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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Pale Pink and Emerald Green

It's been a while since I have used some pink in my creations. I must say, I like pink in moderation as I am not as fond of combinations that use excessive amounts of pink. Despite this slight aversion to pink, I have made it the base of my colour combination. I didn't want too much pink, therefore I decided to add shades of emerald green to add some coolness to this combination.

The spark of this colour combination was a photo of a door. The photo consisted of a deep emerald green door that was the entrance to a pale pink dwelling. Whether it is the influence of this photo or of the colours themselves, these colours seem welcoming, kind and gentle.

As you can see, I have started making jewellery items using this colour combination. I also have another 'princess' canvas, a 'home' canvas and boat canvas in the pipeline that will reflect this gentle and kind mood.

I can't wait to share more of these items with you. In the meantime, if you would like to view jewellery items in store, please click here.

~ Jen.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Calm Seas and a Boat Canvas

 I am a 'river' girl at heart. From a young age my family and I have holidayed on the Murray River and as a result I have grown to respect the river, learn about it and appreciate the area. Time away in this area thoroughly relaxes me. For a week I feel like I am away from the 'real' world.

Occasionally, we travel from our home to Adelaide and as a result we cross over the Murray River. If it is a while since we have spent time away on the river, I look at the river longingly as we cross over it and mention to my husband that we should organise some time away on it.

For some people, the sea is their desired place to dwell in, near or around. They enjoy the sound of the waves flowing into shore and the smell of the salty air. Mind you, it is also the ocean and the air around it that can spawn ferocious storms. The place of relaxation and peace can quickly transform to a place of fear as mighty winds, rain and waves are created and strength is required to bear the brunt of the storm until it passes. Isn't that similar to life? One minute there is celebration and comfort in the everyday and then troublesome times brew and swamp us. They eventually blow over and life returns to its calm self. The refreshment of being able to totally relax in a favoured area (such as by the river or by the sea) helps to rejuvenate energy to cope with the everyday pace of life and troublesome times.

This sailing boat has been created using fabric that is adhered over thin pieces of wood to make the sails. The mast is a rolled up book page and the bottom of the boat is a shape cut out of a book page that have been painted. The words that are adhered on the canvas are "May calm provide strength for stormy seas". All of this is then adhered onto a backgroud that uses various painting techniques. This canvas is part of the chocolate brown and light blue hue range.

Wishing you all smooth sailing!

~ Jen.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

'Not a Worry' and a Princess Canvas

Have I mentioned that left to my own devices, I worry and stress? It seems to be getting worse as I age. As a teacher, I worry and stress about certain children, their learning environment and what parents must think.

Now as a mum I worry about my boys. This was my latest... We planned a spur of the moment holiday to Melbourne for a couple of days. I started to worry about losing them in the crowds, their safety, their behaviour around others and in a confined space like a train or hotel room... but that is me. If truth be told, parenting is unpredictable and we all have trying moments. It turns out that everything went smoothly and the boys were very good considering the circumstances.

When I stress and worry, I love feeling the flood of relief that everything is OK. For me, personally, my faith helps me tremendously as I can give these cares and worries over and release them. When worries and stresses are taken over, it is not only relief, but peace resides.

One of my latest canvases has the words "Peace fills her heart and gives her strength". This sweet girl faces the world without cares and boldly marches on. A peace and relief fills her and her worries are banished. She looks carefree with her ruffled, party dress and her short, wispy hair embellished with a simple hairband.

Hold your head high, princess...

To see if this canvas is available and to view others, please click here.

Thanks for viewing

~ Jen.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Pale Blue Flowers

Where I live, September is the beginning of Spring. I find Spring such an uplifting time - the weather begins to warm from the coolness of Winter, trees begin to grow back leaves and there is a splash of colour as new flowers bloom. Mind you, my hayfever does not always agree with my enthusiasm and raises its head a little during this time. 

My youngest boy is a bit of a nature lover. Every time we walk from the car and across the carpark at Kindergarten, he pulls me to a halt at the small garden edge as he looks for snails, different leaves or flowers.
Lately, I have noticed pretty little purple/blue bell shaped flowers that have appeared in amongst the other flowers and greenery. They are so delicate looking and neatly cascade down a green stem. My little one managed to spy them as well and also appreciated their beauty. He doesn't seem to worry about time or schedules, rather, he stops, gazes and appreciates the loveliness around him...

I have recently completed and released a series of pale blue, tiny canvases in the Tupsy Turvy Designs Madeit shop. Each canvas depicts a pale blue daisy, with brown middle, on a mixture of brown background. To me, the combination of light blue and chocolate brown evokes a quiet strength, therefore words such as 'Peace' and 'Be Strong' feature on these canvases. I wanted to make these canvases a source of encouragement when gazed upon. Their little size makes it the perfect height to sit on a window sill, shelf or office table (each canvas has its own wooden easel).

