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New Workshops at St. Elmos Fire

Is everyone ready for the holidays???  I’m not, but getting close.  I still have some gifts to buy and baking to do.

I just wanted to let you know about some classes I have coming up at the beautiful St. Elmos Fire studios out in Stittsville.  It is in a gorgeous old heritage building with tons of character and history.  I am pretty excited about getting to teach there.  I will be doing 3 workshops which will be entirely separate entities so you can do one or all if you like.  If you are interested in doing all three, book through me and it would only be $75.  Depending on how things go, I might extend the series to add more workshops.  I am planning a Coffee & Canvas series coming up in the new year where I combine two of my favourite things.  It will involve making art and road trips to my favourite coffee shops in the region.  So exciting isn’t it?  More details to follow shortly.

Here are the details on the workshops and prices.  They haven’t been listed on the St. Elmos Fire site yet but if you are interested you can let me know directly.



January 20th, 2013 1:30pm to 3:30pm

We all have a story to tell.  Whether it is through the written word, art or a combination of both, one must have a beautiful book to contain all of this brilliance.  We will be turning a vintage book into a journal and work of art.  I will show you a few different binding techniques and we will complete the front cover.  Everything will be supplied.  If you have an image that you feel represents yourself, please bring it.




February 3rd, 2013 1:30pm to 3:30pm

Come make a gorgeous “Home” page in your art journal or on a canvas.  We will be using papers, acrylic, washi tape, inks and all kinds of textural goodies.  All supplies are included except for your art journal or canvas.



February 24th, 2013 1:30pm to 3:30pm

Come make a playful and creative “Art” page in your art journal or on a canvas.  We will be layering vintage papers, acrylic, India inks and more textural goodies.  All supplies are included except for your art journal or canvas.




Category: Classes  3 Comments

Deer Mixed Media – Birthday Workshop

Just a wee post to share a pretty cool deer mixed media piece that was done last week at a birthday workshop.  It was a small group of artsy ladies who seemed to know the guest of honour Alysha (in white) quite well.  They all played it safe and stuck to her colour palette.  Here they are hard at work. – The pics were taken with my phone as my camera battery died :(

Having a bit of a laugh.  Love it when everyone is having fun as that is the whole point to these workshops as far as I am concerned.  To relax and forget about everything for just a little while.  Restorative time if you will.

Here is the gorgeous piece all done.  As the group was small they got to see some of the finishing touches right at the class.  Sorry the picture is so fuzzy.

Isn’t the background awesome?  It is canvas covered with a scrunched up patterned tissue paper that I rubbed paint over once it dried.  They added birds and all kinds of stuff to the antlers which is what I was hoping for.  Totally cute.

I brought my awesome Pennants Builder Punch from Stampin Up! and two of the girls collaborated to create the title with it which ran along the bottom.

They called it “Wild Life”, not sure if they were implying that Alysha is a bit of a party girl or just to the animals but it is nice to keep people guessing ;)

Indoor Christmas Decor

We are back from Peterborough and I have decided to finish the decorating before heading back to work tomorrow.  Thought I would share our indoor Christmas Decor.  Here is our mantel with all our stockings (which haven’t been labelled yet).

An old school bugel that belonged to Chris’ grandfather.  I love mixing new and vintage items together.

Our Tree which is in the front room (or living room I guess) next to the mantel.  We decorate it as a family every year.  Some of the must have before we get started, eggnog, chocolates and freshly baked cookies.  We did it last weekend, Milah and I made homemade shortbread.  One of my favourites.

Mostly in blues, silver and neutrals.  A few green pieces as well, just to add a little something else.

The banister going upstairs.  Isn’t that cracked glass bulb amazing?

The Nutcracker in the hallway on my grandmothers old sewing table.

Aren’t the glittery acorns adorable?  They are hanging off of branches I collected from the backyard.

Our mini tree in the dining room.   With my new deer pillow in my old teak chair :)

Above the window in the dining room.  Love the felt ball garland I found at Winners.

Except for the front room, the rest of the decor accents are red.  A traditional Christmas colour.  Here is another mini tree which is in the kitchen.

I haven’t gone overboard with the decorations this year as I have left lots of stuff in their boxes.  Chris came home and said “Feels Christmasy in here”.  Mission accomplished.  Now I just have to finish the outside decoration and lights!!

