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Monday Journal- Parchment Paper Flowers

It has been quite a while since I have done a Monday Journal page/post.  So, I thought I would head over to see what the challenge is this week on Collage Obsession to try and inspire me.  This week’s theme is gardening.  It reminded me of the parchment paper flowers that I wanted to try and recreate from the Art of Wild Abandonment class I have been finishing up this week.  This is a class from Junelle Jacobson that I started almost a year ago (where does the time go?) and have been trying to get done before it expires, haha.  I have been sketching all of the projects just to get myself in the habit of sketching as I am not a big fan.  Strange isn’t it?  An artist that doesn’t really like to draw.  I just like getting right in there and getting dirty.

Here is the sketch I did of her project.  I finished it up with some Faber Castell Pitt Pens.  I knew I wanted to do the actual project as well since working with the parchment paper really intrigued me.

Parchment Paper Flowers

For the background, I started with covering the pages of my art journal with Absorbent Ground and let that dry.  I then sprayed it with water and applied drops of fluid acrylic in a teal, yellow and red.  Once done, I just smeared it all with my fingers, trying not to overdo it as it would have turned into a muddy brown mess.

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  I got so carried away I forgot to take more pictures of my process, haha.  It was a good day :)  Here is the finished piece.  It isn’t exactly a garden but flowers come from a garden so it should count right?  The flowers were individually cut from parchment paper that I had painted florescent red and covered with Mod Podge.  Covering the parchment with podge once it has been painted is a very important step as the paint will peel right off.

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 The vases were made from vintage sheet music and the centres from Cinamon coloured Stickles (to add a little sparkle).

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 Loving the black stars in the background done with the stencil.

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I finished it off with a quote that just came to me while I did the original sketch which was “Art washes away the dust of every day life” not sure who said it, but it is totally true as it did that exact thing for me today.

Ottawa Children’s Garden

On Wednesday night I took the girls to an eco-art night at the Ottawa Children’s Garden on the corner of Main and Clegg.   It is Ottawa’s first dedicated children’s garden. It’s big purpose is to serve as a space to engage and educate the senses, the mind and the imagination in terms of our relationships with nature. The bigger purpose is to have fun in the process.

Ottawa Children's Garden

This is the adorable fence that surrounds the gardens.

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 Most Wednesday nights throughout the summer they offer free eco-art sessions for families.  All they ask for is a small donation to cover the cost of the supplies.

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 This past Wednesday we made lavender buddies.  The coordinator of the art events, Aamina, got some wool from an actual sheep farm and the lavender was taken from the garden.  (Isn’t that felted lady in the bowl the coolest?)

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 Here is Ava starting her creation.

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 Amelia treasure hunting for beads, she was in heaven.

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 I love that they encourage the kids to pick the veggies right from the plant and have a nibble.  It really encourages kids to eat and try things they might not at home.

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 Pretty Echinacea.

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 There is a pretty cool twig hut in the garden which was created by Marc Walter.  The lighting really does not do it justice.  Amelia just loved it.

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 I couldn’t get her out of it.

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 Another cute structure that reminds me of a little school house.

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 Making a new friend.

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 The girls completed projects.  They smell delightful.

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Proud of their creations.

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I will be teaching a painting with fruits and vegetables class on August 28th which I am looking forward to.   It is such a great space and they are always looking for local help with the general upkeep of it.  It truly is an example of what is good in the world as it is loved and cared for by local families and neighbours of the park who come out to help with the compost, weeding and anything else that needs done.

Just in case you are interested in attending any of their upcoming events…

Eco-Art – Needle Felting 
Wed Aug 14, 6:30-7:30pm
Sculpt a little mouse using raw wool and a special barbed needle.
Suitable for over 5 years old, accompanied by an adult helper (needles are very sharp).
Donations appreciated to cover material costs ($4/kit).
Registration required: please email to reserve your spot.

Eco-Art – Sushi Roll Beads
Wed Aug 21, 6:30-7:30pm
Make colourful beads by agitating raw wool with soap and water.
Suitable for all ages, under 8 must be accompanied by an adult helper.
Donations appreciated to cover material costs ($4/kit).
Registration required: please email to reserve your spot.

