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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Website and New Blog Launch!

I am excited to finally be able to share with you what Hope and I have been working on over the past months!
I'll leave you the pleasure of seeing my new, fabulous website by yourself... it has been lovingly and patiently designed around my art, and I truly hope you'll like it. I have designed and painted my logo and a forget-me-nots collection especially for it (which is available for licensing, just in case you're a manufacturer and like it! LOL).
As for my new blog, "Life is a Painting", which will be my main blog from now on, here's the link.
The White Bench, so dear to my heart, will remain as my secondary blog, where I will continue to post craft projects, editorial contributions, photos and inspiration for you.
I hope to hear your feedback about everything, and that it rocks your socks off!!
Monica x

On my Work Table.

Monica x

Friday, September 21, 2012

Newly Sharpened Pencils...

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."

Happy Fall!
Monica x

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Valentines Roses in Holidays and Celebrations (and recent publications)!

Good day, friends! 
In the hustle and bustle of the recent happenings at our home, I've completely forgotten to tell you about my newest publications! Actually, I've had unexpected features in the summer issue of Somerset Life, my blog banner in Artful Blogging, and articles in the hot off the press issues of Somerset Apprentice and Holidays and Celebrations, but due to annoying postal issues I haven't had the pleasure of seeing any of those in the flesh, as of yet! :( 
While I'm itching for my copies of the magazines to arrive, today I'll share with you my shots of the Valentine's coffee filter roses that are featured in Holidays and Celebrations. A big thanks to the amazing Jennifer Jackson Taylor for including them in such a gorgeous magazine, always filled to the brim with inspiration!

These roses are the evolution of the original ones I had published in Somerset Life. I designed them especially for Valentines Day, but they may be easily incorporated in any Christmas tablescape or decor! And I also envision them as a stunning, sparkling addition to Christmas presents! Do you?
Here are their details for you to appreciate...

You'll find my article and all the instructions to make them in Holiday and Celebrations. You can also refer to this old post on my blog for the basic technique.
Monica x
P.S. Thanks SO VERY MUCH for all of the love, prayers, positive and healing energy you're sending over to our beloved Kim. She's doing great, doctors were surprised! She's such a strong, sweet girl, much loved by everyone!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Update on Kim (Thanks for Asking!)

I owe you all an update on Kim. You've all been so sweet and kind with us. I couldn't tell you the other day, as my hubby was in Hong Kong and I didn't want him to know from my blog and worry. Last week, Kim found herself all of a sudden between life and death. This was so unexpected, and honestly I had brought her to the vet to check a rash on her face and a cold.
I have been immediately sent to a clinic far away from where we are... they did tons of exams... I was forced to leave her there overnight. It was the very first time I left her, if not with my parents, and my heart was aching.
After your loving prayers and positive vibes, and medical help, I could bring her home and in 24 hours she showed an incredible improvement. She started to breathe normally again, after some days of very difficult breathing and cough (these symptoms happened to disappear literally in 15 minutes during the night, after I got up from bed, fanned air towards her and told her we all love her so much and many people had sent love and prayers her way). Then she fell asleep quietely by my side, and the next morning she was able to stand by herself (she wasn't unable to in the past few days). She ate voraciously and took the medicines.
There are different opinions about my sweet furbaby- doctors don't give me hope, while I believe her life is eternal, as a beutiful idea of God. So she will always be with me, no matter what happens to our material bodies.
Kim and I have such a special bond, our souls are intertwined, if anyway possible. She is so important to me, she has given me so much love and has helped me through the darkest and scariest period of my life. I'll really be forever grateful I had her by my side.
As hubby and I are empty nesters, she truly is my "baby"... I won't tell you how wonderful, good, obedient, sweet, funny she is, because you can imagine just looking at my pictures. I won't tell you how much we love her as you can see that as well.
I want to show you these photos taken some years ago. My hubby wanted her to see the sea, and off we went to France to spend some days in beautiful Cote d'Azur. Even if she's a Golden Retriever, she hates water and wants her paws to always stay dry! I keep telling she's a "living room" doggie :) These shots hold such special memories for us!

I won't hide you that I've cried for 24 hours when she was at the clinic. Now that she's better and here with me, I have realized I must stay strong and serene for her. She feels what I do feel, so I must not be scared and never let my hope vanish nor my inner light dim.

" Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times... if one only remembers to turn on the light."
Albus Dumbledore

Thanks for being there for us!
Monica and Kim xoxo

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Handmade Tags.

