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My Bloom True Journey

Well, I went and participated...

Here's a picture of me painting beside my affirmation to prove it.

Photo by Jenny Doh

It was a wonderful, inspiring, eventful weekend.  

Flora was kind, patient, open, giving, inspiring and BRAVE!  She showed that to us all with a swish of bright green paint all over the beautiful face she had just painted!  The class gasped and Flora laughed, and yes, Flora waved her magic and the face did emerge again even better and more beautiful, as she had told us all she would!  Flora was everything we had all hoped for...

I will write more about it soon, but I'm not quite ready just yet.  I feel I'm still on the journey.  I'll check in when I get closer to the destination...

But for now Jenny has documented the class beautifully here

  Painted Words by Pam Garrison
Photo by Jenny Doh

Flora Bowley on Do What You Love for Life

I'm getting in the mood for this weekend's painting workshop with Flora Bowley and hosted by Jenny Doh by listening to the Flora Bowley podcast on Do What You Love.  You can hear it too by going to the Do What you Love for Life blog.

Bright Star - A Room Of Butterflies


How to be a Crafty Tourist in Los Angeles

My sister came to stay.  I haven't seen her for two years - TWO WHOLE YEARS!  Wow, time flies.  So after we chatted until our ears hurt, what did we do?  Go to the beach?  Go sight-seeing?  Go Shopping?  Well yes, we did do all of that, BUT we also went to jewelry design classes and have been introduced to hammering on metal.  Before my sister's visit I booked classes at Summer Studios in Lomita.  We didn't really know what to expect from the class.  After sitting down nervously we were greeted warmly by the tutor, Kristina and instantly fell in love with her and jewelry making. If you happen to be reading this and are local to the area and are looking for creative classes do go and check out Summer Studios.  It's such a cool creative space with friendly people.

We also took a bead knotting class at Moxie on Main Street in Santa Monica.  Another super-friendly place which offers a good range of metal working supplies. We went on to spend a fair few dollars at their sister store in Redondo Beach and toured both Joannes and Michael's craft stores and spent a lovely afternoon at The Craft and Folk Art Museum on Wilshire Boulevard.

All this and of course, arting and crafting at the kitchen table with Joshua.  He is particularly pleased with his alpha friends banner which is now stuck to the wall with sticky tape above the television screen.

And that is the story of how my sister became a crafty tourist in Los Angeles.

Which Creative Type are You?

Some people need a mess before they can create, others need to be neat and orderly.  And even though I often feel like I am living in a mess I do class myself as being in the neat and tidy group.  I like clean tools and a tidy workspace and I like lists; to-do lists, to-buy lists, event planning lists.  I think you get the idea?

I love calendars too and cannot live without mine.  I remember the days of years ago, of being single and not needing a calendar, but today I like to make a note of EVERYTHING.  And I like it like that.  I like to see how my day, my week, my month and year is expanding and shaping.  I use a combination of an online and paper calendar - it works for me. 

If you would like a version of my paper calendar here is a link to download a 2012 calendar created by myself, to be printed on letter paper - totally free - enjoy!

Something All Beginners Should Know... by Ira Glass

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

The Others by Lesley Riley

This article really spoke to me today.  Particularly because the wonderful Melody Ross is certainly one of my 'others'...

The Others

Let's talk about the others. I've always had a love hate relationship with them. There was a time when I stalked newsstands, waiting anxiously for the next issue to hit the shelves. I'd buy them all, devouring the eye candy and inspiration. I lived for those magazines. But then, slowly, it would creep in. You know what I'm talking about - the doubt, the disappointment, maybe even a hint of depression. "I'm not good enough." "Everyone else is so talented." "How come my work never looks that good?" Instead of being inspired to go make something, I felt like giving up. And that was after I had been published in those very same magazines!

Now it’s blogs and even Facebook. The others are there, too, happily showing off all they have accomplished this week, today, or even in the last 5 minutes. Not only are they doing the artwork, but they have time to connect with everyone else and post their latest in charming and witty prose. Here I am busting my #@s to keep up with everything I have to do day in and day out. I’m lucky if I have time for a quick glance on FB. I haven’t read a blog or posted to my own in a while and... hmmm, I finally sent off the latest art collaborative piece – 2 months after receiving it!

Do I sound envious, jealous? Yes, but more than anything I’m upset with myself for being such a slacker. Yep, even "successful" artists are plagued by the same doubts and insecurities you are.

