Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Lights Display Inspired by Frozen ... Let It Go

What a beautiful display these clever people have created for their home. I love the cactus!!!

Inspired by the very popular movie, Frozen, all the lights dance to the main song 'Let it Go'. I still haven't seen this movie but definitely will one day... even if just to see this Olaf the Snowman that all the kids talk about!

This is what 'Listen to Our Lights' says about their Christmas display:
"This ultra green light display only costs $6 in electricity to run for the entire season... The cactus has been part of our display before there was a display. My wife and I found it alongside the road and fell in love with it (plus we live in Texas so we can get away with it)."

Here's a couple of my favourite moments...
This display of smaller trees at the front are gorgeous!
The beautifully featured cactus.

Happy Creative Day!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Making Art a Priority... Every Day

I'm getting closer to creating some sort of art every single day! Its awesome :)

This week I finished off my little thank you cards that were created using Dylusions Ink Spray and Darkroom Door stamps. All the dragonflies are now attached to stop them flying away, and the insides use the "Stay calm, smile and create beautiful things" stamp that I chatted about here. On the back is my logo and contact details... giving them a professional finish.

Its always good to have a professional polish on things, even handcreated things :) Its like putting decorations on a cake... all cakes look fantastic with icing, but decorations (whether handmade icing roses or plastic 'happy birthday' signs) make them look amazing.

This week I joined in an art swap with a Facebook craft group. Its a great group - we all encourage each other to be crafty and creative - the amount of beautiful artwork and crafted items everybody makes every day is incredible. It inspires me to ignore dishes and housework and get into my much loved studio.

Of course, then I get stressed out that the house is a mess or we've run out of clean clothes, but I'm getting closer to finding some sort of balance... which is nice.

The swap I joined was to make 2 flat (like large bookmarks) handcrafted spools, or cotton reels. I started with a sheet of Tim Holtz's Grungeboard (which smells like leather, love it) and cut out 2 spool shapes (I like the old wooden spools, so used that shape). I then trimmed to size a sheet of orange, brown and gold printed paper that I had in my paper stash. I'd made it using my Gelli Arts Gelli printing plate, paints and stencils.

On the back I used a piece of what I call lace paper. Its a white, handmade looking paper with raised flowers trailing all over one side. I painted the lace paper with Liquitex paints in yellows and brown mixed with a matte medium (which can be used as a glue, sealer or varnish).

Once dry, I sanded the edges - it gives them a great smooth finish while a the same time, ensures the edges don't get tattered (unless you want them tattered, which I didn't). Then inked the edges using the beautiful brown walnut Distress ink with a blender tool (as you do!).

Next, I gathered hessian leftovers from the previous day's craft session and wrapped them around the spool, making it look like a spool of string. I realise the idea is to make the spools look like something else other than a spool, but the embroider in me just couldn't resist!!!

Of course they needed a needle as well - made from Grungeboard and silver Inca paste (for something different to paint). Usually Inca paste is polished to a high sheen once dry but the more I polished the more the paste came off... it didn't like adhering to the porous board much, so I've left it 'raw' Inca. They're not as shiny as they could be but they look ok, sort of like oversized, well used needles.

They were finished but missing something... so I played around with my border punches and added it to both sides of the spools. Then added a few of the scraps as well.

They fly out tonight on their way to Canada to be with their new owner. I love them and hopefully my swap partner will too!

I'm off to the studio now to take photos of the new wooden shapes the talented Ray of Wood'n Marbles has created - Halloween witches and cats! They're ATC sized and are totally gorgeous.

Aren't they awesome? There are two sizes - small and large - and they're available exclusively at my Art by Jenny online shop. All wooden shapes in my shop are also available in watercolour paper, smooth white cardstock or textured cardstock (black or white) - contact me to order yours today!
Click here to view and buy wooden shapes for Halloween and other projects.

Thanks for reading my blog and I'll see you next time!

Happy Creative Day!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Proof of a Wonderful Day of Art

"Something on Saturday" was a fun and productive one. I had a brilliant time with Me, Myself and I - the three of us had a great day :) Its the middle of the SA school holidays so people are away camping and having a beautiful time with their friends and family.

I'm offering this background (and card) technique as a tutorial for a fabulous magazine, Heart Journal Magazine, so won't be posting it here until its published, but here is a sneak peak and links to buy the makings if you want a go yourself.

