Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 31st ALREADY?!?

I can't believe how quickly the summer is going! I just finally got the story board started for the children's book I'm illustrating (Libby, let me know when I can show you!) and I'm working on some collaboration proposal for Creative Imaginations but of course that's all hush hush. I'm also re-organizing the studio now that I've cleaned out so many of my supplies (and sent them onto new and deserving homes!). Today I have a good friend coming down with her two boys and if the thunderstorms hold off we'll get some play time at the park.
In other news, we've started the search for a new furry family member (also known as the studio mascot), started the Big Sister process for Becky, I've taken over (almost) the Director position of the Brookline Artist Open Studio and I've started the Low Carbon Diet.

Now that I'm back up and running in the studio, let me know what you'd like to see more of here. More video? Class schedules (yep I'm working on that too!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Parts and Parcels Video (3 of 3)

Last but definitely not least! This is the flip flop folio which has shipped and is now available for purchase! These little guys make a great make and take or crop project and are entirely affordable!
Third Video:

Parts and Parcels (2 of 3)

Here is part two of my altered beach parts and parcel album. I really enjoy the opportunity to bring a little of my fine art tools and supplies into the paper craft realm so that I can help others be their creative best!

Second Video:

Parts and Parcels Video (1/3)

CHA was once again a fabulous opportunity to meet with fellow artists, retailers, reps and other companies. As promised here is the first of three videos showing the altering of a Parts and Parcel album... enjoy and please feel free to send me any questions you may have!

First Video:

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Demo schedule for CHA is in! I will be at the Creative Imaginations Party demoing from 3-4 (early bird gets the worm!) on Thursday. Then you will be able to find me from 10-11 every day at the Creative Imaginations booth 1849/1951! These are the two different projects we'll be working with over the course of my 4 days in Chicago. Please stop by and say hi!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Cape is Calling

In an effort to use our child-free-work-free days to their fullest, we are off to the Cape to explore today. We finished of the sod this a.m. and now we'll gas up the car and go. Will let you know all about our little stops tomorrow! Enjoy the day

Saturday, July 12, 2008

greener pastures

Yes, I DO have a green thumb. This is the lawn the Jenn and Matt built. Less than 120 square feet but it's our little piece of heaven. Can't wait for the girls to see it!

Friday, July 11, 2008

And the winner is....

Ahhhh, another trip to lovely Brimfield. And Matt comes home today. I guess that makes me the winner!!
(these trophies are from Brimfield and are future art always, stay tuned.)
When I have a minute I'll shoot pics of my other brimfield finds!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Busy day....

Seems like I can always fill a day when I take the time to fill it!
Worked on a t-shirt design for Families Exploring Down Syndrome's Buddy Walk in October, this morning, then wrote up 5 book proposals, did some emailing,
then went for a walk up to Coolidge corner to run some errands including:
Dropping off a copy of Cardmaker's Workbook at Paper Source, getting fresh corn on the cob from the farmers market...yumm, marinara sauce from Trader Joes, Sparkling water from CVS and a trip to say hi to Sara the store manager (and friend!) from the Pear Tree bead store--oh and I rented Love in the Time of Cholera too.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

crochet bikini!

Today I got to go to a lovely little yarn store with my friend Karin. Of course I was too busy chatting with her to pay attention to the name of the store! I met a lovely group of women including Jodi Colella who made LOVELY, AMAZING, INTRICATE jewelry! I just couldn't believe my eyes. If I can get her to photograph some of the jewelry I saw today I'll see if I can post it here to make you drool.

I grabbed a couple skeins of weird yarns to try and work into my mixed media (totally influenced by Jodi!) and a couple books. One has a crocheted kids bikini pattern that I just HAVE to try for the girls. Perhaps if I get some extra time tomorrow, AND all my work done I can go out to buy some yarn...perhaps.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lucky 13!

Happy Anniversary to us! Lucky 13!

This is a picture I took last year when Matt and I got away for all of 36 hours and went up to Peaks Island, Maine. We rented a tandem bike and had lobster rolls and enjoyed each others company. Just lovely.

Matt, I know you'll read this from Minneapolis today. Be safe, know I love you and come home soon!

I'll be missing you today!

