Author Archive

Texture Hunting

 I hope everyone had a great, long, Easter weekend.  I got two days off in a row, for the first time in a while and got to get out of Dodge and visit some family.  It was great.  One of the things we always like to do when the family gets together is all go for a walk.  This time we got to tour an old family farm property that I was a little more than excited to visit.  The property has an old abandoned home and huge old barn on it.  I had my camera ready as I wanted to do some texture hunting through all of the old wood and machinery.

Here is the old house that once upon a time housed two families and has sat empty for almost 50 years.

Texture Hunting

  The little addition.

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The front door.  I sooooo wanted to go in and have a look around.  Unfortunately the owner (Uncle Jim) was sick in bed and the place is always locked up.

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Check out the detail on the hinges.  They just don’t make things like they used to.

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The entire place was put together with these handmade nails, incredible.

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Old latch on the barn (of which I forgot to take a shot of the entire thing, ugh!!).

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Look at the amazing texture and colour on this door.

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Milah inside the barn.

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More metal work.

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The girls climbed up into the loft.  Love the colour of the old roof.

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This metal piece looked older then the rest.

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The old truck in the barn.

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You can see a bit of the old stone foundation of the barn here behind Miss Millie blowing her Easter bubbles.

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Such a fun afternoon and I just had to share some of the pics with you.  Thinking it would be an amazing spot for a photo shoot, hrm…  Can’t wait to go back!!

Monday Journal – Believe

I have been experiencing a bit of a lull in creativity lately.  I know that is normal and it brings to mind something Stephanie Lee said in an interview that it is kind of like breathing and is totally natural.  I am struggling to remember that as I am getting a little frustrated when I show up to the paper and nothing happens.  So, for this art journal session I decided to immediately start with a word on my page (which I usually tend to leave until the end) to force myself to BELIEVE that I will soon be able to exhale and have the inspiration come.


It started slowly at first, added some pastel lines (filling them in), polka dots and dashes, then…


I got totally into it and forgot to take pictures of the progress, haha.  I believed and this is what happened.  I was inspired by the cover of the book Creative Thursday by Marisa Anne.


Kind of hard to back track as you can’t see some of the layers in the background but I promise there were some cool looking ink drops (that you can kind of get a glimpse of).  Lots of pastel and some rub-ons but mostly I wanted to point out that you don’t always need to use a stencil in it’s entirety.  Here I used sludge in only three sections of the Crafter’s Workshop stencil Peacock Pattern.


I then used only one to give my balloon some texture.


Love the simplicity of their faces and the blue glow I created around them (so they don’t compete with the busy background) with my True Blue Portfolio pastel.  I love how they go on like butter, so creamy.


 Hopefully this means I am officially out of my rut.  Next week I think I am finally going to get with the times and do a video tutorial.  That way I won’t miss stuff.  Happy creating all XO.

Blossoming Love

Hi there, just wanted to give you a sneak peak and share the story of this commission piece I received last summer and thankfully the couple are friends of ours and there was no deadline.  I am sure they probably regretted saying that to me after all this time however, haha.

They handed me a bag of memorabilia from a trip to Japan they took many years ago and basically said “Here, do your thing”.  No guidelines, no colours, no timeline?  Most artists would love this but as I had a bag of precious momentos I was to create with, I was honoured and terrified all at the same time.

I started with putting the easiest thing down first, newspapers.  I love the look of them and didn’t have to cut them up.

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I then dry brushed over them with a teal paint and added purple and white circles over top.

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Then my large scale wall panel that I use as a stencil with the Liquitex Spray Paint (which is great because you can use it indoors and it doesn’t smell).

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Next came using their ticket stubs for the tree trunk.  Then, I got stuck… for months and months it sat there.  This huge piece that sat in my dining room staring at me every time I walked by it in this ugly stage that I couldn’t get past.  Quietly urging me to take it out of it’s misery.  To make matters worse, I had a kids birthday party at the house and I had to get it off the floor to protect it and the only place that was big enough for it was above my couch in the living room.  Which put it in my sights even more.

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I finally decided to take control and bring it into the shop to force myself to get past the ugly.  I started working on the smaller branches and finally started to get excited about it again as it was finally starting to resemble the vision I had for it.

