Monday Journal – Macaroon Mixed Media

I have been terribly neglectful of my blog and my art but what a better excuse then Mother’s Day to carve out some time for myself to do just that.  I hope you all had a relaxing day surrounded by loved ones, whether you are a mom or not :)  I got to sleep in, then breakfast and coffee were waiting for me when I woke.  I also got these lovely flowers.

Macaroon Mixed Media

I am a lucky lady.  The colours in the flowers reminded me of my Macaroon Mixed Media art journal layout that I had started and not finished.

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I had painted French macaroons as they seem to be available all over the place now (which is not a bad thing).  They remind me of my time in Paris and how then, they were all over the place there and not really available anywhere else.  These little delicacies also made me feel like a little kid and I am not entirely sure why.  Maybe because I knew that these tiny pastel packages of delicious sweetness were a special treat and they needed to be savored.  Just like all of the special baking during the holidays.

I picked up some new Prima Marketing rub-ons the other day to try out.  I know not many people use rub-ons anymore but I love them.  The ones I got are from the Christine Adolph collection and they are adhesive so you can put glitter or metallic foil on top which is such a good idea.

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I didn’t want to add either of those things to this page (I did save some from the sheet to try it though) so I just put podge over top once I rubbed them on to take the stickiness away.

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Isn’t the floral pattern gorgeous?  The French advertising bit was perfect for this also.

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I also found an adorable macaroon PAPAYA! card the other day which I bought just for this and tore off the back stuff and stuck it on.

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Then a little reminder to “savor the moment” to finish it off.

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Savoring the moments is so important and I am always reminded of how quickly my girls are growing up on Mother’s Day.  You can’t help but reflect on how it all started and the reason for the celebration: the amazing beings we have brought into the world that made us mothers.  Unfortunately, it also leads me to wondering if I am doing an adequate job and how much therapy they might need as adults as a result of me being their mother, hahaha.  I guess the main thing is to do the best you can and not be too hard on yourself.

Isabelle Arsenault Inspiration (Part Deux)

Boy this last week felt like it has lasted forever!!  I just wanted to share a couple more pages inspired by Isabelle Arsenault‘s illustrations.  This time they are from the book Virginia Wolf which is loosely based on the relationship between author Virginia Wolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell.  It is pretty cute.

Isabelle Arsenault

Couldn’t decide whether she was falling or lying in the grass but she inspired my blue gingham girl looking up at the sky.

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This one inspired a couple pieces…

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My fox is hanging out in the jungle.

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This little Easter bunny looking guy that was up in the corner of the page…

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Inspired me to trace this rabbit from my Enchanted Forest colouring book.

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Adult colouring books have exploded lately and I am oh so glad as colouring was one of my favourite things to do as a kid and it is a great meditative practice for all.  Such a simple thing but so gratifying.  A few more I have collected that I love:

The Art of Nature

Splendid Cities

The Big Book of Mandelas

and another Mandela one.

I can’t wait to share them with the ladies at the next retreat.  There are a few more I have my eye on:

The Hipster Coloring Book

The Secret Garden

The Tattoo Colouring Book

and the list goes on, but I won’t bore you with them.  There is a Paris one and so many different themed ones that everyone is bound to find something they like.  If I have just introduced you to them, you are welcome!!  Everyone else, please share your favourites, I have a birthday coming up, haha.

Monday Journal – Where to get inspiration?

Hi there, I frequently get asked where to get inspiration from and that is kind of hard to answer as there are so many places!!  Sometimes when ideas aren’t flowing, looking to other artists that you admire is a good place to start.

I am huge fan of Canadian illustrator Isabelle Arsenault.  I have been known to buy some of her children’s books and keep them for myself so none of the kids get their grubby hands on them, haha.  Her style is very different from mine in that she has a lot of just pencil work in her illustrations but there is just something that speaks to me with her stuff.  For a few of my 40 pages in 40 days I opened one of her books Jane, the Fox & Me.

