Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Boo-thday, David !

A Happy, happy Boo-thday to the sweetest Halloween Baby ever, my very own Hubby extraordinaire, David !!!!

(Quite the hunk, I have there, huh, ladies ? Hands off, witches, this sweet piece of Candy Corn is all mine !!!)

(Did I ever mention that my husband blushes really easily ? Bet he's blushing now ! Sorry, Baby, but I love that blush !)

(I love you, David ! - I promise no more embarassing stuff !)

(Until next year ! ;-D)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Grand Opening of Queen of Arts Studio

(cool logo, n'est pas ? )

Yes, it is now official ! The Queen of Arts Studio Etsy Shop is now open for business !

With lots of help and support from my wonderful husband David (aka Super Computer Geek), I have photographed, described and priced some of my wares for you to peruse !

Right now I have two types of things in my shop. One is my hand painted and collaged bamboo tile necklaces. Each one of these is one of a kind. Here are a couple of examples:

I also have my fun and funky square glass magnets for sale. These would make great little hostess gifts or gift exchange gifts for the holidays. All the designs are my own, most of them from little inchie drawings I made on my own painted papers. Here are a couple of my favorites :

I have been selling my art pieces and my jewelry mostly by word of mouth for the last few years and have also been lucky enough to get a bigger contracts for commissioned pieces here and there. I am really excited though, to open a storefront of my very own and see where the journey takes me.

In the next little while, I hope to add some hand painted wooden Christmas ornaments to the shop as well as some note cards with prints of some of my journal pages on them , all of them with my own "Queen of Arts" style to them.

***Grand Opening Special ***

As a grand opening special, from now until November 15th, I will be offering free shipping for any necklace purchased from the Queen of Arts Studio Etsy Shop. I will also include a few of my little "Rock My World" rocks and a copy of the card describing the project in all necklace packages. That's my way of spreading a little more love around and to share my excitement about my new venture with you !

Wish me luck ! Go, Queen, go !

Monday, October 27, 2008

An Grrl Inspired Artwalk

So a while back, I participated in a discussion on grrl + dog's blog and was the lucky winner of some goodies traveling to me all the way from Sydney, Australia. They arrived last week !

And here is what was inside. The great zine "pasticcio" and a note from grrl to "go forth and create" !

Also in the envelope were these great, colorful tags and stickers with "art" quotes on them !

So the happy Queen had a plan !

I grabbed my dog snack pouch, the tags, some "Rock your World" rocks, my camera and put the beautiful Chica on her leash and headed out into a gorgeous fall day in Manchester, New Hampshire !

The first tag went on here :

It seemed kind of appropriate, don't you think ? grrl + dog, me walking the dog, me beautifying the ordinary a little ?

So the second tag went here, about a block away ! (see Chica checking out the neighbourhood news ?;-))

But I decorated other places too !

There was also some world rocking going on (like I promised Julie)...

With all that decorating work, I made sure I look the time to look up...

as well as down...

(How's that for a grrl+dog pose !)

All in all, a very wonderful artwalk. I think grrl would approve of how I used her treasures, don't you ? Thanks again, grrl !

In other news, the Queen will soon be revealing what she has been working feverishly at behind the scenes, aided by her magnificent and studly Computer Geek ! Hint : It may be a place to sell her wares !!!! (I know, I suck at hints ! I always give too much away !!!!) Stay tuned !

Happy Monday !

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rock My World Inspiration and the 3 Winners !

I just wanted to mention here again, as I did on my first post about these little traveling rocks, that the complete and total inspiration for them comes from mccabe at The Dancing Mermaid. She posted a movie about painting inspiration on beautiful beach stones with the children at her summer camp this summer. I read and watched the post "girls who rock" and was so inspired ! That day I picked up my paint brush and pounced on my own pile of sea rocks and started spreading the love. Mccabe' s rocks are so very beautiful and full of her light. I don't think I have infringed on any of her rights as an artist by using her as an inspiration, but I wanted to be sure that everyone knows where I got the idea.

These little rocks are not about money for me at all. They are about spreading love and making my world feel a little brighter. I even re-thought the idea of selling them to raise a little money for charity at the open house tomorrow. Instead I will have them in a pretty bowl, and let anyone who wants them take one or a few to take on their own adventure.

