Posts Tagged ‘ukulele’

Holiday joy!



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!  If you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah  I do hope you enjoyed spending it with family and friends.

We had a great Christmas gathering – two actually!  The above photo is of our family gathering at my son and daughter-in-laws home on Christmas day (four generations!).  There were 20 or so people there – what a joyful celebration. Click the above photo to see a larger version.



We also celebrated on Christmas eve with some of Mr. G’s family – his son Kevin and little grandson Leium were part of this celebration.  Since we don’t have a kitchen table we had to use the living room to put up the table and folding chairs. It looked pretty festive in there! It was lovely spending time with family on Christmas eve.

Lifebook 2015 Video set up

video_setupMr. G spoiled me as he usually does!  He got me this fancy tripod and i-pad mount (from i-shot) so that i can shoot and edit my videos for Lifebook 2015 more easily. I tend to get overwhelmed with the video system on the other Canon camera i have – the i-pad is so much easier. And speaking of which in this photo i was video taping my first bonus lesson for Lifebook – it starts in just a couple of days!  Yay – you can sign up here. I can’t wait to see what all of the participants come up with.



Sneak peek: Starting to apply paint to my first project!

One of the gifts Mr. G gave me was 10 Ukulele lessons with my friend Ivy who is a local music teacher!  I can’t wait to start my lessons.  I love the sound of the Uke – makes me so happy.

I’m off to edit the videos!  Hope you are having a glorious day!

Love, Violette xo

Giving the gift of Creativity



Wow – I can’t believe it – soon Christmas will be upon us.  I’m not quite ready yet – I have several gifts to get. How about you? A good friend gave me this lovely Christmas arrangement which i thought looked smashing on my painted coffee table!  I took a photo and posted it on Instagram.  Which reminds me – if you are on instragram come and follow me.  If you are following me and i haven’t followed you back (because i’m still trying to figure out how it works) please let me know!

LIFEBOOK 2015 Starts in 2 weeks!




This Christmas I am not wanting for too much apart from books (which i love) – artsy, spiritual and personal growth books are always on my list!  What is most important to me are experiences……….especially creative experiences. I’m asking for Ukulele lessons (you may recall I tried a couple of years ago to learn how to play and ended up quitting but this time i’d like to be serious about it.  My Uke sits in a basket staring at me and imploring me to learn to play!). I also like the gift of online courses.  At my age – 60 – there is not too much I need as I’ve amassed so much – as I’m sure you have as well.Taking classes and learning from other creatives always gets my mojo going!


And speaking of which – there are just 2 weeks left before LIFEBOOK 2015 starts up! It’s going to be an Art Journaling extravaganza!  What better gift to give to yourself or to a loved one – the gift of creativity!!  I can’t think of anything better. LIFEBOOK 2015 is going to be awesome!  With more than 2 dozen artists teaching a couple of classes each (i’m one of them!  Yay!) your year will be full of joyful creativity and self-discovery.


I can’t wait to begin – in fact I’ll be shooting my first class this week so I’m super duper excited!  So if you or your loved one are stumped for what to ask for consider the gift of this amazing year long workshop series. At the end of it all you’ll have a fab book of your adventures.

People are talking about the community that forms around LIFEBOOK and how encouraging the teachers and participants are.  For many people this is the cherry on top!  I hope you’ll join us!

Love, Violette xo

Art books, Doodles, Workshops and articles!


Does this image look familiar?  Well it’s one of Traci Bautista’s fantastically colourful doodles! You can register for a free workshop from Strathmore called “Doodles Unleashed: Mixed Media Mark-Making Techniques”.

Jill K. Berry has a free Webinar coming up: My Journey with Maps – you can sign up for free. Jill will be talking about her book Personal Geographies as well as how her love of cartography evolved.

Check out Rice Freeman Zachary’s video notes on Annie Lockhard’s book Objects of Reflection. It’s a book on Assemblage so if you have a love of this form of mixed media art you might love this book! Here’s the video:

Objects of Reflection

Check out this great article on how to deal with criticism by Quinn McDonald.  I don’t know about you but i tend to take criticism to heart so Quinn’s article truly helps put critiques into perspective and maybe, just maybe you might learn from it.

Check out this article in the Peace Arch News I am featured in with my Ukulele teacher Shawn Julie.  It talks about the reasons why i took up playing the Ukulele – here’s a hint it has something to do with ageing Smile. I REALLY did say “I’ve never taken anything up like this – but, i thought, it’s got four strings. I can handle that.” Thank you Alex Browne for a wonderful article! I still plan on shooting some videos with my teacher when he can clear his schedule a bit! Hopefully that will be soon.  Mr. G gave me a super new digital video camera for Christmas and I’m itching to create some videos with it!


Step Away from Comparisons: You are the only YOU!




This weekend i worked on a few art journal pieces – as you can see i have reused the girl with the big eyes face and also my Creative Crone image.  When i create something i love i like to reuse it! 

