My Favorite Sensations

My daughter and I were talking about mindfulness and favorite sensations the other day. 

These are some of mine.

Jennifer Frith's Sketchbook - Favorite Sensations

What makes you feel refreshed and alive?

~ sketchbook pages in gouache.

Meet the Maker - Leah Kilcup

I had a blast participating in our YouMatterJournaling project together.  I want to introduce you to one of my dearest and closest friends who participated in the project as well.  We've been friends since we were toddlers.  Leah has seen me at my both my best and my absolute worst, and I appreciate her friendship more than I can express.   She is a bold, saucy, beautiful creative who inspires me to no end, and I think you'll enjoy meeting her too.  Take a gander at her journal pages.  (Who knows...  This might be the start of a new interview series!)

Hello, Leah!  Let's start with an introduction to yourself:  How would you describe you?

Meet the Artist Interview - Leah Kilcup

I have a hard time describing myself because I have so many different interests and ideas and thoughts.  I think “creatively, eclectic, and passionate” best describe me.   

What keeps you occupied during the day/week?

My husband and kids first and foremost keep me extremely busy, but I also am a teacher of massage therapy.  The unique world of bodyworkers keeps me constantly on my toes figuratively and literally!

How do you like to unwind? 

I absolutely adore with all my heart a hot bubble bath and a good book!  But then there are days where digging in the garden and attacking weeds or cooking in old pots and making a mess in my kitchen gets me unwound.  But one of my favorite cure all’s is driving and listening to good music.  (Usually some good old seventies/eighties rock)

Meet the Artist Interview - Leah Kilcup Journals

How did you get started with journaling?  Why is it special to you?

When I was 10 years old my aunt bought me my very first journal with the cute little lock and key.  I would pour into that little book all of my frustrations and dreams about life.  It was like a wildfire and it just took off for me.

Being the youngest of three daughters my journal became a place of safety too.  It was almost like it had become a beloved friend to me.  There were certain years when I journaled that were very pivotal.  The journal I wrote when I was 15 years old is probably one of my favorites because 15 was the year that I first fell in love, the year that I started to really discover who I was, what I loved and what I hated.  Another year of journaling that was pivotal was the year that I met my husband when I was 21.  I absolutely love reading that one because it makes me cackle at how devious I was in hooking him.  😉 I think looking back on journals can be hard but it can also be a thing of learning.  It reminds us that we have come far and grown.  

Meet the Artist Interview - Leah Kilcup Journals
Meet the Artist Interview - Leah Kilcup Journals

How has journaling helped you?

Journaling has helped me through hard struggles.  I have these prayer journals I do where I will literally pour out my heart.  The good, the bad, the ugly, all of it.  It’s a prayer to God each time I journal.  Sometimes the innermost workings of our heart cannot be conveyed into words, but I have found that when I pour my heart out onto paper it allows my heart to unravel.  

Journaling has also helped me to laugh as well.  I have started writing about things that make me happy or bring me joy.  I’ll find old photographs and write about that moment in time and what it meant to me.  It has allowed me to grow and really come to know myself and to really see what God has made me to be!  

What materials do you use?

I love using old photographs from my childhood.  I also have fallen in love with watercolor pencils, pencil, and good old Ink pens.  There’s also a thing I like to do, where I will print out a photograph onto regular paper in black-and-white. I’ll paste it into my journal then watercolor over it in fantastic swirls and sparkles.  I like to think of it as painting emotion into a memory!

How many Journals would you say you have?

Over 27 journals.  I would say more but some I have started, then lost.  I have moved about eight times since I’ve been married, and I know I’ve lost a few over the years.  I like to pretend that maybe somebody has found a few and is enjoying a good laugh over them.

Meet the Artist Interview - Leah Kilcup Journals
Meet the Artist Interview - Leah Kilcup Journals
Meet the Artist Interview - Leah Kilcup Journals

Do you keep the journals from ages ago, or do you ever purge or burn them?

