Archive of ‘Crafting’ 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

Tools and Techniques Contest Giveaway! Contest Closed!





To find out more about the workshop click here.

Hello friends, As you know I have been art journaling for over 14 years. It’s been a saving grace for me – my journal (pages) have been a place for me to land when I’m going through stuff but also a place to document my joys and loves. It’s also a way for me to use humour to get me through some trying times…….like this one……

HEARINGLOSS1When i was diagnosed with hearing loss…..or this….


When i was going through a very difficult period in my life.


Or when i was having difficulties asking for money for a mojo session (just assumed my acquaintance knew what i charged) and ended up getting kale instead of money!

Sometimes I get a bit bored of regular journal pages so it’s fun to kick things up a notch or two by adding new techniques. So I’m pretty thrilled to be able to show you some new techniques – Flip Flop and Fly is the project I am sharing in the 21 Secrets Tools and Techniques online workshop at the beginning of April. Watch the short video trailer below I just created:

I’m excited to be able to give away one spot in the workshop. If you’d like to enter to win a spot please leave me a comment below letting me know what your favourite technique is for your art journaling and mixed media projects. I’ll be drawing a name next Wednesday March 30th at 9 am PST. Good Luck and thanks for entering! Please tell your friends.


The above image is a sneak peek of the class i’ll be teaching.

To find out how you can sign up for the workshop as well as check out the other teacher’s amazing offerings go here.

Love Violette

Happy National Craft Month!


Hi Everyone – i’m back from a month long hiatus!  I feel like i am turning a corner and feel much more hopeful and energized! Thanks for all the good vibes xo

I was asked by the kind folks at Patience Brewster to create a post for National Craft Month.  I have been a huge fan of Patience’s whimsical creations for many years so was delighted to create a post. Do check out her glorious characters and lovely stationary. They will blow your socks off!



Patience’s daughter Marietta asked me why crafting was important to me.  Well that’s a big questions!  I have pretty much crafted my entire life………i also call drawing crafting as that’s my earliest memory of being creative. When i was little i did plastic mosaics, paint by numbers, crochet as well as a bit of clay work. I loved it all. I found my bliss while drawing though.

As I grew older i spent many happy hours drawing and crafting when i had my children.  Crafting has been a constant in my life bringing me joy and solace as well.  When i suffered from depression (and still do from time to time) i would turn to arts and crafts to lift my spirits.

Although i love drawing and i find it to be a solitary pursuit – i enjoying getting together with friends to art journal and chat about what’s going on in our lives and about the latest supplies. (in the photo above are some of my art journaling friends).




I’ve met many online friends through my art and my first blog which i created over 11 years ago. It was a wonderful way to connect with kindred spirits virtually.  I loved how creatives all gathered on my blog’s forum and how some of us made lasting connections, shared our art, our lives and participated in swaps.



As time went on i discovered art journaling – something i had been doing but did not have a name for it yet. I shared my journal pages online and found that people actually loved them. So i did some tutorials and even learned how to shoot videos. You can check some of my how to videos on my youtube channel.  So being online and being connected with so many lovely creative spirits truly helped me grow as an artist. I took more risks and grew my skills because i felt people were counting on me. It was easier for me to do new things for others rather than just for myself. As a result of art journaling and sharing my pages with folks online my first book on Art Journaling called Journal Bliss was published.  That was 6 years ago. Wow! Hard to believe.



I used art journaling to document the joys in my life but also the sorrows. Creating art around depression or something upsetting in life helped me move through grief and sorrow. As i shared these pages i do know they helped others as well.



I have said it before and will say it again Art really saved my life.  I know it has saved the lives of so many others as well.

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I love how art often has a message for me……….i simply sit down with a pencil and a piece of paper and begin to draw.  Usually if i’m quiet enough the doodle tells me what it wants to be and also the story of the piece is revealed. So i usually get a message that i need to hear like the above Gypsy message “I predict you’ll be as happy as you decide to be”.  Obviously a message my moody self needed to hear on that day!



