Category Archives: Books

Little time, lots of inspiration.

Hello friends,

I know I promised to share more art so here are some pics of what I’ve been creating lately. I’m on week 6 of my Jeanne Oliver online art course. Its been an incredible ride! So much to learn, so much to create and SO little time! I’m trying to be patient with life and accept that I can’t paint all day while managing a household, two little kids and a very busy husband. Patience is not one my strengths.

I also have to really watch myself. You see, I get a little competitive. My fellow students are constantly posting all the beautiful art they are creating and I want to KEEP up…but alas, I simply cannot.  Luckily, we have access to the class for two years!

Here is a little Cézanne watercolor/charcoal study…this was a fun and relatively quick exercise. He was a genius at layering color with watercolors! Something, I’ve yet to master.

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Next, I attempted to paint one of Cézanne’s favorite landscapes…Mont Sainte-Victoire. He painted this scene over 60 times! This was a tricky one. SO many colors but I really enjoyed the challenge.

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Here’s a close up of my version.

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Painting Cézanne landscapes, inspired me to try one myself. Although, I’m not in love with this piece it was good for me to do something outside my comfort zone. This is an Irish landscape, depicting O’Brien’s tower.

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Then we went on to study Botticelli. I have not done my painting yet but I loved sketching from his work. His faces are brilliant and so beautiful.

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Okay, and lastly, I wanted to recommend this book to all those creative Mama’s out there! I kinda horde art books but this one is my favorites right now. It gives me hope that if I plan a little better, I can find more time for my art and not neglect my kids!

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Alright…well I best be going. I hear little Claire bear waking from her nap. Back on the job! ;)

Hope all is well in your world. Try and take time for yourself to create, read, cook or whatever makes you happy – you won’t regret you did! Also, I would love to know any tips on carving out this time – since I’m kinda struggling! Let me know what works for you!

Much love,

Ivy

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Filed under Art, Books, creativity, Learning, painting, Thoughts

Happy Valentine’s Day

Hello friends! Happy Friday and Happy Valentines’s to you. I hope you are surrounded by the people you love. Hubby and I are going out for a much needed date night. Can’t wait to get all prettied up and sip a fancy cocktail.

I did splurge yesterday on a little gift to myself – this book – and I’m so pleased I did. I’ve already devoured half of it and I’m loving every page. If you were a fan of Eat, Pray, Love then you will LOVE Paris Letters by Janice Macleod. I’m so tickled with the book that I just subscribed to receive one of her magical, illustrated letters from Paris via her Etsy shop. Anyways…had to share this with you!

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Okay I’m off to get ready for my date….it takes a while these days! ;)

Much love to you all,

Ivy

P.S. I’ve been doing a ton of art so I promise to share more of it next week! More vintage treasures to show you too!

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Filed under Books, favorite things, Love, News, Paris, photography, Still life

Art Journaling : Brené Brown Class

Hi there! How’s life? Things have been going well here and I’ve been diligently working on my Brené Brown art journal homework from the Oprah life class. Following along with the book has been truly life changing. The messages within have been resonating deeply with me as I become aware of my own issues with perfection, shame and self-worth – pretty heavy, I know. BUT so inspiring and refreshing at the same time!

I’ve had several “ah-ha” moments that made me smile while other pages brought on the tears. One huge epiphany I experienced, was when I realized the cause of my recent creativity block. It wasn’t because my creative juices ran dry or I ran out of inspiration…it was because I was focusing on attaining approval rather than just being authentic. I wasn’t creating for me. I was creating for others and seeking praise. All of sudden, the likes on Facebook didn’t make me feel good anymore, the hearts on Instagram didn’t mean anything. I felt numb. So I stopped making art. Joy was replaced with doubt.  Understanding why this happened has brought me great clarity.

Working in my very first art journal has renewed my creativity and given me the chance to further digest the information in the book. I had promised to share some of the pages with you…so here they are…

I thought that the first assignment was very appropriate. That scary first white page was dedicated to giving yourself permission.

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Next, we had to take pictures of ourselves with our “Pledge” written on our hand – “I’m imperfect and I’m ENOUGH!” Love that.

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The class went on to explore the word – COURAGE and it’s original meaning: to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Then we listed the people in our lives that we trust and share our story with. We placed this list in the center of our heart. I wrote the word “Thank You” on my list to remind myself to be eternally grateful to these special people.

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Then we were assigned to find a photo that captures our “true self” and write about who we see, what makes this person light up and how we need to treat her. Loved how this exercise made me feel.

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This last collage kinda just happened…the inside of the journal cover needed some art! :)

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As I mentioned, I’ve never art journaled before and I’m really loving it! I’m getting a little braver with my materials and exploring new ways to blend words and images.

Have you ever kept an art journal? If you do, I would love to hear how you like to use it.

Hope your week is full of inspiration.

