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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.

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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???

Ladies Who Lunch

I have been terribly neglectful of my poor blog.  I do have good reason.  I have been busy rounding up vendors/products for the store, signing my lease, painting my space, finding furniture, lighting and going to school.  It is exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time!!  So amazing!!

Thought I would take a minute and share a networking event I went to last week at the Westin in Ottawa.  It is an event held monthly and is called Ladies who Lunch put on by Cherry Pie Events.  This is the first time I have ever done anything like this but figured, “hey, I am officially a business woman now, I need to put myself out there”.  So, off I went, all by my lonesome.

Ladies who lunch

We were greeted by this tower of delicious looking cupcakes from The Cupcake Lounge.  They gave us all a yummy pumpkin cupcake, the icing was to die for.  (You will have to excuse the photos, I just had my phone.)

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We got to sit down at these gorgeous tables and listen to the inspiring Karen McClintock.  A local Ottawa treasure who started making jewelry at her kitchen table and has now known international success.

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All of the menus and name tags were designed and made by Bird Dog Design.  The pattern is all high heels, how clever.

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The food was DELISH (I had the Halibut) and the dessert was pretty yum as well.

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I know I got a little distracted here but I just wanted to encourage you all, if given the opportunity, to get out and attend a networking event.  Everyone there was mostly in the same boat as me, although some came with a girlfriend.  There were friendly smiles all around the room waiting for an opportunity to introduce themselves.  The available resources in that room was staggering (I think I may have found my yoga instructor for my upcoming retreat) and if nothing else it was very motivating to meet all of the successful women in the city.

Category: Inspiration  One Comment

Big News prompting a Brockville Roadtrip

After days of running around, making phone calls, doing research and having meetings, I am beyond thrilled to tell you that I have been accepted into a provincial entrepreneurship program and I will be opening my very own brick and mortar store in our little town of Aylmer.  It will be a vintage and upcycled place for local and Canadian artists to share their wares with the world on a daily basis and not just twice a year at the Savoir Faire.  I will be open before Christmas.  WOOO!!

So much to do and things to buy.  First thing, Brockville roadtrip to find some gorgeous furniture and fixtures for the store.  After everyone was dropped off at their respective places for the day I cranked some tunes and hit the road.  It was a beautiful sunny day, I was rocking out to Modest Mouse and was so excited about the prospect of finding some really cool things.  I then had this huge wave of gratitude wash over me and I couldn’t stop crying, haha.  Anyone driving by must of thought I was a tad crazy.  I just had this immense gratitude in my heart for this opportunity, my man for consistently and unwaveringly supporting my dreams and my friends for helping out in any way they can.  I am truly a lucky gal.

Anyway, when I got to Brockville I ended up parking right under this sign.  Thrift store? Don’t mind if I do.  Unfortunately, no goodies were found.

Brockville Roadtrip

Then I walked down to the first reason for my visit, The Collector’s Cove just off of King Street on St. Andrew.  As soon as I pulled up I knew the drive had been worth it.

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Check out all of the antique goodness and the owners were super great and helpful.

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So many great pieces of furniture and lighting.

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They even had these cool painted antlers.

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This is what the back of the van looked like when I left and there was another old record cabinet to the right, JACKPOT!!  I will definitely be heading back there again soon as they were planning a buying trip around Ontario in the near future.

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Next a little stroll by the water because that is a must when you are there.

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Then a stop at the Tait’s Bakery for a soup and sandwich to recharge the batteries.  I also couldn’t resist a loaf of the potato bread to take home (which is to die for, btw).  Isn’t their old cash register amazing?

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Another pit stop at Seaway Treasures on my way to the other main reason for my visit…

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Connie Stage Right.  Her facebook page doesn’t come close to doing the shop justice.

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So many adorable vignettes everywhere.

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The sweet side of Halloween.

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Then the darker and stylish side of Halloween.

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So many things to look at and I wanted to take it all home.

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Connie has awesome taste and was so great helping me decide my priorities since I obviously couldn’t take everything, but I really wanted to.

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These are a few of the things I brought home.

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Brockville certainly has a lot of that small town charm, I really need to go there more often.

Stay tuned for more deets on the store!!

Monday Journal- Shooting for the Stars

For this week’s Monday Journal I knew I wanted to use my old business cards (from when my blog was on Blogger) that I had ordered from Moo.  They are so pretty that I figured they should be used for something.  What, I just wasn’t sure.  I opened my journal up to a page I had used to wipe off stencil excess and just stared at it, for a long, long time, haha.

Once I spread the cards out they kind of started to look like stairs so I just glued them down.

