Art Journal Courage | Melbourne

Last weekend I flew to Melbourne to be with some amazingly creative friends and learn a few things in person from the inimitable Dina Wakley.
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To say it was a dream-come-true is an understatement and I possibly got a touch of “fan girl” fever meeting Dina. When I first began art journalling nearly 10 years ago, Dina’s blog was one of the first places I visited often. She had boys (like me), wasn’t afraid to spill some hometruths on her art journal (hello!), and was just so fearless and inspiring to watch, emulate and grow as an artist.
If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, let me give you some links here:
http://www.dinastamps.typepad.com/
http://dinawakley.com/

My gorgeous friend Melissa Millar hosted the event through her shop Artified (www.artified.com.au) and it was beyond a sell-out. So proud of you Mel.
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I got to spend time with old scrapbooking friends who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and dabble in creative expression like mixed media and art journalling but also meet in person some people I had only known online.
I think it’s amazing when you meet some people in real life and you just click! It shows that your online nature is genuine (check!!).
I probably won’t share some photos as we got up to some truly hilarious things (as Mums do when they’re off-leash) – and we shared a room, so need I say more?

What I will share is a little of what I did that weekend. Some of it was going over territory I learned from her book “Art Journal Courage”, but I think most of you will agree, nothing quite replaces an actual workshop in the flesh.

Before I get to the art journalling, let me show you the new journal I bought to try out.
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It’s only 10gsm lighter than Strathmore’s Mixed Media paper, you get the added bonus of tracing paper in between pages (which is great to stop pages sticking together – a common gripe in mixed media) and it was much cheaper. ┬áThe tag says “Drawing Paper” but it handled wet media really well….. lots and lots of wet media. I bought mine at Eckersley’s.

So here we go:

Honestly, I’d forgotten how liberating art journalling is. So I’ve vowed to get into it at least once a week to do warm ups or test out compositions or try out new supplies or just have FUN.

Thanks for stopping by.
xx Giovanna

Listen with your Ears

Well, that’s what my Mum always says in her somewhat confused, broken English, Italian accented, slightly lilted, way. And so I did.

At my last Mt Maria Community Market (back in May…wow) I launched the prints of my delicious 20by20 series in floating frames. I was mightily proud that I’d ordered the frames, the board, the prints — like a REAL grown-up — and made it to market on time!

But I knew something wasn’t quite right.

Instead of sitting with that discomfort, I forged ahead and offered those babies up to the general public.

Everyone had positive things to say, picked them up, put them down, picked them up again, PUT THEM DOWN, and walked away.

It wasn’t until one woman quite matter-of-factly remarked that she either had really bad eyesight, or was the print very small and unclear that she couldn’t make out what the quote was?

B.I.N.G.O.

I’d been so focused on the “getting to market” phase, that I forgot about the “checking it was legible” step. Felt like a right git. That lovely lady forced me to do some Proper Listening so the words connected with my brain and sent off some firing pins in the right direction (at least, that’s how I imagine my brain works).

With the market looming (this Saturday) I masterfully juggled supply teaching, the Festival of Birthdays (all 3 males over a 7wk period, plus our Anniversay) and various other Domestically Awesome events (kidding!!), to RE-PRINT and RE-LAUNCH these babies.

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER up-close

AFTER up-close

L-before; R-after

L-before; R-after

With many thanks to my Printer-Man (who is so very patient with me) and my friend Stuart who gave me a crash-course in Photoshop to make the quote the focus.

Hope to see some more of my online friends/stalkers/interested folk this Saturday.

Winter Market

Winter Market

And I’m sure I’ll see my regular, flesh-n-blood friends there as well.
It’s going to be a great day!

xx
Giovanna
p.s. remember, to listen with your ears today…beautiful things will happen xx

GiSt Girls have a Home

Some people come into your life and they pop up later when you don’t think you need them, but you really really do.
That’s what life’s like for me and Anissa, owner of Knitch.com.au.
We met so many years ago when we were both Scrapbookers. Anissa diverted into thread, yarn and felt, while I took the Art Journal/Mixed Media road. I didn’t think anymore of it until, by chance, I wandered into a new funky storefront in Paddington called Knitch.
It’s a delightful store with delightful, welcoming customers (yes, even the customers will have a chat with you). I was wanting to do a class with Mum to get her out of the house. The owner (who looked vaguely familiar) got me to sign up to her newsletter but when she saw my name, she (re-)introduced herself and it was as though the planets had aligned to put us back together again.
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So after a few Block-a-long sessions and catching-up sessions, Anissa offered space in her shop to display my artwork.
And I am grateful.
To Anissa for opening up her walls for me and other local artists and artisans to display and sell their wares; and to Fate for giving me the courage to walk into a quaint store with yarn-bombed bicycles, chairs and utility boxes and finding an old friend beyond the door.
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So now you can see my artwork anytime the store is open.
No waiting for markets.
No awkward feelings about coming into my home to see the art.
It’s there for anyone to see.
And it feels great.
I feel like part of the Knitch family.

The store is on Latrobe Tce, 2 doors up from the stalwart Bizzel’s Garage. You won’t be able to resist the gorgeous, yarn-bombed front fence.
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And while I was there, Anissa offloaded a pile of vintage women’s magazines. Could barely contain my excitement!!!
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Some are from the 1930s….oh, how could I possibly rip these beauties up?
Well I can, and I will hahaaaaa…..

Life is Good
Get creative – and messy – and out the door.
Winter is beautiful!

xx Giovanna