Monday, April 18, 2016

Register Soon for Kids Kreate!

If you missed the early registration event at Logan's Hobby Lobby,
there are still openings!

**PLEASE NOTE: MAY 12 THROUGH  MAY 30th I'll be in Asia.  
During that time, Email: 
I'll answer as quickly as possible & registration can be done via PayPal.
A new class is offered once a week for 8 weeks. 
The schedule for classes, fees and dates are all included in this post.

Email, text or call to register:  and/or 385-207-6623

AFTER MAY 12th: Please use Email to contact me, as I will be in Asia for 2 weeks.

KIDS KREATE SCHEDULE (both ages 4-7 and 8-12):
• 6/8 or 9 Weds OR Thurs: Greeting Cards with Envelopes from Wall Paper, Buttons and more.
• 6/15 or 16 Weds OR Thurs: Sponge Paint Day and Night Skies with clouds, stars, moon, etc.
  • Draw and cut out happy stars, moon, etc.
• 6/22 or 23 Weds OR Thurs: Rock Painting & Decorating: Hearts of Stone, Pebble Pets, Bug on a Rock, etc. which can be made into magnets or accent pictures…
• 6/29 or 30 Weds OR Thurs: How to Draw, Paint & Color Fish and Animals on Walls, Paper, & more…
• 7/6 or 7 Weds OR Thurs: Painted Sunrise, Sunset with Black Silhouette Desert Scene painted or decoupaged over.
  • How to make your own decoupage glue.
• 7/13 or 14 Weds OR Thurs: Chalkboard Painted Blocks in a variety of colors.
  • You’ll bring home a recipe for making chalkboard paint, too!
• 7/20 or 21 Weds OR Thurs: Mosaic Kite & Fish Sun Catchers: made out of black paper and colored tissue paper.
• 7/27 or 28 Weds OR Thurs: NO CLASS. National Homeschooling Convention in Logan!
• 8/3 or 4 Weds OR Thurs (last summer class!): Painted, Ripped & Pasted Ocean; and we’ll create Fish & under-the-sea stuff!
AGES 4-7: $40 for 4 one hour Classes or $80 for all 8.  Discounts available for enrolling 2 or more together in the same classes!

AGES 8-12: $50 for 4, ninety minute Classes or $100 for all 8.  Discounts available for enrolling 2 or more together in the same classes!
DECORATIVE PAINTING, for Adults and teens, will be held later in the year. Cost for Classes are as follows (you are more than welcome to register for all 8 classes, as well as receive a discount for 2 or more in the same class together!)
Here are a few images of the type of things we'll be creating (depending on the class) during our time together-- CORRECTION: You and/or your children will undoubtedly make something never before seen or imagined!
We'll try our hands at drawing some animals and fish!
And not just painted, either! This image is from Pinterest, because I don't have mine scanned in, yet.  But, some samples can be seen in the Hobby Lobby display pictured above.
We'll sponge paint sunsets, day and night skies, learn how to make our own "Mod Podge," and add a desert scene with it...
Deeper colors with stars added create night skies....
Rocks are ridiculously paint friendly and can become magnets, garden accents or paper weights!
Don't throw out old wall paper--cut, paste and create greeting cards!
Summer's a great time to play--include art and add magic to your family's summer!
Looking forward to seeing you (spread the word) in class!  
(I'll let you know when online classes become a thing I know how to do, too!)

Visit Artwork by Joanna on Facebook for more examples of my work!

Please email, text or call to register:  and/or 385-207-6623

MAY 13th THRU JUNE 1st I'll be traveling, 
but will check my email and help you register as quickly as possible!  

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Beginning June 8 and 9, Art Classes at Logan's Hobby Lobby

After about 40 years of painting children's murals and faux finishing
teaching "how to" classes seems in order, 
especially since Hobby Lobby is just up the street! 
So, with June just around the corner, mid-April seems like a good time
to start registration!  Classes will be available at the time listed below,
every Wednesday and Thursday in June, most of July, and the first week of August.

If you'd like to register, but can't make it to this Hobby Lobby registration event 
 on April 16th, NO PROBLEM!  
PayPal or other options are easily available, so give me a call, text
or email to get registered and/or to request more information.

