Art

Happy Mug & Art Supply Giveaway

Hello creative friends! How's your week been? We are in the big thaw out after waaayyy too much snow in Portland. What a mess. So, I've been cozy inside having far too much coffee in my brand new mug BUT look how cute it is!

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Look, don't ask me why but fun mugs make me happy! THIS mug makes me VERY happy! It also completely describes my life! When I fill it up to the brim with yummy coffee and head on up to the studio, it makes me smile. Now, that, my friends is a good way to start your morning, right?

So as you know, when I LOVE something - I like to spread the word! What better way than to do a GIVEAWAY of three of these mugs to fellow creative friends! To kick it up a notch, I'm throwing in a $20 Blick Art gift cards too! We all know you can't have too many art supplies. ;)

This fabulous mug was created by the lovely Brooke Davies from Arrowcreek Goods. They have a lovely shop full of gorgeous mugs and they do custom work too! Make sure you go pay Brooke a visit.

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Good luck!

xo,

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Vulnerability + love = JOY

Hello lovely blog readers, I hope your week is going well. I have been down with a bad cold but I'm on the mend. All that time in bed, let me truly reflect on all that has happened in the past month.

Many of you know, I had an Art Retreat on Bainbridge Island about four weeks ago - the Intuitive Muse Retreat.

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Where we focused on trusting our creative instincts and quieting the critical mind. We set intentions, journaled and made A LOT of Art! It was an amazing experience and a great honor to teach on this magical island - a place I had been two times prior but as a student! The women that joined me were incredible souls, all beautifully open and excited to delve into learning more.  (Little did I know, just how much I would learn along the way.)

So let me share with you a little about the journey...

Robin and I were lucky enough to stay in a sweet spot just a few steps away from the farm. It was the perfect place to center myself for the teaching that lay ahead and with a view of Seattle like this...well...it was beyond gorgeous and did much to soothe my anxious mind.

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The days leading up to the retreat were spent drinking tea and practicing my lessons with Robin. She was so kind and patient, listening to me go over things a thousand times! LOL.

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That's the funny thing about what I do - it kind of terrifies me! I actually get very nervous when having to speak in front of a crowd. Online, in front of the camera, it is somehow easier but sitting in a room with a many sets of eyes on me - oh boy - it makes my hands shake and my nose sweat. (Yes, my nose sweats when I'm nervous, it's very attractive - I assure you.) 😜

I knew that the hardest part would be the first night. The introductions. The part where I have to talk about myself.  I knew that if I could make connections, I would soon relax. I wanted to get to THAT place as quickly as possible but as time would have it, I needed to experience each stage as it came. There was no fast forward button on this gig.

That first night, we gathered at the ranch house for the welcome dinner.  I was greeted with beautiful, warm hugs and even a few excited tears. It humbles me each and every time I meet a student "in real life". The connection I feel for them and them to me is a true thing. What a gift to receive. It amazes me to this day, how powerful the internet is and how very real the connections can be. Invisible heart strings that somehow manage to go through the computer screen. Magic indeed.

When it came time to sit in a circle and do our introductions, the ladies did the rounds first and I listened intently,  shaky hands folded in my lap. Each woman lit a single candle to represent her presence and placed it gingerly on a beautiful old artist's palette - a treasure from Serena's family. It was a sacred thing to behold.

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I was stunned at the similarities of our stories. Before me, was a group of 10 women from all different backgrounds, all different ages and family situations but the common thread was apparent. We were all seekers. We had lived a life seeking out our creativity, searching for our joy and the connection to our soul. We had all jumped through careers, or passions - each coming in with force and usually fizzling out until we followed the next pull. The next insatiable curiosity. Photography, crafts, scrapbooking, cooking, gardening and even creating skin creams! We had all jumped through multiple phases on our journey towards Art. The fact is, Art is seeking. It becomes the vehicle of expression to discover the deeper layers, the hidden parts, the shadowy darkness and the shining light we all carry within us. So, while on the outside we had our differences, really, we were of one mind. One heart, hungry for more.

This helped ease me a bit as I felt the circle close. The bonds forming already - in a matter of minutes! But, my hands and slightly glistening nose gave away my nerves as I began to share myself with the group. I hoped they wouldn't notice but I know they did. I hoped it wouldn't matter or make me look unprofessional. I hoped, with all my heart, that I would be accepted. And there it was - Ahh - hello VULNERABILITY!

