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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.

Bird Mixed Media

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

Bird Mixed Media2

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.

Bird Mixed Media3

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.

Bird Mixed Media4

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.

Bird Mixed Media5

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!!

Belated WOTY – Fearless Mixed Media

Fearless Mixed Media1

Boy has this been a long time coming.  Finally, claiming my word of the year-FEARLESS- half way through the year.  Doesn’t seem very fearless does it?  To tell you the truth, I knew very early on what my word had to be as I knew I needed something strong to keep me going through this first, difficult year in business.  My first year without knowing where money was going to come from and when.  I have been working full time for 20 years.  20 years…boy that makes me feel old, haha.  I have always had this huge sense of responsibility and inner strength but as I looked at the year ahead I became terrified for the first time in my life.  Afraid of not being there for my girls, my relationship falling apart and the store not succeeding. I felt I should be riding off into the proverbial sunset since I am getting to follow my dream.  Instead, stress and worry set in and there it has sat, in my gut, festering for months.  To the point where I haven’t been able to really enjoy what I am getting to do every day and completely taking it for granted I might add.

This seemed to really spill over into my work as I started my usual WOTY painting well before January 1, 2014 but here I am at my Beyoutiful Souls art retreat in March still trying to work on my Fearless mixed media piece…

Fearless Mixed Media

and I worked on it for a bit, second guessed myself the whole time so I put it away again.

This last week has thankfully provided me with some clarity and the realization that nothing ever usually goes exactly according to plan and that is ok.  My favourite thing to say to students while painting is “there are no mistakes only happy accidents”.  I am now trying to apply this to life.  So here it is, my fearless warrior, done.  Finally.

Fearless Mixed Media3

I have realized that I may need to make some tweaks, detours and adjustments to the plan, but that is ok, as long as it keeps the dream alive, right?

Category: Mixed Media  One Comment

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?

Altered Photos

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.

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.

Blossoming Love

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

Blossoming Love1

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).

Blossoming Love2

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.

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.

Love Mini Album1

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.

Love Mini Album2

 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.

Love Mini Album3

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.

Crafty Chicks Love

 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.

Mixed Media Garden2

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

Mixed Media Garden3

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…

Monday Journal – Retreat Mixed Media

This past weekend was our first Beyoutiful Souls retreat in Red Deer.  I had such an amazing time and the ladies we had were all wonderful and just dug right in.  I will be doing a post on that later but luckily while I was there I got to have a little creative time in between teaching classes.  I wanted to commemorate the weekend so pulled out my journal and did a retreat mixed media layout.  It was hard not to with all of the art supplies and paper calling my name.

The circular mandala looking paper on the left is a napkin (just remember to remove the two backing pieces before gluing down) and the right teal blue piece is leather that I stitched right into my journal with a sewing machine.

Retreat mixed media

 I added some fabric strips to the far right side and a little bit of lace.  I feel every piece should always have a bit of black in it to ground it so I added black arrows and stenciled some numbers.

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 Love the imprint it left on my hand.

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 Of course I had to use our retreat stamps.  I have a little paper insert in between my two pages so here is the first side.

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 One of the girls at the retreat, Jodi, had the Golden Burnt Umber Glaze which I just had to try and immediately decided I must get some for myself.  It is great for aging and adding a vintage feel.  I just poured it on and rubbed it in.

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 Here is the other side when you flip over the paper insert.  A little piece of leather with a quote on it that was tucked under the butterfly.  I used this side to write the things that resonated with me over the weekend to remind myself and yes there is a bad word in there, haha.  We had a guest speaker on Friday night and it was one of things she said to us.

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Now back to reality, which is pretty great mind you since I get to see my kids and man tonight, but I will miss being submerged in creative goodness and spending time with Lauren, my retreat partner and soul sister.

Antler Mixed Media

Preparations for the store continues and I wanted to add some earthy antlers to the shop but since I am not a fan of taxidermy I thought I would make some antler mixed media pieces.  I got online and looked for a Canadian distributor for Carboard Safari.  They are a company that brings you “environmentally friendly, recycled cardboard creations” which you assemble yourself.  They come in white and brown.  A few even come in black.  The first one I did was called Buck Jr. and I decided to paint him in a teal.

Antler Mixed Media

Then I took my favourite mint spray from Heidi Swap with a flower stencil to give it a bit of dimension.

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So many pieces to these guys, you have to be careful putting them together not to bend the bits.

Antler Mixed Media3

For Fred the moose, I left the craft background and applied black Liquitex Spray Paint with the Crafter’s Workshop Stencil Quatrefoil .  I am loving this new spray product as it has all the convenience of a spray paint without the nasty odour.  It also washes up with water if you get it while it is still wet.

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The antlers on this one even curve forward a little.  The details on these are great.

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I bought a third (because always in odd numbers when it comes to design and balance) which is Micro Tex, the longhorn.  I wanted to leave one in the natural kraft colour and since this guy’s pieces were so tiny I figured it was the best choice.  He even has a little ear tag.

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Don’t they look adorable all together???