Friday, 28 June 2013

In the nick of time ....

Phew, the last few days were a rush against time. As always I had planned way too much and underestimated in a BIG way the time it takes to finish things.

It was good I had already drawn an image for the SOC-painting, that way I just had to colour it in. Which was still enough work, mind you. But I got it ready! I'm a bit fanatic that way: when I have intended to do something I just keep going until it's done. Even if I have to skip meals and sleeptime ....

Here it is, another doodle, this week in different shades of lime green and purple.

And I finished 4 pouches from leftover fabrics and painted fabrics, the ones I showed in this post.

The first one was a pouch for my phone, and it was a testcase. I used some tutorials from Terri Stegmiller 's blog. She makes the most amazing things and has a load of free tutorials on her blog. So generous of her. After I finished my testcase, I started on a phonepouch for my niece, who just turned 15.

Frontside ....

and backside. I used a lot of stamps on there as well.

 Tried some freeform stitching, but my machine is a real basic one and doesn't have a special freeform-foot. Which made it a bit hard, and I only tried it out on my pouch. Afraid to mess up the other ones....

After I finished the 2 phone-pouches, I decided to make a small shoulderbag for my niece. After all, what's a teenage girl without a bright shoulderbag, right?

might make one of these for myself ....


And then I was on a roll, and decided to make a toiletbag for my sister.

 and some detail:

I made one of these in a workshop I did a few months ago, and I had it with me when I was in Belgium. Really handy to have on a plane.

And why was I in such a rush to get it ready? Because they're right now on a plane to Brisbane from Belgium! My sister is visiting us with her family, it's the first time they will be in Australia. They will be staying with us for a week, before travelling up north. At the end of their holidays they fly back to Brisbane and will be here for another 4 or 5 days. So looking forward to it!

So I won't be writing on this blog the next week. Too busy catching up, showing the sights, enjoying their company. I might be back next Friday, but not sure yet. We'll see how it goes.

I'm linking this to Summer of Color and Paint Party Friday. Lots and lots of lovely links to find there, check a few out if you have the time, it's worth it.

Thanks so much for visiting and leaving your wonderful comments! Hope your Friday and weekend will be lovely and sweet .... ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Artists that inspire me: Cori Dantini

I got to know Cori Dantini at the end of last year, when I was browsing through some yearplanners and one caught my eye right away. It was the perfect size, it had almost everyting in it that I needed, and it was beautifully illustrated. By Cori Dantini.

So naturally, I googled her. And was fascinated by her work.
Girls and quotes, how could I not love it?

She likes to work on top of old schoolwork and -books.

I love the simplicity of the drawings, and the many layers.

She thinks of her work as visual poems ... (and I agree ...)

There's so much to see and read on her blog. She has a very succesfull Etsy-shop, and has her art licenced on a variety of products.

You can also visit her website, her Facebookpage and her Pinterest.

Hope you enjoy her work as much as I do! I'll see you on Friday for the new Summer of Colour and Paint Party Friday. Thanks for stopping by ♥.

Monday, 24 June 2013

finally using my gelliplate ....

Thanks so much for your sweet, warm, supporting comments and emails. I so appreciate it, and it helps me through in rough moments. Warm hug to you all ♥

I finished another doodle, once again with birds and little figures. These images just keep coming to me and I don't want to fight it, I just let it be. But I googled a bit on bird-symbolism, and it seems that since ancient times mankind has considered birds to be signs of eternal life. Many cultures believe that they are the link between heaven and earth. The ability to fly and soar high up in the sky is closely associated with the ability to be near heavens, as well as the ability to serve as messengers from heaven.
I find that really interesting. I had been using a lot of birds in my artwork before, but since my sister's death it really has intensified. And reading about their symbolism now I can understand why. I must've known about this on some subconscious level. And the little figures ...? Well, I think they stand as a symbol for my sister, the feeling that she is around us, even if we don't see her and can't communicate with her, she is there, somewhere, looking out for us, letting us know that everything will be all right.

I find that a comforting feeling, and as long as they want to keep popping up in my art, I will let them. For me it's a way of coping with what happened. I am so glad that I have art to help me cope.

I told you in my last post that I'd been busy with all kinds of creative things last week. One of these things was making prints on fabric with a gelliplate.

After experimenting with a home-made gelliplate (I wrote about it in this post) back in January, I ordered a "real" one. Alas, I never received the parcel, it got lost somewhere in the mail. Luckily, I got my money back, so in February I ordered another one (with registered post this time....), and ever since I got it, it has been standing in my bookcase waiting for me to use it.

