Just Make A Mark…And See Where It Takes You

Tracie, from Cleverly Inspired, contacted me about participating in a traveling art project recently. I loved the idea of collaborating on something like this, so I wrote her right back and told her that I was definitely up for the fun.




She sent me a tube full of supplies and inspiration, and when I’m done with my part, it’ll travel to three more bloggers, and then back to Tracie in Kentucky. She’s going to hang the final result in her office after she puts her finishing touches on it.

Now I don’t know if this has ever happened to you when it comes to creativity and collaborating- but what started out sounding like a really fun idea, quickly became really intimidating. I stared at that big, blank piece of paper, on and off, for three days- just trying to come up with something that I thought Tracie would like. I did not want to mess it up. I questioned every idea I had, and I kept thinking about all the other participant’s styles. I started wishing I could’ve gone last, instead of first.

Then right around that time, I had a really bad day with a roll of bird and cloud-covered wallpaper, so I decided I needed to take a little break from all-things creative and paper-y. I needed to Clear my head…and start when it wasn’t so hard to start.

A few days later I remembered a line from one of my all-time favorite books…


Just make a mark and see where it takes you.


So I’ve decided to “make lemonade” by using some of the leftover, salvageable scraps of wallpaper that I couldnt bring myself to throw away last week. Yep. I’m “putting a bird on it” today, and who knows, maybe that “mark” will lead to a cut-out cloud or two, too.

PS- The book is called The Dot, by Peter Reynolds, and I wanted to share this post to (hopefully) encourage others that may be struggling to find the “art in start” right now. My wish is that you feel inspired to make a mark today, too!

Half Bathroom Update - Sink
Half Bath Update - Paint and Paper

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  1. Anne says

    Hi, what is the lovely white and green floral fabric that is showing in these photos? Do you know the design name and/or brand?


  2. says

    This was just the inspiration I needed to push through my grad school work. Thanks! :) I also LOVE Peter Reynolds; Ish and The Dot are two of my favorite books to use in my classroom. Fun fact, we also went to the same college and he was the speaker at my undergrad graduation!

  3. says

    Whoops! I probably should have made sure my comment wasn’t attached to another one, but unfortunately I’m not technologically adept! :) I’m glad you found inspiration for the art project. Sometimes when I’m feeling like my energy is running low, I remember the blue fish in “Nemo”‘ called Dorrie, chanting, “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…” it makes me smile.

    You can do it!

  4. Rhonda Irizarry says

    I love hearing these stories…Not because I’m happy that you all struggle so hard to start, it’s just good to know I’m not alone.. We just don’t like “messing up” and like anything creative we feel vulnerable when we put ourselves out there. Starting is the beginning to reveal to others something personal.

  5. Sarita says

    I went to amazon.com and bought the dot! I bought it for myself and also for my three grandsons. We can all make a mark on someone else’s life. I want them to learn that also.

  6. Tamara says

    Read this book for a graduate school project a few years ago and I think about the message when I am discouraged or doubtful. You so made my day with this post!!!

  7. Sarah says

    “Start by Starting” is the little saying I had written on a 3 x 5 index card hung where I could see it everyday. Getting started is the hardest part!

  8. says

    Sometimes I think the world is trying to tell me something. Today as I was picking my sons up from school, I noticed a display of art on one of the classroom bulletin boards. I have seen lots of interesting art in the schools, but I rarely take the time to look closely. But this art was particularly interesting and I actually stopped to enjoy it. The title on the bulletin board said “These are our dots. Look where they took us.” I was not familiar with the reference, but then I sat down this evening for a little blog-reading and I found out. So cool!

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