Friday, 21 November 2014

a little tutorial and some sketches

I'm still catching up with paperwork and e-mails, so I still didn't get as much art done as I would've liked. But .... I bought some canvases, I bought a new artjournal, and I bought some basic paints. And, oh yes, some gesso and medium too. And grabbed a bunch of magazines from my mother's table last weekend ;-)  So I'm ready to get going next week, or maybe even this weekend already :-)

I managed to finish 2 sketches this week though:

This last one is a sketch I had already started in my sketchbook, and I decided to finish it for a dear friend of mine, who lost her son 5 years ago this week. Art does not take away the pain, but it can soothe and heal. Art has helped me so much when my sister died last year, and it still does. I remember finding a beautiful picture of an artwork online when I returned to Australia after the funeral, it really resonated with me and with the pain I was feeling. I just hope my drawing helped my friend a little bit in the same way ...

To make up for the lack of paintings, I decided to show you an easy way to make some cheap stamps. I started making these a few years ago already, and made some more in the last weeks in Australia. Took some pictures, but didn't have the time to write a blogpost about it. Here are some results:

These are not for fine details, but they are perfect to use in a background.

So how to make them? You can use all kinds of foam for this, but the results can differ depending on how thick and firm the foam is. Just experiment a bit with it. I have used those knee pads they sell for working in the garden, also foam that was in toys for kids, and here I mostly used kids' floor mats, like these:

In these the back has a pattern in it, but you can also find foam that is smooth on both sides, and then you can burn a pattern in both sides.

I used a woodburner to do this. When I wanted to start, I didn't want to spend too much money, so I called 5 different stores for the prices and got 5 (very) different prices. I went and bought the cheapest, which was about 12 euro's, and had 6 different tips that I could use:

And I've been so happy with it! The only thing you need to take care of is that you either work outside or in a very ventilated room, and that you wear a mask, since the smell is really not that nice and I'm guessing not very healthy either. But once you get past this and protect yourself enough, it is so much fun! It goes really fast, before you know it you have a whole bunch of them and can start using them. Here's another example:

Take care that you don't hold the point too long in one place, because it burns really quick. Start with the finest tip, and when you get a feel for it you can experiment with the bigger ones. And it gets really hot too, so don't touch the tip before it's completely cooled off.

Hope you'll have fun trying this out! I'm linking this as always to Paint Party Friday. Take a look over there at all the participating artists. It's worth it!

Here's my funny for this week :-)

And no, it's not my cat ;-)

Oh yes, almost forgot: remember I asked you last time whether you prefer using word verification or registered users to be able to comment? From your answers it was very clear that word verification is not very popular, and that most people prefer to comment as registered users. So I'll leave it like it was. Thanks so much for commenting!

Hope you're enjoying your day, and that your weekend will be beautiful! See you next week! ♥ ♥ ♥

Saturday, 15 November 2014

and the winner is .......

Thanks so much for all the beautiful comments on my blog and Facebookpost last week! It was a pleasure reading them, and an even bigger pleasure being able to draw a winner out of the almost 100 comments and shares on this blog or on Facebook!

Here's the bowl with the names .... ;-)

I'll keep you in suspense a bit longer, because I first want to clear up something. Have any of you had any trouble commenting on this blog? I got a message that for self-hosted bloggers it would be difficult to leave comments on Blogger-blogs, if the option for "name/URL" was not open.

I had a look at my settings, and the only way to make the complete list of identity options available is to let "anyone" comment on my blog. Which includes anonymous users. And that's the problem for me. When I first started my blog, anyone could comment, but after 1 or 2 years, I started getting so many spam-comments it wasn't funny anymore. So I chose to only let registered users comment. Didn't get any spam after that..... The only other option was to use word verification, which I am not a fan of ....

So my question is: which one do you prefer: always being able to comment, but having to fill in those almost unreadable letters or numbers to prove you're not a robot, or leaving it only for registered users (which is not only google-accounts but also open-ID users) (whatever that is ....). I really would like to know ...

So, now for the results of the giveaway! I had wanted to use Rafflecopter, an online tool that lets you set up giveaways and picks a random winner. Easy, I thought ..... And yes, it was easy to set up, but when I wanted to put it on my blog was when the trouble started. Couldn't get it on there, not even with the html-option. I only got a link, and not the sign-up box I wanted. So in the end I decided to use the old proven method of my previous giveaways: my daughter ..... :-)

Here she is, innocent hand going into the bowl .....

And this is the name she drew:

(the (B) after the name means it was a comment on my blog)

Congratulations to CHRIS! I will send you an email to let you know you won. Just in case, (one has to be prepared for everything, right!?) (well, also because my son wanted to draw a name as well ... ☺) my son drew a second name, which I will use if I'm not able to get in touch with Chris. But hopefully I won't need that.