I have kept all of my journals, even the embarrassing ones filled with love poems to old boyfriends.  I think it’s important to hold onto certain things as a reminder of how far we’ve come.  However, I have burned a few angry letters I’ve never mailed in a symbolic way.   I went through a very traumatic time in my life two years ago.  My husband and I were betrayed by very dear friends.  As we began to heal from the encounter I  journaled all of my anger and hurts.  I poured them into this little book like a woman on fire, and when I was done I couldn’t bear to open it.  It was like I was able to exercise the demons, and that book only represented hurts that I no longer needed to visit anymore.  So one day I actually misplaced it, and I’ve never found it since.  I believe that it was God helping me let it go.

Meet the Artist Interview - Leah Kilcup Journals

What tips or pieces of advice do you have for anyone who is into art/illustrated journaling?  

Just have fun!!!  I think that if you approach it as a way to help you grow, it truly will.  Also, don’t take yourself too seriously with your art or compare yourself to others styles.  That journal is a little piece of who you are and it is precious!  

What advice would you give to someone who is on the fence about starting?

Just do it!  Treat yourself to a coffee date at Barns and Noble, find the journal that just makes your heart happy when you hold it, and do it!  

Where can we connect with you?

You can harass me on Facebook and Instagram under @kilcupkreations.  I’m totally open to new friends.


Be sure to give Leah a follow.  Let me know how Leah's work inspired you with your own journaling adventures!

Art Inspiration: Josh Garrels

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Here's a favorite video and song of mine.  I hope you enjoy.

Josh Garrels - "Born Again"

I don't know about you, but I've been in "creative hibernation" the past few months.  Spring is just around the corner though, and I'm feeling ready to wake up out of that slumber, stretch those stiff legs, and get moving again.

Do you ever go dormant with your art?

How have you been?

YouMatter: A New Journaling Project

Lovely friends,

I'm excited to share that our upcoming Journaling Project will be released next weekend.

If you missed my introductory post on Instagram a few weeks ago, here is what I originally wrote:

You Matter Journaling

I'm not an expert at much, but I do know what it is to deal with questions of self-worth, anxiety, depression, and the big ponderings that make you wonder if any of it matters... if you matter.  But that pain and those questions have helped to carve a deeper basin for joy in my life and the stuff that truly means something.

In our next journaling project (head over to @gratitude52community to get an idea of how last year's project worked), I'll share weekly journaling prompts to help you to rediscover and unearth *you*.... "For we are fearfully and wonderfully made", and that's worth knowing.


Who is this project for?

  • Anyone (although it will mostly be women.... sorry, fellas) who might be feeling a little worn out by life.  Anyone who wants to spend a few minutes to recharge each week in self-reflection.
  • Anyone who feels beat up by life and wants to rediscover some good in themselves and in other people (secret:  it's already there ;)).
  • Anybody who feels somewhat lost with their place in the world and wants to discover it again.
  • Anyone who has a creative itch and wants to tap into a regularly-guided creative outlet.
  • Creatives who want to connect with other creatives in our online community.
  • Creatives who want to deepen their relationship with themselves and their Maker.
  • Beautiful, giving, warm-hearted, wonderful souls like YOU.

How will the project work?

Each month I'll share a monthly YouMatter theme, and within that theme I'll share weekly journaling prompts.  Those prompts will come to you in your email inbin.  There will be specific hashtags so that we can find each other on social media outlets. 

I have ideas for going bigger with this project; but for now, we'll try it out for a month or two and see how it goes.  This is meant to serve *you*; so, as we go along, if you have suggestions for the project, I would certainly consider incorporating them.

What supplies will you need?

  • A sturdy sketchbook
  • Some watercolors
  • Pencils & Erasers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Any other art supplies with which you feel most comfortable using

Is it more for Sketchbooking or Journaling?

Either/or... or both.  I personally like combining the two.  To give you an idea, here is my completed journal from our Gratitude52 Journaling Project in 2016:

Your journal could be filled with writings, sketches, illustrations, collages, or all of the above.  More important than the materials used is that it's filled with expressions of you.

I'll outline more of the details next week.   Look out for that email on 10.28.17!

Love to you all.