Thursday, March 29, 2012

Finding Balance.


I eat, sleep and breathe my work. It's the reason why I wake up each and every morning with an explosive joy in my heart, ready to make it perceivable through whatever medium I'm inspired to use, and share it with the world.
Needless to say this means z.e.r.o balance.
Over the past few years, I've really embraced the deep meaning of my being an artist, I've answered my calling, have come to the realization (also thanks to blogging) that what I feel and do is totally normal and having no balance is part of the game.
After I've been living ("camping" to be exact) in a temporary accomodation for more than one year now, and even if that has been quite a challenge in the beginning, I've gradually come to the understanding it has been unexpected, amazing, growing time for me, not only artistically speaking but also spiritually. I feel my heart is full now as it has never been before. And I feel I am now ready to totally embrace my word for 2012 and "bloom".
Blooming, showing up the spiritual qualities I wrote about in this post, also implies finding more balance. I suspect my chronic migraines and such are also a way of my body to tell me it's in dire need of rest. Ok, don't expect I'll cut drastically my studio hours (my darling agents would faint LOL), but I really really need to press the "pause" button sometimes, and carve out a bit more of that time out that makes the ride a wonderful adventure! I've learnt from my DH (and totally love the concept) it's all about the journey, not the destination. So I've committed (face to face with my heart) to take the scenic path... slow down, be still, really enjoy being still with no anxiety about what I should be doing, stop being too demanding with myself, breathe, eat slowly, take long daily walks with my husband and furbaby soaking up Nature and silence and enjoying being together, take more time for my daily inspirational readings, finally keep a journal, meditate more, explore more just for the sake of it, take one day a week off work, do all at my own pace. Without feeling guilty if I can't do it all.
Monica x

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chic.

Today I'm sharing a creative idea that is in the new Somerset Life (without me knowing!). 
Some time ago, I created a set of 'chic' tags just using brown luggage tags, fabric tape, rubber stamps and tiny dried flowers. The tag I made is this one...


... but looks like this in the mag (it didn't make it safe and sound across the pond, I fear!). A little odd to my eyes, but ok, you get the idea anyway!


For a super chic coordinated look (ooh... how much I love coordinates!:)) just rubber stamp words on plain kraft paper. Easy peasy! You can wrap your gifts to perfection even if you've run out of store-bought wrapping paper!
Will tell you about my other articles in another post. I have always so much to blog about and not enough time to!
Monica x
P.S. I've just updated to the new format of Blogger. It looks like this will be the only format available in a near future. As all changes, will require a bit of time to handle it. As for now, apart from a couple of seconds of initial shock, I am finding it very easy to post big pictures without editing the html... and it's possible to put them wherever you want!! The preview is now complete with header and sidebars! It looks great, let's see if some of the old bugs have gone! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Big News!

... I officially entered the world of licensing, my friends!
I have signed my first two agreements with long standing vendors, and I'm thrilled to announce that my art will be on Christmas boxed cards AND a variety of gift products, such as wood, canvas and metal wall decor, plaques, boxes, frames, photo card holders, memo boards etc.
Isn't this surreal (but NICE) :)?


I want to say here a big thank you to my husband, that has always believed in me and cheered me on. And payed for all of my art supplies for years! :) And listened and listened and listened... :)))
*
I cannot give away all the details about my goodies now, but will be sure to keep you posted about them.
Thanks to you all too for your continued encouragement that gave me the confidence to believe that I was enough.
Monicax

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Delights and the Winner!

Many thanks to all the lovely people who entered my giveaway- you brightened my weekend with your kind, sweet words! I wish I could give something to each and everyone of you... drawing a single name from the hat is the sad part of giveaways for me.

But it has to be done! So...
The winner of my original watercolor is...
Meredith of Mereknits!
You'll receive also one of these cotton hearts I made with love.