Thank you all so much for participating, and for those of you who didn't win, I hope I will see you in Soul Food anyway :-)

I cannot believe I am still not ready with sorting things out and getting all my papers where they need to be. I knew moving to another country is a lot of work, but I underestimated the administrative work that goes along with it. As a result I didn't get much art done. Again. Boohoo!

But my daughter and I have taken up the habit again of sitting on her bed together before she goes to sleep, so I managed to get this sketch done:

Feels good to be sketching again ....

Last week I forgot the funny picture at the end of my post. So here's two to make up for it: one funny, and one taken at exactly the right moment ... :-)

That's it for this week! Thanks so much for visiting me and for taking the time to leave wonderful comments. I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday, and I hope to visit all of your blogs this weekend! Have a beautiful day, and enjoy your weekend, wherever you are! ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 7 November 2014

Soul Food Interview!

Hi, I'm back! I have to, since today my interview for Soul Food was scheduled ;-) But I must admit my head is in overload at the moment, with all the things I need to do to get settled in Belgium (who knew moving countries could be this exhausting ...?)

It is nice however to be back online, I missed seeing and making art in the last few weeks.

So, as I mentioned in this post, I will be teaching in Soul Food 2015! For those of you who don't know Soul Food, it is an online art class with 3 head teachers (headchefs) and 17 guest-teachers (sous-chefs). It'll run over a period of 3 months (1Feb - 30Apr 2015) and you will get 2 video-lessons a week from different teachers. Registration will open on January 1st 2015. More information is over here.

And, to introduce myself, I had to make a video of myself answering a few questions.... I did this weeks ago in the midst of packing, having no experience at all with making video's. I managed to finish it, and I included a lovely song of Sarah MacLachlan in the end part where I show some of my work. But today, when I wanted to publish it, I got the message the video was blocked in some countries because of this music. Waaahhh... I really loved that music in combination with my art, but I did what I have to do and removed it. So you'll have to watch it without I'm afraid....

Here it is:

Making a video of yourself is quite eye-opening I must say. I noticed I cannot keep to a script. I just start talking and think of something and add that too, and in the end I'm talking way too much.  I had to start over many times, just in order not to bore you with an hour-long video ;-) And I hope you don't get dizzy watching it, because I also can't seem to be able to sit still. I talk with my whole body.... I know I use my hands a lot when I talk, but I wasn't aware that I'm wiggling on my chair the whole time too ...

Anyway: there's good news: I can give away a FREE spot in Soul Food!!

If you want to have a chance to win: leave a comment on this blogpost, or visit my Facebookpage and leave a comment there. If you do both: your name will go in the draw twice :-) And if on top of that you share my post on Facebook, your name will be entered three times!

I (or probably my daughter, who loves this kind of thing) will draw a name next Friday the 14th of November.

So go ahead, take your chance! The free spot is not only for my class, but for all the classes in Soul Food 2015!

I am not sure yet what I will teach,  it'll probably have something to do with drawing figures, but it might also be a journalpage..... Or something else entirely. Wait & see ;-)

Before I left Australia I managed to make 2 more drawings for Inktober. Since we left I haven't drawn even a single line! I miss it, and I really need to start making time for it. It has just been so busy I didn't even read my mails anymore ... Hopefully next week, when the kids are settled in in their new schools, and we have finished all the formalities and paperwork.

But here are the new drawings:

And now for some more good news: Lulu, the online shop where I sell my calendars, has a promotion on all calendars! Now through 13 November you get 25% off when you use the code 25CAL at the checkout! Great, isn't it!? This is the front of my 2015 calendar, all the paintings that you see a small part of here make up one month of the calendar:

And my other calendars from 2013 and 2014 are still available too!

Okay, that's it for now. I will be linking this to Paint Party Friday tomorrow. I hope within the next few days I'll find time to visit your blogs too. Thanks so much for visiting, and I hope to see you in Soul Food 2015!!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Almost there ....

Look where I spent the last 4 days ...

Isn't that the most beautiful place to say goodbye to a great country? It was so great taking a few days off and leave all the packing and stressing behind. I am going to miss Australia so much. My heart really is torn between the love for this country and its people, and the need to be closer to family and lifelong friends. Next week will only consist of saying goodbye and not knowing whether we'll ever see these people or places again. My stomach is in a constant knot, and tears are often not far behind. So happy to have had the chance to live here for more than three years, so sad to go. And at the same time knowing that it can only be like this, that we don't want to stay that far away from family and friends any longer. But it's not always easy to do the thing that you know in your heart is the right thing to do....

Anyway, because of this little holiday, I fell behind with the Inktober challenge, and I know I won't be able to keep up anymore. I will still be drawing, but probably won't find the time to scan and post.

Here's what I was able to finish this week:


I know I'll definitely do this challenge again next year. I love making ink-drawings. And I'll keep on making them. Not sure whether I'll be able to post though. On Thursday the container will come to pick up all of our stuff. On Sunday we fly to Melbourne, where we stay for 2 days, before flying to Brussels. It all depends on how everything goes and whether we have internet-connection wherever we are.

