Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kids at Play


The top pic is Xavier's. Everything he does has bold colours and always dramatic. A direct reflection of his personality.



This is the pic Elisa always has me draw for her. She tells me what to do and then I do it. She always wants me to draw our family, including Samson. And then she puts her own personal signature on it by scribbling all over it. It's hilarious.

Last week I bought the kids a hu-mon-gous, I mean , gi-gan-tic drawing pad, made from recycled paper. They can paint in it, or draw and colour, and the pages can withstand tons of abuse without buckling.
It makes my heart happy watching the kids being creative.
I hope one of them becomes an artist. lol.
Happy Sunday night everyone!
Francesca

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Self Portrait

"i am seeking, i am striving, i am in it with all my heart" -- Vincent van Gogh


Supplies Used: Shiva paint stiks (mauve, crimson, paynes grey, yellow ochre, raw umber, white, wedgewood blue)

Today is my birthday peeps! Yup. I'm 39 today. Imagine that. I still can't believe I'm that old. For some reason I feel perpetually 12. Like a kid in a grown up body. I'll go home and the family will have dinner for me, a birthday cake from valu-mart, and some mismatched candles. Laugh. But that's ok. It's just how I'd like it to be. Perfect in it's simplicity.

This weeks lesson with Misty Mawn was fun. We're learning to use Shiva oil paint stiks. They're like using a crayon, but they're creamy and easy to blend. It's even easier to blend if you use the colourless blending stik. It's an oil paint but it dries in approx. 24 hrs unlike regular oil paints that take forever to dry.

I liked using the stiks, although not to sure if I actually love the portrait I created with them. Something seems off, like the lips. And it seems messy and unfinished. I have to learn how to make it look polished. Practice, Practice, Practice will be my mantra.

On another note, I've been adding to my ROD journal and should be able to post some finished pages soon. Lovin' it.

And... I have two Studio Calico kits I haven't used yet. So, this weekend I'm determined to get back to some scrapbooking, and use these awesome kits.

Have a happy creative weekend!
Francesca

Monday, January 25, 2010

This Little Light of Mine

Supplies Used: black stabilo pencil, golden titanium white, wedgewood blue Shiva paint stik, and Prima flowers, fabriano watercolour coldpressed paper

I'm living out a long time dream of mine to take a drawing and painting course. I finally found a) the courage to take the plunge and b) someone that I totally admire and think is an artistic genius, Misty Mawn. Her drawing and painting portraist online course is awesome. Her videos are incredible, her talen unique, and the support from the rest of the group is what keeps me posting my work.
I've struggle with, "oh my goodness, this isn't right", and "this doesn't look like anyone else's", "what exactly do I think I'm doing", and "I'm a farce, I can't do this". But each time I hear those voices I just keep going. I was going to prove them wrong. I worked and I worked until they felt 'right' for me.
They're not painted or drawn by an experienced hand, not choc full of technique but they were made right from the heart with love. And that's what's made them special. Special to me anyway.
In the groups facebook page, one of the participants was feeling frustrated and another participant posted this comment which really spoke to me:
"The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland - about Canadian painter Emily Carr. She struggled too. This quote grabbed me, maybe it resonates for you too: "You're finding you're own way. It's not a question of technique. Technique alone is soulless. You have other resources to draw on. The emotional and the spiritual, I see it in the places where you are more expressive than depictive."
Art is freedom to let your heart speak. Art has to come from the heart, and not the head. It all made sense to me - art has to come from the heart and not the head. Huh. How's that for a lightbulb moment!
Here are my first two ever portraits, straight from my heart:

Supplies used: charcoal pencils, smudging stump, mouldable eraser, stick eraser (whodda thunk erasers were tools for drawing? guhh, I know see what you learn when you take a class)
So, there you have it.
Mondo Beyondo.............. woohooo
Thanks for following me on this crazy wonderful journey.
Hugs,
Francesca

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Remains of the Day Journal

So I'm back... after a little bit of a blogging hiatus. It's been an interesting 9 days for me.