Potluck Event – Sunshine Tea Fairy Garden Party
Sat Aug 24, 11-12:30pm
A fun-filled fantasy potluck party, dress up as your favourite woodland creature (fairy, frog…) and mingle amongst the flowers.
Suitable for all ages.
11-11:30 – face painting + crafts
11:30 -12 – potluck lunch + sunshine tea
12-12:30 – fairy circle (songs +games)
Donations appreciated to help us continue to offer programming to the community.
If you want to help or have any questions, please email

Eco-Art- Painting With Fruits + Veggies
Wed Aug 28, 6:15-7pm
Join local artist, Renee Savoie, of Peaberry™ Designs for this hands-on art workshop using the fruits (+ veggies) of our garden for some creative fun.
Suitable for all ages, under 5 must be accompanied by an adult helper.
Wear appropriate clothes, it could get messy.
Donations appreciated to cover material costs.
Registration required: please email to reserve your spot.

Hope to see you there!!


Baby Boy Shower

Happy hump day all!!  I thought I would share some of the goodies I had prepared for the décor of my friend Rachel’s baby boy shower from the weekend.

This is me preparing some letters to be used throughout the shower.  I spray painted them with chalkboard paint so mom & dad could later write messages to their little bundle on them.

Baby Boy Shower

I added felt ribbon to the tops and hung them from the chandelier in the kitchen.  The mobile I showed you last week was also hanging from the other side of the chandelier.  Now she can use both in the nursery as décor.

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Here was the candy bar that was a group effort.  Three of us hosted the shower and we all had different tasks but everything came together so incredibly well.

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A sign for the table.

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The adorable baby cupcakes.

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Here is one of the centerpieces I made which sat on the food table.  Rachel is a huge owl lover (as am I) so you will see them pop up here and there.

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The little wish tree I created to hang…

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everyone’s well wishes on.

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Here is my Milah in front of the bunting I made for the fireplace that had stuff for the baby such as new socks and a onesie.

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Another little framed piece that I thought they could use to write baby’s birthdate, weight, length and all those little details on so they are not forgotten.

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Another little guy.

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My gift to the new little man, a painting for the nursery.  Rachel is also a huge fan of monkeys and kind of wanted to incorporate both into the room.  Written on the painting is “Unlikely friends are the best kind”.

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This was the sign at the door to remind people to pick up their favors on the way out which were little mint chocolate monkeys I made with molds (that I picked up at Micheals).  Unfortunately the lighting isn’t great so you can’t see them but the tags have little owls and the date on them.

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Here is the proud mom with her painted belly.  Her sister in-law painted the owl along with all of the kids faces.

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 We all had such a great day and didn’t want to leave.

Hope this inspires you to get creative for your next baby shower.

Abstract with Andrea

It sort of all came together at the last minute, but last night I got to do some abstract with Andrea Warren.  She is the local Golden Paints rep who has been doing some pretty cool classes for a very long time and I have been dying to meet her for years.  She had a two day class entitled “Big is Beautiful” that I really wanted to attend but the second day (which was today) was the day of one of my bestie’s baby shower.  I thought I might push my luck and ask to just attend the Friday night (you don’t know till you try right?)  To my luck, Andrea was more than accommodating and allowed me to come, YEY!!

Look at the yummy assortment of fluid acrylics that greeted us on the table when we got in.  I couldn’t wait to play!!

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Here is Andrea instructing.  Sorry about the face Andrea, if I would have noticed right away I would have taken another, haha.

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She had plastic sheets all over the floors for our canvases and encouraged us to get as messy as we liked.  We got to play with Tar Gel (she added black to it) and Self Leveling Gel first.

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Here is one of the pieces with the Self Levelling Gel which we could mix with whatever colour we wanted.  She even had iridescents :)

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Another piece with the Self Leveling and the Tar Gel.

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I am pretty open to most creative things but am not usually an abstract kind of gal so I brought a mixed media piece I had done years ago for my office (which I no longer need or like much).  It was very cathartic covering it up with both gels.  I am in love with that cooper colour.

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Once we were done those we got to play to play with Fiber Paste and Molding Paste.  Look at all the thick goodness that Kathleen is playing with.  Everyone got to prepare backgrounds they were going to paint over the next day.

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I started this Triptych adding turquoise to my Molding Paste and made flower bases with the Fiber Paste.

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First layer so far.  I am digging the orange, the others, not so much.  It is only the beginning though.

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I am excited to experiment with this at home as the Fiber Paste becomes absorbent and paper like when it dries so you can even use water colour over it.  Should be interesting, stay tuned!!

