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!!!

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.