I started writing this article on my way to the (wonderful) Creative Connection Event. Imagine how shocked (and relieved) I felt to hear that one of the very same women I admire (and envy), Melody Ross, founder of The Brave Girls Club, feels exactly the same way. She was on the Women Entrepreneurs breakfast panel Saturday morning. Melody shared this very same thought with us, “Why can’t I do all that?” She said she was busy watching what everyone else was doing and paying more attention to her page Likes and blog comments than to her family. Once Melody realized that she could be, and should be, in control of how she felt, she decided to go cold-turkey - no Facebook for 90 days. She discovered that the Likes that she had been so closely monitoring were now coming from her heart. She began to Like her life again.

Years ago, when I recognized that I was comparing myself to the others rather than getting busy doing the work, I went cold-turkey on the magazines. I stopped subscribing to and buying them. It was easy for me to give up reading all but the occasional blog because, well, I never had time in the first place. I like to remain connected and see what my friends and fellow artists are up to so you’ll still find me on Facebook, but only in 5 minute nuggets of time. No dwelling in other-land. The minute, the very second, I begin to feel my mood and confidence sink – OFF I go. I’ve got better things to do.

What I have come to realize is that we feel bad and down on ourselves when we are sitting on the sidelines and not doing the things we want to do, the things we love. When we’re on the outside looking in, it’s not the others we’re upset with, it’s ourselves. We are letting ourselves down, disappointing our best self, the one that wants to be doing fabulous things.

One solution is to distance yourself from the things or people that make you feel bad, but it’s way better to join them in the fun. Not so you can get online and share everything you are doing. You can do that, too, but the important thing is, DOING will stop you from letting the others make you feel bad. Don’t be on the sidelines – play in the game!

3 Ways to Get in the Game::

1. Find out exactly what is keeping you from doing what you love. Dwelling on what the others are doing is really a form of resistance, avoidance and procrastination. If you can pinpoint the reason(s) why you are not in the studio creating, then you can take the necessary actions to overcome them.

2. Just START. You don’t need a plan. Action breeds action which breeds art. Throw paint on a background. Stitch random patterns on some fabric. Grab a photo and write a story around it. The secret is to just begin.

3. Know your limits and set aside a specific time to gather inspiration. Looking at other art is fun and inspiring up to a point. Use the magazines, blogs and Facebook like the tools that they are, not the crutches that they have become. 

Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the creative founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist, visit  www.ArtistSuccess.com.

Five Things to Help You Reclaim Your Creativity

Like many people I was creative as a kid but as I grew up other things got in the way of creativity.  Work, friends, boyfriends, family, there wasn't much time left for creativity.  Years turned into decades and then one day that creative spark was ignited again.  

To be honest, at first, I didn't really know what to do with this creative calling.  I tried photography, scrapbooking, art journaling, painting and currently jewelry making.  I'm still trying new and different activities and techniques.  I'm still looking for a creative outlet that is 'me' and a style that I can call 'mine'.  It's not always easy and when I try to do too much it can be overwhelming.  However, overall I'm enjoying the journey.  Although I can't say I'm at my destination yet, here are a few things I do know about reclaiming your creativity.

1. Make Space
It doesn't have to be a whole room dedicated to your craft - although wouldn't that be nice.  It could be a corner of a room, or like me, one end of the dining room table.  Sure I have to move stuff when my husband wants to sit down to eat and it all gets shoved into a cupboard when we have dinner parties, and I blame this for all the unfinished projects I've got hidden under the stairs, but we have to make do with what we have, right?

2. Break it Down
If you are just starting out on your creative adventure saying you want to be a Mixed Media Artist or Carpenter is a good start, but it can be very ovewhelming when you think of all the tools and techniques you will need to learn to be skilled in such an area.  However, if you break it down into smaller projects such as one 8 x 8 abstract encaustic painting or one 6 x 6 birdhouse the tools, materials and techniques needed to create your project become much more achievable.

3. Start

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Said by the King to the White Rabbit.
It sounds so simple and obvious but how many times have we all had an idea that faded off into the ephemera because we didn't do anything about it?  
  • Write down on a piece of paper, any piece of paper will do, what you want to achieve.  
  • Then make a list of all the materials you will need to complete your project.  If you cannot get them all at once try getting them in the order you will be needing them.  For instance for that 8 x 8 abstract encaustic painting you will most likely need your substrate, paint and tools for painting before the final layers of wax.  
  • If you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve try making a sketch of the finished product.  It doesn't have to be elaborate a few thumbnail sketches may be all you need to jog your memory and keep you focused.  
  • If your idea is somewhat vague, try creating an inspiration board.  Sit down with some good quality paper adhesive, a stack of magazines and a piece of cardstock (you can even use empty cereal boxes for this).  Cut out pictures that help you to form your idea.  You may find yourself cutting out pictures of birds, patterns, or colour to help you express your idea.  Adhere them to your cardstock and keep the inspiration board near your working area.  And you don't have to stop there.  You can add to it as and when you find appropriate images.  
  • Now you have a your project in mind you need to make a list of all the supplies you will need.  If you need a lot of supplies you can always make a timetable and budget for gathering supplies.  
Before you know it you should be working on your project, so now you need to go on until the end: then stop!

