Crafting

Summer Solstice Sale

Hello dear ones! I hope life has been treating you well! We have been busy over here in my little home, celebrating birthdays and Father's Day and TODAY is our 13th wedding anniversary! Woo! The longest and (most memorable day) of my life - so fitting for the Summer Solstice right?

To kick Summer off right we are having a 48 HR SALE on some of our best online ART workshops! Including my most recent class, Sacred Landscape which has been a huge success!

Are you ready to fill your long, light filled days with creativity?!

Enter Discount Code: SUMMER30 at check out!

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If you didn’t get a chance to take these workshops before, now is the time to scoop them up for an additional 30% off! Remember they are all self-paced, with life-time access and downloadable videos – so you can enjoy them on your own schedule. :)

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Happy Summer Creating! I'll look forward to seeing you in class!

xo,

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Mother's Day Sale!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY WEEKEND!

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It's time to celebrate Mom and what better way then to encourage and celebrate her creative spirit! One of our online, mixed media classes is just the ticket! Mom can access the class at her leisure with lifetime access and downloadable videos PLUS for the next 72 Hours you can get a fabulous 30% off our favorite classes! 

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One of our newest workshops is opening on May 10th and Mom is going to love the dreamy feminine projects taught by the talented Petra Hrziwnatzki! This brand new class is also included in on the SALE!

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Go here to pick from our classes to gift to your special Mama!

xo,

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A NEW Mixed Media Collage Class

Well hello there my creative friends!

We just launched a brand new Mixed Media Collage class taught by the wonderfully talented Petra Hrziwnatzki! I am so honored to have her share this beautiful class with you! Registration is NOW open! Class begins May 10th!

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Petra's light burns brightly and her artwork carries that glow within it. She infuses her work with meaningful words and quotes that resonate with her soul. Through the use of mixed media and collage she creates pieces that uplift, inspire and comfort.

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Now, she's going to guide you through her special processes so you can begin to make art that aligns with your heart and leads you towards your own inner beauty and desires.

Get ready! It's going to be a powerful and exciting journey!

xo,

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A New Mixed Media Collage class!

Hello, hello! More abundant sunshine over here in Portland! Everyone seems to have more energy and bigger smiles! Love that.

Today, I'm not only smiling because it's sunny - I'm grinning from ear to ear because I have some juicy news to share with you!

I'm excited to announce that I have the honor of hosting a gorgeous Mixed Media Collage class with the uber talented, Petra Hrziwnatzki!

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It's in production right now but registration will open very SOON! If you want to be the first to know head on over to my site and add your name to the waitlist! You are not going to want to miss this one!

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Petra's work is delicate yet powerful, infused with inspiring words and favorite quotes. Soft colors swirl through the pieces and are perfectly balanced with creamy whites while sparks of pretty collage papers peek through the layers. These dreamy pieces resonate a deep sense of peace and hope.

 

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Petra's heart is all about uplifting and inspiring others and you can clearly feel that through her artwork.

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In this class, she will be walking you through her beautiful process so that you too can create these meaningful and heartfelt mixed media collages!

To see more of Petra's enchanting work and learn more about this talented artist please visit her lovely site.

Petra and I will see you in class!! Don't forget to add your name to the waitlist so we can let you know the minute registration opens!

Have a fabulous day!

xo,

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Horse Art & beautiful interiors

Happy Friday my friends!

For the past couple of days, the sun has been out for us here in Portland and we couldn't be more pleased! Sunshine, daffodils and pink blossoming trees! Sigh...Spring is almost here!

Along with the flowers, I've also been completely delighted by the artwork coming out of the first session of my online Mixed Media workshop - Spirit Horse!  Such beautiful expressive work right?! Some of my students are painting horses for the first time! It's so exciting to see that! Other's are very experienced equine artists who are allowing themselves to loosen up and joyously paint their hearts out in this new and freeing way!

 Artists from top left, Mayrse Perdriat, Jane Alice Strand, Patti Sandham, Denise Milledge, Deb Weiers

Check it out! Registration is now open for the second session of this class! Click below to join us!

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This class has brought me so much joy, since I for one, had never allowed myself the pleasure of painting horses - why? -  because I simply believed I couldn't do it! I pushed through that limiting belief and painted bold, beautiful horses that made my heart happy!

Here are a few of my pieces! I took the liberty of putting them into beautiful rooms digitally so you could get a feel for them! How gorgeous is this first room by Danielle Oakley? She's one talented lady!