I've been busy, getting my kids better (sick again), and then getting myself better (sick again too), and trying to get in some creative 'stuff' to post for you all.

I must say, I'm really and truly appreciating the three on-line courses I've signed up for. It's been a very fulfilling and very self-satisfying excercise.

First, I'll follow up with my Remains of the Day Journal. Remember this. Well it's finally complete and ready for me to journal into it. I've made a little video, well two really... one of the outside cover, and another of the internal pages... (videos at the bottom of this post) this was the best ever course. Mary Ann Moss, if you're reading this I so love your sense of humour, you truly are a talented, creative woman.

Now that I'm done with the pages I can finally start journaling and having real fun filling it up with 'stuff'... can't wait.. oh simple pleasures.

So, take a look, and let me know what you think, don't be shy!! say hi!!

hugs,
Francesca

p.s. please excuse the sniffles and stuffiness in the video, but I'm still recovering from that damned flu.

p.p.s. more to come on my painting and drawing portraits with Misty Mawn. OMG! talk about exciting. I hope to have some portraits to show you soon. But remember, I'm just a beginner - so don't laugh too hard.. lol.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti Relief

The people of Haiti need our help right now.

Go to CNN for a list of links where you can donate. Every little bit helps. While watching CNN yesterday, I cried. Cried for the little 15 day old. yes. 15. day. old. newborn who was being treated for a head wound. Cried for the little children crying, hurt and naked. Cried for the mothers who held their wounded children, all the while wounded themselves.

My heart broke into a million pieces. Then we donated.

Haiti, the poorest nation on the western hemisphere. They have nothing. Now they have even less than that.

Remember, every little bit helps whether it's $5 or $100.

Francesca

Monday, January 11, 2010

Status Updates and my Ballawina Pwincess

Elisa, my 'balla-wina pwin-cess' dancing to Enrique Iglesias, 'Do You Know' in her dress-up Princess costume. If you listen closely you can hear her singing the words. Yes, we dance to this every day. So so funny. It's even funnier when she has my wooden spoon in her hand which she uses as her wand. Gosh, I love girls. So fun.

video

When Domenic saw her come down the hallway in this get-up, he looked at me and said, "she looks scary, take it off her, Miss Havasham". First I laughed, then I yelled at him for telling me she looked scary! hmph! Men.

Remains of the Day journal updade: my sewing machine is on the fritz again. I did manage to complete one signature before it went caput on me. I'll finish the other signature on my mom's machine. I will post pics of what I've got so far shortly. And I've started a 2nd slipcover, this time using raw canvas which I used a stencil, Golden fluid acrylic paint, and embroidery floss. It's purty. Can't wait to show you this one. Soon. Promise.

Hair Update: I've made an appointment for this Saturday to cut and colour my hair. I was stalled because I came down with yet another bout of strep throat, fever, chills, the works, and was out of commission for a week. So... wish me luck and I'll post a before and after pic when it's done. Wish me luck folks.

Wellness update: I've had strep throat three times in three months. Doc says 1st time, ok. 2nd time, bad luck. 3rd time, there's gotta be something up. So, I'm seeing an ENT doctor soon. I pray he doesn't suggest removing my tonsils (they're gi-normous, like REALLY gi-extra-normous). Me scared. Have any of you had them removed in your 30's. I'm 39 at the end of the month and I hear it's more complicated when you get them out later in life. Eeekks.

Course Updates: Mondo Beyondo starts today.. yay. And can't wait to get into the thick of things with Misty Mawn's course. You must check out her blog for some awesome journal pages she's created. Man. She. Rocks.

Ok. Monday morning. Off to brave another day at work. But wishing I could just stay home and work on my ROD journal. Have a wonderful Monday..

Francesca

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Project 52, Challenge #7

Shadow Box (good size, found, cigar, repurposed, purchased, etc…)
Theme – Insects (butterflies, bees, spiders, moths, mantis, caterpillars, etc…)* Required material – Fabric (velvet, cotton, felt, lace, old/new, antiqued, etc…)

Here is my take on the challenge:






I'm totally inspired by the likes of Rebecca Sower, who really does incredible things with shadow boxes. If you want to see some awesomeness, you really should visit her blog.

