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Saturday, December 31, 2011

BIG News! And About Dreams Coming True...

Licensing: the owner of a copyright, trademark, intellectual property etc. (defined as 'licensor') allows under written contract, another party (the 'licensee') to make, use and sell copies of the original.

As we are starting over with a new year, I'd love to begin it unfolding some really wonderful, exciting new opportunities I've been given.
I told you there was so much in the works over here, and I was very busy. The fact is, I signed on with Linda Mc Donald Inc. (will tell you about how wonderful she is later on!), and this means I am ready to finally license my work!... So in the future, you might bump into a greeting card, journal, gift bag, bookmark, fabric line, travel mug etc. etc. with one of my designs onto it!
This is THE job I've been dreaming of taking up forever!!!!! Even before I even knew what 'licensing' was...

All happened like magic and very quickly... when I committed to stop blocking the energy of the Universe with my fears... when I said a loud, profound YES to what was calling me deeply. Even if I myself thought I was crazy to even think that could be possible. A simple italian girl, taking up a career as professional artist? With an american agent? Hey, people are going to laugh at you, I kept telling me.
On my Illustrated Discovery Journal, I already showed here on my blog before, these images kept making their appearance, though... I've been a fan of these women forever!! I remember my teen years when I collected money in my piggy bank to be able to buy books, cards and journals illustrated by Marjolein.

Looking at them right now, all seems so surreal to me... I knew, and I didn't at the same time.

It really took me quite a while, and totally hard work to finally let my fears go and feel I was ready.
And when I finally have been, after years (yep, years!) of spiritual work and with a recovered, greater faith, all happened like magic. The agent I signed with is THE agent I've been dreaming of having to represent me since the moment when I understood THIS was what I was meant to do, years ago. When I hadn't the barest idea of how-to, practically, but that small voice was continually whispering me to walk on this path. I cannot tell you how good I feel knowing that it meant to happen... and that this is God's plan for me.
Hence, what I can say from my humble experience is that DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE! So hold. on. to. yours!!!

"Opportunity never arrives. It's here!"

Monica x

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Look Back at 2011.

Hey there dear friends and readers! Cannot believe we're ready to say farewell to 2011, can you? This year, for me, has just flown by!
As usual, I like to write this 'look back' as my last post of the year.

In January, precisely on the very first day of the month, I finished Janvier, one of my Well Loved teddies, wearing the symbol of a new home for us in a new Country. My white bookcovers made their appearance in an article in Somerset Life, together with a few of my shots in the Miscellany section of the magazine.

In February, we moved from our home to a temporary address, and put all of our belongings in storage. My hubby gave me a new laptop to be able to survive the move, and I created for him pretty boxes as Valentines. My woolen scarves were published in Green Craft Magazine, and it has been the first time ever one of my creations was modeled!

In March I started to de- stress after more than 6 months of packaging and bureaucracy, slept an awful lot, and started to deeply feel the call to paint once again. I celebrated my birthday, and out of the blue found out I had to have surgery on my left hand in May.

In April, I had the great joy of having the transplanted peonies from my garden blooming!
My rosette bouquet, a photo-tutorial and other pictures were published in Somerset Life. April has definitely been growing time for me.

In May, I finally had surgery to fix Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my left hand too, after I had it fixed in the other hand four years ago. May has been a time of rest and reflection, as I couldn't do a single thing and had to excercise my hand more than two hours per day.
My Bear Doll Pincushions were published in Art Doll Quarterly, and my denim bib necklace and cuff bracelet in Altered Couture (... and modeled once again!).

The month of June was full of beauty, flowers and colors. I found gorgeous treasures at the antique market and visited Lake Como, where I used to live.

In July I made good use of a vintage train case I had bought at the thrift shop, making a portable studio out of it. My coffee filter roses with a vintage patina were published in Somerset Life. For those interested in making them, a free tutorial is available on my blog here.

All over August, I continued to answer my call... One of my projects was in Green Craft Magazine once again, and I made inspiration stones. I had fun playing with my camera to capture beauty and colors around me.
I felt so very blessed that I needed to fix those feelings on canvas... didn't perceive any sort of lack in my life, but only Abundance.

In September, I finally shared the long- awaited tutorial to make coffee filter roses and another one to make felted acorns. I was published again (gosh, by now you'll be bored stiff to hear...;)), and enjoyed some little pleasures. I welcomed Autumn with a new look for my blog.

