mercredi 29 juin 2016

Pocket Scrapbooking | April pages

Before all of our belongings got shipped out or stored, I took the time to finish my Pocket Scrapbooking album. I felt I had to because we will not see our shipment until the end of September! I would have been so far behind. Here are April's pages. At the start of that month I went to Belgium for work. For privacy issues, I have blurred some of the photos/writing.

We were on a dig, but were staying in historic Bruges and it was awesome.

The ten days I spent overseas are spread out in my album because there id always so much to document when we travel. i visited many of the Commonwealth military cemeteries in northern France.

And then, highlight! I spent the weekend in Paris...with Caylee! That was so excellent. We had the best time and it was a treat to actually meet Caylee in real life. She is awesome! We did exactly what I really wanted to do in Paris: walk around, find great paper/art stores and buy ephemera on the Seine.

We also ate great food, talked all the time and worked in our travel journals. It was so cool to spend time with someone who likes to document things like I do. Obviously we would stop every few corners to take photos in front of gorgeous doors or murals! 

After that amazing weekend, the rest of my trip went by quickly and it was time to go home.

The week I returned was so full...My sister had her twins, my cousin came to our place with her babies, we had a memorable 12-course dinner and the kids had a sleepover on the weekend!

Beyoncé released Lemonade and I was completely floored by her video documentary. We started our vaccines for our trip to Beijing and my husband and I had a weekend getaway in Toronto.

It was great to have time together, to enjoy the sights and walk around TO. Tattoos and Mexican food? Yes please! After that, I had two more days at home before my trip to South Africa to see my nieces!

I'll be sharing May in a couple of weeks.

V's 52 Pick-up | 26

The ladies in a bar are talking about the return of Lil's husband, Albert. Lil's friend has been telling her that she needs to pretty up if she wants to please Albert. And that if she doesn't, another woman will. And what is Lil's reaction?

Indeed, it seems that Lil believes that her friend has her eyes set on the handsome Albert!

It wouldn't be the first time that a woman was betrayed by her husband and a friend. That story is almost a cliché. Except that most clichés aren't so gut wrenching and heart breaking.

I feel terrible for not remembering this artist's name. His drawings are beautiful. Edited: the artist is Mark Demsteader. The letter on the bottom reads "...him to you darling. I told him quite a lot about you honey"

Sometimes there is quite a discrepancy between words that are written and one's actions.

This card marks the halfway point of this project. I love it so much! I hope you enjoy it as well. (I wrote this post on my phone, I hope it shows up well).

lundi 27 juin 2016

Vanessa's Fancy in a real store!

I am very proud to say that some of my notebooks will be sold in a real bookstore in Quebec City, la Librairie Pantoute, during the summer. I worked very hard for this collaboration, but I had so much fun making these notebooks. There will be 25 handmade notebooks.

And 10 Midori Traveller's Notebook style inserts.

And 15 little jotters to carry around in your handbag.

 I hope that these please people going into that bookstore, one of my favourites from Quebec City where I studied for my doctorate back in the day.

Librairie Pantoute on Instagram

samedi 25 juin 2016

V's 52 Pick-Up - delayed

Ah, this makes me so sad. I am in the middle of an international move. We just emptied our house yesterday. A third of our stuff went into storage, another third went in a container that will be shipped to Beijing where we are moving and the last third is coming with us. We have a lot of suitcases because we need to live three months without our shipment.

Unfortunately, there wasn't enough room in our car to bring all of our suitcases from our house to my mother's where we'll be staying for the next two weeks. And one of the suitcases left behind has all my art supplies including the ones I use for my 52 Pick-Up project. Poop.

This project brings me so much joy, I'm bummed that I have to wait until Tuesday to make my card. Moving is rough guys.

Still, let me share these other cards with you. After a long hiatus, I have gone back to my tarot practice in the last three years. I take a moment to consult these cards when I feel I am in turmoil and need some direction. They always are generous and give me much to meditate on; they also give me something to focus on to grow and centre myself. I definitely needed some of this the other night so I pulled these three cards. This is a Mind / Body / Spirit spread and I used The Nomad Tarot.

Interestingly enough, I usually never do the reversed card thing. I need the positive that these cards bring, not the negative so I usually turn them back up. But this time I was so curious because I had two that were reversed. And, oh my!, message received loud and clear.

Mind: Ace of Fire - reversed

The Ace of Fire is usually and indicator that we have lots of energy and optimism and that it is a good time to use that enthusiasm to start something new. But, because it is reversed, the positive energy from this card is undermined by a lack of focus or by forces out of our control. Things fall apart and our energy overwhelms us or the people around us. Just look at the card, all those fluttering butterflies.

