Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rises the Phoenix From the Flames

This is what I feel like when I create these days.

Like the creative soul in me is rising out, and breaking free from all the years I've tucked it beneath the surface, collecting dust, screaming to get out.
Finding that voice and giving it wings, and letting it fly. Nurturing it and working on instinct. And most importantly not caring whether or not others think it 'good'. All that matters is that it comes from a place of truth and authenticity. Straight from my heart, straight from my soul, My creative soul slowly making it's way out of the shawdows and into the sun.

This is what this piece is about for me.

What have you tucked deep inside, nestled in your soul, hidden in the shawdows, that is aching to reach the surface? Give it a voice and set it free. It'll change your life. It has mine.

Have a beautiful day (despite the crappy weather here in Toronto)!

Francesca

Friday, September 25, 2009

Out of Frustration Came This

Last night I thought I was going to go crazy.

I was exhausted from a busy day at work, all I wanted to do was have some peace and quiet. I 'tried' to put the kids to bed but all I got was, 'mommy I'm hungry', 'mommy I'm thirsty', 'mommy I have to go pee', and then Elisa cried cause she couldn't find her Grover that she 'occasionally' sleeps with. Then Xavier wanted the hall light on. Well. I. Lost. It. I. Mean. Lost. It. I yelled at them to go to sleep, and stormed downstairs, all the while hearing whaling and screaming, and crying from the two, and their dad going to their rescue.

I went down to my basement and locked the door!!!!!!! (leaving Dom to deal with bedtime)Yes, I was having a crazy moment. My neighbour friend Marie calls it, 'the rage' when she gets it. I get them every once in a while! Laugh.
Out of my frustration came this:
Two page spread in my moleskine journal.

It's bright, it's bold, and it screams attention! It says, "finally finding my way to my heart". Meaning, I'm finally in a place where I feel good about where I am and what I am accomplishing in my life, and my art. Art finally finding a place in my life and being able to fly with it. As Kelly Rae Roberts says, letting my heART soar and take flight.

For the first layer I used moulding paste, then liquid acrylic paints, then Pentel water soluble oil pastels. The black 'rays' is a stamp from Stampers Anonymous, by Tim Holtz.

For the wings I used a thin sheet of gold metal, and cut ou a pair of wings.
The centre of the 'sun' is a sheet from my disposable paint palette. It was just too pretty to toss, so I cut it up and used it on my page.
And then I felt better. And off to bed I went. This time to a quiet bedroom with both kids and husband off in dream land. Allelujah! My sanity saved.

NB: But I may just lose it again cause blogger is giving me trouble posting this.. figures! So I apologize in advance if the formatting on this post is wonky.

Thanks for stopping by!

Francesca

p.s. more good news to follow

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'M A BAD GIRL

...finally, I can finally tell you. Wendy Rago of Bad Girls Kits, Project 52 posted this today:


All good things come to those who wait... And, the waiting is over!
So, please join me and put your virtual hands together to welcome our new FABULOUS designers...

Pam Colosimo
Jaz Lee Soo Hui
Anna Dąbrowska-Pękocka
Kathryn Johnson
Wendela Lam
Katie Turner
Julie Ann Shahin
Francesca Di Leo
Tania Davey
Aimée Wheaton



Look for lots of exciting things to happen RIGHT HERE over the next few weeks... the new DT's bios, headshots, the FIRST CHALLENGE (WOO-HOO!!!!!!!), and much much MORE!
CONGRATS again ladies... and WELCOME..

So exciting. I just about passed out when I got the email. Such an awesome kits and an awesome bunch of gals to work with. I can't wait to get started... onward, upward.

Thanks for stopping by!

Francesca

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bursting At the Seams..

..no not my waistline! huh...

I have some very exciting news to share with you but I can't just yet, but I am bursting at the seams to spread the news. It will have to wait until tomorrow.

For now, I'm listening to my new Bruce Springsteen remixes, cranked to the hilt, and am loving some time alone. This is turning out to be one of the best Sundays I've had in a VERY long time.

Off to enjoy some scrapping, or napping, or go out and enjoy one of the last few days of good, warm, sunny weather.. oh happy day!

love to all,
Francesca

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bits of Me

Here's my newest page using one page of my backgrounds...