October was filled with wonderful colors outside and deep into my heart. I found one gorgeous, vintage, plaid suitcase that I love. My interview as a 'Pro' was published in Somerset Apprentice, and I painted several mixed media canvases. I felt really very inspired!

In November, my creative biz took flight (will tell you my news in my next post- sorry I had to write this farewell to 2011 first!) and my priorities shifted, but I found the time for going antiquing, cozying up in front of the fire and decorating. I roasted chestnuts and spent quality time with my family. Painted several new canvases with butterflies and affirmation girls. I made new woolen scarves, and made- over a thrifted mannequin. Finally had the chance to see my feature in Romantic Homes.

The month of December brought me joy joy joy, excitement and new inspiration, some Christmas cards from blog friends, and endless hours painting! I sewed a coat for Kim, started a Biz Gratitude Book, crocheted a bit and treated me to some yummy magazines. I shared my crafty snowmen at Design Dazzle, quick wrapping ideas, a recipe, and pretty, easy projects here and here. I also asked you about your 'creative' decorations, and you have been so nice to share your experience and thoughts with me/my readers... Thank you!

Thank you also for another wonderful year of blog friendship, help, support, tears, laughing, creativity, sweet comments and emails, inspiring ideas! Let's toast to another one, filled of joy, love and peace of mind for everyone!
Happy New Year!
Monica xoxo

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

... Do You Get It???

I know you DO! :))
It takes a creative soul to understand...

Have you ever witnessed funny reactions from guests or family members visiting your home, when they see your creative decorations, spaces or stuff?

I have ;) Shocked expressions indeed... someone even 'tried' to understand... but obviously thought I was completely crazy!!

Thank goodness for Blogland and you all, kindred spirits! What a creative girl would do without you???LOL. By the way, Johanna looks very happy in her festive attire!

Will pop in after Christmas to share my big news with you all, to prepare to say farewell to 2011 and greet 2012 with newly found inspiration and energy.
In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful, merry Christmas. May you always feel its true Spirit, forever and ever.
Monica xoxo

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"From the Pros"- An Interview in Apprentice.

Hello friends and readers, ... I'm so doing the happy dance and pinching myself in disbelief! :)) For this, I owe a HUGE thank you to Editor Jana Holstein, that a few months ago asked me to be interviewed for the 'From the Pros' section of Somerset Apprentice. Jana and I had already worked together and I can tell you she's a sweet, kind and sunny lady... could I say anything but 'Sure!'?? I'm among a bunch of well-known and talented artists, so you bet I'm flattered and honored!

At the time when I had to write my interview, I was in the middle of an inner struggle and a period of moodiness after my operation, so I didn't give my best, I'm afraid. Reading it after some months, though, I'm happy with it, even if I feel the 'favorite medium' part is not complete. Apart from being a 'vintage' lover, I also have a passion for recycled and 'green' elements to use in my creations (string, kraft paper, jute, burlap, corrugated cardboard, etc.), tartans and wool of any kind.
It was very difficult to answer the questions because as you know, I'm a very versatile artist and it was hard to choose what to share... I'm a watercolor artist, a mixed- media artist, a photographer and I craft in- between. Moreover, I'm known on the Stampington publications mainly for my crafts and photographs, as I've not gone public with my art yet. In the end, I decided to let all the messy thoughts I had in that moment in my head, and just enjoy this opportunity. Here you can see the result of my efforts in print. I must say I'd choose different pictures to describe my work now... but surely in THAT moment I did my very best and I am proud I did accept the challenge and say 'yes' instead of an easier 'sorry I can't'.

Hope you'll celebrate with me, today!
Monica x.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Survived!

Hi everyone!!
Here I am after the surgery... photo courtesy my DH! (by the way, my 'scarf' made up quickly with a strip of this adorable retro- style fabric, was noticed!;)

Now I am going to relax for a while, I need help to do almost everything but I am happy I am already on the way to complete healing.
I spent the whole afternoon flipping through and reading some of my favorite magazines, between one nap and another... So much inspiration, and I can't wait to start all over again! ;)
All went well, I entered the operating room with peace of mind (also thanks to your support!) and the surgeon and her staff were incredibly sweet... I had been told me to bring along music, so I even listened to Dean Martin while the surgeon was struggling to fix my hand! I have been told it was a little difficult (because I make great use of my hands) and she was glad I agreed to have surgery now.
My sincere thanks for all your caring comments and emails is expressed in my previous post.
Happy Memorial Day to my American friends and readers!
Monica x

Sunday, May 29, 2011

You* Never* Cease* to* Amaze* me!

