Grace and Ivy

Winner of Let's Face It Workshop Giveaway!

Hello my friends! Oh my goodness! I got a little caught up in filming classes and neglected to announce the winner of the fabulous Let's Face It online workshop giveaway! Registration opens TOMORROW! Don't miss it!

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So...with out further ado the winner is Suzy Norris! Congrats Suzy!

Thank you all who entered, left sweet comments and shared the news of the class online!

I'll be bringing you some gorgeous artwork this week plus some of my favorite art books too! So keep an eye out in your inbox.

Okay back to work! I'm knee deep in Art History study!

xo,

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Mixed Media & Encaustic Workshop : Student Work

Hello there! How is everyone? Hope all is well! I'm coming to you today to share some of my student's work from my Whimsical Portraits & Dreamy Landscapes Mixed Media & Encaustic Workshop!

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I'm a bit of a proud Mama when it comes to my students - so I just have to share these with you! I've made up these little collages since there is just so much good work coming out of these amazing ladies!

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Many of them have never used Encaustics or Oils but they are diving in, creating gorgeous pieces and expanding their techniques! Love that! It takes guts to try something new!

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What I love even more, is that within our Facebook classroom group they all help each other out, supporting and encouraging one another! It's really a beautiful thing to witness. The online creative community never ceases to amaze me and I feel so lucky to have these talented women be a part of my workshop.

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The other part of this whole experience that just blows me away is how women from all over the world are collectively learning and creating for this class! From Australia to Maylasia to the Netherlands and of course right here in the USA. It's so damn cool! The internet really has made this world so small!

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Thank you to all my current students! Your creativity, generosity and talent is a constant inspiration to me! I'm honored to have the opportunity to be your teacher.

I'd love to have you come create with us too! If you missed the sign up, don't worry you can join anytime! The class is entirely self paced with lifetime access.

You can click below to learn more and register.

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Have a gorgeous day!

xo,

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Eating Lean & Green Cookbook

Hi there lovely people, Okay, so I'm continuing my theme this week of celebrating the women around me and all the amazing things they are accomplishing!

Today, I wanted you to meet my dear friend, Katie Marreel! You know the friend that is just good at whatever she does...yeah that's Katie! Creative, brilliant, kind, caring - you know that good to the core kinda person - well, Katie pretty much rocks and I feel super lucky to have had her in my life as a close friend and one of my best brain storming buddies!! Nothing better than another entrepreneurial girl to keep you going! So check this out...

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She has just launched her first cookbook and I couldn't be more proud! Woo!!!

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I have witnessed her toil lovingly over this project for a looong time but the finished product is beyond gorgeous!! Go to her website to check out this beautifully written and photographed (by Katie herself) cookbook. Chock full of delicious, healthy recipes!

So you can get to know her a little better, I decided a little impromptu interview was in order! Just like her book, she's bursting with great information and healthy tips for busy families and health minded individuals alike!

Okay here goes....So Katie.....

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What is your personal relationship like with food and fitness? (hint hint…tell us about your story. ;)

My story begins nearly 60 lbs. and 15 years ago with a quest to transform my body into something healthier. The first several years brought many new diets and exercise programs, some of which failed, and others that made their own small contribution to weight loss. Nothing, however, came close to achieving the ultimate goal.  Then I discovered the Medifast 5 & 1 Meal Plan© through Take Shape for Life©. With guidance from my physician, I followed the program and experienced radical results. I lost weight beyond my expectations and built an entirely new relationship with food. Six years later, I’m still maintaining a goal weight. Eating Lean & Green has become a way of life.

My relationship with food and fitness is always changing and growing. There are so many ideas from experts in the field, I find that I am always studying and learning as much as I can. 

When it comes to food, I have learned to think about it as fuel to power my body, and I find deep satisfaction in eating things that are nutritious.  Old emotional eating habits, using food as a reward and a comfort, continue to fade away as new healthier habits take over.  There is no reward sweeter than the satisfaction of having made the right choices!

Fitness is something I have always been passionate about, and I am dedicated to keeping it a regular part of life. I like to change it up and try new things. From yoga and strength training to running and tennis, I’m always keeping my body moving.  Although it can be exhausting in the moment, I know that it does so many healing and restorative things for our bodies. It’s worth every drop of sweat.