Shooting for the Stars

 There was a lot of light green in the cards so I pulled out my Citrus Tim Holtz Dabber but I must have forgotten to seal it as it was thick and I couldn’t paint with it.  Being the spend thrift that I am I thought, “I shall use it like modeling paste”, then smeared it into a vintage plastic doily.  Low and behold, it worked :)

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 The stairs and the old business cards really got me thinking.  It seems like yesterday that I ordered those cards, then my art started to evolve and I moved on to the next step in my dreams (which prompted new business cards) and now I am about to embark on yet another step (if all goes well).   My little journey up those stairs, constantly shooting for the stars.  Once this came to mind, the entire piece just came flowing out.

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 I tried another watercolour face as I am still doing Mindy Lacefield’s Paint Your Story class when I get a few moments to myself.  I am savouring it as I am missing the girls from the Sugar & Spice retreat.  I received a package of origami paper with a birthday present (do my friends know me or what) so I used a piece of it for my dress.  I am also carrying my heart in my hands as for once this journey is all about my heart and not my head.

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 The stars I punched from the origami paper and surrounded them with yellow pastel.

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 I added the black plants by outlining them with a Faber Castell marker then filling them in with pastel.  I just love that when I rubbed it in it picked up the pattern of the doily.

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Keep your fingers crossed and send some positive vibes that things go well in the next couple of days.  I just might have some exciting news for you all on Wednesday!!

Monday Journal – Watercolour Bunny

I just got back from a weekend away with a few of my girlfriends, as Christy Tomlinson calls them “her true’s” (love it).  We were celebrating two of our birthdays (more on that later this week) and I had a blast.  I was, however, looking forward to getting home to see my family and get a little messy.  Getting away always gets my creative juices following.  For this week’s Monday Journal I knew I wanted to use my adorable watercolour bunny I created last week.

Watercolour Bunny

It’s funny because I have never really liked watercolour painting very much before because it was too transparent and I like rich saturated colour.  That is has slowly been changing this summer.

I opened up one of my art journals to a page that already had some leftover paint bits on them and added some pink sun rays to it with the Heidi Swapp Sunshine stencil.

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I changed some of the pink rays to blue then used my trusty white and brown Shiva Oil Paint Sticks in between the rays to tone down the background a little.

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Pastels, a quote and my little watercolour bunny and voila…

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I outlined everything in a black Stabilo marks all pencil and made the quote into a thought bubble.

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The quote is from the insightful Julia Cameron of the Artist’s Way and the stamp is from Mindy Lacefield’s set from last week.

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I am sure we all have a hard time following Julia’s advice, I know I do.  Today I just tried to not over think it and just have fun.   You should try it, you never know what will come out of you.

Monday Journal – With One Stamp

When I was at the Sugar & Spice retreat in June, I purchased a stamp set from Mindy Lacefield.  I have been dying to use it ever since.  I was itching to get creative so figured today was the day and I thought I would show you how to make two different images with one stamp from the set (to show you how to extend the use of your supplies).

I started with two sheets of deli paper painted using a Gelli Plate which I then stuck in my art journal with Mod Podge.  I am in love with this colour combination.

With One Stamp

I then covered them with pastels and paint pens.

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Next, I took some of the images from the set and stamped them onto watercolour paper.   I love Mindy’s images, they are simple, childlike and can’t help but put a smile on your face.

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Then painted the faces with my Neocolor crayons and cut them out.

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One I made into a shy girl who likes to keep her hands in her pockets and the other…

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I turned into a bear.  Both bodies were also cut from the watercolour paper and I used my Faber Castell Pitt pens to colour them in.

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Here are the Care Free Spirits together.

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Endeavour to think outside the box when it comes to your stamps (use a leaf as a feather or circles as cobblestones on a path).

Hope you took some time to be creative on this fine holiday Monday!!

Bridal Shower – Park Mixed Media

A few weeks ago I had the great fortune of getting to teach at another bridal shower.  There were 15 guests and it was hosted by the maid of honour Laurie.  Laurie gave me a bit of information about the couple and one of the things that came up a few times was a nearby park so I took that idea and ran with it.  I layered down some vintage paper then started with my signature blue background.  This time I used my new Liquitex acrylic spray paint with a stencil.  So much easier then using my spray inks as I didn’t have to cover it with a sealant before continuing with other layers.

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 An outline of the park scene for the guests to follow.

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 Here is the lovely Krissie who made this all possible as she recommended me from having been at another shower I taught at.

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 Krissie also seems to be a bit of a baker, check out the adorable cupcake display she put on.  Such a great idea!

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 The maid of honour and bride to be, Amy, working intently.

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 Amy’s masterpiece, she even went and gathered rocks outside.  A girl after my own heart.

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 Some of her guests getting into the groove.

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 Coming together :)

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  Gorgeous paint all squeezed out and ready to be used.

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 Here is the park mixed media piece once the guests were done with it.

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 I then took it home, outlined it all, added a bit of stamping and finishing touches.

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 I always try and add a few inspiring touches into the paintings as well.

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I delivered the piece tonight and I hope the happy couple enjoys it as much as her guests enjoyed making it.