And I will be sending three packages of them off in the mail as soon as possible. One will go to Olivia at happyluau, one will go to Lulu at my pink turtle, and the third will go to Jennifer at the Stumbly Diva. Can't wait to see what adventures these lovely ladies have as they spread the love !

Julie at the Land of Lost Luggage (who was published in Artful Blogging this month, by the way !!!) was actually the first one to comment on my post from yesterday. She asked that I save on postage and hand out some rocks on her behalf in my own town. The photos above are from today's walk with the lovely Chica-dog. We stopped and put the rock marked "Do what makes your heart sing." on a park bench. That one is from Julie, Manchester !

Gotta keep on rockin'....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rocking My World Some More ! - plus a Rocking Tutorial !

So these little rocks are slowly changing my life, I think, one little smooth surface at a time... Sherry at Esprit d'art commented way back on one of my first posts about them that she thought they should go "world wide" and somehow, they have become part of a mini-campaign of love already. I sent some to Sherry to enjoy and to give away in T.O. where she lives. My mom requested 20 or so to give out in her world. I have also included them in little snail mail art gifts to a few friends in Blog land (really flat ones work best !). It has been so much fun to share the love, especially with such loving people as these !!!!

This Friday I am part of an open house at a local paper craft store (Talk Paper Scissors). I will be selling some of my bamboo tile necklaces (you can see some in the photo above), some felted soaps and some magnets I came up with after being inspired by a gift from the Stumbly Diva herself ! I decided to paint a pile of my rocks as well and offer them for 5 rocks for a dollar and include this little card about the intention behind them.

I want to continue the Rock My World love campaign and allow some others to feel how great it feels when they put out a little more love in the world, even in a super simple way. I will also take any money I make on the rocks and donate it somewhere where I know it will make a difference. (maybe like to jen lemen's request for help for her friend Odette).

I also thought I could give a little tutorial about how I make the rocks so you can do it for yourself if you want ! It is pretty easy but took a little trial and error to find out what worked best for me.

Rocking Tutorial
Step 1 - Rocks :
First find some smooth rocks. I like the small, flat ones myself. Mine come from the beach in Hampton, New Hampshire but if you don't have a beach near you, you could check the craft stores in their flower arranging section. I have seen beach stones there for placing in the bottoms of vases.

Step 2 - Paint :
I add some color to some of my stones with acrylic craft paint. Opaque colors work best on the rocks. Let your paint dry really well before you do the next step - I like several hours or even over night.

Step 3 - Writing the Messages
The next step is writing on the rocks. I used White Gelly Roll Sakura pens for most of my rocks after trying a few different types of pens. The Gelly Rolls work pretty well on the porous surface of the rocks though you make have to go over your words twice. The pens will get blocked up really quickly if your acrylic paint is at all damp and this ruins them. I also had success with DecoColor opaque paint pens but I find that even their extra fine tip is not quite fine enough for my tastes. They work really well on the bare rocks as well as on the dried painted ones, and would be great on rocks that are a little bigger.

Step 4 - Where to Find Messages
I come up with my messages from all over. I pick up inspirational books and look for short quotes that inspire. I check out titles on other blogs that inspire me and modify the words to make them my own. I think of what would make me feel good to hear. I think of words that would make my world a little bit gentler, a little more kind and a lot more understanding and I white them onto those little gems !

Step 5 - Sealing the Rocks
After each rock is inscribed, I coat them with a brush-on sealer - Mod-Podge in Gloss works well and have a shiny finish that looks like the rocks are wet which I love. You could probably use spray varnish if you want but it is a little messy for me.

Step 6 - Let the Love Go !
Hand out your little rock treasures ! You can do it anonymously or person to person. Both feel so great ! And giving it out will bring it back into your life ten-fold, believe me !!!!

As a little finale to this post, I would like to offer to send a little package of 10 Rock My World rocks painted by me, to the first 3 people who send me a request. If you make a comment and include your email, I will email you for your snail mail address and have your little love package out to you a.s.a.p. !

Keep on Rockin, Baby !

