Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Girlfriends Look after Each Other

Hey ho there beautiful people! :) 

I've just come back from Bali and have so much to share with you guys. It was a truly life changing experience, but before I write my Bali blog (it'll take me some time to prep the images and write an epic blog post) I am part of another fun blog hop, demonstrating some new stencils that have just come out by the fabulous Artistcellar! The new stencil series is called: 'Sacred Hearts' and they are so beautiful to add to your mixed media pages. 

Below you'll see what I did with them. Scroll down further to click on the other bloggers being involved aaaaaand, I can give away 1 set, so if you want to win a set, leave me a comment below telling me the name of your earliest close girlfriend (mine was Miranda) :). Huggles to you beautiful people! :)

Girlfriends really do look after each other. :)

So, the follow the blog hop and to maximise your chance of winning a set make sure to visit the other blogs and check out what they've done with the stencils:

March 29th – AC kickoff
March 30th – Jill K Berry
March 31st – Chris Cozen
April 1st –Effy Wild
April 2nd – Tamara Laporte -
April 3rd – Guadalupe Brizuela Cabal

If you want to buy the stencils click here and if you want a chance to win a set, leave a comment below telling me the name of your earliest close girlfriend (mine was Miranda).

Ciao for now. xox

Thursday, 6 March 2014

31 facts about Tam you probably didn't know - :) for funsies

Hey there the worlds! It's been a while! :) So sorry, I've been sort of hibernating lately, very needed, it's cold here and wintry and blustery and for the last 5 years I've simply taken on too much. So, I've been retreating somewhat to recoop, ya know?

I have so may things I want to write about, like the fact that I'm going to Bali soon (eeeeh!), about the weekend workshop with Gillian Riley I went on recently, blogs about social media and selfies, all the new art I've started and finished (best to follow me on instagram for those updates) and don't even talk to me about Elliot's 2nd birthday letter (man, he's been two for about 3 months now!), but all those posts take long and require an emotional depth that I currently can't offer. :) 

So instead, today -for funsies- I thought I'd share "31 facts about Tam you probably didn't know and maybe didn't want to know but now you can't un-see them so thanks Tam". It's light, it's fun, it's easy and less emotionally demanding of me. :)

Here we go everyone hold on to your knickers!


1. I'm ridiculously good at mirror-writing, like, RIDICULOUSLY good, also, upside down writing I'm pretty good at. Why? No clue. Probably so that I can include it in 'facts you didn't know about me' lists.

2. I no longer have a gall bladder. It was surgically removed when I was about 17 years old because I used to get gall stone attacks leaving me in excruciating pain.

3. Dylan, my first-born, was conceived through IVF. I did the whole shebang, injecting hormones, having eggs collected etc. Instead of disliking the process, I loved it because it made me feel in control & empowered.

4. My favourite food by far is cheese. All kinds; French, Dutch, old, new, goats, cows etc. Closely followed and sometimes rivaled by avocados.

5. I love sleeping but hate going to bed. I procrastinate and put off going to bed for as long as I can, but then when I'm finally asleep I'd rather not wake up for about 11 hours. This also makes me a night owl.

6. I'm a highly sensitive person and an empath. This means that I feel my emotions as well as the emotions of others (through empathy) intensely, sometimes to the extent of paralysis. When people encourage me to 'feel my feelings' (thanks therapist) they don't always know what that means for me.

7. My mother was born in Indonesia as was my step-dad. I am in part Indonesian. I grew up with a lot of Indonesian food/ references and some of the language also (I can swear in Malaysian, lol). Going to Bali soon is a bit like going back to very far away roots!

8. I am a qualified hypnotherapist & nlp practitioner. I'm also a Non-Violent Communication practitioner. 

9. I rarely wear matching socks. I can't be bothered keeping the matched pairs together and I like the quirky-ness of that. Case in point: 

10. I once had a 2 year relationship with a woman. I don't, however, identify as bi-sexual nor as homo-, hetero-, trans- or pansexual for that matter. For me the emphasis of defining my relationships has never been on the sex part, so I don't define myself that way. This confuses & sometimes frustrates people (including some gay-identified ones). I'm ok with that. 