I've been wanting to show you these French inspired tags for some time now. As Fall and the Holiday season draw near, they can be useful for gift wrapping or tablescaping. 
Here's the basic idea, but you can change words, colors and add pressed leaves instead of lavender, hydrangea and violets. 

To make the tags, just soak them in a mixture of coffee and spices, then put on an oven pan covered in tin foil and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at medium heat until dry. Always keep an eye on them when they're in the oven, for security reasons.
Embellish with stamps, sentiments and fabric tape, washi tape, ribbons, lace etc. Just in case you're wondering, my Parisian stamps are by Cavallini & co.
You'll love making them! :)
Monica x

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Flowers for You!

Just popping in today to say a huge thank you for all of your love and sweet words for Kim! I have read her all of your comments and emails... I am hoping to come and say thank you personally to each of you, but between work and tending to Kim all day long, and bring her here and there, I'm not sure I'll be able to reach everyone. Please do know I really am grateful for each of you and your loving words!
These gorgeous roses, from my most recent photoshoots, are for you!

A new tutorial (to create something super cute) is in the making, and I hope to share here lots of exciting new things soon, too!
Happy Sunday everyone!
Monica x

Friday, September 14, 2012

You. Are. Strong.

Actually, I never realized that until I had to face some big difficulties in my life. But certainly I am, we all are. Tough times seem to awaken some misterious forces we already have inside, and you become much stronger and more inspired with the right ideas. You bear what you didn't think you could bear, you feel the pain but all of a sudden it gets wings and turns into hope, and you become a warrior ready to steadfastly fight any adversity.
Kim still needs your healing thoughts and prayers, more than ever. I am sure she already "felt" them, as she's reactive to medicines, breathes well and now is sleeping quietely by my side. I strongly believe in the power of intention, and that collective prayers/intents/positive energy surely have an effect on the material reality.
Kim is such a good and sweet girl, always ready to offer love and smiles to everyone.
Many thanks from the bottom of my heart for all of your comments and private emails. They meant a lot. They help a lot.
Monica and Kim xoxo

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Please, Send...

... your healing thoughts, prayers and positive vibes to Kim! Will you? 
She's not well, and I love her so much! Today we stayed in the emergency room for 6 hours- 3 of exams and 3 on a drip. She has been such a good girl... much more than me.

Thank you in advance. That would mean a lot!
Monica and Kim xo

A Day...

... the whole world will never, ever forget.

Monica x

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pay Attention...

... and you'll see Beauty everywhere!
It's infinite, abundant, available to us all in every moment. You just have to pay attention.

"For every beauty, there is an eye somewhere to see it."
Ivan Panin

Monica x

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tear Up and Paste.

A while back, I mentioned I was happily back to my "old- fashioned" inspiration journals, after I deleted my Pinterest account. I am now even happier, after my copyright has been infringed... Fortunately it was a minor violation and all is solved now, but that once again reinforced my decision- the idea of Pinterest as an online inspiration board is truly great, except that, in my humble opinion, people tend to use others' work too freely.
I have started this journal in July, to help me through a difficult period of recurrent bad migraines. I suffer from chronic migraines, and a dear friend suggested this therapy :) When I was not too bad, but still needed time off work or other activities, I simply sat at my desk in dim light and flipped through magazines, looking for relief. This would have been impossible in front of the monitor, and it's one of the reasons why I love these old-fashioned journals so much!
After a bit of thinking, I decided to massively step out of my comfort zone, and instead of using scissors, I simply teared up the magazines. Something my tidy self was astounded about! :)
Also, I just went for a normal, cheap, even a bit ugly exercise book instead of a more elegant binder. Kraft paper helped me prettify it, and this way I'll have my future journals all cooordinated with this one, no matter which brand I buy. I just love coordinates.

This very journal is a mix of themes, but I keep each page clean and neat by coordinating colors and subjects too. I have a ginormous collection of magazines, all in storage at the moment, and I plan on making journals like these out of them. I may start several at the same time and do one for "Garden", one for "Kitchen", one for "Recipes", another for "Storage, etc. etc. ideas.
I may even add notes on the pages, or complete them with other clippings as I find them.

I love my magazines and I've refrained from cutting them out for a long time! Finally, my practical self won me over!

I'm sure they'll provide lots of happy and relaxing hours this winter ahead, curled up on the sofa with a warm, cozy blanket!

Do you make inspiration journals the old- fashioned way?
Monica x