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"A Storm Brewing At Sea" - A Fairy Tale based on a True Story

So it was a bittersweet October Day. Bitter because the summer had passed much to quickly and Fall seemed so very premature.

Sweet, because two friends decided to make a voyage to the sea, leaving burdens and worries behind them.
An old man who met them at the shore warned, "There is a storm brewing out at sea". But the friends were undeterred. You see, each of the two friends had a quest. One wanted to find joy, even if just for a moment.
The other sought to grasp the beauty around her and hold it in her soul.
And what the two friends found on their voyage was wave,
after wave,
after wave of both beauty and joy ! Their quest was an unquestionable success !

As an added reward, they also received glimpses of mythical mermaids in their many different forms :

The mermaids shared the wonder and celebration of the sea's gifts with the two friends. Having embarked on a quest and seen it truly fulfilled the two friends rejoiced ! It felt as though they had been returned to the joy and beauty of the Garden of Eden !

Head off on your own quest today ! You never know what wonders you will find !

(Photos of Sonia & Kim's Adventure, Ogunquit, Maine, October 20, 2008)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Seeking Clarity

Art Journal Page : "Quest for Clarity" -

(I used my some of my newest love - Golden Black Gesso on this page - smooth, silky blackness, you should get some !)

So on my usual trips around Blogland today, I came across a bit of synchronicity as I often do. Many of my blog friends seem to be feeling exactly like I did last night when I made the journal page above and still do this morning. We are on a quest for CLARITY.

The wonderful Paula at Little Scraps of Magic likened it to being "a wee bit out of focus". Not in an ominous bad way, but more in that stoned from eating too many "really rich brownies" way which I could so relate to. The world seems brimming with possibilities to change for the better, to let go of past roles, to put new found strengths to good use... The possibilities are a good thing because for awhile there, I wasn't able to see those at all ! The thing is though, I feel a little overwhelmed and a little unsure, maybe like that little bird who gets pushed out of the nest but hasn't learned to trust her own wings yet.

(Bird Book Page from last year - cute baby huh ? That's me, 43 years ago! but it is also me just yesterday ;-) !)

I don't want to get back down there and crawl, or go back to the paralyzed state I have been in . I feel hope that that chapter is closed now(at least for now !). But I would like some more CLARITY about which paths I should know like the big maps at the mall where you get the "you are here" arrow or dot, and the rest of the map shows the "big picture" ? How do you get to CLARITY ? Well, now my dear, you get there the same way you get anywhere else,

one step at a time.....

(As I wrote this post, I kept hearing a song in my head - a blast from the past big time - from Cat Stevens. This was on the first record (yes, I said record !) I ever owned. Still love a little Cats now and then !!!!! You were right way back then, man, "The answer lies within...")

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Missed a Photo Shoot and I've been Tagged


So I returned home yesterday after the lovely weekend in Montreal and Mont Tremblant. I have very few photos to show for my time away. One reason is I was just into spending time with my peeps. A second is that when I was ready for a photoshoot at the cottage when the light was beautiful and the fall colors were spectacular, I found that my battery on the camera was dying and there is no electricity up there to plug my charger in. So this is the only photo of Miss Kate I took during the month of October ! She looks so incredulous, that little pumpkin head ! I had promised myself to do a photo shoot of her every month for the first year of her life at least but Month 5 is a bust ! At least we had a super smoochy, super sweet visit !!! I love that Baby Girl !

Our Canadian Thanksgiving was fine and rustic as we had a sit down dinner for 14 people at the cottage with no electricity or running water. The turkey and all the fixings cooked in the propane oven (courtesy of my sister Natalie and her man Dave, and especially stuffed by my Uncle Charlie) were delicious as were My Aunt Lise's Apple Crisp and the birthday cakes ! The best part was just all of us being together and hanging out at our special place ! So very much Thanks going around there !

So while I was away, Sandy at My own 'lil world tagged me. It was her first time being tagged and it is my first time too. A bunch of tag virgins around here ! If you are not a tag virgin, if you are tagged out, or you are saving yourself for just the right tag, that is okay with me ! No hard feelings for not joining in here, but you know that I am going to play along !