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This is where I was. Where I had to be. Exposed and vulnerable, yet doing what I wanted to do so very badly. Connecting and guiding and teaching. So with a deep breath, I accepted the uncomfortableness of it and just spoke my truth, trembling hands and all. I don't know everything that I said but I knew when I had finished that I was safe. These women made me feel so and I was grateful.

The rest of the blissful days glided by full of hard work and wonderful art! The women battled it out with their inner critics, we laughed and shared stories and helped each other solve problems in our compositions. I was at ease, in my role, soaking up the precious time I got to spend with each student. Carefully listening and helping to guide them through projects they could enjoy and learn from.

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They created pieces that pushed them out of their comfort zones, slipping into the unknown, the fear - where the good stuff starts to emerge. Where the left brain retreats and our intuition begins to lead us. The sweet spot. The flow state. I could tell from the class when people were going through it, they worked intently in silence, not pausing to judge or worry. Just moving. Creating. It is one of the most joyous things to witness as a teacher.

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Art time was interspersed with walks among the mystical places on the island,  like the Labyrinth where we silently followed the stones that wound us gradually to the center. And we all enjoyed the special Buddhist Bell that rings out after you have spun it just enough times while focusing on your truest wish and intention.

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Looking back on this magical weekend, I am so filled with gratitude for the opportunity. The chance to not only encourage others to trust themselves but a chance to step into my truest self as well. Each time I teach in person, I feel myself grow. Each time it gets less scary and every time I walk away knowing that this is what I am meant to do. It is where my JOY lives. If it means I have to push up against the vulnerability then so be it - I'm up for the challenge! 😉


 

A big thank you to our warm and gracious hostess, Serena Berry, who was nothing short of perfect - spoiling us with delicious food and ensuring everyone was comfortable. You made the retreat truly lovely and relaxing for our guests and for me too!

Thank you to the amazing women who attended! You each taught me something and inspired me with your open hearts and creative spirit. It was such a joy and honor to spend the weekend with you! I'll cherish the memories of this special time, always.

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Much love to you all!

xo,

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Ask Ivy - the Inner Critic & Life Balance

Hi there readers, How's life been treating you? We are still recovering from the long weekend and are headed into a heat wave here in Portland! Yikes!

I have managed to stay cool in the studio and just finished shooting my next "Ask Ivy" episode. In this one, I answer a couple of questions about the inner-critic and finding (or not finding) balance in my life ;) ...check it out... [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiI14A7MESg] So here are a couple of books I would like to recommend on these topics that are sitting next to my bed...

Love this guy's whole belief that we are not actually after balance but rather satisfaction! I like that he de-mystifies the life-work balance concept...especially since it eludes me! lol!

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And this one just arrived on my doorstep. It is pretty, inviting and full of wonderful ideas, inspiration and creative ways that we can work with our inner critic...

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I'll be sharing some Art to Adore tomorrow from one of my favorite artists!

Hope you have a beautiful Wednesday!

xo,

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3 Must Read Books

Hello there!! How is everyone? I wanted to pop into today and let you know a couple of things! First off - Trina and I are so, so excited that we ONLY have ONE more spot left at ArtWorthy 2016!

We are over the moon happy and so grateful for the beautiful souls who have signed up to join us for this special long weekend! If you have been sitting on the fence, now is the time to snap up this spot! With a private gourmet chef, yoga, meditation, EFT sessions and loads of ART making you won’t want to miss out! Valentine’s just around the corner so treat yourself to some SELF LOVE!

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Ok, so I also wanted to tell you about three FAB books that I want to recommend!

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This book literally changed me! Literally. If you haven’t read it yet. Do. It. Now.

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This fabulous book was gifted to me by the lovely Trina and I ate it up! Full of wit and several laugh out loud moments - you will love this quick read about empowering your life with that sweet little word YES!

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And last but not least, this book knocked my artsy little socks off! Building creative confidence is not only powerful, it may radically change your existence! My belief that we are all creative beings is the cornerstone of this book and unearthing that creativity is not only your RIGHT it is your DUTY! Hiding those gorgeous gifts from the world is a major bummer for everyone!

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I adore the little trailer for this book too! Check it out... [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75L3HosXVAc] Okay, those are fresh off my stack of books! Check them out and let me know how they affect you I would love to hear about it!

