Archive of ‘Magic Cottage’ category

Listen to your heart

Hello Creatives! I made this little heart this morning for my messy art daily challenge!  #messyartdaily


It was pretty messy as it was painted entirely on a piece of cardboard with my fingers! I figured little headphones listening to a heart were kind of cute and appropriate.  To me “listen to your heart” means going within if you have a question.  You can listen to your heart by being still and noticing the changes inside.  Do you feel a queasiness, a tightening or do you have a sense of expansion and joy that bubbles up inside when you think about your question? 

Often i say yes to things too quickly before checking inside if it’s a right fit for me then i end up feeling overwhelmed.  The ball is either dropped or I perform the task grudgingly which means my whole heart won’t be into it.  Can you relate to this?  Do you regularly check inside when you have an important decision to make?

The Casbah Rebuild 


We bought a metal shed to replace the old Casbah – it’s a fair bit smaller but it should be big enough to hold the lawn tools as well as our bikes.  I helped Mr. G put up the framework and the walls. Oh the screws – oh the screws – there were a million screws to put in! YIKES!



Thankfully Mr. G’s son Kevin came over just in time to put up the roof – we wouldn’t have been able to scramble on top like he did!


Here’s Kevin getting off the roof – he had to reach in the middle to put on the weather stripping and to drill in more screws!


After we cut and screwed in wooden floors the shed is done!  Mr. G was very happy!


While posting the demolition on Facebook someone commented on how we should keep the Casbah sign so we did. Mr. G bolted it to the top of the shed.  Now i have to wait until the spring and warmer weather is here to paint the Casbah 2.0 – it really sticks out like a sore thumb with this beige colour Smile.

Well I’m off to paint the floor of the casbah and work on some website updates. Hope you have a fabulous day!

Love, Violette xo

Art Journal Jam tomorrow!

We have another art journal jam tomorrow at the Good Day Sunshine cafe in South Surrey.  It’s free and open to all!  I am looking for someone willing to take over for me as I’m busy working on some other projects and might not be able to attend future jams.  Anyone up to it? It’s a fun gathering of likeminded spirits!Jam_sept.

Yesterday we demolished the Casbah which was in a terrible state of disrepair!  We had to hire someone to do most of the demolishing as that’s pretty tough work!


Over the past 17 years i have accumulated tons of stuff because as you know “You never know when you’re going to need it or make it into art!”.  Well over the years the roof of the Casbah, started leaking  various unwanted critters took up residence……..including this little varmint……


There were at least 2 possums living in the shed!

You wouldn’t believe what else i found in there – my daughter’s baby book and baby bracelet, American money, my kids drawings, my old sketchbooks, an old passport (which is in pretty bad shape), Jessica’s old Oscar the Grouch stuffed animal which she was inseparable with during her toddler years……


His pupils have worn off but you can still see he’s a grouch due to the angry looking eyebrows Smile. Jessica said i could respectfully “pitch” him in the bin.


With the demolition almost done Mr. G gives me the old “Stink eye” for being such a packrat all those years. It was a pretty emotional time for me – finding all this stuff from my past – every little thing carries a memory for me.  If you understand Astrology you’d get why i have done that – i have 5 planets in Cancer which makes me easily attached to things in my home. Well it’s almost done now – we’ve had to rent another big bin as all of the stuff we took out of the Casbah needs to be thrown out – right now it’s littering the lawn. On a happy note soon the backyard will have a pristine new shed/casbah number 2!

September Contest

If you haven’t already done so hop on over here to enter my contest for September!  GOOD LUCK!

Love, Violette xo

Photo shoot fun and being fearless!

I shared a fun few hours with Trisha Bunn – photographer yesterday while working on some promotional photos. Thank you Trisha!


Trisha took some photos in the backyard of the magic cottage as well as inside the house.  Afterwards we went to the beach to shoot some pictures as the beach is my happy spot.  Because I am such a ham and love posing for fun photos I used some props – the “be fearless” purse and the “always do what you are afraid to do” journal were just purchased the day before and beckoned to be used. A sun umbrella a friend gave me was also used as a prop. Trisha loved that i was such a ham and appreciated my ideas for shots and was not insulted when i asked her to climb a step ladder to take some more flattering photos of me Smile.

At one point Trisha asked me to scramble up the ladder and stick my head in the middle of the cutlery chandelier – how’s that for an original photo?! Everywhere Trisha looked she found more wonderful vignettes to set me up in.  Her eyes sparkled with ideas and possibilities – she just vibrated!  The magic cottage was a good setting for joyful photos that’s for sure.


I didn’t want to focus on photos of me in the studio with art supplies as I feel i want to transition out of that – still feeling some fear around the “me” that has not yet morphed into the “me” I’m to become……. however the “be fearless” message from my two new purchases are helping me to “lean” into that eventuality. 

What are you afraid of and how can you lean a bit into that fear?

Stay tuned for Friday when i share a fabulous interview with my friend Kym!