These three colorful girls I titled -"The Three Graces"  - Such a fun and playful piece that I loved creating!

{Interior Design by Danielle Oakley}  

This one is called "Beloved" and is glimmering with gold leaf. It's inspired by the work of Erica Nordean - an amazing equine artist! This one was also a delight to create. Working large was expansive for me and really helped me express the horse!

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And here is my Painted Horse Collage you may recognize from the Sprit Horse promo! He looks quite handsome in this room I think!

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{Image via here}

Thanks for taking a peek at my horse art. I hope you have a gorgeous weekend! Happy creating!

xo,

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A mini Mixed Media Project!

Hello my creative friends! How's life been treating you? We have been having crazy hot weather for Portland so I'm living in long flowy summer dresses and sipping lots of iced coffee! I hope your summer or winter (depending on your corner of the world) is going well!

So some of you may have seen my "teaser" image that I shared a little while ago on Instagram...well I'm finally ready to let the cat out of the bag. ;)

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I'm excited to announce a new Mini Mixed Media Project class that I just opened up! It's called the "Wing It" project! This will be the first in a series of projects that will be set at a very affordable price and geared towards those who may not want to commit to a full class but are yearning for a fun, approachable, creative project to do in a day!

Why don't I just let you watch this quick video to learn more... [vimeo 132249410 w=500 h=281]

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register-button-blue For a while now, I’ve been a little bit in love with wings! Okay, A LOT in love! Since taking a beautiful class by Danielle Donaldson where she did a wing-themed lesson, I can’t stop obsessing over the magical shape of a bird's wing. Such a beautiful balance of exquisite engineering and graceful beauty!

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I’ve done several paintings of wings, both small and large and I’ve finally figured out an easy, step by step way for ANYONE to create a wing painting!

So if you love wings as much as I do...come on over to my site to learn more, register and join me in the classroom!

xo,

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An Art Gift

Hello friends! How was your weekend? We actually had a pretty quiet one, which was a welcome treat. I even got to do some collaging with a friend on Sunday afternoon - so much fun! I've been wanting to share this project with you for some time but I made it for a friend as a gift and I couldn't risk her seeing it on here. :) She received it on Friday so now I can show you!

I love these little 4" x 4" canvases because they are super affordable, easy to hang and you can usually finish up the project in a couple of hours depending on how elaborate you get.

I started by collaging vintage papers - covering all sides of the canvas. Then using chalk pastels and scrapbooking paper I added a second layer of color. Followed by a couple of doilies and some white acrylic paint applied with a brayer.

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To get that yummy encaustic look I love so much, I coated the piece with a layer of heavy gel medium, using wet fingers to smooth it all out.

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It hasn't quite dried yet in this shot...so when it does it will be a little bit more transparent.

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After the gel dried I added these lovely words and a vintage butterfly. My dear friend has been through a lot and has recently found love again (yah!) so I found these words inspiring for her.  They come from a poem by Alfred Tennyson entitled "Summer is Coming".

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I couldn't resist adding some details with my fav white gel pen...

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For more contrast, I added color to the butterflies' wings with acrylic paint.

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It was so wonderful to create something special for a good friend. I think I will be making more art as gifts in the future. As always, please let me know if you have any questions about this process. I am happy to help!

Being inspired to create something for someone you love is great motivation to get your ART on! Try it and surprise someone with a one of a kind treasure. :)

Have a lovely week!

xo,

Ivy

Vintage Silhouette Girl

Hi there! How are you? Well, 2014 is off to a good start here. Both Grace and I are using our studio and have been busy creating. We even ventured out and enjoyed a local art center where we both got to dive into our creations. So much fun!

The piece I'm about to share with you had been lying around forever. It started as one of those super cheesy Hallmark-like plaques from the 1980's that I found at the thrift store for 99 cents. It needed some love, so I gessoed it and proceeded to collage it with vintage papers. I added washes of color with my Gellatos and water. Love these little tubes of color! *tip* use pretty paper that you love to figure out your color palette. ;)

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I then continued to layer paint, doilies, washi tape and scrapbook paper. I also ran my brayer through white paint and rolled it over the piece a couple of times. What is hard to see here is the texture...it actually (accidentally) ended up with a faux encaustic look due to the thick layer of Heavy Gel medium I added thinking it would dry just how I wanted. It didn't. I panicked. I ended up scraping most of it off, cursing and then smoothing the whole layer using wet fingers. I thought I had totally screwed it up. But nope. I ended up loving the effect and discovering a new way to use gel. Yah! I LOVE when a mistake turns into something beautiful. It happens a lot in Art - if you can just push past that immediate panic.