Finally last week I got it out to paint some fabric. I want to make a little pouch for my phone, and I want to use painted fabrics for that.

I first used a lot of stencils, but I find it really hard to avoid making mud. It gets too dark very fast, and I wanted light, brightly coloured fabrics. So I got out my daughter's neon paints, and decided to just use colours from the same colourfamily, and not put too many layers on there.

I love the piece of fabric on the bottom at the left. I just put 2 colours (yellow and orange) on the gelliplate, and put some thread on there that came from the side of the fabric. That must be my favorite tool to use when using the gelliplate: string or thread.

I used stamps on the pieces that were too dark or too plain. I would've liked to do more with it, but I didn't have time and I'm in a hurry to make that pouch, since I want to make another one as a birthday present. Mine will be the practice-pouch ....

Today I ironed all the pieces to set the paint, and then threw them in the washingmachine to see whether the paint would hold. And yes, it did, even though I just used normal acrylic paint. Must be all the ironing that I did .... They're still a bit stiff though, but they'll have to do ...

Hopefully I'll be able to show you a finished pouch by Friday ☺

Thanks so much for visiting, I'll be back on Wednesday with another inspiring artist post. Hope to see you then ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, 21 June 2013

Summer of Color week 2: Love and dreams never die ...

This week's colours, hot pink and orange, were again two of my favorite. Well, as long as it's bright, happy colours they are my favorite I guess. I decided to keep doing the coloured doodles, it's a great way to experiment with all the different hues of one colour.

It's a bit of a crooked picture. I tried scanning it but my scanner made the bright orange disappear, so to get a more realistic look I had to make a picture. It measures 20x20cm (7,9x7,9") and is painted on a selfmade hardboard frame. Couldn't resist adding a quote ...

I also finished another box, and only realized after it was finished that it was the exact same colours as the colours from the first week of SOC. So I do actually have 2 pieces for that first week ...

I did all kinds of art this week, but everything is in the beginning stages, so no pics yet. I managed to finish a sketch though.

Sketching that hair is really soothing and relaxing... A bit like doodling really.

And yesterday I got a surprise in the mail. Well, I knew it was coming but I hadn't expected it to arrive so soon. Right in the middle of all the horrible moments surrounding my sister's death, I won (without realizing it) a giveaway over at Heather Foust's blog. I could choose between 2 prints, but when I got the package, there was the beautiful print inside but also 7 wonderful postcards and 2 really cute businesscards. So happy with it. The print doesn't look like a print at all, for a moment I really thought it was the original work. Superb quality. Thank you so much Heather, also for the surprises in the package!

Gorgeous, isn't it !?

Well, that's it for this week. I'm linking this as always to Paint Party Friday, and of course to the Summer of Colour. Check out those 2 blogs, it's worth the effort ...

Thanks so much for being here. I hope your Friday and your weekend will be full of sunshine (literally and figuratively!). Hugs ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Artists that inspire me: Ken Law

It seems like ages ago that I featured one of my favorite artists on this blog. But ... it's Wednesday, and with the Etsy-promotion behind us it's time to introduce another inspiring artist.

 Ken Law is an American artist living and working in Taiwan. I discovered him some months ago and was immediately drawn to his style of painting.

 Ken is an "outsider" artist, which basically means a self-taught artist who is not part of the artistic establishment.

It can also refer to art that is outside of the mainstream styles of art.

In some ways he reminds me of Jesse Reno ....
He has different styles, but characteristic are the strange subjects and the bright colour palette.

I absolutely adore his style. I could look at his paintings forever and keep finding new things in them ...

I love the rawness of his paintings, the emotions that come pouring out.

He has an amazing body of work. You can see more of his art on 
his blog or 

Hope you enjoy his work as much as I do. Thanks for visiting! I'll be back on Friday with my next Summer of Color piece. Hope to see you then ♥

Friday, 14 June 2013

Summer of colour and Paint Party Friday

I've decided to take part in Kristin's Summer of Color. Last week I wasn't sure I was up to it, but this week I decided I needed to keep busy. And it helps! When I'm painting or creating, it's as if I'm going to another world. The sadness is there, in the background, but it's bearable.

I decided to draw a doodle-like image, and use colour instead of black & white. The colours for this week are citron green and turquoise. Two of my favorite colours, but when I was limited to shades of these two I really started longing for warm orangish colours. I was tempted to put some details in red or orange but decided against it, since the whole challenge is about using certain colours. And in the end I'm glad I didn't. I brought some variations by doodling in some parts, and it doesn't bother me anymore that it's all "cold" colours.

