Friday, July 30, 2010

surroundings and opened eyes

i am definitely guilty of getting caught up in the day to day. not really seeing my surroundings and taking them for granted. we had friends visiting this past week and i got to see my little neck of the woods through the eyes of a tourist and love, love, love that i did. after a day at the pool and amazing mexican for dinner, we took a trip down to the lake roughly 2 blocks from my house - and of course we took the golf cart there. for anyone new to this blog, i live in a community where golf carts are the main form of transportation 9 months out of the year.

the sun was setting on the lake and as you can tell, the sunset produced amazing colors! the kids played in a little spillway under a bridge where itty bitty fish swim at their feet and they marveled at groups of ducks swimming by. sometimes it really does feel like my life is one big vacation. i call these moments "norman rockwell moments". they exist in a period of time that is so perfectly idyllic that you can hardly believe you aren't dreaming.

i'm going to soak up the beauty of the last week of summer before the munchkins head back to school and i will see you back here in a week or two.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

producing and printing

i am getting in full creative work horse mode with the advent of school starting back on august 9th! the fact that i will have 2 solid months of days to myself before a huge festival is perfection.

i will be showcasing a lot of new items this time around and that puts a smile on my face. yesterday, in the mail, i received bookmarks which were printed through my fabulous online printer. the company is 4over and the work they produce is outstanding and super affordable. the bad news is that they are only available for trade businesses, ie: graphic designers with a tax id number or ad agencies, that kind of thing. the good news is, if you are one of those, you will never look for another printer again. i get comments constantly on the thickness of my business cards and the great color coverage on my note cards. give them a try, you won't be disappointed. and no, there was no kick back given for my kind words ;)

back to the bookmarks. i think i am going to add tassels to them out of bakers twine, the red and white striped kind (if i can find it) and sell them for $1-2 each. having something with a really small price point in your booth is always a plus. kids love buying items at festivals, and this won't clean out their parent's wallet.

Monday, July 26, 2010

love and a shop update

woo hoo! i finally have my prints posted in the shop.

i love the idea that each flower has a specific meaning, and i love how men used to choose bouquets to give to their loved ones based on those meanings. sometimes i can't help but feel that the thought behind gifts these days is lacking. with my illustrations, which are a mix of colored pencils and digital processes, i have drawn on the old to create something new and vibrant. if there is a specific flower you would love to see in the shop, leave me a comment and i will move it to the top of my list!

8x10's currently listed, but i have 5x7's as well that will be posted throughout the following weeks.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

time and the right mind set

it's been very glamorous over here on linwood avenue today, let me tell you. we have house guests coming this week and then we leave for our last vacation before school starts, so i designated today as whole house clean up day.

working from home while trying to launch a creative business means certain things have to slide. and in this household, that means cleaning. i learned early on that i can't feel guilty about this fact or else i will never move forward with my goals. you have to give yourself a get out of jail free card which is sometimes a very hard thing for a wife and mom to do.

the result?
a very dirty house, but a very fulfilled woman :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

recipes and lost treasures

yesterday, the girls and i packed up for a mini road trip headed to an estate sale in hogansville, ga. this little town is about 40 minutes from our house and is one of those places you pass on your way to somewhere. but not this time, this time, we stopped and i am so happy we did. the town is so quaint with a half dozen antique stores, a quilting shop, and a children's theater amongst other main street america staples.

but on to the estate sale. some people get really creeped out by estate sales, but i love them, i love going into someone elses home and seeing how they lived. i rarely feel sad for the person who once lived there because i know that what i buy will be loved and integrated into my own home. which brings me to the recipe box above. for $2, i bought this woman's cherished family recipes. seriously, how can her children have given this up??? now, possibly she was an awful cook, but if you are a bad cook, would you really go far enough to keep this detailed of a box with hand written additions and subtractions for getting the recipe absolutely perfect?

on quick glance, my favorite quirky recipe is this...

forgotten cookies
  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • beat 2 egg whites stiff
  • add 2/3 cup sugar
  • fold in small bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup nuts
  • drop on foil lined cookie sheets
  • put in oven and turn oven off
  • do not open door until 8 hours later
i have no experience with this recipe which may in fact be awful, just thought i would pass this little gem on to you all. and if you happen upon a 50 year old recipe box in your travels, and come across the term "oleo", don't fear, it is only another word for margarine - who knew ;)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

matted and packaged

they are ready, finally ready! my mats arrived in the mail today and i quickly got busy framing the 2 prints i currently have (many more are in transit somewhere between kansas and atlanta). i called on my paper conservator brother to make sure i was framing these suckers perfectly - i certainly don't want any slippage right out of the gate. there are currently 5 total in this series, but as i have said before, i will be building up to one flower representing each calendar month. i can hardly contain my excitement that this artwork is completely my own. no piecing together someone elses pattern, or sewing with someone elses fabric. all mine! i will keep you posted when they are available for sale in my etsy shop by announcing it here and on twitter.