This black and white drawing…

Where to get inspiration

Inspired this.  Since this is just for me, in my journal, it doesn’t matter how similar it is as I have no intention of selling it.

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I loved all of the foxes that appear in this and some of her other books.

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So put one into this piece.

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Here is a close-up of the quote I used.

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Just a quick share, stay tuned for more inspiration from Isabelle’s books.

Art Show – Assemblage of My Life

I am packing up the van with some girlfriends, art supplies and heading to Burlington, Vermont for the South End Art Hop and my 40th birthday weekend!!  I will be teaching and will have an art show happening at Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace (my favourite place).  Here are the deets about the show:

She was a Delight (honouring my mimi)

She was a Delight (honouring my mimi)

THE ASSEMBLAGE OF MY LIFE

Human beings have been altering objects for centuries.  In early cultures, ritual objects and objects of adornment were embellished with natural items such as feathers, bones and shells.  The objects were transformed from their natural state (altered, if you will) by the hands of humans.  Assemblage, or altered art, has increased in popularity in recent years but its roots are found in something far older.  It is the essence of this art form that we take something old, and perhaps useless, and create from it something new and beautiful.

With the specter of turning 40 looming, I have engaged in a lot of introspection.  I felt it was time to honour my ˋassemblageˊ of memories and thought that this was the perfect art form with which to do so.  This collection is all about the different parts of my past and each sculptural canvas represents an event, person, specific time, or a state of mind in my life.  All done in the spirit of re-using and creating new meaning with pieces that already come with their own stories. Come and share in the bits and bobs of my amazing journey thus far!!

Here are the deets about the class:

Assemblage Workshop

ASSEMBLAGE MIXED MEDIA PIECE

With Renée Savoie

 Saturday, September 12th 1pm – 4pm

Cost: $50

DURING ART HOP at

Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace

180 Flynn Avenue

Burlington, VT

www.VintageInspired.net

802.488.5766

info@VintageInspired.net

Assemblage is the process of making three-dimensional artistic compositions by putting together found objects.  This class is open to all levels and you will be encouraged to combine new and creative techniques to incorporate mixed media, found objects, sewing notions, vintage toys and family snapshots with glue and ingenuity to make an evocative assemblage.  This is a great way to bring new life and create new meanings by recombining old objects in a fresh new way.

Supplies are included but this is a great excuse to scour Vintage Lifestyle Marketplace to find goodies to incorporate into your pieces.  Feel free to bring photos and trinkets from home but please note that if you plan to use family photographs or other personal papers, you should make copies in advance and bring them with you to class.

Call or email Vintage Inspired to register

If anyone is interested in coming with, there are a few spots available in the van and hotel.  We would leave Thursday night and come back on Sunday afternoon.  Let me know asap if you want in on the fun.  We are all chipping in on the gas and rooms.  The South End Art Hop is always a blast as there so many activities happening all weekend like a fashion show, art installations and music.  The south end is also home to many antique stores and shops!

Monday Journal – 40 Pages in 40 Days

In less then a month I turn 40.  Still unsure how I feel about the whole thing, but regardless, it’s happening :)  So, in honour of this I thought I would do 40 pages in 40 days in my art journal and maybe share some lessons I have learned along the way.  I started off pretty good but unfortunately my mother ended up in the hospital and I had to take an unexpected trip to New Brunswick to take care of things.

Bathurst - 40 pages in 40 days

It is a beautiful place but it was a pretty stressful and heartbreaking trip as I had to convince my mom it was time to go into a home.  She has been fighting this for years as she feels she is too young but her body is not.  I had to try and tidy up her life as much as I could in a week as she was in the hospital and was not going home again.  How do you pack up and downsize an entire apartment to just one room in just a week?  You can’t, it is impossible.  Thank god my mom has a close friend who is going to take care of what I couldn’t get to.  This week I have really been thinking about how our generation is the first of the sandwich generation that will likely have young kids and aging parents to look after.  Quite the burden to bear.  I have also realized that no matter how old you are, you still sometimes wish there was a parent around to just step in and take care of things.

