Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR! & Darcy's 2013 challenge


I'm doing this post today instead of tomorrow. Because of the obvious reason. You know, being New Year's and all. :)

This journal page came about  because I got this awesome envelope in the mail from Rubbermoon that was carrying "Make Art" stamp (on the right). And I just had to glue it in my art journal.

Also I'm joining in with Darcy's new challenge for the year 2013 therefor the book stack on the left. The challenge is called

We're doing art based on a book we read that month and a short review. Since I read a lot, this was a no-brainer for me. But the trick is to post the 12 books I'll be reading.

That's kind of hard because I have so many and if I start to read and it looks like it's not what I like, I start on another. And not to mention all the releases coming out in 2013 that I'll just have to read. :)

I started of with a list of 12 but I kept changing it because I got exited about the books I forgot I had and started reading them. :) Here is my list of 6 and I'll tell you the rest of them in June. I might even let you see how the list changed over the months. :)
  1. Kasadya Hellhound Awakened by Karen Swart 
  2. Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, Book 1) by JL Bryan
  3. Rebel Heart by Lizzy Ford 
  4. Love Evolution by Michelle Mankin
  5. Souled by Diana Murdock
  6. Autumn Storm by Lizzy Ford

Nataša's bookshelf: the-artful-readers

Autumn Storm
0 of 5 stars true
to-read and the-artful-readers
Kasadya Hellhound Awakened
0 of 5 stars true
the-artful-readers and to-read
Jenny Pox
0 of 5 stars true
to-read and the-artful-readers
Rebel Heart
0 of 5 stars true
the-artful-readers and to-read
Love Evolution
0 of 5 stars true
to-read and the-artful-readers
0 of 5 stars true
to-read and the-artful-readers

And I'm entering some other reading challenges as well. I like challenges, don't I? :)

First one is 2013 TBR pile challenge. Which means I need to tackle all of the books in my To-Be-Read pile that were published in 2012 or earlier. We have to link on 20th of each month.

The second one 2013 Dystopia challenge is about reading at least 2 books per month in my favorite genre at the moment. Dystopia.

Friday, December 28, 2012

wooden picture frame

This is a wooden picture frame I painted with spray paints and Jessica Sporn's stencil. 

Next four prompts are from Reverb#12:
24. What is the single most important habit you intend to cultivate in 2013?
Drinking green tea. :) Honestly, that's what first came to my mind. I find myself struggling, if I consciously make a decision to do something, so I won't.

25. Next year, how will you tend to your vulnerabilities? How will you build them a shelter from the storm? How will you put them through physical therapy? How will you find a way to make them work to your advantage?
Well, how does one answer this? I have many faults but I don't know if they make me vulnerable. To be vulnerable is a conscious decision anyway. It's just a point of view, a perception of one's reality. It's a human nature and a survival instinct in us that prevent us to expose our vulnerabilities. If we consciously choose to do so, it only shows we're ready to move past it, to grow and to not let those things affect us anymore. But are they still vulnerabilities then? I could say my vulnerability would be putting myself out there to be judged. But when I do that consciously, I'm prepared for it and I guess I shield myself so it doesn't hurt me therefor it's not my vulnerability anymore. 

26. How do you intend to carve out more time for the things that are the most important to you in 2013?
This year just flew by for me.  But I don't mind. Time doesn't have claim on me. Unless I have a deadline I don't really feel like I'm short on time. So I just don't give myself deadlines and problem is solved. :)

27. How did you make time for creativity in 2012? Looking back, is there one creative time or one particular creation that stands out for you? (Maybe you could share it here?) How will you continue (or start) making time and space for your creative passions in 2013?
I don't have problem with time. Lucky me. I know. :)

Linking to Paint Party Friday and Artists in Blogland . Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Inspiration exists

My journal page today is inspired by this video. I haven't done a Cotton Candy Girl for quite a while now. It was fun and relaxing and familiar. Just what I needed. :)

Next three prompts are from Reverb#12:
21. What items did you tick off your dream list in 2012? What other, unexpected, dreams came to fruition? What are the top three items on your dream list for 2013?
Hmmmm. I'll get back to you on that one. One thing I really want to do is another workshop. The rest is still a blur. I think one thing that is just as important than checking off the dream list is to let go of the items that no longer resonate with you. I can't find my checklist for 2012 but I do remember some things I wanted to happen. Some did and some didn't. And it's ok. I realized that some of the things that didn't happen, are no longer important to me and I don't regret them not happening. And they are not going on my 2013 checklist either just because they were left undone this year.