You're supportive.
You're thoughtful.
You're kind.
You're funny.
You bring tears to my eyes.
You make my heart smile big.
You inspire me to fly higher.
You give me chills.
Your friendship is sweet and sincere.
We're kindred spirits.
It looks like you and I are childhood friends, and we never met.
THANK YOU, you mean the world to me!!!
Monica x

Monday, May 23, 2011

Published in Altered Couture.... Just Perfect!

Today I'm sharing a bib necklace and cuff bracelet I made, thinking Summer!
You can find them in the current issue of Altered Couture... a BIG thank you to Beth for making this possible!

Even if I hadn't the chance to see the magazine in the flesh yet, because of postal issues, the first two pages of my article should appear this way... Just perfect! ;)
And you know I'm thrilled when my work is modeled!

You might like to see additional shots taken by me...

Love how denim looks like paired with tulle! And the light imparted by the embroidered beads and crystals...

For the bracelet, I used a cardboard roll saved from the bin. My complete instructions and article can be found in the magazine. The free tutorial for the flowers is here. Simply use denim instead of organza!

... Can't wait to wear them! Hope this inspires you to create something new and pretty for summer. It's not necessary to spend much money to look beautiful!! Just be creative :)
Happy Monday everyone!
Monica x

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In Somerset Life...

I'm truly delighted for the latest article I have in Somerset Life... a special thank you to Christen Olivarez and all the ladies that work so hard to put together this magazine we all drool on. It's such a great honor to have my work and words in there.

Just a glimpse of the bridal rosette bouquet I created!

I also want to especially thank those who kindly took the time to drop me nice, appreciative emails about this feature. You made me very happy.
Monica x

Friday, April 1, 2011

Time to Grow.

I haven't felt this good in such a long time!
Selling our home also meant having no garden anymore... definitely my favorite shooting set. As I take the majority of my pictures outdoors, that could be a problem. Or at least, that's what I thought before moving. On the contrary, this time without a home is proving to be a true blessing after all, from whatever angle you look at it- much needed rest, lots of new ideas and inspiration... and above all, unexpected, longed-for 'me time' to grow! Professionally, personally, spiritually.
Having no private plot of land to play into, off I go every day to some favorite outdoor spots near here... with my camera, hat and a basket crammed full of styling supplies.

I always have with me fresh flowers (even if I can also pick them if needed!), a couple of aprons, table clothes, gardening gloves...

... and naturally, some sweets, a nice mug (pink!) and a thermos filled with delicious hot tea! Didn't you think I work only ;))

Aaahhh.... idyllic!
I feel this was a necessary step to grow. My photography is changing... I now perceive in my images something different- maybe they reflect my being more serene and happy. Me coming out of my shell. Living fully. I believe it's my heart expanding.

Hope you have a terrific weekend, no matter what your plans (... and temperatures in your corner of the world!).
Monica x.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Art of Gratitude.

What to do to preserve the beauty of these tiny jewels?
Just press them...

... and let them bring cheer along with your gratitude to someone special!

Is there a more precious, yet simple way to say 'thank you'?

Monica x

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Green Craft? Oh Yeah.

You all know I have a thing for eco- chic projects... so I'm always flattered and excited when one of my creations is featured in this amazing magazine!

Many thanks to Amanda for her always great job! This issue is absolutely to be kept!

My woolen scarves are modeled here too ;) oh I love this shot!

But my Mom was a great model too, don't you think?? I love to ask her to model for me, I know she's delighted! We spend such wonderful Mother and Daughter quality time... we always laugh a lot!

Love this one... I kept it simple but sophisticated, adding sparkle and vintage buttons. Can't wait to wear it!

This version in black and white is not featured in the magazine (you can find the instructions on how to make it, though), but I wanted you to see it. I especially designed it for the evening or a special occasion. The hand- sewn pearls and the velvet rosette add a touch of glamour to the soft mohair. Can't wait to sport this too ;)

Hope I haven't bored you stiff with my publications! You know I show them here also for my 'non blogging' friends and family to enjoy! They expect me to do that ;))
I'd have tons of other things to tell you, I feel very chatty today, but I must dash now. A tower of boxes is waiting to be moved out of the living room. And we'll have a yummy pizza tonight! Must go and heat the oven.
Happy weekend everyone!
Monica x.