Monday, 27 May 2013


Yesterday I received a phonecall that nobody ever wants to get. One of my sisters had an accident and died.

Just like that. One moment there, the next moment gone.

I have an overwhelming sense of loss, grief, sadness and regret. I can't get my mind to work anymore. Time comes to a standstill at a moment like that. And yet at the same time annoyingly the world outside just goes on.

I'm flying to Belgium for the funeral tomorrow, so I won't be writing on this blog for a while.

Because it's the last week of May, I want to take the time to thank all the participants in the Etsy-promotion for their enthousiasm in sharing and promoting the shops of others. I really hope it brought you all some new likers and customers. I will be promoting my last Etsyshop next week Wednesday.

Meanwhile, give your loved ones a hug and hold them while you still can. Life is too short and too precious not to do that.

I'll be back ... ♥ 

Friday, 24 May 2013

Work in progress and collage-tryout

Well, it's Friday already and I still didn't get to paint one of my bigger canvases. I thought about it, but since "The summer of colour" hosted by Kristin will start soon and I want to participate, I thought it was not much use starting one. Plus I had a commission to make.

I decided 2 years ago I wouldn't do commissions anymore. I've done it in the past, and every single time it's more stress and frustration than I need. I just don't enjoy it. I can't follow strict instructions, I need the freedom to do it my way and change things along the way.

But this commission is for someone who saw my work in the gallery, and gave me complete freedom in colours and faces, the only thing I had to commit to was the quote that had to go on there. No problem, I could do that.

And the weird thing is: I still didn't enjoy it. Maybe I'm too insecure about myself, but I keep thinking while I'm working: maybe this is not what he expects, maybe this isn't good enough or big enough of small enough or the wrong colour ..... There's nothing as limiting as that....

Anyway, I finished the faces and the background, I only need to write the quote on there.

I just hope it's what he expects. The stupid thing is: he's the sweetest, kindest man, and he had so much trust in me that he paid me in full up front. But that just makes me want to do it really well, and since I'm a perfectionist, I'm never completely satisfied with my work. So I think I'll keep giving commissions a miss in the future ....

I've also been experimenting a bit more with using my own art in collage. Really struggled with this page, still need to find a way that works for me.

But it's fun. It's amazing how much "old" art you can use in collages.

As always, I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday. Visit their blog to see all the work of other artists, it's worth it!

Well, thanks so much for visiting, and I hope you will have a beautiful day today and lots of nice things to do in the weekend! ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Etsy-promotion: ThisLilPiggyShoes

The 4th Etsyshop I'm promoting, which means the month of May is almost over ..... how time flies. I know I keep repeating myself, but I just can't believe how fast this month has gone by ....

ThisLilPiggyShoes is the adorable shop of Bec Lavery from Brisbane. In my list of 5 Etsyshops to promote, I happened to have 3 shops with kids'clothing! It's a shame my kids have outgrown those sizes already ... ;-)

Bec sews soft soled shoes for babies, wobblers and toddlers.

 Aren't these adorable? And that's not all she makes. You can also find bibs in her shop, like these:

 And the cutest ankle/wrist bells:

Oh, I know my daughter would've loved to have these on her feet ..... In fact, I'm pretty sure she would still like something like this to wear when she's dancing ....

Do check out Bec's shop if you have a little one yourself or you know someone who has and you would like to surprise them with a one-of-a-kind handmade gift. Best of all: Bec offers free worldwide standard shipping!

On her Facebookpage you can see all her latest designs, and all her adventures with sewing, markets and handmade are documented on her blog. Go pay her a visit, you won't regret it!

Meanwhile, I've given myself an early birthday-present. My birthday is in August, but, well, I had to decide now and I just did it: I signed up for a 2-day-workshop with Orli Avineri !!!!! I've been fascinated with her work since I first saw it, and was anxiously waiting until she would start doing online workshops. But guess what? Tracy Verdugo invited Orly to her house in New South Wales to give a weekendworkshop! And I happen to live in Australia, admittedly not in New South Wales, but who's going to worry about that? The workshop will be in January, when it's summer holidays here, so I'll find a way to get there. Oooh, so excited!! Can't wait!