It happened by accident actually. I started with Dylusions Ink Spray then stamped on that, but it was too limey so added more layers of ink and then even more ink spray... till eventually, I turned my fingers a gorgeous purply blue and the card background became something a dragonfly could call home. Just have fun with the inks and stamps and let the art flow :)

These are some of what I used...
Dylusions Ink Spray, StazOn ink pads and a Darkroom Door stamp.

From top left: Peeled Paint, Bold Blossoms and Dylusions Ink Spray - all available at my online shop

I love making cards - birthdays, Christmas, thank you, hello, any reason at all. What I don't do though, is remember to send them. Thank you's always get posted "on time" as there is no set date, and one also goes out with every order. At least that's something! So I'm making a calendar for special occasions - with reminders to say "post a card today to...". Its going to have a pocket for stamps too. No excuses from now on... if you have a birthday and would like a card, send me your address and birthday :)

I've got a stash of Graphic 45 papers that don't seem to sell (they have a calendar already printed on them, making life easy!), so obviously they're meant for me to use. I'll post a pic when I've gathered the 'kit' together... so you can see what I mean. It'll be a calendar for every year, meaning, no weekdays marked.

If you'd like a collection of cards to give away to your loved ones, I'd love to make them for you - Only $5 each including an envelope with 70c stamp :) Any style, any colour! I keep making some to sell but end up giving them away, but eventually I'll have a stash for you to see, choose from and put in the shop.

Happy Creative Day!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Spring into Create-a-Canvas

Its one if those days... its Spring and the wind is blowing all the grasses and pollens around, making my head feel like its being squashed.

So I'm out here in my lovely studio working out how to get my marvellous big canvas workshop idea into fruition. It needs a bit more work and planning than I first envisioned. Excitement took over logic for a few days! But its all sorted now :)

In a few years we'll have a large studio to use but until then, Create-a-Canvas will have weather helping decide if it will go ahead. 
Workshops for Create-a-Canvas will be held on my extra large verandah or under our big beautiful tree... depending on the weather and what you want to do. Don't know about you, but I'm not painting outside in the rain! Although, it will have an interesting effect on the artwork.

Thankfully, it is Spring (there is good in everything) so we won't get too much rain to interrupt our plans. 
I have enough easles for 3 so invite your friends for an arty day of fun and creativity. Dates still to be confirmed but it will be late October... a weekday and a Saturday is available.

Above is a photo of a Spring garden sign for my Dad... painted with nail polish and glitter while I was working out the Create-a-Canvas workshops. Butterflies are always welcome additions to gardens and to my art!

Remember... No experience is necessary, drawing and or painting skills are optional. Everything is supplied for a groovy day of art. Just bring yourself. 

I supply... a blank canvas, paints, texture paste, gesso, inks, glues, apron and gloves, paper, all tools required. Plus tuition, lunch, afternoon tea and tea/coffee of course :)

If you have food allergies or preferences, let me know when you book. Ph 0428 898 120.

Can't wait!!!

Happy Creative Day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The First of Many Create-a-Canvas Workshops

This Saturday, 20th September 2014, is the very first one of my new Create-a-Canvas Workshops!
I'm a bit excited and totally unprepared... lucky its only Wednesday :D I have supplies and space organised, I just need to make a sample canvas, write an instruction sheet and get someone to book in - only room for 2 this week.

If nobody books in, this workshop will still go ahead with the three of us - Me, Myself and I :)

Feel free to pop in if you're in the area. I'll put on George (my coffee machine) so we can have coffee while you laugh at my attempts at a huge canvas. I'm always happy to receive feedback and might need a guinea pig to practice my fantastic teaching skills (aka sharing info and products while chatting and laughing).

Check this link for details or simply give me a buzz (0428 898 120) - http://www.artbyjennydesign.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/my-bestest-idea-ever.html.

Here's some inspiration to get the mojo flowing.

This beautiful butterfly artwork was made using a Gelli Arts printing plate. Its amazing how this type of artwork changes with each layer of paint.

I often use stencils, textured elements (string, sequence leftovers, bubblewrap) and punched out shapes (the butterflies) along with cardboard rolls, ends of paintbrushes, silicon cooking brushes (usually for roasting) and anything else I find.

I should point out that my workshops are in South Australia... just in case you got excited and live elsewhere!

Thanks for reading my blog, I do appreciate it!