Thanks to Christine Adolph for posting her anniversary pic this week and giving me the idea to to do the same.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Feeling Sassy!

Wow, what was life like before Kids??? I'd like to think I know but this freedom from Motherhood is throwing me for a loop. Its like the time is too precious to waste so I waste time figuring out how to use it.

(Created for Eileen--The Girls)

Got another game of tennis in. Of should I say set. I don't know if I could make it through a best of three match yet. It's waaaaay too hot. I need a hybrid sport like slip-n-slide morphed into tennis. Or maybe I just need to get someone to stand on the sidelines and hit me with a super soaker.

I'm starting to work on my sketches for my friend Libby's children's book. Its such a great little story and it will be fun to execute. After working on my new paper line for this Winter I really got the hang of combining real painted techniques and the possibilities of digital art. I'm going for something that would probably be best described as Eric Carle meets Lauren Child, author and illustrator of Charlie and Lola. Something that is my own personal style.

Have you ever tried to be someone else? I have a great rubber stamp that is hardly ever used but it brings me such pleasure just in reading it that I MUST keep it.

It goes like this:

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. then if they get mad, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.


I try a lot to walk in other peoples shoes and I find it helpful in my artistic endeavors to do as the masters did and study how a particular artist creates (or created). I found it interesting in Art school when the lecturer would say a painting was done by one of the greats but was really probably carried out by his apprentice(s). Talk about on the job training!

When I had the privledge of working for Anna Griffin, I worked as one of her two designers who created cards, boxes, books and scrapbook pages with her spectacular products. Anna is particularly great at branding herself. I remember one particularly funny evening when we went out for Thai food while traveling and ended up at this thai/tennis court place that we swore smelled like smelly socks. On this particular evening she mentioned that she'd like to grow her brand--just like Martha but without the jail time. And, even though I've gone on to do my own thing, those days of making glorious pieces of art that had to look like they came from the hand of Anna, taught me about branding, technique and creating a signature style.

Now I suppose this isn't important information for a soccer mom who enjoys scrapbooking or a grandmother who makes cards or even a ER Doc who is a killer cook (Hi Karin!) but for those of us searching for the path to successfully sharing our talents, branding and style HAVE to be our focus.

I am a big fan of Brian Andreas's Story People and created my own story person on an apron for a good friend. I delighted in the afternoon of becoming Andreas, of getting into his head, letting my hand be his hand. Of course, this friend also loved Story People and it was a personal gift done more to honor our love of the personal stories that Brian celebrates than it was a way to copy his art. It was a one time metamorphasis, but it is a fine line to walk. Many of my peers use magazines and workshops to share what they know only to find that someone has taken what they are teaching and instead of taking that knowledge and making it their own, they are claiming the original as their own.

On this subject I would just like to say one thing. Find your own creative voice. If you are consistently copying one person you are drowning out your own voice. I have yet to meet a person looking for this voice who hasn't found it. Learn something and as you learn it, think about how you can make it yours, how can you change it up, color, technique, supplies, your story, your talent...This way, you too will be making the world more beautiful.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Working Backwards...

Ok I promised that I'd blog every day and then I FORGOT. I think that happens when you all of a sudden have NO routine. So I'm saving this as Saturday's post! (I know Karin, I'm only cheating myself!)

See, these girls pictured here are hundreds of miles away in Michigan with my family (Hi girlies!) and I wake up every morning not knowing what to do (or NOT do) first.

Here is my solution, I will start by blogging about an email I received this morning from a friend from my past...

Katherine updated me on the ages of her girls and other things and then asked me the following...

Madeline has a sun, moon, stars theme in her room and she is ready for a change. Her room is faux painted a gold yellow. I would perfer her walls to stay that way because she has a NORTH facing room and needs the brightness. She now wants a rainforest theme room with emphasis on poison dart frogs

Here is my suggetion Katherine!:

Keep the sunny yellow and use it as a blank canvas for a hip and happening new room (Madeline is 8). Take down the sun, moon, star theme stuff.

Have Madeline pick out 3-4 of her favorite frogs from the internet or a book. (try google images too) These will dictate your color scheme.

Pick the accent colors from the frogs like bright orange, red or chartruese and make these the pops of color in the room (garbage can, curtains, extra pillow on the bed or throw rug.)

