Friday, September 19, 2014

We Have A Winner!!

The lucky winner of a free copy of Stampington's new magazine, Bella Grace is...

Roben-Marie Smith! Congratulations! 
I will be in touch with you for your mailing address shortly!

Thank you to everyone who entered. I wish I had copies to send one each of you. If you didn't win, you can still visit this post from Stampington's blog to enter more Bella Grace giveaways!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Studio Table

So Seth is hosting another peek into our artistic community's lives. 
Today we're sharing what our studio table looks like.

This is mine. I promise it really does look like this 99% of the time. I'm a bit of a neat freak in the sense that when I am finished working for the day, I clean up. I can't stand coming into the studio and finding a mess. It blocks my creative flow. I like to start with a clean slate every morning. I like having everything where it belongs because I spend less time looking for things and more time actually working. I've just been away on vacation, so I am in between projects, otherwise I would have purposely left it in work mode & snapped a photo.

Under my iPad & paper cutter, is an old phone book that I use to glue on so my work surface doesn't get sticky. I also use it to remove ink from stamps when I am done using them. I've been using the same phone book for years now. I have two more stashed away for future use, since they've quit making them.

The brown rectangle you see is one of those thick cardboard place mats you can buy at the dollar store. While it's hideously ugly, it also serves to protect my work surface.

To the left of this worktable, I have a computer desk where my laptop sits. I often pull out the keyboard tray to use as an extra surface when I need a place to put stuff.

So...there you go! To view more work tables, head over to Seth's blog. He'll be adding links until Saturday.


P.S. Today is the last day to enter to win a free copy of the fabulous Bella Grace. Click here to read my review & leave a comment on that post to be entered. I'll be drawing the winner tomorrow morning. This contest is open worldwide. Good luck!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hot Off the Presses: Bella Grace!

Two weeks ago, out of the blue, I was contacted by Stampington to see if I would be interested in reviewing their latest offering. Bella Grace. Would I?! I had been hearing about this publication all over the Internet and was dying to get my hands on a copy. Of course I said YES! Bella Grace's tagline is "Life is a Beautiful Adventure". Since I was just heading off on my own beautiful adventure  when my copy arrived, it seemed a fitting travelling companion so I tucked in in my suitcase.

The first noteworthy thing to tell you about this publication is that it's not just another magazine. It's presented as a soft covered book. The cover has fold over both front and back, which, if you're like me and never seem to have a bookmark handy, means you can use it to help mark your place in a pinch. The pages are nice and thick and it has that wonderful new book smell. (Though I seriously doubt Stampington is marketing it based on how it smells, but these are the kinds of things I notice.)

The content of Bella Grace is really lovely. When I was reading through it this past weekend, I was struck by how much it felt like the kind of important life conversations you would have with your best girlfriends over coffee. It's about women (and surprise, a few men!) telling their stories in the most authentic way possible, giving you a glimpse into their artful lives and how they've evolved. As I was reading, I had many moments of feeling a kinship with the writers. When you share your truth, it's relatable and I think the honesty of what's been shared in issue one speaks for itself. My favourite piece was called "Notes On How To Be A Dark Horse" by Jillian Lukiwski. I loved it because she talks about dog ski racing. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love snow and ice adventure. I am now following both her blog & instagram.

Another huge appeal of Bella Grace is of course, the photography. The images they've used are dreamy and ethereal and really quite magical. They've done an excellent job in matching images to content seamlessly. The photos are large enough so you can really soak in every little delicious detail. You can get a sneak peek of what's inside the premier issue here.

 One thing I really liked about how Bella Grace is put together is that there is a wide variety of fonts and font colours used. It makes reading the content that much more interesting. While I really do like this feature, my only constructive criticism of it is that there were places where they used a very fine grey or light blue handwriting font superimposed on a photograph of a similar colour and/or used a very tiny font size. As someone with visual issues, I found had to skip over bits and pieces of the content because it was difficult to see. I think these are things they could easily fix this in the next issue to make it more reader friendly. Other than that, I really enjoyed the eclectic look of the text.

What sets this publication apart from other magazines is that it's also meant to function as a journal of sorts. Bella Grace invites the reader to become a part of the experience by way of prompts within the articles. Each prompt has space for the reader to write whatever comes to mind. It's a unique and personal way to create an interactive experience and one that guarantees that you'll never want to part with your copy.