30 Craft Market – Peterborough

We are in Peterborough for my hunnie’s family Christmas and I found out about a new and local craft fare in the area so I just had to drag my mother in law there :)  It is the 30 Craft Market and no item at the fair was over $30, making local handmade wares affordable for everyone.

Great idea!!  It also helped me get closer to my goal of buying almost all handmade or local gifts for Christmas this year as I bought a few gifts from there.  So many awesome fabrics.  I bought this cute little clutch.

From The Little Bird Designs.  Check out the huge button on the curtain behind her, adorable!!!

I also got this gorgeous roll up paintbrush holder.  I kind of want to keep it for myself, haha.

It was made by Amanda of Lemon Seed Creations.

She also had these journal covers that I really liked.  Must of been the corduroy.

My FAVOURITE table was Rabbit & Bumble.  I could have bought a ton of stuff from them, for myself.

Check out these adorable mushrooms, LOVE them.  All the felt and owls, I had to contain myself, haha.

I did end up buying these felt hand painted letters to label our stockings.  There wasn’t an M for Milah but I got a mushroom one and will add the M to it myself.

How is your Christmas shopping going?

Scrappy Sunday – Baby’s First Days Layout

It has been forever since I have done a Scrappy Sunday post or did any scrapbooking.  Craft fairs have taken priority lately as it is that time of year.  I had my first day off today (over a weekend) in a couple months.  I had no obligations, wasn’t teaching or in a fair.  So, on the agenda, a scrapbook first days layout for Amelia’s baby book (before she graduates from high school, haha) and decorating the Christmas tree, WOOO!!

Before decorating, a layout about Amelia’s first days on this earth.  They were a little rough.  She ended up in the NICU for her first 24 hours then had do light therapy for 2 twelve hour sessions as she had jaundice.  Those 12 hours sessions were some of the longest hours of my life.  I just sat and stared at her crying.  I wasn’t allowed to take her out unless it was to feed her.  So brutal and doing this layout brought it all back.  Which I believe is the point of scrapbooking, to let your kids know about their past and remind yourself of the memories.

Almost all of the paper and accessories are from Webster’s Pages.  I am in love with this animal/baby page.  Couldn’t wait to use it.

I didn’t want the second page to match exactly as it would have looked a little silly having the animals with the scale on the second page as well.  So I found a background page and overlaid a large die cut with the same colours.  I then used that same paper to matte my pictures on the opposite page (see above).

Sorry about the quality of the photos.  I just missed the daylight by 20 minutes.  I must set something up in the house for good lighting.  (Tips are always welcome if anyone has any :)  Here is the title with all of the trim.

Don’t forget to hand write on your pages, it is almost as important as the photos.  You might not have the perfect handwriting but it will certainly mean more to them.  Look how tiny her hand was around daddy’s finger.

Daddy had taken notes of the day on his blackberry and I am so glad he did.  He e-mailed them to me a long time ago and I printed them off on card stock when I was ready to do my layout.  Check out that feather flower and push pin, aren’t they gorgeous?

A string of pearls and some little whimsy flowers here and there and it is all done.

Now for the Christmas decorating.

Hermes – “Hearts and Crafts” Documentary

 I just finished watching the French documentary “Hearts and Crafts” about the amazing people who make HERMES.  The style house began with a simple saddle over 100 years ago and are now producing many coveted women’s fashion pieces.  The documentary premiered last year on the Sundance Channel and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to watch it.  To be honest, it took a while to find it.  I was so incredibly impressed and further realized why designer goods are SO expensive.  All of the painstaking details and time that go into every piece is amazing.

It makes me truly appreciate the pure silk “Les Tambours” Hermes scarf that recently came into my possession.  Thank you to the lady that just appeared at my table at a craft fair asking if I would like some “fabrics” to do with what I pleased.  I said “sure and what I don’t use I shall pass on”.  When I got home and went through the bag, I found this Hermes scarf and nearly fell on my a**.  I feel like this is the universe rewarding me for my dedication to vintage and repurposing as much as I can :)

This was a popular design so was made in many colours.  It is by the designer J. Metz and I think is from 1989.  This isn’t my favourite colour as there is a black and cream one that is super nice but beggars can’t be choosers.