Peggy’s Cove and Amos Pewter

We are back from our whirlwind tour of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  The vacation was amazing but with so much driving I feel like we need a little vacation from our vacation, haha.  Do you ever feel that way?  We put 5500 km on our van in two weeks.  Pretty crazy!

So many beautiful spots but I wanted to share with you a little company called Amos Pewter we discovered at Peggy’s Cove (which was definitely one of the highlights of the trip).

Amos Pewter

Look how stunning this place is.

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All of the little galleries and artsy shops were so fun AND right on the ocean.  Can you imagine?  I could totally live here.  Minus all the tourists of course.

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The famous light house that sits atop the rocks, which the girls ran on for hours.

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When on vacation the girls are given money to purchase a souvenir.  We try to encourage purchasing something useful and not a trinket that will sit on a shelf and gather dust.  The girls found Amos Pewter while wondering through the town and insisted on going in.  I thought for sure it would be way out of their budget so tried to discourage them but it ended up being the perfect thing.

Gorgeous, beachy, tasteful pewter jewelry and super affordable, SOLD!  The guy even offered to show us how they are made just a couple hours away in their shop.

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 Here is what their moulds look like (an owl Christmas ornament, must order that for the tree, adorable).

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 They put the moulds in a spinney thing (very technical, I know) then the hot pewter is poured in through a hole in the top.

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 It hardens in seconds and they then pop them out and sand them down.  Pretty cool.

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 Everything was so pretty I decided to get myself one as well.  I got a sand dollar and one of their new feathers to add to it.  In hindsight I should have bought three feathers so I could have made earrings as well.

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Milah got a gorgeous starfish. I really liked it and almost bought the same one.

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The other two weren’t as co-operative with the photos but Ava ended up getting a shell and we bought Amelia a little turtle as she kept hoping to see one on our trip.  I was a little concerned she wouldn’t want to wear it as she is only two but she insisted on wearing it every day we were away, so adorable.

Something they can cherish for years and will always remind them of this summer, money very well spent I think.

Art on the Road – Painting Rocks

I am never quite sure what to bring for art supplies when travelling so we can do art on the road.  I always feel like I am going to forget the one thing I really need.  For this trip out to the East coast I decided to keep it simple and just bring my Faber Castell Pitt Pens, my paint markers and pastels (and my art journals of course).

All of the girls are a little obsessed with collecting rocks so when I asked them to find me some flat oval rocks for a project, they were happy to oblige.

Art on the Road

Rock collecting on Kouchibouguac Beach.  Such a gorgeous place.  Isn’t Amelia’s bathing suit adorable?

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 The beautiful specimens they found and all are flat and smooth.  Well done girls!

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We used a mixture of different paint pens and they all worked pretty great actually.

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I just told the girls I wanted them to be inspiring (so I can scatter then all over our Beyoutiful Souls retreats) and off they went.  Even Amelia wanted in on the action.

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 This is our first batch of lovelies.  The girls had so much fun with this project they just wanted to keep making more.

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I am so glad it went as well as it did but I am a little concerned about the amount of rocks we are going to end up with by the end of this trip :)

Category: Mixed Media  Tags:  3 Comments

Nuts and Bolts Sculptures

Coming home to where I grew up always brings me mixed emotions.  The less then perfect childhood vs the wanting to reconnect with my family, the horrible mosquitos and black flies vs sitting outside in front of a fire, watching things from childhood deteriorate and shut down vs hearing and smelling the ocean.  So many things, I could go on and on.

This visit has been no different, although I have really discovered where my need to create has come from.  I was snooping around in my dad’s shed as I was trying to find my great grandfather’s old tools to take some pictures. (They really are something else as he made most of them himself and used them daily on his potato farm many moons ago).   Anyway, as I was digging around I discovered some curious little nuts and bolts sculptures amongst all of the tools, junk and chaos.

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 I yelled for my dad and asked him where they came from…

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He just kind of shrugged it off and said “oh, I made them but they aren’t finished”.  Milah was standing next him and was shocked.  He has always worked as a machinist or millright most of his life so she didn’t picture him as the artist type.  She had no idea he was creative and said to me “Well now I know where you get your artistic talents from”.

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 Throughout my life my dad has always gone through artistic phases, he has painted, done soapstone carving and made pipes out of copper tubing but I hadn’t seen him do anything in a while.

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I guess between renovating his house, working full time and sorting out his property, he still felt the need to create.  He just found stuff he had laying around and went for it.  It just kind of solidified my belief that as artists we have no choice in the matter, we must create.  Even if we try to push it aside, it will always resurface.

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He had a whole finished band in the house.  The lighting wasn’t the greatest in there but this gal was my favourite with her pony tail and guitar.

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I guess no matter the turmoil it is always good to stay connected to your roots.

Category: Family, Inspiration  Tags:  4 Comments