Now this, this is me these recent weeks. Because our things were going in three different places and because we cannot pack anything (for insurance purposes the moving company has to pack and inventory everything), I have felt completely mentally blocked. It has taken me so much energy to sort things but not complete the cycle. I love to set myself to a task and check it off. For a move, I would go room by room and make boxes, all of it nice and organised and done. But because I couldn't do this, there were only piles and piles of stuff. Nothing getting cleared, everything just pulled out and staying put. It really made it hard for me to focus on what needed to be done because I felt like nothing was getting done!

Body: The Magician

This is one of my favourite cards because it basically says that it is all in you. The Magician (you) has all the power of creation and transformation in him. Through willpower and determination goals can be achieved, all the energy is there but you need to tap into it and use it.

My body has been completely and utterly neglected these past two years in Canada. Between working full time and my art practice, I have not done any exercising at all. And it shows. It shows in the weight gain but also in loss of energy and a generalized 'run down' feeling in my body. I am looking forward to two things concerning my body in Beijing: 1- having the time to get back in shape and 2-walking places. Where we lived in Gatineau (Canada) was just awful. There was nowhere to go if you don't have a car. In Hong Kong, in Montreal, I would walk everywhere. I love walking and that was something truly missing from my life in that house. I also need to watch what I eat and give myself proper fuel.

Spirit: Judgement - reversed

This card is part of the Major Arcana (as is the Magician) and as such is a card that must be meditated upon. Judgement is usually a card of rebirth, changes and clean slates. But the fact that it is reversed indicates someone who doesn't want to answer the call of change for fear of the unknown. But the reality has already begun to shift so the only path is forward. No more excuses for refusing to follow, it will happen anyway.


I was floored by this one. This is exactly what I've been doing concerning this move. Transitions are very hard for me. I had to leave a job that I was so extremely passionate about, that suited me and I it, it was my dream job and I had it and I had to let it go. That is so difficult. I still cannot. I am still mad about that. I identify with being an archaeologist, I feel at a complete loss without it, I am frustrated. This is what happened to me when we were posted in Hong Kong and I became 'wife of'. But there is nothing to do but move forward because this move to Beijing is what is happening anyway. In the end, I found a new identity in Hong Kong and made it through.

Like for the first card, I am not dealing completely with things. They are simmering and I am just trying to get through this very intense period. Once I get to Beijing, I will process. I will have a lot of that to do. My saving grace will be my art practice. It is how I identify myself when I am abroad: as an artist, as a creative. I know that in the end I will be ok, I am resilient and have both these versions of me - the scientist and the artist- within.

But this passage from one state to the other? Brutal.

vendredi 24 juin 2016

Get Messy Season of Introspection | 03

Hello all. I'm in the middle of my move, so I will keep the writing short! I have two spreads for you today, one for each prompt. I've been feeling so overwhelmed that I didn't have time for more. Nor did I have the chance to try Katie's tutorial on the blog. Hence a magazine face vs a painted face.

My mind map flows from me, from my eye. Because it is my own perception. I went with the color scheme of that photo. When I tried putting watercolor on my gesso-ed background it wouldn't stick. So I made some watercolor clouds on smooth paper and glued them down. Those are real pressed lilac flowers that I taped down.

I like the added texture they provide. I always try to work with the image that is already on the page, which is why I left those inquisitive ladies at the bottom.

 All the elements of my mind map are interconnected...which is absolutely the theme for my second spread.

I once again worked with the image that was already in my altered book. This image of Odette was just perfect.

The journaling is expressing my views on why we are here, how we are here. It is the Earth, it is the Moon, it is Life that speaks on my page. I am a pantheist: i.e. someone who believes that we are all connected to the world around us, we are all divinities, the divine is within us, our bodies, our lives, our experiences.

I loved pairing Odette's frightful expression with comforting hands. Hands like this are usually funerary symbols, which totally works for me.

I cut out her legs and placed the moonscape from a vintage atlas under them. I also included parts of her dress so that it looks three dimensional almost.

Here is what the backside of that page looks like.

The other page holds the Earth seen from space and some punched moon phases. I wanted to invoke the idea of time and space, that the Universe has been here a long time and will continue on well after us.

These flowers, baby's breath, are a symbol for rebirth or I should say, continuous birth.

Very happy with how they turned out!

Thanks for coming by!


Get Messy Art Journal is an art journaling program/community. We are a group of like minded art journalers who have come together under this art form to learn, share, practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. Our community values consistent creating, encouragement and support and trying new things. We would love to have you join us as a member of Get Messy Art Journal. Join Get Messy now!

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