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Monday, April 29, 2013

My "Art Saves" Story on Crescendoh.

I am honored and happy to finally be part of the Crescendoh family! Thank you Jenny for the splendid opportunity to share my story in such a caring, compassionate and  inspiring community of artists and creative people.

Dear friends and readers, it'a also because of you that today I feel OK in sharing my story with the world. I'd love if you read it!

Monica x

Monday, March 18, 2013

One Decade Wiser.

Today I turn one year wiser... one decade wiser, actually!... 40 years on this Earth, and sooo much to learn and discover, yet! :)
As I walk into the new decade, I can't help reflecting a bit on the past 40 years.

It took me 40 years to completely change my vision of this life and of the world.

It took me 40 years to finally get rid of the (self or not) imposed "rules", boundaries, fears, and opinion of the others, which didn't allow me to spread my wings and fly free.

It took me 40 years to answer my inner "calling", and start living the life I was meant to live.

It took me 40 years to discover my taste and what makes me happy, for how odd it may seem.

It took me 40 years to take care of myself.

It took me 40 years to understand I am an introvert and a dreamer, and there's nothing wrong at all!

It took me 40 years to choose positive thinking as my only rule of living.

It took me 40 years to finally say a loud YES! to the Universe and to all that's in store for me.

It took me 40 years to wholeheartedly believe in synchronicity and in everyday magic.

It took me 40 years to become conscious that I have a serious problem with "my stuff", and I should simplify more! :)

Monica x

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My First Photography Covers!

These made my heart skip a beat!! What a wonderful surprise in my inbox yesterday (thanks a bunch, Robin :))!

The Country Register chose my work once again for two of their covers! My, I am flattered and honored, thank you so much, Country Register! Their publications are chock-full of interesting features and items, lovely shops, places and fairs to visit, recipes, ideas, and they even have an annual issue dedicated to quilting, sewing and needlework! Love this for sure!

You can find them scattered all around the USA and Canada. The ones with my photographs with a "sewing theme" on the cover, happen to be the annual Quilting, Sewing and Needlework Issues available in Oregon, Washington and South Idaho.

Found these antique spools in Dorset last summer...

... and this antique sewing machine in Italy. Vintage sewing items are something I rarely pass by at flea/antiques markets! My Granny would be so happy seeing these covers (she was a sewing lover).

This image is part of my vast "Stitched Collection" I created adding stitching

and mixed media to my photographs!
Have a fantastic Tuesday! Off in the snow (with my camera) I go :)
Monica x

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Just had to share this here too :)
Monica x
P.S. Comments closed here.

OMG! Cover Artist!

... Now bring out the smelling salts and pinch me!!

OMG. I couldn't believe that when I saw my art on the cover of The Country Register (MN edition, January/February 2013)! Oh boy. My snowmen (big smile here).

And even inside! Oh my.

Now, after all of the oohing and aahing, OMGs and such, I'm supposed to write something with a certain sense about this! LOL But... I do feel so honored, grateful and overwhelmed that I have no words!
And have you noticed that I'm side by side with Susan Branch? My heart skipped more than one beat when I saw that. I adore Susan, she's one of my mentors, I even have her picture (together with Marjolein's and Mary's) in my Illustrated Discovery Journal! Years ago, she made me discover I really, really wanted to become a professional artist and illustrator! The fun thing is that the very night before I even knew about this magazine feature, I grabbed all of my courage and wrote her, about how she had inspired me to find my way. I just love, love this syncronicity. Don't you?
As you may easily understand, I have no more words. Let me lose myself in this moment of tender awareness, sweet joy and deep thankfulness.
Monica x

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Book of Grace.

Hello dear friends and readers, hope 2013 started off nicely for you.
I have my "Book of Grace" published in the hot- off- the-press issue of Somerset Life. Is it there a more awesome way to begin a new year?
It's a creation dear to my heart, so I know Christen and all of her staff won't mind if I show here on my blog some additional pictures of it to inspire you to make your own.

I'm so delighted with the photography and the article layout- they captured the spirit of my creation entirely (THANK.YOU).

You can read my whole article on the magazine, but it's basically a "spiritual tool", a way to "work" on yourself and grow in grace throughout the year. It may be placed in a visible spot of the house and used by all your family members and visitors of your home as well. 