What was your inspiration in creating this cookbook?

As a person who has struggled with weight for most of my life, my inspiration comes from a deeply-rooted desire to help others on the same journey.  I am passionate about sharing healthy and nutritious meals that are also incredibly satisfying and delicious.  Losing weight doesn’t have to taste bad!

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What are your top three tips for incorporating healthy eating into your everyday family life?

#1:  Plan, plan, plan. It may not be the most fun task, but getting familiar with the nutritional value of your food and making a daily plan is the best thing you can to reach your goals.  I write down all the foods I plan to eat each day before I go to bed. If I’m going out to a restaurant, I will check out the menu online ahead of time and know ahead of time what I am going to order.

#2:  Don’t force it. Learning to be selective with your own foods while offering a few options for others will go a long way to getting them excited about being healthful. Forcing food choices on others will only drive them away from healthy eating.  Not everyone in my house eats on such a restrictive plan as I do, especially the kids who need more carbohydrates. The core of every dinner I cook is a healthy lean and green meal, but I will often serve a starch like beans or grains on the side to make it more satisfying for them. 

#3:  Make a daily habit. Whether you choose to read a book or magazine, listen to a podcast , or go online, spending an hour of time each day thinking about health and nutrition will make a big difference in your ability to incorporate healthy eating into your everyday life.  It will keep you focused and give you a better knowledge base to make wise decisions.

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What changes have you seen within your life and your families by implementing these healthy practices?

One noteworthy change has been in my own sense of identity and being comfortable with my body. Losing weight and maintaining it has brought a great deal of self-confidence and has opened the door to trying lots of new and exciting things in life that I might have been intimidated by otherwise.

The most exciting thing to see is the effect on people around me.  By living out a healthy lifestyle, I get to be an example for others who have a similar goal, but may have lost hope or gotten frustrated in the process.  My conversation often falls into the topics of health and nutrition because it’s something I get really excited about. I love getting to share new ideas about food that show people being healthful can also taste incredibly delicious. It’s a win win!

She's inspiring right? Katie is so passionate about helping others live a healthier life!

Now don't be shy...you can visit her at her website or Facebook too! Go say hi! ;)

Thanks for chatting with us Katie! You go girl!

xo,

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Making Friends with Encaustics

Hello lovely people! Hope your weekend was fantastic!

I've been busy preparing the online classroom for my Mixed Media & Encaustic workshop and I'm getting questions about Encaustics and what you need to start.

So let's talk Encaustics - yeah...it sounds pretty serious, a little scary and slightly dangerous but I'm here to put your fears at rest! In my personal experience, I have found that working with this magical medium has been incredibly enjoyable, very experimental and basically tons of fun!

I wanted to share the Wax Set Up video that will be in the online class. My hope, is that seeing this will help you guys feel more comfortable exploring wax! You just gotta try it!

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and here is what I use in my simple, yet effective set up...(the clay tools are for carving which I'll be showing you in the workshop.) I've included some links below if you feel like shopping! ;)

PicMonkey Collage wax supplies

Surface thermometer * Mini griddle * Clay tools * Encaustic medium * Hake Brushes

For fusing I use a simple Craft Heat tool...

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Great encaustic books to check out:

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And I recently discovered some great videos on YouTube by a very talented encaustic artist: Nancy Crawford

Check out her YouTube channel here.

Here's one of her quick videos...

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So my friends, I hope this helps you make friends with Encaustic wax! This medium truly blends so beautifully with so many of our supplies and adds another level of dimension to your work!

I encourage you to check it out and of course I would love for you to join me for the online Workshop.

Mixed Media Online workshop IMAGEOur early bird pricing ends on June 12th! So don't miss out! Class opens June 23 and is self paced! You will have lifetime access too! :)

Let me know if you have any questions!

xo,

Ivy

A Favorite Digital Artist and A Paint & Pixels Giveaway too!

Hello lovely people! I hope you all are enjoying your weekend! The sun is shining here and we are soaking it up and playing in the garden...and of course I'm doing a little work too...