Classes for children, 4-7 and 8-12 will include 8 
of the following this summer:
Classes for ages 13 through adult will include 8 of those listed above this summer.  

There will be a Thursday evening 6 to 7:30 pm
class offered too!

Here's the schedule for days & times,
plus prices for early registration:

AND, there will be a raffle for a hand-painted item by me
for all those who register for 4 or more classes;
Details and photos of the item will be available soon!

This'll be a super fun summer 
and looking forward to creating cool stuff with you!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

日本語をならいましょう! Learn Japanese this Fall!

As a free-lance muralist and decorative painter since 1976, 
I subsequently decided to major in English and Japanese. This emphasis, along with living and teaching in
the USA, Japan and South Korea, has added words to the art and music I've loved for so many years. 
Along with teaching English,
I've had the pleasure of tutoring students in the Japanese language for 2 1/2 years.
By working daily with dozens of students
who are learning Japanese for the first time,
ideas for how to introduce this old and beautiful language,
 in a more fun and intuitive way, have evolved. 
Details about each class are in developmental stages, 
but they'll include ひらがな & カタカナ learning pages; 
traditional songs and stories in Japanese and about Japan;
food tasting; art and paper folding; skits; dialoguing, &
a culminating group presentation of an original story in Japanese.
At the conclusion of each semester
group classes will share a presentation, food and creations with friends and family.
Classes will be available for Home Schoolers, preschools,
individuals and small groups of all ages, 
beginning in the Fall of this year, 2016.
More information will be available in additional blogs,
as well as at the National Homeschooling Convention
here in Logan, Utah, July 28-29th!
Learn, think, and express yourself Creatively!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Summer Art Classes on the Horizon!


Children are born with innate creativity inside.  We watch them explore, invent and see the world in ways we've never imagined, or simply forgotten.  To help your kids explore their potential, see what and which styles & art mediums "speak" to them, each class at Logan, Utah's Hobby Lobby this summer will offer a different application technique, surface to create on and subject matter.  
This will be a drawing, painting, pasting, ripping...make and take art projects class for kids this summer.
As I visit with parents, shop around for and dig through my on-hand supplies, prices for the classes and more specifics on projects will follow! "Like" and "Comment" on my Facebook page: Artwork by Joanna; or email 
to be alerted when & where registration will begin!
But what about grown-ups and teens who like to DIY?

There's a class for you! Ages 13 and above 
can enroll in classes at Logan's Hobby Lobby 
on Wednesdays or Thursdays, beginning June 8th. 
You can pick either day, from 2-3:30 pm.
Want to go when someone's home to watch your little ones, 
or after work? Thursday evenings 7-8:30 pm are for you! 

All classes will be priced to include supplies 
and enrollment will be limited for maximum productivity.

Note: This class includes onsite participation opps!

"Follow" this blog and email to get on my mailing list! Then stay tuned for pricing, class specifics and registration dates & locations!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It's been too long...!

OK, so we're in a new year and I've not blogged in a very long time, but here are some highlights.
  • My place in Midvale has been sold (for those of you who have sold a home you know how time consuming it can be), so Logan, Utah is officially home to me and Artwork by Joanna!  Coaching Japanese on line for NCVPS continues to be enjoyable and satisfying, particularly during inclement weather, since work is from home on my laptop computer. This winter has had a moderate, but enchanting amount of snow!

  • The holidays were lovely. Jordan and Karli spent time here in Logan, Utah, and served as my tree decorating team for the 3rd Christmas season. :-) Jordan and his business partner, Austin Craig, have submitted a TV pilot for review with BYU Broadcasting: fingers crossed, prayers and hopeful pins and needles feelings galore!

