Monday 30 April 2018

Ambassadors Spotlight - Monika Huculak

Hello Friends!
I'm here today with a brand new inspirational series I called: Ambassadors Spotlight.
This idea was born out of a simple fact that I... well, that I just can't get enough of art made by these superbly talented Artists and that I love seeing them here on my blog as often as possible. :)

Today, I'd like to have a one-on-one chat with Monika Huculak whose feeling for vintage is pure magic and you can always get beautifully lost among all the delicious layers of paint, paper
and meanings in her stunning artworks.

Monika Huculak (a.k.a. Kolorowy Ptak - which means 'A Colorful Bird' in Polish) is a 33 year old ex-history teacher from the south of Poland.

Right now she works with special needs youth, she loves history and art and is a happy owner of a recently adopted shelter dog. :)

Please, enjoy today's post and make sure to leave some love for Monika! :)
Don't forget to follow her art on her {blog} and {instagram}.

1. How and when did you start your art adventure?

I started my blog in 2010 but even before that I would be creating pieces out of magazine cutouts not knowing that I could be calling it collaging or art journaling. :)
When I was browsing the internet looking for gift ideas for a friend, I came across scrapbooking blogs and I thought to myself that I would like to try making such pretty things myself. After trying out different kinds of art, I discovered that my favorite outlets are: altered art, large layouts and the closest to my heart - art journaling. I fell in love with the creative possibility to express myself and unwind at the same time.
I also discovered the wonderful art community of like-minded people and made some friendships that last to this day.
2. What do you like the most about your style?

The answer's simple: layers! I think they are my signature trait. Just like splashing and dyeing with coffee and all the vintage, 'time-worn' elements.

3. What are your art dreams/plans/wishes?

I've always wanted to try soldering. I get the feeling that I would have a lot of fun altering and creating with metal.
4. What is your must have Finnabair product?

I absolutely love Impasto paints and all the Mechanicals! They just perfectly match my style and the character of my artworks.

5. Share a quote that you find particularly inspiring.

The only limit is your imagination.
6. Share a word of of advice for all those who want to be creative and maybe are stuck in a creative rut or feel too shy or insecure to make and/or share their art.

Look for inspirations everywhere around you - in music or nature. Stay open.
Don't waste your time wondering what other people will say. Just listen to what your heart is telling you.
Keep experimenting, trying out new ideas and techniques. That's how you'll find your style.
7. Show us your favorite artworks.

All these pieces happened spontaneously, out of the need of my heart. Each of them makes me think of a special moment in my life and the people I love.
The first one is the one on which I had a blast painting with Impasto acrylics and my watercolors. I surprised myself when the piece turned out quite flat, I usually build up countless layers so it felt different but very exciting. :)
This tag was a a lot of fun to make as I wanted to create a special kind of work with my favorite quotations that could be hidden among the layers.
And finally, a very special frame with a photo of little me on my mom's lap. It goes without saying why I love it so much. :)
We hope you enjoyed today's interview and that you're already looking forward
to the next Artist Spotlight in May! :)

Finn & The Team

Friday 27 April 2018

Brand Ambassadors - Healing Art

Hello Dear Friends!
My super talented Brand Ambassadors have a very special treat for you today - again! :)

April is the Stress Awareness Month and this theme provoked some really touching stories from our Artists - raw and honest both in their artmaking and sharing their personal views.
 I'm truly blessed to be cooperating with these exceptional ladies...

 How can art be a way to deal with various difficult situations in our lives?
Do you ever create when you need healing or having an outlet to your emotions?
How can you use art to unwind, get grounded and reconnect with yourself?

You'll love our Aritsts' beautiful 'gallery' of Art and Soul!

Stress and anxiety are a part of everyone’s life to a lesser or greater degree. Managing it can be tricky, and many things can help, ranging from how much sleep we have, what we eat, exercise, meditation and the list can go on.

Art, or some form of creative activity, is for me a huge help in managing stress. In particular I love the process of collage.