it's kind of fitting that today is my 200th post on this little blog. it seems to me that this is what the past 2 years have been building up to - my own artwork. this blog has built me into a better artist and someone who is more forthcoming with thoughts and dreams. and i am forever grateful that i am on this current path - there is nowhere else i would rather be! well, except maybe packing for The Creative Connection Event :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

dreaming and crossing fingers

yep, that's me, pretty much everyday this past week. going about my daily tasks dreaming about winning a trip to the creative connection event through lark crafts! :)

with the munchkins on summer break, sometimes i really feel like i am living everyday in the 50's. seriously - the same day over, and over, and over again like the movie groundhog day. often, i feel guilty slipping away to spend time in the studio working on my biz, but i must do it because it's what keeps me going. any creative person will tell you that the desire to create is less a hobby and more a necessity. and i speak from experience - i am very cranky when i am not spending my time creatively, just ask my husband!

truth be told, i feel like i need a bit of an intervention with linwood avenue. i need guidance towards my next business goal, i need constructive input with what i am doing, i need to break out of my one woman studio and see others out in the world. my little 4 person creative biz group is so wonderfully helpful and inspiring, but often it leaves me wanting more. i want more creative friendships, more creative mentors, more creativity in my life if that is even possible. i think this is why i catch myself dreaming about winning this trip so often. it's because i can taste what is in store for me and what will be reborn within my spirit and entrepreneurial mind if i attend this event!

the winners are notified on august 6th, so until then, keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

experiences and opening up

shouting from the rooftops that i am back on track now. my botanicals are printed and in the mail to me, mats are ordered and ideas are spinning around. once again, i feel like there are so many doors opening to me through this word of blogs, twitter and facebook.

last night, i discovered a contest at lark crafts that made my want to scream. they are giving away 3 trips to the creative connection event this september in minneapolis. i have been dreaming about this event for months now. can you imagine the creative energy that will be spinning for those 3 days! the ability to meet and interact with these amazing individuals would give me the drive to keep pushing my little company forward - i have no doubt.

i shouldn't admit this, but every time i enter a contest, i daydream about it like i have already won. seriously, i think about what clothes i will pack, who i can get to watch the munchkins, all the new friends i will meet. really, it's not all that healthy to do since i have never won anything, but it doesn't stop me. you can't get anywhere in life without dreams, right???

Friday, July 9, 2010

rock and a hard place

i have something to confess... i am stuck. let me rephrase that, i am very STUCK! there are so many half finished projects floating around my studio, computer and mind and i can't seem to get one completed. not one. there is a quilt to finish, chandeliers that need one more coat of paint before i can sell them, stockings to be sewn. the really frustrating part in all this is that most of the projects are 90% completed. but that little 10% is weighing down my mind so heavily that i can't start on a single one.

i think my unease comes from my new creative direction. i am dying to get my botanical prints out into the public, but i guess i want to know that they will be well received. now, i know this is a bit backward - for people to like them, they must see them first. feedback  can drive my creative spirit, it gives me confidence to continue. this is why i love doing festivals. i love when someone gets me, when they come into my tent and tell me that i have great style or that they love a certain piece. i'm not saying that if people don't like it, that i will stop. that isn't the case at all, of course i will proceed with what i love to do. it will just be a bit easier on my mind and productivity if i know people are digging it.

anyone else feel this way???

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

scans and collages

hi all! i am excited to show you my first semi-finished botanical collage. my scanner finally came in the mail today, and i quickly became busy scanning in artwork. the individual flower/word scans need some work, so while i contemplate on how to make them better, i decided to piece my illustrations together. once i figure out how to make a repetitive pattern in fabric design, these will be uploaded to spoonflower for some custom fabric. woo hoo - i can hardly believe i will have custom designed fabric for my aprons. in the meantime, i will be printing and matting this collage for sale at my upcoming festivals. possible text woven in with the flowers will be determined shortly ;)



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