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.  The 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


Milestones & Millstones

I guess this is Part II of the last post. So much happened in 2013 (as with all of us).

The kids.

My true Blessings.


nearly a teenager

Mr 12 had a great sporting year. Cricket, football, cricket. Every Aussie boy’s dream year. His football team made the finals but lost. They weren’t given much hope at the start of the season, so that was a tremendous effort. He took his first wicket in the final innings of the final day of cricket…FINALLY!! Luckily we were all there to see it. He had a fab year at school too. Last year of Primary school (Yr7) was full of major achievements – most involved his witty comebacks, leaving his teachers in stitches most of the day. We look forward to the next 5 years of high school….slaptick comedy and all!


today was sunshine and lollipops all the way

Mr 10 met all his educational, social and community goals for 2013. If you get a chance, have a read of a Special School kid’s report card. It may force you to petition for an increase in pay for Spekky teachers. He really came alive and his humorous personality is shining through. He loves swimming and riding his bike. He’s nearly off the training wheels but not quite aware of road rules. I changed how we give him medication and it has paid off. Trust a Mother’s Intuition! So after having the same gorgeous teacher the last 3 years, he moves onto a different teacher but with some old classmates so hopefully the transition won’t be too difficult.


glistening after a good jog

The one millstone was my own health that I mentioned in the last post. I needed to lose 5kgs by the end of the year. Came close but…..
Next week I chat to a personal trainer who I’ve admired for many years. She’s a mum and she’ll understand what I need and what I’m willing to do considering the work I put in with the family. I’m seriously over ambitious PTs who don’t take an individual’s needs into account. I used to be able to get into shape easily, but since about the age of 42, I’ve noticed a significant change in how my body reacts to stress. It now does the opposite – thanks for nothing! Look forward to updates on exercise during the year as well….or not, because you know, things may change haha!!

Another millstone was memory keeping (nothing to do with my memory….just recording it…sheesh!) I used to scrapbook… a LOT! I did work for a magazine here in Australia for a stint but one day realised I didn’t enjoy it or the “industry” surrounding it. I stopped taking photos of anything! I found it a chore to take the camera out.

When Mr 12 had to do an Autobiography Album (birth to now) in Term 4, I thought it would be easy.


Mr 12 making his own background papers

And it was, until we got to the last couple of years. Very few memories recorded or photographed. We both agreed it was a horrible thing. We both agreed to do something about it and so one a month from now on, we’ll be sitting down to record the best bits from the previous month. He even wants to do an album just for Mr 10 so one day he can show people what his boyhood was like, in case he still can’t speak. Makes you want to cry, right?

And that’s why I threw caution to the wind and bought the camera for my birthday.

nikon D3200 yeah baby

nikon D3200 yeah baby

Do you have a way of making peace with the year before launching into new year resolutions or goals? In the past most of my methods involved girlfriends and copious amounts of alcohol….in the past!

Next post I’ll share a great little creative project by Jennifer Lee that helped me recognise all the good stuff that happened so I can clear the decks for more good stuff in 2014.

And I’ll reveal my One Little Word…..and maybe some other projects I’ve embarked on to keep me on track and motivated (and away from the liquor cabinet).

Stay bright and fresh!
xx Giovanna

Sweet Angels of ……

I was going to say “Mercy” but then thought….

These sweet Angels can be anything you want them to be!!!

They are a labour of Love and Patience and I have enjoyed giving them as gifts for friends and family.

These girls all have wonderful handmade imperfections and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Limited edition, handmade and perfect for the person who has EVERYTHING….I mean everything!

Each angel is unique….her own charm, her own coloured hair, her own expression, her own PERSONALITY!

Whipped these babies up a couple of Christmases ago (read about it here) and these are the LAST FOUR ANGELS LEFT!

You can choose from Blessings, Bloom, Love and Peace.

Once they’re gone, you won’t see them for a while…..unless I find another trio of elderly women to help me out {{wink wink}}

Available right now in my Etsy Shop or click on the badge in the sidebar.

mUcH lOvE

Giovanna xx