Archive of ‘Family’ category

Happy National Craft Month!

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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!

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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).

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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Little Toby feeling very proud with his Christmas Shadow box!

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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

 

 

Holiday joy!

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!  If you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah  I do hope you enjoyed spending it with family and friends.

We had a great Christmas gathering – two actually!  The above photo is of our family gathering at my son and daughter-in-laws home on Christmas day (four generations!).  There were 20 or so people there – what a joyful celebration. Click the above photo to see a larger version.

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We also celebrated on Christmas eve with some of Mr. G’s family – his son Kevin and little grandson Leium were part of this celebration.  Since we don’t have a kitchen table we had to use the living room to put up the table and folding chairs. It looked pretty festive in there! It was lovely spending time with family on Christmas eve.

Lifebook 2015 Video set up

video_setupMr. G spoiled me as he usually does!  He got me this fancy tripod and i-pad mount (from i-shot) so that i can shoot and edit my videos for Lifebook 2015 more easily. I tend to get overwhelmed with the video system on the other Canon camera i have – the i-pad is so much easier. And speaking of which in this photo i was video taping my first bonus lesson for Lifebook – it starts in just a couple of days!  Yay – you can sign up here. I can’t wait to see what all of the participants come up with.

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Sneak peek: Starting to apply paint to my first project!

One of the gifts Mr. G gave me was 10 Ukulele lessons with my friend Ivy who is a local music teacher!  I can’t wait to start my lessons.  I love the sound of the Uke – makes me so happy.

I’m off to edit the videos!  Hope you are having a glorious day!

Love, Violette xo

An artsy Christmas!

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Good morning everyone!  I apologize for not blogging on Friday. I have been suffering from insomnia and if i have to get out the door for anything in the morning it’s difficult for me to blog and get my act together.

Mr. G and I finally decorated the house for Christmas yesterday.  Here’s our little tree all decorated! I did pick some greens from the garden to put in a basket along with some pine cones to add a Christmasy smell to the house.

 Christmas Comfort and Joy wooden sign

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Mr. G and i also spent a few hours creating this sign in the midst of decorating.  It’s a wooden sign with the words “comfort and joy” handpainted on it. Mr. G drilled some holes and fixed some small Christmas lights to the back.

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I antiqued the edges with stain and smeared some glitter on it!  I shot some video of how we made the sign and will post the tutorial in a couple of days.

Christmas Shadow box Craft

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On Friday I visited my little grandsons. I had planned out a Christmas Shadow box craft.  Armed with some dollar-store ornaments and boxes I visited their home on craft day!

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Oh what fun we had. Here’s Toby (2 1/2) pulling funny faces next to his Shadow box. He was very proud of it. He had fun painting his background and making snow dots with the end of a pencil. My daughter-in-law put the shadowboxes on a shelf to create a cute Holiday display.

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Here is Sam with his cute Shadowbox Snowman.He chose two baubles for his creation.

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Tomorrow is our Art Journal Jam Christmas gathering here at the Magic Cottage. If you are not on Facebook and don’t get the updates you can e-mail me. If you like we are doing a gift exchange so bring a wrapped gift – an appropriate artsy gift might be a set of ATC’s , a print or two of your work, a set of cards of your art, an ornament you made etc.

Well that’s it for today.  I’ll be posting the video on Wednesday morning.

Love, Violette xo

Happy Halloween and Illustrated calendar

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Wishing you all a wonderful Halloween. Here’s a cute photo of my grandkids Toby, Sam and Cillian all dressed up for a Halloween party. My daughter-in-law Kathryn made these cute ghost bananas for the toddlers to eat and they were a big hit.  Cillian said he liked the ghost bananas the best of all even though they were scary.  He said to his mom “They’re just bananas”.  Cute eh?

I’ll be answering the door all dressed up again to hand out candy to the little ones (and not so little ones!). This is such a fun time of year!  I hope you are doing something fun to celebrate!  Tomorrow we’ll be attending a Halloween party at a friend’s home.

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You’ve most likely seen some illustrated calendars around the net. I decided to create one of my own for a week and this is what i came up with. It’s not finished yet as i need to add more colour to the days of the week…….also I’ll be adding more “to-do’s to the calendar.

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Here’s a little detail of the calendar.  I was having way too much fun drawing and I needed to get things done so had to stop.  Have you ever illustrated your calendar? Check out Pinterest for other illustrated calendars – you’ll get inspired and most likely lost for hours!

10 Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway

You’ve only got a few days left to enter to win my 10 year blog anniversary contest! If you haven’t already done so go here!  Good luck and Happy Weekend!

Love, Violette xo

Good Vibes wooden sign

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When my sister Linda was here we decided to clear most of the clutter off of my fridge – since I live in a tiny house when there is too much visual clutter you feel hemmed in.  Of course i did not like a blank white fridge – the fridge has always been a source of inspiration – a blank slate to fill with inspiring messages or art. So as i was perusing Etsy with my sister i came across some license plate signs which i thought were very cool but a little outside my budget.  My sister suggested i create my own but make it with wood instead.  Linda emerged from Mr. G’s garage with a lovely grouping of tiny pieces of wood. She announced that these would be perfect for what i was looking for. Little did she know that Mr. G had been saving them as shims for his woodworking projects :).

He let me have the shims which i then spray painted the same colours as the funky animal jar lids.  Mr. G found a piece of wood for the backing which was perfect so he painted it black with some of my chalkboard paint.

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The black background really makes the colours pop no?

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The wood pieces were glued to the backing with wood glue.  Then the letters were painted with a white Sharpie paint pen and outlined with Copic markers. This sign takes up almost the entire front of the fridge so i won’t be able to miss the sign “Good Vibes” – it will remind me to get back on track :). In case you are wondering how to adhere it to the fridge you can use industrial strength Velcro.  If you hang it on the wall you can add a hanger to it.!  Voila!  You have a fab sign to reset your vibes and remind you of what you want to be surrounded by.

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Today I’m off to visit my 3 little grandson’s and create a Halloween craft. This is the demo pumpkin.  Should be a fun time!

I hope you all have a most amazing weekend!  On Monday i’ll be having a Blog anniversary giveaway!  I’ll be giving away a set of Inspiration cards.

Love, Violette xo

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