Today, I wanted to introduce you to my friend and artist, Robin Laws. I've invited her to guest post today to share with you one of our favorite digital artists and also to give you all the info on our exciting Paint & Pixels giveaway! Take it away Robin...

Hello Friends! I'm Robin Laws and I am delighted to guest post on Ivy's blog today. I’m an artist and the co-teacher along with Ivy for the upcoming Paint and Pixels class. Many artists inspire us but one in particular really does some outstanding work on her mobile devices, including her iPad! Her name is Sarah Jarrett and I wanted to show you some of her incredible work...

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Images via Sarah Jarrett

Gorgeous right? She really knows how to blend digital painting, photography and digital elements to create provoking, beautiful and layered work! We are both BIG fans! Such inspiration! In the Paint & Pixels class we will be doing a similar Self Portrait project! It's going to so exciting to create! If you haven't already you can click below to sign up for the class before the early registration price ends on June 8th!

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On that note, let me tell you about our FABULOUS Paint & Pixels GIVEAWAY! We are so incredibly excited about this course and to celebrate we are offering you a chance to win this fantastic giveaway valued at over $150!

What we are giving away:

  • 1 Adonit Jot Touch 4 Stylus with pressure sensitivity (it's our favorite!)
  • a 10" x 10" ready to hang canvas print of one of my most popular digital paintings AND

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  •  a $10 Apple gift card so you can grab some of the very cool art apps we will be showing you!

To ENTER all you have to do is leave a comment on THIS post letting us know what you hope to learn in the Paint and Pixels course or how you use your iPad creatively. Then share this image and the link to this post on at least one of the social media sites listed below ---->

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To win the giveaway you can...

  • Share this post on Facebook
  • Pin this image to Pinterest
  • Talk about the giveaway and the class on Instagram and use the hashtag #paintandpixels and @ivynewport and @rlaws2
  • Blog about the the class
  • Share this post on Twitter

*Each time you share it come back and tell us so you have another chance at the giveaway!

The winner will be announced on the last day of our sale for early registration next Monday, June 8th.

Thank you so much for helping us spread the word!

***I've included a square version for you to use at the bottom of this blog post for sharing on Instagram.

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We can't wait to draw our winner!! Have a fantastic weekend!

xo,

Robin

iPad Art Overdose

Hello all! I hope you are well! I've been very busy finishing up my work for the Studying Under the Masters III class! I've learned so much from being Marie Laurencin's virtual apprentice!

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I'm so excited for it to begin May 5th! There is still time to sign up! Go here to register and come create with me! Or click below to purchase.

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In between shooting videos, editing and being a mom, I sneak in time to create art on my iPad. I don't always have the luxury (or time) to pull out all my art supplies and spend hours creating but my iPad gives me the art hit I need with no mess, no waste and it's simple to put it down and tend to my responsibilities (a two-year old who constantly needs snacks) and then pick it right back up and keep making art. Here are some of my most recent creations...

I've really enjoyed doing some of these whimsical portraits with animals...

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Madame Violet & her dog

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And some self portrait fun using my own photography...

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And even doing some landscapes/cityscapes and more experimental stuff that I don't usually do...

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this one I made entirely on my iPhone...

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If you happen to have an iPad or an iPhone consider playing with some of the many creative apps available. Using the power of technology is an amazing and powerful way to explore art, your creativity and further develop your style and composition with NO risk! Don't like something - Just click UNDO. Gotta love that! ;)

The apps I recommend are Procreate, Repix, icolorama, Brushstroke, DistressedFX and Stackables. There are many others but these are my favs right now.

Much love to you! Keep creating!

xo

Ivy

 

 

 

New site is almost done!

Hello friends! How are you all? I hope life is being good to you.

I've been a busy little bee trying to get my new site built and up and functioning! Not an easy task but I am learning a fair bit about WordPress so it's all good.

I wanted to share a few screen shots of my new online home so you guys can get acquainted with it. This site will be where all my online classes and info on local workshops will be published. I will continue my blog at this new address...so you can expect more posts on art, photography and inspiration too! I hope to start posting more often, as well.

Here is a look at the home page...

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 4.52.32 PMand here's the gallery page I'm working on...

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the blog will live here...

 

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and my About page with an updated bio...

