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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:

I BELIEVE

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LISTEN

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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.

Mindy Lacefield at Sugar & Spice

My second day of Sugar & Spice was spent with cutie patootie Mindy Lacefield.  When I first met her at the opening reception she seemed kind of quiet and shy which had surprised me.  I quickly found out that wasn’t true at all.  It was more of a stillness that was waiting for the opportunity to grace us with her humour, kindness and wit.

This day was all about bringing us back to our childhood.  We got to scribble with our left hands, draw pictures from when we were kids and just doodle without over thinking.  We also did a timed writing exercise which we pulled inspiration from.  It was a beautiful and gentle re-entry after having been torn down and exposed.  It was great to carry our truths over from the day before.

Ruthie being the attentive student.

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Check out that green paint.  Mindy working her magic…

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And making it seem all too easy (which it really isn’t).  That face!!  So adorable!

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I finally decided to crack open my new journal from Christmas.  Here is the beginnings of my first piece.  Our doodle page from the beginning of the class has been ripped apart and glued in.

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The number 12 was always my basket-ball number. (I found out over the weekend that Mindy played basket-ball as well :)

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I used to draw houses a lot as a kid so I had to incorporate those.

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 The circle was starting to look like a tree with the bird on it so I just added a trunk.  This is my finished piece.  I really enjoyed doing Mindy’s faces as it wasn’t supposed to look perfect.  I totally got into the groove and didn’t want to stop.

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My lovely roomie Ginger letting go, I think I even see some florescent pink on that palate of hers, haha!

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 Mindy and I, we bonded over our stories of woe, training our puppies.

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My Andrea, who was busting out the paintings all weekend, so speedy and they were gorgeous!!  I am trying to convince her to come teach at Beyoutiful Souls.

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This is my second piece from the day.  The center of my flowers are cut out from my doodle page and so was my cloud.  This will be my new job description “Facilitator of Bliss”.

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Here is one of Mindy’s gorgeous pieces.  Love the crazy hair, fox and the child like purity of it.

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I had such a great day.  Anna even let us stay a little late to keep painting.  Reliving this has made me want to get painting (and I am hoping to take Mindy’s new online class entitled “Magic Making“).  Too bad I currently have a house full of teenagers for Milah’s belated birthday party.  Wish me luck!!!

Danielle Daniel at Sugar & Spice

Where do I even begin?  I was so fortunate to get the instructors in the order I did at Sugar & Spice.  I couldn’t have planned the way everything unfolded any better.  I felt like I was completely stripped raw, then built back up again before being sent back out to conquer the world.

I had the gorgeous Danielle Daniel on my first day and she completely tore us down to reveal our true inner selves.  She had a series of quick & dirty questions to help get us to our core and focus inward.  This was brilliant as it had us starting our retreat and painting immediately from a place of truth.  I think it also made us all realize that our stories are important, which is something Danielle is a huge advocate of.

 I don’t have too many photos of Danielle as she isn’t a fan of having her photo taken but here she is with her vivacious personality teaching up a storm.

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She brought some of her beautiful pieces to inspire us.  You can totally see her Metis heritage bursting out of them.  So lovely.

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My backgrounds on watercolour paper, which I totally enjoyed doing.  This is where I started warming up to the florescent colours.

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Danielle completely took me out of my comfort zone.  She pushed me more that day than I have been able to do with myself.  I was totally uncomfortable with what I was doing most of the day.  I don’t paint faces, ever.  I do girls who remain faceless.  I have always had this perfectionist side of me that felt if I am going to do them, they must be perfectly proportioned, so I just stayed away.

This was my first girl and my first girl ever with a face.  Even before I added the word, Danielle came over and told me that she looked very strong.  I was quite pleased that is how it came across even though I wasn’t entirely happy with how her face turned out.

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For this one I was channeling “love” and thinking how lucky I was to have found it.  Weird thing is, when I got home, out of every single piece I did, Chris picked this one out as his favourite even before hearing her story.

