Author Archive

Wild Birthday Party

Our youngest was turning 6 this year and insisted on having a wolf birthday party.  She is obsessed with them for some reason at the moment, she says they are her spirit animal, haha. I figured it would be hard and not to mention a bit much, to have a full on wolf party so I managed to convince her to have a Wild Birthday Party with other animals as well.

This is the invitation I created to set the mood.

Wild Birthday

I love getting creative with the girl’s birthdays (and any event really, haha) but I don’t like to spend a lot.  Having a pretty party doesn’t have to break the bank. My colours were black, white & gold with touches of hot pink and green.

Wild Birthday1

This was one of the food spreads at the party.  Most of which I made myself to keep the costs down.

Wild Birthday2

The feathers in the cupcakes I got at the dollar store and just painted the tips gold.  The chocolate mould I used was actually leaves since I couldn’t find anything to match the theme but they turned out kinda looking like feathers right?

Wild Birthday3

My first time making cake pops and wasn’t happy how the chocolate around them turned out but they still tasted good.  The plate I found at a second hand store.

Wild Birthday4

All of the kids got different animal ears to wear.  Just inexpensive headbands with ears cut out of felt (a gift from my artsy friend Lauren Cowles).  Here is Amelia opening gifts with her bestie Aviv.

Wild Birthday5

The pinata was way too colourful for me so I spray painted it gold.

Wild Birthday6

I found these awesome kraft paper bags with feathers on them at Micheals so used them for the loot bags.

Wild Birthday7

 I snooped around the clearance section at Home Sense and Bou Clair to get the Pink arrow sign and white candle holder below.  Both of which I will definitely use again.  I also just cut feathers out of gold card stock.

Wild Birthday8

Luckily I also got all of the animals from Lauren and just painted them gold to match my colour scheme.

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Finally, it’s not a birthday without balloons!

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We were supposed to head outside for a scavenger hunt in the woods but it was pouring so my backup was making dream catchers and sadly they were having none of it.  I think only 2 out of the 11 kids finished them.  I think it was because there was way too much sugar between all the baking and the candies from the pinata and they got a little too hyper to sit still.  Lesson learned!!

Monday Journal – Jane Davenport Products

I don’t know about you guys but I have been dying to get my art on.  I have been looking for some inspiration and finally came across some Jane Davenport Products at Micheals.  People in the art community have been raving about them since their big release.  They seem to be selling out everywhere.  Look at all this goodness…

Jane Davenport Products 0

So many awesome and beautiful things.  I wanted almost everything but since we are still recovering from the holidays I decided to get the Mermaid Markers…

Jane Davenport Products 5

and the Flower Stencil.  It was hard to take a photo of this one so that you could see the pattern properly.

Jane Davenport Products

If you don’t know Jane Davenport she an Australian mixed media artist with tons of heart and personality who teaches all over the place and has tons of online workshops.  To go along with her new product line she has offered a FREE workshop here. She keeps adding videos to it as well.  I love it when artists do this especially when you have never taken any of their workshops before or are just looking for a little inspiration.  So, I sat down with the videos, grabbed my new markers and water colour art journal (I am not a huge lover of plain white backgrounds so I have a journal I made from an old book and used clear gesso on the pages). This was the first girl I did.

Jane Davenport Products 1

I, of course didn’t have all of her supplies but used my own similar ones except for the flower stencil for her hair and the Mermaid Markers, which are to die for.  They are water based and have a brush tip.  So much colour saturation, I was in love at first brush. After the first girl I couldn’t stop.  I just decided to draw the girls myself since I didn’t have the stamps and her paper.  Loving the below girl’s hair.

Jane Davenport Products 2

These were inspired by her boho girls and look a lot different from hers but I was watching the videos to get some inspiration and they did exactly that.

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I didn’t want to stop so once I finished her current videos I started thinking about all of the women power that was happening all over the world in support of the Woman’s March in Washington.  So, I thought who better to paint then the strong Frida Kahlo.

Jane Davenport Products 3

SO much fun.  I am feeling artistically rejuvenated and all I want to do is paint!!  Thanks Jane!

House Tour – Part 1

I have been getting plenty of requests for a house tour of our new place from family and friends so I thought I would take the opportunity over the holidays to get some pictures taken, finally!  The house is almost a 100 years old and was built in 1920.  There was an addition built in 2008 but they did a great job keeping within the aesthetic of the original farm house.  We have five acres of land, a barn which will soon house some chickens and my studio which hasn’t been winterized yet.  It was an incredible amount of work and perseverance to get this place but is was all worth it. In all of my 41 years and the many, many places I have lived, it is the first place that has truly felt like home from day one.

So, grab yourself a hot drink and come take a tour of some of our new place, before I take all of the Christmas decorations down.

Here is one side of the entrance. The other side was too messy to take a photo of, haha.

House Tour - Entrance

Which looks into our dining room. Those french doors go out to our basement and back yard.

House Tour - Dining

You can just barely see the antique arrows in with the branches that I picked up in Vermont (in Mary’s shop of course).

House Tour - Dining2

The dining room is open to the living room on the right.  We have tons of big windows in the house which is great.  Although there isn’t much room for art work.

House Tour - Livingroom

Our tree which we put up and decorated while listening to Boney M. Christmas and eating Pot of Gold chocolates.  We had to, it’s a tradition. The girls also take turns putting the star on top of the tree.

House Tour - Tree

The other part of the living room which looks out onto the mountain.  One of the best views in the house and a great place to read a book.

House Tour - Livingroom2

A close-up of my wee deer.

House Tour - Livingroom3

The one thing we don’t have in this house is a fireplace :( My only complaint.  So, we consequently have no easy place to hang stockings. Why not use the bookshelves?

House Tour - Livingroom4

Through another set of french doors is the master bedroom. The doors to the left there go out onto a little patio that is all our own.

House Tour - Master

If you go back to the entrance and hang a left, there is one of the bathrooms in the house. I thought I would show you this one since it is the original bathroom and has the most character with the wood walls and cabinetry.

House Tour - Bathroom

Next to it is our oldest girls bedroom.

House Tour - Bedroom

Then we move on to the kitchen.

House Tour - Kitchen

The kitchen is quite long and the lighting isn’t great but you can sort of see our coffee station to the left.

House Tour - Kitchen2

At the end is our little coffee drinking nook.

House Tour - Kitchen3

I had it all set up as a hot chocolate station over the holidays.

House Tour - Kitchen4

It has been so much fun finding places for all of my vintage pieces.  Next time I will show you the younger girl’s space and a bit of the outside (if it can just warm up a bit).

Happy New Year everyone!!  Hope you have had a relaxing holiday surrounded by love!

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.

Macaroon Mixed Media2

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.

Macaroon Mixed Media1

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.

Isabelle Arsenault2

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…

Isabelle Arsenault5

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

Isabelle Arsenault6

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.

Where to get inspiration2

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

Where to get inspiration3

So put one into this piece.

Where to get inspiration4

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.

Book Art Journal 4

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.

Book Art Journal 5

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!!!