Archive of ‘Magic Cottage’ category

Art and Nature: What’s inspiring me today

I wondered what to blog about today and then it came to me – blog about what is inspiring you this morning. I stepped out onto the deck and surveyed the backyard full of blooming flowers and art intermingled with the plants.  As i took the photos i realized that what i really loved is seeing my art merging beautifully with nature Smile.

chandelier1

I really loved how the sun was shining through the cutlery chandelier. Some of you may recall i made it last year with my sister, mom and friend Gina.

runninglady_july1

Running lady next to the ferns and the Gunnera bush. You can’t see it here but the glitter on her hair and spiral looks stunning glinting in the sun.

glittergirldoor_garden1

The glittergirl door nestled in amongst the ripening blackberries.

bottlecaps1

The bottlecap birdhouse pole.

flyinglady1

The flying lady nestled under a small apple tree.

driftwood

The Driftwood – Shell hanging inspired me today too!

If you did know what inspired you what would it be?

I often ask myself – what is inspiring you now?  And when I’m in a funk i say “I don’t know”.  So the next thing i ask and this is a trick i learned from my NLP days so many years ago. “If you did know what inspires you what would it be?”.  Ha ha ha!  That used to frustrate the living daylights out of me. The thing is though, deep down we do know what’s inspiring us, what’s making us happy and what doesn’t.

So i’d like to know – what’s inspiring YOU today?

Love, Violette xo

Painting the Sanctuary!

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.

sanctuary2

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. 

sanctuary3

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!

sanctuary4

sanctuary1

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

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!

cottage_daisies_2

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.

cottage_V_snow1

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

Magic Cottage Backyard video and 60 cartoons!

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

Day58_1

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

Day59_1

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

Day60_1

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

Blog Hop exposure

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?

PicMonkey Collage2_1

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.

day24_1

day9_2

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:

day14_3

and this cartoon………

Day21_1

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. 

Journalbliss_bookcover1

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

uptoons

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….

portablecreativity2

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?

girl_rules

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.

cottage_2014_1

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.

v_bliss

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

1 2 3 4 10