4. Find Time.
It's hard when we have kids to get to school, jobs to get to and family needs to take care of.  Saying we have no time is one of the easiest excuses going.  Is it true?  Do you really have no time?  Or do you really mean that you'd love to be an artist but not so much that you'll turn the television off and make thirty minutes to work towards a goal?  

If you really can't find ten minutes a day perhaps you don't really want it as badly as you think you do and perhaps you should give yourself a break go put your feet up and watch that soap!  

For those that do get up early to work on thier creativity or unplug every now and again, give yourself a pat on the back and go here to Sharon Thomlinson's All Norah's Art YouTube channel.  Take a look at her MorningArt series of videos - you'll be amazed at what she achieved with just ten minutes a day...

5. Finish Something
There may be times when you are frustrated, overwhelmed or just don't have time for your project, but keep going!  Resist the urge to dump the whole thing in the trash.  If you are overwhelmed or frustrated walk away and come back to it another day with fresh eyes.  If life gets too hectic and you just don't have time to work on your project try to keep it fresh on your mind.  Think about the task you need to complete as soon as you can get back to it.  Make a schedule if you need to and you may just find yourself ticking off one of those tasks while you have a free ten minutes to spare.

And don't forget you can be creative in other ways too; in how you dress, in the meals you prepare, in how you present your home.  So next time you have to put down the paint brush to make a batch of pancakes for the family breakfast, don't get frustrated. Instead, remind yourself that you are being creative!

 A mighty stack of pancakes image from Cooking with Steam.

Have a happy day,

Style by Charles Bukowski

Style is the answer to everything
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous
To do a dull thing with style is preferable
to doing a dangerous thing without it
To do a dangerous thing with style, is what
I call art

Bullfighting can be an art
Boxing can be an art
Loving can be an art
Opening a can of sardines can be an art

Not many have style
Not many can keep style
I have seen dogs with more style than men
Although not many dogs have style
Cats have it with abundance

When Hemingway put his brains
to the wall with a shotgun, that was style
For sometimes people give you style
Joan of Arc had style
John the Baptist
GarcĂ­a Lorca

I have met men in jail with style
I have met more men in jail with style
than men out of jail
Style is a difference, a way of doing,
a way of being done

Six herons standing quietly in a pool of water,
or you, walking out of the bathroom naked without seeing me

“Style” by Charles Bukowski

My Art

Layers of;
acrylic paint,
crackle glaze,
bees' wax, 
semi precious stones, 
wood burning 
on wooden panels...

Define: Goal

A goal or objective is a desired result a person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve—a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines.
It is roughly similar to purpose or aim, the anticipated result which guides reaction, or an end, which is an object, either a physical object or an abstract object, that has intrinsic value.

How to Chose a Paint Brush...

Hmmm... today I think I'll use...

 This brush...

Wise Words

I wish I knew who created this list.  Anyhow, I like it!


Color: Yellow

That yellow...


Mandala: Shadow Hills, CA.  July 19, 2011

Quote: Frank Lloyd Wright

'I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.'

Frank Lloyd Wright

Quote: Erin Kenepp

'Daily Chaos will never cease.  Rather than struggling against it, find your own rhythm.'

Erin Kenepp, Somerset Studio May/June 2011

CatScrap Layouts

Hope is Power:
Softly Summer by Fiddlette Designs
Tiny Alpha by Aja Abney
Lulabelle Monogramm Alpha by Allison Pennington

 Never Give Up Your Dreams:
Otterly by Creshens
Press Play Template by Lynne Marie
Plenty More Fish:
Sunny Side Up Colab by the CatScrap Designers
Tiny Alpha by Aja Abney
Asian Summer Alpha by MellyBird Designs

Inspiration: Erika Somogyi

Diving Light by Erika Somogyi

Inspiration: Anna Torronen

Boy Layouts!

Do you put flowers on boy layouts?  
If you do (or don't) come and join the conversation over at CatScrap!