To view what is currently in store, please click here.

Thanks for viewing!
~ Jen.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Good friends and a princess canvas

As the saying goes "It takes all kinds of people to make up the world". I am a classic introvert - I enjoy time by myself to read or to craft. I am quite comfortable with being in a room all by myself and to tell you the truth, I know that this time recharges me and helps me to relax.

When it comes to the issue of friendship, I know that they are harder for me to develop and maintain due to my introvert nature. There have been some magical moments though, when I have met a truly wonderful person that I just seem to 'click' with. We seem to share the same interests, hobbies, beliefs and feel happy and relaxed in each others' company. I treasure these people. They seem to pull me away from my introvertness and revel in the joy with being with someone else.
With that being said, time moves on and with that, friends move away. Part of me grieves as I lose that close contact - the spontaneous words of encouragement, the chance to debrief, the unexpected helping hand. On the other side, it makes the wonderful moments of meeting these beautiful people once again, so much more precious.

Recently, I got the absolute honour to create one of my 'princess' canvases for a wonderful friend who has since moved away. I enjoyed trying to make the princess figure look like her daughter. This canvas was created using bright yellow and blue/purple hues. I love working on these special creations.

I am happy to work on custom orders of canvases, if you have a particular quote or colour in mind. Simply send me an email and I can let you know of costs as some alterations may have extra costs due to work involved. To send me an email, please click.here.

Thanks for viewing!
~ Jen.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Chocolate Brown and Light Blue

Since December last year, I have been a mother. My husband and I went through years of preparation and seminars as we journeyed through the adoption process. We learnt about how traumatic experiences effect the brain, how we can best manage children from traumatised backgrounds and generally prepared our living space for little people. Even though we both knew that eventually we would meet our children, nothing essentially prepares you for motherhood like having two little ones with you.

I must say, we are extremely blessed, not only to have two beautiful boys join our family, but have two beautiful boys that have slotted into life here and with us so well. It is definitely a credit to all involved in the process..

...However, as any parent knows, it is not all smooth sailing. There are days where dealing with tantrums and tears proves to be a challenge. They are the days when the children are all snuggled in bed that my husband and I relish breaking open some chocolate. Somehow the tasty, sweet treat makes a lot of the woes of the day seem much better. As I type this, I am smiling as yesterday was just 'one of those days'. As I snuggled into the recliner after all the cleaning up was finished, my husband broke off a little extra chocolate and stated that 'you probably need this after your day today'. Ah... he knows me well.

To me, the colour of chocolate evokes calmness, strength, stillness and peace. My newest colour scheme involves a range of chocolate brown hues teamed with a splash of light blue to lighten up the richness of the brown.

As you can see, I have already have used this colour combination for a range of pendants and earrings and I am about half way through a production line of cards. I have some ideas of using a teddy bear motif for one of my canvasses, a dog motif for another and a curly, short haired girl for my princess canvas. I can't wait to put all of these ideas into fruition. I would love to hear about your ideas, either by commenting on this blogpost, on the Facebook page or via email.

To see more items using this colour scheme, please click here.

~ Jen.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

A New Mixed Media Pendant Range

Everyone needs to go through change and this process is not easy. Today, after having long hair for ten or so years, I decided to visit the hairdresser and go short instead. It wasn't an easy decision. I scrolled through many suggestions that I found on the Internet. I then had to think about whether I liked these styles, my lack of time to style hair and whether it would suit me.Then, there was the fear that if I went with the short hair and I didn't like it, it would take a long time for it to grow back to a longer length.

Change can instill a bit of fear, however change can also be a time for celebration. It can be a time of letting go of the past and provides the opportunity to be open to new possibilities. Luckily for me, I am already embracing the change in hairstyle. I am enjoying these ease of styling and the lack of weight.

That being said, I am very thankful for thick hair to be able to have a choice whether to grow it long or have it cut and styled shorter. I am very well aware that some people, unfortunately, don't have that choice. Change that is out of our control can be especially distressing. Change unlocks so many emotions...

I've implemented some change in my line of mixed media jewellery and I am quite liking this change. Previously, I have adhered my mixed media art to buttons to create pendants and earrings. Due to a bit of inspiration when crafting with my sister-in-law, I decided to try framing small pieces of mixed media art in silver plated casings. To protect it, a glass dome is adhered on the front. This is the result...

Each of these pendants feature either a butterfly or small heart. I thought that the silver plated casing and glass dome not only add a bit of elegance, but will make them more robust. Each pendant comes with a ball chain. To see what is available in store, click here.

I would love to know what you think or which one is your favourite.


Thursday, 6 August 2015

August News

I love sharing all the different things that have been occuring in the studio.