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This one is entitled “free”, free from the labels I was given or gave myself as a child.

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To me, this was more than just a day of art, it was a day of healing and I can’t possibly thank Miss Danielle enough.

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So happy she is Canadian and even lives in Ontario.  I am trying to make it out to her retreat in September.  Perhaps a little birthday present to myself.  Anyone want to come join me???

Sugar & Spice Art Retreat

Wow! Is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about my adventure to Port Townsend for the Sugar & Spice Art Retreat hosted by the lovely Anna Nasset.

It was such an amazing experience that I have been struggling to capture it in words.  When a group of like minded people get together something magical happens.  We just “get it” and each other.  I know our families and friends get us as well (hopefully), but this is entirely different.  This is the stuff that feeds our souls.

I shall get into the art portion of the retreat in another post (I have so many pics) but I thought I would first share pictures of the trip and of beautiful Port Townsend itself.

Here are the beautiful Cascades from the airplane before landing in Seattle.

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From the front of the ferry, crossing from Seattle to Bainsbridge.

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My first night there, after checking in, I found this adorable restaurant.  I pulled up a stool at the bar and asked the bartender for something sourced locally and preferably from the ocean.  I got this delicious bowl of oysters and clams in an amazing tomato, garlic and basil sauce.

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My hotel was this gorgeous historic building with 20 foot ceilings called the Palace Hotel.  It even came with it’s own ghost.  They say room 4 is always the last to rent as it has a spiritual resident who likes to provide travellers with a bit of trouble, haha.  Luckily I got to room with Ginger (of Red Pear Creative), whom I had never met before this retreat.  Such a calm and centred gal.  I am so glad it worked out as well as it did as she was awesome and I feel very fortunate to now have her in my life.

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The opening night was held at the AOT Gallery which is owned by Anna.  Here is one of our teachers Danielle Daniel, Nancy and Sylvan.

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Two more of our teachers Juliette Crane, Mindy Lacefield and Ruthie (who I will later find out is one of the most vivacious 73 year old I had ever met, haha.  Although that wasn’t really her age, she just told people that so they would tell her how amazing she looked-she was every bit as awesome as she sounds-)

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Here is who everyone is listening intently to, Anna, our lovely hostess.  Filling us in on what we can expect over the next few days.

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The Q & A held at the Cellar Door with the artists.   Where I had a yummy risotto.  This place had great ambiance as well.  A few of us went back for a drink on our last night.

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The Cannery, which was the hub of the retreat.  Amazing building, right on the water and there was nothing like looking up from your art to a view of the ocean to stir up some creativity.

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One of the many docks in the town which was right behind the Cannery.  Love the colour of the old wood.

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All of the gorgeous girls.  Everyone got along so well we all had dinner together most nights.  Such a great time getting to know each other.

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Such a special little town that had everything you could possibly need, an ice cream shop, book stores galore, tons of shops and even a diner…

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 But not just any diner, it had a back deck on the ocean which is where we had dinner on our last night.

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 The view, from most places was incredible.

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At our closing, the talented and cutie patootie Joyelle (of Joyelle Brandt Creations)surprised us with her amazing singer/song writer skillz.  The moment she opened her mouth, all of our jaws dropped and goose bumps ran up my arms.  This girl should have never given up on music which can be found on Itunes btw, under Sonicjoy.

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Here I am with my soul sisters (as Ginger so aptly named us).  Joyelle, Andrea (of Poppet Art Studio) and Ginger.

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I feel so fortunate to have been able to experience this retreat and meet every single woman who attended.   They will all hold a special place in my heart.  It truly was magical.  Well done Anna!!!

I will share the art parts of my week over the next few days but I felt the teachers were so great that they each deserved their own post :)

P.S. I was lucky enough to have an afternoon in Seattle at Pike Place market on the way home, you can check out those photos here if you would like.