But alas, this didn’t last long as I started getting to the more personal stuff which I knew I needed to really cut into.  The hotel bills with their names on it, the e-mails about the trip, the little notes back and forth on things.  I felt a little bit like a voyeur but I realized that this time in their life was when their love blossomed and I am one of the lucky ones that got to witness it unfolding (without actually having been there).  I was already a huge fan of them both but it made me adore them that much more.  It was pretty cool but the guilt of cutting it up started to set in.  Luckily, the two of them happened to pop by the store, genuinely seemed to like the progress so far and insisted I keep going.  After all, that is why they gave it to me.  They wanted it out so they could see and enjoy it as opposed to it sitting in a drawer for years.

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Of course I had to do a cherry blossom tree because it was a trip to Japan and I turned the rest of the ephmera into flowers.  I mixed them up with traditional Japanese papers as well.

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In the middle of the tree trunk I wanted to add S + L in a heart but not all letters in English translate to Japanese.  Most translate into sounds and others don’t exist at all so instead I used the symbol for LOVE.

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Red is very much a colour associated with Asian cultures as it corresponds to fire (one of the earth elements), symbolizes good fortune and joy.  Which is why I chose to outline all the flowers with it but I used a Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam Paint because it is semi-opaque and you can still see all of the writing underneath.  I also got to use the coins they brought back for some of the centers.

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What’s next?  Put a bird on it (or two).  Scott who can talk to just about anyone is the more outgoing of the two so consequently has an open beak while Liz is the quiet strength behind the couple.

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Here is the finished piece I entitled “Blossoming Love”.  It seems far away because it is huge (yes, that’s what she said, haha)

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I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed getting to know them better and making it for them.

Monday Journal – Ink Blowing

Sundays are my regular kids mixed media classes and yesterday, all were sick but one.  I thought she was going to be bored but it worked out well as I was able to give her my undivided attention.  It ended up being one of the most heart warming experiences I have had as an artist and a teacher.  She asked if we could look at one of my art journals and insisted on an explanation for each and every piece, how I did it and why.  She even wanted to know the meaning behind each.   This girl is 7 (she also just happens to have the same name and middle name as my youngest) and I was shocked she was so interested.  That and the fact that she was so complimentary and in genuine awe, page after page.  Funny, as I have been in the same situation as her admiring someone else’s work but have not asked any questions.  She mentioned that she would never be as good an artist as I.  So, I decided I would sit down and create the ink blowing project right along side of her, both of us in our art journals.  I explained to her that I wasn’t a better artist, just one with more experience was all.  She just needed to show up to the page to gain that experience.

The first thing we did was gesso our pages so the ink would move around better as opposed to being soaked up by the paper.  We used india ink with a regular old plastic straw and blew it around.

Ink Blowing

We then created a heart stencil out of plain white paper and used the cut out part as a mask on the other side.

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 It was fun keeping things basic and not over thinking which products to use and where to place things.  That is my general philosophy with the kids “don’t over-complicate things”.  It was kind of a lesson for myself as well.  Why don’t I do that more often?  The only extra things I used were the Stabilo Woody 3 in 1 pencils (which write on almost anything and can also be used as a water colour) and the Faber Castell Gelatos (which are like liptsick and go on like butter).

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 I added some pieces of vintage pattern paper here and there.

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 I decided I would dedicate this layout to teaching due to the amazing experience I had just had.

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 I added the quote “The mediocre teacher tells.  The good teacher explains.  The superior teacher demonstrates.  The great teacher inspires.”

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 I just rubbed the Gelatos with my finger and used a vintage bird image to add a little something more as there were quite a few hearts.

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 My little addition to the quote.

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 I realized my little student also taught me something on that sunny Sunday morning.  Sometimes as adults we are so afraid of appearing to pry or being improper that we forget to show genuine interest or sincere appreciation and awe.  I will hopefully in future remember to be so bold and just ask questions.  If  they don’t want to answer, they won’t but if they do, I might just get to know them a whole lot better and make a genuine connection with another human being.

Category: Art Journal  4 Comments

Love Mini Album

Love Mini Album

The day of love is tomorrow :)  Just in case you were looking for something meaningful to throw together for a special person in your life, I thought I would share the love mini album I taught in class last night.