22. What was the greatest gift you received in 2012? What was the greatest gift you gave? What do you intend to give yourself in 2013?
E-books. I think that was the biggest gift of 2012. Not just the fact that I found free e-books but also the community I discovered alongside, the authors I'd never have known otherwise and stories that I'd never have read. They have opened a whole new world for me.

23. Name three excuses -- stories you tell yourself that are holding you back -- that you are going to let go of in 2013.
These are the excuses. Whether I'll let them go or not is still undetermined.
  1. the universal excuse, "I'm not good enough" topped with fear of being judged
  2. What's the point, I can't get to the money anyway
  3. I have to feel inspired to do it - Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working. ~ Pablo Picasso
Linking to Show me what you Got Art Linkup.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Still Alive

How are you all doing?

I'm awesome considering today's the end of the world. Lol!

I'm still alive. Are you?

Ok, I'm kidding. I never expected today to be apocalyptic. But I had fun doing this spread in my art journal. I got some Jessica Sporn's stencils to play with that we're having a proper blog hop next year but I just couldn't resist taking them out for a test drive. :)

Next four prompts are from Reverb#12: 
17. Think of one person whose life you made a difference to in 2012. What did you gain from this? How will you continue to make a difference in 2013?
I was lucky to receive several e-mails this year from people telling me I somehow touched their lives. I never expected it but I guess when you're doing something with all your heart not really expecting anything in return but just pouring your soul out, that's when the magic happens. The trick is not thinking about what's in it for you. Just pour your positive energy out and it will come to you back ten fold.

18. What colour best represents the year you had in 2012? And why? What colour would you like to invite into your life in 2013?
Purple. You know how people ask you, what's your favorite color? I used to say red or pink. This year it was purple. I think it's because it is connected to spirituality. For some reason I'm drawn to it. Next year I'm thinking green and yellow. That's what popped into my head. Lots of sunshine and nature.

19. How did you nourish your beautiful body in 2012? What self-care practices will you take with you into 2013?
Well, crap! You have me now. :) No, I did start with exercise this year, even doing the crazy Jillian Michaels exercise DVD and lots of elliptic cardio. And I tried to keep up with the meditations. But . . . You know . . . I get bored very easily and it's just so much easier to sleep in and check the e-mail and eat than to exercise. But I'm really trying with meditations. And I'm taking that into 2013 with me.

20. What was lost in 2012? What do you intend to find in 2013?
Passion. You heard me say this before. I lost my passion somewhere in the second half of this year. I intend to find it again in 2013. Hopefully with Flora's new class and some challenges I'm doing. Cause that's always fun to push my boundaries. And hopefully some other stuff will fall into place as well. Cause we all know it's all connected anyway.

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I don't watch the news and I don't read papers. Every news I hear is from my family or I accidentally read it on FB. And I really try to avoid it. Not because I'm in denial or I like to be ignorant but because of all the negative energy around it and people focusing on the problem instead of solutions.

Regarding this weekends events, I'd like to share a statement that is attributed to Morgan Freeman but the "internet truth police" cannot find proof of. None the less I agree with whoever wrote it.

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.

It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? 

Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

Next four prompts are from Reverb#12:
13. Please post your favorite picture of yourself from 2012, self-portrait or otherwise!
I realized I have no pictures of myself from this year. So, yesterday being a nice sunny day, I took the opportunity for a self portrait. I'd like to remind you that I'm on a short side with short arms and I cannot hold the camera far enough not to make my nose big. My nose is not that big in reality. I promise. :)

14.  What was the most important thing you learned in 2012? How does this learning shape the path going forward?
I learned a lot about spirituality and why we are all here and how we co-create our reality. It made me aware of my thoughts and my feelings and gave me confidence that all can be changed, if you put your mind and heart into it. How does this shape my path? Well, I believe a new world is coming.

