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.
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:

My gorgeous friend Melissa Millar hosted the event through her shop Artified ( and it was beyond a sell-out. So proud of you Mel.
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.
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


Getting Out and About

I’ve sent Rainer’s Support Worker on a 2-day course on Communication, so this week I had the “luxury” of entertaining him for the afternoon. Excellent!!


Errrmmmm, maybe. It seems he and I have lost our Afternoon Rhythm. I was afraid of this when I employed SWs for Monday to Friday; my intuition told me it might be a mis-step, but I desperately needed down-time, so here we are! (Yes, I should stop complaining….but think of this more as an observation….)

Thursday. Lovely Thursday!!!

SPRING certainly has arrived in Brisbane. It’s bloomin’ fabulous! So I made a deal that as soon as he’d finished his afternoon tea, we’d head to the creek. Nice!!!

Seems he had other ideas and the complaining began at the top of the track. Oh boy. I was sure he was going to do a runner. Have I got my running shoes on? All lady bits “supported”? Adequately hydrated? tick tick tick

He didn’t run down the street (thank God), but he did run down the track. So I called out and thought, “He’s okay now. He’ll stop when told.”

HAHAHAAA!! Who was that crazy lady just then? Totally deluded (as witnessed by a lady walking her dog, “That looks like fun!”) So off I run with giant Thunderbirds 3 and 4 under each arm. I managed to get him to stop a couple of times to catch my breath, but as soon as I moved closer, he’d take off again. I was contemplating calling our local Police Station to have them meet us at the usual spot (oh dear) but thankfully he parked himself at the Duck Pond.

I really enjoy our neighbourhood and the absolute beauty of our tracks and creeks and wildlife, but oh boy, some days it’s a real struggle to find the good in it. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it’s a success and he will happily stroll with me, arms around my waist, looking lovingly into my eyes, little skip in his step – and those days are true Love.
This wasn’t one of those days….but by bedtime (or was it Dinner?) the status-quo-love-fest had returned and all was good in the world.

I can’t stay sniffing the paint every minute of the day. As much as I’d like to entertain my Muse when he calls (yes, I have a He-Muse – a “Heuse”), there are more pressing moments to experience and capture. My wish is that those experiences feed my Heuse, so when I get time to sit and create, I have Love stored in bucket-loads and can do so with contentment.

Happy Days!

xx Giovanna

The Happiest Boy on Earth

a.k.a. Rainer met Postman Pat

Rainer and Pat (and helpful nymph)

Rainer and Pat (and helpful nymph)

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a public holiday in Brisbane. It’s EKKA time, and for the uninitiated, it’s short for The Royal National Association (RNA) Exhibition. It’s our Agricultural Show, when all the animals, farmers, cow cockies, silver spikers, wood choppers, cattle dogs, precision racing cars, fireworks, rides, showbags, dagwood dogs, stawberry ice-creams and all other manner of foodstuffs, descend on Brisbane for 10 days.

Instead of going to the Ekka this year, I noticed the smallest of mentions in the local rag about Postman Pat appearing at the local cinema. Knowing Rainer’s love of “Poison Hat” (or Postman Pat to the rest of us) we toddled over.


His smile was wide and long-lasting. He was cuddling Pat, jumping around in total rapture and even put Thunderbird 2 down!!! Yes, you heard me! He put T2 down for Pat!!

Thanks to Event Cinemas for organising the photo shoot. It was an awesome experience for Rainer and a great lesson for me. I *can* get to things on time. I *can* take him out without a bag full of treats, emergency nappies, etc. I *can* make the world take notice of his differences, but also show that he is just like any other kid who just L.O.V.E.S. Postman Pat!

But our adventure didn’t end there!

He took me down the escalator, into the shopping centre, walked down the path and straight into the ABC Shop. I swear this boy has a radar for these places.

So we bought Pat’s mail van, the Greendale Rocket (of course) and some figurines to complete the whole experience.

But wait, there’s more.

Look who he spied……
Can I tell you, Rainer’s never watched an episode of Sesame Street but he loves to play with Elmo when we’re visiting a friend’s house. He has NO IDEA where they belong in Television Land but they make him happy.

Which, yes, makes ME happy.
And they’re made by GUND, which is a bonus (worth the $$ I paid).

So there is your summary of the day that made the boy the happiest.
He was so content after his big shop, I was able to park him in a seat in a shoe store and try on quite a few pairs before deciding on these beauties.

Are you still here?
Well thanks for sticking to the end. I hope I write in a way that keeps you here and entertained and like you’re sitting right next to me, having a coffee and a chat.

Much love
xx Gi