CatScrap: Hello Daydream by Allison Pennington

I just love this kit Hello Daydream by Allison Pennington at CatScrap - it's so versatile.  And yep, I put flowers on a boy layout!

Hello Daydream Kit


Hello Daydream

Summer Splash...

Hello Daydream Kit

All by Allison Pennington
Template: Inspirations Part 1 by Ju Kniepp

Deviant Muse: June 2011

It's in the store right now!  The Deviant Muse! Have you see it!?

I know we do like to sing our own praises in the scrapping world but I must say this could be the best issue yet! 

The theme for June is 'self-portraits' and you'll find a very well thought out and at times very moving article from Patty Anne and who better to have as the cover girl but Amber aka Persnickertychick!  Her image is often included in her quirky layouts and I enjoyed learning a little more about her.

AND of course I must mention the interview for this month's guest - Christine Honsinger aka Fiddlette.  I am SO proud of this layout and would like to thank Christine for letting me have full run of all her designs to create the pages.  I had enormous fun and I'm sure these pages are some of my best work EVER!

And I'd like to thank Ed for her hard work putting it all together and Hollie, of course, whom without there just wouldn't be a Deviant Muse...

Playtime by Aja Abney & Little Butterfly Wings at CatScrap

I am thrilled to be a guest for summer over at CatScrap!
At one time I used to hang out there all the time but gradually got pulled in another direction.
I'm really excited to get to scrap some family photos.
And as if by luck the first kit I get to scrap with is this wonderful boy kit Playtime by Aja Abney and Little Butterfly Wings at CatScrap.

 As much as I LOVE the altered stuff it was SO nice to scrap with pattern paper, buttons, doodles, string and of course photos!

Here's my double page spread...

Everything from Playtime by Aja Abney & Little Butterfly Wings at CatScrap
Also Used:
Font: Sloppy Ed by Sausan Designs at CatScrap

Tumble Fish Studio - Dance-A-Thon

I don't know why I saw this beautiful vintage kit Dance-A-Thon by Tumble Fish Studio and thought of MC Hammer - but I did - Freakeeeeee!!!!

Everything from Dance-A-Thon 
by Tumble Fish Studio at DeviantScrap
Thank you for looking!

Tumble Fish Studios - She's Back!

The secrets out!
I'm thrilled that Marsha aka Tumble Fish Studios is back at DeviantScrap.  I've missed her elegant and quirky vintage kits.  Not only is she back but she's back with a sale.  Many items will be on sale throughout May and June.  Go to the DeviantScrap shop to grab yourself some bargains!

Tumblefish Studios

Who is Moving into DeviantScrap?

Oh my gosh!
The buzz of excitment is in the air over at DeviantScrap.
One of the most awesome designers EVER will make her home over at DeviantScrap on Monday.
I think I may combust before then!

Fiddlette: Artisan Notebook

I don't know about you but for me there can never be too much Fiddlette in this world.  She's bold, bright, fun and super whimsical - I can always have more of that!  If you are like me and can't get enough of this lovely lady's designs you can find her in this month's Artisan Notebook.

I purchased mine here from ZigZagScraps.

Deviant Muse: May 2011

The May issue of the Deviant Muse is in the DeviantScrap shop now.  Being the first birthday issue it's chocked full of goodies and the celebration sale is going on right now!

Fiddlette: Journaling Challenge

A new challenge is coming to CatScrap.  Christine will post more details on her blog very soon.

Meet the Mandrakes

Many digi-scrapping kits come and go.  Some have similar themes and get lost and forgotten amongst the plethora of downloaded kits.  BUT, I don't think Meet the Mandrakes by Evelyn aka Finecrafted Designs will fade into the obscurity of my filing system.

It's witty and unique and beautifully put together.  I'm sure I will be returning to this one again and again.

Go here to take a look for yourself...

Meet The Mandrakes

Artist Inspiration

I love discovering new artists and today, thanks to Marie Anne Moss, I found Martha Rich.  As well as having a super cool name she also creates some pretty cool art!
You can check her out  HERE.

Transformation Deck Prompt - March 2011

The new transformation deck prompt entitled 'Gypsy Spirit Day' is up in the challenge forum.
To find out more about this month's prompt go HERE

Here's my card using Ode to a Muse by Finecrafted Designs and Holliewood Studios and Mamarazzi by Holliewood Studios

The Deviant Muse - March 2011

The Deviant Muse - March 2011

There is so much goodness in this issue and you really must check out Hollie's brand new challenge!
I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

Go HERE to get your copy!