15. What was the most extraordinary dish you sampled in 2012? What made it so magical?
I'm not much of a gourmet eater and since I limited my diet to meat-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, I depend on home cooked meals that are good but not extraordinary. Nothing magical crossed my dinner plate this year. :) My fave food though are homemade spring rolls.

16. Who inspired you in 2012? And why? What gifts did they give you? And how will you carry these forward in to 2013?
Flora Bowley is always an inspiration to me with her artwork and "zenness". Tracy Verdugo made huge business decisions this year that made me applaud her. Teal Scott gave me a lot of insight into spirituality and helped me grow. How will I carry these forward in to 2013? Hell, if I know. I don't have all the answers. I just improvise. :))

For the journal page above I used another border stencil from Jessica Sporn.

Linking to Show me what you Got Art Linkup.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Greeting cards & giveaways

Yes, I actually put my ass in gear and made some greeting cards. Are you proud of me? :) I used stencils designed by Jessica Sporn, spray paints and gold/silver markers.
The yellow spray paint didn't take well but that's ok. It makes them look more expressionistic. :) Anyway. I really love this stencil border however it was -13°C outside when I was spray painting in my slippers and freezing my ass off so it shows my lack of enthusiasm to do it properly. :))

Next three prompts are from Reverb#12: 
10. What was the greatest risk you took in 2012? What was the outcome?
I feel like I'm repeating myself so I'll make it short. My on-line workshop.

11. What was music to your ears in 2012, literally or metaphorically?
I enjoyed watching the audition for the X Factor, The Voice and such. I love it when someone starts singing and you don't expect that kind of voice to come out of them. :) Among my favorites were Karise Eden, Christopher Maloney, Jahmene Douglas and Carly Rose Sonenclar.

12. What made you dance in 2012? What made you weep?
We had four deaths in our family past several months. We lost 2 great aunts, one aunt and my cousin's husband. It was a shock because we had no deaths like for years and now 4 all of a sudden. There's certainly a lot of deaths this year in general. Haven't done much dancing this year. But I do have sporadic laughter attacks with my hubby for no reason. Does that count? :))

Linking to Artists in Blogland and Paint Party Friday.

P.S. I'm having 3 GIVEAWAYS for all the book lovers. 
1. GIVEAWAY win eBook worth up to $15 via Amazon
2. GIVEAWAY win BOOK NERD necklace
3. GIVEAWAY win an autographed paperback BOOK from Taylor Lakke

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

$100 Gift Card Book Blast for The Jelly Bean Crisis

The Jelly Bean Crisis by Jolene Stockman

A total meltdown. The whole school watching. Now Poppy’s an ex-straight-A with no Plan B.

When Poppy Johnson throws away a full scholarship to Columbia, she can only blame the jelly beans. The yucky green ones? Midnight cram sessions and Saturday’s spent studying. The delicious red? The family legacy: Columbia, and a future in finance. Except now it’s starting to look like Poppy’s jelly bean theory is wrong. School has been her life until, but maybe it’s time to start living now.

Poppy has thirty days to try a new life. No school, no studying. Just jumping into every possible world. Thirty days to find her passion, her path, and maybe even love.

The Jelly Bean Crisis is officially on.

*** Praise for The Jelly Bean Crisis***

"The Jelly Bean Crisis is a heart warming and thought provoking story, especially if you're in the process of figuring out your life!"  - Ajoop On Books!

"This book had me riveted. Completely riveted the entire time. The Jelly Bean Crisis was instant love for me."  - Book Briefs.

"It's a beautifully told story that you'll be thinking about long after you finish reading."  - A Pocket Full of Books.

If you're looking for a smart contemporary YA read, then The Jelly Bean Crisis is for you!


***Book Blast Special***

Get your Kindle copy of The Jelly Bean Crisis for 99 cents!

Author Jolene Stockman

Jolene Stockman is an award winning writer, speaker, and an expert for Girlfriend Magazine Australia. She is a Master of Neuro Linguistic Programming, and one of the youngest in the world to achieve the Distinguished Toastmaster Award. Jolene lives in New Zealand, and is the author of Total Blueprint for World Domination. The Jelly Bean Crisis is her debut fiction.

