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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

 

 

All in one Day Planner

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Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday.  Now it’s back to reality again. Like many people I have difficulty transitioning from the magic of Christmas to the mundane New Year.  It’s always good to focus on what you are grateful for rather than on what you no longer have or what’s in the past.  A planner or notebook is a good way to write down what you are grateful for.  Every year I buy a new planner and every year after one or two months of writing in it i abandon it. So this year I’m trying something different.

Suzi Blu started a group (it’s closed now i believe) on Facebook called “Paint and Chronicle” which is a place where you can follow along with her as she creates a unique all in one planner – Suzi style. It’s got the month and the days in it but it also encompasses gratitude and journaling, art and more.  I think I’ve been looking for something like this to keep me honest.

moleskin_cover1I’ve got lists, ideas, gratitude etc. written in a number of different places and am continually losing them and buying new books and starting anew.  So i’m pretty excited to begin this one as a catch all for all the important stuff.  The above book is created in a moleskin grid book.  I collaged a front cover and protected it with a layer of packing tape.  I wanted to make sure it was pretty enough for me to want to use it :).

I think if i allow myself to be real, messy and not worry about creating perfect art then this is something i can keep up with.

What kind of planner journal do you use for the important stuff throughout the year?

Love Violette xo

 

Sketching Unicorns and me!

 

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Happy Monday everyone! I hope my American friends had a good Thanksgiving Holiday – you might be still celebrating too!

I have to go to the doctors for a bunch of issues and rather than go to see the Doctor for one issue at a time I decided that many of them might be related and the best way for me to demonstrate that would be to do a quick drawing of my symptoms (i left a few out which i will add later). I think if you go into the Doctor’s office and have less than 5 minutes to talk about your problems it’s good to be prepared.

I was not aiming for a pretty drawing or anything – just something which could be self-explanatory.  You could probably do something like this in your art journal and make it much more elaborate on a mixed media background to document where you are now and then another page “where you are later”.

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Over the weekend I was feeling rather listless and unmotivated.  A little voice told me to draw a Unicorn so I decided to go for it.  I felt a bit guilty since there was no rhyme or reason for it and i could have spent that time cleaning up.

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In any case i had fun – I think i’ll incorporate it into a future journal page.

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Lifebook 2015!

Lifebook 2015 starts in one months time!  If you’d like to sign up to get access to many of your favourite teachers and transformative projects check this out!  I’m really happy to be one of the teachers this year around!

See you later!

Love, Violette xo

P.S. I can’t believe we are already into December!

 

Crazy like a Fox: the Monster in me!

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You may be wondering why I’m drawing a fox?  I rarely draw animals or monsters for that matter :).  My friend and fellow art journaler Joyelle Brandt created a book called Princess Monsters from A to Z.  She asked a few of her artist friends to come up with the Monster in them and write a bit about the character.  She wants to create a buzz around her book in a fun way!

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 Here’s a little bit about the book:

For any girl who has ever felt like she does not fit in, artist/author Joyelle Brandt has written a fun and meaningful book about the beauty of our individuality. Princess Monsters from A to Z is a charming collection of lovable characters, from wrestling champion Elian, to troublemaker Mayzee, to the cat juggling Zibbo. This book is a must-read for parents and kids alike. Says Brandt of why she wrote the book:

“I always felt like an outsider growing up because I didn’t think I fit into the typical model of beauty. I want girls to read this book and see themselves in it, and know that there is so much more to be than just pretty.”

You can find the book here and check out Joyelle’s website here.

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I can certainly relate to not feeling like i fit in growing up as well.

Instead of drawing a monster I kept getting the nagging feeling that i should be drawing a fox as the monster in me. I felt that sometimes people think i’m a bit crazy and eccentric…….doing odd things here and there.  But like the fox who seems crazy I can actually be quite clever – meaning there often is a method to my madness when initially there does not appear to be!

fox_sketchJoyelle asked the contributing artists to answer these questions about their monster ……here they are:

1. What is your monster’s name?  Felicity Fox

2. Hobbies/interests: likes moving in circles and hopping up and down. Likes to play marbles, draw, paint, interested in UFO’s (hence she is wearing a UFO hat).

3. Her biggest pet peeve?  When people pretend to be something they are not.

4.  Favourite food: olives of any description, artichokes, Moroccan Lentil soup, quinoa salad.

5.  Her personailty:  she’s definitely quirky, quick, jittery, creative and a mix between shy and outgoing – a bit of an enigma!

Thanks for checking out my imaginary Monster in me! And thanks Joyelle for inviting me to play!

P.S. If you have not already done so please enter my 10 Year Blog contest giveaway – i’m giving a way a set of my fun inspiration cards!

See you Friday!

Love, Violette xo

 

Blogging tomorrow!

Just wanted to let you know that i have a busy day today so I’ll be blogging tomorrow instead of today.
See you later alligator!
Love, Violette

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