Monday, August 31, 2009

inspiration monday

in my last post i "revealed" a sneak peek of the book project that i'm working on for chrissie grace....and as it turns out, i was a little too quick in doing that. i really liked the first project, but.....hmmm....something just wasn't right about it. something was nagging at me....kinda like a mosquito in your room when you're trying to know it's there, but you just can't see it. but as i started cleaning up, the nagging got louder and i felt like my project was one of those big creepy portraits in a haunted house where the eyes follow you....begging you to look at it. then suddenly it hit me, and while i was dealing with the sick feeling in my stomach due to the mini-meltdown i felt coming on, i realized that it wasn't all of the technical issues that were bothering me (i.e. not enough contrast, etc.), it was the fact that it just wasn't a thousand percent "right"....i liked it, but i didn't love it (and i think that if something is going to appear in a book, i want to love it!).....quite simply, it wasn't ME. i wasn't trusting my instincts. somewhere along the path i had gotten bogged down in the details and lost sight of the big picture. i had finally found the "mosquito-in-the-room", but instead of sleeping, i stayed up until 2:00 in the morning creating a new project....and that was the best decision i'd made all week. i's crazy.....i'm crazy. and i'm hoping that you're all shaking your heads up and down because you've been there done that. i'm sorry for the confusion. this is my "real reveal".
this one feels "right". this one is me.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

sneak peek

here's a little sneaky peeky at what i've been working on to create such a chaotic mess in my studio! this project is for chrissie grace.....she has so graciously invited me to participate in her third book and this will be included! i'm so excited i can hardly stand it!! the book doesn't come out until next year....can't wait, can't wait!!!

have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

then and now

that was then.....

....and this is now!

come on over and play!
the first person to find my glasses for me wins a prize! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

grow happy

i've discovered that one of my favorite things to do is take a simple shape (in this case, i used a small circle) and create a journal page from it. it's fun, it's easy, it's simple, and it's quick.....and i doubt that i'll be able to say that about any of the other things that are on my "to do" list today!

journal page created using micron pens and watercolor pencils

Monday, August 24, 2009

inspiration monday

do you have lots of fun little nooks and crannies in your creative space where you store some of your most wonderful things? one of mine is this wood "trough" that i found at hobby lobby in the sale bin. i just love its distressed look, and it's perfect for holding all of those fat quarters that i just can't seem to resist collecting. i must admit, though, that not just any fabric can be included in this elite has to be one of my absolute favorites....something that really inspires me. and while i exposed my square-grid-love the other day, this little fabric stash tells a different of polka dots....and lots of yellow and orange happiness! don't you just love how something so simple can reveal so much inspiration?!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

weekend happiness

wishing you a fun, creative, playful, happy weekend!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

around the house

the other day in this post i mentioned that i tend to be very "grid oriented and in-the-box". i don't think i realized how grid oriented i really am until i started looking around my house. i've got grids in my studio bookcases.....

at the end of my work table....

and on the wall!

then i noticed that it has spilled down the stairs into the family room....

and even into the kitchen (yikes!)!!

and just when i was about to give up and declare myself a total square, i found a circle in the living room (please overlook the fact that the chairs are arranged around the circle... in a square)! power to the circle!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

say it

you are an artist!
you are a fabulous, creative, gifted, unique, innovative,
imaginative, dreamy, incredible,
super-duper, fine, fun,
i-could-go-on-for-days artist!
say it loud and proud!!

journal page created with micron pens and watercolor pencils.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

inspiration monday

the rose meets inspiration and the five senses....

1. sight: absolute eye-candy in a beautiful little rose-bud-style package
2. smell: the delicate fragrance always takes me back to the days of my great-grandmother adding just a drop of rose water to her bath....
3. taste: well, not literally, but the vibrant color is so yummy i can hardly stand it!
4. touch: three words.....soft velvety petals
5. sound: my sweet dutch boy's voice whispering "happy saturday" as he handed this bouquet of roses to me....and that's a sound that will keep a smile on my face and a song in my heart for a very long time to come!

Friday, August 14, 2009

journal happiness

firstly, and most importantly.....thank you SO much for your sweet, sweet encouraging comments regarding my journal entry the other day!! i feel like i never have the adequate words to express to you how much i appreciate your visits and comments....probably because there really are no words that have been invented yet! so, i hope that you don't get tired of me giving you big bloggy bear hugs, because i'm giving you one right now!!
this journal entry was created the same day as the first one that i shared with you. i thought it would be a fun way to jot down some of the highlights of the day....and i'm so "grid oriented and in the box" that this format felt comfortable to me. plus, there's part of me that thinks that if i divide a page up into little blocks, then i don't have to fill the big blank page, just fill one block at a time (crazy, i know, but you gotta go with what works!). and.... i noticed just yesterday that terri-leigh has created some great journal pages using a great watercolored, relaxed style. you can see them here! happy weekend to you!!
journal page created using micron pens, watercolor pencils and a bic ink pen.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