11. I'm obviously pro gay-rights but that has little to do with my own previous same-sex relationship and all with my feeling passionate about human rights & equality. I often can't believe that people are still wasting their time on figuring this one out. To me it's crystal clear that all humans should have the same human rights no matter who they decide to love (as long as it's consentual), I think all the energy debating this should be spent on actual proper problems like global warming.

12. I have 1 younger brother who I love very much.


13. I'm an introvert. As in: I recharge my batteries through being alone as opposed to extroverts who recharge by being surrounded by others. I love alone time though fear loneliness and being permanently alone. Recharging like an introvert has its difficulties with 2 young kids under 5 as they follow me everywhere I go, including the bathroom.

14. I thought raisins grew on trees until I was 19 years old. (That was a proud proud moment).

15. My middle name is Wilhelmina. Named after my paternal grandfather who died before I ever met him, his name was 'Willem' (William). The "willowing" name was partly derived from that name too. There was also a Dutch Queen named Wilhelmina though my mother did not name me after her.

16. The 'Laporte' side of my family has 'aristocratic' blood which means that I have a far-away family member who currently lives on/ owns a castle in Holland somewhere. Cool huh? My mum used to spend some of her holidays there as a child. I've never been inside though nor are we in touch we the castle owners (lol) now. :)

17. Against the odds, Elliot, my second-born, was conceived naturally. We didn't think it would happen and when we were in the IVF clinic discussing another embryo transfer (from Dylan's cycle), we were already pregnant with him!

18. I really dislike drinking hot drinks. I drink them sometimes if I'm cold or if I think they're healthy (like green tea) but I much prefer to drink cold drinks.

19. I lived in Sri Lanka, Colombo for 2.5 years and worked in a school as a Drama/ Music & Art Teacher. Loved. It. One of the funnest jobs I've ever had.

20. I left Thailand the morning of the 2004 Tsunami and was in a plane that was literally flying over the Tsunami. For about 12 hours my family and friends were frantically trying to find out if I was affected by the Tsunami or not.

21. I don't smoke, drink or do drugs. I strongly dislike the taste of alcohol. If you ask me to drink wine (no matter how good the quality) it's like you're asking me to drink petrol. On the rare occassion I do drink, I do so to get drunk as that's sometimes quite fun. The last time I was drunk though was probably 8 years ago.

22. I have a tattoo on my back just under my neck between my shoulder blades of the 'om' sign. I got it when I was 26 and have never regretted it. I love it still. The om sign is the sound Buddhists/ Hindus make when they meditate 'ooooohm' and is said to be the sound that resonates with the vibrations of the universe (of course, I gotta have it on my back! ;))


23. I'm a huge stand-up comedy fan. Some of my favourite comedians are: Louis CK, Eddie Izzard, Bill Bailey & Dylan Moran.

24. I'm very sensitive to smell. I notice smells before other people do and I buy shampoos and face creams based on what they smell like, not on what their purpose is (lol), this because it'll make me sick if the smell is slightly off for me and I have to smell it all day if it's in my hair or on my face.

25. I studied psychology at Birckbeck University in London, Art at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Amsterdam & Music at Goldsmith's Univeristy in London. I didn't finish any of those courses. 

26. I audtioned for the second year of 'Big Brother' in the UK and got selected to the second 'pre-round' - LUCKILY I didn't make it to the show, lol, I know that now - dodged a bullet there!

27. Before my RA really screwed up my knee joints I used to wear mostly and only high-heeled shoes, I did not even own a pair that didn't have high or plateau heels. I even used to climb trees in them. Now, I'm ALL about the comfort and ease and wear mostly Ugg boots or other comfy shoes, I also couldn't wear high heels anymore as it really hurts my knee joints, but I wouldn't want to anymore, all I want is comfort & ease now, hee hee.

28. I breastfed my first-born until he was 3 years old, the 2nd one was breastfed until he turned 2.

29. Winnie the Pooh is one of my greatest role models, I strive to embody his 'being-in-the-now-ness'.

30. My hands are badly deformed due to Rheumatoid Arthritis yet they don't hurt and are still 95% functional and create pretty kick ass art :)

31. My mum named me Tamara after a Russian Opera Singer called Tamara Barushka

Your turn! :D If you write your own 31 facts about you, leave your name and blog address below so I can check yours out! :)

Monday, 13 January 2014

Quirky Birds! Now available as a standalone lesson!


One of the most popular lessons published on Life Book 2013 is now available as a standalone lesson! These Quirky Birds are cute, funny, sweet, adorable and they want you to create them toooooo! ;) 

Seriously, they are such good fun to make: it's so playful and freeing to create these child-like creatures, I hope you'll join and create some, they'll bring a sparkle and a smile to your day! :D

What's included in this mini lesson?

  • Almost 3 hours worth of video
  • Supported by a detailed PDF
  • No time limit on group access
  • Downloadable videos
  • A BoatLoad of Fun

Come and join this lovely little lesson now! :)

ONLY £17.50 GBP

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Life Book Manifesto!

If you're still uhming and arhming over if you want to join Life Book 2014 or not, let me introduce you to the Life Book Manifesto. :)

Hope it inspires you - it's my manifesto for Life Book, however, it's also how I strive to live and how I encourage everyone to live too. :) It can be applied to life in general. :-)

See you on Life Book, yes? :)

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Life Book Love Stories – Deanna Hogan & An Interview with Jane Davenport


Hello guys! Over the next couple of months I’ll be sharing a bit more about Life Book, what it means to me, and how it came into existence! I’ll also be sharing some of the Artist Interviews we’ve run in past years, share snippets and timelapses videos of some of my lessons, showcases of my art work AND share some Life Book Love Stories by previous and current gorgeous students! :) Yay!

Previous Life Book Love Stories

1. Watch a time lapse video of my very first Life Book lesson plus read Simone Alves' Love Story

When I first designed Life Book I was (still am) passionate about bringing art, celebration, healing and personal growth together to inspire and support people from around the world to grow both artistically and personally. 

In addition to providing inspiring creative art lessons I also wanted to share Artists Interviews with participants. This way the participants get a wonderful insight into the lives of creative entrepreneurs. The artists share helpful hints and tips about how they run their businesses, how they deal with their inner critic and they share what it's like living life as successful artist! :) These interviews are usually very popular. :) 

Below I share the Artist Interview I did with my good friend and artiste extraordinaire: Jane Davenport. Jane's art has wowed (and continues to wow) people around the world! She has taught on Life Book since its inception and will teach again in 2014 too! Jane and I are also planning on holding an 'arty party' together and have a few hush hush secret projects in the pipe line too! ;) I love her dearly, she is a mermaid in disguise this one, and I decided to publish our Artist Interview that was first published as part of Life Book 2012 for free so it can be enjoyed by everyone! :) Each year, Life Book includes about 5-6 Artist Interviews with the teachers that teach that year. Enjoy! :) 

An Artist Interview with Jane Davenport

Here is some of Jane's beautiful art work (copyright Jane Davenport): 



As part of my sharing more in depth about Life Book, I’m also sharing some “Life Book Love Stories” from some of the wonderful participants whose lives have been touched by Life Book, today, I share Deanna Hogan'sStory. :) Thank you Deanna!

Dear Tam,
I think I was in the right place at the right time last December, stumbling upon an online discussion about Life Book. I’d never tried art journaling (and, boy, have I dabbled in a lot of arts and crafts). So after much consideration, and influenced by the very enthusiastic discussion, I took the leap and signed up. It has been worth every penny.