Today, my Atlantic Ocean piece.

The Atlantic

I am going to be doubling up on postings leading up to my birthday to make up for the missed days.  I am also hoping to set up an art day over the long weekend in September so all of my students and friends can come and help me catch up and get their art on.  I shall keep you posted.

Monday Journal – Book Art Journal

It has been quite a while since I have gotten to do some art but I thought it was time for a Monday Journal.  Time to pull out my book art journal that I made by recycling an old book and covering it with a piece of leather.

Book Art Journal

I loved this paper (which is where I got the idea to use red on the cover) and used it for the inside front and back covers.

Book Art Journal 2

I didn’t want to cover the old school illustrations entirely so just used a vintage plastic table cloth as a stencil over top.

Book Art Journal 3

I always collect paint chips when I am at the hardware store so used one of them to make my title with my hand carved “Art” stamp.

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I added a few stencils and had some old house stickers laying around I thought it was about time I used them.  The “Love” washi tape I found at Ikea of all places.

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The finger stickers I found at Ikea as well.  They had this whole paper section that had tons of great stuff in it.

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Hopefully now the art making will continue.  Sometimes you just need to get something down to get the juices flowing!!

 I’ll have some news later this week about up coming classes so stay tuned!!

Handing over the Reins

I have had to make some pretty big decisions in the last couple of weeks.  I have decided to quit something I have worked so hard for and put my blood sweat and tears into for over a year and a half.  Anyone who is an entrepreneur knows the sacrifice you (and your family) have to make when opening and running a business.

 I am always striving to do better and be better.  It is a part of how I am wired and who I am.  I try to give everything a 100% effort but in the last little while I have realized that I have spread myself too thin between work, running the business and trying to keep the family healthy and happy.  It has made it impossible to do any of those things well and I have actually regressed instead of thriving (not to mention I feel like I am taking my family down with me, oh the guilt of motherhood, haha).  My health and family have suffered and it is time for me to refocus on what is important because without both of those things, I have nothing.  So, at the end of this month I will be handing over the reins of the boutique to a wonderful and super creative artisan, Josiane Berube.  Some of you may know her as Romeo’s Factory.  She will re-christian the store as Romeo & Stella and will hopefully open June 6th, 2015.  Some of the tried and true artisans will remain and she will also be bringing some fresh stuff in so make sure to stop by and support your community by shopping local.

This process has obviously been heartbreaking for me as opening the store has been like having another child but my landlord, who is a fellow entrepreneur, came in to see me yesterday to congratulate me on stepping away from the store.  I was a little confused and taken aback at first but he said, any good entrepreneur knows when to quit and will likely quit many times in their life before finding the exact fit.  He said I should be proud of what I had accomplished and created.  It got me to thinking about why I had started this all in the first place.  My biggest thing in opening the boutique was to create a community of like minded individuals and provide artisans with support and a platform to share their heart felt wares with people.  I am proud to say that I feel like I have accomplished that as many of my artisans and customers have become friends and made connections through the shop and now Josiane will just continue to build upon that.

grateful

Now, I can get back to the business of doing art and being grateful for what I have for a little while.  I know I will always be a busy person but I am hoping things will be more manageable as my girls need their mom and my man needs his spouse back.  I will continue to create, teach, run retreats (Beyoutiful Souls) and craft fairs (The Savoir Faire).  I am hoping to still continue to be a presence in the store by selling some of my goods and teaching.

Keep your eyes peeled as I will be having a retreat in Vermont in September and another in the Thousand Islands in the Fall.  I am also hoping to set up a studio space at home so I can do what I love near the people that I love.

Thank you to all of my loyal customers, artisans, supporters and family for helping make this dream a reality!!!