Have a Happy Creative Day!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

My Bestest Idea Ever

So I've been a bit quiet on the blogging and enews side of things... but designing a website keeps me out of trouble! Its coming along nicely, some days better than others (like all work) but now I've ditched the silly templates with too much excess code, its working really well. Just need to find a way to add a gallery that my client "South Central Concrete Services" (the best concrete specialists in Australia!) is able to use easily and efficiently.

So back to my amazing idea. As you can guess its all about Art :D I do love art!!! I love everything about it - the images, textures, colours, smells, everything. There are so many wonderfully talented artists in our world. As well as creating art, I love seeing other people's creations and watching how it progresses... its amazing! You can get a group of people using the same supplies, yet every single piece is different... even when they're based on the same theme or project. They're always incredible and so inspiring.


Who wants to make a really big canvas?

I know I do! Its been on my to-do list since forever. I've created one a few moons ago and called it "Advancing". Its just over a metre tall and about 80cm wide, not your usual rectangle shaped artwork either. Its a triangle ... made when I was 17 years old and living in a private hotel (like a boarding house) in the city.

I made the triangle base using pine and tacks, stretching the canvas so evenly you'd think I'd done it before! Well, teenagers do know everything, don't they? lol
I painted spheres and triangles using 3D style rendering and gave it a dark (diox) purple background that came out so dark it looked almost black... such a beautiful colour! But then, I say that about all colours... even pink and grey some days! I still have it, its hanging in my Art Studio after living at my parent's home for a few years.

I started doing another big work of art many years later, but it got left behind with my past life. It was of a clown with papermache balloons lounging around on a cupboard across the three doors. It didn't get finished, and I expect the cupboard got either thrown out or given away after I moved away. Doesn't matter, while a friend made the cupboard for me, it was only chipboard (the wooden kind, not cardboard) and the balloons ended up being too heavy and kept sagging. A lesson learnt - layers need to dry before adding more layers!

I love making miniature artworks like Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) and small canvases but I love huge artworks too. They're mesmerising!

So back to today's amazing idea (again)

Each month, create a really big canvas using shimmering paints, texture paste, wooden or cardboard (chipboard) shapes, more paint, paint markers, string, 3D varnish, iridescent and glass bead mediums, fabrics, papers and lots of fun techniques. Throwing, splattering, dripping, painting, glueing, sponging, stenciling, stamping... whatever you want to do. Its going to be two days of art therapy and the finished artwork with be something made straight from your heart (and hands!).

There will be a theme each month... September is Mermaids. Inspired by both this month's ATC theme and a gorgeous canvas piece I found the other day.

The inspiration - a gorgeous mermaid artwork by Gabrielle Pollacco
October could be Birds or Feathers. Other ideas racing around my head are Seahorses and Seadragons, Steampunk, Love, Frogs (Amphibians), Butterflies, Dragonflies, Other Insects, Alice in Wonderland, Dragons, Ocean Life, Octopus' Garden, Strawberry Fields, Yellow Submarine (gotta love Beatles, they've loads of fab songs to inspire and guide the art), Bears (polar bears, pandas, grizzlies, etc) or Teddy Bears if you like... so many themes to use.

If you have an idea or subject, feel free to use that no matter what the theme is advertised. Its your canvas, so you create whatever YOU want!

My plan

I'll guide you through the techniques for each part of the artwork and supply the theme. Its up to you what colours or actual design you choose to create. On display will be a finished piece as a guide for what could be done, plus I'll be creating a canvas along side you. Sometimes its easier to see the process happen, rather than just be shown each technique.

So who's in? I know I am!!! Excited much? Me? Nah!!! Just an over enthusiastic artist just itching to share the love of all the awesome arty techniques in the world.

The only decision you and I need to make now is the size of canvas - Big, Huge, Ginormous, Extravagant or Over the Top. I think we all need to make at least one of each!!!

There are so many options available for you when your artwork is finished too. Keep and hang on your wall, give away, sell or photograph and create prints or upload to Redbubble (or other online art sites). Whether to sell, keep or give the original away is something I don't decide until after an artwork is finished. I just love the process and creating art - whatever will be, will be.

FYI ... To buy an original artwork (30"x48"), you are looking at around $800 (often up to $2000 or more, depending on who the artist is, the subject and techniques used).