Each colour is silk screened by hand and allowed a month to dry in between layers, a little unbelievable really.  It shall be treasured.

Now for the documentary so you can enjoy it.  It is divided into seven parts but is actually just forty seven minutes in length.  Don’t worry it has English subtitles for those that don’t understand French. I do hope you get a chance to watch, it is impressive.

Hope you all get a chance to be creative this weekend!!!

Nest Mixed Media Workshop

What an incredibly busy and amazing weekend.  Our First Christmas Edition of the Savoir Faire went off with flying colours.  We are so proud.  You can head over to The Savoir Faire website to see the Post-Op Review.  I got tons of awesome handmade Christmas gifts that I can’t wait to give.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to hit every table.

I was teaching a lovely group of ladies all morning.  We did a Nest Mixed Media workshop.  The piece was called “No Vacancy” and I am sure you can see why.  Here was the sample piece I had made for them.

Even though the canvas was small, the workshop packed a lot of punch as I tried to show them as many little techniques as I could fit into the hour and a half.  Of course we went over the time limit, haha.  Quite the norm for me.  I like people to feel like they are getting their money’s worth.  Here are the students hard at work.


I am all about re-purposing and this class was no different as my flower was made from old packaging, the “No Vacancy” sign was punched into pieces from an old leather belt and all of the buttons were rescued from second hand stores (one of my favourite things to do).


I loved how all the pieces were different and reflected the personality of the student.  So cool!!  Here is Tracey with her piece.

Her mom, Jenny’s piece.  She was a little afraid, but there was no need.  It turned out beautiful!

Here is Anna’s piece.  I just met her that day, she was so fun and from Aylmer, YEY!!

Steph’s piece.  (You can also check out her review of the Faire on her blog Share the Love)

Last but not least, Kathy’s piece.  This is Britt’s mom (my partner in crime for The Savoir Faire)

A real group of creative souls.  I hope all of the ladies had as much fun as I did.  Anyone wanting to do this piece at home can head to my Etsy shop and buy a kit.

Have you guys started your shopping yet? Christmas is coming…


The One & Only Arts & Crafts Fair

The Sandy Hill’s One & Only Craft Fair on Sunday certainly did not disappoint.  I was sitting was a great group of ladies, had great sales and bought a few great Christmas gifts.  Not to mention the free food buffet, pretty yummy.  Helene Lacelle was a great hostess and I can only hope things go as well for my fair on Sunday :).  Welcome to my new subscribers from the fair!!!

One of my goals this year is to try to buy as many handmade/local gifts as possible.  I think it is very important to support small business and the local economy whenever possible.  I am a huge fan of Etsy and local craft fairs.  So, I figured why not start at the One & Only.  My first purchase I really couldn’t help.  Sitting across from me was Olive & Ella with her gorgeous group of pillows and sewn creations.  One in particular kept calling my name ALL day.  It was a deer made of homemade felt on a background of tweed type material.  Felt and tweed, together??  Enough to make my heart swoon, haha.  I know I am a dork.  I kept checking all day to make sure it was still there.  I had the same thing happening with my neighbour the lovely Michelle of My Jacket Pocket.  She was coveting one of my paintings and kept checking to see if anyone bought it.  Of course it was the same painting about ten people picked up and liked entitled “Sometimes we all need help to fly”.

Of course the piece sold and Michelle was sadly disappointed.  First thing I did after that was head over to Munia at Olive & Ella and buy that pillow!!!

Isn’t it awesome?  Here is the back part.  Of course Amelia had to stick her little ginger head in there as she hates it when I do anything without her.

 I also made a purchase from Michelle, she will be at the Savoir Faire on Sunday, by the way.  She had these very cool vintage looking pendant watches which were selling like hotcakes.  I was afraid she would have none left by Sunday so I ended up buying one.  This is it closed.  Check out all of the filigree detail.   Beautiful I say.

Here it is open, I have yet to figure out how to set it, haha.

I also had Meeka’s Creations as a neighbour.  I bought some sock monkeys and creatures from her last year for Christmas.  This year she had some awesome printed T-shirts that I thought would be perfect for one of my daughter’s friends who happens to also be a neighbour and practically another daughter.