(You can see the texture better in the pictures I took with my Big Girl camera below these iPhone pics.)

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Vintage silhouettes have always appealed to me, so I incorporated one into this piece instead of painting a girl. I found this silhouette here. Considering my art nouveau obsession, I couldn't just leave her be - she needed a lovely headpiece and flowers too!

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Here are some better shots of the finished work with accurate color too. The doodles and hand lettering came as a bit of a surprise to me - being outside my box - but it just felt right and it was fun to experiment with the boldness of the black ink and contrast of the white gel pen.

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I'm excited to try another silhouette piece and you should too! No drawing necessary! ;) Let me know if you have questions.

Thanks for letting me share my work!

Much love to you all.

xo,

Ivy

A Creative Weekend away...

Hello there! How is life treating you this week? Besides a pesky summer cold, I'm doing quite well and I'm so thankful that last weekend I got to get away with a dear friend for a creative retreat! We stayed at the sweetest cottage in the quaint Oregon beach town of Manzanita. Here are some shots via my Instagram... Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 4.01.53 PM

This cottage doesn't get any cuter right? It is the perfect place for a beach getaway.

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The vintage kitchen is adorable with layered personal touches and unique collections.

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Mornings (sans kids) were blissfully quiet and peaceful - sipping coffee, reading magazines and writing in my journal. Here is Katie enjoying a fav cooking mag.

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After we had substantial amounts of coffee we would move outside into the "garage" which is really an amazing outbuilding that my friend Candace converted into a charming dining hall. Strung with lights and adorned with artwork, old wine bottles and other beautiful objects it feels like a beachy treasure trove. The energy in this space is fantastic and you can tell many wonderful evenings have been spent at the long farmhouse table. We were immediately inspired.

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It didn't take long for us to spread out and get right into a creative zone...

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After a little bit of art journaling and playing with my watercolors...

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I began a small mixed media piece...

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Almost done...Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.43.35 AM

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It was an amazing weekend and I was sad to leave. As much as I missed my family, having some precious time to focus on art was such a gift. Katie and I agreed to do it again soon! Thank you, Candace for letting us stay at your magical home!

Do you have a favorite place to get away and create?

xo,

Ivy

Queen of Flowers II - A mixed media collage

Hi everyone! Happy Friday! This week flew by and I am just now getting the chance to sit down and visit with you. How has life been treating you? I wanted to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the sweet and encouraging comments left after my last post. It's always a bit scary to share my artwork - so please know that I greatly appreciate the support! Art is such a core part of me. When I actually take time to do it, I am amazed at how it fills me with happiness and peace. I was so pleased with the last collage that I did a second one. I snapped pics of my progress with my phone to document the evolution of the piece.

Similar to the last project - I started by collaging bits of vintage ephemera to the inside of an old book cover.

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Enter my muse (another Anthropologie model) who I painted over, inked her face and hair and added scrapbook papers for her dress. You can also see in the upper right hand corner I added some pink acrylic paint to start balancing the color composition.

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The last details were added to complete her, including a sweet antique Australian stamp (a little shout-out to my homeland!), a jeweled crown and of course a bird. Gotta have a bird.

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I stamped the cover of the book with this chickadee stamp and added the word "fly".

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So there you have it, another little collage project that I was able to complete in a couple of days during Claire's naptime. So much more fun than folding laundry!

I have just listed prints of this collage and the last one in my Society 6 shop too!

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Have a beautiful weekend!

xo,

Ivy

 

Queen of Flowers - A mixed media collage

Hi all! How have you been? I've kinda gone off the radar this past week because I have been desperately trying to fit in some creative time to paint, draw and just play with my plethora of art supplies. I have been taking Jeanne Oliver's latest art course and I can't get enough of watching her videos and learning new techniques. There is something about watching her paint that makes my hands itch for my own paint brushes. Often, I find myself day dreaming about my next piece so it gives me great pleasure to finally spend some time creating in the tangible world! Mother's Day weekend was the catalyst to actually getting my hands dirty and creating. I found myself alone in a hotel room with nothing to do. So I made a cup of tea, flipped on the fireplace and got out my collage box. (I assembled a small box of collage materials so I can easily pick up the box and go anywhere with it. Highly recommend doing this!) And so the her majesty was born...

I began the process by layering vintage paper elements into a patchwork onto the back of a vintage book cover with Liquitex Matte Medium.

