Archive of ‘Teens Self-Esteem’ 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

A Change of Heart and Existential Angst

Yesterday I taught an Art Journaling workshop to Teens at a local Library. There were over 20 teens in attendance.  !5 of them had English as a second language (ESL) so I’m not sure if they understood my directions.  Because I had not been told ahead of time the ethnicity of the group I had sent ahead some digital pictures of very WHITE teens for the program director to colour copy. Good Grief – i was mortified!  I certainly would have been more sensitive had I been informed ahead of time.  Luckily I had some magazines on hand that the teens (some younger than teens) could pick through for images.  langley_libraryartjournaling

Here is a photo of some pages i painted ahead of time.  Since i was facilitating the workshop in a library it needed to be a fairly clean craft.  It would seem that some of the kids enjoyed themselves – a few of the older ESL boys seemed incredibly bored and told me so when i asked them if they were bored – ACK!!!!!! 

In any case i think this last workshop pretty much was the last nail in the coffin for delivering live workshops on technique based art journaling – I’m  DONE – BAKED – FRIED – FINISHED! 

At the end of it (only 2 hours long) i was so fried I could barely put the key in the car’s ignition.  A good indication of whether or not an activity is feeding your soul is if you are energized at the end of it.  At 59 years old I definitely was NOT energized. My shoulder which has been a problem for many years cannot take the schlepping of supplies….here I have two heavy rolling carts, a box and toolbox……


Usually I have another two or more boxes of paints.  This time I didn’t receive any help with carrying supplies into the venue so was pretty frazzled.

If I’m not a workshop instructor then what am I?

One of the things i have been struggling with is “if I’m not a workshop instructor then what am I?” My identity had been wrapped up in giving live workshops but I no longer have the passion for it. I have been an early adopter of Art Journaling having pursued it for over 12 years (probably more but i didn’t know what to call it). I see many younger folks teaching art journaling classes all over the world and online but then they have only been doing it for a few years and are probably feeling pretty fresh and excited about it.

Sorry for the rant – just thinking out loud and thought that it was high time that I was honest about how I have been feeling lately. Any of your thoughts or comments (if you’ve read thus far) would be appreciated! To be honest I’m feeling rather weary and old. I’m pretty much re-evaluating everything!

And now for something completely different……….a bit of fun and frivolity Smile………..

Birthday Party fun!


Remember the birdhouse post i painted?  Well it wasn’t finished yet……..until……


Mr. G ever so patiently hammered over 60 bottle caps into the bottom post. Here you can see a close-up shot of the festooned spindle and the birthday party in the background.  Note the 3 grandkids in the background – one of them is upside down!


My son-in-law Nis is showing his son Cillian the bottlecaps – it was a tactile experience Smile.


Must touch!


Mr. G aka Grampa Gra taking time out from the party to make a craft with grandson Sam!  It’s a whirligig made from two pop tins very carefully cut and weaved together.  Sam got to squish the tin strips together as well as feed some large beads onto the copper wire. Here is a fun video depicting the assorted Whirligis and here is a how to video on making whirligigs.

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The birthday couple – Nis and my daughter Jessica opening gifts.  Jessica is showing Cillian the scrapbook my Mom created for him and he had a tantrum. He’s an early adopter for the terrible twos – not yet two years old – has a few months left Smile.


The Swing Mr. G and I put together was a big hit – the grandkids loved it. Here is Sam enjoying a bit of food on the swing. The strap made a handy resting spot for his food.

Mr.G and babytoby

Mr. G and baby Toby having a bit of fun!

Enter to win a free Spot on 21 Secrets LIVE!

If you missed my Monday blogpost I announced a giveaway – I am one of the 21 Secrets LIVE! Workshop art journaling workshops and I’m giving away one spot to a lucky winner.  Go to that blogpost and leave a comment to be entered to win! I’ll be drawing a name on Friday morning!

See you all on Friday!

Love, Violette xo

July Contest Winner! Woo hoo!

