Archive of ‘book review’ category

Kathryn Costa’s Mandala Guidebook and a giveaway! Contest Closed we have a winner!

Hello friends!  We have a winner – Sandy Boren!  Please contact me so i can mail you your prizes!

I have been absent for a while – been on an amazing wilderness adventure which I will write about next week.  I was able to do some art journaling on this adventure in the Great Bear Rainforest so I’m happy to share a few pages with you next week.


But for now I’m thrilled to tell you about Kathryn Costa’s book The Mandala Guidebook: How to draw, paint and color expressive mandala art!  I was sent a review copy and absolutely love it.  This guidebook gives you step by steps on how to create free form mandalas but also mandalas using a compass and protractor.  Funnily enough Kathryn mentions some people’s fear or reticence in using those instruments – dating back to their school days where geometry struck fear in their hearts. That would be me :).  I don’t think I’ve owned a compass and protractor for a few decades. If you’d like to download a free chapter you can click here.


As you can see I have incorporated free form decorative mandalas in my art for some time and truly enjoy how they spice up a page.  After reading Kathryn’s book and perusing some of the projects as well as studying her simple step by step instructions I am going to buy a compass set and start making intentional mandalas.

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This was one of my favourite mandalas in Kathryn’s book.

I am especially intrigued to use mandalas to solve problems, let go of my fears and to use in my gratitude practise.  Drawing intentional mandalas will also give you greater clarity and insight on what’s happening in your life. The possibilities are truly endless.

This book is full of prompts, pattern ideas, inspiration and mixed media techniques from using simple pen and paper to more complex mixed media projects.  There truly is something for everyone here.

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In celebration of the release of The Mandala Guidebook I’m having a giveaway.  You can enter to win some of my artful products – journal book, bookmarks, postcard, greeting card, Heidi wood block and Teens Dream Journal DVD.  Simply leave me a comment here – letting me know if you have used mandalas in your mixed media or art journal pages before.  I’ll pick a winner on Saturday May 28th at 9 am PST.


Good Luck!

Love, Violette

Hop, Skip, Jump Book review

Happy Monday everyone!

I’m so excited to blog today about Marney Makridakis’ latest book Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life.  This is the start of a Hop, Skip, Jump Blog celebration! There’s so much to celebrate!


In this joyful book Marney shares with the reader so many tips, tools and tricks to propel you forward in achieving and manifesting your dreams. In her own inimitable whimsical fashion Marney cleverly leads you along a glorious sparkling path full of joy-filled exercises that transform work into play!

Pez_dispenserI have known Marney for well over 10 years and in that time have found her to be like a pez dispenser of non-stop creative ideas.  In Hop, Skip, Jump she generously shares with the reader numerous right brain exercises using writing, doodling, haiku’s (or haikoodle) and word play to help generate solutions and ideas. Like anything though you can’t simply read the book, you have to become an alchemist and transform the ideas into gold by playing with them and making them real.

I simply couldn’t wait to pull out my crayola felt pens and play my way to greater clarity!


From creative exercises like The Zoomie Car game to Thinking outside the Juice Box you are guided to play your way to a more meaningful life.




Thinking outside the Juice box 

You can take the quiz here to find out your manifesting style or watch the video and be inspired! If you order the book tomorrow – November 11 you’ll get an instant $15 Artella eGift certificate for each copy purchased.

 Love, Violette xo

“Disclaimer: I am reviewing this book as part of the Hop, Skip, Jump Blog Celebration. I received a copy of the book from the publisher and am listed on Artella Land’s roster of 75 featured blogs. My opinions are my own.”

Happy 4th of July to my American friends!

Happy 4th of July to my American friends. I hope you are having fun celebrating your country’s independence!


Here’s another shot of the magic cottage – i never seem to get tired of taking photos of it at different times of the year!  I love the Shasta daisies which just began to bloom a few days ago so i ducked down to take this shot.


