Today I want to introduce you to Maria Lacuesta who is a blogger, designer, and memory keeper living in the Boston area. When she’s not happily crafting paper and pixels in her tiny studio, you can find her enjoying the neighborhood she loves and dreaming of her next project. She believes in cultivating a happy life and, for her, that means creating something every day and giving thanks for all the little things that make life so wonderful. Analog Paper is her small piece of the internet where she can share a bit of her life and work with you.

Analog Guest Post on Uncustomary Art: Art Journaling Process

I first met Mary when I joined the Get Messy Art Journal group a few months ago. I had never kept an art journal before, but I was intrigued. All my other creative ventures are either work related or part of my memory keeping system, so I really wanted to start creating just for the sake of creating. I quickly realized, art journaling requires me to create without a plan or any idea of what the final product will be. And, to be honest, that’s kind of a little scary. But, now I’m on my fourth art journal and I’ve really come to love this project, so I want to share my process with you guys today.

Analog Guest Post on Uncustomary Art: Art Journaling Process

​1. Use what you have on hand.

All you really need is a pen and some paper. I didn’t have a journal when I first started, so I made one and I really enjoyed it. I’ve been making a new notebook every month. Sometimes I experiment with a stitched binding or I simply staple my pages together. Easy.

Analog Guest Post on Uncustomary Art: Art Journaling Process

In fact, I never buy any new supplies for my art journal. Sometimes, I use magazine clippings, but most of the time, I just use a lot of the bits and and pieces I tend to hoard. I love typography and pretty paper and my supplies reflect that.

2. Think of one thing.

A blank page can be really daunting. I usually get over this hump by trying to think of one true thing. Sometimes, I try to find a quote, but most of time I just add a few of my own words to the page and go from there. I don’t pressure myself to think of anything profound and it doesn’t even have to be a lot of words. In fact, a lot of my pages just have a single word on them.

Analog Guest Post on Uncustomary Art: Art Journaling Process

3. Build around it…Or not.​

​And lastly, I add some visual elements that help reinforce the idea ​​I’m trying to convey. ​​

Analog Guest Post on Uncustomary Art: Art Journaling Process

This page was actually made in a fit of rage after my beloved printer died on me. I didn’t add much to my words; just a few uneven, ink smudged lines. And surprisingly, I don’t hate this page. I was keeping it real and and I appreciate having it in my journal because it’s honest.

Analog Guest Post on Uncustomary Art: Art Journaling Process

And that’s my process in a nutshell. I’m sure I haven’t shared anything groundbreaking, and yet, for me at least, it felt momentous when I finished my first page, and then my first journal.

I really like Maria’s style, and I’m grateful for her sharing her thought processes with us today! Check out her blog and let her know I sent you over.


My pages from last week weren’t exactly my favorite, but I really enjoyed the discussion that sparked in the comments on fear. Did you stop by and say what you’re scared of? It’s actually kind of freeing.

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

This week I have a two page spread for you where the only theme is color. Nothing is coherent. There is no message. It’s just vibrant. And sometimes being vibrant is the message.

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

If I’m being honest, the reason I made those two pages is because I started out with the page below. The idea was about being fancy pants, but the color scheme ended up being really grey! So once I finished I was all “Ah! Need more color!” and then I made the pages above.

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

The photo was found at an antique store in Brooklyn this summer. The teenager in me immediately identified with the mood in the photo. I’ve actually been thinking a lot about “emo” lately, which is what someone from my high school would probably tell you I was back in the day. Yeah, I wore a lot of Chucks, white belts, and thrifted children’s shirts, but it was mostly about the music we listened to and actual depression. It’s no secret that I struggled with depression, among other things, when I was a teenager, and even though I’m a very happy person nowadays, I still really identify with that genre.

I’ve actually been listening to a lot of Brand New lately, which is the kind of sophisticated sadness I can still really get into. It’s been making me think about how a large amount of the people I’m very close to today had some sort of dark period in their lives. Trine reminded me of that when she guest posted a couple weeks ago, too.

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

These Get Messy posts every week aren’t always well thought out ideas. It’s more of just a small explanation of where my head was at when I was making the pages. So I don’t have any sound words of advice right now. But I’ll let you go with this: I hope you have a day more like the colorful spread and less like the black and white one. So much love to you.

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practise our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal

Sure, I’ve got a page with the answers to my FAQ, but I thought maybe I’d take it to the next level. What do you want to know? You can ask me whatever you want, and here’s the best part: you can ask anonymously. Use the Poll Junkie forum and I won’t know who asked it. I’m fully expecting inappropriate nonsense, but honestly, you can ask whatever you want.

Your questions can be about my blog, creativity, or Baltimore. You can ask for advice. You can ask me how many girls I’ve kissed, what size my boobs are, or illegal things I’ve done. I really don’t care. I’m going to do a Q&A post complete with video footage, but it can’t happen without your questions! So… what do you wanna know!

PS – I’m pretty sure you can only “take” the poll once. So you’re free to write as many questions as you want in the box, but you have to do it all at once if you want to do it anonymously. You’re also welcome to add things in the comments!


Last week, my friend, Charlotte, announced that she had a present for me. She is probably one of the least materialistic people I know, so when she gives gifts they are things that she knows you want or need. I had no idea that a pamphlet from The American Association Of Patriots that she found on the ground in Baltimore was something that I both wanted and needed.

How To Talk To Your Cat About Evolution

The pamphlet is entitled “How To Talk To Your Cat About Evolution”, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am that there was literature on this. My father works at a library, and I’ve had him keep an eye out for anything on the subject. I even have a Google alert set up! And yet for years… I’ve had no guidance. I had no idea how to broach this subject with Bug.

