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Featuring: Natty Malik

Back in the fall I was lucky enough to meet Natty Malik face to face over Google+. This girl is incredible - and wow, she's funny! I laughed so hard during the few hours we chatted. Natty is unbelievably talented. She is a fellow art journalist who works mostly with collage, washi tape, text, image transfers, and warm, vibrant colors; her style is playful, vivid, and she has an exceptional eye for design. More than that, she has been published all over the place, including no less than three times in Art Journaling Magazine, and teaches the free art journaling In the Sun ecourse which is going on right now. Sheesh, girlie!

At the end of our chat we agreed to exchange some mail love. (This post, by the way, is extremely overdue, as Natty shared my package on her blog way back in – eek! – November. This goes to show how incredibly unorganized I am – so sorry, lovely!)

I was so amazed opening her gifts! She was so sweet and personalized the package, including lots of maps due to my love for traveling and use of travel-related materials in my journaling, sheet music, vintage papers, gorgeous business cards, handmade tag, lace.. and so much more. Natty sells these packets in her etsy shop, which has me drooling every time I visit. She has so much loveliness there: prints, original art, zines, workshops, handmade journals, and a ton of gorgeous collage materials.

Is this girl incredible or what?
Samples of Natty's work, via her Flickr photostream. All images are ©Natty Malik.

Natty, thanks again for being such an inspiration. I'm so amazed at what you've accomplished in just a few years and am proud to call you a friend. I wish you the very best in continuing to follow your heart in building a business upon sharing your love of art!

Go check out Natty's blog Awkward & Beautiful here, and find her at twitter, her facebook page, and etsy shop. And if you feel so inclined, why don't you try your hand at making and sending a paper flower to her for her upcoming wedding?

Freud und Wonne / Joy and Delight


Here are my newest art journal pages, created in a German kids' book of dinosaurs I picked up for about fifty cents at a flea market in town. I actually revisited my own workshop (which, by the way, is on sale here for just five bucks!) and tried a new take on the techniques I teach, like a mandala dreamboard, writing as texture, and secret nooks. Such fun!

It's surprisingly easy to forget just how much fun it is to spend the day collaging and painting; when all your focus is on starting, art journaling takes a different sort of energy. But oh, once you pass that hurdle, it's Freud und Wonne aus jeder Brust: joy and delight from every bosom.

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Austrian Wonderland


Last week, A and I travelled to Austria to spend the weekend with a friend. Our experience was absolutely magical; Austria is stunningly, breathtakingly, overwhelmingly beautiful. It felt like the Alps were cradling us, and the melting glaciers-turned-waterfalls that were so present had such a deep, powerful, ancient presence.

I took literally hundreds of photos on our daily travels around Innsbruck and, on the last day, a visit to Venice. (Oh, be still my heart! If Austria left me breathless, Venice held my lungs captive for a day.) And to be honest, so many of these turned out to be less than ideal, in part because of sharp sunlight or hastily taken, unfocused shots, but also in part because the beauty I attempted to capture looks so cheap when boxed in a small frame, like a postcard you could pick up at a drug store for a dime. It is such a shame – and at the same time, in a wonderful way emphasizes how precious this experience was – that the most beautiful scenes turned out to be the photos I dislike the most.

I am sharing my favorite shots from Austria in this post; photos from Venice will follow as soon as I can muster up the courage to sort the good from the bad and find the time – and patience – to edit them.  Enjoy.

Psst! In the photo below there is a hidden water-loving creature. Can you find her? Click the photo to view it large!

Workshop: Beautiful You, Radiant You

Congratulations to winner Lindsay! 
I'll be sending you an email soon with all the details 
for joining the workshop. Welcome!

Ta da! Finally, darlings, I can proudly announce that my 21 Secrets workshop Beautiful You, Radiant You is now available! Woohoo!

In this workshop, which includes six videos and a 5 page color PDF, I help you explore yourself through your art: what is the essence of you? What are the things, internal and external, that make you sing and shine from the inside out? How can you represent yourself on paper and through a creative medium?

I will teach you how to create mandalas, use symbolism, tuck away secrets, and discover other techniques to bring your unique self into your art journal pages. I have included step by step written and visual instructions, lots of inspiration, skills you can use individually or in endless combinations, and writing and artistic prompts to widen your artistic mind and overcome creative blocks!