Easter DIY – Bunny Canvas

My cousin Steph was coming to visit with her girls last weekend so I hopped over to Pintrest to find an Easter DIY project we could do with all of the girls while they were here.  I found these wooden bunnies and knew we had to try and make them.  I didn’t have all of the supplies but I am the queen of improvising.  I also adapted a few of the things to suit little people.  Instead of a piece of wood I had canvases that we painted brown to start.

Easter DIY

We then slapped on some crackle paste but you could just as easily use modelling paste or even joint compound to create a textured white layer over the brown.  Make sure to let all layers dry thoroughly.

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Here are the girls hard at work.

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I took out my button and ribbon stash and we went to town accessorizing.

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I used a little burlap and ribbon bow topped with a wooden button.

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The ears were created with white muslin and pinking shears so there was no sewing necessary.  Hot glued them to the top and added buttons to cover the glue.

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We used felt for the nose and teeth.  Then google eyes (which were self adhesive) to finish them off.

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Pretty easy project for people of all ages.

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It even kept my crazy little ginger’s attention enough to finish the entire thing.

Monday Journal – Adventure Awaits

I did this background last week when I felt the need to create but wasn’t sure what I felt like doing.  I just used an old school plastic placemat for the background, a 6×6 mushroom stencil that I kept flipping over and moving around to get the grouping and added the title “Adventure Awaits”.

Adventure Awaits1

I am not sure if you have heard of Messy Nessy Chic but I totally feel like Nessy is a kindred spirit.  She writes from her little pad in Paris and I have yet to see an article she has written that I couldn’t wait to read.  She loves old photographs and abandoned places so you can just imagine what she finds wandering the streets of Paris (so jellie!) .  When The House at the end of the Street  popped up in my Facebook feed, as usual, I couldn’t help but click over to read it.  It is about this graphic designer named Matthias Jung who creates these surreal and whimsical houses through collage.  I immediately grabbed my journal and began to draw.

This house inspired…

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My little house on the mushroom, which led to an entire little village.

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This one was very Grand Budapest Hotelish.

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Which inspired this little guy.

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Last but not least, this really cool one inspired…

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the shape of this one.  All the houses had to be pretty small to fit on the mushrooms so I felt a little limited.  But it definitely was a lot of fun.

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Milah had an hour and 45 min appointment today as she was getting her braces on which gave me the perfect opportunity to bring my journal and finish it up.  The time flew by!!!

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Sometimes you don’t need to go far to go on an adventure, just open up your art journal.

Monday Journal – Enjoy the Little Things

I haven’t had much time to do art lately but this week I have really felt the need to create.  I found a quote that said “Enjoy the little things”, which is something I am trying to do more of instead of constantly looking at the bigger picture.  I printed it off and have been carrying it around waiting for a chance to use it in my journal.  Today, was one of those days where I had a ton of paperwork and stuff to do but I didn’t have a choice in the matter.  It was bigger then me, I had to open my journal and just create.

I had this piece (that was also inspired by Danielle Donaldson) in it that I had started last week by laying a bunch of papers down for the background then decided I wanted to keep the papers for her skirt.  So I covered up the background with paint and ink and then got stuck because it was WAY to shiny.   So I put it aside.

Enjoy the little things

When I looked at it with fresh eyes I knew I needed to tone it down with some texture.  I pulled out my old jar of gesso that had dried up a bit (I never throw anything away, cause it can always be used for something, haha) and applied a thick layer with a Moroccan style stencil.

Enjoy the little things1

 I left the skirt pretty much as is with the background paper showing so it had a bit of a patchwork thing happening.  Added my quote and some doodling.

Enjoy the little things2

 I think my black pen is my favourite tool and it is such an inexpensive and easy way to add detail.  It is my finishing touch to pretty much everything.  What is your favourite art supply?

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 Now she feels much better.  Sometimes you need to just step away and come back with fresh eyes, with art and in life.

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 Don’t forget to enjoy the little things this week!  I am trying to make this a bit of my theme for the year.