But I'll try to visit all of you in the meantime :-)

I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday, a bit later than I usually do, but I was on a beautiful island without internet-connection, so that's a good excuse I guess ... ;-)

Thanks so much for being here and for all your support! I hope your weekend is going great. Take care, and I'll be back! ♥ ♥ ♥

Oh yes, almost forgot my funny for the week ...

I feel like this a bit too often lately ;-)

Friday, 10 October 2014


I'm up to my ears in packing boxes and papers and things to sort out, but at night, because of the Inktober challenge, I "force" myself to draw, and I feel that's good for me. Otherwise I probably wouldn't take the time. Although I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this up ....

Here's day 4:
 Day 6:
 Day 7:
 Day 8:
 Day 9:
 And lastly day 10!

Phew, now that I see them all together for this week, I realize I got quite a lot done, even though I sometimes only took about 10 minutes. Shows how fast you can build up a collection.

This weekend we will be at the Queensland gymnastics championships, where our daughter is competing. Lots of time to fill up there, since there's always long waiting-periods in between routines. So I'll certainly take my sketchbook and might work ahead for Inktober. Because I can assure you: things are getting pretty hectic around here and I've reached screaming point a few times already ;-)

Last week I forgot to add my funny picture for the week. So here's an extra funny one for this week:

Hahaha, love this one :-D

That's it for now. Linking to Paint Party Friday again, hop on over there to have a look at all the art and maybe participate yourself :-)
Thanks so much for visiting! Hope your day is beautiful, and that you'll enjoy your weekend! See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 3 October 2014

art in between other things ...

Last weekend I decided to use up some almost empty paint tubes, as well as some fabric paints that I had made into washes and couldn't take with me. That was fun! Also used up some spray paints on new rocks that I collected.

Here's some of the fabric:

It's only background for now, when I'm back in Belgium I will add some stencilling and stamping and marks.

Here's a canvas that I used my leftover paint on. I had only a few colours, and I kinda like the effect of this limited colour palette:

Wondering which way I'll be  going with this one :-) (can't wait to paint again ....)

Also finished two more rocks:

big size difference ...

And these will definitely be the last ones, since I've started packing my paints (boohoo!)

So from now on I'll only be using pencils and markers and maybe watercolours. So I decided I could just as well join the Inktober challenge. Never heard of this before, but Cindy mentioned it on her blog last week (thnx Cindy!), and it seemed like the perfect challenge for me to keep making art amidst the packing. The challenge is to make one ink drawing a day for the entire month. Not sure how long I'll be able to keep going, I'll still only post once a week (although I might post more often on my Facebookpage), and the week of the move I probably won't find the time at all, but still, I want to try.

Here's day one:

and day 2:

and day 3:

Well, that's it for now! Thanks so much for your visit and your comments, it's greatly appreciated :-)
Linking this as always to  Paint Party Friday, the weekly party with lots of eye-candy.

Take care of yourself, have a happy day and I wish you a wonderful loving and fun weekend! See you next week ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 26 September 2014

Closing my Etsyshop

Another week has flown by. With again not much time for art. I try to do little snippets in between, so I have a lot of half-finished projects. Managed to finish another doodle:

It has cost me a bit of night work, but I also managed to finish the wooden heart box for my daughter’s birthday. She thought I had forgotten all about it, so she was really pleased and surprised with it :-) 

Here are some more drawings for my year diary:

And now it’s almost October! Can’t believe it….. Since we are flying out on the 26th of October, the whole month will pretty much be full with packing and doing last minute stuff. So I decided to close my Etsyshop on the 1st of October. And for those last few days I have a 10% discount on everything in my shop, as long as you buy for a minimum amount of $10. So if you want to stock up on Christmas- and New Years’ cards, or some small presents (prints, mini-paintings, poetrybook) for the holidays, you better do it now, since my shop will only open up again somewhere in January. And to be honest, I’m not even sure I’ll open it again. I’m not so happy with Etsy and I will be looking into some other venues to sell my art. But that’ll be something to sort out later.

If you want to take advantage of the discount, you need to use the following couponcode: MOVE2014 (all capitals, no blank spaces). If you're not sure how to use couponcodes, you can find more information here.

Here are some examples of cards in my shop:

And some pages of my poetrybook:


And for those of you who live in the area (Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia): it’s only a few more days that my work is on show in the gallery in Redcliffe. On Tuesday I’ll be working my last day there, and will take everything that’s left home with me, to pack it all up and ready for the container. It’ll be the end of the year before I see my stuff again (hopefully!!).

Here’s this weeks’ funny ;-)

Well, that’s it for this week! Linking this as always to Paint Party Friday, the weekly blogparty! Do take a look there if you don’t know it already, there are some real treasures to see.

Thanks so much for being here, and thanks for leaving your uplifting comments :-)
I hope your day has been going well, and that your weekend will bring peace and rest (or excitement for those of you who want that). I’ll be back next week! ♥ ♥ ♥