Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

from the sketchbook

Awhile back I did a polar bear painting for my son's birthday. Today I added two more friends. These rascals look innocent enough, but their blank expressions tell me their up to mischief, don't you think?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sharpie Sunday

...a day late. For my little penguin lover.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Work in Progress

I'm discovering that creativity is like a chuck roast - you start with something pretty mundane, but once you add a little seasoning and let it stew a long time, it eventually becomes a delicious entree.

The test is in the waiting- I would love microwave-fast ideas and output, but the reality is inspiration can be more like a crock pot. Nice and slow. Let it bubble. And simmer. 
The flavors blend and eventually you notice a lovely scent in the air. Mmm.

Above is a work in progress; it's still in the crock pot, getting good and juicy. Normally I wouldn't share a half-completed project. It's kind of like someone walking in on you while you're still in your PJs. Presentable, but not quite right. I'm testing out some new methods with my brushes, paper, and computer (!). Stepping back and looking at it in a different way (on my blog!) helps me to think about it while it simmers. 

Meanwhile, enjoy the aroma - I hope to have a wonderful dish to serve up to you soon!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Here's Looking at You, Pantone

Guess what? Pantone's new Color of the Year - Emerald Green - is a perfect match to my eyes! 
(I promise I didn't Photoshop anything!!)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sharpie Sunday

Hi! Starting a new weekly post here called Sharpie Sunday. Not a lot of words, just my drawings done with only Sharpies! (A crisp white paper with a fresh black marker makes me so happy!)

 Inspired by the Waverly upholstery fabric "Norfolk Rose" (used on my slip cover)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

More Thank You Notes

Do you require your children to write thank you notes? When our kids were really little, I'd write a simple thank you for them and have them draw a picture of the gift they received. As they learned to write, I had them add their name or the words "thank you." Now, most of my crew are big enough to write a few sentences without too much effort. Beyond the basics, I encourage them to show some emotion and creativity in what they write, more than the "Dear Grandma, Thank you for the Legos. I like them." Expressing gratitude for tangible items or services is always important, but I like to challenge the kids to also think about the relationship they have with the other party. This helps train them to express thanks for gifts that they might not be so excited about, to look past the gift to the giver. Just one more step in civilizing the next generation.

My son just had a birthday and needed to write a few thank you notes, but all the note cards I had on hand were too "girly" for him. So I quickly designed something a boy wouldn't be embarrassed to give to his buddies. It prints 3 per page and fits into a standard business envelope, which I (usually) have on hand.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Well, technically this isn't from my sketchbook, but close enough. While writing out thank you notes with the kids, I made a few extras to have on hand. It seems I never have the time to make something pretty when I need to dash off a note in a hurry. And to save my readers some time as well - feel free to print and use for your own (non-commercial) use. It's my New Year's gift to you! THANK YOU for being such great readers and supporters!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

best gift/worst gift

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a great Christmas! We did - even ventured far enough north to find some snow! The kids were so excited - they eagerly scraped together snowballs to fling at each other, even though there was less than an inch of the white stuff on the ground. And of course they were excited to see grandparents, relatives, and a bunch of presents under the tree.

My hubby loves to read books, so he feels quite safe in a bookstore. In fact, I have a hard time remembering a birthday or Christmas where I did NOT get a book from him. He's pretty good about paying attention to the books I keep fingering in the stores - early on in our dating years he bought me the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. I read the entire thing, cover to cover, and loved it. We still dig it out on Halloween to read "The Raven" or "The Bells." 

This year was no exception to the book trend. In fact, he got me the best gift ever, which ironically is also the worst gift ever. A sketchbook. A blank sketchbook. So much potential, so many ideas to put down, but where to start? I can't wait to fill it - but with what? I don't think there's anything quite so intimidating as an empty page. Absolutely terrifying. Putting that first mark on the paper must be similar to what a baby feels taking her first step. Not sure how it'll land, or what direction she's headed, but it's forward movement. Awkward, unsure, but soon enough, she's dancing! Pirouettes, jigs, and leaps all across the page. Sure, there's a tumble here and there, but that's part of learning. Laugh at the stumbles, breathe in the colors and sing with the lyrical lines. The best gift is a new page! 

A new year is a new page - what will be painted in 2013? I'm going to try to not be afraid of starting afresh, no fears of mucking it up (because I know it's inevitable!). The Artist is guiding me as I paint each day. He turns my mistakes into something great! I just have to be brave enough to make the first mark!