The messages i receive often repeat themselves like “Do what you love” “Love what you do”, “be yourself” “love yourself” etc. What’s not to love about that?




I continue to stretch and grow as i’m inspired by all the wonderfulness that is available online – pinterest and instagram are chalk full of artsy goodness!



Lately i have been working in a moleskine book – something i had not done for quite a while as i don’t like to commit art to a book. I keep most of my journal pages in a box loosely.  Recently i took up a challenge put out by Suzi Blu  to create art and writing and keep a calendar in a moleskine book.  I began actually liking it………..but sadly i have not been able to keep up with the prompts and am mostly using the book for my art journal pages and little sketches and writing.



It’s been fun though to have a book that’s gradually getting bigger by the day and poofy that documents my life.  I couldn’t commit to the Documented life project but felt this was a bit more doable.





Wow – it’s been a while since I’ve blogged so i am going overboard here. I hope you are still with me. So now i want to circle back to the question Why crafting was important to me. Well it’s pretty much my life.  I use it daily to adorn my Magic Cottage, to make art and to craft a life that’s beautiful, eccentric and that’s worth living. I use it to connect with my little grandchildren who i’m teaching arts and crafts to.



Little Toby feeling very proud with his Christmas Shadow box!



Sam colouring Easter eggs and decorating them.

glitterCillian glittering a painted Rock for his Dad for Father’s day.

Arts and Crafts have totally enriched my life.  I hope they have yours too!

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month?

Love, Violette xo



A Magical Walk



Hello friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  We celebrated a bunch of family birthdays on Saturday – my grandson Sam’s, son Ryan, stepdad Ron and nephew Adam.  We had so much fun!

As you know I’m working on a Day planner/Calendar started by Suzi Blu on Facebook.  Suzi gives us prompts to focus on every week. One of them the past week was “savour”.  Since i receive much joy while watching the birds in the backyard I thought I would honour some of them by drawing them. I don’t usually draw birds and don’t feel comfortable doing so but i think these little guys turned out not too badly.  Later I journaled around them.



Yesterday was a very dreary drizzly day and i was feeling kind of blue.  So I asked Mr. G to come out to the park for a little walk. He grumbled, didn’t want to but finally obliged me.  I’m so happy he did.  I got to hug my favourite tree AND bonus………some magical little fairy people left painted rocks nearby for lucky recipients to find!  I don’t know if you can see but there are several near my tree above, by my feet and in the hollow of the tree.



Here’s a couple in the hollow.  I was sooo excited. Mr. G thought i was funny!  I said to him “See!  I knew there was a reason we should go out for a walk!”

rocksThere must have been at least a dozen rocks in various places but i only took two good size ones. One with a painted tree and one with a sunset.  There were lots of painted bunny rocks which i’m guessing were created by a little girl.  These ones were a bit more sophisticated. How lucky am i eh? Thank you Emily!  (the signature on the back said Emily)

As we exited the park I noticed a Mom and a little girl wearing a long skirt (i’m guessing a fairy skirt). I pointed to them and told Mr. G that they were probably on a mission to spread joy in the park. I noticed they were carrying a bag with them which probably carried rocks. What a wonderful thing to do with your child – to teach them that magic exists in the world and we can also spread magic and glitter wherever we go!

Love, Violette xo


Planner Doodling


Happy Wednesday everyone!  I don’t really have much to report or share right now apart from a couple of pictures i created in my planner.  Here’s one sketch on a page called Savour – if you savour the goodness in your life you are apt to get more of it. It’s something to focus on.  Speaking of which I am reading a great book on Happiness (and savouring) called Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson. I highly recommend it if you are always trying to catch the elusive happiness or at least bringing more of it into your life.  I think my default setting is on negative (like most people Rick Hanson will argue) so I need to make a conscious effort to pay attention to the happy moments and dwell on them longer.

PC5Here’s another little drawing i did which attaches to my diary/planner……’s a reminder as well. I just want to say how much fun i’m having keeping a planner in this way – it’s like i can store my thoughts and dreams as well as appointments all in one spot!  I hope i keep it up.

Love, Violette xo


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