Painting the Sanctuary!

July14

Hi all – hope you had a wonderful weekend!  It’s been hot hot hot here in B.C. – over 30 degrees centigrade!  We don’t have air conditioning at the magic cottage so it can get pretty toasty inside!

This weekend we finally decided to revamp the room off of the kitchen which i used to call the sanctuary which actually was a storage room for everything. When you live in a small space every room counts so I’ve decided to clear out the room, get rid of things (difficult for me) and redecorate it.

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As you can see the room was a dark burgundy – I’m going more for a peaceful restful look so I’ll be painting it a lilac/mauve colour. 

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Over the window are the words (To Thine Ownself be True). They were drawn on there by a sign painter about 18 years ago – i plan on painting around the letters since i love the saying so much!

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It was so hot i felt like painting naked Smile – but i donned on my painters overalls instead. You just never know who might come around to the backyard and peep in the window!

Because the room was painted such a dark colour i have to first prime the entire room before adding the colour i want.  It’s a pretty daunting process as there’s all the furniture in the middle of the small room and working around it is challenging. 

The room will be used as a guest room/a zen meditation/yoga room and also for me to place my laptop in.  It’s the only room i can i have a nice view of the backyard while i work – that’s going to be such a treat. The image I have is what keeps me motivated on such a project!

Today I’ll be attending an extended art journal jam in Birch Bay – Joanne – one of the Journal jam attendees has organized a gathering at her place.  We’ll have food, art and lots of laughter for sure! What better way to spend the day!

I’ll be reporting back on Wednesday about the Journal Jam!

Love, Violette xo

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    Happy 4th of July to my American friends!

    July4

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

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    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.

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    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

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      Magic Cottage Backyard video and 60 cartoons!

      June20

      Happy Friday everyone!

      I shot a little video of the backyard and flowers – giving you a little tour or what it looks like and where i often sit to create my 60 in 60 cartoons! You’ll note while i am hula hooping it started to rain a bit and a few drops of water are spinning off the hula hoop Smile.

      I hope you like it.

      60 in 60 cartoons are finished!  Hooray!

      I made a request on Facebook for people’s favourite quote and I received a bunch of great ones…….i chose the following 3 ones from the fab quotations. The last one i found myself.

      Day57_1

      Day 57 “Better to light a Candle than curse the darkness.” – Chinese Proverb

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      Day 58 “We have 2 ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak” – Epictetus

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      Day 59 – “You don’t have to see the whole staircase.  Just take the first step” – Martin Luther King

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      And the finally cartoon………drumroll please…….Day 60 – “The Soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” – Emily Dickinson

      I’m pretty proud of myself for completing this series.  I have difficulty sustaining interest in anything for too long (ADHD anyone?) but I did manage to complete this even with a few crises happening.  Art really does sustain me as I’m sure it does the same for you.

      Enjoy the weekend.

      Love, Violette xo

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        Blog Hop exposure

        May19

        Good morning everyone!  It’s a holiday here in B.C. but i promised that i would post in response to an invite to a bloghop by my friend Wendy of Late Start Studio (please check out her blog) – she’s incredibly prolific creatively speaking even though she has a full time job! I simply don’t know how she does it!

        My apologies for not following up by asking 3 friends (artists) who have influenced me to continue the bloghop – life got in the way – i ended up babysitting for my daughter whose entire household was sick and then got behind on all of my other work related duties. I do however post at the bottom of this blogpost 3 people who greatly influenced me.

        Here are the questions we are asked and my answers:

        What am I working on?

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        Right now I am working on a series called 60 cartoons in 60 days – #60in60 (i counted back from my birthday 60 days and began my challenge then).  I am turning 60 on June 15th and began to freak out about ageing and not having accomplished as much as i had hoped in my life. So what I’ve been doing lately is reframing when a negative thought hits my brain. I turn a perceived negative into a positive.  You may know that the brain has plasticity and you can train yourself to think more positively changing your neural pathways – it’s work and is all about constantly monitoring your thoughts.

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        So each of the cartoons is meant to be uplifting helping me focus on the positive or help me to be more mindful like this cartoon:

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        and this cartoon………

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        How does my work differ from others of its genre?

        Well since beginning the 60 in 60 challenge I have differently veered off the path that others in my genre are on – I am known for my mixed media and art journaling work – my book Journal Bliss is all about art journaling – it’s a journey I began about 12 years ago. 

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        But lately when I’ve asked myself what is it that i really love to do?  I keep returning to I love to draw uplifting cartoons – i call them uptoons! Because THEY ARE uplifting Smile

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        I don’t believe many folks in the mixed media world are creating cartoons in the same fashion that i am. When i was working on my book Journal Bliss I noticed that the editors of my book wanted me to illustrate the book as well as create art journal pages. Here is a sample of one of the pages….

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        And i was puzzled – why are they getting me to do this which was a ton more work when other artists creating mixed media work were not? Then it hit me – “That’s what makes me unique!” so why not share that uniqueness in my book?

