30 December 2007

100th post means a giveaway

Yes! This is my 100th post. I started this blog a little less than a year ago and I managed to make it to post number 100. Woohoo! So, to celebrate I'm doing a giveaway! This is what you could win:

This is an altered canvas measuring 4" x 5". My latest creation. I really love how it came out and will probably be doing more of these in different sizes. But since this is a special occasion and I am learning to let go of my art, I'm giving this like creation away. Just comment on this post and I'll pick a winner on Friday evening. Good luck to everyone.

And Happy New Year!!!!!

27 December 2007

Art Journal Pages

Remember this sketch?

Here's the final product:

Mostly coloured pencil, paints (acrylic and watercolour), crayons and ink. Masking tape (to cover a ripped part and to add texture) and DIMO tape.

This one was done after watching the Lemony Snicket movie. I thought the black and white drawing was missing something so I added a watercolour wash on the wall. I really like this drawing.

And finally, my Christmas page! It's slightly brighter than that in real life but not much. Lots of layers on this one. Drawing + journaling + wax crayons + ink wash + light gesso on top of all that + drawing again + journaling again + oil pastels + watercolour wash + glitter glue.

Christmas eve was very quiet: dinner with my family and gift exchanges. Received a violin, 2 PJs, a beautiful necklace, a tripod and remote controller for my camera amongst other things.

Christmas day with my mother's side of the family was nice. The only one who wasn't there was my brother. Even my cousin, whom we don't see very often, was there. All in all a nice holiday.

Watch this space for the next post and a surprise...

24 December 2007

Christmas Eve

Tonight I'm having dinner with my parents and my brother and as is our tradition, we are opening gifts together. Tomorrow, I'm going with my parents to celebrate with my mom's side of the family. My brother isn't going with us because he is working.

These small packages will be sent after Christmas. I stamped on the envelops with stamps from the Carte Postale set from Stampin' Up! I love the bird and the fleur-de-lys. They are just perfect!

Merry Christmas... and watch this space in 2 posts (hopefully before the new year!)

22 December 2007

Happy Holidays

As promised, here is a photograph of the stripped present. It's one of the presents for my mother (her name is Angelle.)

The second photograph is of another present, wrapped in that dollar store handmade paper. The "R" was done with white acrylic paint sponged over a handmade stencil (I really love how it came out!) and highlighted with some silver glitter glue. The tag that adorns it is from Botanical Paperworks and is a planteable tag. Flower seeds are embedded in the paper so you can plant it and it will produce beautiful wild flowers. Fun, huh?

Following in Angie's footsteps, I decided that for 2008 (and maybe beyond... or as long as I can do it) I will NOT buy stuff. Check out the Story of Stuff. You might be surprised... So what does this mean? Well, it means I will not buy something unless I absolutely positively NEED it and that includes art supplies. So, no new clothes. No more scrapbooking papers and supplies. No more paints (I can make my own with powdered pigments I have left from art classes at University.) No CDs. No books.

This should be interesting. Also, with this personal challenge, I want to add another one: Get rid of useless stuff! I have some things laying around that haven't been used in a year, two years, five years... Some that have NEVER been used. Time to get rid of it. Books that I don't read anymore and don't plan on reading in the future will be donated or bookcrossed. CDs that I don't listen to will be copied onto my computer and then sold or donated to Village des Valeurs. Other things, like clothes, will be reused, re-purposed, transformed... I have way too much stuff and it's taking too much space. Also, I've read in a book that if your space is cluttered with useless stuff, it drains your energy. I believe it. By getting rid of stuff, I will be making room in my life for other things (like love and friendship.) It's a big challenge but I feel ready to face it.

On that note, I hope everyone will be spending the next few days with loved ones, in peace, harmony, love and happiness. Merry Christmas and all that stuff!!!

