Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

Talkin' Bout you and Me

A chance meeting at a coffee shop resulted in this video you see here. You see my friend Barb and I were going for a walk this past weekend and afterwards decided to pop into our favourite little coffee shop on the beach. Who should we see but Roger Currie – a singer/songwriter who created a song for us (the white rock chics) 6 years ago to accompany our calendar. Roger mentioned that he wanted to put his song up on youtube but thought it might be cool to add the images from the calendar to go with the song. Roger had a soft spot in his heart for single moms (most of the funds went towards single mom’s programs) since his Mom had been a single mother. Another serendipitous coffee shop (6 years earlier) meeting resulted in Roger very generously offering to write a song for us. I was sitting by myself when I saw Roger and causally mentioned that a bunch of women (many whom he knew) were planning on shedding our clothes to produce a calender so as to raise funds for Women’s programs. I was mildly freaking out wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into. Here is the story: 

How the white rock chics came to be

The White Rock Chics calendar was created in 2005 to raise funds for Women’s Programs in B.C. Canada.
Violette (yours truly) and Barb initiated the calendar after watching and being inspired by the movie “Calendar Girls”. This movie portrays an English women’s group raising funds for a worthy cause. Both Barb and Violette felt compelled to give something back to their community and the movie gave them the vehicle to help them meet this objective.

The two friends recruited nine amazing and inspirational women to join them in their mission to raise funds for women’s programs. Soon after, others joined in Brian Howell the award winning photographer: Kimber, the business supporter and Teresa, the graphic artist. With the abundance and talent, gifts and connections this project had lifted off the ground in a very positive magical way.

Different Gifts to share

The cool thing is that when we all came together everyone had different gifts to share to bring this project to fruition. Barb had contacts with bookstores, another friend had experience in dealing with the media and writing, a few of the women were also great writers, I was an artist and was able to draw little chick images and promotional materials such as t-shirts and coasters. Another friend had a contact with the newspaper and in particular the fabulous photographer Brian Howell who ended up photographing all of the ladies. One of the ladies had set up an event at a local art gallery, another one set up a launch party at a popular restaurant. It was pretty magical how it unfolded.

Our hope was that this calendar would inspire you to celebrate the beauty of women and honour the creative force and ability of a small group of friends who came together to enrich the lives of others.

And guess what??? Best of all we raised over 20,000 dollars for Women’s Programs!

Tell me what you want what you really really want!

I took this picture early last nite of the magic cottage since the Laburnum is looking so beautiful and I thought it framed the purple cottage in such a delightful way!

And the Winner is……

Thank you so very much everyone for your responses to my FAQ and Magic Cottage post….i really appreciate your questions. Some of them would never dawned on me to answer until you brought them up. I have such gratitude for all of you who participate and leave comments. Now the winner of the wee contest is Jen Vespaziani! Congratulations Jen! I used a random number generator to pick the winner so that it’s fair and square. Jen is a local artist – a fabulous collage artist at that. The other day I was in a coffee shop and saw some wonderful collages on the wall. I asked the coffee shop owner who was the artist. It just so happened that the artist was the sister of the owner. So I set out on a mission to find Jen – her sister said she was on facebook. As it turned out I Jen’s daughter had taken one of my workshops on collaged journals and when I met Jen and saw her art journal I gasped and thought “i would love to get to know this artist – we are kindred spirits!”. But we never connected until I saw her collages on the coffee shop walls and went on a mission. So Jen……if you could e-mail me you can drop by and pick up your print and sketchbook!

From fancy Dining room to Games room

Now back to getting what you want. We tend to be socialized by our parents, teachers, coaches and society in general how to be in life. We come into the world as little babies knowing EXACTLY what we want – crying when we are hungry and crying when we are wet and need changing etc. Something happens along the way though which changes things. Limitations begin to be set on us and we begin not knowing what it is we REALLY want. We adopt what others want for us. Here is a real life example. When I was married we bought a pretty fancy dining room set – table, chairs and hutch. It was pretty grand and big. It took up the entire separate dining room. My parents were pretty excited about it since they never had such a fancy dining room set. One day it dawned on me that I REALLY didn’t like it and would much rather have that space for a fooz ball table and a pinball machine. My son Ryan always had tons of friends over for lunch during school lunch break and I thought it would be fun for them to have something to do. So I sold the dining room set and bought a pinball machine and moved the foozball game into the dining room. My Mom was mortified that I would sell the gorgeous set. It dawned on me that I was living my parents dream and not my own. Today of course my Mom understands this and would certainly advocate that I create a room exactly the way I want to no matter how weird or colourful it might be! He he!

When I moved into the magic cottage it didn’t look so magical – or at least not the way I had envisioned it. So with the help of friends I set out to paint and decorate it exactly as I wanted. It was as if I had uncorked the genie’s bottle and all kinds of colours spilt out!

So What is YOUR DREAM? 