Sandy told me to post 7 random things about me and then to tag 7 more blog friends so here goes :

1. I am half Russian (my mom immigrated to Canada as a child) and half French Canadian, but my mother tongue is English. (I am bilingual in French and English but only know a few words in Russian).
2. My favorite color is green - even the kick-ass laptop I bought from Dell a few months back is lime green.
3. I met my husband David at a Halloween Party which also happens to be his birthday. I was dressed as a fortune teller and he was dressed as a judge.
4. I read Tarot cards (though I am rusty right now - it has been a while) but only as my alter-ego, Marina, a Russian gypsy woman.
5. I can touch the tip of my tongue to the tip of my nose. I have a short philtrum I guess (look it up !!!!) !
6. I have been on TV three times in my life (that I know of !) : once at age 5 on a local 30 minute Montreal kids show called "Magic Tom", once at 29 on CTV Nation News for a story on teaching learning challenged kids, and once just last year on a local Manchester show called "New Hampshire Chronicle" where the paper craft studio I teach classes at (Talk Paper Scissors) was featured as a new business.
7. My favorite time of day to walk around the neighborhood is evening (especially in Fall) when it has just gotten dark so I can peep in windows and see how people decorate their homes and where they eat dinner.

That random enough for ya ?

Here are my 7 tagged friends :

1. Sherry at Esprit d'Art 2. Carolyn at 8Golden Paws, 3. Lesley at Funky Art Queen
4.Paula at Little Scraps of Magic 5. lulu at my pink turtle 6. Jennifer at The Stumbly Diva
7. Kathy at Love Letters

No longer a tag virgin !;-) Glad to be back home in blogland after a nice time away ! Happy Wednesday !

Friday, October 10, 2008

Birthday Wishes Come True

BIG Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful Blogland birthday wishes ! I feel so very, very blessed !

Yesterday was a good day ! It started with a mushy card from my hubby, you know the kind that makes you tear up ? I think a mushy card is a must from your hubby, and my man never fails to delivers, whatever the celebration! The absolutely gorgeous fall day (75 degrees and sunny in New Hampshire in October is a gift all right !) was filled with little treats from friends, great emails, sweet phone calls, a little birthday shopping and the grand finale - a trip to Hampton Beach to watch the sunset, the moon rise and to collect some more rocks for a little project I am working on....
Here's some shots from our time (all of them taken by the hubby man himself )...

Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

Ta-Da ! The Ocean !!!Only 40 minutes from my house !

I quickly took off my shoes and ...

put my toes in the water...about 55 degrees I would say !

(Nice feet shots by David, don't you think ?)

Here's a gift I found for myself - my heart rock !

So what did we do at the beach ? We watched the moon rise over the waves:

We smooched a little :

We played a little :

We took some arty photos as per my requests:
and we gathered enough rocks to fill my bucket :

(my bucket at home on my desk this morning- ready for some paint and some love
All in all, the evening was a perfect way to celebrate the Queen's birthday !
See the happy, happy Queen :

The Kim Birth-Festival continues this weekend as we head to Montreal and to Mont Tremblant for Canadian Thanksgiving and family celebrations. The weather is supposed to be fantastic all weekend - a kind of Indian Summer up there ! It should be beautiful all around. In spite of how scary and unsure so many things are in this world, we still have so very, very much to be thankful for ! So I am off to count my blessings...
Have a great weekend !

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me !

Happy, happy Birthday to Kimberly-Anne Pauline de Broin Mailhot !!

Born 43 years ago on October 9, 1965 at 11:52 pm.

She is a child of light....

So the Kim Birth-Festival is in full swing now, with today being the central day of the event. As the guest of honor of this shin-dig, I have been showered with more gifts of love this week than I could ever have imagined. I have got to let you in on my newly discovered secret...

when you give out little gifts of love everyday,

you receive it back in abundant, un-expected, awe-inspiring and fabulous ways !

I just really, really learned this ! I know many of you knew it already, and I had a vague idea that this was true , but this week, I learned it for real. I have to encourage you all to try and add the 29 Gifts giving movement to your life. It has changed mine this week in simple yet truly transformative ways !

So here is my birthday wish to myself :

May the next year be filled with moments where you choose to to give, both to yourself and to others, and may you remember to stop and celebrate those moments ! Cheers, sweet Girl ! You are a child of light !