hadn't been taking the time to put together arrangements.

I quickly rectified that. They don't have to be fancy. They don't have to have a lot of flowers.

flowers, roses, herbs, flower arrangement, bouquet, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

A stem of roses and a couple stems of herbs will do. Or any combination of this and that. A single flower, even. Cutting the flowers. Bringing them inside. Finding the right container. Setting it in place. The entire process is joyful. It makes me slow down. It makes me pay attention and be present and enjoy the moment.

And I think that's my problem. Not slowing down enough to pay attention to these days. Some things help. Writing in my journal. Taking a walk through the garden first thing in the morning. Tasting. Touching. Smelling.

It's constantly a work in progress. And I need to remember to be easy on myself, too. That can be so hard. It's so much easier to let the negative thoughts flow. Again. Work in progress.

How about that exciting news?

Are you an Uppercase Magazine reader? The newest issue just came out. I'd seen the flip-through on Instagram and I was excited for my copy to arrive. Even though I'd seen the flip through, when I sat down with my copy I got a big surprise.

Uppercase Magazine, Encyclopedia of Inspiration, Botanica, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Yes, there I am!! It's an ad for the forthcoming B volume of the Uppercase Encyclopedia of Inspiration. B for Botanica. I've mentioned the Encyclopedia of Inspiration in another blog post, when I was sharing the first volume. I did know then that I was going to be included in the third volume, but I think I was afraid of jinxing things if I mentioned it. Now it's official!! My work will be featured in the book!!!

(Enough exclamation marks you think?).

The second volume is also out and it's really inspiring, too.

uppercase magazine, stitch*illo, Encyclopeida of Inspiration

Such a diversity of creativity. That diversity of creativity is what makes Uppercase Magazine and its publications stand out. I was so grateful to have my 2x2 Sketchbook project with Dana Barbieri published in the magazine and I am over the moon to be featured in the Encyclopedia of Inspiration, too!

Here's a bit more inspiration for you today:

Soulflower, My Soulflower, Lisa Estabrook, journaling, Soulflower Oracle Deck, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I hope you're having a joy-filled week! I'll be back on Friday with an inspiring Artist Interview. You won't want to miss it.