Once you have a background, it's so easy to put something together. This was tons of fun to make. And it was a very last minute thing to. Worked on it to submit to a challenge, 'to make something that represents you, incorporating inchies (1"x1" square pieces of art) into your project.



Fortunately I had some inchies left over that I purchased from ArtCHIX Studio a while ago. They came in handy!!!

I'm trying to find a fine balance between family, art-ing (no, not farting - I meant to say art-ing - chuckle). Not sure I've found it yet. Not even sure it really exists. The kids still need so much of me and I so desperately need some me time... not to mention having to work 'work' in.. so, so hard.

This was a very good excercise for me.

Thanks for coming by,

Francesca

p.s. Dina visited my blog and commented on my backgrounds!!! Love it! Thanks for the Kudos Dina, I really appreciate it.

Background Frenzy

I went out the other day and bought me some new Golden acrylic paint colours, and some molding paste. I've been inspired by the very creative Dina Wakley who is an avid scrapbooker and mixed media artist. I found her blog and instantly fell in love with her work. It was this that spurred me on to purchase one of her downloadable classes, Art Journaling 101.

I really wasn't sure what to expect, as I've purchased a few other downloadable classes and hadn't been too impressed. I didn't expect to nearly fall off my chair when reading this class (which also comes with video tutorials as well). It was what I was hoping to find and learn how to do. It was like an epiphany. So this is how it's done. And this is how I get started. And wow. Holy smokes. Gorgeous. This is what I kept saying througout the whole time reading her class.

That night I went to bed and nearly stayed up all night, my head burting and full of ideas. It was what sparked the shopping spree at good 'ol De Serres, hence the new paint and moulding paste.

The next night I again stayed up all night, in my scrap room, aka basement, and just created backgrounds, one after the other. It came easily and my spirit was soaring. It was 12:30am and I was on a high. I haven't felt that kind of joy creating in such a long time. And it felt good.

I let them dry thoroughly, and the next night I painted them all with my NEW Golden acrylic paints. Gorgeous. They are so gorgeous. I almost want to leave them as is and not do anything further with them, but I think I will art journal, or scrap over them.

To view details, click on image to display a close up

The violet page is one of my favorites. I could have just used gesso to make the impressions but I wanted it to be bold and raised to give it more depth and dimension. On the yellow/green page I used my stamps to make impressions in the modeling paste... love the effect - lower case alphabets on the left edge (Making Memories) and butterflys on the right edge (prima).

I've quasi completed one scrap page using one of the backgrounds, which I'll post as soon as it's done. I'm working on a challenge, "to make something that represents me, incorporating the use of inchies into my project".
In the meantime, not sure if the scan will actually capture the details of the pages, but I'll post them anyway... if they're really crappy, I'll take some pics and get some great close-ups..


To view details, click on image to display a close up
The teal has the uppercase alphas by Making Memories stamped into it. And the orange, oh what a beautiful burst of colour. I made more, lots more. But don't like the image quality so I'll wait to take some really good pics of these. They deserve proper display-age!!!
Dina, I'm sure you're not reading this, but if you are, THANK YOU so much for the inspiration and for sharing your awesome talent through these on-line classes. It's made a world of a difference for me.

Have a great day one and all,

Francesca

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

School Days

I was in a very nostalgic mood yesterday after dropping Xavier off to school on his first day of grade one.



Here are a few pics of him getting used to the 'new' grade one yard. Where the 'big' kids get to play, separate from the JK and SK grades.



Here he is yelling at me to stop taking pictures of him!!! Imagine... as if...


There was excitement in the air, all the kids had on their new 'school clothes', new shiny shoes, big knapsacks, looking both excited and scared at the same time. Parents were looking pretty excited and nervous too, especially those of us starting JK and the grade one's.
It made me think about my school days, and all the awesome memories it brought back. So, today I came home and hunted out all my school pics. Right from JK to grade 8. And this is what I found, and made a collage out of them:
For those of you who have known me forever, isn't this the funniest thing you've ever seen? Can't believe how much I've changes, yet have stayed the same. My goodness. In order from top left to right, from Junior Kindergarten to grade 8.

