The year is drawing quickly to a close with only 4 weeks left until Christmas! I really love Christmas time. The promise of long summer days, special time with family and friends, Christmas traditions, decorating, wrapping presents, sharing delicious food and making new memories. Last year my husband and I started a new Christmas tradition. It was our first Christmas as husband + wife and we wanted to do something special. So rather than putting up a traditional Christmas tree, we took a more crafty approach and built our tree from sticks and fairly lights. It looked great and we were super chuffed that we had built it ourselves! So this year, we are continuing with this new tradition of Christmas tree creativity, but this time, using golden paper + Washi tape.
Our tree was made in 4 simple steps: CUT – SPRAY – CURL – STICK
What does your Christmas tree look like this year?
I love paper Christmas trees!
Photography by Galina Dixon © 2013.
My favourite “crazy” is getting married! Her name is Lindy and she has found the one she loves. All the lovely ladies in her life recently spent the day at one of her favourite spots, Bronte beach, eating, drinking, laughing hysterically and celebrating her future as Mrs. K. With only a few short weeks to go before she walks down the aisle, I thought I would impart some of my wifey wisdom from my abundance of experience (one-and-a-half years to be exact!) I’ll keep it short and easy to remember:
Say ‘I love you’ every day / Never lose your sense of humour / Be the first to say ‘I’m sorry’ / Always make time for fun & romance / Keep God at the centre of your marriage.
I love this crazy bride-to-be!
Photography by Galina Dixon © 2013.
I’m beyond thrilled and most humbled to be chosen as the winner of the 7 vignettes challenge for November! If you haven’t heard of 7 vignettes, you’re welcome to read my previous post all about it. There are so many beautiful, creative and inspiring entries, so to win was such an unexpected surprise! I’ve been so overwhelmed by all the support, kindness and love from the 7 vignettes Instagram community, so to say THANK YOU I crafted this piece of Washi tape typography. THANK YOU Jen from Interiors Addict for dreaming up this great little challenge. THANK YOU Jayde from Little Paper Lane for choosing me as the winner for November and lucky recipient of $200 worth of Washi tape!
If you fancy making your own Washi tape typography – just follow the simple steps I’ve created below. For more #7vignettes adventures next month you can find me on Instagram @galina.
I love Washi tape!
Artwork + photography by Galina Dixon © 2013.
P A P E R >> Oh beautiful paper! The possibilities are endless and limited only by our imagination. #7vignettes
So what is 7 vignettes? It’s a friendly creative 7-day Instagram challenge invented by Jen Bishop from Interiors Addict that starts on the first day of every month. In advance, Jen shares 7 themes, one for each of the first 7 days of that month. Then the fun begins! Create a vignette inspired by the theme of the day and share it on Instagram using the #7vignettes hashtag, tagging @interiorsaddict and the guest judge for that month. Style, collect, craft, create, photograph – but most of all, it’s about having fun, and being part of the kind, creative, inspiring and very supportive community of Instagramers – and that’s what I love.
Here are my November vignettes. Go on – join in the fun next month!
I love 7 vignettes!
H O L I D A Y >> It’s the 1st of November and I had the best day visiting 3 of my favourite stationery stores to stock up for Christmas. Thanks Little Paper Lane / Eckersleys / Kikki.K
S T A C K >> Stacks of crafty goodies found in many corners of my home studio. H A N G I N G >> Happy little banner by Marsha Goleman hanging in my home studio. R E C I P E >> Made with love. My favourite choc chip cookie recipe. S O F T >> Best corner of our home to curl up with a good book. Soft light, lounge + tulips. R E F L E C T I V E >> New watercolour art I’ve been working on recently. Photography by Galina Dixon © 2013.
For more #7vignettes adventures find me on Instagram @galina.
I first tried my hand at watercolour painting when I was 11 years old. I spent an afternoon on a South New Zealand farm with Russian watercolour artist Svetlana Orinko. She gave me my first set of watercolour paints – 24 beautiful colours and a couple of brushes. Svetlana taught me the gentle art of painting the sky – in many glorious colours, and the tricks artists use to create white clouds. I was beyond inspired.
I still have this watercolour paint set. Two weeks ago I dusted it off for the first time in over a decade to see if it ‘still worked’ and it does! The colours are still as vibrant as ever although I’m a little low on all shades of blue.
Earlier this month when a watercolour class at Megan Morton’s The School was announced I remembered fondly that first watercolour lesson. It had been far too long since my last (and only) watercolour class, and I felt the need to expand my watercolour skill set beyond painting skies and clouds. This class was taught by Fiona Kate, who among many creative ventures is a watercolour artist. Her work is vibrant yet delicate, and I particularly like her geometric paintings.
In this beautiful class, I painted my first watercolour colour wheel (using only 3 colours! Can you believe it?), explored the freedoms of water and paint dancing on the page, and tried to guide my brush into some sort of geometric order (last image in this post). But I think the most valuable thing I learned, and the thought I’d like to leave with you is:
Live a creative life
the rest will follow.
Whatever your creative medium, if you love it – do more of it and don’t be afraid to see where it takes you. I love watercolour!
// Below: Inspiration wall + rhubarb jelly, just some of the tasty treats offered in the class //
// Below: My first words (and definitely not the last) written in watercolour in collaboration with this beautiful up-and-coming young artist Gabrielle //// Above: My watercolour exploring repetitive geometric shapes and overlapping colours //
Photography by Galina Dixon © 2013. All paintings featured are by Fiona Kate unless otherwise noted, read more about Fiona Kate on her website or blog. For more information about this or other fantastically creative classes check out Megan Morton’s The School.
So… today was amazing! I received the best (early) birthday present from my husband and family: a ticket to the Modern Calligraphy class at Megan Morton’s The School taught by Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls – Queen Bee of all things written. Based in San Francisco, her calligraphy work has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings among other countless magazines and blogs.
Being a passionate typographer myself – I was in lettering heaven today! I got my hands dirty, I inked letterforms all day – A to Z, black ink on white paper, white ink on black paper. I was in my happy place – discovering the magic of modern calligraphy alongside other creatively talented people. To perfect my penmanship, I have many hours of practice ahead of me, but I like Maybelle’s philosophy of finding beauty in imperfection, or as she says creating “perfectly imperfect” artwork.
Maybelle, thank you so much for teaching us calligraphy today – you are an inspiration!
I love calligraphy!
// Above: Starting my calligraphy workbook with the letter ‘A’ //
// Above: Maybelle teaching // Below: Sample of Maybelle’s exquisite calligraphy //
// Above: Barbara Ryan’s beautiful student calligraphy // Below: Maybelle’s calligraphy //
// Above: My first white ink calligraphy attempts // Below: Meeting the lovely Maybelle // Photography by Galina Dixon © 2013.
Find out more about Maybelle or Megan Morton’s The School.
My husband recently completed his first Ironman 70.3! This long distance triathlon race consists of a 1.9km ocean swim, 90km bike ride, and a 21.1km run (which equals 70.3 miles, hence Ironman 70.3). He didn’t have a lot of time to train leading up to the race, and had never actually run that far in his life before, but during the race I couldn’t be more proud of his strength, ability and determination. He committed himself fully and never gave up. He achieved his goal of finishing in under 6hrs and even stopped to kiss me just before crossing the finish line – I love my Ironman!
Whenever I watch a race, particularly a running race, I always think of this verse from 2 Timothy 4:7:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
I think about how life, lived moment by moment, feels just as a race, run step by step. Not a competition, but a journey. The apostle Paul uses three phrases to sum up his life’s accomplishments. I wonder how I would sum up my life when looking back one day.
For now, I’m just happy to be in life’s race… with an Ironman by my side.
// Our friends, Chris and Monica //
During our lives we play many important roles in the lives of others. From the moment we are born, we’re a daughter or son. We might also already be a sister or brother to an older sibling, a granddaughter or grandson, or even a great-grandchild. If you are the first born, like I was, your parents become mum and dad for the first time, and that is probably the most life-changing role!
As we grow, we learn how to be friends, and then girlfriends or boyfriends. Last year, I became a wife. This role I have been very much looking forward to while dating my future husband, Lee. One of the amazing things about becoming a wife is that you also gain a new family to share your life with. So on the day I married my amazing husband, I also became a daughter-in-law and sister-in-law – roles that I very much love and never knew I would grow to cherish so much.
Just when I thought I had all the fabulous roles one person could muster up at my age, I was blessed with yet another role. In the very early hours of the 31st of May, we received a text message from my mum-in-law, Jen, “Her waters have broken!” My husband and I could hardly hold back our excitement … we were only hours away from becoming aunty and uncle as my sister-in-law, Erica, began labour (you can read her beautifully inspiring birth story here). Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep that night and early in the morning raced to hospital to meet our new nephew, Hugh Charles Aitken.
I wasn’t prepared for how much my heart would swell with love for this child.
He was perfection. It was impossible for me not to love him immediately. I couldn’t be more proud of Erica and her efforts to bring this precious life into the world. When I first held Hugh I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude to both Erica and her husband Mark for making me an aunt. For giving me a special role in his life that I’m most excited to discover and fulfil.
To celebrate this new life, I paper crafted the letter “H” and had it framed in a white box frame for Hugh’s room. Welcome to the world beautiful boy, your aunty loves you! x
// Meeting our nephew Hugh – 1.5hrs new //