Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Caryl Park

Hi guys, it's a Halloween edition of TAT today...or at least it might be disrespectful to this weeks artist to call it 'Halloween-themed' lol we definitely have the timing right, but there is nothing ghoulish about this weeks interview, in fact it is one of those mega 'holy crap that was inspiring!' reads for me. It also touches on an issue I've had on my video to-do list for-ever, which I'll talk more about at the bottom, for now though here's the wonderful Caryl Park...

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
Well I am a mother of 3 beautiful daughters and grandmother to 3. Divorced for the 3rd time :o( but very happy to be single especially when it comes to my art. I now have plenty of time to do all the things I love. The 4 things that I do that I am passionate about, Journaling is my first love and have kept journals since I was 14, now 61 that is a very long time. My first journal was a Dear Diary, then transformed into scrapbook type journals similar to a Smash Journal. The they became travel journals. I have been fortunate to travel almost around the world so my travel journals are so interesting. Then my journals became heart aches and secrets.. I call those Waterfalls and Rainbows. I was in an extremely abusive marriage and my heart and soul went into my journals. Finally my journals have become art journals and I love All yours by the way :o)
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Working as a full time artist and Pewter teacher the biggest challenge for me is having the confidence to market myself and my work. How do I overcome that... I have no choice... just get out there and do it. My home is covered with ‘post it’s’ to encourage, inspire, and push me to believe in myself with confidence. I also have little mantra’s... I am worthy, my art is beautiful, I am a successful artist and people love and accept my work and what I charge for it.
What other issues do you overcome to accomplish your art?
I have been a crafter all my life but did my first real painting when I was 47 and have sold more paintings than anyone in my artistic family put together. I would NEVER have called myself and artist, but the day I did was when everything changed. That is when I started making money out of my passion.
What is your greatest personal achievement either in your art, or because of it?
Without a doubt ... I wrote a book which was published in 2007 AND I AM NOT A WRITER.. but my therapist read my journals when I was struggling with my abusive marriage and divorce and she encouraged me to write a book. WITHOUT A DOUBT MY ART SAVED MY LIFE. I suffered with PTS for 10 years and had it not been for my art I could well have been an alcoholic or addicted to prescription drugs, sleeping tablets, anti depressants etc... I chose to do art to heal my soul.
Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
On all my blogs:
Here in South Africa people are nervous to use Pay Pal which is so sad and therefore I don’t have a Pay Pal button which I am busy working on right now. Most of my work sells by word of mouth.

Not only is your work beautiful Caryl but I am so, so, so inspired by your story. The video I mentioned at the intro of this post is about why we come to journaling/art/creativity in the first place, and more often that not I believe it is because we NEED it, it's for the therapy of it. Since I posted my Believe In Yourself video, where I shared my personal story of how I came to be creative I have had so many emails from ladies telling me their story and often is it because they have suffered abuse as you have, or loss, or some other personal inner issues of some kind. In the video I mention how it was due to stress from my job/lifestyle that brought me back to art, but what I didn't mention was that I was also dealing with bereavement and discovering journaling and art again helped me live my life outside of the pages, by finding the courage within. Thank you so much Caryl, awesome interview!

Want to be a featured artist? Please click the link on the right for more details >>>

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Leaves, Stems & Stuff ~ Mini Tutorials

...for Recycled Flowers. 
I've now seen many recycled flowers around which is *awesome*. As I mentioned in my Recycled Flowers tutorial I wanted to create a little vid of mini tutorials to show you how I made the stems, vase and leaves for my different flower projects...which I've now made YAY!