 

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It should be easy to navigate and I hope you approve. It is live right now, so feel free to go have a look.

www.ivynewport.com

Any feedback is welcome! When it is finished, I will be migrating you guys (my subscribers) over so there will be no need for you to do anything.

Thank you again for all your support, patience and encouragement. I'm thrilled to start this new adventure with you all and I'm so excited to make Art and teaching the center of my life.

xo,

Ivy

Etsy Love: RiverLuna

Hello! It's been a while since I've brought you some gorgeous, art inspiration so here's a healthy dose of beauty from the amazing Etsy shop: RiverLuna. Artist, Marisa Redondo creates these magical, nature inspired illustrations, full of intricate pattern and rich hues. I'm a huge fan! Now to decide which one to order...hmm. Here are some of my favorites...

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il_fullxfull.618238931_5p2z il_fullxfull.586949764_66ly   etsy * blog * twitter * facebook

After much debate, I just couldn't resist these sweet owls for my Gracie. Can't wait to hang it up in her room!

Go explore her wonderful collection of work - her blog is a delight too! Such talent!

xo,

Ivy

 

 

Life lately...

Hello there! Oh my goodness, it's been a tough couple of weeks! My little Claire bear is just now getting over pneumonia. Poor baby...and well...poor Mama. We were both sick of being cooped up so it was fantastic to take her to daycare yesterday and see how happy she was to run into the classroom and play with her wee friends. I started the day (childfree) with a trip to the nail salon for a quick, Spring manicure! My hands were trashed from constantly washing them! It's amazing what a coat of pretty nail polish can do to lift your spirit! ;)

Anyway, as you can imagine, I haven't had much time to paint or do anything really BUT thank goodness for my iPad because it's so easy to reach for it and create something minus the setup/cleanup. Here are a couple of digital collages I made this past week...

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Absolutely love creating on the app - Procreate! Such fun! Oh, and I just splurged on a new pressure sensitive stylus. I highly recommend it!

A couple of other things to share with you...I just received the most gorgeous necklace from my jewelry designer friend.

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It's a beautiful piece of lapis lazuli and it resembles a dreamy piece of the starlit sky! I adore it! Thank you Amy!

I also finally got a bracelet from Becky at Farm Girl Paints on Etsy! It reminds me to keep my head up and live courageously - not easy for this girl - who tends to back away from scary or intimidating situations...

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Oh and I did a little Spring cleaning in my studio! I'm hoping to start creating more frequently now that both kids are healthy!

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And....lastly...a little glimpse of Spring blossoms popping in my neighborhood. Such a beautiful time of year!

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I hope you are all healthy and happy! Enjoy your weekend!

Much love,

Ivy

Little time, lots of inspiration.

Hello friends, I know I promised to share more art so here are some pics of what I've been creating lately. I'm on week 6 of my Jeanne Oliver online art course. Its been an incredible ride! So much to learn, so much to create and SO little time! I'm trying to be patient with life and accept that I can't paint all day while managing a household, two little kids and a very busy husband. Patience is not one my strengths.

I also have to really watch myself. You see, I get a little competitive. My fellow students are constantly posting all the beautiful art they are creating and I want to KEEP up...but alas, I simply cannot.  Luckily, we have access to the class for two years!

Here is a little Cézanne watercolor/charcoal study...this was a fun and relatively quick exercise. He was a genius at layering color with watercolors! Something, I've yet to master.

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Next, I attempted to paint one of Cézanne's favorite landscapes...Mont Sainte-Victoire. He painted this scene over 60 times! This was a tricky one. SO many colors but I really enjoyed the challenge.

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Here's a close up of my version.

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Painting Cézanne landscapes, inspired me to try one myself. Although, I'm not in love with this piece it was good for me to do something outside my comfort zone. This is an Irish landscape, depicting O'Brien's tower.

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Then we went on to study Botticelli. I have not done my painting yet but I loved sketching from his work. His faces are brilliant and so beautiful.

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Okay, and lastly, I wanted to recommend this book to all those creative Mama's out there! I kinda horde art books but this one is my favorites right now. It gives me hope that if I plan a little better, I can find more time for my art and not neglect my kids!