We have a winner for the July Contest!  Hooray!  Congratulations Maxine Finch!  We had 100 entries – i use the Random Number generator to choose a name fair and square.  Maxine happens to live in my neighbourhood which means I will save 10 dollars in shipping Smile.maxine

Thank you so very much to everyone who entered the contest.  I so enjoyed your comments about communal art projects like the GIANT pinecone 5 foot wreath created by a group of nurses to grace a hospital wall, the communal knitting projects for charity, the mini indoor golf creative set up for kids, the round robin art journals and ATC projects, simply creating in community around a table, the quilts, the prayer flags, the communal online classes etc.  I hope my question to you encourages you to make something in community.

By the way – I am beginning to get a bumper crop of zucchinis so Maxine will be taking away a zucchini along with her winnings Smile. Food for the soul and body – ya gotta love it!

Wear safety goggles

A few of you mentioned that it’s important to wear safety googles while drilling holes (this is regarding the Silverware Chandelier video). You’re right – both my sister Linda and Mr. G didn’t wear safety goggles.  I know Mr. G rarely wears them and i continually harp on him to do so.  If i were drilling holes i would definitely wear them. So kids – don’t try this at home without goggles!

The Teens Workshop

I enjoyed teaching the Teens Surpass Workshop – what a great, creative group of offbeat kids. We created painted journals which we later added images, words and ephemera to.  I noticed the boys in the group were not so interested in adding ephemera Smile to their journals.  I wonder why? We worked outside in the hot sun and i didn’t bring a hat so right now I’m suffering from a bit of heat stroke.  I’ll take it easy the rest of the day.

I hope you are having a glorious day!

Love, Violette xo

Art Journal Stickers

On Friday i facilitated a Teen’s Art Journal Jam – about 8 teens started out Jamming with my friend and Teen Coach Susi.



While chatting with the teens i worked on some art journal stickers i plan on printing and using in my journal pages. One of the young teens – a boy gave me suggestions on the facial expressions. He’s a big fan of comics so he had some great ideas.

The kids were great!  I think they had fun.  The setting – the Portal in Ladner used to be a Dentist’s office so the rooms are tiny.  We had to split up into two groups – we could hear each other through the walls which was pretty comical. Thankfully my friend Susi dropped by to help out so she went in one room and i went in another.

Something magical happens when you begin to draw with others. Everyone opens up and shares personal stories. We spoke about bullying, comics, Comic-con and not being able to draw certain things.  There are many teachable moments when you are expressing yourself creatively in a group.  One of the young tweens (11 years old) said she could not draw faces.  As i looked through her sketchbook i could see all of her “girls” were faceless.  So i mentioned that there is a trick to drawing faces and that not to worry about the eyes being perfect.  I did a quick sketch of how to divide up a face and then sketch it out.

The next thing you know the girl had carefully and slowly drawn a beautiful face!  She was so pleased with herself. I’ll bet if i looked in her journal today i would see that her drawing has shifted slightly.

Many thanks to Vivienne and the Portal for Hosting the Teens Art Journal Jam!

I’m off to practise a Speech for Toastmaster’s tonight – it sure would be nice to not freak out every time I have to deliver a speech Smile.

Love, Violette xo

Teen’s Art Journaling–it’s a Jam!

Hooray!  There will be another art journal jam in Ladner just for teens this time! 


I was interviewed a couple of days ago regarding the Teen’s Art Journal Jam i am hosting– you can read about it here in the Delta Optimist newspaper. Please spread the message to all the teens you know in the area! It’s FREE!

My friend Vivienne Grace who is the founder of a lovely Metaphysical shop/healing center in Ladner called The Portal encouraged me to have workshops for Teens at the center.  I thought the Journal Jam is a good way to introduce teens to art journaling. 


There is a Grand Opening at the Portal tomorrow from 11 am to 7 pm. 

The Portal

4755 – 51 Street, Ladner

Vivienne has some of my art and artful products for sale along with many other beautiful pieces of art and metaphysical goodness! To find out more why not “Like” their page on facebook?

I’m off to have a visit with my little grandson Cillian who is turning one tomorrow!  He’s such a little darling – Happy Birthday Cillian! xo

Wishing you a very blessed weekend!

Love, Violette xo

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