 I have been busy organising August news that will be sent out to Golden Ticket Members. Included in this email is an offer exclusively for members.

If you wish to become a member, it is free and can be done so by clicking here.


Monday, 3 August 2015

Lemon and Light Blue Princess Mixed Media Canvas

I look back to my high school years with dread. If I could erase and redo a part of my life, it would be those years. It was the desire to fit in and the fear that if I couldn't, then others would ridicule and ostracise me like they did with others. Friendships were fickle rather than a complete acceptance of the other person.

 I think that it is also the nature of that time of life - the contradiction of perceived individuality versus the need to be part of the accepted group. Mistakes of the past make one wiser and stronger, and when I meet a teenage girl who has no fear to be the young woman who she wants to be and boldly speaks what she believes (even when it is not what the 'crowd' thinks) I feel shame.

'True beauty' is not what is paraded on the outside, rather, it is the kindness, grace and love for others that cannot be contained and oozes out from within. I have been very blessed to have such women enter my life and with it, the refreshment of being accepted for who I am in their presence.

As years pass these valued friendships, my strengthening faith and the drive to learn from past mistakes has reminded me of the need to treat others with the same kindness and acceptance.

I am nearing the end of this colour combination - aqua blue/light blue and yellow. As mentioned before, this combination evokes happiness, therefore I wanted to create a canvas that depicts a carefree 'princess' and a quote that speaks of this lady's inner beauty and laughter. A lady figure that is inspired by the kind friends that have graced my later life...

She is beautiful in her own right, with her long, loose, wind swept hair and simple dress. Coupled with the quote, "Happiness bubbles over in her smiles and giggles", she is a lady that is positive and happy and I can imagine time spent with her would be filled with laughter, not at the expense of others, rather due to joy in time spent with each other.


Monday, 27 July 2015

Craft Tutorial - Mixed Media Popstick Puzzle

I love discovering different ways to use mixed media techniques to make pretty gift ideas. This one is especially for children...

Puzzles can be a wonderful learning tool to help children remember concepts, use their fine motor skills and help with spatial awareness. Making your own puzzle does not require expensive materials... in fact, most of these materials can be found around the house. This puzzle also requires popsticks, which are inexpensive and are readily available.  

I decided to make a puzzle that will help in recognizing numbers 1-5, but this puzzle could easily be extended up to 10 or further simply by adding more popsticks. Rather than numbers, a child's name could be used in order to help the child to recognise and spell their own name.


* Popsticks - I used 10 popsticks in my puzzle, but any number could be used.
* Masking Tape - to hold the sticks together in the process of creation.
* Paints - White and other colours that you want to use. I used acrylic paint and chose a blue and yellow colour theme.
*Decoupage Glue (or you could possibly use PVA glue, thinned with water)
*Brush for the glue (a cotton bud could possibly work)
*Something to mix paint on (a plastic lid or plate would suffice)
* A permanent pen
*Paper - only need to be scrap paper. I used old book pages.
* Kitchen sponge and bubble wrap (optional) 
* Computer/printer or lettering stencil
*Craft knife and cutting mat

Step 1 - Line up the popsticks.

Step 2 - Place two lengths of masking tape over all the popsticks, one piece at the top and one piece on the bottom. This will stop the popsticks from moving when making the puzzle.

Step 3 - Turn the puzzle over (so that the tape is facing down) and paint the side facing up with white paint.

Step 4 - Once the white paint is dry, mix up a light hue of the main colour with some white and paint over the top. I chose blue.

Step 5 - Add a little more main colour to the light hue (to make it darker) and place a small amount on a kitchen sponge.

Step 6 - Sponge over the top of the popsticks, making sure some of the lightest hue is still showing. If you don't have a spare kitchen sponge, use a brush, cotton wool ball or even your fingers.

Step 7 - Add more main colour to the mixed paint (to make it a little darker still) and place a small amount on the bumpy part of bubble wrap.

Step 8 - Print it over the popsticks, ensuring that the lightest hue and some of the kitchen sponging is still showing.

Step 9 - Using a computer or lettering stencil, create the main image that is desired on the puzzle. In my case, I needed large numbers from 1-5 and small number words.

Step 10 - Cut out the numbers (or letters) with the scissors.

Step 11 - Turn the numbers (or letters) over so that they look back to front and glue them onto the scrap paper using the decoupage glue. Paint a thin layer of decoupage glue over the top of the numbers as well. They will need to be back to front as the other side will be showing, the printed numbers will act like a stencil.

Step 12 - Once dry, carefully cut around the numbers or letters with the scissors...

... so when they are turned over, they look like this.

