Cooking With Heart – Preorder Now

Updated July 9, 2018.

It’s time to preorder your copy of COOKING WITH HEART: Recipes, Inspiration, and Art from the Determined to Shine community.

We’re putting the finishing touches on our community cookbook! It will be full of nearly 300 recipes from DTS students from all around the world. There’s something for everyone in here – whether you’re a meat lover or a vegan, a bread-lover or gluten-free, there are so many things for all to enjoy. Plus you’ll also find recipes for non-edible treats like essential oil blends and bath salts. AND you’ll find tons of kitchen-inspired art journaling tips and tricks. PLUS full-color art from community members!

order your cookbook

The cookbook is available as a preorder ONLY. We won’t be ordering extra copies, so get yours today. We are still in the proofreading process. Books will be shipped in about 90 days.

Each cookbook costs $12. I was hoping to keep the cost under $15, and I’m so glad we were able to do that! Shipping is available worldwide. I apologize for the higher rates to other nations. International shipping rates have increased in the USA. We are charging actual rates and for some countries, the rate we are charging is lower than the actual rate and Determined to Shine is making up the difference for you.

There is no limit to the number of copies you may order. Order your cookbook now:

We’re also offering an ebook option! This is great for those who don’t want to pay shipping or who simply prefer using an ereader. eBooks also need to be preordered as it will pay for the ebook production fees. You will be receive a PDF copy via email when the cookbooks are received. Your purchase is for ONE ebook only – if you wish to “gift” an ebook, you will need to purchase an additional ebook for that person. We ask that you do not share the file outside of your immediate household out of respect for Determined to Shine and all contributors. eBooks are $10. Order your ebook here.

Contribute recipes

Recipes will still be accepted until July 16, 2018. This deadline will not be extended.

To enter your recipes, visit Log in using username “determinedtoshine” and password “recipes”

You can also submit recipes by emailing them to with the subject line “Cookbook Recipe Submission.” If you email a photo or scan of your recipes, please make sure that all text is visible and legible. Please also make sure to include your first and last name as you’d like it to appear in the cookbook.

Contribute artwork

Artwork is still being accepted until July 16, 2018. This deadline will not be extended.

We’ll be using artwork from Determined to Shine students and community members on the cookbook cover, as well as the dividers and possibly other interior pages of the cookbook.

Art can be any theme or medium, but it must be 100% owned and created by you. If you are submitting a collage, please make sure that you own the copyright to all included images (or that you have permission from the copyright owner). ALL SKILL LEVELS ARE WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE.

To submit your art, email a photo to with the subject line “Cookbook Art Submission.”

Surprise! Announcing 30 MORE Days of Art Journaling!


You have all been asking for this for more than a year, so I’m excited to announce that starting February 1, I will be bringing you 30 MORE Days of Art Journaling – the sequel!

This will work just like the original class, with some added bonuses:

  • Daily email with an introspective prompt and a page sample from me
  • All 30 prompts archived in online classroom for you to access at any time
  • Video tutorials for some prompts throughout the class (at least four – plus one more video added for every 50 people registered before December 4!)


The original 30 Days of Art Journaling class was (and always will be) free of charge. I’ve spoken with lots of you, who have valued the class at more than $500. While I won’t be able to offer the new sequel class for free, I am still wanting to give you a great deal! So this class will be available for just $2 a day – $60!

But when you sign up this weekend, you can enroll for 50% of that – just $1 each day for 30 MORE Days of Art Journaling! Hooray!

Plus, when you sign up by December 4, you have the chance to win one of three prizes – some awesome stamps sets and a year’s subscription to Cloth Paper Scissors magazine are up for grabs!

I am beyond excited to be bringing this to you!


Personalized Handmade Journals: Black Friday Day Three

Our final Determined to Shine Black Friday offer is here!

By HUGE demand, I have decided to offer customized, handmade junk journals for a VERY limited time. Here are the details:

  • 6″x9″ disc-bound junk journal with plastic protective covers (size does not include discs)
  • Journals are approximately 1.5″- 2″ thick
  • All pages/inserts chosen for YOU based on YOUR favorite colors, designs, and brands
  • Survey for personalization options will be emailed within 48 hours of purchase.
  • Journals will be shipped by December 18, in time for holiday delivery within the United States.(If you need holiday delivery and are in Canada, this can be arranged. Please contact me after placing your order.)
  • $60 + $5 shipping. USA and Canada only.
  • Limited quantity available.

Here’s our Fall Retreat sneak peek video where you can see another journals and learn more about how they are customized (info about the journals starts around the 1:25 mark.)

Here’s a walkthrough of my personal journal, with a few embellished pages:

Order your journal now – LIMITED SUPPLY AVAILABLE. This is a great holiday gift for you or someone you love!