Sometimes all I need to do is look at my stash of coloured and patterned papers; to pick them up, admire them, sort them and be inspired by them. :)

The actual process of collage making I find to be very relaxing and therapeutic.
Choosing, cutting, arranging, glueing, and smoothing out paper can be quite a meditative process and a definite de-stresser.
Choosing papers with images, colours and patterns that “talk to you”, that you just love, and collaging them into a journal without even having a plan or any kind story in mind can be very relaxing as well as distracting you from anxious or stressful thoughts.
In this collage I have used some of my favourite patterned papers, tissue, paper napkins, gift wrap and Japanese paper.
More pattern has been added with Finnabair's stamps and stencils (some old favourites of mine) using 3D Gel and the new Plaster Paste.


Creativity has always been an outlet for me for a variety of reasons, right from when I was very young.

I have very strong childhood memories of badly wanting to be able to draw and paint like my artistic mother, to try gain her favour and love.
Then when I was in school it became a way of me being accepted and liked. As the 'fat kid' in school it was hard to be accepted and recognised for something other than being fat.

Creativity gave me a voice and an identity that wasn't one that brought me shame and pain.

As I got older and started working, I lost touch with my creative self. I became passionate about my career, so much so that I became completely overwhelmed and totally stressed.
A chance invitation by a work colleague to join her and her friends for a scrapbooking day led to me eventually changing my perspective on life and seeking relief from the stress of my work.
One thing lead to another and now I have embraced a life and lifestyle that allows me to embrace my creative passions.
I now invest the same love and passion I had for my career into my art.

My Art is my Voice. My Voice is my Art. I am my Art. My Art is Me.
One final word; my painting features a word which has meaning for me.
Meraki - (v.) to do something with Soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself in your work.


Creating is my outlet. If I'm really stressed, I just need to put my fingers to paints and I immediately feel better.

Creating is my escape to another world, a balancing act from everyday and all the 'musts' and 'to dos'.

Also if I'm sad or angry, my first go to is talking to my husband but after that, I start a project. If something even comes from it as it's usually just playing with mediums, I never share it. That project is done totally for me. 

For this post we were asked to create something uplifting. The idea of this project came from a couple of things. The first was the "Art Jar" - an online event from sweet Eliza. I've not done the workshop but the idea of an inspiring jar captivated me. It's like a cabinet of curiosities in miniature form!
The other inspiration was the song from Sound of Music about favorite things.
I started thinking that if you are really sad or need uplifting a one time thing might not do the trick. But if you can have an uplifting thought or some reminder that there's a reason to be happy, it might help. Like the little things mentioned in the song.

So I gathered some inspiring quotes from the web and made them into a pdf (feel free to use!) which I then cut to strips and added to an altered Melange Pebble jar.
That way you can grab a little bit of sunshine whenever in need! :)


The healing role of art is very close to my heart and it's something I only discovered last year when my lovely Leonberger boy Leo passed suddenly and threw my whole world upside down... I felt I couldn't breathe, he'd left a big hole in my heart that I did not know how to fill.
Not long after I had a project to do up over here on Finnabair's blog and I thank my lucky stars for that because it literally forced me to put paint to paper and YES I lost myself and my sadness for a few hours... Once I'd finished my artwork, my soul was smiling, my soul poured onto the page, my hands an extension of my heart...
In this piece I was at the start of a happy day, hence the sunny, happy colors, then unexpectedly someone unintentionally upset me to tears (I'm a sensitive chick). In the past |I would have found a quiet place to lick my wounds, now I carry on making art and throw my emotions onto the page...
You can probably see the clouds covering my rainbow of Impasto paints, the flashes of white splatters where I'm reasoning and balancing things in my head, then there's the black confused dusty blurs and my favourite bold black 'slashes' - that's me getting cross with myself for letting myself down and being too sensitive...
I throw a few splats of neon at it and scribble some crazy Gelato color to keep the black slashes at bay.... I win!
I feel better so I write a few words with a marker pen over the page of my gratitude for this time to heal... to feel better... and I really do love everything about these emotional pages, they speak volumes to me... I trust in my hands that are an extension of my heart to paint... I am so grateful for that!
*   *   *   *