Bug has always been relatively quiet whenever we talk about religion, and as someone who believes strongly in evolution, I guess you could say I was worried that he had slightly different ideas about he and I came to be. I mean, one could assume that with as much Slipknot as he listens to that he’s not exactly a devout Catholic, but I’m not here to assume.

The pamphlet from the good ol’ AAP covered topics such as:

Do I need to talk to my cat about evolution?

What exactly is the danger of not talking to my cat about evolution?

Is there a best age to speak to my cat about evolution?

Oh no. As I start reading the advice from their Expurrts, I realize something: this pamphlet is ANTI evolution! Dun dun dun …. No matter! I shall just change each sentence to say the opposite of what the original message intended!

Regardless of this pamphlet’s skewed views, it did have some solid advice that can translate to any serious talk you need to have with your cat. For instance, “Cats are fickle creatures, and it can be difficult to hold their attention during these types of talks. You might be tempted to dangle a piece of string in front of their face to keep their interest while you discuss _______, however this type of plan can backfire. There is a risk the string might actually distract them from the seriousness of the issue at hand!

The good news is that when I sat Bug down to let him know we had to talk about evolution, he excused himself and said he’d be right back. I couldn’t tell you how relieved I was when he returned in this costume.

How To Talk To Your Cat About Evolution

He let me explain my thoughts, but it was clear that we were on the same page. He couldn’t be a huge fan of dinosaurs, believe in fossils, and rule out evolution. I quickly thumbed to the section in the pamphlet called “Cats And Fossils” and reversed the message. He laughed with me at the text that read “you never see a fish with legs, or a dog with antlers” and then he laid on my belly for Tummy Time. He’s a smart little kitty.

How To Talk To Your Cat About Evolution

How To Talk To Your Cat About Evolution

How To Talk To Your Cat About Evolution

Obviously you’re going to want to talk to your cats about evolution. Regardless of your opinion on the issue, I recommend this pamphlet which can be purchased for $3. There’s also an important publication about your cat and gun safety. That’s gonna be the next thing on my parenting agenda.

I’m glad I was able to share this with you today. Advice on how to talk to your cats about touchy subjects is welcome in the comments.


Hello my darlings! Today is Tuesday, it is ten days before Halloween, and it is Celebration Of The Mind Day!  Your mind is an amazing thing, and I hope you’re taking care of it. This week has been a true example of a plot climax. It started off rather slow, built up to a peak, and then had a little bit of a dip back to baseline.

Uncustomary Art Weekly Happiness | Pumpkin Carving Party

Thursday evening was a pumpkin carving party. Everyone worked together to create masterpieces on those giant orange symbols of Autumn. I had actually painted my pumpkin white before I got there, and spent my time doodling on it in colored Sharpies. In general, the men didn’t want to carve, but they were all gung-ho about gutting them! So the ladies passed our pumpkins down to the beards and waited for our clean canvases to be delivered back to us so we could poke and carve words, images, and nonsense into the pumpkins.

Even though I laughed so hard that night I got a headache, my favorite part was at the end. We had lined the pumpkins up along the shed, all illuminated, so we could admire them all at once. There were raccoons, spooky houses, and inside jokes staring back at us. We stood around to laugh and marvel, and then it was time to clean up. We blew out the candles and each grabbed a pumpkin to walk into the shed. It would have taken one person forever (and a lot of muscle!), but there were a bunch of us quietly walking single file style, holding pumpkins our friends had made beautiful just hours before, to get the job done in less than two minutes. It was this beautiful and calm sense of teamwork, and I loved it.

Uncustomary Art Weekly Happiness | Bunny Head Costume

On Friday, I had the best date ever with Joe. We went to a new haunted house that’s in an old movie theater. It was super scary. Saturday, I went to a party where almost everyone was dressed up. I took photos, ate hot dogs, danced, laughed, played games, and had a blast. I’m really glad I was able to go.

Extra Sparkle weird conversations with 42-year-old men at bars who just got back from a Tibetan Monastery in Canada  when old people say things like “toilet tissue”  having my first slow motion driving experience (that thankfully didn’t lead to a tragedy)  e-mails from Caylee’s T that said “Ja”  my favorite day of the year: October 17th  making the waiter at Silver Diner laugh when I tried to pronounce “oaxaca”, and ended up just saying “wakha wakha”  the difference in feeling when I saw a masked man at the haunted house and then him unmasked and then maked again (read: terrified, inquisitive, indifferent)  Joe meeting Bug  being called “my girl”  the feeling when stopped traffic finally starts moving again  Lance in drag on John’s shoulders, flashing the live band in a backyard  amazing costumes, including a bunny rabbit (see above)  extremely delicious egg rolls  horrifying flight attendant stories  very rich sipping chocolate  mini witch hat hair clips from the dollar store  dyeing my hair back dark (I’ll put a spell on you)  meeting Tom for the first time  puppies in costumes  how into Gotham I am  making goody bags  the best gift from Charlotte I’ve ever received (stay tuned)  wearing a white faux fur coat without irony  making memes of my friend a la Ryan Gosling  unexplainable tags on cars that say “Hot Guy”

Uncustomary Art Weekly Happiness | Hot Guy Car Tag

Be sure to check out how I spent my Sunday, join the giveaway Michelle and I are offering via our Peacock Brigade, and take a peek into my day in a voyeuristic fashion. A reminder you can get yourself some ad space on my sidebar for $7 a month and you can get yourself a free exclusive list of 200 things to do when you’re bored by signing up for my newsletter (sidebar).

What’s on your happiness list this week?

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