I used a real wasp nest that I had my husband take down off the garage before the winter set in; I used cracle medium on the frame and heart; printed up some wasp and bee images from the net and printed them up, then coloured in with copic markers. The fabric bits are from Anna Maria Horner, drawing room collection.

Thanks for stopping by.

Francesca

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Remains of the Day

So I got my machine back in working order (thanks to my mom).

And here's my slipcover all 'sewed' up! Ain't it perty! I just love it. My shabby chic guerilla sewed up journal. Beauty.

Take a look at 'er:

the Front:


And back...



Now on to my journal pages... woohoooo.... I'm back in the game baby... so so so so loving this process..

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Francesca

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcoming 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Elisa toasting in the new year with some gingerale!!

I thoroughly enjoyed 2009. It was a creative awakening for me, and for that I am thankful. I'm saying goodbye to 2009, and welcoming 2010 with an open heart and mind. As I said in a previous post, I proclaim 2010 as the year of ME. Of taking care of me. I have a specific things I want to enhance and maintain and nurture:

  1. me time (more baths; massages; pedicures)
  2. art time and creative growth (workshops; courses; kits; more painting)
  3. family time (all four of us, not just me and the kids, or just Dom and the kids, or Elisa and me and Xavier and Dom). the four of us. together. family nights just watching a movie, or playing a game, or anything, as long as it's together.
  4. hair cuts every 6 weeks ; taking the plunge and cutting it short and then even shorter
  5. colour my hair for the first time; "I'm gonna wash that gray right outta my hair", Nice n' Easy, here I come.
See, this is me in my pathetic no style, ponytail. It's going to go really soon, and so is that gray. Adios.

I've started my first project of 2010 and it's a doozie of a project. It totally kicks some serious creative butt. I'm so loving the process, despite the fact I have to use a sewing maching (that I'm having trouble working) for the entire project. But I will MAKE it work. If. It's. The. Last. Thing. I. Do.

The online class is REMAINS OF THE DAY, by Mary Ann Moss. She's so talented and such a hoot to boot. Her videos are very detailed and easy to follow, and ever so clever and hilarious. I'm totally enjoying the process (again, despite the sewing thing). Laugh.

Making journals with scrap of fabric and anything and everything under the sun. How fun is that. And for us sewing-novices, it's great because the messier it is, the better the journal looks.
This is the cover. I used fabric by Anna Maria Horner's, Drawing Room collection. Added some glitter ribbon, and lace ribbon. And fabric tabs with my initials fd.

Here are some peeks at it thus far. Now remember, I've been stalled cause of my sewing machine, gonna have to get my mom (the seamstress extraordinaire) to come fix it.

This is the entire back side of the slipcover. I really love all the little bits and the splashes of colour. I can't tell you how thrilled I am with this messy-freestyle kind of sewing and journal creating. Right up my alley.

This is the inside. More Drawing Room fabric by Anna Maria Horner. LOVE it. And some more pink glitter ribbon and another frilly pink ribbon.

Next I'll start on the journal pages until I figure out the sewing machine thing. I've got to choose all the bits and pages and odds and ends that will make up my journal pages (which includes remains of the day stuff like security envelopes; ads; newspaper; and anything you consider too cool a scrap to throw out). Eeeeeee can't wait. So much fun.

Mary Ann, if you're reading this I think your videos are absolutely marvelous, I so love your personality, very exuberant and playful, and your wacky sense of humour. And your term, 'guerilla sewing'. lol. beauty.

I will make another one of these journals but next time I'll use raw canvas and decorate with paint and stamps...ummm the possibilities of this are endless.

And I'll leave you with this pic of me and my sister Felicia. She's my jewellery maker extraordinaire. Everything we have on is made by her. I've encouraged her to sell her work on Etsy for years now. I may just open up a shop for her and get her started. She's got some really beautiful stuff.
Enough. This has been a very long post. More later peeps.
Happy January 1st.
Francesca