Let's all feel inspired by today's post and - Happy Creating Everybody! :)
Love what you make and use all the wonderful tools and media to express yourselves,
especially when you feel blue or stressed - Art is the way! :)
Finn & The Team

Thursday 26 April 2018

Mixed Media Minutes - Vintage Decor - video tutorial

Hi, I'm back - and guess what - I've got a new project with a tutorial for you!
It's the third time I was doing FB Live on my Page and I'm happy to say - it is getting easier and smoother every time! Well, at least the show itself - the preparation stage is always a pain - I have too many -or not enough ideas! Or maybe, simply, I can't decide?
This time I really had to think a longer while before the idea for the project came - but when I opened my photo box and found a bunch of these very special photos I had found in the antique store in Glasgow, everything came together!
I keep wondering who these people could be... I have a full album of their photos. It was heartbreaking to find so many family keepsakes left behind by someone. Memories of the happy times - lots of laughter, fun and celebrating life. It was an impulse - I had to take them home with me, so from now on they are my adopted, extended family. Can you imagine a better inspiration for a project?
I love dimensional, rich and textured projects, and working with real old photos is a real pleasure. There is something magical in them. Inspired by the sepia colour I decided to add some tea stain (very strong tea infusion) to the colour combo - it is my favourite way to add this beautiful, natural shade of vintage brown. Lace, buttons, threads - they are my natural choice when working on vintage project, but this time I added also some shells and Art Stones to imitate the sand - because many of these photos were taken on the beach!
Here you can see the project I was creating for you during the FB Live show - I couldn't stop myself and I had to try different colour palette this time, although the stain is still there, adding beautiful brown hues.
Again - it's full of lace, flowers, shells - with accents of my favourite gears from one of my Mechanicals sets. I hope you will like watching the whole process - you will see the video below!
If you'd like to make sure you won't miss the next Mixed Media Minutes - and great, inspiring tutorials from my talented Creative Team, make sure you will subscribe to my FB Page and follow the social media accounts - Instagram here and here, and my You Tube!

I hope you will be inspired - enjoy the FB Live recording!

Here you can find most of the supplies I was using in this tutorial - 
all linked to Mixed Media Place Store:

Thank you for your presence during the show, all your comments here and on my other social media. It means so much to me. You make such a difference.
With love

Monday 23 April 2018

Art Journal Thoughts

Hello Friends!
Among other reasons, I love art journaling for how simple it is to create a unique work of art to express yourself and have a lot of fun at the same time! Simply pick some pretty papers, your favorite colors of paints and stamps patterns and voila. :)

Tanyalee created a gorgeous new art journal spread and she proves you don't need tons of supplies to make something personal and utterly beautiful. Enjoy!

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Hi everyone, Tanyalee here and today I have a simple art journal spread designed to show you how versatile Finnabair products are and how you can use them in your journals.
I started with a layer of vintage papers as collage ephemera glued down with Soft Matte Gel Medium.
From there I added a layer of Heavy White Gesso to mute the background a little.

Next, I grabbed my gelli plate, Impasto Paints (which work beautifully with this technique) and some of Finnabair's stamps to colour the background and to create some texture.
If you like a bit of shimmer in your works, try playing with Opal Magic acrylic paints and/or Mica Powders - you'll love the result!
I added some illustrations and journaling using acrylic ink, a nib and a paint brush. I told you the page was simple!

And finished it off with an image transfer using Soft Matte Gel again. This is one of my favourite techniques for adding images, but not having them overpower the spread.
Please, enjoy my step by step video, I hope you'll feel inspired!

And that concludes my journal making tutorial.
Have you ever made your own journal?
If so, I’d love to see them, tag me on Instagram, I’m @tanyaleekahler, so I can see them.

Yours in messiness

Products used:

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