Ooooh....! You know what else? We could collect our artworks together over the next 6 months or so and hold an exhibition in a public gallery for the rest of the community to see! I'd feel so privileged to share an exhibition with you. One day I'll have a gallery of my own where you can showcase your artwork anytime. Until that happens, I'll find somewhere else.

You can see how I get a bit excited about art and everything, so much that I'd just rabbit on about it for ages. So that's enough from me. Here are the complete details:

'Create a Canvas' Workshops

when -- 3rd Saturday of every month (if you work Saturdays, choose another day and have a "one on one" workshop)
at -- 10am start
where -- Art by Jenny Studio, Noarlunga
(address given at booking, 50% deposit required at booking)
how much -- $tba per canvas
no need to bring a thing -- unless you want to
i will supply -- all art supplies, one canvas, instructions, lunch, tea, coffee, drinks, morning tea, afternoon tea, laughs, lots of fun
you receive -- beautiful, finished artwork and a fabulous experience

'Something on Saturday' Workshops

This is for all the other Saturdays when the Big Canvas Workshops aren't on.
when -- Saturday afternoon
at -- 1pm to 4pm
where -- Art by Jenny Studio, Noarlunga
how much -- $tba per afternoon
what to bring -- nothing (unless you have favourite tools)
i will supply -- art and craft supplies, instruction, tea, coffee, drinks, laughs and lots of fun
you receive -- an afternoon of art and craft, to keep whatever you create. Choose from mixed media art, cards, art journaling, turn an old book into a journal, ornaments, crocheted or paper flowers, Gelli prints, a perpetual calendar - anything at all.

How to Pay

There will be a "Book Now" option in my shop shortly, so you can pay a deposit or in full with Paypal (using credit card or a Paypal account).

Phone or message me to book or for more information ... 0428 898 120

Happy Creative Day!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Art by Jenny, Artist and Graphic Designer - Design, Illustration and Publishing Services plus Art Workshops

A post all about me... Jenny James aka Art by Jenny. Its been a while since I wrote in my blog, since Easter in fact, but with time flying past so fast and so many things I want to get done each and every day, I kept putting off the blog (I've a folder on the desktop with loads of examples and notes) until I had more time. But time is something I need to learn to manage, not wait until it stretches into more time or go slower.


To start off my blogging momentum (again), I thought I'd start with who I am and what I do. While chatting with friends I've found that what I do confuses people, so here it is, clear as mud!!!

Its that fairy illustration again! I know, I keep posting her everywhere, but she's gorgeous! I'm so happy with how she turned out. This fairy was digitally hand painted using Adobe Photoshop. I love how her wings turned out... and the butterflies, hair and flying teddy! Visit www.redbubble.com/people/georgiegirl to see the whole painting.
'Art by Jenny' is here for all your graphic design, publishing and illustration solutions ... local and worldwide!

- Illustration and design
- Business and personal stationery
- Publishing services (books and ebooks - cover design, book layout, whole book design, publishing)
- Logos (get your business image looking professional)
- Business cards (these should be handed out to anyone and everyone like lollies or sweets)
- Websites (design, development, management, or just help whenever you need it)
- Wedding invitations (designed or handmade, also birthdays, engagement and any other occasion)
- Oracle or tarot card design
- Newsletters (need help with Mailchimp? call me!)
... there's lots of other stuff too, but these are what I like to design :)

My website and portfolio - www.artbyjenny.com.au - designed and developed by me! I'm happy with it and hope you like it too. On my todo list is to redesign it to be more mobile friendly and not so green... if you have any ideas on what you'd like to see stay or go, feel free to give feedback.

As an accomplished artist, I also love to share art and craft techniques with everyone and anyone... so an afternoon every Saturday has been dedicated to 'Something on Saturday', whether its Me, Myself and I or a group of friends... its a day of art.

"Something on Saturday" - workshops all about Art
Book today so you don't miss out!!!

Something on Saturday is an Art Workshop held in the Art by Jenny Studio at Christie Downs. Every Saturday at 1pm. My workshops are fun, relaxing and inspiring... with no more than 6 in a class.

Hello! This is me, Jenny. Here I am at a mosaic workshop taught by my bestie Donna. We had such a fantastic day breaking tiles, making a mess and creating a beautiful stepping stone.
For only $60 you discover new skills and have fun in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere (max 6). Don't bring a thing (unless you have fave tools you want to bring) - just come along and have fun!