Much love and gratitude to you all!

xo,

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Cyber Monday Deals

Happy Monday dear readers! It’s CYBER Monday and I couldn’t resist jumping in on all the Sale action going on all over the internet! I’ve had the pleasure of signing up for some of wonderful art classes because of the generous deals from my fellow online Art teachers, so I want to offer you guys a great deal too!

For the next 24 hrs my Mixed Media & Encaustic workshop: Whimsical Portraits and Dreamy Landscapes is 50% off!

Yup! Only $26!! :)

This information packed workshop includes two main projects PLUS two BONUS classes too! Over 5 hours of video, self paced and with life-time access. At this price it’s a great way to dive into some amazing Mixed Media projects or even gift it to a friend or loved one for the holidays! Click below to learn more and register.

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I also wanted to offer my Wing It class at 50% off too!

This incredible price of just $9.50 is rather irresistible and what a fun project to do over the holidays!

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A treat for you, a friend or loved one - this class can be done by ANYONE! It delivers beautiful results and is even kid friendly! I loved doing this project with my 9 year old daughter! You have lifetime access to this one too!

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Don’t miss out on these great prices! Remember only 24hrs! Hope you are all enjoying the holiday season!

Much love and gratitude to you all!

xo,

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Studio Day: My Top 5 Favorite Art Materials (right now)

Hello friends! Happy Friday! Well, I have a little treat today for you today! I thought I might give Vlogging a go! So instead of writing a post...I have a video for you to watch all about my TOP 5 Fav Art Materials right now! (This changes a lot!)

Hope you enjoy this...I'll be dong more of these videos about Art materials, my process and even some great interviews with Creative Women in my life! I'm really excited to start doing these "STUDIO DAY" Video posts! [vimeo 145662478 w=500 h=281]

Here are the links for shopping:

XL Derwent Charcoal Sticks

Pental Ink Color Brush Set

Fine Line Paint Applicator

Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencils

Sennelier Pastel Portrait Box Set 40

Please do let me know if you guys have ideas or topics that you would like me to cover in these videos! I would love to hear your ideas!

Thank you for all your love and support! Have a beautiful weekend!

xo,

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Paint & Pixels Class Starts Soon!

Hello my creative friends, I hope this email finds you well!

I just wanted to pop in and remind everyone that there are ONLY 2 short weeks till the Paint & Pixels Online Classroom opens!

Robin and I are giddy with anticipation! We can’t wait to share all the power and creative expression that the iPad delivers! You may never create the same way again!

From manipulating your own photography, to digitally painting layered masterpieces, we have covered the gamut! And don’t forget that we will be showing you how to bring in those traditional ART materials too! The marriage of Paint & Pixels is one artistic romance you don’t want to miss! We are pretty sure you are going to fall in love! So many already have!

In fact, due to the overwhelming response to Paint & Pixels we have decided to close registration on September 21st. Exactly one week after class starts. This will allow us to focus on this first group of Paint & Pixels students. We have only a few spots left so if you have been waiting for that perfect day to give yourself this class - now’s the time to act! Remember, as a registered student you will have life-time access to the classroom and all the videos. To learn more and register click the button below...

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We also wanted to share with you some of our most recent iPad creations...

These first three were done by Robin. She creates such soft, whimsical beauty while retaining a lovely painterly quality! Love that! I especially adore that last one - Such a tender self-portrait. To see more of Robin's art please do go visit her gorgeous website!

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I was lucky enough to get a large stunning print of this one from Robin for my birthday! She's going up in the studio in a beautiful frame. She's even more exquisite in person!Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.45.48 AM Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.45.17 AM

These last three are by moi...and I can't even express how much fun it was to create these. I just love how free I can be on the iPad with no worry of messing up! So wonderful for exploring your own style and mark making! Gotta love that UNDO button! Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.44.46 AM Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.44.30 AM Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.44.12 AM

I hope you all have a wonderful week! For those of you who have signed up for Paint & Pixels already we are so excited to have you in class!

Much love to you all!

xo,

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Camera Craft Giveaway!

Hello friends! Hope you enjoyed your weekend! We had some great family time and as an extra bonus I got to spend Sunday afternoon with some local artists, painting in the sunshine! Blissful!