Next, to make it a frog room, use JoAnn fabric or Michaels coupons to buy BIG blank canvases (the deeper ones look better) and paint a frog onto it. Don't think dimensions, think coloring book. You can blow up a small picture and trace it or use a projector if you have on or can borrow one. You can do this on all the canvases depending on the amount of wall space or you can do smaller canvases that you just paint the frog silhouettes on in the accent colors.

For accessories, I'd hit a rainforest cafe restaurant and/or ikea. Ikea has a big leaf canopy thing that would be fun to put over a reading chair or a couple over a play corner. And then I'd put a mosquito netting over the bed. Have fun with it and letting Madeline help pick things out will let her really take ownership.

Katherine wanted to update her other daughters room too (she wants a princess room). But she doesn't want it to be disney-ish so that it will grow with her for a while.

Here I'd do the same kind of thing, pick a great wall color and then accessorize with medieval type decorations (skip the torture chamber of course). Ikea will have some accessories, but also think funky fur throw and think about what you could spray paint gold for that princess grandeur. Also there are pretty big flat backed rhinestones at places like Michaels that you could adhere to a headboard or desk chair. Think about fancy knobs on the dresser too.

Send me a picture when you're done!

If anyone else has a creative challenge I'd love to hear it--keeps the mind fresh!

This Land is my land...

Happy 4th of July! Matt and I celebrated with all of Boston and Rascal Flatts today at the Esplanade. The music was great, the hummus was delish, and we tied 120 to 120 at scrabble! We found a nice little spot of grass and were generally uncrowded until about 9:30. I worked on my crochet box (you have to see it to understand), did sudoku and hanshi puzzles, read a magazine, did some preliminary sketches for Libby's book and started outlining 3 new book ideas. WHAT A DAY! Matt and I have one more full day together. We hardly know what to do with our time--maybe its time to work on the house.
I hope you all had a little picnic, a little sunshine and a lot of fireworks.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Hats off!

This was a fun self-imposed challenge. I created this baby hat for Abby's first grade teacher who is expecting a new arrival any day now. I followed a pattern from From Knit to Crochet which admittedly didn't get very good reviews but I'm impressed with. The reviewers seemed to buy the book sight unseen and expected it to be something different. I find fault in that. I looked at the book at the store and knew exactly what I was getting. As someone who crochets, I like the ability to see how to make my work look different.
This hat was made from a very soft bamboo too. So lovely to touch. I hope Mrs. B and the baby are united soon and that everyone is healthy and happy.
I'm not sure about everything on my to do list getting done yesterday but I'm happy to report we had a full and productive day. Today I'll burn the DVD with my new paper line and send off to CI. WOW, I really can't wait until I can share it all with you! I've given a couple people sneak peeks and they had really positive feedback! Yahoo!
stay tuned

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

High Hopes

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant
But he’s got high hopes,
he’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie,
in the sky hopes
Here is my lovely Abby with a mouth full of teeth coming in in about 6 different stages. I remember that age. A summer of not being able to eat corn on the cob because of a loose tooth, followed by a late summer of not being able to eath corn on the cob because of no tooth followed by a fall with a major dental accident when I ran into a fellow student's head with my newly arrive tooth--only to lose it. But don't remind me. I go to the dentist (long overdue) tomorrow. Abby has an ant in this little bubble gum machine container. She spent the better part of the camping trip trying to lure one into it. This kid is a serious animal lover. We really have to get that back yard finished so we can get a dog!
Why High Hopes? because I intend on counting down the days until I leave for CHA (July 17th) everyday with a post, here. I know, impossible but I've got HIGH hopes. Heck I already went for 4 mile walk this morning with Matt. And yes, we don't know quite what to do with ourselves with the girls gone to Michigan for the next two weeks.
So, here is my to do list for today: get a sketch pad, start my write up of my new book proposals, start a story board to show Libby for my illustrations for her book (thanks Libby!) and work on postcards for CHA, meet with Gwen and Susan about taking over the Open Studios for lunch, go into the North End for some authentic Italian groceries, and maybe scope out our spot for the 4th at the Esplanade.
Better get to it!