Workshop info - www.shop.artbyjenny.com.au/pages/whats-on-in-the-artbyjenny-studio

- Mixed media
- Art journaling
- Rubber stamp making
- Using stamps with watercolours, inks, acrylic paint
- Stencil making
- Using stencils
- Watercolour pencil techniques (Derwent Inktense)
- Drawing, tangling (just for fun)
- Colouring with Copics (techniques and tips)
- Painting (watercolour, acrylic, folk art)
- Gelli Arts mono printing
- Tim Holtz craft techniques
- Off-the-Page craft projects
- Sculpture with Fimo and other clays
- Cardmaking (postcards, greeting cards)
- Scrapbooking
- Papercraft flowers

Arty Tuesdays are a day of creative freedom - you are welcome to pop over and have tea, coffee, lunch and/or a chat! Or not :D Its up to you. I do recommend you msg me before you arrive, you don't want to see me with Mad Hatter hair!!! Its frightful :D lol

Where to find me online
I can be found many places in our virtual universe... if you see my Georgiegirl cow on her new purple background, you've found me. The following are my main places...

REDBUBBLE ... Check out my online art gallery and shop - www.redbubble.com/people/georgiegirl. My artwork is sold worldwide!

There is a wide variety of artwork and photography at Redbubble... so many clever and talented people all in one place. Redbubble organises the fabulous, high quality products for us so we don't need to worry about anything except creating art or taking photos. There are many amazing writers (authors and poets) floating about RB too, so check them out. There's something for everyone!

MY ONLINE SHOP ... hosted by Shopify (they do a great job with the SSL, encryption data and other high tech stuff that creates the little padlocks and keeps all our private data safe).
I've also got an Etsy shop... it echoes abit at the moment from lack of goods but stay tuned for its virtual shelves to have amazing handcrafted artworks and wooden creations.

The link to my online shop is - www.shop.artbyjenny.com.au

At the moment, there is a boutique sized collection of art supplies and craft products... including Darkroom Door stamps, Distress Inks, Graphic 45 papers (some) and a collection of Readymade (Pre Designed) Logos.
Soon to be added are quality artist paints, brushes and supplies by Liquitex, Windsor and Newton, Reeves and Jasart and lots of other awesome arty goodness. Plus more products from Tim Holtz, Ranger, Dina Wakely, Dylusions' new colours and so much more.

I've got so many ideas and things make (and then add to the shop) - original artwork, handcrafted rubber stamps, stencils and more artwork plus Wood'n Marbles has delivered a huge stash of his gorgeous wooden creations... fairy steps, nursery rhyme plaques and an amazing sailing ship.

FACEBOOK ... www.facebook.com/ArtbyJenny.GGofRB. Feel free to 'like' my page and share with your friends (thank you!).

PINTEREST ... pinterest.com/georgiegirlofrb/ a place to share and find inspiration for life, art and everything inbetween.

So I don't do much really, do I? Could be why I seem to keep running out of time each day! lol But I live in the slow lane and eventually I want to do will get done... and my dream art shop and gallery by the seaside is getting closer every day.

Happy creative day!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Hello :D

I want to wish you all a wonderful Easter and hope you are having a happy weekend with loved ones!

As usual, we coloured eggs for breakfast... and also as usual, colouring in a hurry before they went cold!

Colouring Easter eggs is all about being creative, not painting masterpieces suitable for a museum, so we just have fun with it!
I used the watercolour Distress markers and a black Tombow.

Around 12 years ago, I made some little chickens and bunnies for my family. 

As you can see, they're still around! 
This pair of chicks belong to my parents, and my brother still has the bunnies as well. Must make some more one day!

They're still as cute today as they were back then! The egg is still inside but is dried out, rattlling around inside the shell.

Here in Australia, we have a cute little marsupial called a Bilby, which is considered to be the Aussie Easter "Bunny" as the rabbit is an introduced animal to our country. 

Bilbies, just like the adorable Easter bunnies, bring us chocolate eggs (and chocolate ladybugs too this year!) for us to enjoy.

This year's Easter sketch is of a Bilby saying hello to his friend, Andy Ant.

I'm off to paint some spots now, for a Project Life card swap FB group. More crafty fun!!!

Happy Creative Easter Day!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My Finished Dragonfly Mosaic

Hi there!