You’ve probably seen this photo taken last winter during a snowy day (it’s a selfie).  I thought the cottage looked pretty especially with the dragonfly all laden with snow!

A Testimonial!

It’s been five years since my book Journal Bliss has been out and I’m so thrilled that folks are still using it to learn more about art journaling for themselves or to inspire teens.  I love this testimonial from Kathy Clark (no relations Smile):

I love Violette’s whimsical and creative style, perfect to teach art journaling to young girls. I bought this book in 2010, when I was just starting to make art journals. Since then I’ve collected dozens of other books and journals, and I also have amassed a large supply of art supplies. I find Violette’s book very helpful in teaching art journaling to young teenage girls, and the accompanying DVD is a gem!
With a trip to the art supply store becoming more and more expensive, I find her supply list easy on any budget. Look around at what you have already and get started journaling.

Thanks so much Kathy! Just to let you know the DVD that Kathy mentions is the Teens Dream Journal DVD (it doesn’t come with the book – Kathy bought it separately from me and had forgotten.) I still have a few copies of the Teens Dream journal if you are interested in buying one.

Well I’m off to tie dye some t-shirts with my little grandson – should be fun! I have been wanting to do this for some time now!

Enjoy the weekend!

Love, Violette xo

Jennifer Lee Interview: Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way

I am so thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview the amazing Jennifer Lee.  She’s the author of the Right Brain Business Plan (a book I’m thrilled to have my plan featured in) as well as her latest fabulous book Building your Business the Right-Brain Way.


Click here to download the 1/2 hour interview I had with Jennifer Lee.

or this Link

Since this is the first Audio interview I’ve ever done I do hope you’ll bear with me – it wasn’t edited……I’ll get better as i do more of these i promise!

It was so much fun interviewing Jennifer – she’s so open and easy to talk to.  In this interview Jennifer shares so many tips on how to build your business in a fun creative way as well as how the book came to be! At the 13:33 mark in the audio Jennifer shares how she came up with the Entrepreneur Ecosystem illustration/idea.  I totally LOVE how it evolved!

I really love the book and hope you do too!

Here’s a blurb about the book:

If you’ve started a business, you know that the journey toward success can be both invigorating and confusing, so where can you find advice that is practical and focused but still as playful and passionate as you are? Look no further than this book, which combines solid business expertise with a right-brain perspective that inspires creativity and innovation. Jennifer Lee’s fresh, empowering approach emphasizes taking action and continually improving to achieve extraordinary long-term results.

Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way offers real-world-tested techniques that can benefit all sorts of businesses, whether you’re a sole proprietor running a coaching practice, a crafter looking to license products, a wellness professional with a team of employees, or any creative soul making a meaningful difference with your work.

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Jennifer Lee

Thanks so much Jennifer for sharing this lovely book with us!

Love, Violette xo

Show your Work

I really enjoyed reading Austin Kleon’s latest book “Show your Work” 10 Ways to share your creativity and get discovered.


It’s a quick read with sound advice on getting your work out there. While you’re on Austin’s site you can check out the cute trailer for “Show your Work” 


Here’s a diagram from the book about whether or not you should share something on Social Media – or on any platform for that matter. In another diagram Austin tells us not to show photos of our latte’s, our food, kittens or sunsets Smile. He tells us to show our work and our process with the world!

Austin also shares that it’s okay to teach what you know!  So many of us are afraid of someone stealing our ideas or techniques if we show them our process – not so according to Austin – it only enhances your art. So go ahead – show your work Smile.

Grace Happens


I must tell you I am moved and blown away by the wonderful expressions of grace that are showing up in the comments section on my blog.  I created the Grace Happens tote bag as a contest giveaway along with a pendant and asked for everyone’s moments of grace as a way to enter the contest. From messages of grace about healing, self-care, encounters in nature and connection to loved ones and Spirit/God they have all touched me on a deep level. Thank you so much for taking the time to post them.

If you haven’t already entered you still have time – enter here! 

Happy Weekend!

Love, Violette xo

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