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Alright...well I best be going. I hear little Claire bear waking from her nap. Back on the job! ;)

Hope all is well in your world. Try and take time for yourself to create, read, cook or whatever makes you happy - you won't regret you did! Also, I would love to know any tips on carving out this time - since I'm kinda struggling! Let me know what works for you!

Much love,

Ivy

Friday Art

Hi. It's Friday so that's great. I'm sick again with a cold - so that's not so great. I hope you are weathering through this season of illness better than me. It seems that little Miss Claire, who attends day care a few times a week to play with her  toddler buddies, also loves to bring home germs. My immune system is being put through the wringer! Oh well... Anyway, I really don't have much energy today so I'll spare you any lack luster writing and just share the little painting I did the other day. We are now studying Cézanne in my e-course and his landscapes are so beautiful. I had to try one myself, of course I couldn't resist adding the girl in there too.

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It was fun doing a landscape, which is rather out of my comfort zone. Several times I almost stopped and threw down my brush, in frustration....but with some patience and lots of layers of paint it finally came together.

This piece was done in acrylics but I really experimented with different mediums to create a more oil paint like consistency. In fact, I tried using KY Jelly with my paint. Sounds silly but it works! It seemed to increase the viscosity and made the paint dry a little slower thus blending beautifully! This world famous art forger used KY Jelly with his acrylic paints when replicating famous works! He ended up in jail...but at least he shared this tid bit with us! ;)

Have a wonderful weekend and stay healthy!

xo,

Ivy

Inspired by Matisse

Hi there! How are you? Hope your week is treating you well. As for me, well, I'm a little overwhelmed with creative energy. You see, I just started this amazing online course with Jeanne Oliver called "Studying under the Masters". It's a nine week course with nine different teachers. Each week, we get a new teacher and a new Master to learn from.

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This first week has been with Jeanne teaching us about Henri Matisse. It has been an absolute delight!

Back in Art School, we covered Matisse and hundreds of other artists but was I really paying attention? Well... not so much. With so many lectures, dead lines, assignments, critiques and social events (keg parties)... let's just say I didn't absorb as much as I should have. Often, I took being a student for granted.

Now, learning has become precious to me. It wakes me up and makes me feel alive, connected and passionate. That's why I'm hooked on Jeanne's courses.

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Oh Matisse, you wonderful man! I didn't know I was so fond of your work till now! He was a master of color, pattern and portraits! I love how he captures a scene, flattens it and layers it with brilliant hues and complex patterns! His faces, sometimes refined and others primitive and simplified. However, his intensity is consistent. His pieces almost vibrate with energy and mood. Truly inspiring!

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Studying his work has made me feel free again...to just draw and play and not worry about perfection, perspective, technique. Just create and explore! I can't seem to stop drawing! Even the white board on our fridge is covered in doodles. :) Here are a few of my own little works that I did in my sketchbook...all inspired by Matisse!

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More projects to come! So...what artist inspires you?

Have a fantastic Friday.

xo,

Ivy

{all Matisse images via here}

Art Journals to Adore

Hello there. I'm so excited I can hardly sit still. I just signed up to attend this retreat in May 2014! Eeek! I'm scared and incredibly happy at the same time - which I know is a good sign I'm doing something that I truly want to do. A long weekend, on Bainbridge Island creating art with 10 other women - it's gonna be total bliss! Plus, I'm going to actually meet one of my favorite online art teachers - Jeanne Oliver! Feeling very blessed. Anyways, I've been working more frequently in my art journal. Picking it up casually and sketching or jotting down a thought. It's becoming a little addictive. I was on Pinterest gathering jouranling inspiration and I thought I would show you some of my favorites. Just gorgeous...

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So inspiring right? I just got this book to help me get more creative with hand lettering too. Love it.

I'm off to go work in mine.

Have a beautiful Friday and a lovely weekend.

xo,

Ivy

Art Night

Hello! How's it going? Hope all is well in your world. My family enjoyed Halloween and now we are on the fast track to Christmas. This time of year always seems to zip by doesn't it? Many months ago, I imagined myself hosting an art night. A small gathering. Maybe 6-8 women, around my dining table, all creating. The idea both thrilled and terrified me. I talked about it with several friends and received gentle encouragement to do it. So finally, it happened. A couple of weeks ago, I sent out invites and began the planning of what this night would look like. I wanted to provide lots of fun art supplies, an inspiring atmosphere, delicious snacks and wine, of course!