20 December 2007

Recycle wrapping

This year, I decided to use whatever I have on hand to wrap Christmas presents. On this photo is a gift, wrapped in red-dyed "handmade" paper bought at the dollar store more than a year ago. The ribbon and bow/flower are made out of strips of paper cut in a gift-idea junk mail pamphlet. I got the idea for the flower from Hanna a while back. This particular pamphlet produced two bow/flowers for two different gifts. I loved the results and so did the recipient (one was for a gift exchange at work and the other for CeeCee last Friday.)

The other presents I wrapped this week for my parents and my brother are all in recycled paper whether it be old wrapping paper or scrapbook paper. One gift is even in a box of cereal that I gessoed and then made red and green stripes with electrical tape! I love how it came out. I'll try to post a picture of it tomorrow.

Now... tomorrow is the last day of work before the holidays. Huge sighs of relief will be heard throughout the school tomorrow. As a treat for the kids, my colleague, Anik, and I are providing a special snack in the afternoon. The kids get to decorate their own Christmas cookie and then eat it. (Found kits at Costco that are great!) Even though it's not always easy working with them, they still deserve a little reward.

Last weekend, I got Diesel to sit still long enough with my Christmas hat on to take this picture. Isn't she cute???

17 December 2007

Paper spool collages

As promised in my previous post, here is some art. These are my latest paper spool collages. As always I used ArtChixStudio products to do them. All buttons are from my personal stash. I need to get more buttons, preferably vintage ones. Maybe I'll raid my mom's stash!

Some of these beauties will be going in the mail soon with ATCs (but I'm not seeing when or where!)

To make these, I prefer paper spools to plastic ones. I sand them a bit to get the sheen off and then I dirty them up with my trusty Van Dyke Brown ink.

After that is done, I tear a piece of text (these are from pages of an Italian encyclopedia) which I also dirty up with the ink. I wrap the paper around the middle of the spool and glue it in place (the ends are on the back.) Next step is to wrap a bit of embroidery floss or waxed tread (whatever I have on hand really) and secure the ends on the back with either a glue dot or a bit of clear liquid glue such as Glossy Accents. When that is done (and the glue is dry) it's time to look through the images I have. I use mostly images from the Mini Chix Collage or Mini Mix Collage. This, to me, is the hardest part: deciding which images to use and then which embellishments to add.

All for of these have German Paper Borders but I don't always use them. Sometimes I add a flower or a little piece of glitter. I always add a button and I try to find the one that best suits the collage. I like to thread a bit of embroidery floss through the buttons for that used/reused/vintage look. The final touch is adding a lengths of twine that has been inked a bit so it matches the whole collage. And of course, I sign on the back.

I really enjoy making these little works of art and I hope that my step by step explanation helps some (or all) of you to create your own. It's not always easy working on such a small canvas but the result is oh so worth it. Don't you think? If you have any questions about these or anything else I make, feel free to ask in the comment section or email me.

My new glasses have been ordered and should arrive next week. They are similar to the ones I had but then again, it was the first pair I really really loved!

Snow day is over. I shoveled my car out of the close-to-two-feet snow dump. And while shoveling and sweating and looking as awful as anyone can in these conditions, the landlord from across the street from me was flirting with me and actually asked me for my phone number. It was just too weird. And he's not my type so I said, "Sorry, I don't think so" in the most polite tone I could muster. Hopefully that's the end of that! And on that note, I bid you Goodnight!

A day for changes

Contrary to a lot of people I know, I like wearing glasses. Even when they fog up in winter, even if they get full of snow and rain. I like my face with glasses. Two years ago, I had found the perfect glasses. Dark red plastic that made my blue eyes shine. A funky design (the lenses finish straight yet the rim rounds up at the ends.) I loved my glasses. I just came back from shoveling snow and I had left my glasses in my breast pocket of my coat. When I came in, my glasses were broken in half! Nooo!!! I can't drive without them. Everything is fuzzy and I'm not 100% confident. I need my glasses. Luckily, my mom has pretty much the same prescription as I do and she still has some old glasses that are in okay shape. So I called her and she's on her away here with a pair of glasses I can wear for a few days. As soon as I'll put them on, I'm getting in my car and going to Costco for a new pair! Hopefully it won't take too long to get them.