For some reason lately, I'm drawing a lot of big birds with little figures on top....

Have been doodling like crazy, sitting with my daughter on her bed every night. Here's one that I finished:

And this morning I received a mail from Maria who dedicated a blogpost to me and my sister. She made this moving ICAD based on my rainbowstory from 2 posts ago.

I had tears in my eyes reading her post. Thank you so much sweet Maria, I can't tell you what it means to me having the support of so many online friends. So many people have sent me virtual hugs, and even though they're virtual, I can still feel them. There's this song from one of my favorite artists, Noa, and one of the lyrics goes like :"let me wrap my arms around you like a long coat in winter". And that's how it feels to me, all those outpourings of sympathy and support. Like a warm coat against the cold. The cold is still there, but it's more bearable. So thank you all so much, and thank you Maria ♥

Well, that's it for now. I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday, and of course to Summer of Color. Go have a look at all the links there, or better yet, participate too!

Thanks so much for visiting. I hope you're having a wonderful day, and a beautiful sunny weekend surrounded by loved ones ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Etsy-promotion: Carola Bartz - PhotoArt and Mixed Media

Thank you all so much for your ongoing support, it means more to me than I can express ♥

I'm still feeling very emotional and fragile, but I've been keeping myself busy, revamping my website and doodling a lot. Thoughts and memories of my sister keep popping up throughout the day, but I'm getting better at coping with it. Being so far away from family at a time like this makes it even harder, but one of my other sisters (there's 5 of us) will be visiting us with her family at the end of the month, so I'm really looking forward to that.

Today I want to introduce you to Carola's Etsyshop, a well-stocked shop with paintings, prints, journals and cards. Carola started out as a photographer, but gradually added mixed media art to her passions.

This is one of her beautiful handmade cards. She also makes cards using her wonderful photographs.

A set of double tags with an Irish blessing. Clicking on the picture will bring you straight to this listing.

Isn't this gorgeous? Carola loves to alter small composition books and turn them into mini journals or notebooks. She also sells bigger sized journals.

Her mixed media paintings are cute and whimsical.

And her photography is simply amazing.

If you want to see more, go check out her shop,
her blog (the latest post with beautiful pictures of Bryce Canyon), 

It's worth it!

This will be my last Etsy-promotion, from next week on I'll be returning with my inspiring artists posts.

I will  try and link up to Paint Party Friday on Friday, if I get anything painted this week .... Meanwhile, thanks so much for being here. Hugs ♥ ♥ ♥

Within our hearts
the ones we love
are never really gone
In spirit and in memory
their legacy lives on

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Back in Australia

Thank you so much for your heartfelt comments on my previous post. They brought me comfort in a very difficult time, and still do. I've been back in Australia since yesterday morning, after spending 5 days with family and friends in Belgium. It was a bittersweet experience, happy to see everyone again after almost 2 years away but so much sadness because one of us was missing and will never again be with us. 

And that reality has hit me like a brick in the head since I'm back. With the kids in school and hubby at work it seems like I can't stop crying. There's this knot in my stomach that doesn't go away, and a heaviness in my heart that seems to have settled there and makes it so much harder to cope with everyday life.

I remember when my father died 9 years ago, I was having such a hard time dealing with it, and after the funeral my sister and I were standing outside and all of a sudden there was this beautiful rainbow in the sky, and it really felt like a message from him to us that everything would be all right, and that he was at peace. It made us laugh and cry at the same time.

The day I got that horrible phonecall from Belgium that my sister had died, we went for a walk in the evening to try and clear our heads, and I was looking up to the sky, wondering where she was and searching for a sign. But there was nothing. And then the morning my hubby and kids brought me to the airport to take the plane to Belgium, a rainbow suddenly started and then filled the whole sky, and stayed with us all the way to the airport. So beautiful, so heart-wrenching, so comforting all at the same time. It was as if she remembered that day of my father's funeral and wanted to let me know that again, everything will be all right and life will  one day be good again.

I'll just have to hold on to that feeling ...

I'll promote my last Etsyshop next week, I'm not really up to it right now. I just want to share a doodle I made while travelling the long long distance from Australia to Belgium.

And this image of Adam Martinakis, that I found on Facebook the other day and expresses so perfectly my feelings of loss, hurt, helplessness and grief.

Don't know where
don't know when
but I'm sure
we'll meet again
some sunny day

Thanks for being here ♥ ♥ ♥