On the whole, I think Stampington has created a winner. It looks like they plan to publish Bella Grace twice a year, in winter and in summer. I think the quality of the content, paired with a fresh take on how it's presented makes Bella Grace the kind of publication I would happily spend $20.99 CDN on twice a year. ($19.99 US) 

Now the really good news, if you've read this far: Stampington has provided me with a copy of Bella Grace to give away to one lucky reader. Awesome right?!? If you'd like to be entered into the draw, just leave me a comment telling me what you've read recently for creative inspiration. One entry per person! I will randomly draw a winner on Friday, September 19th in the morning. Please be sure there's an email attached to your comment so I can notify you if you've won!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Coming Soon To A Shelf Near You!

I am really excited to share with you that Dawn DeVries Sokol's new book A World of Artist Journal Pages is now available for pre-order on Amazon! The release date is April 7th, 2015. I am very humbled to have work appearing in this book which is filled with delicious eye candy from over 1000 artists from 30 countries. If you're into art journalling, then this book is going to be a must have!

Congratulations Dawn on all your hard work!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Exciting News: October Workshops!

Hi Everyone! I am super excited to share with you that I will be teaching 2 workshops in October at the beautiful and fabulous 100 Braid St. Studios! I am really looking forward to getting back into the classroom. I hope to see YOU there! 

Spark Your Creativity Inspiration Deck
Date: Friday October 17th & Friday November 7th, 2014
Location: 100 Braid St. Studios, New Westminster
Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm   
Workshop Fee: $85

 Let’s face it: as creatives, we all have times when we’re starving for inspiration! A few years ago, artist I hosted a project with friends to create a deck of cards with all sorts of creative tips and tricks to help reignite the spark of creativity during times when it feels like it's gone out. I'm delighted to now share this with new friends.  This two part class will offer you the opportunity to tap into the collective wisdom of your fellow classmates to create a unique deck of cards that you can shuffle through any time you need an inspiration pick-me-up. 

 The first class will cover collage and composition techniques and I will give specific instructions on creating and copying the cards you create. This class will also have some creative time together to begin working on your cards. Between sessions you will have time to create additional cards.  In the second class, you will bring your copied cards and assemble them, create a pretty bag for your deck and have a trading session with fellow students. 

 Supply List will be sent to you via email after registration. 
Limited to 12 people so I can give you personal attention.

Ex-Libris Journal Workshop 
Date: Saturday, October 25th, 2014 
Location: 100 Braid St. Studios, New Westminster
Time: 12:00 pm-4:00 pm   
Workshop Fee: $80 

 Do you love books? Love paper? Love to journal? Then this workshop is for you! Learn how to take an old cast-off book and turn it into a cool and unique handmade journal using a basic book binding technique and a variety of recycled papers from your stash. This is a chance to finally use some of the “good stuff” you’ve been saving for just the right project. 

 Warning: This method of journal making is highly addictive! Betcha can’t make just one! 

 Supply List will be sent to you via email after registration. 
Limited to 8 people so I can give you personal attention. 
Age 18+

Register for Ex-Libris Workshop

*NOTE: I have added a workshop page up top just under my blog banner, so when this post is archived, you will still be able to access workshop information quickly and easily.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

*Secret Project* #3!

Thanks everyone for such a great response to my first two projects! I'm feelin' the love! Now it's time for the last sneak peek for it is:

 Kind of looks like I am baking something, doesn't it? Well I did frost something with a spatula, but it's not edible! See what I cooked up using a really cool new-to-me product by visiting Paper Artsy's blog.

My next posts will be the first week of October, but keep following the Paper Artsy blog for more great projects from other PA designers!

P.S. I just had to take a second to mention that this is my 1600th post here on my blog!! Wow!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

*Secret Project* #2!

Good Morning! Thank you everyone for your warm welcome over on the Paper Artsy blog. Your kind words were very much appreciated. Welcome to those of you who have newly discovered my blog. It's nice to have you here.

Ready for a sneak peek of project number two? Here it is!

Wondering what all these yummy layers could be? Hop on over to the Paper Artsy blog for today's tutorial! Comments on the PA blog are always welcome!