So are you living anyone else’s dream? Are you having troubles deciding what YOUR DREAM is? Why not sit down and make a list of things you want, things you want to be and things you want to have. You might say “But I don’t know what I want”. If you did know what you wanted what would it be? Look around your home for clues – what kinds of magazines do you read, what kinds of books, what kinds of TV programs do you watch? What kinds of blogs or websites do you frequent? Clues to your bliss lie there!

What it is

This post is going to be brief since i’m in a hurry to get out the door!  I’m in the beginning stages of creating an art journal page.  Last nite i got the idea to create a page of a woman’s legs with a bird cage ontop.  I’m not exactly sure where i’m going with this but i’m not trying to think too hard.  I believe that thinking gets in the way of art and ends up  ruining things.  If you think too much and become self-conscious about it then the art becomes contrived.  In Lynda Barry’s fabulous book “What it is”  she talks about how objects summon memories, what do real images feel like?   Lynda encourages the reader to keep their pen moving and when you do this – lo and behold you will feel alive again.  The book is about writing but also about art and how many of us quit drawing due to judgements at a young age.  Anyways it kind of felt like Lynda was inside my head since she documents what it felt like to be a geeky kid and how her artistic life saved her in many ways.  Her life mirrors my life in many ways.  I  was inspired to work on the above page after reading parts of What it is.

If Furniture could Talk

Island Counter

Yesterday a reporter/journalist from the local paper came by to see about writing a possible story on my Magic cottage. Her specialty is Interior Design so I thought that her readers might benefit from a piece on recycling and revamping found objects. Even though I’m known as an artist/art journaler I can always get my name out there in a story of this kind. You just have to know how to pitch your idea to appeal to the media. To me it all falls under the category of “creativity”.

I had a lovely visit with the writer – we talked about everything under the sun! One thing I found out that was of particular interest to her was the stories behind the furniture, not JUST the furniture itself. That has always interested me too – sometimes I make up stories of what kind of setting or life my revamped treasures used to have before finding their way into my home. So as we were moving throughout the house I was telling the reporter about certain pieces and how I acquired them. She was definitely interested when I pointed out the kitchen counter/island which I’m sure had a fascinating previous life. It was found in a barn with chicken droppings all over it in an incredibly horrible state. It used to be a Doctor’s examining table – I’m guessing from 60 or so years ago. Can you imagine the tales it could tell? I won’t even go there since I’d be here forever telling you imaginary stories of pregnant women, children getting shots and the lonely person returning to see the doctor for every imaginary illness. I have a painted small suitcase that used to house “breast pumps” of all things. Then there is the broken skateboard which was turned into a side table – i’ll bet it witnessed many spills and triumphs on wooden ramps!

Dream Board Interview Today

I’m being interviewed today at 9:30 am PST on Thrive in Balance by Jordan Mercedes. All week long Jordan is interviewing folks about Vision Boards. We’ll be discussing the power of Vision Boards, life coaching, supportive communities and how these things have helped me become more successful. Do check it out!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  For a cool shoe shrine idea check out Crafty Chica’s blog . I thought this was appropriate since it’s very Mexican, glittery and celebratory!

Art Journal Challenge


Art Journal Challenge

I thought it might be fun to post an art journal challenge today. If you like you can play along with me and post the links to your journal pages (or ATC’s or canvases or whatever you make of this challenge) in the comments section. I’ll probably take two days to do it since i’m working on other stuff as well. I’ll show you the work in progress too! Sometimes it helps to jumpstart your creativity by having some prompts. In the above photo I’ve chosen:

  • an action – credit card for scraping paint
  • a textural making tool – bubble wrap
  • a word or phrase to fashion the page around
  • and a couple of “things” to incorporate (i’ve chosen a strawberry and a tree-twig of all things)


What you could do is have 4 containers, either tins or boxes or whatever pleases you. In each container you can put words that: 1. contain an action (scrap, texture, antique, smoosh, stamp) 2. names of texture making tools 3. words or phrases or quotes (clipped from magazines or typed out) 4. names of things such as: trees, people, faces, fruits, vegetables, flowers, shoes, vase, car, bike, trailer, hand, nose, mouth, tools like hammer, screwdriver etc.

I think you get my drift right? All you do is use the words or things as jumping off points. For example I may or may not use the magazine clipped phrase “ hang up sunshine” as is or I might just incorporate those words in the text on my journal page.

This is a good exercise because it gets your creative juice flowing – the more you do things like this the better you get at it. Don’t freak out or anything, this is supposed to be fun – you won’t be graded on it (I promise!). Before you know it you’ll be in the flow and ideas, techniques and spontaneous ramblings will spring from your fingers! If you are interested in learning more about “flow” check out Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book Finding Flow – fabulous book about learning about the joys of completely being engrossed in a task. Have fun with it! xo

I thought I would share with you what’s been going on…..Mr. G was in a go-kart incident (his words), cracked some ribs and as a result of tensing himself, he put his back out – ouch – so I’ve been kind of looking after him, taking him to chiropractor appointments and just pampering him a bit. It’s kind of put my schedule off but I’m still managing to get some stuff done! When I get overwhelmed by all of the things I “Should” be doing I tell myself to relax, that it will all get done and to put things in their proper perspective.

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