Sep 14, 2013

Something Old, Something New

Hello Blog,

We've been through a lot together: the journey from high school to college; the chaos of roommate changes; art shows and busy schedules; the adventures of counseling; and learning to love.  Though I love to post my musings and doings on this little blog, I am afraid that the primary purpose for my posting is slowly changing and I can no longer continue in entirely the same way.

I have started another blog.  A more professional blog that will showcase my work, both the client and freelance work that I do as well as the personal.  This will be a blog that I can refer clients to those who are interested in my work, but not in my personal life.

Feel free to check out the new blog and follow (subscribe via Email or Blogger on bottom right)

I plan to continue posting on this blog, but the majority of this will remain a personal blog, with various thoughts and experiences, but only the artwork that stands out as either purely personal or highly competitive (shows).

Aug 20, 2013

Last Minute Paintings—School is Beginning!

Some last minute illustrations between meetings and school prep this week.

You can request (custom) these illustrations at my etsy shop until they officially become available (probably not the fish), but more than likely the "story time" piece on the left.

Aug 18, 2013

All Caught Up — A Cat & His Toy

This was a fun piece to do—although I didn't really do it all at once.  It was one of those projects that I work on a little, then leave and work on something else, then come back and work a little, then... well, you get the idea!

Anyway, I'm becoming more of a cat person as an increasing number of my friends have become cat owners—I think cats are hilarious in their devious ways!  They just make me laugh, though we will likely never have one due to Superman's allergies.  So all you cat haters are safe to visit me :)

"All Caught Up"
Kitten tangled in yarn

My favorite "cat persona" is when they are caught doing something and just look at you as if to say "who... me?"  And that is what I tried to capture here.

This print is available in my etsy shop, and the original is still up for grabs (6x9in)

Aug 7, 2013

Watercolor... & More Birds

I finally think I have figured this watercolor thing out!!

Maybe... I'll let you be the judge :)
But I've been struggling with the "freedom" of the watercolor media.  Like, really struggled.  I'm just not programed to be as loosey-goosey (as my professor used to say) as watercolor demands... But last night I decided to watch my husband (a fabulous painter) while he worked his magic.  I strove to mimic his techniques and then I added the ink outline that I use for my vintage style work.  The result:

Little Wren

And... I love it!  I'm really enjoying it anyway, and I think this may be the style that I will incorporate for my children's book (okay, I've said that a hundred times, but this time I mean it!).  It has the realism that I require from myself, the freedom to add some character into the subjects and the softness of a standard Children's book.

Here are some more that I did while I was on a roll, haha—I'm afraid that my steak will end and I'll be a clutz with the brush again!

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Aug 6, 2013

Check This Out: The Quiet Place

Hello Everyone

I can't believe that I haven't done this yet, but I wanted to give a little shout-out to some great women and the work that they are doing.  A few months ago some great girls got together and started working on a devotional blog to encourage women to find rest in God.  Their blog is called "The Quiet Place"

Since then, they have grown in popularity, helped to strengthen the faith of so many young women and are really making a difference for Christ.  Some of their blogging interactions include:
  • "Devotional Mondays", where one of them writes each week—sometimes on a per-determined theme, sometimes not.  This month's theme is Self Worth
  • "Guest Posts" where other blogging women can share and encourage readers from a different perspective (and I had the pleasure of guest-posting last month on beauty, so be sure to check that out as well)
  • "Link-ups" with other blogs, where common goals are shared along with passions
Not to mention other posts throughout the week!

I am so blessed to know these girls and to call them friends—be sure to check out their Blog and Facebook to get some encouragement today!

Aug 5, 2013

Etsy Shop—OPEN!

My Etsy shop is officially open for business!  Head on over to check out the prints and note cards that I have available for sale!  If there is anything that you don't see that you want, feel free to send me a message or comment here and we will work something out.

Well, what are you waiting for?!  Check out MY SHOP!

Jul 30, 2013

The Votes Are In

Yesterday I decided to allow my friends and family to vote (via facebook and instagram) on my next design to be made into a note-card!
Since I am just starting out, I have to be pretty picky about which designs I choose.  I am still working with an outside printer and unless and until I can bring that process home, I have to order my stock ahead of time.

Sorry Blog, I did not include you in this voting process—I promise that you will be in the next one! 

Anyway, the "Vintage Phone" piece won and this is the design that I created for it!

Etsy shop officially opens on August 5th!  This little guy will be present as soon as the order comes in!

Jul 23, 2013


Another day, another bird drawing.  Really, it's hard to stop when I find them so fun.  This one could become another note card set if there is interest, but that depends on the feedback that I get after it is posted.  Took care of some legal stuff this week and hopefully my etsy shop will be open by August 1st!  Everything else is ready, I just need the license... and to complete any paperwork that comes with it :/ yuck.