So...today I'm super excited to let you know that I am giving away one FREE spot into the AMAZING Camera Craft Class - (a $200 VALUE) by Galia Alena! I am one of the lucky contributors and I know its going to be a tremendously inspiring class with a lineup of beautiful teachers all sharing their love for photography! Check out more info on these lovely ladies here.

Photography holds a special place in my heart and I attribute my realignment with my creativity to it. Learning how to observe, appreciate and seek beauty in the everyday re-ignited my passion for art and for that I will be forever grateful! I'm so honored to share some of my knowledge within this wonderful online class!

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 5.57.19 PMSo...you may be wondering how do I enter this fabulous giveaway? Well...here's all the details...

To enter...just leave a comment here on my blog letting me know how photography has affected your life or why you might want to learn more about it. To increase the number of times I enter your name you could do any or all of the following to spread the love, just be sure to pop back and let me know in the comments:

☆ share this competition or the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google, facebook page or other social network platform

☆ like my facebook page (or invite some friends to)

☆ subscribe to this blog

I will be announcing the winner on Thursday! Thank you and good luck! If you want to join in this amazing journey click HERE. The class begins at the end of the month!!

Don't miss this opportunity! I look forward to your comments!

Have a beautiful Monday!

xo,

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P.S. Stay tuned - because tomorrow I have another special treat for you!! ;)

 

 

ONLINE Mixed Media and Encaustic Workshop opens Tomorrow!

Hi there! I hope all is well! Just got back from a gorgeous weekend in the Oregon wine country with my hubby! We were celebrating our 12th Wedding Anniversary! We stayed at the most beautiful resort - The Allison Inn & Spa. Stunning! Highly recommend it!

But now we are home and it's back to business! I'm really excited too because my Online Mixed Media & Encaustic workshop opens tomorrow and it's full of wonderfully inspiring creatives! I can't wait to see what they create and I'm honored to be their teacher!

class opens tomorrow register-button-blueThere is still time to sign up so come join us!!

Have a beautiful week!

xo,

Ivy

Paint & Pixels Giveaway Winner!

Good morning! Robin and I are so happy to announce that the winner of the Paint & Pixels giveaway is Andrea Bakewell! Congrats Andrea!! Andrea will be receiving a stunning piece of digital artwork by Robin that has been printed on 10" x 10" canvas, a $10 Apple gift card and an Adonit Jot Touch 4 stylus!

adonit_giveaway4-1Thanks to everyone who entered and thank you so much for helping us spread the word about Paint & Pixels!

Can't wait to see many of you in class!

Registration is still open and class will begin September 14th!

xo,

Ivy

PicMonkey Tutorial is now available!

Hi there! Many of you have requested that I do tutorials on how I process my photography so I've finally been able to prepare a great intro tutorial about editing your portraits using PicMonkey. It's an online tool that makes editing fun and pretty intuitive but knowing how to use the tools and what not to use is key! Obviously it isn't as powerful as Photoshop but for many that is far too complicated and expensive. I believe PicMonkey is a great alternative for basic editing and enhancement. It is a go to for me when editing images for my blog!

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This tutorial is super approachable, easy to understand and I am here to assist as well. I hope to connect with those that take it on our own little Facebook page too, where I will be regularly sharing tips, techniques, textures, stock photos and filters to play with. If you've never done photo editing but would love to know how to enhance your portraits than this is a great tutorial for you.

Here is a sneak peek... [vimeo 109094827 w=500 h=281]

Go check out all the info over here on my Classes page.

Here are some examples of my own photography and what I've been able to achieve using the PicMonkey tools! So much fun!

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before after baby claire with text

To sign up go here.

Let me know if you have any questions! Hope you enjoy it and remember I'm here to help!

xo,

Ivy

Wandering...

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Hello there. I hope all is well in your world. Right now, mine is a little messy. Literally and figuratively. I just finished the Brené Brown course and absolutely loved it. It has truly been life changing and has been stirring up all sorts of emotions. Old energy is shedding but self-doubt has been trying to rain on my parade...as usual.

With all the flux, I've been cleaning out areas of my home that no longer serve me. One of those neglected areas was my laundry room cabinets. They were stocked with all my supplies for creating skin care products... (my obsession 3 years ago). As I gathered up the countless little vials of essential oils, dried herbs and tubs of concoctions, I found myself crying. I stopped for a minute to check in with my mind and see what all the fuss was about.