Well, its finished!!! My first mosaic using real tiles (not plastic or paper).

I've just washed off the grout from the tiles and its come up so beautiful!

I love how the blue glass tiled wings have turned out. So shiny and such a pretty blue. 

Its definitely on my todo list to make two more one day... a frog and a butterfly or a bird, fish or seahorse!

What have you been making lately? Add a pic to your blog, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook and add a link here to show it off!

Happy Creative Day!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Something on Saturday ... Mosaic Tiling

Yesterday's "Something on Saturday" was not on because I spent the afternoon being introduced to creating mosaics, using tiles with proper tiling glue and grout.

I've only ever done tiling with paper or fabric but have always wondered what it was like to use tiles, but not enough to go out and do either a class and/or buy the tools required as it can be a bit pricey.

My bestie has been doing mosaic lessons with her local school's art teacher, creating tiled marvels for the school garden, so while visiting me for the weekend she brought all her supplies plus some tiles for me too!! Isn't she wonderful?

Knowing me as she does, she came with gorgeous glass tiles for wings, green tiles for reeds and blue for water! I have these round flat glass (tiles?) things that I use in vases which were perfect for the long body. 

So by now you'll have guessed that I made a mosaic dragonfly!
Tomorrow we will add the grout and I'll add a new pic. So far its looking pretty good! 

Next Saturday afternoon during the "Something on Saturday" class, the plan is to make a papercraft off the page project with paper flowers and stencils.

Check out the beautiful pic below for the inspiration of what we're making (its by Vicky Papaioannou) or read my latest newsletter with the details.

The pic below is what we made last class... I think its turned out really well. A bit of acrylic paint and texture paste with scraps of paper and some flowers (premade and handmade) can create a great piece of art!

Happy Creative Day!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Me, Myself and Art

Sometimes a girl feels the need to talk about herself and the things she loves most in the world (apart from family, friends, animals and our planet). For me, that thing is ART!!!

I'm a bit of a craft nut... you all know this, and if you didn't, a quick stroll through my blog or Facebook page will show you.

In between working on logos and books, I draw, paint, create, crochet, knit and draw some more... and colour in! Projects on the go include ATCs for swaps, painting, cardmaking, tangling, art journaling, my Project Life album, scrapbook layouts, mixed media canvas of a pelican, cross stitched pictures (haven't touched for years but still will finish one day), a large embroidered tablecloth (that my Dad started for his Mum when he was 19 yo), a wool embroidered blanket, crocheted fingerless gloves, scarves and beanies, and knitted kittens... keeps me out of trouble!

Well, in Facebook I found a few groups that have challenges and swaps. These groups are so much fun and creative! 
The chatting and laughing is great - so many LOL's and OMG's and comments like "Wow! That's beautiful :)".

The Craft Crazy International group managed by a wonderful person named Janet. This group is so much fun, relaxed, friendly and crafty - all crafts, not just papercraft or knitting. Each month Janet puts up a challenge and we all create something to suit the theme and send her a photo. The judges vote and the winner is announced in the group... I won last month with my gorgeous little hand knitted kittens! 

Pretty exciting hey? No prizes, except all the amazing comments about the kittens :) Who needs a prize when you get all those warm fuzzies from comments and likes? And as a bonus, people are wanting to buy their own litter of kittens, so I'm now busy knitting little paws, ears, bodies and tails!

ATC Addiction group is a place for regular ATC and card swaps organised by two friends who love ATCs - the title says it all! Last month I created a set of ATCs using the Bandana Technique - a totally fun and relaxing style. 

Basically, colour the background of the cardstock with ink (any colour, I used Dylusions Ink Sprays), stamp with your favourite stamps and then chill out with a bit of tangling over the whole lot with a white pen. I also used a polka dot brad, white Smooch, acetate for the wings and some white Enamel Accents.

The Project Life Australia Group has a Swaps Group too - They love to make and create anything to do with memory keeping. The swaps I have discovered are the Journal Card Swaps. 

Last month was "Stars" but I totally lost track of the days and didn't have time to post them in. Luckily for me, this month is all about stamped images! Yay :) My little fairy ballerinas can be used for the March swap. They've been spritzed with Glimmermist, stamped and then coloured with markers and gel pens.

I find the Project Life Group swaps a challenge to keep things nice and flat, without all the textured paints and embellishments that I love to use.
But challenging ourselves is good, it keeps our brains thinking outside the box and that usually means we get great results. Usually. Thankfully, with a bit of practice I'll improve!!! At least it photographed well.