Life Book has been the perfect catalyst to explore a new, yet complementary, art form. I’m no stranger to the necessity of having a creative outlet. Art and music have always been a very important part of my life. My passion (until Life Book came into my life) has been creating cloth and mixed media art dolls. The thought of drawing faces didn’t fill me with apprehension, but the relaxed, unstructured process of making journal backgrounds sure did. Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet, I’ve gained much more confidence and can approach my pages without trepidation.

my eye 3

Life Book has not only allowed me to experiment with different media, it’s given me an opportunity to let go, play, and explore the healing that journaling can facilitate. I’ve always been the kind of person that bottles up hurts, frustrations, and feelings. I’ve loved the exercises that make me really think about what’s going on inside, putting them down on paper, and then hiding them from the world. I still know what lies beneath the layers.
Before the course started I resolved to complete every lesson, even the ones that were “out of the box” for me because it’s been all about exploration, building a technique repertoire, and letting go. All the Big Names in the art journaling community were completely unknown to me, and it’s been fun and exciting to see what new and innovative things each teacher brings to the table. It’s opened up a whole new world of art (and art supplies!) for me.


While participation in Life Book has been a significant time commitment, it’s been so beneficial to place priority on scheduling creative time for myself each week. I’m the kind of person that likes to take my time when making things with my hands – I realize I’m a perfectionist. I can admit it. I take great satisfaction in the process as much as the end result. I’ve found some of the more abstract lessons to be quite challenging for me, so it’s been delightful to branch out and expand my repertoire. I’ve amassed quite a body of work.

Life Book has admittedly taken time away from my doll business (LIFE takes time from my doll business), but I can’t help but believe it will enhance my doll making and art in general. I know I’ll continue to make art pages, and hope to someday have some made into prints. I’ve already signed up for Life Book 2014.


I’m both excited and apprehensive to start creating pages without lessons or prompts. I haven’t done that yet, as I’m still working on the weekly lessons. I realize I’m a long way from having my own style, but know it will develop and evolve over time. Every few weeks I take my finished pages to work with me to share with my coworkers. I’ve had nothing but positive feedback. I hope to entice (enable?) others to join me in this adventure.

Deanna Hogan


So, would you like to experience the magic of Life Book 2014 too?





Saturday, 14 December 2013

Blog hopping with Jill Berry's Stencils!


Hello friends! :) I feel so lucky and happy to be participating in blog hops when my artsy friends bring out new products! I get to play with their awesome new artsy products and show off some new art created yay!

So the fabulous Jill Berry also has a new set of stencils out with Artistcellar. These babies are texture-based and I just love them. I particularly love the stencils that look like lettering of some sorts though I can't figure out what kind of lettering it is and to me it looks like Elvish (LOTR)! So magical! :)

So I used some of these stencils in my journal this week. I love using stencils as part of my layering and background making (many of you who follow my work or have been on my classes will know this!). :)

This week I also filmed & prepared my first lesson for Life Book 2014 (eeeee, only 2 more weeks or so until this fabulous art feast begins - make sure to sign up to experience it all from the beginning by the way!). 

In my first lesson we'll do a variety of things, first we listen to a meditation in which we are guided to meet our 'inner artist guardian angel' :). She is the person inside of all of us guarding us against any negative inner critic thoughts and talks that many of us suffer from. :) So in the meditation we meet this wonderful being and we are also guided to find our 'word for the year' and our 'colour that resonates the most with us in the moment'. We then take some of the imagery from the meditation with us into our art exercises. :) 


We start with a warm up exercise in which we do some really easy techniques for those with 'blank page fear' and we learn more about colour theory too. (We create bright colourful paint feasts such as in the image above!)

Then we do a main project in which we draw our artist guardian angel in a mixed media style. Lots of layering/ distressed and textured effects. :) It's allll so yummy. :-)

28560d4e641e11e39ac2124aba1d8069_8My word for 2014. Presence as in: present to life, present to my feelings, present to the NOW.  #lifebook2014
As a side note: I've chosen the word 'presence' for 2014. As in: I want to become more present to my life, my feelings, my needs, the now. :)

Anyhoo, I mention what we do in my first lesson because I felt so inspired by the "inner artist guardian girl" I had created, that I wanted to create her again in my journal which is also when I grabbed Jill's stencils and used them too. 
So here are some photos of what I've done: 



You can do truly fabulous things with these texture stencils! :D 

Follow the blog hop to see what other artists are doing with them, here is the list (note: US date format: mm/dd): 

12/7 Artistcellar

12/8 Kecia Deveney

12/9 Sketchbook Challenge/Jill

12/10 Brian Kasstle

12/11 Mel Kolstad

12/12 Kim Rae Nugent

12/13 Jodi Ohl

12/14 Effy Wild

12/15 Tamara Laporte

12/16 Jane Davenport

12/17 Chris Cozen

12/18 Guadalupe Brizuela Cabal http;//

12/19 Jill Berry

And woot woot: I can give away 1 set of Jill's stencils to a lucky winner! 

To enter the give away, leave a comment below telling me how you'd use Jill's stencils if you won them. 

Love always,
Tam x

My word for 2014. Presence as in: present to life, present to my feelings, present to the NOW.  #lifebook2014

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Life Book 2014 - Scholarship Information


Life Book touches the lives of so many people in so many ways; it's pretty mind blowing. I receive emails daily from people sharing with me how Life Book changed or enriched their lives. (How lucky am I to be running it?!) :) 

Last week I got an email from a wonderful person so excited about Life Book that she wrote this to me:
Dear Tam, I would like to gift a place on the course anonymously to someone unknown to me who could not necessarily afford the course themselves.
What a wonderful thing to want to do! So our anonymous donor is offering a scholarship for Life Book to one lucky person! 

If you want to apply for this scholarship, please email me on willowing AT answering the following questions: 

1. Have you done Lifebook before?
2. Why do you think you are the right candidate for the scholarship (Pls describe this in approx 50-100 words)
3. How do you think you will benefit from Lifebook 2014? (Pls describe this in approx 50-100 words)
4. What's your favourite art journal background technique or favourite art supply?

I will forward your applications to our anonymous donor who will then choose a lucky recipient. 
I will announce who receives the scholarship next week Friday 22nd November.
Remember that if finances are tough for you but you still really want to participate in Life Book 2014: payment plans are available - if you want to know more about monthly plans or plans for the different packages just email me! :) x

Over 660+ gorgeous souls have already signed up and are happily making friends in the private FB group! :D If you want to spend the year developing your artistic abilities, learning from some of the best artists out there, grow on a personal level and meet new artsy friends from all over the globe, then you've GOT to join us! :D It will be an experience you won't forget! :D PS. All videos are downloadable so even if you need to take a break or if you run behind you can always watch the videos at a later date. See you there darling! :D

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Mixed Media Art Doll Angel (and other dolls!)

Oh you guys. :) I'm sooo proud of this mixed media art doll angel which I created for my 'Artsy Ornaments' workshop lesson! I'm kind of a closeted art doll obsessive! Ha. The majority of my work is mostly 2d (painting/ drawing/ collage/ illustration) but I oh so love quirky art dolls, stuffed toys and making other 3d things! I just don't have the time to do it that much (they can take up a lot of time and depending on the materials you use: make a huge amount of mess too!) :)

Anyhoo, when Christy asked me if I wanted to teach on her 'Artsy Ornaments' workshop I was super excited and thought it was THE PERFECT time to do a mixed media art doll lesson, yay! :D

So, this is what we'll be making on the workshop:


Isn't she SUPER PRETTY? I think she is one of the prettiest things I've ever made!!! :D
If you want to learn how to make her, come sign up to the workshop here, it opens on 19th November and you not only get my lesson but ANOTHER 11 lessons by 11 other fabulous teachers too! 

Awesomejuice, yep.

Here are some other art dolls I've made in the past! :D I simply LOVE creating 3D dolls out of my 2d characters! :D

You Matter 8
You Matter 5
Hope you enjoyed seeing my little collection of art dolls! I often don't put them up for sale as they are so close to my heart, but if you're interested in one, let me know! (The 'You Matter' one above is already sold though). xoox 
And remember, if you want to learn how to make a doll like the angel, come join the Artsy Ornaments Workshop Here.


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