Friday, December 24, 2010

this little light of mine

wishing all a wonderful happy healthy christmas! let the magic begin..

merry christmas eve!!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Frame and Text Overlays

Finally taught myself how to create frame and text overlays in Photoshop.  I just love the effect.  Great for when you don't have time to scrapbook but feel the need to document a little story or saying.  Since I haven't been doing much scrapbooking lately, I see a lot of my time spent doing this.

This is probably how I'll be documenting Christmas 2010.


Sunday, December 19, 2010


here's my latest portrait.  i think he's so pretty.

getting myself prepped for misty's online class.  woohooo.

and still working on this...

happy sunday night,

Friday, December 10, 2010

2010 Completion Ritual

This is me. 39 year old me with all my perfect imperfections. Time to reflect on the old and ponder the new. Remember my completion ritual last year? Here are some of my reflections.

What do you acknowledge yourself for in regards to 2010?

- for speaking up for myself and demanding I be heard
- for making time for my art a priority
- for being brave in posting my portraits even though they were very amateur and certainly less than perfect
- for finding the new me. And redefining me in a way that more accurately represents me.
- for finding the best day care ever for my little girl
- taking pride in watching Xavier read and devour books
- for taking on-line classes with my favorite artists
- for purchasing my first piece of original art
- for finally getting my kids to sleep in their own beds (this was a BIG one for me folks)

What is there to grieve in 2010?
- I grieve an illness of one we hold dear that have left us feeling helpless and hopeless
- I grieve losing the baby-ness in my children and no longer being able to hold them to my chest as I sing them to sleep

What else do you need to say about 2010 to declare it complete?
I thoroughly enjoyed 2010.  It held a lot of happiness and joy, with just one touch of incredible sadness. I declare 2010 complete.

As I stand up I declare 2011 the year of taking risks, artistically, professionally, and personally. The dictionary defines risk as, "take or run a risk, to expose oneself to the chance of injury or loss; put oneself in danger; hazard; venture".

When I say risks I mean intentionally putting myself into situations that make me feel uncomfortable all in an attempt to assist my growth both in breadth and scope. I want to attempt things that will take me out of my ordinary and fling me into the extraordinary. I want to do things that'll push me out of my proverbial box. Yup folks. This is gonna be interesting.

Do you have a ritual that you do every year? If you do I'd love to hear about it. If youhave posted it to your blog please leave a link for me to come visit.

and just for fun, have you ever seen so many birds on a wire???  i thought it was the end of the world when i saw them flock like this above my head!!  but it sure made for an awesome iphone hipstamatic pic...

Happy day everyone,


Monday, November 29, 2010

stitchin' and bitchin'

quick.  look up.  see the blog header?  yeah, well, i'd made some little progress on it, but essentially still requires lots of attention to complete.  i think i kinda stopped because i was running out of little ideas to stitch.  so to remedy the creative block, i got me a couple of books.  and lo and behold i have found my embroidery mojo again.  just like that.

two reasons why i chose these particular books:

1)  seriously? because look at how damn cute the covers are
2)  because i'm slightly obssesive and can't just buy 'one' of anything
3)  because one comes with a cd choc-full of images you can resize in photoshop elements to resuse over and over again
4)  and because the other comes with a bunch of really awesome transfers ready to use

...and that's the truth folks.

so i've printed up my patterns and am ready and rearing to stitch and bitch tonite. cause i'm good at that (bitchin' that is, not stitchin'). 

btw, fact:  did you know you can use your laser jet printer to print up a pattern (reverse it if it's lettering), and iron it on to your fabric for an instant transfer?  well, i tell ya, i know that now.  and you know what that means.  anything that is printable is going to be ironed onto fabric.  cause i'm crazy like that.

happy monday,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Merry Xmas to Me from Me

after checking misty's blog yesterday (a daily ritual, mind you), i noticed she'd posted more originals to her etsy shop


so i did what i had to do.  i put dom in a strangle-hold, wrestled his wallet out of his pocket, found my way to his credit card (because mine had to be shredded heehee), and single handedly made a successful transaction. 

so this sweet baby will arrive on my doorstep some day soon:

this is the reason why i picked up my paint brush.  this is the reason why i'm so inspired to paint faces.  this is the reason that i can't stop thinking about putting paint to brush, brush to canvas.  i find her work incredibly inspiring, to say the least, and choc-full of emotion. 