I simply love all art and craft. I feel that its an important part of life, therefore should be a regular thing to do for everyone. Even if its just looking at art or doodling a scribbled abstract while you're on the phone. 

Could be why I'm attracted to these groups on Facebook - its all about the creativity! Love it :D

Happy Creative Day!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Shine ... Its Like Glitter For Your Soul

There are days when it all just seems too hard. Life just gets messy and all you want to do is curl up in bed and block out the world. 

SHINE was written by 38 inspiring women who have all had the darkest of days but drawn on their inner strength to create the brightest of lives. I am one of the priviledged women who have been a part of this book from the beginning, when it was a little sparkle in Kathie's mind. 

I've also had the pleasure of being involved with the design process, helping Kathie with the cover design and internal pages.

We've all answered a series of questions from Kathie and she's collated them into a beautiful and inspiring story that will make you smile, warm your hearts and possibly bring tears to your eyes. 

I feel very lucky to be surrounded by so many incredible and strong women. Read about their journeys through love, loss and life, while getting to know all of the amazing authors. 

The stories aren't just inspiring and uplifting, its a great read as well. They give hope to any who seem lost as well as to those who aren't. The women in this book prove that there really is bright, sparkling sunshine after a dark gloomy storm.

What chatting about totally fantastic books... another book everyone should read (or check out the movie starring Will Smith) is "The Pursuit of Happyness" by Chris Gardner. Such an incredible and inspiring man. What a story!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sam Gets Two Homes ... a Book for Children

Hi everybody,

Its been a while since I wrote because I've been flat out drawing and colouring 32 pages of illustrations for a children's therapeutic storybook written by Donna Mahoney.

I really enjoyed illustrating this story and can't wait to do more! I designed the cover and book layout as well and now that its finished, I am looking for more books (or anything else for that matter!) to illustrate and design (hint hint!!! hee hee).

Here's a small preview of the book...

"Sam Gets Two Homes" is a story about two children who arrive home from school one day to discover that their father has moved out. The story takes the reader through the rollercoaster of emotions that are felt when families break apart.

Without spilling the beans, it has a happy ending with a few questions at the end to encourage the children and their parents or carers to chat about their feelings.

Although aimed at a younger audience, this book is perfect for adults as well - reading about other families who go through similar circumstances is comforting for everyone.

"Sam Gets Two Homes" is out now as both a printed book and eBook at the Lulu Bookstore. Ask to borrow it at your local library (give them the ISBN (978-1-291-74035-6) and they can add order it and to their catalogue) or buy it direct from Donna Mahoney's online shop at Lulu.

I'm back to posting more regularly now and have nearly finished an Adobe Photoshop tutorial about how to draw vector shapes, so watch out for that in the next few days.

Happy Creative Day!!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How to Cool Down in an Aussie Summer ... or ... Far Out, its so HOT This Week!!!

Hello everyone :)

Its a stinking hot summery day here in Adelaide but the last couple of weeks have been mild so once this heat has left us, we can go back to complaining about the cold! lol

I realise 30C isn't cold, but its alot cooler than 43C. Some parts of Australia reaches over 50C... they're just not usually recorded officially by the news but it happens every January.

We lived in a small country town called Laura a few years ago ("few", ok, it was more than a few... it was about 7 years ago). Dad had a thermometer in the shade and another in the sunshine. More than once the shade was over 45C while in the sun it was 57C. Too hot for anything except keeping watch on the animals and for any smoke in the distance.

As a child we didn't have an air conditioner, but don't remember it being as hot. But then we were so busy playing with water (buckets, pans, pots, anything), under a sprinkler, in a wading pool, at the swimming pool across the road from my Nanna's (how lucky was that!!!) or going to our local beach.

How to stay cool in Summer ... Visit places with lots of water!
Glenelg is a popular seaside suburb of Adelaide with a beautiful sandy beach with refreshing, cool seawater.
Perfect for swimming, paddling and sailing or simply building sandcastles.
When I was little, I'd be found sitting (drawing or colouring in) in front of a fan that had a wet flannel on the back (hanging on the cage of the fan). The air got dragged by the fan through the wet flannel and magically made the air cooler. It blew the pages around but it didn't matter if you were cool.