I picked my colour palette from an Echo Park paper pack called Sweet Day.  Then added a little craft and black throughout.

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The base of the album is all cardboard with a white wash over them.  I wanted to keep things simple as we only had about three hours to finish so the only paints I took out were my Ranger Adirondack Paint Dabbers in the colour palette.  I used them to make polka dots on one side and applied a tree trunk stencil in the same colour on the opposite side.  No brushes, no mess, it was great.

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 I didn’t want it to look too contrived so used different things for the numbers such as stamps, office stickers and Webster’s Pages Storytellers.  I also treated each layout as a separate piece.

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I used felt hearts, vintage buttons, blue graph paper to write on and black throughout to try and keep it a little more cohesive.

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I always have to use vintage papers in everything as well.

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Loving the little paper bags to use as pockets for the things that might not be for public consumption.

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 Hope you all have an amazing Valentine’s Day and are able to celebrate it with the people you love whether you are single or not.  After all, love is what makes your soul crawl out from it’s hiding place.

Crafty Chicks Love

Crafty Chicks

Welcome to the Crafty Chicks February Blog Hop!  We are a group of creative gals who met on the web and decided to come together and share our passion for paper crafting with you.

If you are coming from Heidi’s blog, welcome!

Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner I thought I would make a Crafty Chicks Love mixed media piece.  I started with a 12″X12″ canvas and covered it with a vintage pattern and added some chevroness with a stencil.

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 Then I cut up 9 3″x3″ pieces from different patterned papers and added a couple different blues in paint with my “Hearts all Over” Penny Black stamp.

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 This piece certainly isn’t lacking any hearts as I added Donna Downey’s foam heart stamp with black paint then created another one with a vintage zipper I had laying around.  The zipper was a bit fussy on the curves but just make sure you really soak it with medium or Mod Podge to get it down.

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 Then one more heart in the hand of this lovely who I found in a Cosmo Cricket Element Deck.  I finished it off by stamping the word love onto it.

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Here it is in it’s entirety.  It is now available in the store for anyone wants to take her home.

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Our sponsor for this month is 3 Girl Jam!!


You can win a $25 gift certificate to get yourself some goodies from their shop.  To be eligible to win our fabulous prize you need to tell us the newest products released by 3 Girl JAM, so head on over and check it out.  Then indicate you have done so in the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 This is a full circle hop, so if you have started with me you should head to Piali’s Blog next and see her gorgeous project.

Monday Journal – Mixed Media Garden

With the new year here and the holidays over I thought it was time to get back into the routine and my weekly art journal creations to keep my creative soul in check.  This week I thought I would do a mixed media garden.

I always have pages with paint and stencil leftovers from other projects.  This one I had started at the Beyoutiful Souls retreat in Red Deer.  It was Lauren’s stencil and I just had to try it before I left.

Mixed Media Garden

I then added some tree patterned napkins and some dollar store tissue squares for my grass that I discovered thanks to Danielle Daniel.

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Then just stenciled over the tissue paper in a lighter green and added the pink lacey stencil on the left.

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I loved this flowery paper and colours so I just cut my blooms right from it.

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I then topped them with a perching Raven (whose beak should have been much longer, haha).

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This quote by Shakespeare has been especially speaking to me with the arrival of the new year.   “Expectation is the root of all heartache”.   I have realized all these expectations I have had with life and following my dreams haven’t exactly been all they are cracked up to be and have been causing some heartache.

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Which leads me to my word of the year which I have been carefully pondering so it will help guide me through the next year.  Stay tuned…

Steve Coffin – Stirring the Brew

Hello all, I just wanted to introduce you to my new friend Steve Coffin.  I am super excited that Studio & Boutique Peaberry will be showcasing his new collection “Stirring the Brew” at the end of the month.

Steve Coffin

Stirring the Brew
Coffee Art Series – by Steve Coffin
“This series is an exploration of a new way of painting for me. It came about as an experiment to make some aged paper for an Artist friend and then it expanded into some of my most favourite canvas pieces.
The Coffee has a really rich colour and a stillness like a moment in a Café. It invites you in and allows me to explore many subjects from figurative to landscapes.
The Coffee, by nature, is a very wet and unpredictable medium. And as much as the Artist likes to think that they are in control sometimes the paintings paint themselves.
The Coffee keeps you awake, much like the caffeine when you drink it, and you just follow to see where you end up. Over time the piece develops and then the Art appears.
As an Artist this has been a lesson in letting go and flowing. The Coffee no matter hard you try does not respect your boundaries and it goes where it wants. So sit down in the Café, have a Coffee and see where it takes you….”