Step 13 - Position the numbers or letters on the popsticks and arrange accordingly. Once happy with their positioning, adhere the numbers or letters to the popsticks with the decoupage glue. Paint a thin layer of glue over the top of the numbers or letters.

Step 14 - Once dry, paint over the letters or numbers with a layer of white paint, being careful to keep the white paint on the numbers/letters and not on the popstick background.

Step 15 - Once dry, paint over the numbers or letters with your chosen colour. I decided to add a little brightness, so I painted my numbers in yellow.

Step 16 - This is rather an optional step, however, I wanted to add the number 'words' to the puzzle. I typed up the words that I wanted on a computer and printed them out. I cut out the words with scissors and glued them down on the popsticks with the decoupage glue. I also placed a thin layer of decoupage glue on top of the words. You could do the same with any chosen words according to your puzzle theme.

Step 17 - Once dry, outline the numbers or letters and words with the permanent marker.

Step 18 - I needed to tie in the yellow that I used for the numbers with the popstick background, so I placed a little bit of yellow on my finger and smudged it in a few places on the popstick background. If a very different colour is used for the letters or numbers, you may wish to do the same.

Step 18 - Turn over the puzzle so that the plain wooden background is facing up. Take off  the masking tape and carefully move the craft knife between the popsticks to cut them apart. Turn each popstick over so that the painted side is facing up. For durability, paint a thin layer of decoupage glue over each individual popstick.

Once dry, the puzzle is all set to be put back together again.

These popstick puzzles would be an ideal gift as a stocking stuffer or to place in a handbag for a toy that could be pulled out to entertain a child when out and about.

I would love to see your popstick puzzle design and final product. Feel free to let me know!


Thursday, 16 July 2015

A white flower on a stormy, grey background {mixed media}

I love storms - the ferociousness and power of them, but I dislike being in the midst of them. In fact, to be brutally honest, I am quite a 'scaredy cat' when thunder rolls and claps nearby. I think it all stems from learning about weather in my teens. I had (and still do) a fascination with storms, tornadoes and clouds and read all about them from books from the library. From then on, I developed a healthy respect of the power or storms and the knowledge of what exactly lightning is and what strong winds can do.

It didn't help things when we had a powerful storm rip through my home area one Summer. I have never heard wind so loud before and the violence of the wind ended up bending TV antennas and uprooting some trees. This was coupled with pelting rain.

I would not have thought about this colour combination if it weren't for a custom order that I filled a little while ago. I fell in love with the stormy grey hues with the touch of navy blue. I knew that I wanted to create a set of flowers on tiny canvasses and the colour that I chose for the flower... white.

The next decision was working out words to place on these canvasses. The first word that I thought of was 'hope'. No matter what 'storms' are thrown at us, hope shines through, similar to the stark, white flower brightly blooming on the stormy, grey background.

I also thought about the word 'beautiful' - the purity and simplicity of the colour white being simply 'beautiful'. Words of encouragement and strength.

If you would like to view these canvasses in store, click here.


Friday, 19 June 2015

Paper mache - Little Babushka Dolls

Lately, I have had a fascination with paper mache, as I wanted a way that I can move my mixed media art from being two dimensional to three dimensional. I have been so inspired to give it a go that studied up on it. This is despite my knowledge that it could all get a little messy, be time consuming and could all be a waste of time in the end. However, I came up with a Babushka doll design - complete with the addition of fabric to highlight her headscarf. 

With this particular group of dolls I painted faces on, however I am unsure about this as I like my faceless ladies that I create on my canvases. I thought, to link to the two, this may be needed on my three dimensional art. In the next sense, I do like their cute little faces that makes each doll more individual. Do I necessarily need to link the two? I think I will also add some more of the black lines, squiggles,etc that I use in my mixed media art on my three dimensional art to add some more detail and spark to my dolls.

Overall, I am very happy with the result. I have a little group of rustic, simple, unique ornaments.Yes, they were a little messy to make, but they were fun to create and were not all that time consuming. I am just hoping that I have dried them enough so that they don't fall in a heap. I am giving them a little test to see how they go. If all is good, they will become a new line in store.

Of course, I can't stop at one! I also have more ideas in the pipeline for this type of art, including boats for boys and apples for teachers.

I would love to know what you think.
~ Jen.

Monday, 1 June 2015

New greeting cards - Lemon Yellow and Blue

Blue and yellow are one of my favourite colour combinations. To me, it evokes happiness, hence this colour combination is ideal for greeting cards. These cards are the newest out of the studio...

These cards are created using mixed media techniques (that include paint, texture work, fabric and drawing) that have been applied on collector cards. Every card is different and unique - no exact copies! Each card has a blank insert added, ready to add personal sentiments.

To view the range of cards that are currently in store, click here.

** Special Price: Choose any three cards in store for $12 **
To view more information about this special deal, click here.