My formal dining room is rarely used so it was a delight to move right in and create a playful, creative space! Stringing up bits of colorful ribbon in my crystal chandelier gave the room a whimsical feel!

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I covered up the table in brown craft paper and draped the dining chairs in vintage bed sheets that I found at Goodwill.

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To provide a little more structure for those that wanted it, I set up a still life in the center of the table.

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and spread out inspiring art books...

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Each lovely lady got a journal with their initial on it and a pencil as a little gift from me. I love having lots of pretty journals around to jot down thoughts and ideas.

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A colorful, vintage tray and a bouquet of vibrant flowers in the corner created a sweet little wine bar. The guests each brought a bottle of something to share.

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Once the table was set, it was time for me to pull out all my art supplies and display them for my guests! The ART BAR was born!

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Then came the food! My dear friend Katie is an amazing cook and she volunteered to do all the food for the evening! LOVE HER! She did an incredible job...creating a 98% gluten-free spread of delectable dishes! (I apologize for the dark quality of the pictures...my low-light photography skills need work!)

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This creamy brie, drizzled with a warm brown sugar, butter and walnut sauce was a huge hit!

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These gluten-free cookies and pumpkin cake were completely addictive too!

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As the night began and my guests mingled and delighted in all the gorgeous food, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach begin to settle.

Once everyone had a plate of food and a glass of wine, the ladies took their seats and I spoke (rambled) about the intention of the night and why I had wanted to do this. My heart-felt desire was to bring women together, to connect, share, grow, create and maybe even try something new. Art can really freak grown-ups out and I want to start breaking that down. I believe art is for everyone and that it is NOT about the product but the process. I believe Art can be healing, transformative and teach us a lot about ourselves. I believe that creating is something we are hard-wired to do.

After I briefly explained the different art supplies, the ladies bravely got straight to it. I was so worried that someone would become overwhelmed and shut down but nope, these girls boldly experimented and began creating! I was honored to look up from my place and be surrounded by these women who were all willing to be vulnerable with me and get outside their box.

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There were several moments that night when the room fell silent. At a dinner party...that could be a disaster but at an art night...it was magical. Everyone was in their zone; concentrating, relaxing and centered in their creation. Loved that!

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All in all, it was a wonderful night! I can't wait to do it again! Next time, I would like to guide everyone through a specific collage/mixed media project! I truly learned a lot about myself by doing this. I was scared but sharing my passion with others was so worth all the nerves. Thank you to my incredibly gracious guests for being so open and supportive of me. And of course a HUGE thank you to Katie for all the outstanding treats!

I highly recommend trying this out with your friends, family and neighbors. Gather up all those art supplies, share and explore your creativity!

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

Room service at Dawn

Hi there! Happy Friday! Wanted to share a few more Instagram snapshots from my Sydney trip. One of my favorite mornings there we ordered a room service breakfast, promptly delivered at 6 am. Jetlag didn't really slow us down, it just had us going to bed early and waking up with the birds - which - actually turned out to be a gift. Watching the sunrise over Sydney harbor is quite breathtaking and enjoying a hot cup of tea in the snuggly hotel robe wasn't too shabby either...

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I have a thing for itty bitty jars - especially when they say "Made in Australia".

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What a magical way to start the day. I felt so grateful for this sweet indulgence.

Have a gorgeous weekend!

xo,

Ivy

Grin & Bear it.

Hi there! How is your week going so far? We are getting so much sun here in Portland that I'm a bit giddy! It's a little bizarre but I'll take it! Maybe it's the extra Vitamin D but even my dreams have been stranger than usual. You see, I have recurring dreams with a bear in it. Yup. A big ole' grizzly bear that I always see on the outskirts of a forest. He is always tromping through the trees on two feet appearing rather ferocious. He never actually gets me or even gets very close but the dream is alarming and always stays with me all day. This last time, I woke up from the dream and this thought entered my mind - "The bear represents change."  It hit me like a bolt and thinking back I realized that I have my "bear dream" when lots of change is entering my life. All of a sudden both the changes and the bear seemed less frightening.  I decided to look up what a bear stands for in dreams and found that actually the bear can symbolize being brave, facing the world alone and encourages independence and strength in motherhood. Be the Mama Bear. Okay. I can do that.

