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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What I'm Loving right now...

1. 

Actually I've always loved them, but never found anything spotty where I live! Lately, much to my surprise, I've started to bump into several polka-dotted pretties... like these enamel red mugs! One for me, one for hubby... they truly brighten our day!

2.

Never, never owned such a collection before! These are soft, rich, and come in a range of gorgeous colors! Love to use watersoluble pastels in my mixed media paintings. And, by simply mixing colors onto watercolor paper and adding water, you can come up with brilliant journal pages in a jiffy!

3.

Do you remember my mannequin? Johanna now sports a collection of some favorite necklaces, so I see them (if I don't see something, I forget I have it!) and can quickly grab one when I dress up in the morning. My "practical" self is very happy to finally have found a use for her.

4.

Who doesn't love a luscious, warm brioche (mine filled with custard) + coffee outside in the sun??

5.

Blue, red and white... they always make me smile BIG! :)

6.

It's such a wonderful feeling! Isn't it? 

7.

Especially useful for when I'm drawing the human figure. Now I bet you're wondering what I'm working on... hehehe. He doesn't drive a normal car... usually wears red :)

8.

You may remember my garbage find! After I sanded it right in the middle of the living room (ahem), I'm still trying to decide if I like it best in Winter Blue, Soft Lilac, Gray or Ice Blue (pale shade of aqua). Hmmmmm..... Hubby cast his vote (he's partial to Winter Blue, as in the pic)- I am very tempted by gray because it's very neutral... and you? What do you think?
Monica x
P.S I haven't had time to reply to your kind and lovely comments on the last posts, sorry. Will try to in the next few days.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Find me at Surtex (and Exciting News)!

Find my work at Booth(s) 420- 422- 424.


This has been such a wild dream of mine for several years that I still cannot believe I'm exibiting in New York City at the moment.
I strongly encourage you to never, never, never give up, and hold on to your dreams!
***
And as I told you in a previous post, I'm giving myself and my blog permission to evolve.
I made the decision to start a brand- new online journal, that will become my main blog, and will focus on art, photography, my work and my life.
The White Bench, I began with in 2008 and I'm very fond of, will remain as my secondary blog, a craft "studio" where I'll continue to post fun projects and ideas. Everything is still in the making, but I'm very excited about that and wanted to share my terrifically hot news with you! LOL.
Hope your week is off to a fantastic start!
Monica x

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Food for Thought.


Have you ever thought of that?
This quote serendipitously found me just before I found myself facing a series of walls. It kept running through my mind... and it was my intention to find one day the 'just perfect' door to illustrate it, and always keep in my inspiration journal. Eventually, this blue door was awaiting for me to notice it... in a tiny village of the Cotswolds.
No matter how tough a situation could appear, how tall and insurmountable a wall could seem to our eyes... maybe it's time to sit down quitely and observe it from a distance... there may be a door on one side of it, we hadn't even seen, which may lead to a glorious, abundant garden waiting for us.
Monica x

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Handmade Journal for Mother's Day.

I hadn't planned to post today, but as it's a very special day, let me show you a scrap journal I made back in 2009 especially for Mother's Day!
This creation is very dear to my heart, because it happened to become my very first publication ever, in Green Craft Magazine!
The cover and the inside pages and signatures were completely made out of scraps and discarded fabric samples I'd been given by a friend. These journals can be made for any use with whatever theme- as gratitude journals, friendship journals, baby journals, to keep your favorite quotes in a single place, travel journals, biz blessings journals, etc etc etc.


A vintage brooch finished the cover off, together with a gros grain ribbon to keep the journal shut.


I added a little artsy touch to the first page, too... :)



Back cover.






Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there (those of furry babies, too)!
Have fun.
Monica x

Friday, May 11, 2012

SURTEX... Here I Come!

via
Well, not physically actually! :)
If you don't know Surtex, it's an international fair for the sale and license of design and artwork, held annually in NYC. Artists from around the world are given the opportunity to show and sell their work to manufacturers of products for home, stationery, giftware, publishing, etc etc.
My fabulous agents will have three booths at Jacob Javits Center, next week, and I am one of the 'lines' represented (it may look fun, but yes, we are 'brands'). I cannot tell you how surreal and exciting at the same time this is for me! I've come a long way, from my little corner of the world to New York City! Believe me, it's emotional.
I've worked very hard over the past few months to produce several new collections, from everyday to Holiday, and I hope they'll do well.
... Wish me luck! :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Joyful Simplicities #6- New Pastels.

