You Choose - Week 4

This week’s pick is a bed that makes me feel serene when I look at it. I love the light coming in, the white covers, and the plants by the window. All of this makes me feel so serene. I coupled it with a sentence from an old Brave Girl’s class I took. It says “I choose happiness.” That’s what serenity is about for me. Choosing happiness. Choosing calm. Choosing to know all is ok and will always be ok.

here is a side look for the shimmer; not too much shimmer on this one:

here’s to embracing serenity.


You Choose is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Note to Self – Week 4

This page was originally supposed to be a Tam assignment for Life Book 2014. Representing ourselves as an animal that represents growth and strength. But I didn’t feel like drawing any animals.

At the time, I was taking several big leaps of courage and I was thinking a lot about being brave so I decided I wanted to draw this girl leaping from one side of a cliff to another. I wanted her to be doing it gracefully, fearlessly, joyfully. Alas, my drawing skills aren’t that advanced. I tried and tried and this was the best I could end up with. I don’t love it but I also don’t hate it.

It says: the courage is in choosing to leap, not in the outcome, so celebrate the leap.

I wanted to remind myself that bravery is not about not being afraid. But it’s also not about the outcome. It’s about trying. Being willing to try. To jump without knowing what’s on the other side. To have faith.

This is a good one for me to remember as I go on my journey of being brave this year.


Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave - Week 4

This week’s layout is so not my favorite. But I wanted to be honest and not skip things. There are a few more upcoming ones I am not crazy about but that’s the thing about learning a new skill: there are more days of failure than there are of success. But you keep pushing anyway and eventually the ratio starts tilting the other way. Or so I hope.

And it takes a lot of practice. A Lot. At least for me.

On the left side, is the Posche we rented for Jake’s birthday back in September. At least this was my attempt of it.

The right side is a house on the way from my house to the school. I kept passing it and one day I just stopped and drew it. I drew this while I was looking out the window of my car and i didn’t plan carefully so I drew it too large. I don’t like how much of the page it covers. Just don’t like the way it looks, period.

And there we are.


Everyday Brave is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

You Choose - Week 3

This week’s pick is a hand and on the inside of the wrist is a tattoo that says “alive”. I don’t have any tattoos but if I got one, that’s where I would want it to be. I coupled it with some sentences from an old Brave Girl’s class I took. One says “I let myself be a learner” because when I am learning, I feel alive. And the other one says “I cheer myself on” because I want to be my own biggest advocate. I want to root for myself. I want to come fully alive.

here is a side look for the shimmer, you can’t see it very well, but the transparent sequins shine beautifully:

here’s to being able fully alive.


You Choose is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Note to Self – Week 3

For this first page, I used Alena Hennessy’s lesson from Life Book 2014. Alena’s style is very fluid and intuitive and I wanted to emulate that.

This page also has no text. It’s easier for me to be organized, have a plan, and write my thoughts down. It’s considerably harder for me to just go with the flow. For this page, I painted the whole page first, and then I drew my flowers and painted over everything else so what you’re seeing in the flowers is what was underneath.

This one reminds me that we all have layers. What you see at face value isn’t always all there is. It also reminds me that what’s here now doesn’t have to be the final version of what there will be. Like art, we are always evolving. We are not finished products. And anything can be painted over. We get to choose who we are. If we don’t like what we see, we keep changing till we do.

It also reminds me to be more fluid. To trust my intuition. To trust that beauty emerges no matter what.

here’s a closeup of the left side:

and right side:

Thanks to Alena for teaching me so much.


Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave - Week 3

This week’s page just contains one sketch. I saw this beautiful, colorful house in San Francisco and immediately knew I wanted to sketch it. We were driving by, so I asked Jake to stop so I can take a photo of it and then I sketched it many days later when I was home.

Even though it has a lot of mistakes, I like how it turned out. Overall, it has the feeling of a colorful house even though I clearly took some artistic license in many places.

And there we are.


Everyday Brave is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

You Choose - Week 2

This week’s pick says “be open to whatever comes next.” I loved this the moment I saw it. It has one of my desired feelings “open” and it’s a reminder to be willing to receive. To let go of the need to control. To be open to possibilities. To be open to the wonders of the universe. To be present.

here are some closeups:

here’s to being able to stay open.


You Choose is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Note to Self - Week 2

For this first page, I used Carissa Paige’s lesson from Life Book 2014. The subject was about home and I thought a lot about what home means to me and what I consider to be my home.

I grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and my sister and parents are still there. A lot of what I consider to be my home is all the way there. I now live in the Bay Area and am married with my own family here. So my heart is always split. Some days I feel like both are my home and other days I feel like neither might be. And the truth probably lies somewhere in between as it always does.

So for this page, I collages some pieces to represent my childhood on one side, and some from my adulthood on the other. I then drew the globe (if I had planned it better, I would have put my sister and I on the right side, closer to Turkey and my boys and me on the left, closer to the US but alas I didn’t plan it.) in the middle and painted all over it.

Then I wrote: Home is where the people you love are.

isn’t that the truth.

here’s a closeup of the left side:

and right side:

this one has a lot of texture:

So, next time I find myself wondering where I belong, I remember: I belong with the people I love.


Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave - Week 2

This week’s page’s photo doesn’t do it justice because the diet coke can is actually glimmering. I used gold guache paint on it. Continuing on the theme of sketching whatever’s around, I went for my pink sneakers on the left side.

The right side is my diet coke, i pad with headphones (can you tell what book I was listening to?) And, of course, nutella!

And there we are.


Everyday Brave is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

2015 Projects - You Choose - Intro and Week 1

I like to spread out my projects by style and medium (as well as topic) each year. So when it came to designing my projects, I wanted to pick something that wasn’t painting or coloring, at least not just painting. The very same week I was thinking about all this, I saw this beautiful collage. It was very sparse, elegant and really beautiful.

I decided that’s what I wanted. A collage project. My last collage project was back in 2012 so I thought it might be fun to tackle one again. Something different than what I did last time. I think….but we’ll see.

The introspective part of this project is to couple this art with my code desires. I went to pinterest and made a board of images/phrases that remind me of my core desires. My plan is to print one for each of my collage pages. This way, I can always remember my core desired feelings.

That’s the plan, at least.

Here’s another look at week 1:

Love all the shimmer.

I am planning to keep my spreads relatively sparse. Mix in some paint. Have fun.

Here’s to a year of collages that remind me to focus on feeling the way I want to feel.

2015 Projects - Note to Self - Intro and Week 1

Each year, I like to make sure I do one project that involves painting. Acrylics for the most part but any kind of painting. I liked the idea of Remembering things like I did for last year’s Remember This project. And I signed up for Life Book in 2015, too.

So Note to Self will be a year of painted pages, using mostly Life Book lessons and a moleskine watercolor journal.

At least that’s the plan.

For this first page, I used Flora Bowley’s lesson from Life Book 2014. Even though it has no writing, my note to self here to let myself be more free. Looser. This piece was done in many many layers and without any forethought. With some structure and grouping of colors but not much else.

It’s a reminder that I need to practice letting go. Like everything else, it’s a practice. This is also a reminder that what looks like chaos at first might end up as something magnificent. Part of the trick is trusting the process. Learning to see what’s there. To see inside the noise. And let the beauty emerge.

I am looking forward to another year of wonderful reminders and joyful art.

2015 Projects - Everyday Brave - Intro and Week 1

During the summer, I finally signed up for classes at SketchBook Skool after pondering them for way too long. The first class I signed up for was “seeing.” It had some of my very favorite sketchers like Danny (who is in all the classes, of course) and Brenda Swenson and Cathy Johnson and Andrea Joseph. Once all the people I loved were on the list, I just couldn’t not sign up.

And I am so glad I did.

The class was amazing. It inspired me to do the 75 Day Sketch Challenge and after that was over, I decided I wanted to keep sketching every single day. Even if it was something small. And since I really missed the color during the 75 days, I decided to sketch something small and color it with watercolors every morning.

And that was the birth of the Everyday Brave project.

I got a Watercolor Moleskine and played around for a few pages, and then I started what looks like the page you see above. Each week I plan to share a spread with some small sketches and some daily journaling. In the beginning, my journaling was about thoughts, daily musings, etc. But I’ve decided to use this project to keep track of my brave acts daily to remind myself to be braver and to be aware of when I am being brave. So even though the first few spreads will be random, the journaling starting in the new year will be about daily brave acts.

Here’s the left side of this page. It has a poppy bagel with tea and in the bottom middle is my ipad which I was using to listen to some audiobooks.

And the right side of my page which has the other half of the ipad on the bottom and a Starbucks latte on the right.

And there we are. Here’s to a year of little and big brave acts and a year full of sketches!