To remind me of this, I just bought this print from Corella Designs on Etsy. The wonderful artist is Donna McKenizie. I love this big bear and I love that what at first seemed scary is now making me stronger.

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Here are some more of her gorgeous illustrations.

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Do you connect with a special animal or see one in your dreams? Maybe it's trying to tell you something...

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

xo,

Ivy

Home again

Hi dear readers! Yes, I am home from beautiful Sydney and I'm still trying to take it all in. It is always a bit surreal when one day you are in another country and the next you are in your own bed. Always trips me out a bit. We actually got home a week ago but my family stayed on to celebrate Grace's 7th birthday...so...this is my first chance to sit down and post. I have dozens of photos and I promise not to unload them all at once but I thought today I would just share some of my favorite Instagram shots from the first day of our adventure.

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We landed at 6:07 am. Bright and early!  After enduring all the fuss of customs and luggage wrangling, we jumped into a cab and headed to the Four Seasons Hotel. Even though I was exhausted, my heart was beating fast with excitement! I was actually here. The view from our room brought me to tears. Of joy.

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Like good little travelers, we resisted the urge to stay in our room and sleep and instead went for a brisk walk in The Rocks district, discovered a sweet cafe, downed a few coffees and a tasty breakfast.

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The feeling of being back in Sydney was rather indescribable. Surreal, bizarre, overwhelming, exhilarating. I was overcome with gratitude that somehow, in a matter of a few days, my dream of returning to my birth city had been actualized. I was in Sydney, with my beloved husband, staying at a beautiful hotel and only hours away from seeing my childhood friends. To quote my dear Aussie friend Jo - "I was completely spun out!"

After a very short nap, we got up showered and felt somewhat human again. We had to seriously rally because we were off to the Opera Bar for sunset drinks with my mates!

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The Opera bar was swarming with people, all taking in the gorgeous view, the warm sun and of course the lovely drinks. I scanned the hundreds of people looking for familiar faces. The butterflies in my stomach raged and my trembling hands were doing their best to steady a glass of white wine. I was nervous and excited at the same time. What would it be like to see these girls after 19 years!?

Just when I thought that perhaps we arrived before them, two hands fell on my shoulders and spun me around. In front of me was two of my girls. Claire and Natalie. We screeched, laughed and embraced in one hysterical mess. I'm sure we looked crazy but we didn't care. Before I knew it, another two friends arrived with bottles of bubbles, warm hugs and endless giggles. While the champagne flowed, we caught up with one another like no time had passed at all.

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The night unfolded beautifully! We ended up at a sushi place where we were joined by another friend. Chris celebrated his birthday there - the actual day had been lost in time when we crossed the date line!

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After that we meandered the Rocks, linking arms, sharing stories old and new and laughing about high school memories. My heart was flooded with happiness.  It felt good to be home.

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Okay more to come - I will break it up a bit so I don't bore you to tears - I promise.

What have you been up to while I was away? Anyone else travel or start a new Spring project? Do tell.

xo,

Ivy

Hello, Sydney.

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Hi there my lovely readers!

Well, I have some exciting news to share with you today - we are leaving for Sydney, Australia on Thursday - yes, as in two days from now!! A last minute opportunity landed in our laps yesterday, when one of my hubby's clients invited him to an executive retreat in Sydney. Well...as many of you know, that is my birthplace and there was NO way in hell that I wasn't going with him. So we scrambled and made arrangements for my parents to fly in and take care of the girls! I'm in total shock!

I've gotten in touch with several of my childhood friends, so I hope to meet up with them and catch up! I haven't been back since we left in 1994!! I was in the 11th grade. It was so hard to leave all my friends but at the time we kinda idolized America and I had fanciful notions of becoming a cheerleader, dating a quarterback and going to Prom! ha! Things didn't quite pan out like that...

Anyway, I have always wanted to go back and visit so I feel incredibly grateful for this chance! I will be taking tons of photos and hope to post a bit while I'm there!

See you when I return from the land Down-Under...

xo,

Ivy