Category: Classes, Mixed Media  Tags:  One Comment

Circular Felt Mobile

Hi there, I have been preparing for one of my best friend’s baby shower all this week.  She is having a boy so it is all about the blues and chocolate browns for her.  I am in charge of decorations so I thought I might share one of the projects I did.  I want to make as much of the stuff as I can myself.  On top of not being able to find everything I need, it is so much more heartfelt that way and I am hoping some will be used in the nursery.

I am a huge lover of felt.  Why?  Not sure, probably because of the texture.  Me and texture.  Must be my tactile nature.  Anyway, I digress.  Felt, yes, I wanted to make her a mobile out of it.  Even the “ribbon” is made from it.  I cut the circles using my Sizzix Cuttlebug (which I don’t think you can buy anymore, btw).  I was concerned it might not cut through but it even cut two layers for some of the thinner sheets.  Here it is all pinned up and ready to go.

Circular Felt Mobile

I picked out some leather looking buttons to add to the bottoms from my vintage stash.  They look pretty boyish don’t you think?

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I hand stitched them all down the centre.  Then tied the three ends together in a knot.

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I then pulled out a vintage wooden embroidery hoop with a beautiful aged look to it (that I had been saving for a special project) and mounted the three pieces to it.

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Had to take it for a test run to make sure it hung evenly.

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Hopefully it makes it into the little guy’s room.  Maybe above his change table or something.   The rest of the projects I shall keep to myself until after the shower in case Mama reads this :)

Category: Mobiles  Tags:  5 Comments

Danielle Daniel Girls

I finally had a chance to finish up my Danielle Daniel girls I had started while at Sugar & Spice in Port Townsend, WA.  I struggled with the class because it was my first time doing faces so I only managed to get three of them done (which I had done a post about here).  I still had three backgrounds left from the class that I vowed to finish so that I would be forced to keep working on my faces, haha.  I find Danielle’s girls are just so interesting and the colouring in their faces is great.

Danielle Daniel Girls

Although I still have a long way to go, I was much more relaxed about the whole process this time and really enjoyed myself.

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I even tried a different expression with this one.

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I then took all six of my girls and bound them up together with a couple of pieces of water colour paper and decorated it with washi tape.  Danielle had given us a little piece of canvas with her “true stories matter here” so I added that as well.

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I just created a tab that I stuck to the back of one of the girls with washi tape.

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I put a brad in so I had somewhere to attach my baker’s twine then wrapped it around the entire bundle.

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Now I have them all together as a keepsake and a little reminder that being taken out of your comfort zone is a good thing as it is an opportunity to grow.  I am heading to Danielle’s retreat in September which looks amazing if anyone wants to join me, it should be great fun!!

Inner Goddess to the Great Mustache Migration

I had the absolute pleasure of teaching some mixed media techniques in my Inner Goddess class to a couple of gals at the Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace last weekend while I was in Vermont.

Here I am being a total dork getting my photo taken next to the chalkboard with my name on it.

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I finally remembered to get a photo of Mary (owner of Vintage Inspired) and I.  I love that gal, wish we lived in the same town.  Check out all the goodies behind us.

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This was my view looking up from my perch at the end of the table in the classroom area.  So cool, I would love to move in and call this building my home.

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Both of the ladies were so warm and creative.  I had a great day with them.  Here is one of the girls, Julie, working on her colorful background.

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Here is the beginnings of her gorgeous piece.  My favourite quote from Julie of the day was “I had been looking for something more in my life, I think I may have found it”.

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Here is LeeAnn working diligently on her piece which she is planning on giving to a friend as a gift.  What a special way to show someone you care.  My favourite quote from her was “It just makes me SO happy”.  Unfortunately, my photo of her canvas didn’t turn out :(

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Both of the ladies were mixed media virgins so it was pretty exciting watching them discover how much fun it is.

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Here is the canvas I was using to show examples of different techniques.  It was going to be a goddess but all the drip marks looked like stems to me so I flipped it around and made flowers with my pastels.  This is what it looked like before I left Vermont.

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When I got home and had time to finish up my piece, mustaches were calling to me for some reason and I just went with it.  I used a white Shiva Artist Paintstik to tone down the background.

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A butterfly and some circles topped with black ink and some rub-ons.

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My flowers needed more texture so I used Maya Road Kraft Layerable Flowers , blue pastel and pink gelatos for the centers.

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 Here is the Great Mustache Migration finished.  Or so I think.  I may end up tweaking some things over the next few days.

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It is a far cry from the girl she was going to be, haha.  I do believe you must go with what  is calling to you though.  Things always seem to turn out so much better that way don’t you think?

