Tuesday, 29 July 2014

curious creatives

hey there lovelies and a very happy tuesday to you, wherever you may be. today i wanted to start with you a brand new series on my blog - titles curious creatives!

this is a gorgeous interview series where i feature a different creative each and every month. think of it as a little sneak peek into the hearts and minds of curious creatives everywhere!

next up for this monthly interview series is the lovely litsa!

Tell us a little something about your creativity. What do you enjoy creating the most?

It is only recently that I fully embraced myself as a creative person.  The way I define and express myself creatively is through writing and words.  So I have started a blog and most recently I have created a face book page to write mini blogs with inspirational quotes.   I try to use beautiful images and photographs for these mini blogs and a lot of the photographs are taken by family members or friends.  The idea of the face book page is that we are all living a life and that life is inspirational and that includes the people in my life.  I work as a counsellor and CBT therapist and I have taught counselling in the past so I feel that my knowledge and skills in this area can be incorporated into a creative medium.  

As I look back on my work life I realise that it has been fuelled by my creativity.  So I developed personal growth courses in which I used pens, paper and colours to help people express feelings and develop confidence.  It isn’t art therapy, it is using creativity as a form of expression.  I use metaphor and images creatively in therapy sessions to help people identify blocks to growth and help us both access deep rooted emotions in a safe way.  I have created many items over the years such as a pack of cards with inspirational quotes – all handmade and designed I even sewed the little pouches for them.  I realise that everything I create tends to be focused around growth, development, inspiration and helping others.  I have a small focus group of women who are trying out new courses for me that I hope to develop as on line courses in the near future.   

What made you decide to start creating?

My creativity has always been around and anything I created was mostly hobby, for close friends or part of my job.  My biggest dream as a child was to be a writer and recently I unearthed 30 years worth of journals and pieces of writing.  It made me stop in my tracks, I hadn’t realised that I had left this dream by the way side for so long.  I decided now was the right time for me to pick it up again.
I began 2014 with a couple of goals, the first was to start a blog and the second was to develop my creative self on a more public forum.  I signed up for a course by Jani Franck called ‘follow the butterflies’ which helped cement for me the acceptance of my creative self and helped me transform my knowledge and experience action. I guess I now have the confidence to identify that creativity is an attitude that I bring to all I try to do.  

Where do you get your inspiration from for your creative endeavours?

My inspiration comes from living in my life, the books I read, the people I interact with any thing colour, quote or image that captures my imagination inspires me to start musing and thinking about how I can learn and grow from it.  I love to be in nature and get a lot of inspiration from gazing at the beauty that is ours to absorb.  Water seems to be the element that I most love to be around and find my writing flows best in those settings (pun intended) The biggest inspiration is my daughter.  Seeing the world through her child’s eyes inspires and frees me up to use my imagination.  It’s funny how rusty it became once a upon a time through lack of use.

What do you if you feel creatively blocked? How do you get past that?   

If I get creatively blocked I tend to go to the places that I feel inspire me, I will go for a walk and try to not think too much about the fact that I feel creatively blocked.  I talk to friends or read books that I find interesting.  All these things help me get past any blocks.  If I am really blocked I try not to panic because that is when I start doubting myself and then that forms a vicious cycle.

Do you have any advice on silencing your inner critic?

I think I have come to understand the times I have been creatively blocked have been due to negative thoughts or gremlins as I sometimes like to call them.  These thoughts tend to compare me to other writers or people undertaking similar projects and then I find I despair and stop being creative.  I have done a lot of work to counter balance this.  It’s not perfect and I will always have to combat against these negative thoughts but I do have some strategies.

  • I tell myself that my voice is unique to me, I am writing about the things that inspire me and even if one person gets something from it then that’s the important thing.
  • Failure isn’t fatal, I now keep going even though some ideas or creative projects haven’t worked.  The way they have worked is that I have learnt from them and what to do differently and grown as a person.
  • If I feel blocked I scale back on the pace at which I create, basically I say to myself “go fast or go slow just keep going,”  if I feel inspired I will spend hours creating something if, I feel blocked I will spend small segments of time instead.  Either way I am creating
  • I make a concerted effort not to be judgemental about my work or my abilities, I will always be learning and I just have to be as good as I am now.

What would be your top tips for living a more creatively fulfilled life?

Make creativity the default attitude in your life, own yourself as a creative being whatever it is you do and enjoy making.  Try going out side of your comfort zone by trying new ideas and looking at your own world in different ways.  Definitely try courses and be around people who are also creative.  Once you tap into your own inspiration and confidence the world is your oyster.