These days, I just go and drench my head in the shower!!! Much faster... but drips everywhere so no good to do when I've got to work on the computer! Somehow water and electricity don't mix. lol
Thank goodness I work from home, so I can go for a swim in the shower whenever I fancy and then get back to work after I've stopped dripping!

I think the easiest way to stay cool is to get wet - either with the hose, sprinker, pool, beach, river or just in the bathroom sink. But sometimes (when its not as hot as today) its refreshing simply to visit the many beautiful places we have that have lots of lovely, refreshing, cold, wet water. Whether you go in the water is up to you... sometimes its enough just to visit!

This beautiful spot is the Myponga Reservoir, found south of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The Fleurieu is a very popular tourist and wine growing region of South Australia. Although we obviously can't swim in a reservoir, its just nice to visit and gaze at all the water ... a lovely cool breeze helps too!
Staying cool on a summer's day is fun when visiting Victor Harbor and Granite Island (pictured), also on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Granite Island is a gorgeous little island with fairy penguins (who are now called Little Penguins and like to hide (as they're obviously sensible) from humans), rocky beaches and a nature walk that shows off amazing views.
I feel for all those people in Africa and other places that have similar conditions. I expect those that live on the coastline are a bit like us and flock to the sea when its warm. But I often wonder how those inland stay cool in this heat. Its so dry and hot over there and most of them don't even have a fan, let alone an air conditioner... but I guess you do get used to it.

The Tour DownUnder starts on Sunday. For those that don't know, its a week long bicycle race that's part of a world circuit of races. Similar to the Tour de France but in South Australia.

Glenelg Esplanade ... One of the popular "go-to" places for all the tourists and bike riders while in Adelaide. It has big beautiful shady trees, a gorgeous beach and lots of fantastic cafes. Oh, and a few icecream shops! Icecream is fabulous for cooling down on the inside :)
Having the Tour DownUnder is fantastic... so many visitors come to our little part of the world and its really busy everywhere for that one week. Locals come out of hiding to watch the race by the side of the road and there are special events everywhere.

I hope it cools down a little for them or they'll be racing their bicycles up and down hills on melting bitumen and breathing by boiling hot air while surrounded by a dry, wilting landscape. I'm wishing for a spit or two of rain so at least the dust gets dampened down. But that might be asking too much at this time of year!!!

It'll be winter again before we know it and I'm sure to write something about how cold it gets!!! lol Cold here isn't half as cold as it gets in the Antarctica or even like it was in New York last week... that was so very cold.

So, wherever you are, I hope you stay cool (or warm!) and have a totally wonderful day.

Happy Creative Day!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Congratulations to Debi - Winner of Jot's Mood Board Challenge

I love winning! But what I love more than winning is sending a prize to another winner!!! Rummaging through the shop's products trying to decide what to give, then changing my mind, finding something better, then finally deciding is great fun.

Debi of Debi's Joy blog is the winner of the fabulous Mood Board Challenge organised by Kim and her team at Jot Magazine... more challenges are here.

There is a new challenge every month! I highly recommend you pop over and check it out... they're lots of fun! The Jot Team's creations are gorgeous and so inspiring, and the entries every time are amazing. Even if you don't enter, you just have to have a look.

Below are photos of Debi's winning entry. The colours inspired by the mood board are gorgeous and the layout is simple but stunning. I've included a couple of closeups as well. All three photos are used with permission from Debi.

The winning entry... a creative and crafty page layout making great use of texture and colour. 

Visit Debi's blog for details about her page layout and her other beautiful creations.

Congrats again Debi :) Enjoy your prize of a collection of crafty goodness!

Happy Creative Day!

Creative Supplies for Mixed Media, Journaling and Visual Arts

Creative Supplies for Mixed Media, Journaling and Visual Arts
Australian stockist for arty treasures from Tim Holtz, Dyan Reaveley, Dylusions and Darkroom Door plus essentials by Sizzix, Ranger, Pink Ink Designs UK, Strathmore Paper, Prima Marketing Finnabair, Kelly Creates, Posca and more. Buy online at 'Art by Jenny' for your acrylic and watercolour paints, pencils, crayons, inks, sprays, cling stamps, stencils, paper and card, journals and planners, Distress range, Idea-Ology, embellishments, stickers, embossing powders, die cutting templates and embossing folders, craft tools, storage essentials and accessories.