Well, that's it for now! Thanks so much for visiting, and I'll be back on Friday for the Paint Party! ♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, 20 May 2013

trying out collage ....

Ever since I saw Teesha Moore's video's, I've been fascinated by collage. I spent days looking through magazines, cutting out pictures, trying out heads on different bodies and plastering it all in my journal.

But somehow, I never got the hang of it. All my trials looked like very bad imitations of Teesha Moore. I felt like it wasn't me, no matter how much I liked the fierce colours and the strange creatures. I didn't know how far I could go with magazine pictures. When was I infringing copyright? What if I happened to make something that I really liked and wanted to make prints of it, would I be in trouble? Probably way too much overthinking, but, well, the end result was that I just put all my clippings and cutouts in a box and forgot about it.

Except it kept popping up in my head every now and then. So a few days ago, I decided to start printing out my own artwork and cutting out heads and bodyparts. No worries about copyright, and it was fun using my art in different ways and making new things out of it.

Here's my first tryout:

Still have a lot to learn, but I'm enjoying it and just need to spend some more time with it. This was again done in between cooking dinner and driving the kids to swimming- and danceclasses ..... Aaaah, time ..... Give.Me.Time ..... Reading your comments on my post last week I was amazed that so many of us are struggling with time issues. I'm happy I'm not the only one, I was starting to doubt my ability to handle everyday life ... ;-)

While waiting for my daughter to finish dance-class I finished another doodle. Yes, I am now grabbing every little bit of time I can get to do some art :-)

That's it for now, high time I went to bed.

Thanks so much for visiting, I'll be back on Wednesday with my 4th Etsy-promotion. Does this mean that May is almost over? Aaarrggghhh ........

♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 17 May 2013

Birdies and boxes .....

Well, I finished my painting and it's now hanging in the Seaside Artist's Gallery in Redcliffe. Didn't change too much anymore, just worked on the eyes and that's it. Had a very annoying thing happening to me when I was finishing it up. I noticed that the frame had bent a little bit in the middle, so it wasn't straight anymore. I hate it when that happens. I'm always careful to look for canvases that are completely straight, because there are a lot around that are all crooked. But still it happens sometimes. And this was a very long canvas, so I guess chances are even higher.

"Birdies" - canvas on MDF - 20x99cm (7,9x39")

I wanted to take this painting to the gallery, so I had to come up with a solution. So I ended up buying a piece of hardboard and glueing the canvas on top. I must say I like the tight look of it. It's a lot heavier now, but since it's only 20cm high it doesn't matter too much. I called it "Birdies". For obvious reasons  ... ;-)

And I finally finished my boxes. That is to say: I finished the outside. They still need a coat of varnish, and the inside needs to be painted too. But at least they look finished now ...

Here's my zentangle-box:

my birdbox:

and my doodlebox:

These are the sides of the doodlebox:

 and the top:

These doodleboxes are so much fun to do, but also a lot of work. It's not easy going around the sides everywhere. So I'm thinking about making some small paintings like this. Easier to work on and still fun ....

Well, that's it for this week. I'm linking, as always, to Paint Party Friday. Head on over there to see wonderful works of all the participating artists.

And pay a visit to these blogs too: Natasha, Kristin, Jez, Susan and Gina . All these artists tried out the "geometrical painting technique" that I used for "Birdies". I love seeing all the different interpretations of it!

Thanks so much for visiting, I really appreciate your lovely comments every week! Hope you're having a great Friday, and lots of sun and joy in the weekend! ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Etsy-promotion: Maikacreations !

Caroline from Maikacreations makes fun children's clothing from new and recycled fabrics. She is mother to two little boys and lives in sunny Brisbane.

Browsing through her shop is a joy. I am a sewer myself (though not as proficient as Caroline ☺), and I love to use recycled fabrics, so I can totally relate to her enthousiasm for using something old and making it new again.