Until I come back with a more artsy post, click on this link to view a cute video.

Now that's what I call love!

16 December 2007


One week left before the holidays. I still have some shopping to do but will definitely manage to finish before next weekend.

Friday night was the Christmas Crop with CeeCee. It was just the two of us and we had a great time. We never see the hours go by and always seem to have something to talk about. I had decided to bring all my ArtChixStudio supplies and to get some mini paper spools collages done and other stuff. These are 3 ATCs that I did and decided to use a Christmas theme. Looking through all my supplies and showing what I had to CeeCee, I felt renewed interest and decided to keep working with those things for the holidays. I did do a few spool collages which still need the finishing touch and then they'll be in the mail for some friends.

Last night I made some Christmas cards for my mother using some stamps we had bought a couple of months ago. I made two cards using new techniques I had seen and wanted to try. They turned out very well and I'll post pictures another time (if I remember to scan or photograph them!)

I decided to do some cleaning and sorting today. It's snowing and very windy outside so it's a good day to stay in. For the first time in maybe a year, I can actually see the top of my computer desk! I had some frames laying around with nothing in them (gifts from kids at school last year) so I decided to print some photos (they turned out better on cardstock than on photo paper... odd...) and now I have pretty pictures of my beautiful cat in pretty frames on my desk!

Well, I'm off to do more cleaning. If you haven't done so yet, please click on the Free Donations - Make a difference link in my link's list. It costs nothing other than a few minutes of your time and you can make a difference in the world. Or visit The Hunger Site and sites affiliated with it to help others.

10 December 2007

Love art Love yourself

This page is just a mess of crayons and acrylic paint. I didn't know what I was going for. Started to draw with my new Crayola crayons which I love. Then I painted over everything with some leftover paint and wiped some of it away while it was still wet. After that I stuck on 3 pieces of string that I dipped in the same colour paint (no glue used here, only the paint holding the strings down.) I stamped the "LOVE ART" and the script pattern with StazOn ink and did the squiggle/doodle with my white acrylic ink. That was Saturday. Today, I took the round red stickers and stuck them wherever. Found a photocopy of a picture that a friend took of me 6-7 years ago and glued it on. Attached the frame transparency with brads. Sanded over the red stickers before rubbing a brown ink pad over them. Went around the frame with watercolour crayons. Added some more colour with Crayola crayons after stamping a little flower over and over. Tried to add gold to the strings with my gold leafing pen (it's not working properly) and finally, scribbled on and around the heart with my new Faber-Castell permanent marker. And I think I'm done with the page.

Someone asked me how I work on my pages. Most of the times, I work intuitively. Meaning that I don't have an exact idea of what I'm doing. Sometimes I'll just start adding colour to a page and see where it takes me after that. Other times, I have at least a theme in mind and try to work around it. When I draw an image or a character, it's usually because it "pops" in my head. I'm a visual person. I like to see something to understand it better. Also, I can visualize many things in my mind. When I read a book, I see exactly what is described, like I'm there. When a character pops up in my mind, it's as if it becomes alive and speaks to me. Don't worry, it doesn't tell me to do dangerous things! :-p

So, basically, what I'm trying to say is this: I don't have one particular method that I follow every time I am working on a page or on any kind of art. I just put things next to one another or on top of one another until I find just the right composition. It's a sort of "trial and error" process. I hope this helps you understand my process. Or maybe I'm just making things more confusing, I don't know! See, this is why I am not a teacher!

Thank you to everyone who stops by and to those who leave comments. It always makes my day a little brighter when I get friendly comments.

08 December 2007

Time flies and a sneak peek

Wow, time really flies by. In two weeks, it'll already be the holidays. So that means 10 days of work and then I'm off for 2 weeks! In the past years I started counting the days a month or so before Christmas. But this year, I'm having so much fun at my job and creating and I've been so busy with Nanowrimo that I haven't stopped to think about it. I can hardly believe the holidays are so close!