Pick one of your creative projects to feature here – it could be your favourite, your newest or a popular piece.  What do you think is so special about that item? Tell us more!

I have two creative projects I would like to feature, they compliment each other.  My main blog is called musings and inspiration and it is the forum I use to post longer pieces of writing on topics that inspire me and help me grow and develop. I feel this is a special place for me to develop my ideas further and to write about the themes that I struggle with but that I also help other people who are struggling with the same issues.  So I will write pieces that celebrate life with an understanding that life isn’t always straightforward.  

My face book page I am particularly pleased with.  It was born from a throw away comment by my cousin.  I added some words to a photo she had sent me and I sent it back to her, she said “it reminds me of those cards you used to make, I still use them they really pick me up.” I decided that I would create a version of them and post on a page.  It is a project that is evolving and it is a work in progress and I am writing mini micro blogs to go with the quote on picture.  The beauty of this project is that I involve people in my life to try out the ideas, so work colleagues will be enlisted to take note of how they incorporate fun into their lives.  My family and friends will inspire me especially my daughter and the funny things she says or does.  

thanks so much litsa for sharing with us your art and your heart with us today - what a great interview! 

if you'd like to be involved in this monthly series on my blog just let me know! you can message me in the comments or use my fancy new contact page up at the top of this page :)

have a fantastic day!

ps. don't forget to stay tuned for more creative goodness in my newest ecourse "creativity can heal your soul". this will be available in my store by the end of this week at a super discount price too :)

Monday, 28 July 2014

new departures in art

hey there lovelies and a very happy monday to you, wherever you may be. today i wanted to share with you some exciting new things! first up - i got to work this weekend on my very first large canvas.

it is approximately 60 by 40cms in size (not so big compared to other people's canvasses, i know) but it the largest one i have ever done!

i used some collage papers to create a skirt for my lovely faceless girl. i loved just ripping up the papers and adding them to the canvas haphazardly and seeing what came up. i didn't begin with the idea of creating a skirt (or a girl for that matter) it just kind of appeared as i went along.

it's also the first time i have created my girl directly onto the canvas, rather than creating her onto vintage papers and collaging her onto the canvas after i've made my background. 

also, did you notice? i haven't covered up my whole canvas with paint and colour immediately! normally, that's what i would do straight away. brayer on some paint to get rid of the glaring white background. this time i used a stencil and some home made acrylic paint sprays i have. a subtle start to a background that i plan to work on.

i really loved deviating from my usual pathways. trying new things. exploring my creativity in a different way. pushing myself past those unseen and only barely felt barriers to progress. i loved working on this canvas, and i can't wait to get on and complete her.

i also have two more canvasses at this size, just ready to be used. perhaps i'll create a trio of lovely ladies on these canvasses? who knows.

new creative ventures and pathways are such a blessing. i really believe that we can surpass ourselves, raise our vibrations and open up parts of our hearts and minds that were otherwise slumbering and dormant.

in fact, i think the healing powers of creativity can go completely underestimated and unknown by a lot of people. i know myself i didn't really come alive until i let the creativity into my life and my heart.

i found myself in a place of depression and burn out without it.

with that in mind, i have been working and working to create a gorgeous offering for you all - a wonderful brand new ecourse called "creativity can heal your soul". 

it is due to be released by the end of this week, and it is full of the kind of creative projects to spark your inspiration teamed with gorgeous playsheets, and deeply soul filled lessons from my heart to yours.

i am so excited to release this into the world! 

keep your eyes peeled for more information on the blog here and on social media for the release of this course. if you want to be among the first to know then feel free to sign up for my email newsletter below.

have a great day people!

Friday, 25 July 2014

freebie friday: the andy warhol edition

hey there lovelies and a very happy friday to you, wherever you may be. today it is freebie friday andy warhol style!

you can see from the picture mock up above that the card template for this week features my kitty darla in a warhol-esque design. i hope you love it!

to download, save and print this card template simply click on the picture mock up above and save to your computer. i recommend printing onto a6 card for best results.


have a fantastic friday and a wonderful weekend lovelies!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

etsy for absolute beginners: banner making

hey there lovelies and a very happy thursday to you, wherever you may be. today i wanted to continue my v-logging series: etsy for absolute beginners.

this week i am looking at creating etsy banners in picmonkey.


i hope that was helpful lovelies!

if you have any other requests for etsy beginner tutorials let me know in the comments.

have a fantastic day people!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

behind the scenes: my latest adventures in jewellery making!