Caroline started sewing in her teens, but it was only after she settled down in her thirties and had babies that she took it up again. She's always on the lookout for old fabrics with a certain whimsy, to give them new life in the shape of simple and fun clothes for kids.

All Maika clothes use an element of recycled fabric, often combined with contemporary fabrics from retail stores and what she can find in her fabric stash.

Aren't these adorable? Because of the recycle element most of what she makes is one-of-a-kind, or made in very limited quantities. So if you see something that you like you better grab it right away, 'cause it might not be there much longer .... 

Caroline has a blog and a Facebookpage, so head on over there and give her a like.  You can see the projects she's working on. And don't forget to visit her wonderful shop, there's more where these cuties came from!

Hope you enjoyed this week's promotion. Only 2 more to go and the month May is over and done with. Can't believe it. Sometimes it frightens me how the time flies. And the older you get the worse it becomes. Thanks so much for your comments on my previous post, at least now I know I'm not the only one suffering from too-little-time-frustration ... ;-)

Thanks so much for visiting. I'll be back on Friday for the paint party!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Is it only me ....

or is everybody screaming for the time to not go so fast? I don't know where the days are going. Before I know it it's time to get the kids from school, and my todo-list is staring me in the face with not even half of the things done. I'm getting tired of it. Must be that there's still something seriously wrong with my time-management skills ....

Anyway, didn't get much art done either. Have missed the last couple of days sitting on my daughter's bed and journaling together. We have promised eachother to really get started in time tomorrow, since we both miss it and get a bit cranky when there's no time left.

I've been sketching a bit, drawing ladies with crazy hair :-)

I want to do some more collage, and plan on printing these out and collaging them all over the place ... I don't really like to use magazine-pictures for this, first you have the problem with copyright, and secondly I feel as if it's not really mine. But I really like collage, so I want to make a lot of these sketches and combine it with unrecognizable pics from magazines. If that makes sense ... Still figuring out how though ...

And when I'm short in time, I always go back to my oneliners. Oh, they're so easy and fast, love creating them!

Do you remember when I made those magnets on a canvas with magnetic backing? Here's the picture of the whole canvas:

I finally listed the magnets in my Etsyshop today. Phew, that has taken me more than enough time .... You can find the listings here.

One last thing: Sarah from A Cat-Like Curiosity has taken a wonderful initiative on her blog. She is planning on promoting links to handmade goodies in social media over the course of this week. You can link blogposts, items and stores and she will do a free sponsor-type promotion for it. Isn't that a wonderful idea! We could all help each other so much, reaching out to our readers and followers and at the same time discover some new blogs or shops that we didn't know before. It's a win-win for all involved. So if you want Sarah to promote some of your stuff, hop on over to her blog and link up!

Well, that's it for now. I'll be back on Wednesday with my third Etsyshop to promote! Thanks so much for being here! ♥

Friday, 10 May 2013

Paint Party Friday: finished (well, sort of ...) painting ...

This week I didn't get much art done. I'm working on a photobook for my mother's birthday, and I'm behind already, working against the clock to get it to her in time .... (I have the very annoying habit of always leaving things until the very last minute, and then starting it at a time that any reasonable person would say: "ah, no, I left it too late, can't do it anymore ...".

My boxes are still in various stages of progress, but the birdpainting is almost finished. It needs a few more tweeks here and there, and I might work on the eyes some more and add some embellishments in some places, but for the most part it's done.

Here's a picture of the whole canvas:

It is one meter long (39,4 inches) so not very easy to handle, and certainly not easy to make a good picture of ....

Here are some detailshots:

You can see here how Joyce used this technique in a fabulous way in her art journal (scroll down to the end of the post).

And Kristin is planning on using this technique in her Tuesday Tutorial Try-Out! So looking forward to what she (and others) will be creating :-)

I don't have much more for you, except another sketch in my art journal

and a doodle that I finished a while ago but didn't really like:

Linking this to Paint Party Friday. Don't forget to check out the other participating artists. It takes a while to get through the list, last week there were 124 !! participants. It's getting very popular!