it's small but it speaks volumes.  so misty, if you're reading this, know she's found a good home where she'll be well loved. 

ok.  gotta go.  waiting at my front door.  is it here yet?????  lol  yes, i'm indeed insane.  i do declare.

love love love,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Journal Pages: in progress

'you have everything you need to begin'
my inspirational quote for the week

Seaside Sandcastles Collage Heaven (in progress)

Pinwheels and Togetherness Collaged Heaven (in progress)

'Sunday Best' embroidered collage in progress

happy Monday,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Art Journal: Lady Blues

'lo viso mostra lo color del cuore'
                                                                ---- dante alighieri

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My new 'studio' and collaged furniture

So. I was working from my basement. I used it as my dedicated creative work space. Although it was a big space that accommodated all my thousands of dollars of 'stuff', I just wasn't able to make it my happy place. It was great for a while and I enjoyed the convenience of an art sink and tons of cupboard space. But the lack of proper lighting and natural light was getting to me. I know now that working in a well lit space with natural light makes a huge difference in my state of mind when creating. It's huge. So in light of this (no pun intended), I've move shop to my bedroom. Yup. The bedroom. Laugh.

I figure my most serene favorite part of the house is my bedroom. It's where I go these days to relax and hide and recharge. Not to mention the light during the day is incredible. We have a huge south facing window so we get tons of sunshine.

Be because I can only fit one cupboard into the space only the essentials will come up with me.
My most favorite go to things ONLY like alphas, stamps, rub ons, my paints of course, and my easel. Yes. My easel.  And to freshen up the room I've done a little something funky with one of my drawers that will house said products.

(this is where I was going to give you a mini tour of the room but blogger isn't cooperating and won't let me upload the video..  i'll try again tomorrow.)

new studio and collaged furniture from Francesca Di Leo on Vimeo.

So, for now here's a close up of the cupboard, however it's dark and raining outside so the lighting isn't at it's best, so the quality isn't very good...

This space is still a work in progress.  The walls are bare so perhaps some shelving and some framed 'somethings' need to go up.  New curtains perhaps.  But I want to make sure that I don't clutter it up because that'll make me crazy.  I like clean and simple especially if it's also serving as a bedroom.

So there you go.  A little view into my life and home.  On to collaging more furniture... this is dang addictive.  I say that a lot don't I.  oh well.

Happy Sunday night all,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ABC Wednesday : Q

on january 28 i will become a quadragenarian.
huh? you ask.
yup, a qua-dra-gen-ar-ian, a person between the age of 40 and 49.
i will hit the big 4-0 mark.  40.  me?  really?  yeah, this is horrifying me just a 'little' bit.

to ease myself into quadragenery,  i am planning on a trip to good 'ol Paris.  i want to sit in a cafe and drink espresso, and journal, and people watch, and visit museums, and pretend i am a parisienne, and nod my head when people speak french to me like i understand.  wonder if my quebecoise will get me through.  smile.

ok.  off to enjoy a quarender (dark red apple) and some quirk (soft cheese made by skim milk) by the soft light of a quarion (candle).

now go here to see more 'q' goodness at ABC Wednesday.
and if you want even more 'quirky' words that start with 'q', go here.

happy hump-day!


Monday, November 8, 2010

more journal pages

so I can post from my iPhone. Huh. how awesome is this.

i will admit I haven't done any scrapping lately. in large part because i haven't printed up any photos. but even more so because i haven't had any motivation to do so.

right now:

- really into playing in my journal after the kids go to bed and pulling out all my art supplies on my bed

- planning my 40th birthday trip to paris
- can't believe i'll be 40 this january
- loving my new short hair
- in love with shiva paint stiks
- planning on enrolling in two new courses - preferrably on-line (painting with Misty and perhaps a photog)
- i am in LOVE with meatloaf, especially this and this recipe
- am planning to use my slow cooker more often to help simplify my evenings
- love watching the kids participate and enjoy sunday mass, and catechism
- listening to xavier read to me from his goosebumps book series
- love finding xavier reading on the couch, or lying down on the carpet, or in his bed.  LOVE IT.

experimenting with my embossing tools and my stamps. and journaling. and drawing my 'pretty ladies.

when i get home today, i should have a lovely box waiting for me at my doorstep.  my monthly awesomeness that is studio calico november kit.
happy monday,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

ABC Wednesday : P

Jackson Pollock

Photographer Hans Namuth extensively documented Pollock's unique painting techniques.
Birth namePaul Jackson Pollock
BornJanuary 28, 1912
Cody, WyomingU.S.
DiedAugust 11, 1956 (aged 44)
Springs, New York, U.S.
TrainingArt Students League of New York
MovementAbstract expressionism
PatronsPeggy Guggenheim
Influenced byThomas Hart BentonPablo Picasso

FACT:  Pollock's No. 5, 1948 became the world's most expensive painting, when it was sold privately to an undisclosed buyer for the sum of $140, 000, 000.  The previous owner was film and music producer David Geffen.  It is rumoured that the current owner is a German businessman and art collector.