VERNISSAGE will be on

January 31, 2014

7pm to 9pm

112 Rue Principale, Aylmer

(Entrance on Park Street).

Come soak it all in over a glass of wine (or a coffee if you prefer :)

 Samples of Steve Art can be seen on his website at

Crafty Chicks Valentine “Bee Mine”

Crafty ChicksWelcome to the Crafty Chicks Valentine Blog Hop!  I have just become part of the Crafty Chicks group and I am pretty exciting.   They are a group of creative gals who met on the web and decided to come together and share our passion for paper crafting with you.  Each month there is a different theme and this month it is Valentines.  If you are coming from Scrappin’ Madge’s blog, welcome!

I thought I would make some wee Valentine’s Day cards for my project.  I decided to use a Webster’s Pages gorgeous postcard set for the base of my cards.  Actually, all of the paper products for this project are from WP.

Crafty Chicks Valentine

I just took the postcards and folded them in half.  From front to back, they are so pretty.

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I used a cheapy bee stamp I got at Micheals with black ink on patterned paper and punched it out with a 1 3/4 inch circle punch.

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I then cut a small strip from the same paper and inked the word mine on it.  Both were applied with pop-up dots to a different patterned card stock (which I rounded the corners and inked first).

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I also tied a little baker’s twine before attaching it to the cards.

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I kept the inside simple, with just a little “For You” and the date.  So there is lots of room to write some sweetness.  I will have a few sets of these available in the boutique.

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I also quickly whipped up a normal card to give you an idea of what else you could do with the same idea.

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I am pleased to tell you our sponsor this month is me!!  You will get two packs of the lovely Valentine’s cards I just created and a package of vintage papers and ephemera.

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To be eligible to win our fabulous prize you need to leave a comment on each one of our blogs and indicate you have done so in the Rafflecopter below.  You will also need to visit my shop under “In the Studio” and tell us what workshop fellow crafty chick Krysthle Poitras will be teaching in the store in January.  You can leave the answer below.  You have until January 15th to enter.  Good luck!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

This is a full circle hop and I am the last, so to start from the beginning head to Krysthles blog.

Felt Bird Ornament

This week I had the pleasure of teaching an ornament workshop to a few lovely ladies.  It was nice to get a chance to sit down, create and get to know them a little better.

Felt Bird Ornament

Marie-Claude, our contest winner goofing around.

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This was Lissa’s first time doing any sort of art project and she confessed to me later that she really enjoyed herself and was able to turn everything else off which surprised her.  I absolutely loved that as I feel like art should do that for everyone and usually does :)

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The adorable Shannon took a little break from Littlest Bird Workshop and making soap to come and relax for a bit.

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Now that the workshop is done I thought I would share a little felt bird ornament tutorial with you.  The first thing is to pull out that pile of felt you have lying around (or make your own by accidentally throwing your hubbie’s ugly wool sweater in hot water to wash then into the dryer).  Cut two identical pieces into a bird shape. You should also cut out a wing, although for this one I chose not to as I wanted to add other goodies to it.  I also cut out a little heart from the felt to add as an accent.

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You can add ribbon, trim or buttons even but you need to remember to sew everything on before sewing the two pieces together.

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You also must not forget something to hang the ornament with.  I forgot to do that before putting it together last time and it was a bit of a pain to add it.

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I then used a blanket stitch to sew the little guy up but left a little gap in order to put the stuffing in.  I just used regular thread for this as it is a small piece but on bigger ones I love using embroidery floss.  I usually try to start sewing on the belly area which makes it an easier area to use a pencil to get the stuff into all the nooks and crannies

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Then finish stitching him up and hang on your tree (or give as a give) for a truly handmade Christmas ornament.  There are so many gorgeous colour combinations you could do and little accents like snowflakes.

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Hope the Christmas rush doesn’t have you stressed to the max, have a great weekend!!