BeYOUtiful Souls Art Retreats

I have news!!  As some of you may know, my word of the year for 2013 is CHANGE.  Little did I know when I chose this word how much change my life would actually go through this year and it is barely June.    By the end of the month, I will be laid off from my job that I have been at for 6 years.  This is a very scary prospect for me as I have pretty much always worked.  I started working at the age of 15 I believe (if you don’t count the paper route I had at the age of 12).  But, in my usual “let’s make lemonade from lemons” mentality, I am going to take this opportunity to jump into my art and creative business with both feet…

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Besides being creative my whole life, another constant has been my love of being a hostess.  I am constantly throwing birthday parties for the girls, hosting Easter or Christmas dinner and volunteering to help out with showers.  I love to show people a good time and to make them feel welcome in my home.  So, I thought it was about time I combined the two.  This is something that has been calling to me for quite some time but I guess I have been too afraid to leap.

In comes my dear and fellow artist friend Lauren of Layered Creations.  We have been friends for many years and have been on a parallel path to making our dream come true of being full time creatives.  We sometimes creep each other out we are so similar.  We even bought each other the same pjs for Christmas one year and we live clear across the country.  But I digress, we were chatting on facebook one day and both kind of blurted out that we really wanted to start hosting retreats.  We chatted for hours over the next few days, then BeYOUtiful Souls was born.  We are both beyond excited that we are doing this, her out West and myself in the East.  I will be heading out to Red Deer in October to teach at her first retreat and hopefully she will be coming to Aylmer in March of 2014 to teach at my first retreat. Maison Bruyere2

I am hoping to offer retreats in March, June and October of every year and I have found an amazing and serene venue which is just minutes from my home.  The Maison Bruyere has so much beauty and history that when I walked through it for the first time and laid eyes on the grounds, I knew I had found the place.

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This old convent has a sense of calmness about it and I can really picture people rejuvenating their heARTs and souls there.  The old furniture is beautiful and there is even an old theatre.  You know me and all things old, I have totally fallen in love with this place.

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I hope one day that you can join one of us on our new adventure to show you an amazing artsy time that is all about you.  To help you forget about the day to day tasks and worries and focus on yourself for an entire weekend.  You need to remember that YOU are WORTH it.  We all do!!

Workshops at the Savoir Faire

Hi there, The Savoir Faire is quickly approaching.  It is this Sunday, June 2 from 10:30 to 4:30 at the Aydelu Centre in Aylmer, Quebec.  There will be over 35 talented vendors with gorgeous jewellry, funky clothing and yummy treats.  I also wanted to fill you in on some workshops that are going on. 

 The first workshop will be given by Krysthle Poitras of Krysthle Designs.

Bracelet Workshop

RHINESTONE BRACELET AND CHARM-  10:30am to 12:00pm at a cost of $35.00

This is a beginner jewelry workshop where you will learn the techniques to make a beautiful 24K gold-plated bangle with charm.  In this workshop, you will learn how-to use rhinestone chain to create beautiful bangles and how to use crystal clay to create crystal encrusted charms.  All materials are included and tools will be provided for the workshop.  (Please note that the finished project might differ slightly from picture).

 

The next two will be taught by yours truly, ME!!

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ART/WORD JOURNAL – 12:30pm to 2:00pm at a cost of $35.00.

We all have a story to tell.  Whether it is through the written word, art or a combination of both, one must have a beautiful book to contain all of this brilliance.  We will be turning a vintage book into a journal and work of art.  Everything will be supplied.  If you have an image that you feel represents yourself, please bring it.

Savoir Faire

VINTAGE DOILY 12X12 CANVAS – 2:30pm to 4:00pm at a cost of $35.00.

Come join me in making a wonderful textured creation using vintage plastic doilies and all kinds of mixed media goodies.  We will be slapping sludge, modeling paste and paint onto to a 12×12 canvas for you to take home and display with pride.  Come lose yourself for a couple hours.  Everything will be supplied.

 You can head to the website to sign up under the Workshops tab.  Hope to see you there!!