Unleash Your Joy Virtual Retreat: Black Friday Sale Day One

Okay, so Black Friday is a week away. But I’m home with the stomach flu, so I decided to start the party early! I’ll have a few consecutive days of deals – all of which are BRAND NEW offerings!

We’re kicking things off in style with the first-ever Determined to Shine Virtual Retreat!

January 13, 2018
10am-5pm US Central Time (will be recorded – you do NOT need to attend live in order to participate)
Held via Zoom videoconferencing

Our virtual retreat will be a mini version of our fall live retreat, Unleash Your Joy! Here’s what to expect:

  • Discover 17 specific, practical ways to increase the joy in your life.
  • Live online retreat focused on unleashing your joy – we’ll talk about what kills our joy, how to conquer those things, and how to lift ourselves out of bad moods in minutes
  • Use art journaling, guided imagery, and creative techniques to dive deep into discovering your joy, manifesting your dreams, and finding your life purpose.
  • Start a Negativity DetoxTM
  • A full day of live interaction via Zoom videoconferencing – the chance to ask questions, share with others, and participate in a real community. You can join via video or audio-only.
  • The retreat day will include time for both learning and creating together in real time!
  • Pre-retreat video workshop to help you create your own Book Of Joy Art Journal to use during the live retreat
  • Downloadable workbook featuring 17 specific joy-boosting techniques
  • Retreat is recorded and you will have lifetime access to those recordings if you cannot attend live or want to revisit the event at a later time

Retreat price: $119
Black Friday Sale Price: $69 (SAVE $50!)

**Every Black Friday deal is a brand new offering. More details and video announcements will follow. However, the Black Friday price is the BEST price that will be offered, and it’s your reward for taking the plunge and diving into an exciting new offering!**

Moving Beyond Perfection

Meet Sandi.

She discovered her first Determined to Shine class in August 2016 – and has taken every single one of them since then!

Before finding Determined to Shine, Sandi didn’t like to draw and would criticize herself relentlessly if she made a mistake while creating art.

Now, everything is different. Here’s her story:

“I have always enjoyed art, and was often told that I was a good artist, but I never really believed it. I had a LOT of trauma and abuse in my youth, which trashed my self esteem. My high school art teacher told me I was not a good artist. I became a person who would constantly criticize and doubt myself, making it so I did not enjoy drawing.

Determined to Shine has helped me use my art to process what I have experienced in my life, both the good and the bad.

It helped me separate what happened TO me from who I AM, and it has brought more joy into my life. Allyson provided some artistic strategies that help me work through those times where I get stuck in my head or get overly critical or negative about myself or my art. I always know that I have things in place to pick up and use or create to help bring me back to my authentic, happy self.

I’ve learned to stop drawing for the approval of others. I started enjoying the process as much as the final product. I realized that by relaxing and enjoying the process, I usually liked the final product much more. I also realized that when I relax and enjoy the journey, I often learn something about myself or find solutions to problems or issues in my life. The 30 Days of Journaling class was such a beautiful artistic process. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I have repeated the class three times! Each time, I have been able to process different issues in my life, diving deeper into the core of who I really am. I love the transition my art has made with this class – and for the first time, I am actually proud of it!

I learned that I don’t need to change who I am or what I enjoy to please those around me. All that I HAVE to do is be my most authentic self! What others think of me is none of my business – I DO NOT have to spend my life trying to please others. I am not in charge of their feelings. I also learned that it is worth investing in myself, because in doing so, the return on my investment is priceless!!

It’s really hard to choose, but I think my Vision Book from the Envision class is my favorite Determined to Shine class project so far. I have found that having my dreams and goals in a book right at my fingertips has been amazing! I can easily add steps or ideas that come up along the way, and it also gives me a place to document my successes as for positive reinforcement. It covers so many aspects of my life, from health to work to art. I love that you can set up your Envision book to have any sections that you wish, that are relevant to you and your own needs and wants.


Signing up for personalized coaching with Allyson was a big investment for me. It was the first time I invested this much in myself, but I am so glad I did! Before Determined to Shine, I never would have invested money on myself in this way. It’s amazing – I will pay to go to the doctor, I will pay for the vitamins and medicines that I “need,” but I would never before have put money into making me a happier, freer person!! And I am SO glad I did!!

I find I am truly happier and more relaxed within my own skin. I know that probably sounds cliché, but I have always spent too much time worrying about how others felt about me and trying to please them.

Life is all about mistakes – about accepting, moving on, and adjusting! Before Determined to Shine, if things weren’t perfect, or I made a small mistake, I would trash it and start over. Now, I move on and look forward to seeing what I create!