Talking about creating... This is a sneak peek of a painting I'm working on. I can't show much or say much about it right now. I haven't painted on a canvas since at least summer and I gotta say, it feels good! I think I'm going to do more paintings during the holidays as well as work in my art journals.

Back in October, my brother had given me, for my birthday, a gift card from my favourite art supply store. I hadn't had a chance to use it since so today I decided to treat myself to a few new goodies. I found some small alphabet rubber stamps that were exactly what I was looking for for my journals. I also bought some real crayons (you know, Crayola wax crayons... I love the smell!), some new pens and white acrylic ink (everyone's talking about it on Samantha Kira's mailing list so I thought I'd get in on the action!) Found some cute rubber stamps (a kit of flowers, leaves, stems and vases... ) As if I really needed all of it. But you know what? I've been doing SO good with food lately that I decided to reward myself and that was just what I needed.

On that note, I bid you good evening/good night and hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

04 December 2007

A picture and a sketch

This is my mother's dog Magy (pronounced Magie as in Magie Noire ie Black Magic.) He is such a peculiar dog. Sometimes, he acts more like a cat than dog. So we started calling him Minou (which means Kitty.) He loves boxes and baskets. He's so photogenic, don't you think?

A few days ago, Violette wrote on her blog: Whenever i visit a blog and there's no visual the only thing that will keep me there is compelling copy. Usually i say to myself "What the heck? NO visual? I'm outta here!"

This has inspired me to always find a picture or work of art to show in my posts. I know what she means by it. I too find that if there's no visual, it's harder to stick around.

So in that state of mind, I give you a sketch, made in my spiral bound journal. I started with the eyes and the rest just seemed to draw itself from there. I know it's not proportioned but I don't mind. I'm not good at "realistic" drawings or paintings.

So anyway, this might turn into something completely different while I work on it. So here is the before picture... And maybe soon you'll have the after picture. (Notice the paint from the previous page that overflowed onto this one?)

I've had a few new visitors on my blog and on my Flickr account. I'm always excited when I get new comments and even more when it's from people who have never commented before! It doesn't take much to make me happy! I've been sharing my good mood by commenting all over my favourite blogs for the past three hours or so. I feel good. I hope I brought at least a bit of happiness to those that received my comments. And even if I didn't, I still feel good!

I hope everyone has a lovely evening. Goodnight!

03 December 2007

Snow Day

One of the perks of working in a school is that when there is a snow storm and all the kids get to stay at home, I also get to stay at home. And I still get paid!

So here is my wreath, hanging on my bedroom door. My ornaments are either gifts from kids at the other school where I used to work or bought at the fair trade store. I also hung the little gift I received from Mahala and an ornament I made in a class (the big purple and green one on the left) a couple of years ago.

In my five years living alone, this is the first time that I've decided to decorate for the holidays. It's not much but it's enough for me.

Now, I'm going to enjoy the rest of this snow day by working in my journal and reading.

PS There's still one spot in my Pay it Forward post if anyone is interested. Or you can visit Candace or Mahala to sign up there. Spread the word!

02 December 2007

Open Yourself to New Possibilities

This is a page from my spiral bound journal that I had sketched a few weeks ago. I did do anything to it until tonight. I just didn't know what I wanted to do with it. I'm not quite satisfied with the final result and might end up working on it some more. But even if I don't continue it, it's good enough as it is.

Used pieces of newspaper collaged all around the "frame". The rest is all paints and markers: acrylic, watercolour crayons, white out pen, permanent markers and Sharpie Poster Paint marker.

Oops, didn't sign it so I better do that now!

I hope everyone is having a good beginning to December. I'm trying to get into the spirit of the season. Even put up a (fake) wreath on my bedroom door with all my Christmas decorations. Will post a picture of it tomorrow. Goodnight!

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