Both beginner and advanced art journalers are welcome – this workshop was created for all those who would like to learn more about themselves, push their understanding of what art can be, and explore one method of how a fellow art journalist goes about creating her work.



Located on a private blog, Beautiful You, Radiant You will be open to students for two weeks; this allows for you to go at your own pace as well as to have the flexibility of working around your own schedule. The PDF is yours to download, print, and keep.

Registration will begin the day that the course opens, but you can sign up at any time until four days before the end of the session. Keep in mind that the later you sign up, the less time you will have to access the blog and all workshop materials!

And the best part? I'm offering a special opening price of $5, starting right now! If you sign up before Sunday, you'll get a few extra days free, too. You must include an email address, as this will be your login information. I will not use it for any other purpose. Please note, in light of classes and other obligations, it may take up to 24 hours for me to add your name to the roster.




Email (to receive invite)


But how about a giveaway, loves? This giveaway is now closed.
Here are the ways you can enter:
  1. Leave a comment here telling me one thing you love about yourself. Don't be shy!
  2. Like My Peacetree on Facebook, then leave another comment here.
  3. Share this giveaway on your own blog, then leave a link to your post here.
  4. Tweet about it! And - you guessed it - send me another comment.
Up to four ways to enter, sweets. I will choose a winner at random and post the results on Sunday. Easy peasy! Questions? Leave me a message in the comments or write me here!

Telling My Story: Part III


My story.

It's not pretty or eloquent or melancholically desirable. It's also not so tragic as many things in this world. Countless individuals endure tremendous suffering in their lives, and I know that my experiences are not nearly as horrific or heartbreaking as, sadly, so many in this world are.

No. But it is my story. It is incredibly important to me – it has affected nearly every part of my life, my development, my relationships with others, my view of myself, and my perspective of the world.

And I share it with you now. (Read Part I here; read Part II here.)

I beg you, sweet readers, to be gentle. Here I am baring myself to you, heart and soul, in the most terrifyingly vulnerable and fragile way. Be gentle. I have closed comments for the previous segments of this story, but am opening them here. Feel free to share your own story, part of your story, or gentle comments. If you would like to contact me privately, you can write me either here – it can be anonymous, but do leave your email address if you'd like a response – or email me at mypeacetree2 (at) gmail.com. If you have nothing kind to say, please quietly continue with your day and refrain from sharing your thoughts.

A small note: I have included a "jump break" in this post; this means that if you do not want or are not prepared to read a story about heartbreak, damaging mind games, emotional abuse, and depression, please skip this post and find other material to read for the day. If you are willing, please click "read more" below.

Being and Becoming


June.

In the early summer at home, the air smells sweet, heavy, and earthy, and the sun laughs its light-filled rays to earth and casts casting living shadows of fluttering leaves and swaying branches. Fireflies dance in the twilight, stars blinking softly amidst high grasses. It is at this time of year that I put my shoes away, savoring the sensations of grass tickling my toes, soil kissing my soles.

In Germany, it is chilly now, and feels like the first days of autumn. Just days ago the rain came pouring down, soaking the world in heavy sheets, grey skies twirling and surging above. Peonies are blooming, and roses, too. On blue, sun-filled days he light lingers in the sky, disappearing reluctantly only after 10:30 in the evening. It is so beautiful here, in its own way, and I am treasuring the quickly dwindling time I have left – just one and a half more months.

I watched this video by the magnificent Leonie today. (Oh, Leonie, you are so wonderful and full of magic!) Invest in yourself, she whispers. Give yourself the knowledge and tools you need to realize your dreams.

And so I wonder, yet again, what it is that is my calling. Where do my passions lie? What do I want to share with the world? What is important to me? I will – I hope! – be graduating in less than a year, and am already standing on the brink of something grand and terrifying and amazing. What do I want to do? Does one ever in a lifetime really find an answer to this?

What dreams do you hold on to tightly, loves? I would love to hear them. What is it that makes your heart sing?

Perhaps it will be clearer where I am on my journey when I share the last part of my story on Thursday. And what a weekend this will be: my love A and I are travelling to Austria and (still crossing my fingers!) Italy for a few days. Wish us good weather!

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