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        Why do I write/create what I do?

        I cannot NOT create – it’s like breathing – if i did not breathe i would die. So naturally i draw/create. I’ve also noticed that my work is motivated quite a bit by the desire to inspire.  My art has morphed and changed with the advent of the internet.  Before i created with the hopes that i could get my art into Art Galleries and cafes.  Now that is not my motivation at all. 

        I’ve had a website for over 12 years (guess you could call me an early adopter or pioneer in the field of art on the net)…..makes me laugh when i think of that since that’s hardly any time at all.  Over 11 years ago I frequented a messageboard created by Sark – my biggest inspiration.

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        Magic Cottage

        I started sharing stories of my life on Sark’s messageboard. I posted pictures of my art on my website so the folks could see what i created but so they could also follow me on my adventures with my Glittergirl Van and view photos of my Magic Cottage. My son ended up creating a blog for me so i could post answers to most frequently asked questions as well as post a constant stream of art.  The art I created morphed into more uplifting, whimsical works meant to inspire the people who were visiting my blog. I became much more prolific artistically speaking because of the desire to inspire.

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        How does your writing/creating process work?

        Having a deadline certainly helps! This 60 day challenge is helping me stay honest and real. If indeed drawing makes me happy why don’t i find time every day to draw?  Life gets in the way or I babysit my grandkids (whom i adore) or I am doing gardening in our large backyard. Or I’m spending more time marketing, taking webinars and classes than doing what i truly love to do. I’m more apt to create if i have a deadline.  So i sit down at the kitchen counter and things begin to flow – quite literally like Mihaly Cikszentmihalyi speaks about in the book “Flow”. Sometimes I begin to panic that i will never ever have another cartoon or drawing inside of me. After the panic subsides I put pen to paper and it flows.  I get a phrase or an inner prompt to begin with a heart or a flower and then I’m off and running! YAY!

        When my nephew had a tragic accident I wondered what I could bring him every week to spark his spirit a bit.  A series of inspiring mixed media pieces unfolded which ultimately became a calendar for Brush Dance – one of the paintings “Bliss” is in the above photo.

        I could ramble on and on but I’ve already taken up enough of your time.  So I will end this to let you know 3 people who greatly inspired me:

        Sark – she has been my biggest inspiration – from the moment i ready her book Inspiration Sandwich about 25 years ago I felt I was given permission to be myself!

        Marney Makridakis of Artellaland inspired me. My art was published in her zine and also her yahoo group connected me with numerous creative spirits. She’s such a generous spirit.

        Leonie Dawson is also a big inspiration to me – i first met Leonie on the Sark Messageboard and recognized a kindred spirit in her. It’s been so thrilling to watch her fabulous artistic/business career unfold.

        See you all on Wednesday!

        Love Violette xo

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          Give your Creative Dreams Wings Blog Hop

          April8

          How do I give my creative dreams wings? Well it’s a long story – have you got an hour or two? Just kidding – I’ll give you the Coles note’s version AND a mind map to illustrate how some of it unfolded. My Creative Dreams are a work in progress – I like to think of my dreams as a journey. To be truthful I’m not one of those folks who map out the next 5, 10 or 20 years in a sitting and then pretty much manage to manifest them all! For me it’s been an organic process. I wanted to inspire women to embrace who they are through the vehicle of their creativity. The best way to do this was to share my journey with them.

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          If you want to skip this long blog post then you could just check out this mind map for the pared down version of how i gave my creative dream wings.

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          1. The Magic Cottage – What got the ball rolling in an exciting way is when I surrounded myself with my Tribe of people – I call them my Bohemian Tribe. These are friends from all walks of life who are funky, creative, spiritual and some of them are eccentric to boot! They believed in my vision and encouraged me along the way when I stumbled and was letting fear get the best of me. It all started with my magic cottage – I bought a plan white and baby blue cottage which I transformed with the help and encouragement of my Bohemian Tribe into a colourful oasis of joy, bliss and creativity! Painting the cottage just the way I liked it and listening to the inner voice that encouraged me to follow what I loved opened many doors. My home was featured on Weird Homes TV show along with a number of other shows. It was also featured in magazines and newspaper articles.

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          2. Magazines – I had always wanted to see my artwork featured in magazines. I knew folks liked my whimsical and inspirational art but didn’t know how to get it featured in magazines. I was invited to feature work in Artella Magazine many years ago (after joining their online community) – that was the beginning! Then I was featured in Cloth Paper Scissors, Somerset Studios, Altered Couture, Scrapbooking and Beyond, Studios, Creative Homes and more! Most magazines have submission guidelines online that you can check out before sending your submissions in. Along the way I was nurtured and encouraged by an online community that formed on my blog’s forum called the GPSGlitter Power Sisters. They were so awesome, encouraging and supportive! I did eventually meet some of the GPS in Arizona – we created our own personal retreat.

