Blog Archives

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).

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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.

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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

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.

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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 aaminadesigns@hotmail.com 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 aaminadesigns@hotmail.com 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)
PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN REUSABLE CUP + SAUCER AND SOMETHING TASTY TO SHARE.
Donations appreciated to help us continue to offer programming to the community.
If you want to help or have any questions, please email aaminadesigns@hotmail.com.

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 aaminadesigns@hotmail.com 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.

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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.

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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!!