 ***My Review:***

Jelly Bean Crisis is an analogy for going through crap and doing stuff you don’t want to do to get to the good stuff you do want. It’s a great story about a girl whose life is perfectly planed but she gets second thoughts about it all and decides to go on a search for her happiness by taking a month off for finding out what she wants to do in her life. It’s a good read with a great message. I could connect to Poppy and her situation and I admired her for standing up to her parents without any major drama. I wish there were a little more romance in it but that’s just my preference. I know the story was about Poppy and her life but I wished the friends were more developed characters as well. I feel it would be easier to understand them. All in all a good read.

$100 Book Blast Giveaway

Ends 12/21/12

This is how you enter to win. If you don't see the entry form straight away, please give it a minute to load. If you still can't see it, click on the link that says "A Rafflecopter giveaway" and it should take you to the form. Click on the "DO IT!" buttons on the right side of the form and read what you need to do. You don't need to do every single entry, so if it's not for you, click "Cancel", if you do what's required, click the green button that says "enter or I follow or I'm a fan!". If the button below where it says "if you're a a fan/follower on Facebook/Twitter, you're entitled to a free entry. If not, you can become one here:" is grayed out, it means you're already a fan/follower so just leave the required info. The more entries you do, the better chance you have at winning. :)

*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow Jolene and leave the others blank.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

P.S. I'm having a GIVEAWAY for all the book lovers. You can win ONE KINDLE EBOOK (up to $15) by an author from the Christmas for Authors event OF YOUR CHOOSING via Amazon (the list of authors is at the top of this event). Go follow the link to see how to enter. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Junk in a trunk

I made these rings! Do you like them? :)

Here is how you make them. You take glass pebbles like the ones below that are flat on one side and bake them in an oven on around 350° for about 20 minutes. Then you take them out and immediately drop them in a bowl of iced water. I actually dumped some snow in my water so it was really cold. Pebbles should "brake" on the inside but the surface should be whole.
Than you take the ring base that can be bought in any craft store and glue the pebble on. Voila! You made your very own unique rings. :)
Artsyville Tuesday's list for this week is about "contents of your junk drawer". This was my suggestions when we made that list of lists. :)

I have several junk drawers but I'm only going to list stuff in the nearest one that happens to be my computer desk art junk drawer.
  • lots of envelopes
  • 3 washi tapes
  • probably around 20 blank ATC's
  • 2 finished ATC's
  • a lot of ATC protective sleeves
  • 6 custom declarations forms
  • flip camera
  • 2 USB sticks
  • mini stapler
  • numerous 1 US dollar bills, I need them for postage when I participate in swaps
  • regular tape
  • unopened package of 2 felt tip pens with correctors
  • 5 postcards from the postcard swap a year ago
  • several handmade postcards from the postcard challenge I haven't yet figured out what to do with them
  • a lot of scrap paper and some weird embellishments
  • cherry flavored lip balm
  • a package of 4 ring bases 
  • 3 photos from years ago when I was 21 or 22 years old 
I first wanted you to guess which one I am but then realized I cannot just post people's faces on internet without their permission. So, here I am.

Next three prompts are from Reverb#12:

7. What's the one thing you want to take with you into 2013?
Spiritual growth. Oh, wait. Reading books. :)

8. Considering the idea that nothing lasts forever: what was the most important relationship that you fostered in 2012?
Blogging community. Really. It amazes me every time how relationships develop. :) And I found some amazing book reading blogs as well.

9. What was the best book you read in 2012, and why? (And by "Why?" I mean: Why did you read it? And why was it your favorite?
Darn, I answered this one on Friday. :) The Darkness Falls series from Jessica Sorensen. I probably read it because it was free on Amazon and it had a cool cover. That's how I choose books to read. :)) And it's my favorite because I really liked the heroine and how she acted in the story. I get really annoyed when characters act stupid or against (my) logic. :) She didn't. :)

Linking to Show me what you Got Art Linkup. 