Anyway, this drawing goes out to my dear friends—thanks for being great, both near and far

"Hello Friend"

Jul 10, 2013

Anniversary... quickly and, well, late

Our anniversary was on Sunday!  I have a post in the works with photos and little blurbs about the past year.  But clearly that is not my priority right now, or I'm just lazy, but I would rather that you believe the former :)

Anywho, here's a quick watercolor that I did this week to commemorate the event: (Let's try not to be harsh critics now—it's not easy learning to watercolor when your husband is Mr. Paint... and this is only #2 for me!)

Don't you love how classy I am, posting an instagram photo rather than take a real one myself?  Click on the image to find/follow my instagram and actually keep up with my art :)

I promise, the blog will be under better management when I finally get this little shop off the ground!

Jun 23, 2013

A Little Bird Told Me...

Here are some of the illustrations that I have been working on over the past few weeks!  Lots of little birdies and plenty of tea-themed ascents to keep the cravings down.  These pieces will soon be available for sale in my etsy shop!

Once I get that all set up... heh—there's a lot of legal stuff that goes along with selling merchandise!  But in a few weeks there will be 8x10 prints available of those posted below along with some of what I have posted already.  If there is anything that you do not see here than you think I should include/create, let me know!

My first commissioned piece in this style

 No bird or tea, but it was the night before my sister's grad party so I was just killing time between getting ready

Please don't judge my hummingbird! We fought for a long time but I couldn't seem to get him to turn out any better.
He's... special... (another commissioned piece)

No bird, but my teacup is in there along with the roses that grow along the path to our little apartment.
Superman will sometimes pick a few for me :)
My most recent... the plate still needs some more work, but here it is so far.

May 17, 2013

This One's For the Birds

I'm in the mood to draw birds, birdsa and more birds!  I think it might be because a few of my students are doing projects that have to do with birds / creative birdhouses.  Their theme paired with my own love for birds and the new hummingbird feeder in the backyard has given me the push I needed to draw again.

Here's another that I began working on this week:

Again, poor quality from my iPod, but when it's complete I'll take a better photo.

May 13, 2013

Prismacolors at Tea Time

I don't work at the school on Mondays so I typically spend the day doing house-work and preparing for the rest of the work week (when I don't have a freelance job breathing down my neck).

Today I really wanted to get something done for my mom but I don't have my watercolor paper at the apartment and my first attempts at drawing did not turn out well—let's just say that I will not be posting them.  Frustrated and tired I reached for my pastel paper.  I'm not sure exactly what I was planning to create because I had not thought past opening the pad itself.  Out fell a series of drawings—still in the sketching phase of life.  I had entirely forgotten about them—I can't even remember when I actually started the project, but some point during the great series of illness that I ran into this winter.  I was particularly drawn (hah, pun totally intended) to the sketch I did of a stack of teacups.

Why not?  I hunted down and opened my beautiful Prismacolor pencils and got started.  After about 3 hours I have the familiar cramps in my shoulders from bending over, I am covered with pencil shavings, and I am loving it (but I am still taking a break, lol).
Here's what I ended up with today:

Better quality photo coming after completion—this one was taken with my ipod

Obviously, I need to finish up the handles and decide what to do with the background (and get the highlights to really pop), but for one afternoon of work I am pretty happy! I think I might need to tone down the contrast in my little birdy so that it doesn't grab all of the attention, but the background could fix that by itself.

I am considering making prints of this piece and selling them—if that would at all interest you let me know!

May 8, 2013

Graduation Invites—Sister Edition

My baby sister is graduating...

I'm not sure if I'm excited or just heart broken.  I am excited about the adventures she will get to have at one of my favorite places—the Arborshire—but I am also sad that she will be moving away.  Now that I'm finally close enough to see her once a week or so, I'm used to it and it will be hard to adjust back to the once a month (if that) visitations.

While it has been hard to get used to the idea, designing her graduation invitations sure helped!

(Name and address changed)

Went with a chalk-board theme.  Not only is it pretty popular now for other areas of life, but it just seems to fit well with an academic based event.  Originally I had little chalked flags hanging but at least for now I have removed them.  I tend to prefer less "clutter", though it did add to the playful side.

Critiques are welcome as always!

Apr 14, 2013

I'm an Illustrator

Sorry I have not been posting very regularly... Life has thrown me for a loop and I it rarely even occurs to me to update the blog!

One of the major reasons I have recently fallen off the face of the blog world has been my increased work load combined with a raw immune system among 250+ germ-y elementary students.  When I haven't been sick or racking my brain for lesson ideas, I've been drawing and working on the design jobs that have been coming in.  In January I spent the majority of my time in bed or with these floral illustrations (one of the series posted below).

While the work was difficult (mostly because of the short deadline and the sickies), I really enjoyed getting to draw again—before this my freelance work was largely digital, though now I am asked to illustrate more frequently, which is great.

It was also cool to research the event that the illustrations were displayed—the National Floral Show in Philadelphia.  This is the largest flower show in America and my work was seen by about 300,000 people!  Talk about exciting!  Below is an image from the specific exhibit that my work was in (you can see my drawings on the posters in the back).