And I decided to have a second winner...
Jane of Blondie's Journal!
You'll receive one of my lilac hearts as well.
Ladies, please email me with your mailing details and I will send your prizes along to you asap!
***
And speaking of things I recently made (in my spare minutes!), apart from hearts, this fabric with stunning lavender flowers was so pretty that I had to make something for my furbaby too! So Kim has now a new bed cover and stuffed bone :)

It looks like the number of "lilac"things is steadfastly increasing in my home. For my birthday, I received this bunch of stunning tulips!

... and treated myself to this beautiful scarf (80%off)! I love love love it!


Peeks of my worktable over the past two weeks, lilac first, yellow now! I always have fresh flowers on my desk, they inspire me! They don't have to be expensive, even a posy of violets or wildflower can brighten my day!


And finally, daffodils are blooming everywhere! These are my Mom's.


Have a happy week ahead!
Monica x

Friday, March 23, 2012

Out of the Blue... a Giveaway!

Totally unplanned, totally out of the blue...
Recently, I've been blessed by many wonderful people that truly showed me appreciation for what I do, friendship, support. I want to say thank you offering this original watercolor I love (and had saved for my home) to one of you... It's small but from the heart.

No complicated rules here- to enter the draw, just leave a comment on this post. The winner will be announced after the weekend, on Monday 26th in the afternoon (London time). Anyone from anywhere is very welcome to participate.
Monica x
Update March, 26: Commets closed. Will come back with the winner in no time!:)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Inspiration.

"Gratefully I've finally learned to choose fun over earnestness any day of the week and I'm not going back. How about you?"
Sarah Ban Breathnach.
Monica x

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Tulips!

As it's tulip time, I thought I'd share some photos of my old italian garden. My new followers and readers don't know I'm a keen gardener, as these pictures are no longer present on my blog. I used to blog very often about my garden, when I had one. I must admit that looking at these archive shots brought a tear to my eyes, but I'm sure (as I trust the Abundance with all my heart) that there's a fabulous garden in my future!
I used to plant 1200 bulbs each and every Autumn, to enjoy colored masses of blooming tulips in Spring. Unfortunately, I've been prohibited by my surgeon after I had CTS in both hands, as it is an exhausting job for our poor hands! :( ( ...But there are still pots :))) These photos have been taken over four years- if you observe well, the colors of the flowers are different. I used to buy bumper bargain packs of bulbs in mixed colors (as selected bulbs have a really daunting price tag!) and the "surprise-factor" surely added to the beauty of the bloom!
One year they surprised us with red and yellow cheery faces...

... another year they happened to blossom in a mix of yellow, red, orange, white, with beautiful pops of black and pink shades too.

Another year they were purple, white, deep red and yellow...








... once they were mainly orange and pale yellow.

Growing my own flowers, my home was filled with enormous bunches of fresh tulips for nearly two months (between early and late bloomers), I could spread cheer giving them to family members and friends...

... and I also could arrange my own centerpieces for our Easter table. Now these are great simple pleasures for me! This arrangement, nearly one meter long, was completely made with my tulips and other Spring flowers I had grown with love!

"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Monica x

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mothering Sunday.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms in the UK!



"It doesn't matter how old I get, whenever I see anything new or splendid, I want to call "Mum, come and look".
Helen Thomson
Monica x

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Joyful Simplicities #6

I love this time of the year when violets are blooming! I have a deep love for violets, maybe it's because I'm a March girl and violets are always blooming for my birthday! My paternal Grandmother loved them too... and used only violet fragrance. I still have that precious bottle ... when I open it, an unforgettable waft of perfume still evokes memories of her.

Yesterday my hubby, Kim and I were strolling happily soaking up Nature, Spring, sunshine... and the pleasure of being together. When we happened to see hundreds of these tiny beauties! I couldn't help picking some for my worktable and to share with you.


If you want to embellish a special handmade card or letter with pressed violets, it's time to look for these charming, purple, happy faces :)
In the language of flowers of the Victorian Era, violets mean modesty, faithfulness, I'll always be true.
Happy Thursday!
Monica x

Monday, March 12, 2012

At the Moment I am...