P.S. I'm having a GIVEAWAY for all the book lovers. You can win ONE KINDLE EBOOK (up to $15) by an author from the Christmas for Authors event OF YOUR CHOOSING via Amazon (the list of authors is at the top of this event). Go follow the link to see how to enter. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Balance it

Next two prompts are from Reverb#12:

5. What was your dream destination in 2012 and why?
I had no destination for this year but as it happens I did manage to travel to the Fantasy Land. :) You gotta love books for that. I actually discovered that I like dystopian books. My current favorite being The Darkness Falls series by Jessica Sorensen, the first book is free in kindle edition so go on and grab it.

6. Compare the “you” from the beginning of 2012 to the “you” that you are now. What new skills or talents have you learned or discovered this year?
Well, since my biggest accomplishment this year was my online workshop I must say I learned quite a bit. I had to do a lot of research which I like to do anyway and I became confident that I can do whatever the hell I set my mind to, even online teaching. It's been tough last few months dough cause I feel like I somewhat deflated. I lost the passion. I just recently took a chakra test that showed my solar plexus chakra that is responsible for drive, focus, passion is 44% under active. No surprise there. I need to start meditating again. I started the Chopra challenge last month but didn't get to finish it. I just forget to meditate. How awful is that?! Anyway, if you're into that sort of thing here is a wonderful FB group for you to join. Manifesting and visualization

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

P.S. Here is another FREE e-book for you. 6th and 7th Dec. only. Go ahead and grab it! I know you want it. :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Balloon rides and green tea

Yeah! You see that red band on the right? That's not suppose to be there. I put it there to prevent the page from curling while I glued stuff to it and totally didn't see it when I was scanning the page. I felt it would be easier to just explain it here for you than to reconnect the scanner to scan again. :)

Next two prompts are from Reverb#12:

3. Imagine a scenario where you only had one year left to live. What is one thing that you really wish to do that you just haven't had the chance to accomplish yet?
I actually think about this a lot. I really don't want any regrets in my life so I try to figure out from time to time what I really, really want. If I had a year, I would take a trip around the world, go skydiving and take a balloon ride.

4. How are you going to celebrate your self this festive season?
Apart from treating myself to an online workshop that starts next year, I will probably continue drinking green tea and making art. Although I have an idea for those ring bases that are lingering in my art drawer. :)

And I just have to show you this video. Did you see this? The dog is actually carrying the cat! :))

Linking to Show me what you Got Art Linkup.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Just words today

Artsyville Tuesday's list for this week is about "small comforts" (things that make you feel better).
  • books
  • watching my pets play and run around
  • green tea
  • FB and blogs, nothing more comforting that witnessing people's lives in action
  • music, I have a thing for Rebecca Ferguson at the moment
  • happy mail
  • giveaways

We also have some prompts at Reverb#12. So here I am answering them.

1. How are you starting this last month of 2012?
Well, I must say it's nothing special or different than any other month. :) I'm reading and I'm playing in my art journal and I'm blogging. There will be no holiday decorations because I have cats. And you know what that means. :)) 

2. What was your most significant expenditure in 2012? What difference has it made to your life?
Honestly I haven't spent that much this year. I have enough art supplies so no need to buy anything and I haven't gone on vacation this year. But what I did last week on a whim is treat myself to Flora Bowley e-course that starts next year. That's the most expensive online workshop I've payed for but I really want it. We'll see what difference it will make next year. :) I haven't taken any online workshops this year apart from Life Book but I won that one in a giveaway last year. But I really had a blast and I loved all the teachers and everything they've taught me.

Oh, I'm not including vet bills here cause that pretty much bankrupt me this year.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Washi Tape Silhouettes

The month of An Attitude of Gratitude challenge has passed. This is my last entry as I had a Book Blast Giveaway yesterday and I didn't want to crowd the blog. :)

I'm continuing with another challenge through December called Reverb#12.
Why, you ask? 

Because it's fun and you get prompts and you think about stuff you normally wouldn't and because it's important to be grateful for little things in life.

For this journal page I used napkins or paper serviettes as a background and I cut out washi tape silhouettes that I saw a tutorial on Andria's blog. The lady is bought washi tape, the cat is my version of washi tape. :) And I used the below quotes.

Quotes say: 
You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given to you. 
 ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it. 
~ Ralph Marston

Linking to Artists in Blogland and Paint Party Friday.

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