If you watch it on youtube please don't forget to hit the *like* to show me some love for posting this at half eleven on a Sunday evening! Errrhummm I must love you guys lol I hope those of you that have had fun making the flowers will now enjoy taking them to the next level =D much love Jennibellie xx

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Anna Murfield

Hi guys, a late TAT today but a brilliant one nonetheless, grab a cup of coffee while you meet Anna Murfield, sit back & enjoy =)

Tell a little about yourself what kind of artist are you
My name is Anna Murfield I am the owner of Paint Girl Productions where I make and sell my mixed media artwork. I am also a wife and mother to two small boys and am learning the ways of self sufficiency on our small organic chicken farm in Wisconsin. I like to live my art. I don't really separate art and life. I feel like art is my life so to speak, therefore, anything touching my life touches my art. Since moving to our rural location farm living has begun to influence my work. I have been using old wood found on our property to make signs and to use as canvas. I am in love with my newly found rural influences, like the textures of old barn wood and the smell of picking tomatoes. And although I don't necessarily consider myself a "farm girl", I know the farm has changed me. 
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
I think the biggest challenge for me is acceptance as an artist. I make art because I love to make art...I've tried to stop and I can't... I know I like my work but there is always an underlining feeling that it will be ignored and forgotten. I don't really know why it matters to me but it does, and for some reason this is a battle I face regularly not just in my art, but in my life too. I make my attempt to overcome it by consistently putting myself out there. I display my work in galleries and shops around the Midwest, at community events and online. I love showing my work, I think it's the face to face talking about my work or my self that I get anxious about.
What other issues do you overcome to accomplish your art?
My boys are 1 and 4 and they keep me pretty busy throughout the day. Finding the time and energy not only to make art, but to market it as well, can often be a challenge. Like a lot of moms I figure it all out by working around their schedules. I paint at nap time and do my computer work at night after they are asleep. Some days are easier than others but overall it works out. I don't want to rush the little days because before I know it they will be off to school. I want to balance my time, not hurry it away.
What is your heart's greatest desire for you life as an artist?
My greatest desire is to help support my family through my art. I want to make a living as an artist while inspiring other mothers out there not to give up on their dreams because they have a family now. Having a family can be a challenge, but in my experience the rewards far outweigh the difficulties and through my challenges I want to continue to be true to myself and not give up on my artwork. I never want to say " I was an artist BEFORE I had a family". I think these two things can happen simultaneously and I want to encourage other women that they can do the same in their lives.
Where can we find more about you and your art
You can find me regularly in my blog at www.paintgirlproductions.blogspot.com. Check in every Friday to read "Farmhouse Friday" for an update from our farm otherwise I mainly post art and photography. You can also find me at my website www.paintgirlproductions.com and at http://www.etsy.com/shop/paintgirlproductions

Thanks so much Anna for the insights you have given us into your life =) it sounds like busy one which I'm sure many readers can identify with, and a full one in more ways than one. Your attitude to keeping art incorporated into your life is wonderful and I love your sentence "I want to encourage other women that they can do the same in their lives." This whole interview reminds me very much of something my mum once said to me when I asked her how she kept her hobby (hockey player and club secretary) going in her early twenties, when she also had a child, hubby, job in a family business (so never just 9-5!) to keep happy, along with all the practical stuff required from any of us, and her answer was simply 'you just do!' 
Women are incredible!

Want to be a featured TAT artist, click the link on the right for more info =)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Series of Simple Wordy Journal Pages

Hi guys, I've not had much time to journal over the last couple of days, but really felt like I have needed to. Whatever is on my chest needs to come off so I've been doing it through these fast-forming journal pages.
They have come together without much thought, and this one above without much process either: just some black ink and watercolour.
I like simple journaling, especially if I need to figure out feelings rather than arty techniques: it helps keep the focus on thoughts and develops an emotional journey through journaling, similar to the process you go through with a written diary. This last one is this evenings:
not sure if it's finished yet but under the butterfly is a little booklet that flips out, like a written diary and through which I shed a tear as I wrote ~ which I have not done in years...so clearly I need this little stint of focus on words rather than art. Then I can be cleansed enough to want to insert the art back in again...as I always do =)

Have a nice weekend, Jennibellie xx

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Recycled Flower Tutorial

It's finally here!! I've finally done it, yay!! My recent videos have been somewhat of a struggle to finish with me not feeling so great recently but now I'm nothing but super excited about actually using these =)
I know there are a zillion billion flower-making tutorials out there, but I thought I would add mine to the mix and show how you don't need any special supplies to make funky flowers. No, they don't look like Prima, but I really want to help push new way of thinking for creativity - unique and arty is good! handmade-looking things are good! things do NOT need to look like they were brought from a craft store to be 'acceptable'! Messy, junky, scrappy are all *GOOD*, plus they make you happy to look at =)
I will make a video on how I make the stems, leaves & this quick recycled vase for the, but for now here's the how-to for these funky, scrappy, arty flowers:
Hope you use up some of your junk and give them a try, thanks for stopping by =) Jennibellie xx

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Christine Langemeijer

Hi guys it's week nineteen of TAT already, can you believe it?? Times flying like crazy, this whole year actually, just leaving a slight 'whooshing' noise as it's passing by my ears. This weeks featured artist is Christine Langemeijer, hope you enjoy:

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
Would I have been an artist if I had not got fybromyalgia, I don't know. But I'm very happy found art. I learned my art from books and youtube clips.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
At the moment my biggest challenge is to find right balance between my art activities and my energy and pain levels. I have a whole range of things I can do for good, bad and in between days, so even when I feel really bad I can do something positive. I break lots of the activities down in different stages so I can pace myself.
What is the best thing / worst thing that art has brought into your life?
I don't think there is a worst thing about doing my art, the fact that I found it and it fills my life with something positive is one of the best things that happen to me. I found a direction in life and I can make it work on what ever level I can manage that day.
Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how do you get it back?
When everything gets to much often my art activities are the first to suffer, no energy, sore hands, empty head and a journal with lots of empty pages does not work very well. I turn to book and look at other peoples art and try to get ideas from that. I also just doodle or zentangle on small bit of cotton and make card out of them, it always gives you the feeling you achieved something and I'm still doing something.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
I like sharing my art with others and I was on Julie Fei Balzer blog but I have no blog.

Thank you Christine for sharing your story and allowing us to see where your art drive comes from. I really like what you said about doing your zentangles ~ I think it's important for everyone to do something small like that, no matter how small it is, everyday. Sometimes it's difficult to remember that, this weekend for example I wanted nothing less than to do art, but I did...and I felt, as you say, like I have achieved something that day.

If you would like to be a featured artist please click the TAT lady (over there ---->) for more info =)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Womanly Woes

I'm so grateful I was born a woman...I think it's the historian in me that has studied the lives of women through the ages and sees the strength, courage and determination of my sex that makes me such a (though I hate the negative connotations that are attached to the word) feminist.
I'm born into a line of very strong-minded women; which does not mean we always do what is right or best for us (often actually it's the opposite) it's just that we do it with such stubbornness it's hard to not to admire it in one another lol. Unfortunately also passed through these genes are womanly woes that can make me identify with all the teenager werewolf books & tv shows around: wanting to rip someone's head off just for being there, going through terrible pain & not being in control of your body once a month are all things I can very strongly empathise with. My grandmother to this day still says 'arrrrh I used to be terrible, but don't worry it'll get better with your first baby' - which never helped the 14 year old me much, or the 28 year old me for that matter, who still sees her mother having the same trouble despite having had her baby 28 years ago. So that's what this page is about, me thinking about the fact I would never want to be anything other than woman, but what it means in terms of another wasted weekend.
Still there are worse ways to spend a weekend than curled up in bed with a hot water bottle, watching old episodes of Xena Warrior Princess, while eating sweets brought for trick or treating kids lol it's just the popping of an avalanche of drugs to keep in a decent state of mind and body that taints the image a bit lol

PS sorry if you have read this & you are the occasional man that visits my blog, but hey least I've probably made you appreciate you being born your gender a hell of a lot more too! lol

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Recycled Buttons Tutorial

Hey guys, as some of you may have seen I posted a recycling project yesterday - my arty style buttons: 
The reason for me posting this is two-fold - first and most obviously you know I *love* to recycle, turning something that is seen as useless* into something beautiful that has a purpose gives me a warm fuzzy glow =D but also secondly I want to share another project I've come up with, in which these buttons play a part...
so if you like the look of the sneak peek that I share in the video then GET MAKING YOUR BUTTONS so as to be ready for it lol
Thanks for stopping by, Jennibellie xx

* Nothing, in my eyes, is EVER useless ~ it just means you haven't brought out it's worth and beauty...yet =)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Alpha Shanahan


Hey guys, hoping everyone is enjoying the easing into October and the winter months. Here I've switched to my inside-fluff covered boots to fend out the cutting cold that's creeping up on us. Right now I've an electric heater glowing at my feet and beginning to think this may be the last TAT interviews that I type without wearing fingerless gloves! This week is the turn of Alpha Shanahan, go grab a warm cuppa & enjoy =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
I consider myself a figurative mixed media artist and art journaler. As a self-taught artist, my art boot camp is my family day-to-day experiences as a mom to twin boys and a work-at-home mom by choice. I have been painting for about 12 years now.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
I am a perfectionist and prone to procrastination. So whenever it takes me too long to finish a painting, it's not because of the demands of family life. In fact, i feel luckiest in that area because i am free to spend an hour or the whole 24 hours in my studio if i want to. Art journaling has helped me tremendously. It has helped me become aware of certain issues which, unattended, manifest as a "block". Accountability is also another thing that helps me overcome procrastination. The weekly painting check-ins which i have just joined at Paint Party Friday is working wonders. Thanks to you, actually, for I have seen this on your blog and got into it. Deadlines definitely help. Another challenge is being too creative. :)... 'Got too many ideas going and i didn't want to lose the inspiration to i begin the project and there are many works-in-progress scattered all over my workspace. I did an ideas journal lately (the inspiration i got from you!) and it helps me organize my thoughts and work schedule.
What is your heart’s greatest desire for your life as an artist?
I firmly believe that art journaling is a powerful tool for self-awareness, transformation and healing. I hope to have the opportunity to accompany individuals in their journey along that path. My degree in Psychology and life experiences as a former nun and a spiritual seeker is slowly merging with my life as an artist. I believe it is a calling to be an artist and a creative and not a job. Therefore, I am presently working on a format where I could share by teaching and mentoring for free. Well, my family has to eat, too, so I set up a painted gifts shop to earn my keep. 
What is the best thing / worst thing that art has brought into your life?
Art has brought me silence, focus, and happiness. It has brought me quality time with my family, enabling me to work at home and see my kids most hours of the day. Priceless!

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
You can find my blog here

Thank you Alpha, I can certainly identify with being 'perfectionist and prone to procrastination', it seems a contradiction in terms but the first really does fuel the second. Thank you for sharing I really enjoyed looking through your art and hearing the background to your work & focus =)

Would you like to be a featured artist? Please click the details here to find out how =D

Sunday, 7 October 2012

It's Not So Pretty

In the words of Bridget Jones 'everyone knows diaries are full of crap!' I think this sometimes gets forgotten with art journaling.
Journaling for me is not just about making pretty pictures, although some pages are all about exploring art and techniques, many (although I don't always make it known) are about dealing with personal issues.  
I know some people use their journals just for art, others just to explore their feelings. I feel that not do both, for me at least, would be to miss a trick; I am both an artist and a person with situations & feelings to deal with like any other. I've said on many occasions I think writing is the most therapeutic way to purge feelings, and that basically is all this page is.
Layers and layers of writing, to deal with layers and layers of subconscious, bound in a reoccurring dream I've had ever since I moved out of London. Paying attention to my subconscious - if I cannot stop dreaming about something, there's obviously something that needs addressing. Both the good and bad came out in this page, things I didn't even know I was dealing with.
A journal to me, is a place to splurge, that doesn't always mean pretty pages but at least it means issues recognised and dealt with head on, rather than them being left as dark shapes in the night.

The subconscious is ceaselessly murmuring, and it is by listening to these murmurs that one hears the truth. 
Gaston Bachelard 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

My New Recycled Art Caddy

Hi guys, my studio is getting *crazy* messy recently so I've been busy saving food packaging to recycle it into this art caddy, what do you think??
I made it strong with LOTS of layers of vintage text pages & glue, and a re-purposed old drawer handle. 
bottoms up!
Here it is in action:
I'm honestly shocked with how much it actually holds, I wish I'd have taken a picture of what a mess my tool area was before ~ but look my lil ornaments below actually have *room* to stretch their legs now (though I doubt that'll last very long at all lol)
For those of you who are on facebook and saw my latest update saying my next tuts are recycling cardboard so start saving it, no this isn't one of them...but you can go grab some food boxes and make one of these in the interim =D x

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Miz Katie

Hey guys, time for another inspirational artist interview, this week we have the lovely Katherine, aka Miz Katie sharing. Enjoy =D
Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
Hiii!! My name is Katherine LabbĂ©, and I'm a mixed media artist. Most people know me as Miz Katie. I didn't know how serious I was going to be about painting when I started in 2008, so I created a pseudonym. It's a fun name, so I don't mind. I'm mostly focused on painting portraits, but I just started painting abstract and landscapes, too!! I find abstract to be so much fun! I can do whatever I want, which is the complete opposite of portraits. I like the discipline of painting portraits, and the freedom when painting abstract.
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is trying to do it all. It would be so easy if all I had to do is come up with ideas for paintings, and paint. But, unfortunately, it doesn't stop there. Some days, I don't leave my studio/office for 14 to 16 hours. I could work around the clock, and still not get everything done. I haven't quite figured out how to overcome it, yet. I'm not making enough money to hire someone to help out, and hiring someone to do my job isn't something I'm interested in doing, anyway. So, I guess I will keep doing what I'm doing, even though it is challenging.
Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how do you get it back?
I do, and it mostly happens because I get overtired. I've learned to rest. I pull the curtains closed, curl up on the couch, and watch tv or read. I used to worry, will it ever come back? Will I paint again? But, now, I don't think twice about it. I know my muse will return, and usually with a huge whooosh!! And, then I'll be right back at it again, painting for hours every day.
What do you most wish your art to achieve?
I just want to make people happy when they look at one of my paintings on their wall. I am so honored to have my paintings in homes around the globe.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
More information can be found here:

Thank you Katherine I really enjoyed browsing your stunning artwork, you definitely have your own distinct style, which I think most of the rest of us only dream of =) I also liked your answer to what you do to wait upon your mojo - I do these things too, but I grumble as I do them (you know what I'm talking about; cursing my creative self for not being present, being down on my regular self for being "lazy"!). Patience is something I preach (A LOT), especially to new art journalers who ask me for advice when they dislike their pages, now you've made me realise I have to administer a dose of my own medicine next time my mojo goes on holiday, and have patience that she'll return, then I can enjoy my own holiday from her more too =)

Would you like to be a featured artist? Click here for the deets. See you soon, Jennibellie x x

Monday, 1 October 2012

Doodle Scrapbooking Tutorial

Hi guys, I've got a video for you =) and thank goodness too, because I've several unfinished ones on the go that seem never-ending - so I decided to spend a bit of time doing this fun and simple* video instead. (*it turned out to be less simple than expected & more work than many other larger vids, but hey ho! you never know how things'll go till they're gone! lol). 
I didn't use any 'scrapbooking' supplies on this page - just paper and pen, so it's a great technique if you either don't have many scrapbooking supplies, or just don't want to use them. I'm no scrapbooker but wanted to play about a little with layout, and I ended up really enjoying doing this page...but then I guess to enjoy anything is to bring a little bit of yourself into it - for me I guess that equals making things 'artified' lol.
Later on that'lll mean blasting Pink, or may be Lady Gaga, then some rock music to help me get through the cleaning (my arch enemy lol) here's the video, I hope you enjoy:
Thanks for visiting, don't forget tomorrow is Tell All Tuesday here, stop by to see who the next featured artist is (or if you want to be one just click the link for the info ;) ), much love Jennibellie xxx
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