Pollock introduced the use of liquid paint.  He used paint pourings as one of several techniques on canvases.  He began painting with his canvases laid out on the studio floor, and he developed what was later called his 'drip' technique.  He used hardened brushes, sticks, and even basting syringes as paint applicators.  Pollock's technique of Pouring and dripping paint is thought to be one of the origins of the term action painting.  In this way Pollock challenged the Western tradition of using easel and brush.  He also moved away from the use of only the hand and wrist, since he used his whole body to paint.   Time magazine dubbed Pollock, 'Jack the Dripper' as a result of his unique painting style.

Now, get out your canvas, get out your liquid fluid paints, and a turkey baster, and let the magic begin.  Ready, set go.  Meet you back here when you're done.  Would love to see your version of the 'drip' technique.  ok?


Monday, November 1, 2010

glimmering hope and mary with some shrooms

i just bought these two new stamps.  there's a whole series of them and i plan on buying them ALL.  because if you've been reading this blog, you know i'm obsessive like that.  i just adore them.  they're so pathetic and adorable at the same time. how could you not love them. they're called Glimmering Hope and Mary, and you can find them here:
glimmering hope

i plan to use them for xmas cards!  you're probably say 'huh, but they're goth, halloween no?', well yes, halloween cards, xmas cards... just think glimmering hope with a santa hat on her head a gold star on her chest and a sparkly sparkly dress with lots of glitter.  and mary with a santa hat and a candy cane in her hand and some presents at her feet.  ah.  genious.  gonna give it a try this weekend and see how it goes.  i always say i'm gonna make xmas cards, and then never do it.  so i'm determined this year.  hopefully i'll have something to show you this weekend.
and since i'm on a stamping kick, this is what I bought the week before:
giant shroom
mushroom group

how adorable are they.  there was another text stamp to go with it that read, 'everyone needs a quiet place to hide' , would'a gotten it but the funds ran out.  laugh.  shhh don't tell my husband.  he's complaining that i'm using up the mortgage and the babysitting funds.  laugh more.  i told him to then get himself a 2nd job.  let's just say, he wasn't laughing or amused in the least. 

and alsas, another one of my paintings.  this one sketched in front of a mirror trying to seriously capture me.  i like the light and dark.  and the definition of the eyes, but not liking the hair and the nose.  how do you paint hair?  i just can't figure it out.  arghhh.

you need to click on the picture to get a better view of it

happy souls and saints day!! 


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Hallows Eve

these two munchkins are all excited.  it seems even X is excited.  normally he doesn't care to go house to house, but seems this year he's looking forward to it.

E goes to all the neighbourhood houses and asks me to take pics of her alongside all the halloween props.  she's such a hoot.

i love her jesse and doggie alongside the rats.  this kid is hilarious.

yesterday X had a halloween birthday party at N's house, and they had a BLAST.

and whilst X partied, E got her long overdo haircut.

and after:

yes, the hairdressers were all dressed up in costume too.

can't wait for tonight myself.  E is gonna be the cutest little 'cat in the hat' and X the leanest and meanest 'iron man' ever.

happy, safe, candy full Halloween everyone!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

she's at it again

stayed up late last night playing with my shiva paint stiks.  they're oil paints, literally like a humongous crayon.  they're oil paint but so much easier to use and less mess than oil paints from a tube.  they're rich and creamy and blend super easy with just your finger.  love the soft creamy texture of them.

here's my girl.  i must say, i kinda like this one.  little by little i'm starting to like my ladies.  this one just seems so much more real to me, and closer to what i'm trying to achieve.  lots of work and practice still to do.  the eyes, the mouth... ugh.  the mouth.  it gives me trouble.  and the hair.  she looks like she's having hair trouble, just like me.  i can't get the hair thing right in real life either!  smile.

happy saturday, and hopefully you're out at a rip roaring halloween party.  have a brewsky on me, will ya!

later folks.