Ahh...I was berating myself. For failing. For being flaky. For investing all this money and time into something I gave up on. For being stupid. Unfocused. Confused. Wasteful. ugh. Brené referres to these moments as "shame storms". This was a category 3.

Then I remembered the last week of the Brené lessons - letting go of certainty. I was reminded that it's okay to wander, get lost and not know which way to turn. Even in those moments we are whole. I had not failed. I had just wandered. I had needed to do that, at that time and it has led me to where I am today. So what if Grace & Ivy began as a skin care hobby!? It ended up launching my blog, helping me rediscover my love of writing, leading me to a new passion for vintage and ultimately, reunited me with my first, true love - ART.

Was it a linear, logical journey? Nope...but that's not really how I roll anyway. Is it over? Have I got it all figured out? Hell no! But that's okay.

So, please, let me remind you dear friends, that if you are feeling a bit lost or are wandering. Fear not. Know that it is part of your own journey. We are not supposed to have all the answers. Life doesn't come with a compass or a map. Use your heart as your guide and believe that even in your most vulnerable place - you are right where you need to be. Trust yourself and never compare your path to someone else's. Like a snowflake, each one is unique.

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Sending you all love.

xo,

Ivy

Artful Blogging Feature

Hello! Hope your week is off to a great start! Today, I wanted to share the news that the new Artful Blogging is out and my blog is featured within its beautiful pages! I'm overjoyed and very humbled. I've loved this magazine for years and this past January I declared to the universe that  - "One day, I will be in this publication!" It sounded so bold then and I hardly believed it but today I am so very proud to be listed among the amazing blogs in this issue. It's an extra fabulous bonus that Claire's portrait made it to the front cover!

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As soon as I heard the magazine was out we ran over to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy. It is a total trip to open a magazine and see your work inside. It is especially wonderful to see the portraits I took of my children!

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This issue is brimming with beautiful blogs and gorgeous images. Check out these lovely blogs that caught my eye...

The Simple Life

Two Tarts

Timewashed

Now go out and get yourself a copy or you can order one here. Make a cup of tea and enjoy all the beauty within!

xo,

Ivy

Blog Design Mood board

Hi friends. How is your day going? So far so good over here. I've already done my homework for my Blog boss e-course, which I'm excited to share with you. We were assigned to make a dream blog design mood board. I started it yesterday and could not stop till it was done. I'm so excited to be actively  re-designing the blog and finally making the transition over to a WordPress.org. Don't worry, I will let you know when it happens so we don't lose track of each other. It's time for Gracy & Ivy to graduate to a new level. So here's my mood board... Dream blog mood board

Let me know your thoughts. Nothing is set in stone at the moment and I may even make another board to play around with some more ideas and different colors.

Have a lovely Wednesday!

xo,

Ivy

Travel Visions 2

I know you may have been expecting a Friday Escape...but while I'm doing my Unravelling class, I've decided that I need to focus on my writing and photo assignments....so I hope you will forgive me and still enjoy this little collection of travel inspired images. I promise we will jump back into our vicarious travel when I've completed the course...which, by the way, is AMAZING!

Have a beautiful and inspired weekend!

xo,

Images via here.

Dreamy Whites - a new blog to love

Hello there. I hope your Sunday has been relaxing. I just discovered a new blog - Dreamy Whites - via Houzz (an online interior design source), that I'm completely in love with. Maria is the author of this delightful blog and is one talented lady!  She magically finds time to juggle five kids, a husband and a beautiful ranch home while expressing herself creatively through interior design, photography and graphic design! Can you say Super Woman?

Oh, and her home is being featured in this book, by Fifi O'Neill (who also has an amazing blog) ! Just added it to my wishlist!

Her style, photography and writing resonated with me...so I had to share! Check out these pics of her lovely home...

Gorgeous right!? Her rooms feel so dreamy and romantic. One day I hope my home can be this enchanting!

xo,

All images via Dreamy Whites

Anahata Katkin - Postcard Tins

Rummaging through the antiques yesterday, I found myself drawn to tins. Tin boxes, tea tins, chocolate tins, candy tins...you get the idea. So when I found these stunning tins by Anahata Katkin, I had to have them. No they are not old, or vintage but they are covered with her beautiful artwork and filled with gorgeous postcards. What great gifts! Aren't they yummy!? Go here to order your own! For an extra treat, go visit Anahata's inspiring and quirky blog.

xo,

All images via Papayaart.com