Monday, December 9, 2013

Illustrated Pet Ornaments

My painting and drawing skills have been set loose on the world of Pet Holiday Ornaments.  I'm crazy about Christmas, love animals and get to combine my illustration skills in the mix - sounds like a recipe for happiness to me!  These have been translated into polymer clay and hand painted.

You can find these in my Etsy shop and I do have options to customize the color of the breeds and to add a name of your beloved furry friend!

Here are some sketches that show the process:

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Flora and Fawn

I love the old country roads near my home.  Surrounding the farms are the most amazing weeds and wildflowers: chicory, Queen Anne's lace and day lilies are my favorites.  Sometimes in the morning a deer or two will venture across the field.  This little scene captures that world for me, quite and filled with the wonder of nature. 

Watercolor and pen. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Snowy Woods Sketch

I have plans to experiment with some watercolor textures for this one, pulling out the saran wrap for a snowy-hill effect.  Snow = magic! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Sketch

Let's get busy with the making and doing this week!  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tiny Studies

I  decided to play around with some tiny color studies today, working on practicing brushstrokes, using masking fluid and throwin' in a little guache where I felt it was needed.  I can see a little Pinterest influence on some of these, I was going for some northen folk/wintery inspiration. 

Now on the the little girl in the red hood...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hello Again

Another variation with more pattern, texture and better line work.

Tomorrow I will be moving on to snowy forests and a little red hooded girl. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013


My teenager looked at this painting and said, "Ah, too bad kids don't play like that anymore."  Don't they?

That's sad, those old games, making a baking soda volcano, blanket forts, tag (right, like running around after each other, why would we do that!) and all those things we grew up with and that I made sure my kids at least had a chance to experience once - are those too old fashioned now? 

I know there are parents who pass down those unplugged traditions, I wish more did. I should write a book - Unplugged: 100 games for kids - no batteries needed!  I'll add that to my to do list! Well, first I will research what books are already out there - that's the first step in writing a non-fiction book!

I love reading the blog Soule Mama - because that's one family after my own nostalgic heart!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Word of the Year: Connect

It's only been 6 months and a few days since my last blog post.  2012 was not the year of illustrating.  It was the year I worked on healing from a serious injury, on taking care of my family, a year of big changes and most importantly it was the year of beads.  It's not easy running an empire in a different creative field.  The only thing to do is move bravely forward into 2013!

2012 found me finally returning to my hometown, a sleepy little tourist spot two hours from Chicago along the shores of Lake Michigan. The town closes at 5pm and reminds me of an episode of the Gilmore Girls..

The end of 2012 delivered a 1910 farmhouse in the middle of the country to me. We see more trees and fields than houses, more bunnies and deer than neighbors. Which is so different from anything I've ever done before, I've lived in a city for my entire adult life.   I'm 10 minutes away from most of my family.

It's a good place to be in, physically, emotionally and creatively. I'm deep, down in my bones kind of happy and content. 

As most of us do, I've been reflecting on the past year and what I want to do with my next 364 days.  Instead of resolutions I've come into the habit of picking a word as my theme for the year.  For 2013 my word is connect.  We are so connected to the world via the internet, but I have found myself quite disconnected over the last year.  Sure I see the status updates, tweets and blog posts, but I'm not particpating or connecting on a deeper level, which is important to me.  2012 was the year I survived and in survival mode, there was a lot of disconnect.

How will I connect in 2013?
  1. I am making an effort to reconnect with my creative community both on and offline.  That's means SCBWI conferences and getting together with illustrators. 
  2. I will work on making the connection with publishers as I send out work on a regular basis this year.  
  3. I will connect to my passions of crafting, living simply and helping kids be creative. 
  4. I will connect to my inner artist, giving myself the time and space I need to work.
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson