I did it! I did it! I did it!

 In Art Journal, Creativity, Workshops

I am dancing a jig, bouncing from foot to foot! I just uploaded the last image of hundreds and hundreds of images for my book.  The design files, the manuscripts, the PDF’s, the cover ideas – the glorious list goes on. Five solid months worth of devoted time.

And I am a week early on my deadline ( round of applause). This is even more amazing because my computer TOTALLY pooped itself last week, and I had to complete the last stages of the book on a new machine. No tantrums, no dramas.

I leave for my big trip to the USA this weekend and instead of feeling a bit of pre-travel stress over it, it feels like a reward for all my dedicated work.

Aside from this flush of joy of wrapping up a big project ( which looks amazing, but them I am totally biased), I am feeling quite calm. How is this possible?

jill berry workshop 1Well, right from the get-go, I planned some stress relieving, eye freshening, head clearing field trips  spaced out every few weeks during my book creating process. I knew I was going to need them.

And it has worked like an absolute charm. I arrived at my finishing line with energy and clarity.

My first planned holiday was a weekend workshop with Orly Avineri, the next was a little time in Perth to visit family and to host a workshop of my own, then I went up to Brisbane for a 3 day workshop with Jesse Reno,  next I hosted a workshop at ‘The Nest’ and the final fun excursion was last weekend with Jill K Berry.

Jill is an artist, author, workshop leader and one of my Stencil Sisters with Artistcellar.com.  Her book ‘Personal Geographies’  and upcoming book ‘Map Lab’ are devoted to her love of maps, art and journaling.

The workshop was dedicated to creating maps of our lives, and as I discovered a map can be virtually anything!

In this map my landscaping fantasies are bought to life:

jill berry workshop 2

The three days passed in a flurry of colour, paint, drawing….

jill berry workshop 8and… le gasp…. sewing!

I actually took my much ignored Pfaff on the trip and we stitched up a storm! Not exactly a map, but I disapeared into my own little world and bonded with my sewing machine. We are like best buds now!jill berry workshop 7

I had a ball ‘drawing’ with a needle on the coloured papers I created in the workshop the day before. Rather addictive!jill berry workshop 6

Unfortunately I can’t show you any more of what I created just yet because I used Jill’s upcoming stencil collection on them, and that’s all hush hush until they are released ( which is soon!).

It was a small workshop group and over growing mounds of colour tissue, maps and muslin, we all chatted away. Creative people are lovely, rather naughty and very funny. I had a delightful time!

The highlight for me was Jill gifting me with  a ‘Hand Turkey’.

Jill Jane and the Handturkey

Jesse Reno mentioned these creatures several times during his workshop, but there was too much else going on for me to ask what he was referring too. When Jill referred to one, I demanded to know what exactly was this ‘Hand Turkey’!  Apparently every kiddo in the USA grows up drawing these little critters around thanksgiving… so Jill created one for me – laughing the whole time – he went straight into the journal!

This is Jill and the workshop’s organiser, Anne from Timeless Textiles, a wonderful gallery dedicated to textile arts in Newcastle. We were having a giggle during my ‘Selfie’ lesson! ( Anne made a fig, chocolate and ginger slice that will be waiting to open the Pearly Gates for me when I expire someday. )jill-jane-and-Anne--selfie

Thank you Jill for coming on a tour Down Under and Anne for organising the Newcastle workshop.

I hope we keep enticing such wonderful artist teachers to come all this way!

( jillberrydesign.com)

This is Jill’s next book: map-art-lab


I’ll try and keep you up to date as I travel in the USA. I have SUCH awesome adventures ahead, and I’ll be meeting lots of fabbo peeps in ‘real life’ in all my workshops, and I can’t wait for all the fun to unfold.


Jane/ Danger

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Showing 18 comments
  • Erin Sparler

    That’s awesome! Your book is soooo going in my library. You gotta sign it for me though! ;)-

  • Jo Murray

    What loads of fun!!!…and so productive. You made magic.

  • codyrachel

    Travel mercies – enjoy your trip!! Can’t wait for your book! & Jill’s looks good –

  • Kim English

    Congratulations Jane! Well Done! I can’t wait to see your new book in print. I so wish I was going to your US workshop, but alas, I cannot leave my puppy 🙂 Hopefully, you will come again (maybe next year?) and I will be able to go. Have a fabulous trip and delicious adventures.

    • Jane Davenport

      I have some exciting trips next year Kim, but the USA is not planned at this stage. Have fun with your puppy!

  • Kathie Vezzani

    Congratulations and I am so glad that you met Jill. She’s wonderful. And a week early? Your publisher and editors must love you!

    • Jane Davenport

      Yep, Jill is awesome Kathie ( so are you!)! I am still all chuffed about coming in early! It goes to show that planning in playtime really does work!

  • cherylrazmus

    Congrats Jane! Can’t wait to own a copy of the book. A little bit sad that you are coming all the way to the states and I can’t make it to your workshops, but I believe that someday I will get to be in the same creative space. In the meantime, look forward to hearing about your adventures.

    • Jane Davenport

      We will Cheryl, for sure – I have some amazing trips planned for 2015 and 2016!

  • Natasha White

    I just heard yesterday she is coming to New Zealand. It is exciting.

    I love how our version of ‘straight to the pool’ room is ‘straight to our journal’. It amused me anyway. 🙂

  • artsbysara1

    I am so proud of you for finishing ahead of schedule… now you will have a play time before you trip! Which I would love to come see you… however that is a long trip for me! I hope you have a wonderful and safe time! Now about this last fun group… wow.. love all of the beautiful papers that you made! How cool to sew your drawings! Looks like y’all had a fabulous time! It’s nice to see you smiling!!! Hugs!!!

    • Jane Davenport

      I am sure to have a great time in the USA Sara, I adore traveling there!

  • Cheryl Bruce

    So excited to hear about your new book. If u are interested in artwork and maps you should check out what Sherry Macourt , a central coast artist is working on. Really interest peices she has been posting on Facebook

  • Suellen

    Timeless Textiles is a great little place and they have lots of terrific looking workshops. The art and sewing look like a wonderful combo.
    Congrats on your book- will look forward to it.

    • Jane Davenport

      Yes it is Sueellen – and Anne has such passion for her exhibiting artists!

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