I am a vintage girl at heart, and love to incorporate vintage or antique finds in my home decor. So I couldn't resist making a card holder out of a vintage book, as seen on Pinterest. I added my touch by adding two vintage door knobs, and lining the inside of the cover with vintage wallpaper. The rest of the design is very clean and simple. Just a batch of cards with inspiring messages to be rotated at the top of the book.

I am a believer that Grace can be cultivated...

"Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
... I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see."
John Newton
Monica x

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Word for 2013.

My first art journal page for 2013.
As January starts off, and a new year begins to unfold, I am inviting a new word to come into my life. As I wrote before, truth is that I don't choose my word, but it actually chooses me. At the very end of 2012, when I had already chosen another word, out of the blue MOVE  knocked at my door, in form of an idea during an inspiring conversation with my DH. And, after a few seconds of great surprise (as it was something I had never even considered), with open heart and mind, I smiled at the Universe and gladly welcomed it in.

    Move as making progress, advancing.

    Move, as going forward; following a course; progressing toward a particular state or condition.

    Move, as starting off.

    Move, as being active; changing posture or position; setting or keeping in motion.

    Move, as exhibiting great activity or energy; initiating an action; acting.

    Move, as stirring the emotions; exciting or provoking to the expression of an emotion.

    Move, as prompting to an action; rousing.

    Move, as dislodging from a fixed point of view.

    Move, as going from one residence or location to another; relocating.

That's how I am going to live twenty-thirteen. I honestly can't wait. Since I started choosing a single word to live by, opting for simplicity and harmony instead of pressure and stress (let's face it, we all know what happens to those endless lists of resolutions...), my life has improved. I have become a better me and magic never failed to manifest in my life, thanks to those little words.

... What about you? Are you welcoming a powerful, teeny tiny word into your life this year?
Monica x

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012- A Recap.

☑ 2012 brought me a new, fabulous word to live by, Bloom. As I wrote in this post, my wish for the nearly finished year was to open up to new things, flourish, stay healthy, express in my life the spiritual qualities of flowers- grace, simplicity, beauty, inspiration. I sincerely sent my wish out into the Universe, and it sent me back all kind of blessings in return. I can say now, looking back, this has been a fantastic word to live by...

☑ I attended (even if not in person) my first Surtex ever!! Can you believe that??? My art (and heart) exibiting in the Big Apple, and looots of new eyes onto it! Oh my :)


☑ I signed licensing agreements, had a steep learning curve, enjoyed the growing time so much. I had such a positive feedback on my work, refined it as I painted and painted, challenged myself, fattened my portfolio, managed to cope with "deadlines" and accepted my chronic migraines. Furthermore, I've worked on the concept that I don't necessarily have to accept them as chronic, and it's totally possible they go away. 

☑ After craving for it for years, I finally started (and succesfully managed to keep) an art journal. Actually two. I love to define art journaling as my Pensieve and have no idea how I could live without it before!

☑ I reaffirmed to myself Art heals and saves. It has helped me during the toughest periods of my life and it still does on a daily basis. I painted lots of meaningful and powerful pieces during 2012, and once again felt the urge to share my inspiration and colors with the world.

☑ I have had my nice dose of vintage and antique bliss over the year... and with my finds I've been able to produce lots of images that eventually will find their way to the gift industry. Just in case you're wondering- yes, I am still pinching myself in disbelief! 
I have also felt really blessed to be able to "see", "feel" and "hear", and profoundly realized this is a great gift I've been given.

☑ I have challenged myself to create from scratch journals out of discarded materials, and I have been really happy with the result. I am delighted this journal has become source of inspiration for others too.

☑ I have created a Biz Gratitude Book, and I feel so thankful as I fill in its pages with my job- related small and big joys ...

☑ I have serendipitously found quotes that spoke volumes to me, or as I like to think, they serendipitously found their way to me... Many of them, if not all, I found when I really needed them- isn't this practical magic? :)

☑ I finally understood there's nothing wrong with my being a (happy) introvert, and bravely stepped out of my comfort zone sharing my thoughts on the subject on my blog. In return, I have received several notes from people feeling the very same, sharing their own stories with me. For that I am honored and grateful, as they're going to enrich my experience.