This brand- new box of oil pastels just found in the mail is brightening my day! YAY... I'm ready to play! :)


What is bringing a smile to your face, today?
Monica x

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

THANK. YOU.


Your words meant a lot... Your friendship means a lot. Thank you. I feel so blessed by your presence in my life!

Before I had a blog, my own problems looked so big, high mountains I had to climb alone, all wrapped up in fears and feelings of inadequacy. I felt I wasn't enough, I felt something important was missing in my life... My blog helped me discover that there's so much beauty in people and the world around me, after all, and my problems were such a teeny tiny thing compared to those of other people out there. That I had to become more understanding, more gentle, more compassionate... that I could offer my own insights, experiences, my perspective, and contribute to a better world with my yet little and humble efforts.
Thanks for teaching me all of this, thanks for always being there!
This bunch of purple clematis (blooming now at our home) is for you.
Monica x

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Healing...

As I want to stay true to myself, also on my online journal, I cannot always blog of peaches and roses. Life has its ups and downs, and I surely had my nice dose of downs lately.
After I've come back from the Cotswolds, I've suffered from lots of anxiety, moodiness and insomnia. I won't dive in the facts that are causing me pain- my blog still remains my piece of escapism,  the cozy place where I can meet my friends and chat over tea and cake, an outlet for creativity and a means to share beauty and inspiration. I'm happy to tell you I'm healing (apart from feeling so sore and achey like I ran the New York City marathon!), and once again deeply understanding that everything in life happens for a reason, and I MUST trust the Abundance and the plan He has for me.

What does make me happy at the moment?

Painting and playing. Yes, Ms Doh, art heals, art saves!
After an initial difficulty to be back to work, this is helping me tremendously. I'm also stepping out of my comfort zone playing on big canvases and experimenting. I hope to show you soon, once my copyright is registered and protected.


Snuggling up with my doggie. Love her.


Sunshine. I've never realized before how BAD I need sunshine. I think it's in my italian genes after all!


My new CK oilcloth. I needed a new cover for my worktable, and I finally decided for this one. It's wonderful quality, even if a bit pricey. I work on my table all day long so I thought I needed to invest on a good quality product. I opted for this pale shade of aqua green, as having to work with different colors and designs, it had to be visually calming yet pretty.


My gratitude journals, where I write each and every night before going to bed 5 (or even more!) things I'm grateful for on that day. I've been keeping it regularly for 3 years now, not missing a single day. Each one is filled to the brim with simple joys and great blessings- it's easy to pay attention and become conscious when you write them down.


My sketchbook with all the color combinations I used in my artworks. It's essential when you work in licensing, if you're asked to modify/add designs to a collection on a later date since its creation.


My Mom's cooking. She knows what I like :) (... if you're curious, this is focaccia ai broccoli. I love how creative she is in the kitchen... isn't that decoration amazingly cool?).


A gift from a dear friend. This made me burst into tears, as I'm feeling so unsettled at the moment without a nest to feather. Thank you, Abby!


A bunch of flowers from the supermarket. Less than 3.50€/4.50$ for 5 stems. Quite the deal! Tiger Lilies have such a wonderful, inebriating scent... and can last for about 2 weeks in the vase with proper care.


I meant also to tell you it looks like I'm having problems with my blog email, hope to have it fixed soon. In the meantime, ff you need to contact me, please leave a comment and I'll be back to you!
Have a nice day my friends!
Monica x

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Different is Beautiful.


No matter what the 'norm' is supposed to be- no matter if others decide to conform to whatever the world strongly states and celebrates as the 'best' to own, do and be. I chose to walk through life my way, at my own pace, to surround myself with what makes my heart dance, do what I love, strive to always grow and become a better me, fight for what I believe is good and right, wear what I feel comfortable and makes me feel at ease, feel perfect the way I am... I chose to be just me- and I believe that is beautiful.
Monica x

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Thinking Valentine's Day #4

After I started making wreaths with twigs last December, I just had to challenge myself and make heart- shaped ones for Valentine's Day!!
Here's the result... I am in ♥

Wanna know my secret? ;))

I cut it, removed the hook and made a heart with the help of pliers. I secured it with thinner florist wire, then started making a circle with my twigs, I 'pinned' in the centre of the heart and on its tip with other twigs. Then proceeded like I did for the round wreaths. This additional step helped me to work freely without the twigs slipping out of my hands.

I cannot say this is simple for a beginner crafter, but it's totally doable with a bit of practice. When harvesting twigs, be sure to choose the smaller ones, which are the most flexible.


... Isn't it awesome to make things from scratch?
Monica x