Love, Violette xo

Repurposed Chair–Swing

Happy B.C. Day to all my Canadian (British Columbian) friends and elsewhere! It’s a holiday here in B.C. so i almost didn’t blog today but I was so excited to “chair” this new project with you – a Repurposed Chair Swing! chair_swing_collage

Mr. G made the fatal mistake of lamenting on Saturday that he had no woodworking projects on the go. Did i hear him correctly???  I have a million ideas for him – naturally Smile. Next weekend we are celebrating my daughter Jessica’s birthday so that means the grandkids will be over!  They are too young to use my old swing so i kept pondering how we could make it safe for the little ones to use.


A quick visit to Pinterest and a search for chair swings yileded much inspiration!  All i had to do was find an old chair……….


Well wouldn’t you know it – there next to the Casbah shed stood a forlorn looking chair, peeling and rather ugly don’t you think?  It was one of my treasures from a big haul on Curbside recycling week 9 years ago Smile.  So i pulled it out and showed Mr. G and said “can you chop off these legs and make some sort of arms for this thing and attach it to the old swing please?”


I seriously don’t think this is what he had in mind when he said he didn’t have any woodworking projects but i guess he thought this would have to do in a pinch.  He chopped off the legs and then pondered about what to do for arms.


While i was away food shopping Mr. G came up with the idea of using the legs as arms and also using the leg cross struts for arms too (if you know what i mean). He screwed them in nicely and then made some circular wood disks for the top of the arms (there were big holes in the chair legs for some reason). You could alternately use wooden balls as end caps.


Because I will be doing most of the swinging around the magic cottage the swing had to fit my hips Smile. So Mr. G had me try out the swing before going any further.  My pre-gluten free hips would not have made the cut I’m afraid (those 11 extra pounds would have made it an incredibly tight squeeze).  Check out this blogpost about a journal page i created about my tummy talking to me.


After sanding the peeling chair vigorously Mr. G primed the chair with Zinsser Primer.


Mr. G had to test if this rope configuration would work or not.  It took a while to figure out where the ropes had to go in order for the swing to not tip.  Trust me – it’s not as easy as it looks. We used a tree limb that is on an angle which posed some interesting challenges.


I got the easy part – all i had to do is spray paint the chair with Rustoleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover 2 x spray paint.  The colour i chose looks sort of like my top!


I love how juicy the colour turned out.  I had some extra spray paint left and ended up spraying a wooden birdhouse i had lying around. That’s for another blogpost.


The first hole was drilled at the top of the rear upright of the chair.


The second hole was drilled in the bottom of the rear upright of the chair. As you can see Mr. G screwed the old swing base to the bottom of the chair. The nylon rope (1/2”)  was fed through the holes and then knotted as you see here. Mr. G used the existing hole in the swing to feed the front rope into (from the underside). All in all the cost of the swing was about 28 dollars counting the rope and the spray paint.  We had the primer and screws and glue already and the chair was free.


Voila!  Isn’t it cute?  I must say I’m not overly cranked about the way Mr. G wrapped the ropes around the chair but quite honestly I don’t feel the cute chairs we saw on Pinterest would hold adults.  This one is safe.  Now when the wee grandkids go on the swing all I’ll have to do is attach a belt to the front of the arms.  When Mr. G’s grandson Leium who is six years old comes to visit he won’t be needing the belt.


There – doesn’t the chair fit in perfectly with the Magic Cottage vibe? If you like this project and want to save it for future project ideas why not pin it on Pinterest? 

Thank you to all of you who submitted feedback for my website Re-evaluation.  If you haven’t submitted any of your ideas please click the link and submit in the comments section to be eligible to win some of my whimsical coasters!

Love, Violette xo

Gemini giveaway fun!

Hooray we have a winner – well actually TWO winners!  I totally forgot to also give away a book I bought of my very favourite author SARK – Succulent Wild Woman!  I specifically bought it to use for my next giveaway. 


In any case – the first winner is – Isabelle – she wins the Workbook Mixed Media Storytelling, the pendant and print. The winner of the Sark book and a print of my choice Smile – is Donna Harris! Congratulations Ladies! Please e-mail me your snail mail addy’s so i can mail out your packages!


Sark was my biggest inspiration over 20 years ago when i decided to give myself permission to embrace who i was – colourful, bohemian and a little bit eccentric around the edges! Smile

Thank you so much everyone for entering my contest and for taking the time to let me know what artsy things you take on your holidays. Just reading your responses is worth the price of admission (the giveaways) Smile. One woman said she lost her pencil case full of coloured pencils and pens in New Orleans in Jefferson square and now imagines a creative hobo making some nice art with those drawing tools!  Fun!


Yesterday we had a lovely Father’s Day celebration at the magic cottage.  Mr. G was thrilled to have his two kids here.  His daughter, Charlene came from out of town to celebrate – it was a surprise!  This is a picture i took from Mr. G’s garage just before the guests arrived.  The garage is pretty scary looking (well – not to him) but what i love about it is the view of the backyard from the garage doorway!  The colours were absolutely vibrating!

I do hope you all took the time to celebrate the special Dad’s in your lives!

Lots of love,  Violette xox

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