☑ I already knew I was strong, but this year I had the chance to reaffirm that to myself. It's always good to remember.

☑ I have decided to stay open.

Photo by me- Necklace by Liz Lamoreux

☑ I finally launched a brand- new website and my new, main blog. It was emotional for me to finally see all I have been building for years disclosing under my eyes- not the mere site actually, but the wildest of my dreams. A career as licensing artist. A creative job out of my greatest and deepest passions. Something I need like breathing and am very good at. Something that allows me to do what keeps me alive, and something that many people around me thought was not possible at all.

☑ I have wholeheartedly trusted the Abundance and God's plan, and received lots of blessings even when our sweetest, beloved furbaby Kim decided it was time to free herself from her material body and stay with us in a different form. I know in my chest she's very proud of me
What's sure is that she has given me the gift of a steep spiritual growth and a steadfast, powerful inspiration. Each time I look at those eyes, it's like I can kiss her head and hug her in the flesh... 

☑ I had once again proof (and more than once this year) that everything happens for a reason, that our dreams do not come true at our own pace but only when the right time comes. I still have some dreams in my pocket, I know they will eventually come true. 

Farewell 2012! You've been a blooming year I will tenderly remember forever!
Monica x

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Precious Kim...

... is now free from her material body and running happily once again!
I cannot tell you how much I love her, how much she has loved me. She has blessed my husband and me with years of love, joy, true friendship and inspiration.
Thanks from the heart for all the well wishes, love, prayers you've sent our way. They helped to keep her here with us for 4 intense, abundant months.
You have taught me the ways of the Force, you have been my best friend, my baby. I cannot thank you enough for helping me through those scary times,  for always being there for me and with me, for allowing me to be your best friend and Mom during your physical experience. We will always be together.
Monica x

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

True Home.

I have mentioned here before that recently I have switched to a new idea of home, more spiritual than material. For my new readers, my hubby, Kim and I are still camping among piles of boxes (bare necessities and mainly my growing creative stuff), next month it'll be two years that our belongings have been in storage and among several mishaps, we haven't found four walls + a roof to call our own as of yet. You may easily understand why the theme of a home has been around my mind a lot!
Last month or so I started to become sooo tired of this uncomfortable situation that all I wanted to do was screaming. Until this quote serendipitously found its way to me. What I believe is that it was the right moment for me to receive it- I was ready. A second before, and it would have gotten lost.

The other night, while I was working on something totally different that I had to finish for a client, I happened to put my eyes on a dirty canvas from a discarded work, and I immediately felt the urge to make that new idea of home (still swirling in my mind) visible, as a reminder to myself. A girl's face appeared... the imperfections of the background weren't disturbing anymore.

I painted the girl and wrote the quote, slightly changed in the tense, on her neck, to always remember to stick to the true idea of home. 

"Home isn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It is wherever the people who love you are, whenever you are together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go."

I added three hearts, symbolizing our three hearts- hubby's, Kim's and mine. Our three names are secure between the layers of paint.

Monica x

Saturday, December 8, 2012

And She Found herself in the Enchanted Forest...

It was one of those days when all I want is to soak up the solitude and peacefulness. My heart heavy with anxiety and lots of mixed thoughts swirling in my head, off I went for a solitary walk... and I found myself in the Enchanted Forest.

I wandered along the fall- carpeted paths, sunbeams kissing the golden leaves still on the trees and those adorning the ground, in the sole company of my camera and the rhythm of my heartbeats...

... and only once in a while my path was crossed by another lonely soul and their own heartbeats.

Seeing this now, after some weeks have passed, it was one of those moments in life when you're totally receptive, you just have to open your eyes and look. Open your ears and listen. Pay attention. Keep an open heart and open mind. Surrender. Truth is disclosing to you.

With my eyes wide open, I watched at the familiar landscape differently. Seemed like I had been thrown right into Hogwarts, so I was ready to expect all kind of magic happening all of a sudden. 

And I wasn't disappointed at all. The wood started to come alive, out of the blue I was able to hear the trees speaking and whispering in my ears.

Hearts started appearing everywhere in front of my nose...

I finally perceived the Abundance of the situation I was in, and felt at peace.

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
Roald Dahl
Monica x