          I began blogging 9 years ago and so that too was very instrumental in making many of my dreams a reality. Blogging was the thread that wove through all of these diverse dreams.

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          3. Journal Bliss (my book) – one of my dreams from many, many years ago was to have my own book. After being featured in magazines I became more known and when I was asked to submit art for Kaleidoscope (a mixed media book) and also Living the Creative Life I jumped at the opportunity. Being featured in those books opened the door to pitching my own book idea and VOILA! A dream came true with the publication of Journal Bliss five years ago. I felt truly blessed to be able to encourage and inspire women to be more creative by art journaling their lives. What a rush!

          glittergirl and violette

          4. Glittergirl Van – One of the greatest joys of my life was having the opportunity to paint my van! It all happened organically when I heard that the cast of a TV show was going to be filming at an art car festival in Vancouver. They were on the lookout for Women Art car artists. I had e-mailed the folks to let them know I’d like to paint my van – I had also mentioned I’d appeared on the TV show Weird Homes. So they invited me to visit them on site and they interviewed me extensively. I told them what I had planned on doing. And then – I HAD TO DO IT!! Ack! They wanted me to photo document the process of painting the van which I did. Later, they pieced the photos and my interview together for a show on Women and Art cars. I had so many creative adventures with my van which I dubbed Glittergirl. It was painted with inspiring quotes, and joyful images not to mention glitter. Glittergirl sparked many transformative conversations. GG is now in art car heaven but her memory lives on through the door which graces my backyard garden!

          Weird-Homes

          5. Violette TV – Another creative dream was to have my own TV show. About 15 years ago I had a story idea for a TV show called the Creative Spirit. I pitched a couple of networks my brilliant idea but was sadly rejected. I gave up on that idea for many years. Seven years ago I was surfing Youtube when I came across a video from Suzi Blu – I felt I had found a kindred spirit! I loved what she was doing and proceeded to ask her some questions. Suzi was very gracious – she kindly gave me a bit of advice and encouragement about cameras and editing programs. So off I trundled to buy a video camera and an editing program and created my own YouTube channel. Unbeknownst to me I HAD created my own TV show which I tentatively called Violette TV. I have created over 60 videos! Next I plan on starting the interview creative people in my own community. One never knows what will happen next until you step forward and take a chance.

          6. Creative Community – my next adventure is to create an online community so that’s what is in the works right now – I’m looking for a good platform to deliver videos, podcasts and ideas.

          So you see – giving your creative dreams wings is not always a linear process – it’s important to follow the breadcrumbs and let your dream unfold gradually. It really helps if you have guides or Sherpas along the way – speaking of which Andrea Schroeder is such a person.  She is hosting a blog hop in celebration of a special Give your Dreams Wings e-course :

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          The Give Your Dream Wings Blog Hop is a peek inside the process of how inspiring people make the magic happen. We’ve got some of the internet’s most inspiring bloggers sharing how they give their dreams wings – what they do that supports, nurtures and encourages their tender dreams to come to life. Click here to find out about the free e-course and to read the other crazy inspiring posts in this Blog Hop.

          This is happening in celebration of the new e-course of the same name by Andrea Schroeder of the Creative Dream Incubator.  The Give Your Dream Wings e-course shows you how to nurture and grow YOUR dream, for free, in only 10 minutes a day.  You do not have to wait until you have more time or money!

          Love Violette xo

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            Yes Live Concert and Happy Spring!

            March21

            Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed the first day of Spring!

            I was so thrilled last night to attend a Yes Concert with Mr. G last night!  I’m a fan from way back – 40 years ago!  In case you have not heard of them Yes is a fabulous Progressive Rock band that have been playing for 45 years!

            yes_concert

            Here I am at the concert last night waiting for the band to appear…….so excited!  The evening was pure magic and brought me back to my late teens.  If i closed my eyes it felt like i was listening to the vocals of Jon Anderson. The new singer is Jon Davison – sounds so much like Jon Anderson it isn’t funny.  You can imagine how difficult it must be to hit those high notes when you are close to 70 so it’s wonderful that the new singer can keep the sound alive with his fabulous voice. He has such a lovely spirit too! Bonus! Yes is on tour now so if they come to your city i would highly recommend catching a live concert.

            It’s Spring – Hooray!

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            In honour of spring i decided to take a new photo for my Facebook banner……for some strange reason i keep taking photos of the magic cottage.  The neighbours must think I’m loopy – there i was carting out my revamped skateboard table onto the front lawn to put the pansies on for a photo shoot.

            It was a drizzly day when i shot this photo so the colours came out juicy and saturated!


            Upcoming Art Journal Jam!

            artjournaljam_Mar25

            I wanted to give you the heads up about our next art journal jam happening on Tuesday at 3:30 pm at the Good Day Sunshine Cafe in South Surrey.  Come out with your art supplies, grab a cup of java or a hot chocolate and art journal with us.

            Enjoy your weekend!

            Love, Violette xo

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