  • To accompany Twinkle and Luna, I've created several activity/learning pages for a presenting at a National Home School Convention in Logan this summer. As soon as they're scanned and reading to go, they'll be added to my Etsy store. Here's a bad photo of one page. They vary in difficulty from preschool level to elementary level learning appropriate. Questions? I'm always available via email (copy/paste this):
  • Twinkle and Luna will soon have a downloadable script and patterns for creating a presentation, which children can perform for classmates, friends and/or parents! They will be scanned and ready to go in my Etsy store by the end of January. If you'd like to add someone to my mailing list or book a presentation for home, a school or organization, please email:

  • BTW, the finished Twinkle and Luna books and audio CDs are available (copy/paste the links):
    • For the eBook go here:
    • For a musical audio CD with a paperback book visit the Artwork by Joanna Etsy shop here:
    • Have the book, but not the CD? The CD alone (which comes with an adhesive envelope) is available here:

Twinkle and Luna will soon be available in the form of mini films, which include all of the illustrations and the story, either sung or read aloud, as well as a powerpoint. All that's waiting to make these available on Etsy is some tech help! To live is to learn. Stop learning and well, that's not living, is it? If I can get the hang of this, YOU can, too! I post about what's happening on my Artwork by Joanna Facebook page regularly, here:

I'm focusing on how to do all this so I can offer a solid product that I can feel good about. What I've learned about self-publishing is this: the big companies which offer self publishing services do NOT back up, or even see the finished products they send out. The quality of a self-published children's book, for me at least, continues to be "iffy," at best.  

So, I've decided to put all of my efforts into digital files. Some, will be downloadable to print out for your child or classroom children's use. Others will download as files for your computer, iPod, etc., which a child can use alone or a parent/educator can utilize in a home/classroom setting. Once the kinks are worked out in this first book, Twinkle and Luna, I can do the same with Flutter Bye and Lady Dot; well as Bunny Birds & Co.

Both stories are already written and each has its own melody. I've quit working 2 jobs at a time, in order focus on this job, and wade through the busy work which stands in the way of bringing each story to life!  All of the books will have everything that goes with Twinkle and Luna, but Flutter Bye and Lady Dot will also have a sequel and its own unique features.

I'll do better in 2016, posting about my progress (and my son and daughter-in-law's), and challenge everyone who has a dream to pursue it in 2016 and every week of every year there after!

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Pacific North West

In my mind, Arizona can be gorgeously photogenic on a grand scale, but deeply disappointing up close.  Everything bites, stings, or hurts you and ultimately just resolves into dust there--it's so hot!  Maryland, and all of the original 13 colonies, are impossibly beautiful and inviting on an intimate and personal level.  Whether wandering in the woods or looking for hermit crabs on the shore, every sense happily breathes in and wants to illustrate that part of the world.   
Three years ago I discovered the Pacific Northwest, my son married a beautiful girl who lived near Seattle for most of her life, and so we keep going back...
It has everything!  Sublime mountain heights,  waves that wash right up to the trees, 
more shades of green than I thought grew naturally anywhere 
and all the sweet sensory appeal of florals, vegetation and every kind of tree.  Karen, a dear friend and neighbor when our children were small, along with her husband John McMillan, were my generous tour guides and hosts for the first day.  We traversed the Washington and Oregon shores where they've made their home.  I was on sensory overload the whole time, asking them to pull over repeatedly by sights that took my breath away.  They happily obliged every time!
The air begs to be inhaled.  With the close proximity of the ocean and every nook and cranny filled with plants and flowers, an exhilarating aroma of fresh life is everywhere.  
This isn't going to be a travelogue.  
It'd take too long--there's just too much...but I'm in love with this area!  
The architecture satisfies in both a familiar and unexpected way. 
Many homes and buildings reflect traditional early American and European influence.
But others are as unique and diverse as the individuals who call Washington and Oregon home. Living near the shore, it's clear what this resident cares about and he proudly displays it all!
And this place is a gem, complete with a dog on the porch and bluegrass music.  I took a half dozen photos and wished we had time for a pony ride! 
Hanging plants and flowers line the streets of Snohomish, WA.  This photo, compliments of Taunna Farnsworth Ormond, a talented photographer (check out her Facebook posts!), friend and tour guide for a day, reveals the areas obsession with plants and flowers.  
Nearly everyone adds to the beauty that surrounds them by planting more to embellish their homes and places of commerce. 
No city is without its faults, 
but Seattle has so much to offer it's easy to overlook 'em, when so many of its residents are as nice as the family my son married into, the Halls.  Michelle and Rich rise every morning before most people realize another day's begun and would gladly share anything and everything they have to make life better.  They love life, and have the talent to know how to make this world 
new again for anyone they spend time with.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Self-Publishing Woes VS WOWS! = Go with Local Business Owners!

