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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”.

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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.

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 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.

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 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.

Monday Journal – Inspired by “Creative Girl” Class

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!!!  This isn’t my official kick off the new year post, but I was actually able to get some art journaling done while on vacation and thought I would share.  I hadn’t been able to get any art done for over a month with preparing for the holidays and working 7 days a week.  So, when Chris and I went on our annual anniversary trip to Vermont (more on that later) I was determined to do something.  I was only bringing my Papaya pouch of supplies (which I crammed as many paint pens, Faber Castells and small Golden fluid acrylics in as I could) and an art journal.  It’s a Flora Bowley edition one, love it!!  It is the perfect size for a travel art kit.

Papaya Pouch

I was having a hard time getting inspired due to inactivity until I received an e-mail from Jeanne Oliver saying she was having a flash sale on all of her Creative Network classes (if you aren’t a member, you must sign up.  There are tons of classes, free videos and interviews).  I am not a fan of water colours but love Danielle Donaldson‘s style so when I saw that her Creative Girl class was on sale I was instantly sold.  Here is the first piece I did from her class called the Anatomy of taking flight.

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 Since I was limited in supplies, I didn’t do as many layers as I usually do and was just pounding out the pages.  It helps that I had tons of inspiration.  I always love doing houses and communities but this one is on stilts, adorable.

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Not much of a lettering person either but this was a fun and quick project.

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I decided to follow up with another one immediately, only highlighting the initials for the folks in my family.  Since Amelia and Ava both start with A, I used two colours for that one.  I also made the B and the S darker as those are the initials for our last names (Chris and I live in sin as we haven’t been married so half of us have Savoie and the other Baal).

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Here is the background for the last one I did.  Probably the most simple background I have done AND I left some white.  That never happens, haha.

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 Here is my Badass Girl, she has a cape and everything, ready to take on the world!!!

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Hope you all took some time to get creative over the holidays and relax.  I did and it certainly did me a world of good!!

Monday Journal – Winter Mixed Media

We had our first real snow fall today, WOO!!! Sorry about the photo quality as it is night time.

Winter Mixed Media

Most people dread it, but growing up in Canada, winter is inevitable so you might as well embrace it.  We have learned to find things to do during the winter season and we all snowboard as a family so it gives us something to look forward to.  It also means Christmas is coming :)

I felt inspired to whip up a winter mixed media page since I hadn’t done a Monday journal in a while.  I am in the process of moving my store so my supplies are all over the place.  I worked with what I had.  This page was already started with some stencil wiping.  Then I added more orange, purple and black.

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Then in came the Sharpie twigs and leaves which was inspired by a Flora Bowley painting.

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I then filled in between the branches with Golden Fluid Acrylics.  I used the interference violet over the white and a bit of the blue which you can see a shimmery purple shining through.

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I went over the twigs and leaves again with the Sharpie and then added the quote.

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A quick little art journal piece while watching Netflix to commemorate the first snowfall.  Have an amazing week all!!

Monday Journal – Antler Mixed Media

Sometimes when looking for inspiration I flip through my W Magazine which is a large format fashion/art magazine.  I tear out anything that moves me and this time it was this pic with one of the Olsen twins wearing a funky headband.  Not a fan of the Olsen twins but thought I could make some kind of antler mixed media with it.

The background had already been started from all of my stencil wiping.  I also took down some of the magazine image with Nevr-Dull so the face wasn’t as clear.

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I extended the antlers with a black sharpie.

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 Then painted in some yellow hair and highlighted it with a brown Faber Castell marker.  Then some blue for the eyes and some luscious red lips.

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 I added the quote “she who seeks beauty shall find it” which is what I wanted the theme to my art retreat to be this last weekend.  I think the original quote actually said “he” but I of course, had to change that.

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The finishing touch was adding some crackle paste that was mixed with yellow paint to provide some texture.

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 So next time you are struggling for inspiration, just open up your closest fashion mag and get cracking.

Monday Journal – Bird Mixed Media

What a rainy miserable day today.  Great day to play around in my art journal however.  I knew I wanted to do a bird mixed media as I was missing hearing their songs today.  This was the last available page in my Book of Paris turned art journal.  I love that you can still see some of the images through all the paint and ink I have applied.

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Most of this was already there from my cleaning up of stencils and using up leftover paint.  Love the colour combination.

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I wanted to keep this simple as I had the two youngest girls with me so not a lot of time to create.  (My oldest is gone to camp, 7 hours away from here for over two weeks.  She just left on Saturday and I am already going crazy without her.  Probably because she doesn’t have phone access so we can’t communicate at all, URGH!!)  Anyway, focus Renee, haha.

 So, instead of painting the inside of a stencil I decided to trace it and colour the outside with white Shiva Artist’s Oil Paintstick.

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I was sorting through cards I had received during the opening of the store and one of them had the quote “The reward of a thing well done is to have done it” by Ralph Waldo Emerson which is so true.  So I decided to cut up the card and incorporate this little reminder and stuck the first part to the insert page with a little washi.

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For the opposite page I did the opposite of the first and used the stencil properly with the white oil paintstik.  It was a little difficult to get the fat stick into the little lines of the stencil.  Won’t be doing that again.  I then just stuck the rest of the quote over the birdcage.

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Here you can see the entire insert where I used only part of the same bird stencil from the previous page.

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 Got it all done just in time for Amelia to wake up from her nap, YEY!!  Hope you all have a great week.

One last thing, I still have room in my mixed media canvas workshop at the store on Wednesday if you would like to come down and get your art on!!

Monday Journal – Altered Photos

 For this week’s Monday Journal I did some altered photos as I was inspired by the theme for our upcoming Etsy Craft Party on June 6th.  I pulled out my journal that I had made out of a book to a spot that already had some yellow, blue and pink paint on it from previous projects.  Instant colour scheme.  I added some stars with florescent pink, aren’t they awesome?

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I didn’t take any in between photos unfortunately but this is mostly how is turned out.  It says “Be You, Be Happy, Be Free”

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I used one of my favourite photos of the girls and I on vacation in Quebec city for both techniques.  It took many tries to get us all off of the “jumpolene” (which is what Amelia calls it) at the same time to take that picture.

For the first technique I used paint pens and my favourite Faber Castell Pitt Pens.  Milah is flying away with her ankle wings and Ava sprouted horns.  Totally normal right?  It should be noted that all of the pens work better on photographs printed onto regular paper.

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Here is the same photo but I embroidered it instead.  So many different stitches you can do with both but this technique worked best with actual photographs.  I got bear ears and Amelia some pink socks.  I then just stuck the photos in with good old washi tape.  I really enjoyed this project and will definately be doing some more.

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 Hopefully you will come out to enjoy some photo fun with us on the 6th.  I am quite looking forward to it.


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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…