Thankful Thursday – Gratitude for this week

My lovely friend Joyelle Brandt did a Thankful Thursday post over on her blog which inspired me to do one of my own – thanks gorgeous!!

These are the things I am thankful for this week…

1. My amazing, beautiful and supportive family.

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2. Week-end trips to Vermont. (This was across from our campsite)

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3. Getting to spend the summer with these monkeys and create lasting memories.

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4. These florescent goodies I picked up in Seattle a couple weeks ago at Dick Blick, which I am hoping to get to play with tonight.

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5. Mother Nature in all it’s splendor.  It never ceases to amaze and inspire me.  Aren’t those roots outstanding?  This was on the way to Smuggler’s Notch from Stowe, VT.  The mountain road was finally open and the drive was breathtaking.

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 What are you thankful for on this fine, sunny, summer Thursday??

Canada Day Sale

With our big national holiday coming up a few of us Canadian gals from the retreat thought we would celebrate each other with a sale.  So on July 1st we will all be having a 15% off Canada Day sale in our Etsy shops.  It is so cool how we are all mixed media artists but our stuff is all so different.  Such an amazing art form I think :)

First up is Joyelle of Brandt Creations

“I believe the three most important things in this life are love, kindness and gratitude. My dream is to be a beacon of light, inspiring others to pursue their passions. I hope that viewing my work connects you to your true purpose in life and reminds you of your inherent right to joy.”

Here are a couple of recent additions to her shop:


Canada Day Sale


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Next up is Nolwenn of Inner Voices

“I am a daydreamer. a believer. a self-proclaimed Gratitude Warrior. mom of 2 girls. spouse of the bestest man on Earth. a Practical Reiki Master. a positivist. I am a bookaholic. a Creator. a music listener. an ARTIST, specialized in mixed media paintings.”

Some new little goodies from her shop:

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     Here is one of my new little pieces.  I created a few new male oriented pieces to represent the guys out there who seem to be poorly represented in the Canada Day Sale5mixed media world.  You can find him and others in my shop.   I will hopefully be adding a few more pieces over the next few days until the big day.

You can take advantage of our sale by entering the coupon code CANADA15 in all three of our shops on Canada Day.

Hope you all have an amazing long weekend!!! I am off to teach a canvas class in Vermont this weekend at the Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace in Burlington.  So excited and can’t wait to see Mary (the sweetest shop keeper ever).  Hopefully I don’t spend too much money while I am there :)

Juliette Crane at Sugar & Spice

My last art day was spent with the lovely Juliette Crane.  It was the ideal way to finish up with the retreat.  Juliette has this calming aura about her that makes you feel at ease immediately.  Just being in her presence brought me peace.  Her teaching and painting style is so laid back.  She just lets her characters emerge from her markings.  It encouraged me to just kind of let things happen and not force things.

Juliette Crane

 She is a layering junkie like me, but creates different backgrounds on paper, then tears them apart to add to her pieces.  Such a great way to add another dimension to your art.

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 The girls taking it in.

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Juliette showing us the beginnings of her animals.

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Lots of sprays and stencils started my first piece off.  I got to use the new Liquitex acrylic spray paint in florescent orange (thanks to Andrea) with my Zinnia Crafter’s Workshop stencil.  LOVED it.  I can’t buy them locally yet but our local Wallack’s says they are coming in July, woooo!!

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 Here was a separate piece on watercolour paper made with layers of ink, paint, pastels and paint pens.  I then tore it apart and added another layer to the above canvas board.  Felt kind of weird ripping it apart at first but ended up being a little cathartic.  It is a great way to keep you from being too attached to a background as well.

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 This is what I ended up with.  It isn’t quite finished yet but for my first owl I am pretty happy with it.

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For my next piece I cut up one of the gelli-plate prints I had created and stuck it into my art journal to start off my background.  It gave me a jumping off point for my colours on this one.

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 A fox and deer are what emerged for me.  I totally had a blast making these, they were just so fun!!  My poor little deer needs a touch-up on her forehead as my journal pages stuck together in my suitcase.

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Myself and Juliette.  Check out her genuine, beautiful smile…

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And this beautiful bunny of hers.

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I got to come home with this little guy for my studio, so happy.  He just makes me smile.

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Juliette was the perfect person to help us transition back to our re-entry into the real world.  Getting back to reality was a tough one (although I did miss my family very much).  The instructors and ladies I met on this retreat I will always hold close to my heart and hope that we can find a way to all see each other again soon.