Meanwhile, the Etsy-promotion is in full swing. Check out the different promotion-posts here, it's so interesting to see the different ways people feature the shops. This is also a gentle reminder for the people who have signed up and didn't start promoting yet. Don't be like me (well, in the case of the Etsy-promotion I'm up to schedule ☺) and leave it all till the last minute. The month will be over before you know it ....

Thanks so much for visiting here, I appreciate each and every one of you taking the time. Hope you're having a lovely day, and a wonderful relaxing weekend. ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Etsy-promotion: Looking for whimsical fairytale art?

Well, look no further! Annabelle's Etsy-shop "CassienadognamedBoo" is full with paintings, prints and sculptures that are reminiscent of dark and light fairytale worlds.

Annabelle is a Canadian artist residing in Ottawa. She loves listening to beautiful haunting music and collecting old things, which she then uses to create her original sculptures.

She is inspired by the famous book Charlotte's Web, and Cassie the Little Witch and her ghost dog named Boo.

Every listing comes with a little story, that she dreams up late at night in her big comfy chair.

Here are some other places where you can find her:

Go visit her shop and read her magical fairytales. You can easily spend some time there!

Thanks so much for visiting, and for all the advice about how to pack and ship paintings! I might be one step closer to finally selling my paintings online :-)

I'll be back on Friday, for the weekly paint party. Hope to see you then!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Journalpages and a question ....

Well, it's been weekend and in the weekend I never get to do much art. Just some journaling when I'm sitting together with my daughter at night.

But I sold one of my mirrors already on Saturday! So happy ....

Here's some things I've been doing in my art journal:

I had some fun in Photoshop with this one. It's a sketch I did in my journal with coloured pencils. I scanned it and pasted it over one of my paintings-backgrounds, and then played a bit with a quote from Bhartrhari. There are so many possibilities to play around in Photoshop, I haven't explored even half of them. 

This is just a quick sketch with watercolour pencil. The paper in my journal is not really good for that, it just dries so quick before I can spread it out. For the background I wrote part of the poem in watercolour pencil, and I had meant for it to dissolve in water, but it didn't, no matter how often I went back over it. This is clearly something that I should do on watercolour paper. I glued (part of) the poem from Rod McKuen over it. I am so in love with his work, I can just keep reading those poems over and over again ...

And this is a graphite sketch. Will probably turn it into a card, or use it for a calendar ...

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments on my Friday-post! Remember I explained the technique with the geometrical figures? Well, Joyce from Joyful Art Stuff tried it out already. Look at this:
I love it! I kept finding geometrical figures when I looked at it. It's very subtle but gives such a great effect!

Sooo, if you have tried it out too, I would LOVE to see it! And I'll show it on my blog! Just send me the picture or a link.

And now I have one question for you, maybe someone can help me with that. I would like to start selling my paintings online, but I have no idea how to pack it. I asked at the post office and they told me to just put lots and lots of bubble wrap around it. But still ... They're a little bit my babies, I wouldn't want anything to happen to them ... I know some of you sell online, even very big paintings sometimes. Do you have any tips, do you use the post or do you use a courier service, how do you pack it, have you had any "accidents" already? Etc ..... So if anyone can help me with this, I'd be very grateful :-)

That's it for now. I'll be back on Wednesday with a new Etsy-shop-promotion. It's going great, check out the links on the promotion-page, lots of goodies to see!

Thanks so much for being here, hope you're having a wonderful day / evening / night ... ♥

Friday, 3 May 2013

painting technique, mosaicmirrors and wooden boxes in progress ...

Still working on the same things as last week, but they should all be finished by the end of next week. This is the phase I like most about projects: the middle phase, where it's all coming together and it only needs a few (well, sometimes a bit more than a few ...) finishing touches.

The mirrors are done, they only need the hanging system in the back and then they're ready to go to the gallery.