Ready for YOUR transformation?
One spot remains in the Soul Investment Program – your golden ticket to EVERYTHING Determined to Shine offers in 2018. A 20% savings offer is available today only, so don’t miss your only chance to work one-on-one with Allyson in the coming year. Learn more here. Questions about the program? Email to set up a quick call with Allyson to discuss if the program is right for you.

Sandi’s story and artwork are used with her permission. Each week, Determined to Shine will be featuring a new student story. Interested in being featured? Email with the subject line “Featured Student.”

Inspired by Angels: A Holiday Art Journal Project Using Coloring Book Pages

It’s December, and the holiday season has officially arrived. For me, this means I can officially pull out my holiday coloring books. (Because yes, I love adult coloring books so much that I have ones devoted just to the holidays.)

One of my favorites is the Jim Shore Angels Coloring Book, featuring folk art angel images for each holiday, as well as several year-round and religious images.


I spent some time coloring in this beautiful holiday angel using Copic Sketch markers. (Colors used: E000, E00, E02, E55, Y26, Y32, YR23, YG17, C2, B12, B14, B91, R35) I didn’t color the background or border as I knew I wanted to use the angel image in my art journal.

To create the background of the page, I used a gelli print I’d created earlier. Gelli prints make great art journal backgrounds, and I love having them on hand. (You can learn how to make your own by checking out my Inspired by Autumn blog post.)  I cut out the angel image so I could add it to the background.


I cut the gelli print to fit my favorite disc-bound art journal, and punched the edges so it would fit inside. I adhered the angel to the background. To finish it off, I grabbed a tube of metallic gold Heidi Swapp Texture Paste.

I wanted to add a metallic sheen to the page. Using my fingertip, I rubbed a thin layer of texture paste around the edges of the page. Texture paste has a strong, thick consistency, so it’s important to make sure you add a smooth, thin layer.


To finish it off, I added just the smallest touch of paste to the tips of the angel’s wings. Then I let it dry, and I added it to my art journal.


I love how this page turned out. I often like to add words to my pages, but in this case, I really felt that less was more. You’ll notice the page is curling up a bit, which is from the gelli print process. The page will flatten out over time inside my journal, so I’m not worried about it at all.

Originally, I wasn’t sure how I felt about adding a Christmas angel to my art journal that’s focused on self-discovery. But in the end, it was perfect. While I was working on the coloring, I was able to reflect on my faith and my thoughts about angels among us. Adding the gold brought it to life, and I love the idea that this holiday angel will be keeping an eye on me all year long.


Enjoy this project? Check out my new online class, Coloring Made Meaningful. You’ll discover how to turn your coloring books into inspirational projects for yourself and others. Step-by-step instructions and videos make creating easy. Take this class for lots of easy holiday gift ideas, including step! Or purchase a gift certificate and gift this class to someone you love – along with a coloring book, of course!


This post is part of the Pinterest Party 2016 Winter Blog Hop. The Pinterest Party is a group that helps people grow their Pinterest following. Find other posts in this blog hop below:

1. Steampunkary – Steampunk Christmas Ornaments & Decorations Gift Guide
2. Grammie Knows How – Winter Essentials for Safety on the Road
3. Determined to Shine – Inspired by Angels: A Holiday Art Journal Project Using Coloring Book Pages (you are here)

Coming soon:

Note: Some product links on this page are affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you purchase products through these links. Your purchase supports the continued availability of Determined to Shine’s free and paid classes.


New Class: Coloring Made Meaningful

I’m SO excited to announce Determined to Shine’s NEW class – Coloring Made Meaningful!

The adult coloring craze has arrived around the globe, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Many of us LOVE stockpiling coloring books and playing in them while watching TV or spending time to relax. But the question remains: once you’re done – then what?

This class is all about what you do AFTER you’ve completed your coloring book pages. I’ll teach you how to transform your pages into projects that inspire you, help you connect with yourself, and bring joy to others.

Starting now: finishing up your coloring pages is just the beginning!

You’ll receive ideas and step-by-step videos showing you how to turn your coloring into:

  • Art journal and scrapbook pages
  • Cards, envelopes, and gift packaging
  • Home décor
  • Gifts

As with all Determined to Shine classes, we’ll take these projects beyond the surface and talk about why these creations can be so personally powerful.


You’ll also get these great bonuses:

  • A curated catalog of coloring books with shopping links – I’ve scoured the web and found the best of the best AND the most unique. You’ll discover the coloring books you never knew you needed – from a tribute to Ryan Gosling to a celebration of the ‘90s.
  • A quick course in transforming a vintage book into a colorful index to help you keep track of your markers, pencils, and ink pads. There’s nothing worse than starting to color and realizing the cap doesn’t match the actual color well at all. This project has you covered.
  • A guide to the ins and outs of working with coloring books while respecting copyright laws.