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Then I glazed the background with sepia and cream acrylic washes to unify the papers.

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Using a model from an Anthropologie catalog, I found my muse and glued her down. Then using various pieces of scrapbook paper I created her gown and painted over the model to create my own girl. A die-cut crown was added to confirm her royal status and I inked over her to add definition to her form. More strips of scrapbook paper in deep pink balanced the piece. The sweet bird was printed onto tracing paper and then added. A few pieces of washi tape completed my composition.

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Lastly, I stamped a tree image on the back of the book cover. It kinda smudged but I rather like that it is imperfect. :)

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I had so much fun creating this that I started a second one. I will share that one with you soon. Who knew the back of an old book could provide such a great canvas for some art - plus the size is manageable and approachable.

Thanks for letting me share this process with you. Please let me know about any creative projects you are working on. I would love to hear about them!

Have a fabulous day!

xo,

Ivy

The Delightful Doily

Hello friends! Hope your Monday went well! The sun is out here so I'm feeling quite cheery. Okay, on to the doily roundup... No longer considered Grandma's home accessory, doilies are popping up everywhere - at weddings, on gifts and stationary, as interior decoration, even on clothing. Sweet, delicate and pretty the delightful doily seems to embody the feminine, vintage appeal that is so popular right now. Check out all these lovely and inspiring ideas using the simple doily...

And how cute is this idea for Easter? Go here for the directions.

xo,

images via 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Happy Valentines Day

Hello friends! Happy Valentines Day! As promised, Grace and I made Valentines this weekend and it was a great success. Although, Grace's attention span wavered after the 3rd one, (we made 21) she really enjoyed working together and designing the cards.

I had racked my brain for days on what exactly we would do. As usual, I was scared of choosing a direction so I was waffling between several concepts. Finally, I forced myself to sit down and figure something out. I already had brown card stock and pink heart cut outs so once we had decided to use the die-cut shapes it came together quickly. Grace was so cute selecting each item and pairing it with other shapes. We moved the shapes around on the card until we liked the looks of it and got down to gluing. Here are the results...

Grace insisted that we paint our nails red so we have matching manicures. I love her cute little fingernails. Precious.

These vintage themed die cuts by K & Company are the best! So cute and fun to play with.  They kinda saved me.

Grace, of course, loved the ones with pink the best.

I am especially fond of these little pups.

We created a message for the back and taped on a piece of chocolate. Perfect. Now Grace has a sweet little set of Valentines that she is proud to hand out to her friends. It was well worth the extra effort to make these and I definitely want to do it again next year!

So what are you up to today? Don't wait for someone to buy you flowers...I just went out and got myself a big bunch!

I hope you feel loved today.

xo,

Valentine's Day Cards

Grace is thoroughly excited that V-day is just around the corner. Everyday she comes home, goes straight to her craft table and draws a million hearts in every shade of the rainbow. As she rushes by me in a blur of pink and white, I ask, "What are you doing?" She puts yet another Valentine day card on the fridge and says over her shoulder, "Mommy, I'm getting ready! Don't you know that it's Valentine's day soon!"

The girl just can't get enough of those hearts.

So, here's what I usually do for the Valentine's day exchange in her classroom...the night before, I drag myself to Walgreens, buy the super commercial Valentine 24 pack , usually with some sort of Disney princess on it...grab a bag of Hershey's kisses and call it a day.

Does it get the job done? Yup.

Is Grace excited about her generic Valentine cards? Yup. (You could put a Disney princess on an old shoe and she'd like it!)

BUT... is this method creative? Does it show that I want to be involved? well....not so much. For a busy mom, this works great...but since I'm not really that busy...I think I could do better right? I mean, I didn't go to four years of art school for nothing. So this year, I have decided that we will be making our Valentine Day cards. Me and Grace. Our little project. So, I'm sure you are wondering what we are doing? Well...right now...I have no idea. So I went on a hunt for inspiration!

I love the idea of cutting out hearts from fabric scraps. The quilting shop near us sells baskets of scraps for just a couple of dollars.

With Grace's cupcake obsession we have no shortage of these liners. A little glue and some pretty hearts and voila! Easy!

I just adore this idea! Get some cute stamps, a black ink pad and a stack of paint swatches! Just ignore the strange looks at Home Depot...

So sweet. I don't have a sewing machine but I think you could tape the edges too. Pretty tape would work even better!

Tracing her hand is one of Grace's favorite things to do so this one would be right up her alley! Nice personal touch.