The boxes are all painted, but need a second coat and then of course the finishing touches ;-). And, oh yes, the inside. And the bottom. And the varnish ....

The painting is coming along nicely. I go from one box to the next to the canvas and back to the boxes. I love painting more things at the same time, because it can dry in between and then suddenly they're all finished and you have a whole bunch of new art.

I promised I would share that painting technique I used for this painting and the one I showed last week. It's a technique I read about in a book from the library years ago. No idea who wrote it or even what the book was called.

Anyway, I made my own version of it, as I usually do. In the book it was a painting of a still life, but, well, you know me, I need to paint living things otherwise I get bored ...

So you make a drawing with more than 1 thing on it, it doesn't matter if it's a drawing with some flowers and vases (I think that was the original example in the book), or a landscape, or people, or birds, like I did in this painting.

Sorry, it's a very long small canvas so I have to show it to you in bits and pieces ...

When you've drawn whatever you want, you start to put geometrical figures on top of it. Quadrangles, circles, triangles, etc ... I only use quadrangles and circles. Different sizes, and don't forget to also let them go off your canvas in some places.

 It's also interesting if they overlap in some places.

And then you just start colouring in. Every time you come to a line, you stop and take another colour. Even if it's only a teeny tiny bit, it needs to be in a different colour.

Don't worry about how it looks, it'll need more layers anyway. In the book they said you should put warm colours next to cold colours, (reds, yellows, oranges, ... are warm colours, blues and greens are cold colours). I haven't done that, for the simple reason that I first use up one colour all over the canvas, and then start with another colour. So sometimes there are 2 warm colours next to eachother, but that doesn't bother me. And it's not always possible either to keep them separate. But it's something to keep in mind.

How you finish it is up to you. I like to define the figures a bit more by adding some shadows. But that is something for next week, first I have to get all the colours and layers on there.

That's it! Try it out, it's a lot of fun!

I'm linking this up with Paint Party Friday. Hop on over there to see lots of interesting art.

This week I also started the Etsy-promotion. I have 5 different shops that I will be promoting each Wednesday during the month of May. The first shop I promoted was TwiceAsNiceBaby, a cute shop full with adorable clothing and other stuff for babies and little kids. Here's the post about it. And on this page you can see the links from all the posts the other participants have done already. Do have a look, there's so much variety and so many wonderful items to see.

Well, thanks so much for visiting and leaving those lovely comments. I treasure them ♥

Hope you're having a lovely day, and that your weekend, as always, will be filled with joy. ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

etsy-promotion: TwiceAsNiceBaby !

Today is the kick-off of the Etsy-promotion month! Every participant should've received the list of 5 shops they need to promote within the month of May. In return their shop will be promoted by 5 different shop-owners.

Oh, I'm looking forward to this! It's so much fun discovering new shops, and I'm still amazed every day by the diversity of items on Etsy. So many creative people out there!

I will be promoting "my" 5 shops on Wednesdays. The first one is TwiceAsNiceBaby!

TwiceAsNiceBaby is the Etsyshop of Tammy Angle. Her shop specializes in fun, handmade, custom baby clothing for infants, toddlers and children.

The shop's name is TwiceAsNice because it's twice as nice as anything you could find in the store! Which is spot-on, I've never seen kidswear as cute and unique as this in "normal" shops ...

Everything is handmade and one-of-a-kind, and Tammy not only makes clothes, but also hairaccessories

and even adorable little socks ...

There's something for everybody, girls and boys alike. Look at this cute necktie-rompers ... :-)

Tammy also has a Facebookpage. Go have a look over there and don't forget to check out her shop. There's so many more cute little things on show there. If you have a little one, or someone in your family or circle of friends is expecting and you're breaking your head over what to give: look no longer. You will surely find something here!

That's it for today! I will be back on Friday for the Paint Party. Still trying to get through all of my projects ....

Thanks so much for visiting, and feel free to share this post or the link of TwiceAsNiceBaby with as many people as you want! See you on Friday! ♥ ♥ ♥