i've been making blank journals for several years now, and as much as i love to create the journals, for some reason i have a mental block when it comes to creating in the journals.
i've been so inspired by many of you who are so good about filling your journals with creative play....and i've been thinking that it's time to jump on the bandwagon. so....i finally took one of the many blank journals that i've had forever and made some marks on the first page. it's not fine art. mainly, because i've discovered that i'm not a "fine artist".....i'm a "fun artist". and i've also discovered that a little watercolor pencil, micron pen, doodle art, and ice cream sandwiches make for journal page happiness!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

mail hugs

i received the most wonderful hug in the mail today! my sweet bloggy friend jan over at pictures with words sent me the most fabulous little package.....a handmade card celebrating our new home, and several of her beautifully hand-lettered bookmarks!! jan's blog is a fantastic journal of her lovely calligraphic creations, and her sweet spirit is apparent in each piece that she creates!
jan, thank you SO much for spoiling me with such heartfelt goodies....i wish i could properly express how much i appreciate your kindness and generosity in sharing your beautiful artwork with me!! you have truly made my day!

for some calligraphic eye-candy, visit jan's blog here!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

inspiration monday

you know that feeling you get when you've just spent some creative time with your art friends? that feeling of being so totally inspired that you're afraid if you don't write down all of your new creative ideas right now, you'll forget them all?
such was my experience last week when my little niece alyssa asked me to show her how to sew. we decided to make these simple little "dollbears" (actually mine is the simple one on the left, alyssa chose to go all out and make hers really purple and really fabulous!). as we were sewing, we started brainstorming, and before we knew it, tons of ideas were flying around the room faster than ping pong balls at a national table tennis tournament! it was so exciting....and definitely reminded me that two heads are better than one when it comes to recharging your creative batteries!

and speaking of which, can i just tell all of you how much i simply adore you?! your comments, encouragement, and sweet bloggy love mean SO much to me! you are the BEST, and i truly appreciate you!!
xoxxo :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

etsy excitement!

i just discovered that my "be happy" book was on the etsy front page last night!! this treasury was curated by seyda over at elde (she creates beautiful knitwear!) and includes lots of fabulous items! congratulations to seyda and to those who were featured....and thanks so much etsy!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

how to make a panda bear

here's how to make a panda bear out of polymer clay, according to my ten-year old niece, alyssa. first, take one very sweet, creative, and talented ten-year old with extremely kissable cheeks; add some polymer clay (okay, so i put the "sweet, creative and talented, kissable cheek" part in, but the rest of the directions are hers.....).

"roll the white clay into a ball to make a head. then roll two small black balls and smash to make ears. do the same for the eyes and nose. the mouth is a little tricky....make a very skinny snake and form it into a mouth shape. put all of these things onto the white head."

"now take a big black ball and form it into a panda bear looking body. make two back legs with the black clay and attach to back of body. make two white legs with two black feet and put onto front of body. stick the head onto the body by pressing pretty don't want the head to fall off! bake it in a toaster oven until it's done. you can set it on top of a block of turquoise polymer clay to make a nice picture if you want. and that's it....pretty easy!"

um, well, easy for a sweet, creative, talented, ten-year-old with extremely kissable cheeks, anyway (did i mention already that she's only ten years old?!! and, that i'm the proud aunt?!!).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

hearts in hands

my sweet ten-year-old niece is staying with me for a few days. she loves to laugh, swim, read....and play in my studio! and truth be known, i've learned a lot more from her the past couple of days than she's learned from me. watching her has reminded me of the importance of "play".....that there really are no mistakes.....that creating art means never having to say i'm sorry. and especially that it's okay to just have some plain ol' fun....and that's exactly what we've been doing (wait until you see what she made with polymer clay.....more on that tomorrow!)!

Monday, August 3, 2009

be happy

happiness is.....sleeping late on a saturday morning.....receiving flowers just fish without overcooking night.....the sound of the family.....time spent being creative....saying "i love you".....hearing "i love you".....opening a new box of crayons.....answered prayer....hugs from great friends.....listening to frogs sing right after a rainstorm.....being part of such a wonderfully creative blogland neighborhood (and having such great bloggy neighbors!!).....a bike ride after dinner.....hearing my kids laugh....seeing things with new perspective......feeling healthy.....a piece of dark chocolate (or two) around 3:00 in the a full, very blessed life......

what's on your list of "all things happiness"?

you can learn more about this journal here in my etsy shop

edited: my sweet friend laura over at prairiepeasant just notified me that one of my journals is featured in the etsy newsletter here.....oh, yes....happiness all over the place.....yes, yes!! :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

inspiration monday

"Listen, when I was a little girl, I used to spend hours looking for ladybugs.
Finally, I'd just give up and fall asleep in the grass.
When I woke up....they were crawling all over me."
as told by Katherine to Frances in the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun"

sometimes when i'm looking for inspiration i'll look through some of my favorite magazines....which leads me to looking through my collection of books.....and then i'll find myself on the computer ooohing and ahhhing at other people's blogs....which will somehow take me straight to youtube. and after hours of searching, i discover that i've managed to cross that fine line between inspiration and overwhelm!
usually when i feel like i need to search for inspiration, what i really need to do is just give my creative brain a rest. and when i allow myself to take an artistic breather....just like ladybugs in the grass....inspiration will find me when i'm ready for it!

photo: fabric by heidi grace, purchased at joann fabrics
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