Photo stolen from here

Anyway, that's what I've been doing, or at least one of the major reasons I have not been posting very often.  When I finally get some free time, I find that I would rather spend it annoying my husband.  I'm not sorry.

Apr 8, 2013

Makeover: Asphalt Andy

Well, it's been a while, but I'm still working!  I made these back in December (yes, that's how behind I am) for a construction company.  Their old "character" was rather dated and I enjoyed giving him some new life.

I would like to introduce you to Asphalt Andy—Before and After!
(My illustration—the "after"—is on the right)

I also needed to illustrate how roads fall apart from the bottom up (above).  I was so sick of drawing rocks after this! oye

Feb 26, 2013

Oh Hey, Christmas Tree

So, Christmas was a while ago... but obviously if you follow my blog you will see that I'm very behind lately.  I have had trouble keeping up with everything that has happened—all blessings, but busy ones :)

Anyway, here are some pictures from our very first Christmas tree!

 And, of course, a picture of my wonderful hubs and me with our tree:

Merry Christmas

Feb 25, 2013

DIY Sharpie Mug

We had a girl's night last weekend, and we had some Pinterest fun!  Sharpie mug decorating :)  If you've never seen this before, it's rather simple: Get a dollar store ceramic mug and some sharpies (thicker sharpies work best).  After you've decorated it to your taste, throw it into the oven (just kidding, place it gently) for 30+ minutes at 350*.  Hand wash only, and you may want to test it out before you drink anything out of it—the thinner markers tend to wash off, and that's no fun!

Unfortunately, when you're an illustrator by trade, people expect more from you, so I typically don't enjoy group crafts very much—so much pressure it feels like work.  This, however, I did have some fun with just because it was playful.

I'm a Tangled fan (Disney Princess) so it made sense to do a Rapunzel crown on my mug::

But again, I had to go further (Artist Problems) so I added little Pascal to the side!  I love the way his tail curls up to make the handle.

Sorry for the poor quality—these were taken with my iPod and I haven't had a chance to get better photos yet.

Feb 24, 2013

God Is Good

I am not even sure where to begin, there are so many things coming together at the moment; So many blessings revealing themselves.

We finally found a church.  Right before Christmas too, it's been so great.  Not only has it been comforting to know where we are going every Sunday morning, and to know that we will hear a solid Biblical message, but God has made it clear that this is the church that He wants us to be at.  When we first went, I was still skeptical.  The pain of waiting to find a church had taken it's toll and I was cynical.  However, every single thing that we have placed before God or that I have longed for in private has revealed to us the very next Sunday.  Even today, I was wondering again how we would get involved more and we were invited to lunch with a group of people from our Sunday school and the young married group—we had a great time!  I love, love, LOVE our church and I cannot wait to get to know more people there and to get involved.

My college roommates also came over to visit this weekend!  We had a blast catching up and recalling memories from our adventures.  But the thing that hit me the most was how easy it was for us to stop and pray together after talking about fears / frustrations / difficulties that we had.  I miss that! 

It challenged me to try and bring this fellowship to the teachers that I work with.  So many we have discussed some trouble that a student is having or a parent situation that has grown difficult.  We always say something like "well, we'll have to pray about that", but why not stop right there and pray together?

Feb 11, 2013


 Between sick days and large freelance projects, I haven't had a lot of extra time to do crocheting this winter (my usual cold weather hobby)
Thankfully I was able to get a little bit in the past week or so and created these with some yarn I got for Christmas (please pardon the photo quality, I used my iPod to take the photos as I went...):

 First was the baby beany

 Which quickly turned into the baby boy newsboy hat

 And of course, the girl version of the baby newsboy—complete with a flower

 And finally, a polar bear hat

No, I am not pregnant.  I've just always enjoyed making baby things.  Let's face it—they're small and fast to make, and stinking adorable even if you made a mistake!
And now that so many friends are having babies, it makes sense to pass them around!

Feb 8, 2013

Today I Drew A Spoon

You may not know this, but my SuperMan is also a SuperCoach.  And because he is so dedicated to coaching and to being the best he can be, he often attends track and cross country conferences to meet with other coaches and to grow and improve.

They're great!  He learns a lot!  He loves them!
They are 3.Days.Long.

And I go along with him.  I don't attend the conference or anything like that—it's really not my cup of tea and why spend the money when I will likely be sitting there thinking of how much I am not a runner (a dedicated / competitive one anyway) and wishing I had an actual cup of tea.

So instead, I brought some yarn and my laptop so that I could do some design work.  And should I happen to hit the shops around town, so be it :)

Only, there was a little blizzard that hit all of Michigan.  Seriously, big storm—they even named it!  [And Nemo was his name-o]  So I'm kind of kept from visiting or shopping today... oh, and the design job?  Well that didn't happen either—the client is currently MIA and doesn't want to share any design information with me at this time.  And last, but not least, the yarn I brought? In natural lighting, the two scans look the same, but in lamp lighting they are COMPLETELY different, so my project is kind of on hold.

So... I drew a spoon.

Skype date anyone?