Posts Tagged ‘magic cottage’

Give your Creative Dreams Wings Blog Hop

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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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 :


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

Yes Live Concert and Happy Spring!

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!


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!


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!


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

Art Journal Jam and Snowy days at the Magic Cottage

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you in good health and a happy mood!


We had another art journal jam yesterday and what fun we had! What a fabulous group of women we have attending!  Maybe next time we’ll have a guy join us – there was a young fellow who looked on with curiosity while we were creating so he said he might come along next month.  


Here are the ladies hard at PLAY! If you look closely you can see a couple of balls of yarn – one woman was crocheting and another one knitting.  One attendee – Debbie was unravelling a mess of yarn for Joanne who was knitting a cap for homeless folks in Vancouver.  Most people were working on Art Journal pages.  The art journal jams have evolved into an electric joyful atmosphere where creative community flourishes. It’s been so wonderful to watch friendships blossoming, sharing of ideas, swaps and kind acts occurring.

Snow at the magic cottage


We don’t usually get much snow in my neck of the woods – Surrey, B.C. so when we do get it – there’s lots of excitement!  Here’s a shot of the dragonfly laden down with snow.  I can tell that we will need to revamp him again this summer!


The Backyard – the Creative Juice sign and guardian crow covered in snow!


I thought this little birdhouse with a poof of snow on it looked like a Marie Antoinette birdhouse no?


I snapped this little selfie with my i-pad – can you say awkward? Since Mr. G wasn’t around to take my photo i did it myself holding the i-pad out at arms length Smile. I needed MUCH longer arms!


I had a car decal made to promote my business and help you get your business mojo backLooks pretty doesn’t it? It’s perforated with holes so you can see the pretty image and yet still see through the window – in theory that is. Unfortunately because of the angle of my back window I am unable to see through the window – well i can see but it’s like looking through fog.  So I am going to have to get it removed Sad smile. Hopefully we can come up with another solution!

I have been busy taking Mindy Lacefield’s online class called “Neat Stuff” – a fun mixed media class on capturing the stuff of our youth that made us happy. I’ll let you see what I come up with next week.

Love Violette xo

Holiday Magic

Hello there!  I wanted to share a photo of the Magic Cottage all lit up!  We light the dragonfly all year round but the rest of the house and the archway is lit for the Christmas Season!


A wee Holiday video…..

I quickly took this video with my cell phone the other day to show you the magic cottage decorated for the holidays.  I thought the UFO on the hearth next to the Believe wreath as kind of funny!

December Contest

Don’t forget to sign up for my December Contest!  Deadline is this Friday at 8 am PST – enter here!  Good luck!

Love, Violette xo

Repurposed Chair–Swing

Happy B.C. Day to all my Canadian (British Columbian) friends and elsewhere! It’s a holiday here in B.C. so i almost didn’t blog today but I was so excited to “chair” this new project with you – a Repurposed Chair Swing! chair_swing_collage

Mr. G made the fatal mistake of lamenting on Saturday that he had no woodworking projects on the go. Did i hear him correctly???  I have a million ideas for him – naturally Smile. Next weekend we are celebrating my daughter Jessica’s birthday so that means the grandkids will be over!  They are too young to use my old swing so i kept pondering how we could make it safe for the little ones to use.


A quick visit to Pinterest and a search for chair swings yileded much inspiration!  All i had to do was find an old chair……….


Well wouldn’t you know it – there next to the Casbah shed stood a forlorn looking chair, peeling and rather ugly don’t you think?  It was one of my treasures from a big haul on Curbside recycling week 9 years ago Smile.  So i pulled it out and showed Mr. G and said “can you chop off these legs and make some sort of arms for this thing and attach it to the old swing please?”


I seriously don’t think this is what he had in mind when he said he didn’t have any woodworking projects but i guess he thought this would have to do in a pinch.  He chopped off the legs and then pondered about what to do for arms.


While i was away food shopping Mr. G came up with the idea of using the legs as arms and also using the leg cross struts for arms too (if you know what i mean). He screwed them in nicely and then made some circular wood disks for the top of the arms (there were big holes in the chair legs for some reason). You could alternately use wooden balls as end caps.


Because I will be doing most of the swinging around the magic cottage the swing had to fit my hips Smile. So Mr. G had me try out the swing before going any further.  My pre-gluten free hips would not have made the cut I’m afraid (those 11 extra pounds would have made it an incredibly tight squeeze).  Check out this blogpost about a journal page i created about my tummy talking to me.


After sanding the peeling chair vigorously Mr. G primed the chair with Zinsser Primer.


Mr. G had to test if this rope configuration would work or not.  It took a while to figure out where the ropes had to go in order for the swing to not tip.  Trust me – it’s not as easy as it looks. We used a tree limb that is on an angle which posed some interesting challenges.


I got the easy part – all i had to do is spray paint the chair with Rustoleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover 2 x spray paint.  The colour i chose looks sort of like my top!


I love how juicy the colour turned out.  I had some extra spray paint left and ended up spraying a wooden birdhouse i had lying around. That’s for another blogpost.


The first hole was drilled at the top of the rear upright of the chair.


The second hole was drilled in the bottom of the rear upright of the chair. As you can see Mr. G screwed the old swing base to the bottom of the chair. The nylon rope (1/2”)  was fed through the holes and then knotted as you see here. Mr. G used the existing hole in the swing to feed the front rope into (from the underside). All in all the cost of the swing was about 28 dollars counting the rope and the spray paint.  We had the primer and screws and glue already and the chair was free.


Voila!  Isn’t it cute?  I must say I’m not overly cranked about the way Mr. G wrapped the ropes around the chair but quite honestly I don’t feel the cute chairs we saw on Pinterest would hold adults.  This one is safe.  Now when the wee grandkids go on the swing all I’ll have to do is attach a belt to the front of the arms.  When Mr. G’s grandson Leium who is six years old comes to visit he won’t be needing the belt.


There – doesn’t the chair fit in perfectly with the Magic Cottage vibe? If you like this project and want to save it for future project ideas why not pin it on Pinterest? 

Thank you to all of you who submitted feedback for my website Re-evaluation.  If you haven’t submitted any of your ideas please click the link and submit in the comments section to be eligible to win some of my whimsical coasters!

Love, Violette xo

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