To Do List

1. Buy a moleskin journal

And learn to journal like this http://www.onthesurfaceblog.com/

Pink Splatter Paper

My dear friend Sandra, reminded me I'm meant to be blogging more - ooops!
Why do I find it so much easier to write witty little comments on my Facebook status than a quick blog post?  I guess, because they are exactly that - short and sweet where as this blogging malarky leaves me staring at a blank canvas...

Here's something to distract from all that white space...

I have no idea what to do with the paper, but I have rather a lot of it now.  It's so fun and easy to make.

Fiddlette: Queen of Hearts

Christine aka Fiddlette has a wonderful new kit, Queen of Hearts, in the store at CatScrap.  I love the colours and there's some cool doodles in there!

Here's my layout - The Knave of Hearts
Take a look at Christine's gallery at CatScrap to see what else her CT have created with Queen of Hearts.

Thank you for looking!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today Evelyn aka Finecrafted Designs has a wonderful new kit in the store at DeviantScrap.  Celebrate the year of the rabbit with 'Chinese New Year'.

Chinese New Year

Here's my layout...

Head off to the DeviantScrap gallery to see more layouts created by Evelyn's super CT!

Thank you for looking!

Paper Scrapping

So that was my 2010, but what for 2011, apart from losing 10lbs and getting back to yoga? 

Well, I'm hoping to do more paper scrapping.   Before I found digiscrapping I tried to paper scrap but always found myself needing more and more supplies to complete a layout and was never happy with the results.  When I discovered digiscrapping it seemed to solve all my problems.  No longer did I have to wait for a shopping trip to complete a layout.  Downloads were instant and even better - no mess to clean up.  I do still love to digiscrap but never print any of my layouts and I would so love to have a physical album to show for my scrapping time.  Then late last year I discovered Lucy Edson's scrap gallery and fell in love with her work.  After studying her layouts and a few items from Crate Paper I created my first layout that I'm kinda happy with.  I'm hoping to do two a month.  Today I'm going to put together my second layout. 

Here is the first. 

I hope you like it and thank you for reading.


Credits: Papers and embelishments from Brook, Restoration and Cottage by Crate Paper

Thank You 2010

Before I go on to the next post I wanted to take a moment to list last year's achievements, coz I hope I will get around to scrapping them sometime...

1. Stopped taking Prednisone - yay!
2. Took up yoga... oh and kinda stopped again - will have to put that on my 2011 goals.
3. Travelled across the border to Mexico for the first time.
4. Got a cat
5. Lost 38lbs... and put 8lbs back on over Christmas - will have to put losing weight on my 2011 goals too!
6. Discovered Mixed Media and dabbled in getting my hands messy.
7. Discovered Susi Blu and her wonderful online workshops

I'm sure there were other achievements for 2010 too but these are the ones I remember for the moment.

Of course there were some downs too but I try not to go there. 

And now I need to work on 2011 goals...

Altered Hearts

Did you know you can still get the Fall 2010 issue of Altered Hearts in the DeviantScrap store?

If you want to know more about those layouts in the Altered Hearts gallery all will be revealed in the Fall issue.

As a little tease here is my last page of my article on printer trays.  You can find the full article in the zine.

Thank you for looking!

What's Going On?

I must apologise, I have badly neglected my blog.  I first started blogging back in 2008, blogging mainly about family and treating it as a personal journal.  When I started scrapping and getting on teams it seemed easy enough to use the blog as a platform for my layouts.  And all was going well when a funny thing happened - I started to get readers and comments.  I know I should have been thrilled to have an audience and I was and am thrilled that people were visiting my blog and leaving wonderful comments, but at the same time I began to worry about my posts.  Did anyone care that we all had the sniffles in our house or that Nanou was coming to visit again?  Suddenly, I found myself very conscience of what I was writing.  I even began to doubt my grammar and writing style.  So instead of posting more, I dried up!

Over the Christmas period I had a long hard think about this blog and if I would keep it going.  I decided I would, but to revamp and come back with a fresh new look for my renewed interest.  And that's when my laptop crashed! Typical, huh?

I have my laptop back now but am still waiting for PhotoShop to be installed.  So while I'm waiting I will post some layouts that should have found their way here in 2010 and I'll be back very soon to show you what I've been up to while I've been unplugged, but for now I hope you enjoy these layouts.



Gardening - Credits: Ode to a Muse by Holliewood Studio and Finecrafted Designs

Dear Prudence - Credits: Ode to a Muse by Holliewood Studio and Finecrafted Designs