Sometimes when i have projects to work on I hesitate because inside my head i tell myself stories – stories like what I’m going to do is not going to be good enough or perfect enough or whatever my Inner Critic (or Gremlin) is on about at the time.  One of the things i do is to compare myself to other artists. Oh MY GOSH………..when you compare yourself you are HOOPED!  Today with access to the internet we can see all of the juicy art out there being created by thousands and thousands of artists every day.  The list grows longer day by day!  If we get caught up in the comparison trap like i said – We’re HOOPED! 

I have found when i step away from the computer and simply sit down with my supplies in an expectant fashion the art simply flows out of me – intuitively i begin to grab collage items, paints, tools and more.  I don’t overthink things – i just listen to the small voice inside that wants to create!  I love it when this happens!  Try it! Let go of comparisons by DOING.

Playing the Uke

I’m sure you all know that i have taken up playing the Ukulele.  Being a beginner is not easy I tell you but I’m doing it because i like music and also i know that learning how to play an instrument can create new neural pathways in the brain.

My instructor Shawn Julie (from Tapestry Music) is awesome!  He has incredible patience and is more than happy to answer my offbeat questions and observances.  I love that!  Smile

The other day i was suggesting that Shawn create youtube videos on a regular basis to share but also to get more clients.  He told me that it’s a bit daunting because there are so many expert musicians out there that it holds him back.  I thought “WHAT?????????”

I couldn’t believe it!  The Guy is incredibly amazing – he plays several different instruments and has been teaching for over 27 years.  Tears welled up in my eyes as i told him that he was amazing and truly unique and very talented – no one else existed that was JUST LIKE HIM……….NO ONE!!!!!! 

I think he was kind of surprised that I SAW him – his eyes sparkled. It was beautiful!

To make a long story short Shawn has consented to do a video with me – not sure how it will turn out but it will involve teaching, talking and then a bit of Ukulele art!  What i am learning from Shawn is that playing the Uke is similar to creating art – there is doodling and colouring and more! It’s so exciting!

Don’t forget – there is no one – absolutely NO ONE who is YOUER than YOU! You are incomparable! I love YOU!



Sleeping with my Ukulele


I bought a Ukulele so that I could keep my brain healthy (they say that learning a new language or learning how to play an instrument is good for your brain!). Also Eddie Vedder sounds pretty darn cool playing his UKE don’t you think?  I believe that whatever we touch or use often will hold our energy – hence sleeping with my Uke.   Have you ever heard of psychometry?   Psychics use it at times– they claim that an object has an energy field “that transfers knowledge regarding that object’s history”. I know that to be true as years ago when psychic Ralph Hurst trained me I had some pretty profound psychic hits by holding jewellery, pens, keys and tchotchkes that belonged to an unknown person in the room. One of the impressions i received which was correct was “I see a 2 tone green 57 Chevy abandoned, surrounded by long grass”. How bizarre is that?

Sleeping with my Uke

Anyway – getting back to sleeping with my Uke – don’t worry – Mr. G was away on business at the time so no one was injured during sleeptime Smile.  I want my Uke to have as much of my energy on it so that I’ll be motivated to play it often.  I had my first lesson on Tuesday so all i can do right now is strum.  It was pretty strange having a lesson for the first time in my life.  I am a bit claustrophobic so when i approached room number 10 I peered in and thought “There is NO freaking way I’m going in there!”  The room must have been 4’ x 4’ at the most.  When the instructor arrived the first thing i said was “That’s a very tiny room!” Well i did go in there – the teacher was really wonderful.  He allayed my fears of not knowing how to play, being dyslexic and having ADD.  As I left the teeny tiny room a girl of about 10 years old was waiting for her lesson holding a rather big electric guitar.  I felt like a geek walking out with my tiny Ukulele Smile.

Stay tuned to see my UKE appear in art journal pages as well as (possibly) in some videos!

The Embroidery group


Yesterday i gave a talk and a short workshop to an Embroidery group. A few ladies were brave enough to stretch themselves to sketch and experiment with colours and ideas.  Some ladies wanted to chat and stitch which is what i believe they usually do at meetings!


Myra experimenting with twinkling H2O’s


I had fun at the Embroiderer’s group meeting yesterday.  My talk went over well and I’m hoping that some of the members will see the value in keeping a journal to record ideas for future projects. What a wonderful group of ladies – so talented and patient to be able to work on such detailed and varied projects.

It was interesting to watch myself and my reactions to some of the participants choosing not to experiment.  At first I thought “Gosh – i have failed!” but then i realized that many of them (the majority) don’t keep a sketchbook at all and never draw so it can be pretty intimidating. I did see the lights coming on in several of the ladies eyes as they could see the value in keeping a journal to document their projects as well as tease out ideas from their minds.  It was a good exercise in nonattachment for me Smile.  I think sometimes something that you say will hit home at a later date.  So you just never know!

Thank you ladies for inviting me to speak and deliver a short workshop for you!