Friday, October 29, 2010

ABC Wednesday "O": OULIPO

so, i'm a little late in posting for ABC Wednesday.  so let's just pretend it's wednesday, shall we!!

the letter this week is "O'.  and my word for the week which i have just recently discovered and would love to share is:  Oulipo.

Oulipo.  what the heck is that, was my first thought.  so i immediately googled it.  and wikipedia brought this up:

Oulipo (French pronunciation:[ulipo], short for French: Ouvroir de littérature potentielle; roughly translated: "workshop of potential literature") is a loose gathering of (mainly) French-speaking writers and mathematicians which seeks to create works using constrained writing techniques. It was founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais. Other notable members include novelists Georges Perec and Italo Calvino, poet Oskar Pastior and poet/mathematician Jacques Roubaud
interesting i thought.  but still not sure what the heck it meant.  'constrained writing'.  another word required translation which once again lead to more research.  back to google:

Constrained writing is a literary technique in which the writer is bound by some condition that forbids certain things or imposes a pattern. Constraints are very common in poetry, which often requires the writer to use a particular verse form.

Below are some examples of Oulipian constraints:

S+7, sometimes called N+7
Replace every noun in a text with the noun seven entries after it in a dictionary. For example, "Call me Ishmael. Some years ago..." (from Moby-Dick) becomes "Call me islander. Some yeggs ago...". Results will vary depending upon the dictionary used. This technique can also be performed on other lexical classes, such as verbs.

My Version:  of N+7
you fit into me like a fish hook into an eye, a fish hook an open eye (my favorite poem by M. Atwood)
N+7 = you flavour into me like a flag host into an factor, a flag host, an open factor
go here and this site, the N+7 Machine will do all the work for you, you just have to input your sentence.  Snowball
A poem in which each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer.

Writing that excludes one or more letters. The previous sentence is a lipogram in B, F, H, J, K, Q, V, Y, and Z (it does not contain any of those letters).

Palindromes The most familiar palindromes, in English at least, are character-by-character: The written characters read the same backwards as forwards. Some examples of palindromic words: civic, radar, level, rotator, rotor, tacocat, kayak, reviver, racecar, and redder. 

Or Phrases, Palindromes often consist of a phrase or sentence :
"Go hang a salami I'm a lasagna hog.",
"Was it a rat I saw?",
"Step on no pets",
 "Sit on a potato pan, Otis",
"Lisa Bonet ate no basil",
"Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas",
"I roamed under it as a tired nude Maori",
"Yo banana boy",
"Rise to vote sir",
or the exclamation "Dammit, I'm mad!"
Punctuation, capitalization, and spacing are usually ignored, although some (such as "Rats live on no evil star") include the spacing.

So, there you have it.  Oulipo, writers seeking to create works using constrained writing techniques.  Got it.  It all makes sense now. 

ok, now how to translate this to art and painting.  paint without the colour blue? paint something that looks the exact same when put upside down? lol 

have a great Friday!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

playing with paint again

so i've been very inspired lately by mess:  the manual of accidents and mistakes by kerri smith.  you know, the one also responsible for wreck this journal.  if you don't know about it, and you like to play with art and experimentation, and creating out of your proverbial box, then you must run, not walk, over to kerri's blog.  go now.

anway, in the spirit of experimentation for the sake of experimentation and the love of playing with all things creative, i've taken out my journal and have been playing with paint, and journaling, and automatic writing, and it's been making me very happy.

i put the kids to bed at 8:30pm, and after that, it's my time to play.  i sit in my disheveled bed, open my journal, pull out my paints, and stay up until i can barely keep my eyes open. 

there is nothing super extraordinary about these pages.  it's just a fun way to try out new techniques, new products, test ideas.  and the best part, no pressure.  and learning along the way.

now you try.
get out your journal.  and don't think too much.  just do it.  if the blank page is intimidating, splash some paint on it.  drip some ink blots on it.  that should get your creative juices flowing.
lunch time. 

happy art'ing,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

light and shadow.  make for beautiful pictures.  

today was a beautiful day.  church.  to our favorite breakfast nook called Tulips.  and then out to buy Halloween decorations for the big night next week.  there's excitement in the air!!!

ok, off to watch Ghostbusters with the kiddos.  remember that movie?!?!?

happy sunday,