My last little goodie was a swap.  She wanted one of my paintings so she paid some and traded one of her knitted partly felted bracelets.  It was from Geminidream and unfortunately she does not have a website.  All of her stuff had great texture though.  The bracelet is a little simple so I will definitely be adding a little something to it to make it more Renee.

I am out for the night but I hope to see you all Sunday and just a little reminder of the workshops going on throughout the day.  You can check them out here.

Weekend Recap

To say my November is busy is a complete understatement.  Teaching, birthdays and craft fairs, I am having a hard time catching my breath but enjoying every minute of it.  This past weekend was a perfect example so I thought I would give a little weekend recap.  Two birthday celebrations and I was in an Art & Craft fair on Sunday.  I have realized that the trick is to be present in the current moment and try not to worry about that never ending to do list (it will always be there :) or what is next on the agenda.

On Saturday I got to spend the afternoon with my girlfriends in the Gatineau Park to celebrate Rachel’s b-day.  We went for a nice hike on the sugar bush trail in Chelsea.

Here we are starting out.

Jen brought her beautiful munchkins.  Made me wish I had of brought my girls.

It was such a gorgeous sunny day.  Here is some bright green moss I found on a tree.  I kind of wanted to take some home to put in my terrarium but wasn’t sure if that was kosher.

I found an old tree leaned on another with a giant knot in it that went through the entire tree.  Super cool.  Would have been nice to take that home too, for my garden, haha.

 We started to get a little cold so figured it was time for some warm drinks.  I was super excited to check out the new coffee shop Biscotti’s but unfortunately they were too busy and there wasn’t enough space for all of us.

So, we went to one of my favourite places, the Chelsea Pub.  They put on a new addition to an old heritage building and did a great job keeping with the esthetic.  Also gives them a lot more space which they greatly needed.

They were all decorated, Christmas is in the air.  Looking forward to decorating our house.

On Sunday, I was in the Sandy Hill’s One & Only Craft Fair (more on that later) and we also celebrated another important birthday, which was our little Ava’s.  Well, she isn’t so little anymore.  She turned 8.  Next thing you know she will be driving off to go hang out with her friends, haha.  Through all of the chaos I wanted to make sure that she got a home baked birthday cake.  It is something I try to do for all of the girls on their birthday.  They at the very least get home baked cupcakes.

I know, pretty sad isn’t it?  It certainly isn’t my best decorating job but Chris thought I was crazy to attempt any of it at all with everything going on.  Here she is while we sing to her.

Finally blowing out the candles as she took her time making her wish.  I wonder what she wished for?????

Well, this post was a little less of my art and more of my soul but one must keep a balance.

More Man Mixed Media

So, I have a fair coming up this Sunday which I am pretty excited about.  It is my first year attending.  It is Sandy Hill’s One & Only Arts & Crafts Fair which is at the Sandy Hill Community Centre from 10am to 4pm.  Should be a lot of fun and there is a free buffet.  Free food, how can you go wrong?

Due to this fair, I thought I should whip up some little darlings for people to purchase and give to loved ones over the holidays (without breaking the bank).  I have been feeling pretty inspired this week so whip up, I did!!  Here are some butterfly cuties.

Here are some houses I was inspired to do from my Quebec City post.

Creating the manly piece last week made me realize that I don’t have very many masculine paintings, so it inspired me to create more man mixed media pieces.  I thought, guys like to fish right?  Why not give them something cooler and much more esthetically pleasing than a stuffed fish to hang on the wall…

I think I might do more of those, I had a blast making them.

The last piece I am going to share is a fun little one.  First, I wanted to remind you all that mixed media does not have to be expensive and really lends itself well to reusing/recycling.  I wanted to create a tree with texture so I took some shredded red paper and just applied it with a generous amount of medium.  The paper obviously isn’t the right colour.

So I just painted over it.  I also used left over brown bits of paper to create the trunk.

I then had some pink trim which wasn’t the right colour.

I just painted over it as well and grunged it up a little with a brown Faber Castell Pitt Pen.

Now, the final piece.   I like the contradiction of the stuffy looking business man taking flight courtesy of his umbrella and he really seems to be enjoying it, going with the flow.

I hope you all have an amazing weekend planned.  Not only do I have a fair, I get to hike in the Gatineau Park and check out a new coffee shop I have been wanting to see.  All with my girlfriends, to celebrate a birthday, YEY!!