Monday, October 30, 2017

a peek inside petals and paint retreat

Over the weekend I hosted my Petals and Paint Retreat and as usual I was left feeling inspired and honored to have the opportunity to teach and connect with a group of amazing women. While I've been teaching for a long time, I always walk away humbled and feeling grateful for this crazy- creative life. I am so VERY thankful for those of you out there who support what I do!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

creating with Jules: pet memorial stone

Hello! We recently had a new addition to the family. A cheeky little fluffy puppy named Archie. Just before he came I had a pang of guilt that I hadn’t yet made memorial stones for my two previous fur babies who have since passed on. So in their honour, I purchased a bag of mortar mix and completed the task.

You will need:

Mortar mix
Cement additive/ fortifier (optional- but gives your finished piece extra strength)
Chicken wire (use a small gauge- not the big size)
Masking Tape
Acrylic paint in black and white
Matte medium

Tools & other useful items:

Pliers, metal spatula, rubber gloves, various clay tools or skewer, stamps, paintbrush, rags, plastic bags.

To start with draw on a piece of paper how big you want your stone to be. Scrunch up some newspaper and wrap it in masking tape. Make the scrunched newspaper shape about two thirds the size you want your final stone, as adding wire and cement layers will add extra bulk.

Cut some lengths of chicken wire and start wrapping around your newspaper shape. Cover the shape with approximately 3 layers of chicken wire. Use pliers to twist ends together and inwards so there are no spikes sticking out.
Take your mortar mix and mix some up adding some cement fortifier as per instructions. I guess how much cement I’m going to use, trying not to make too much as I can always make more. Make your mix on the drier side rather than making it too wet. You will get better detail when it comes to making the marks, and a stronger mix. 
Working on a plastic work surface start pressing your cement mix into the chicken wire. You need to do this all over the stone shape, including underneath. 

Keep adding cement until all of the wire is covered. My stones ended up having a flat base, and I just smoothed the cement all around the bottom edge for a neat appearance. On the top of the stones you need a fairly thick layer of cement, so that you can stamp & draw some elements in without hitting the chicken wire underneath. 

When this is all done make the whole stone nice and smooth using your gloved hand or a metal spatula. It’s quite fun- similar to icing a cake.

Use a clay tool to write words by pressing into the cement rather than ‘drawing’, and use stamps with bold shapes to press into the surface. Fine detailed stamps will not show up so well. I made some stamps out of polymer clay specifically for this project.

Once you are happy with your creation, leave to set under plastic. Wrap the plastic around the stone loosely, as you do not want the plastic to disturb the surface of the stone.

Once the cement has set (keep checking at half hour intervals. It might take 1-3 hours and it still should be wet), come back and wrap wet rags around the stone, then wrap in plastic and leave to cure for 3- 7 days. Curing cement like this gives it extra strength. 

Once the stone has had decent time to cure let it dry, and mix some black acrylic paint with equal parts matte medium and enough water to make a runny mix. Working quickly, paint the black paint mix into the stamped and written crevices, and wipe the excess away using a damp rag. As I used a cement fortifier, my cement wasn’t super porous, so this stopped a lot of paint seeping in where I didn’t want it too. If you didn’t use fortifier, wetting the stone first might help.

If you want extra depth and contrast to your stone, dry brush some white acrylic paint over the top to highlight. You do this by getting paint on your brush (not diluted) then brush most of it off on some paper so that when you paint your stone only minimal paint is being transferred. 

Place your stone in the garden and you can remember those furry friends every time you wander in the backyard.

Yes, we named our previous dogs after Futurama characters, we were young and in our 20’s!
Have fun,
Jules :)

You can find more of Jules here:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

creating with a kid: exploring color

Color is a really big part of my own creative process and lately I've been encouraging Lucy to explore and experiment with it. Color can be used in so many different ways and one of the most profound is connecting emotions with color.  So today I've got a few color prompts that you can use with your kiddos (or for yourself) to encourage the exploration of color. NOTE: These prompts are not about creating anything representational but instead are about simply about playing with color on a surface.

My long time readers know I've been making art with Lucy from day one. From riding on my back while I filmed online classes to letting her create with me in the studio, it's been a priority to share the art making process with my daughter. As I have mentioned in the past it is important for both my husband and I to incorporate Lucy into as many creative projects as possible. And while it makes no difference to us if Lucy grows up to be an artist, we do want her to be a creative thinker. I believe creativity and the ability to think in a creative way is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children and while I am always evolving as an artist and mom, I am learning so much as I watch her develop her own voice. 

1. Assign a word or an emotion to a color. Encourage your kiddo to work quickly and use whatever color pops into their head first when they hear that word or emotion. This process can train the brain to start connecting color with feeling.

2. Have your child randomly selected 2 colors. As they are painting, have them explain the feelings, ideas or reactions that they have to those colors.
2. Encourage your child think of a memory or an experience and then pick colors that represent that experience.

4. Turn on different songs and have your kiddo pick colors that are inspired by the music.

5. Get creative with those supplies! From brayers to spritzers to foam brushes to fingers and more- challenge your child to select tools and supplies that will help them express those emotions and color.

You can find more ideas and inspiration for creating with a kid HERE


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

FLASH SALE! all flower classes $10 today!

Hey friends! I've got a flash sale today! All flower classes are $10 today. You can head on over to the shop for more details HERE

$15 SALE $10
more information HERE
Flowers and acrylic paint make the perfect pair! In this class I will be sharing all kinds of really simple techniques for transforming your favorite flowers into expressive, beautiful and colorful acrylic paintings.

$30 SALE $10
more information HERE
I'm obsessed with flowers, they are colorful, beautiful, full of details and are the perfect inspiration for any creative medium. I love flowers so much that I decided to dedicate an entire class to flowers! From finding inspiration to drawing to doodling to painting, (even a little bit of crafting) Flower Power is a fun little class that will focus on using flowers and all things floral as your subject matter.

$15 SALE $10
more information HERE
There is something so simple and beautiful about creating with ink. In this class we will use my favorite subject: flowers, to explore a variety of expressive techniques. From using brushes to found objects to items from nature, we will experiment with creating dynamic and bold floral ink brush paintings.

$15 SALE $10
more information HERE
Flowers and watercolors make the perfect pair! In this class I will be sharing all kinds of really simple techniques for transforming your favorite flowers into expressive, beautiful and colorful paintings. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

holiday advertising: I want to promote you!

Happy Monday friends! So today I have a possible opportunity for the entrepreneurs and makers out there. Lately I have been felt inspired to give back to my creative community in small ways. Short story, I want to put some good out there into the world and I've been trying to think up some ways that I can use my business and my platform to do that. My heart will always be with the artists and makers so I this holiday season I want to help promote your products and services for free!

Are you a maker? Do you have an online shop? Do you sell products or offer services? If so, I want to promote you in a series of gift guides and advertising this holiday season for free! The only requirement is a shop or website with handmade products or services!

If you are interested email me at and I will send you all the details and the deadline for this opportunity!


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