I've also scanned the class photos and am organizing the papers I want to use. I should hopefully have this done soon. I've been meaning to put these photos to use for a long time. And I'd like to record some anectdotes and facts for posterity sake. My kids will one day get a chuckle from these one sweet day. I am trying to find Domenic's school pics, but haven't had much luck yet. It'd be nice to have one for all four of us.
How fun it is to go back and remember.
Hope Xavier and Elisa have as much fun and good times as I did in school. Nothing but good memories and tons of funny stories.
Have a great rest of the week everyone!
Francesca

Friday, September 4, 2009

Remember When

....my little Xavier was so little!! I so love these pics of him when he was only two years old. Here we are in Muskoka for a wedding. Back in the day when my engagment and wedding rings fit me! I have not been able to get them back on after delivering Elisa!!! oy. I so miss wearing them. Even my fingers got fatter. Yikes. Just looking at myself, seems like a million years ago even though it was only approx three years ago. I seem to have aged since then!



These were the days when:

me and xavey would sing songs and repeat nursery rhymes over and over and over and over while lying in bed until we both fell asleep

xavier would collect all the smallest bits of things and carry them with him everywhere and even to bed, like bottlecaps, broken wheels from his toys, a pine cone, some coins, and any other little do-dad he would find along his way

when he would wear what I chose for him without a care

when he would wear hats in the summer

when he would out-of-the-blue hit one of his little friends and send them off crying

he would go to bed at 8:00pm SHARP after a bath without a fight

take a bath without a fight

when he would sleep in my bed, and we'd have to be face-to-face

we would go for long walks around the neighbourhood smelling flowers, naming thier colours, and collecting sticks and rocks (ok, so maybe we still do this... good habits die hard)

you were, and always will be my sweet little boy

we love you so very much

More pics on my list to scrap. Seems like this list keeps getting longer and longer. I NEED to make time to do this. I'm getting farther behind than I'd like. Seems like I've been creating less and less these days but my brain is exploding with ideas. Me's thinking this is what's contributing to my foul mood these days. When I don't have time to be 'in my own head', alone with 'my stuff', I start to go stir crazy. Oy. Hopefully this weekend I'll find some time and release with some therapeutic time with me and my papers. Let's hope.

It's Labour Day on Monday for us Canadians, which means we have an extra long weekend. Thank goodness. Love long weekends.

Have a great long weekend!

Francesca

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Found Talents!!

So.... I've been inspired to embroider. Yes. Embroider. I used to cross-stitch to qualm my nerves when pregnant with both my children. But when born, it was put away to gather dust. Until. I. Found. This. And This. And This. And This. And This. I couldn't resist hunting out all my DMC floss, my hoops, and my aida cloths. Thanks to Playingwithbrushes for posting these awesome antique patterns.

I chose this one. I saw it, and knew exactly what I was going to do. I was going to make it all pretty with the most pretty floss I could find, and then use it for one of my many journal covers. I'm going to cut out a peep hole from the cover, and put this in from the back.. I'll show you when it's done.

But first, the process:

1) Choose your embroidery pattern


2) transfer the pattern to the aida cloth. You can use a transfer pencil and an iron, the easy way. Or my way, punch holes through the lines with a sharp instrument, then lay it on the cloth, and run a black marker over the holes to transfer it to your cloth. Instant transfer. Ha. Me need to invest in a good transfer pencil. Or any other good ideas to do this??? super easy and super fast??
Then put the cloth in a round hoop for easy handling.



4) choose your floss



5) stitch your pattern and then go back and fill it in with your choice of stitch(es). In pink floss I used a running back stitch to ouline and then couching stitch to give it a raised look.



But, if you're just totally not into embroidery, these are just too cool to pass up. You can print them out and use them as patterns to further cut out from patterned papers, or colour in with copic markers; or watercolours; hmmm the possibilities are endless.

I'm trying to curb my scrapbooking spending so what better way then to find many uses from one thing!

OK. Off to make some dinner. The kids and I are starving... oy.
Happy embroidering...
Francesca