If you are just not feeling the crafting vibe this year...forgo the store-bought cards for these really cute free printable Valentine's....

Click here for the download link.

Do you have any Valentine traditions? Whatever you do for V-day...have fun and indulge in a little chocolate!

xo,

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

All wrapped up...

To be honest, I'm not the best at wrapping gifts. In fact, I usually let my super perfectionist hubby do it. He has a way with paper and creases...me...not so much. I end up squashing down the ends, slapping some tape on and calling it good.

However - I am a newly evolved, crafty, inspired person compared to the Ivy of Christmas past, SO this year I'm going to really try. Really.

I went on the hunt for inspiration and finding it via this down-under mag comes as no surprise - Aussies are geniuses after all! Look at all the pretties!

Gorgeous right? I can only hope to achieve such results. But hoping is good...

How do you like to wrap up your goodies? Any tricks or tips to share? Trust me I need em'.

xo,

All images via homelife.com.au

A little bird...

A couple of days ago, Grace and I sat down at our craft table and started some collages. Using some inspiration from Kelly Rae Roberts' book : "Taking Flight" we made patchwork backgrounds and added figures on top. It was so wonderful to sit, listen to soft music and quietly paste squares of color onto our cardboard canvases. Long after Grace went to bed, I continued to work...

the end result...

I love how, for me, collages evolve. I don't always have a clear direction. I try and get my head out of the way and go with my intuition...slowly, a story emerges and the piece takes on it's own meaning.

Love that feeling!

Got any creative projects underway? I'd love to hear about them...

Have a lovely Wednesday.

xo,

p.s. if and when, Grace finishes her collage I will share it with you. It's looking really cute...

I need a zen moment.

Okay...look I'm all for multi-tasking but I really don't advise trying to make lip balm, cutting out paper snowflakes, printing flyers, doing laundry and blogging at the same time! A blend of afternoon coffee and my nerves about the gift show have got me into quite a tizzy. I really need a zen moment.

Breathe deeply and enjoy a quiet moment admiring the beautiful work of cheshire smile from Flickr....

The softness of her work makes you feel better doesn't it? Soothing and so lovely.

I needed that. Badly.

Hope it encouraged you to relax...

Okay! Back to work!

xo,

A New Favorite Artist: Geninne D. Zlatkis

Roaming through the lovely realm of Etsy, I happened upon this wonderful artist. I truly adore her work! As many of you know...I have a thing for birds and I just ordered one of her lovely creations. This one to be exact - Meet Bird # 13. Isn't she precious? I was drawn to the soft hues of blue and green. I also love how the little bird looks curious, as if she's trying to read those old labels. So sweet.

Here are some others that caught my eye...needless to say, it was tough to pick one. I think I might have to start a collection.

I really enjoy the graphic nature of her style and the beautiful incorporation of vintage labels, tags and postcards. Go visit her Etsy shop for more gorgeous art! Also, you must visit her amazing blog. So inspiring!! She was also recently a Featured Etsy seller...read her interview here.

What do you think of her work? Are you a bird fan too?

Okay, I'm off to research our next Vicarious Vacation destination: Greece!

Have a lovely Monday. Mine should be rainy but productive! I'm redesigning my studio...finally! I will be posting before and after pics soon! In the meantime, here's my inspiration.

xo,

All images via Geninne's Etsy Store

A trip to Vienna.

This morning, I lovingly wrapped up samples of my products - two little treasure boxes filled with Grace & Ivy goodies. I'll be sending them on their big trip to beautiful Vienna, tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn't cost me a fortune... ahh...it's so worth it! Fingers crossed that they will land safely into the hands of Katharina, owner of the lovely spa, Stressdeponie. Translation: Stress landfill - a place to dump all your stress. Sounds good to me. Katharina offers massage, spa treatments and organic products. Look at her amazing space...

How I wish I could accompany my little bottles and jars...

Look how pretty they look...all dressed up ready for Europe. I'm jealous.

Safe travels little boxes.  Maybe....no, NOT maybe...I will deliver my goods to Vienna in person one day. :)

Happy Friday my friends.

xo,

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I think I might be addicted. This collage thing is so much fun and so different to the traditional illustration training I got in college. My second attempt...

"Forest"

4" x 4"

Cardboard, vintage papers, magazine cuttings, pen, colored pencil, acrylic paint, glued, stamped, applied gems

This one evolved a lot more effortlessly. It was a pleasure really. Burning the edges of the paper was a little scary but I love the effect.

Maybe I'm getting the hang of being an artist again. Feels good.

xo,