Writing children's books is a life-long dream for me, so
 I've been SO FRUSTRATED with Lulu Publishing and Createspace, where plenty of people are employed to pleasantly B.S. all sorts of promises, but in the end, you to do the majority of the work.  Createspace doesn't charge you, but Lulu cost me over $1300 to make an unusably poor-quality paperback.  Luckily, the eBook is OK, but that's a hefty chunk of change to produce it.
The paperback will probably never be circulated, because Lulu charges too much 
for each book they print (ON TOP of the $1300+) and I don't know if I can find anyone to help me fix what they should've gotten right the first time around.  

The problem is, both these companies farm out the actual printing work, 
so those you work with never see the final product.  No one's accountable--if there's 
a problem it's up to you, the customer, to figure out how to reformat and resubmit 
what you thought was a print-ready file the first time around, because they told you it was. 

For someone like me, reformatting and resubmitting presents an impossible barrier.   
I love to draw, paint, write, sing and create, 
but haven't a clue when it comes to all things technical.  
When a sales rep. tells me the file is ready, I expect a quality product to result.  
When that doesn't happen, the next person I talk to has no idea who I talked to before 
or what was said, yet somehow, the poor quality issue is always my fault.
This blog entry is being created to warn other would-be self-publishers 
away from companies like Lulu Publishing, and lend cautionary advice about
Amazon's Createspace.  The latter DOES offer a great deal, and as long as the interior of your 
book is black and white, it should turn out OK---it should--I'm not saying it will, but at least, if it doesn't, what you've lost is time, not large amounts of cash.  You can lose BOTH with Lulu.

On the other hand, there are unsung heroes out there, working their hearts out, just like you are.  
Here are some I've most recently discovered.

Located in Logan, Utah at 110 West 1200 South, is a gem of a business that I discovered from a flyer in my mailbox.  They do just about everything I need to have done, and because it's a local business, I speak face-to-face with the person responsible for my end product.  What a pleasure it is to communicate, and I don't pay out until I've approved a physical proof of what I'll be having printed.  Missy Tiatia, at Watkins, not only listened, she offered real solutions at very reasonable rates to help me produce the books, cards, etc. which I've been creating at home for years.  

To go the extra mile, she offered to trim off the superfluous 1/4" white border at the top of every page which Createspace keeps creating in my Twinkle and Luna books.  
For less than 10 cents a book to expertly trim that unsightly misplaced border, 
NOW I have a product I'm ready to market!  
She assures me they can keep doing that until if/when Createspace problems ever get resolved.  Within the next week I'll have my Etsy store ready to go and each book will be available with 
an ACC Audio & Lullaby CD included in the back.
I believe I've already raved about Full Fidelity's Steve Phillips, at 4914 State St. in SLC.  It's tucked behind another store, so you have to know who you're looking for.  But everyone who uses Full Fidelity knows what they're there for: exceptional recording quality at an unbelievably
reasonable rate.  No one trying to market their art and music has money to throw away; 
Steve knows that and accommodates us--dreamers like me.   I cannot say enough good about Steve's recording studio.  He's an artist and a pro.
Working with Raland at Rose Pedal Records was another unexpectedly satisfying foray into self-publishing, since he is also a perfectionist and artist.  It's another impossible to find place, so call ahead if you want to stop by, and believe me, it's worth the hunt because the shop's a real treasure.  It's located behind what looks like an abandoned building, 
but is actually a real Fire Station, at 6500 South 1300 East, SLC.  
Oh, and the main number is 801-274-9953, but I've always called 801-506-0060.  Raland picks up and happily (seriously, the guy's never ruffled) gives you directions on how to find them.  
He worked with the jpeg images I brought in to design a CD face that totally coordinates with the cover.  It was magical!  When he printed off the first one, I got teary...the CD looks PERFECT!  
Thanks to his buddy over at Full Fidelity, it also sounds pretty darn good too!  Hopefully, by next week, I'll be ready with my own Etsy store, so there's one place to go for 
everything, and I can guarantee the quality, having winnowed out what's not.

If you'd like to schedule an interactive musical presentation, 
any Friday or Saturday beginning in mid-September,
please email: