Monday, March 28, 2011

a weekend in montreal

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just back from a marvelous weekend in montreal, a place i've always wanted to explore! i went to our northern neighbor with one of my oldest, dearest and funniest friends jill, who is also one of my oldest, dearest and funniest traveling companions and always has me laughing nonstop for at least a month after i see her. we stayed up too late, drank too much wine, ate too much, walked all over the city until our legs were jelly -- all to excess as usual, just as we intended. yet somehow we managed to make it through the entire trip without causing even one ruckus, which surprised me ;) we explored vieux-montreal (the oldest part of the city), downtown, the musée des beaux-arts where we saw the traveling exhibit of the terracotta warriors, and wherever else our frozen limbs would take us.

the city is a fascinating mix of past and present, with flavors of the historic areas of chicago, new york, boston, dc, even new orleans, depending on the area -- but montreal has its own strong, distinct culture that sets it apart from every place i've ever been. and the people are some of the friendliest i've met. very open, kind, respectful, excellent manners. (i could learn a few lessons from the québecois.)

the frosting on the weekend was meeting the lovely manon lavoie, that canadian goddess of creativity from mcommemaman & mcommemuses! we spent an afternoon exploring the beautiful neighborhood of plateau mont-royal, painting, and sampling local microbrews at bières et compagnie. she brought her journals with her which nearly sent me through the ceiling with excitement -- her art is gorgeous (and so is she, as you can see for yourself!) our lunch at the beer place lasted so long it was dinnertime when we left -- i was so inspired by being around her that the afternoon simply flew by.

so to jill, i say thank you for another funny and fabulous weekend (and for sticking the gino vannelli song 'when i think about those nights in montreal...' in my head;) to manon, je dis merci mille fois pour tout! and to montreal, i say, i am all yours. take me back, anytime.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

a life in the air

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if i were to write an autobiography, it would have to be in chapters grouped by airport codes, since that's how i look back on life -- anchored by trips and the divisions between them -- and i guess this would be the cover! this is one of a series of pieces i did for a project that i probably won't see in print until next year, and i just found out that they passed on this for another, so i can finally publish it here, yay! it is very timely because i had been feeling guilty for including YUL on this list, for i had only been there to make a connection, but i will soon rectify that with a proper trip to montreal! but for now i am back to the doodledesk because i decided to doodle my entire class guide for 21 Secrets: An Art Journal Playground and as usual i bit off more than i could chew -- it is quickly turning into a tome! good thing i love what i do, because for the moment i'm living it 24/7! hope you all are having a great week!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

naughty bunny + an artsyville sale

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I'm having a sale in Artsyville! from now through Sunday, March 20, use the code SPRINGBREAK2011 for 20% off your entire order (so that makes it a city-wide sale)! After that, the doodleshop will go on vacation for a month while I dream and doodle up a bunch of fresh new goods, go on vacation myself, and help my girls with some of their own artsy projects. My oldest artsygirl writes a series of stories about a bunny family and she has become so attached to her characters that she is creating a family scrapbook of their lives and daily doings. Instead of drawing her people this time she wanted to use photos -- so I gave her my camera and a limit of 15; otherwise she would have filled up the memory card with pictures of the toilet. Her younger sister posed as May, the enfant terrible of the bunny family, doing very naughty things like climbing on the counter, knocking over the trash can, spilling pancake mix, and so on. Now she's learning how to edit her own photos, and next she'll print, cut, paste and write the captions so she can get back to her other work in progress, "The Girl Who Wouldn't Take Her Tamiflu."

Thanks SO much to everyone who has enrolled so far in 21 Secrets: An Art Journal Playground -- we're going to have a blast! I've been hand doodling my entire class manual and my hand is about to fall off. We'll have an online classroom where we can exchange thoughts, ideas, pages and progress -- and I'll have lots of little Artsyville giveaways here and there to keep things spicy. It all starts April 1st, but registration will stay open until May 31.

Wishing you a great week!

Monday, March 14, 2011

21 secrets/three little words

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good monday morning to you! we woke up to a winter wonderland, such bad weather manners for march. we also woke up to daylight, and if you did the hour shuffle forward over the weekend like we did, you know what that means. so we found out just how quickly a family of four can get ready, which was 25 minutes from deep slumber to the school door. thank you, daylight savings. thank you!

oversleeping and snow aside i'm so excited to announce that the 21 secrets: an art journal playground is officially open for registration TODAY, and i hope you will join us! 21 teachers (hence the name) will each reveal one of their own sweet little art journaling secrets in this workshop, and the really fab part about it is that you can take the lessons in any order. my corner of the playground is the class "three little words", in which we'll be doing a bunch of wordy workouts and then taking it to our journals.

to find out more and to register, go here or just click the button on the sidebar, which will take you to dirty footprints studio via my artsyville affiliate link (and many thanks in advance to those who do so!). the big ruckus will start april 1, and i will be taking the other classes right alongside everyone else!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

sunshine arrives

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yesterday marked the eighth day that i had been saddled indoors with one enfant malade or another. over the past week i've dished out more cherry jell-o, wielded more thermometers, force-fed more medication, and watched more shaun the sheep than one should ever have to. my life was starting to feel a bit like groundhog day. but the sunshine arrived in many forms this morning and cleared the air. my artsygirl's fever broke in the middle of the night, march madness is on the horizon, my shop reached its 1000th sale, and in the mail today arrived a beautiful postcard from south africa (thank you asiye!) and this delightful package from the vintage shop 58 and grace. i had my eye on the vintage french game cards for quite a while and thought i'd best snag them before they were gone forever. and lucky me, since i happened to be her 100th sale, whitney surprised me with this gorgeous, elegant package of salvaged readers' digest book covers (adorned with an antique key!), meant for repurposing into journal covers. i love the colors and the patterns -- they will be PERFECT for my new journaling method because i won't even have to rip my journals apart in the first place -- she's already done it for me! thank you so so much whitney -- i'll send you a little surprise in return and i will pay your goodness forward to the lovely buyer who helped me reach my own milestone this morning!

a few more tidbits to share:

> registration starts monday for the 21 secrets art journaling playground workshop (go here for my class description - i've had a blast preparing for it!);
> liv is giving away three of my mini doodle bookmarks;
> i am woefully out of the loop on everything else;
> and thank you for all the comments on last week's post -- contact with the outside world kept me going!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

hello march, you big waffler

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you were a stodgy month, february. good riddance to you. and welcome, march. though you are a big waffler and can't ever make up your mind as to who you are or want you want to be, i like you, probably because that spirit mirrors mine perfectly at the moment. yesterday you fed me sunshine and ice cream and enough warmth to go on a photocrawl without my eyeballs freezing out of my head. today you threw out my back and stuck my kid with the stomach flu, leaving us both feeling like the mannequins in the shop windows. i have no idea what you'll offer me tomorrow, and right now that's exactly what i need. change. preferably of the positive sort. little green things peeping out of the ground would be a nice start.