Register Now

Class starts November 18 –  but you can preorder NOW. There are two options available:

Option One: Coloring Made Meaningful Preorder. Class value $59. Preorder price $24. 

  • Reserve your spot in class now. On November 18, you’ll receive an email containing your class access info. REGISTER NOW.

Option Two: Coloring Made Meaningful Preorder + Be Your Own Inspiration. Class value $188. Preorder price $78.

  • Reserve your spot in Coloring Made Meaningful AND get instant access to Be Your Own Inspiration, my super-sized online class that teaches you how to use creativity to overcome fear and create personal breakthroughs. (Note: If you’ve already signed up for Be Your Own Inspiration, you do not need to purchase this again.) REGISTER NOW.

I am so excited to share this class with you!! See you on the 18th!


Some of the products used on the samples featured on this page include:

Coloring books featured in the video include:

*Some of these links are affiliate links. Determined to Shine LLC will receive a small commission when you purchase through these links, which is used to support Determined to Shine’s free classes. This does not impact your purchase price.
**This class is not endorsed or sponsored by any of the above manufacturers or authors. All products shown were purchased by me.  When working with coloring book and digital images, it’s important that copyright laws are respected and honored. Make sure you do not reproduce book pages unless the coloring book specifically says it’s okay to do so. Otherwise, be sure to use the actual completed pages  from each physical coloring book, rather than making copies. 

Inspired by Autumn: Easy Art Journal Backgrounds with Gelli Prints

Well, it’s officially fall here in Wisconsin. I’m not going to lie, it kind of bums me out. I am SO in love with spring and summer. When fall arrives, it’s hard to treat it as anything besides “pre-winter.”

Earlier today, however, I was outside and looking around at all the colorful leaves, and for once I found inspiration instead of disdain. The landscape of yellow, orange, red, and brown captivated me. It was time to create.

Fall Gelli Print

I headed to my craft table, pulled out my Gelli plate, some acylic paint, and a few stencils, and I got to work.

Check out my video to see my creative process in action. I create several layered gelli prints at once, which are now ready and waiting for use in my beloved art journal.

I also share a bit about art journaling, a quick peek into my latest art journal, and explain why I love it so very much – there are NO rules. Art journaling is all about play. It’s about getting lost in the moment and creating just for you.

Learn More

Like what you see? Sign up for my free 30 Days of Art Journaling class to receive daily email prompts and art journal ideas. Looking for more video? Register now for Be Your Own Inspiration, my super-sized class that will take you deep into the world of art journaling and its power to bring self-discovery and emotional healing.

Recommended Products

Ready to get started? These are my favorite products for gelli printing:

2016 Pinterest Party Fall Blog Hop

This post is part of the Pinterest Party 2016 Fall Blog Hop. The Pinterest Party is a group that helps people grow their Pinterest following. Find other posts in this blog hop below:

Oct 1  How to Create a Halloween Wreath Holly Jolly Holidays
Oct 2 Easy Fall Cake Decorating Ideas Easy Cake Decorating Ideas
Oct 3 Ideas For Hosting A S’mores And Bonfire Backyard Party  Glitter ‘N’ Spice
Oct 4 BirdWatching: 5 Useful Tips to Make it Great Grammie Knows How
Oct 5 Fairy or Gnome Garden in a Pumpkin Little Blog in the Country
Oct 6 Autumn Color Birthstones: Beautiful Red, Orange and Brown Birthstones Celebrate Fall Birthstone Magic
Oct 7 Halloween Decor & Lighting  Miss Frugal Fancy Pants
Oct 9 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars Southern Family Fun
Oct 10 Autumn Placemats Free Crochet Pattern  Olives & Okra
Oct 11 Art Journal Backgrounds with Gelli Prints Determined to Shine  (you are here!)

Note: All product links on this page are affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you purchase products through these links. Your purchase supports the continued availability of Determined to Shine’s free and paid classes.

Gelli Print Background Techniques for Fall

Crazy BeYOUtiful

There’s been a lot going on in my world. The blog may have been a bit quiet over this past month or so, but my world most definitely has not. I launched 30 Days of Art Journaling, my new free email-based class, and I don’t think I’ve taken a minute off since! More about that in the days and weeks to come.


In the meantime, I’d like to share the latest episode of Amy Kunkle’s Crazy BeYOUtiful podcast. I had the chance to be a guest on Amy’s show. We talked about my story, the power of creativity to heal, and why I started Determined to Shine.

You’ll also hear a lot about 30 Days of Art Journaling and how women around the world are coming together to share in this creative journey.

Listen in:

You can learn more about the interview on Amy’s site, and there are also some listener-only bonuses for you to enjoy.

So much more to come. 🙂