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under Art, Books, collage, creativity, Favorite Reads, Learning, mixed media, painting, Thoughts, Words

Inspired by the Creatively Made E-Course

Hello!!! I know it’s been forever and I’m sorry but I’m back and I’m just full of inspiration – thanks to the fabulous E-course I’m taking by Jeanne Oliver.  My first trimester was trying at times, tired, nauseous, weepy but now that I’m well into my second trimester I’m feeling like myself again. While my cravings for chocolate have yet to subside, a forceful urge to create art has emerged, so when I found this course via the Dreamy Whites blog I signed up immediately! Jeanne has always inspired me with her whimsical creations and beautiful art, so what better teacher to help me break out of my creative rut?!

Our first project was to assemble a vintage art journal. A place where we can sketch, doodle, paint and dream. I couldn’t wait to begin. Here is the final result…

Cutting up a vintage book felt so naughty but I knew I wasn’t destroying it, just up-cycling it!

Embellishing the cover with vintage costume jewelry and an old crystal drawer pull was so much fun! I actually raided my husbands tool box and used pliers and screwdrivers! (I’m not what you would call handy…)

The antique illustration was taken from an old Shakespeare book…who can resist Romeo and Juliet? Not this Romantic…

Inside the front cover I added a little brown paper pouch to keep little pretties and the word “faithful” to remind myself to stay true to my creative spirit. The pages are compiled of vintage papers, scrapbook pages, watercolor and sketch paper. Lots of different textures to provide a wonderful backdrop to my creations.

I bound the book using this very handy hole-punch and some organic hemp twine.

Finally I found a use for all the shiny, sparkly baubles I’ve been collecting. It was so delightful to play with them.

I’m really happy with my little journal. Making it brought me such satisfaction and re-ignited that drive to create. I better do it now before I’m buried in diapers! Right?

Hope you are all enjoying the New Year! Let me know what creative goals you have on the horizon…

xo,

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Filed under Art, Books, Crafting, News, photography, Thoughts, vintage

Inspired by Sibella Court

Hi Friends! Hope you had a decent Monday. Ours was very rainy but a trip to the antique stores with a dear friend made it a perfect day!

You may have seen on my other blog, that I posted a curated collection of images by Sibella Court. Well, her book – Etcetera: Creating Beautiful Interiors with the things you love – arrived and I couldn’t help but take pictures of it. It’s so beautiful!!


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Really, you must have this book. It’s a treasure trove of inspiration. I promise.

Have a lovely Tuesday!

xo,

 


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Filed under Art, Books, Home, interior design, photography, Shopping, Thoughts

Jitterbug Magic

Tuesday evening was magical. I hosted my book club for the first time and had a blast decorating with Tom Robbins book, Jitterbug Perfume as my inspiration.

This my first Tom Robbins novel and it won’t be my last. I was completely enthralled with the story and all of Robbins’s philosophical musings. His analogies are like nothing I’ve ever read before! Honestly, this book is both crazy and ingenious. I didn’t even think I would like it, but I threw caution to the wind and dove right in. It’s one of those novels that stays with you long after you lay it down.

Check out my beet themed centerpiece. If you’ve read the book, you will get this connection. If you haven’t, check out this synopsis. Let’s just say that the humble beet plays a very important role.

The silver tea pot relates to the one of the main female characters, Kudra. The book discusses extensively the art of perfume creation, so I wanted to include apothecary elements too. I love my little mortar and pestle that I found at a local antique store.

I served a Greek themed spread in honor of the Greek god Pan, who also played a major role in this novel…yes like I said a tad crazy. A roasted beet and feta salad that I made was super easy and loved by everyone.

The rustic texture of the beets contrasted with the silver and glass makes for a lovely and original arrangement. This has definitely inspired me to create more centerpieces with vegetable elements. It’s a lot less expensive than flowers too!

We dined alfresco on my patio under twinkling candles and a spray of fairy lights strewn through my wisteria.

The conversation was very stimulating to say the least. Robbins really challenges you to be open-minded and encourages you to view things in an entirely different way. Among the fascinating meanderings of Robbin’s mind he throws out truly prolific lines:

“We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.”
Tom Robbins

“The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you’re unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously.”
— Tom Robbins

“Our individuality is all, all, that we have. There are those who barter it for security, those who repress it for what they believe is the betterment of the whole society, but blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures it and rides it in, in grace and love and wit, from peculiar station to peculiar station along life’s bittersweet route.”
— Tom Robbins

As a little take home gift for my ladies, I created my own version of the famous K23 or Kudra perfume. I couldn’t resist getting out my essential oils and giving it a go. It’s a jasmine themed scent with a lemon and tangerine top note and a sandalwood bottom note. (I didn’t have beet pollen on hand so it had to do). My friends seemed to enjoy it, deeply inhaling the fragrance and applying it to the inside of their wrists.

All in all, it was a fabulous night. Good friends, plenty of french red wine, yummy food, a riveting novel and wonderful discussion – doesn’t get better than that.

Hope you are reading something inspiring.

Happy Friday!

xo,

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Filed under Books, Recipes, Stories, Thoughts