LOVING:

My newest apron I recently made with fabrics in lilac (again!). I'm finishing its twin for my Mom, in my spare time. Thanks to my Dad for taking these pics of me to show you.

PAINTING:

... and painting, and painting. Well, naturally. Surtex show in NYC is just around the corner! I can tell you the life of a licensing artist is far from being boring! The pile of designs on the right of the collage above is that of the last month only. I've been working on three different collections at the same time, with different colors and themes.... all watercolors (my favorite medium). But even with deadlines fastly approaching, piles of paintings to be finished, sketches flying (!!), agent gently spurring me on, etc. I am the happiest girl on the planet! I've never, never felt this happy before!

PLANNING:

1. Time to rest, rest, rest.
2. Time to sleep, sleep, sleep.
3. A vacation. Boy I need that.
4. Changes on my blog (sorry if you notice stange things happening every now and then ;)). I'm giving myself and my blog permission to evolve, as I've already told you before. I know many fellow artists and creative souls come here hungry for inspiration (... by the way, thank you!), and I think it would be nice to offer more artists insights. I like when others share experiences and feelings, and often find them useful to see things from another perspective. I happened to read a very appropriate quote that spoke to me deeply, this morning:
"Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others". Buddha
I will continue to share crafty projects, vintage finds, the beauty I see around me, of course. But I don't feel my blog is a 'craft' blog anymore...

DREAMING:

... Really, really B.I.G!! Would it be too much asking the Universe for a conservatory and my studio overlooking a lovely garden?

STARING:

At my orchids blooming profusely again, and in time for my birthday later this week! My DH gave me this wonderful white Phalaenopsis in 2010 for my b-day. Do you know I have a passion for orchids?
By trial and error, I found out that the best method of all to grow them well is to remove the original soil, wash the roots and set the plants into a hydroculture pot (I actually use vintage glass bowls or soup toureens). Then put in a very bright spot of the house and supply nutrients every now and then (follow directions on the packaging).

ADDING:

1. A few butterflies and many blessings to my Biz Gratitude Book. The book is still in the making, I don't have time to craft so I'm just filling in the pages, will bind it later on. Hope I can tell you my biggest biz news soon! :))

Have a fantastic week ahead!
Monica x

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Joyful Simplicities #5

Treating my body to a daily intake of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants is a must for me... and I like to serve the mix in pretty, colored bowls or cups, so the pleasure is doubled!

Consider this option for lazy children... my hubby is a bit lazy too, but cannot resist when I offer him vitamins, fiber and antioxidants this way!:) I don't always use strawberries and blackberries, but what I have on hand. Changing "colors" helps to mantain a well- balanced intake of what we need (that pills cannot supply).
Have a nice weekend everyone!
Monica x

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Found Beauty #10- Violets.

My heart skipped a beat this morning finding the first violets of the season!
Spring has arrived, my friends. Time of reawakening and renewal, time to bloom.

"The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks."
Tennessee Williams.
Monica x

Monday, March 5, 2012

Old-fashioned Inspiration Journals!

I did it! I deleted all my pin boards!
I was starting to be not as hooked as I have been on Pinterest. It's easy to find yourself lost among thousands of images and just crazily pinning without seeing where the link actually points (you may have heard all the discussions about copyright... ). Also, I realized I don't want to spend so much time online to find inspiration!
So I'm very happily back to my magazine clippings- to me, a more relaxed way to be inspired indeed!
Whether you are a pinner or not, enjoy some pages from my old- fashioned inspiration journals!







Monica x

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Art in Somerset Studio.

There are absolutely no words to tell you what I feel seeing my mixed- media paintings in a magazine for the first time... and I won't say anything else but a warm 'thank you' to Christen Olivarez and all of the wonderful ladies that made me feel this way!
I hope this post will inspire someone else to hold on to their dreams!


"All is possible to those who believe".
Monica x