hey there lovelies! i hope you're having a wonderful day, wherever in the world you may be. today i wanted to share some sneak peeks of my jewellery making adventures. i wanted to try out some of my newer sketches as jewellery, as well as making good use of the gorgeous jewellery findings i had tucked away in a drawer from wholeport.

i started off by printing off my art onto some photo paper. i create my jewellery printables in word, as that way i find it easier to envisage exactly the size of the pictures i am using. i also fill a whole a4 page with images so i can print onto one sheet and cut them down from there. it's more economical (not to mention sensible).

i lined up my images with the frames to see what would fit where. i then drew around the glass cabochon so i could cut them down to the right size.

all ready to be glued and added to chains!

organising my findings too - just to be sure i have enough of everything.

those teeny little flowers have tiny cut outs of collage papers inside and are attached via jump rings.

ta-da! necklaces all ready to put into their little silver boxes, ready to be sold.

it took me an age to get around to it, but i eventually managed to list them all in my etsy store. i have a good selection of wearable art necklaces over there now. you can check out the whole selection here. i've reduced the price of these lovelies too - only £8 each!

you can also purchase your choice of two necklaces for only £14 - check out the offer in my special offers section.

have a great day lovelies!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

lovelies: yummy chocolate

hey there lovelies and a very happy tuesday to you. recently, i was reminded of the importance and restorative power of chocolate.

i was feeling a little overwhelmed and heading towards a little down. enter a bar of chocolate and all was once again right with the world.

here's my pick of some gorgeous chocolatey goodness from all over the internet. enjoy!

i've always fancied trying some of those chocolate coated coffee beans. i love coffee and i love chocolate so surely i'd love them together?

the very idea of a morello cherry chocolate bar makes me feel hungry and warm inside all at once.

raspberry white chocolate? yes please and lots of it. this sounds so yummy!

or some orange chocolate - i really love fruity chocolates of all kinds.

this looks gorgeous too - i bet it would be great on ice cream.

and for a day that's really in need of a chocolate boost, this gift box would be pretty cool.

what are your favourite kinds of chocolate? i'd love to know.

have a great day lovelies!

Monday, 21 July 2014

insta-art: art heals, creativity is magical

hey there lovely people and a very happy monday to you, wherever you may be. today i wanted to share with you the making of some gorgeous recent art i made, based on a daydream.

let me explain - i recently notice in my local area a gorgeous little shop come up for sale. the storefront is all black and gold and magical looking and my imagination ran wild at the sight of it!

i could host art and creativity workshops everyday for adults and children! i could have a room in the back to have piano lessons and other music lessons in! i could sell my art and other goodies on it's walls! i could run my whole online world from there too, and it would be awesome.

whilst i do think the shop is out of my reach for the time being, the shop sign most definitely isn't!

so, i set to work! here's how i created my very own shop sign for my own imaginary shop :)

i started off with a thrifted canvas i found at a local charity shop. it was a set of three canvasses with pretty flowers but that were a little faded and old. i managed to pick up all three of these canvasses (quite large ones too!) for only £5! bargain!

first up, a layer (or two or three) of gesso to ready the surface.

whilst that dried, i worked on some of the collaged elements i wanted to include on the canvas. i used my reeves watersoluble crayons and pitt artist pens on these (plus some glitter!)

next for the shop's title! i put my slice machine to good use along with some of my stash of collage papers.

once i had everything cut out, i played with the rough composition on my desk. love my shop title, even if i do say so myself!

next it was time to ready the canvas fully. i began with layers of paint and brayering. i was going for a magical, moonlit sky look eventually. we all have to start somewhere though - and dots and splodges of paint it was!

the first, mystical layers - looking kind of lagoonish here, but i have more shades of blue to add yet :)

some blue brayered on, plus water resist techniques plus smooshing with a wet wipe. definitely more sky like!

time to spray on some inks. i used my favourite two inks - a metallic purple and a shiny pearlescent white and my favourite stencil too. loving the dots. after all, i have to be happy with my own imaginary shop sign, no?!

playing dress up at this stage -just experimenting.

gel medium added - i step back to admire my handiwork.

now it's time to add more detail around the border with some lovely stamps from wholeport and my favourite black ink.

i added some shade to the collage elements too, using a black charcoal pencil.

here is the finished product, all ready for when i open that magical shop/workshop space for real!

in place of a real live workshop space, i have my online workshop and creative space: the curiously gorgeous sisterhood.

my special offer is coming to an end today so if you would like to get involved as an affiliate and bag yourself the discount price of only $75 for a year's membership you can do so today and today only!

click on the picture below to take you to the sign up page with all of the juicy details.

have a great day lovelies!