Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New cards

This spring has been busy - busy producing artwork! A box full of lovelies came back to me lately from the printer....mmmm, I love the smell of fresh ink. And the sound of printing presses. And the potential in reams of blank paper. The whole printing industry is really fascinating and worth a field trip if you can swing it. My creative staff (read: children) came along on my proofing visit and were a bit disappointed that they didn't get to see these giant machines in action, especially after I hyped up how amazing they are. Maybe next time, guys.

But look - new cards!

And this sweet little imprint on the back -

I cannot tell you how exciting it is to see my own art in print! And now I get to share it with you - these are for sale over in my shop, either individually or in a set. And because I'm blown away at how expensive greeting cards are in the store, I've determined to keep these much more affordable.

Have a great summer! My little studio is enjoying inspiration from the wild outdoors and I can't wait to share more with you soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A cupcake for everyday

Every day should be a celebration! I painted this cupcake thinking it'd be a fun piece to hang up when family birthdays roll around, but it's so happy I think it needs to be up all year long! 

I hope to get prints and cards made of this soon - I'll let you know when they're available!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

One Word Weekend - Olives

The past few weekends have slipped away from me in this series. Blame the allure of spring weather. This time I have a page from my watercolor sketchbook - it started as a page to clean off my brush, but some of the colors inspired me to paint some of these delicious little gems. Too bad there aren't any in my house right now!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A peek inside my sketchbook....Lilacs

Still smitten with the lilacs around here. This time, I'm preserving them in my art journal with a quick watercolor and ink sketch. Too bad I can't preserve the smell. Mmm.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring blossoms

Our poor yard is getting a facelift this spring, which means my poor body is getting a workout. There is lots of digging, dividing, trimming and transplanting going on around here! 

Several big hostas were divided to fill in naked areas around our deck. When we bought this house, there was one giant - and lonely - granddaddy hosta in the back yard. I've been dividing it over the years and now have over a dozen plants taken from the original! Hostas are so easy to grow and look great; they are my favorite thing to put in areas that need a little oomph. Can't wait to see what these guys look like when they've filled in a bit.

This huge spirea was planted right in front of our house door. You couldn't even see the door from the street! The branches grew out so quickly we were constantly hacking them back just to have room to walk into our house! A friend helped dig it out, then we pulled it out of the ground the rest of the way with a tow rope hooked to my van. I was worried it wouldn't survive the move, but it budded and looks great! Now it's in our back yard where we can actually see the lovely blooms. 

And oh - the lilacs! This was a true gift from God. I didn't know this bush was right by my kitchen window when we bought our house. Having moved to the South from Michigan, I missed the lilacs that are so common there each spring. Someone told me they didn't grow in the South - guess they were wrong!

The smell wafting into my kitchen is delicious!

But watch out for bumblebees before you decide to bury your nose for a whiff!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Keep smiling!

A quick doodle for lettering practice. Warming up the watercolors for a wedding project today. I hope to squeeze some art time in between teaching school and soccer practice tonight!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bow ties for the Boys

There are a ton of projects lined up by my sewing machine! This cute little bow tie was one of four that I knocked out last week. Seriously, these are so quick and easy, they take just as long to sew together as they do to cut out.

To encourage my guys to wear a tie, some fun fabrics were in order. What 8 year old doesn't want to wear a Star Wars tie??

I used this pattern from It's Always Autumn. It's sized for boys/tweens, and was a snap to make. Since I used quilting cottons that already had some body to them, I skipped the interfacing. The one thing that wasn't mentioned in the pattern which I think is important is to lay out the pattern pieces on the bias. This will help the tie to lay better when you tie it. It took just under half a yard to make each one - a great way to use up some scraps of fabric.

Making these was addictive:

basic denim - wouldn't this look great with a bright plaid shirt?

 and tractors! But wait - this one has a secret -

- a secret identity! I sewed a contrasting fabric on the back of the ties, making it reversible! It's kind of like a mullet - party on one side, business on the other. Not that I would ever encourage a mullet. Some things need to stay in the '80s. 

I also made a red/white polka dot tie, but couldn't find it when I photographed the others. Later it turned up, tied around the neck of my son's giant stuffed penguin. Go figure. Hey, when nature gives you a built-in tuxedo, I guess you need a snazzy bow tie to go with it, right? 

A friend had a great tip for making the neck length adjustable: sew in a elastic strip that has buttonholes, like the ones that you find in the waistband of kids' jeans. I will have to try that next time.

If you don't know how to tie a bow tie, it's not hard at all! Much like tying your shoes, only with a bit of finesse. Even if you don't have boys, it's great to learn how - you can use the same method to tie those big bow sashes on the backs of little girls' dresses.