Thursday, January 22, 2015

What are you reading?

As the regulars around here may have noticed, I love to read. I love to take some quiet time in the mornings when everything is still and lie in bed with a good book. In the winter months in particular, there is no better way to start my day.

In 2013 I signed up for a challenge to read 50 books over the course of the year and enthusiastically dove in head first. However, let it be known that I am also a huge procrastinator. The reading challenge came into perfect alignment with my procrastination and I used reading as my number one procrastination device. (I also have an extremely competitive nature. Oy.)

I told myself, "How can reading be bad?" Well, there's a limit and I found that as I neared the end of the year, there were things I wished I had made time for over reading. I stopped the challenge in December with just three books to go.

This lead to my paltry reading of 14 books in 2014. I told myself that I could start a book on Friday, but had to be finished by Sunday so as not to get in the way of my work. This worked for a while, but I hit a string of disappointing books midway through the year and my reading of books dropped away almost completely.

Well, I'm ready to approach 2015 with a better attitude. I don't plan on fifty books this year, but I think I can find a healthier balance. I have a better handle on my daily work routine and habits and feel confident in my ability to stem procrastination. But I find myself a bit out of the book loop and am looking for titles to try. What have you been reading? What do you recommend?

I continue to keep my reading list here on the blog. Won't you follow along?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Sewing Party illustrations

One of the biggest illustration projects I worked on in 2014 was a live, online event called The Sewing Party. Created by Singer Sewing Machines and SVP Worldwide, the event was a day of learning and live classes lead by bloggers and educators from across the country. I got to think about my dream craft room scenario and draw it a hundred different ways, explore all kinds of crafty sewing imagery and work with some amazing people in the craft community. I couldn't reveal much of this work during the process, so I'm thrilled to post it all together here at last. It all began with the logo and included so much more. All of the environments attendees visited on the site:

The landing page of the event site

 The Classroom
The Lounge

The Library

I worked with ten sponsors to create custom booths for the Marketplace:

Embroidery Software

As well as three generic booths for other Marketplace sponsors:

There was also this fun t-shirt that is still available on the site.

What better project could a crafty illustrator gal like myself ask for?!? 

Thursday, January 08, 2015


I'm here to tell those of you who have been around these parts for a while that the boy has officially graduated to Mister Fizz. We've been married just over two years now (I snuck that one by you, didn't I?!) and "the boy" just doesn't cut it anymore. We celebrated our second anniversary in October in traditional style with gifts of cotton.

In keeping with my personal style, I presented an unfinished gift: This pieced quilt top. Mister Fizz knows me well and made me promise that I wouldn't touch it again until after the busy holiday craft show season. So here we are. Photographing this beauty on the coldest day of winter so far.

I had pieced quilt squares before for various small projects, but have never made a full quilt. Since I wanted it to be queen sized, so I thought I had better stick with a simple pattern. I've been working from this Instructables tutorial and am excited and nervous to put it all together. Wish me luck!

On a quilt-related theme, I once again checked out this oversized The Quilts of Gee's Bend book from the library. I tend to do so about twice a year. It's so inspiring for so many different projects.

Right now, I'm just focused on doing a little bit of sketching every day. The above is inspired by one of Annie May Young's quilts in the book. 2014 was filled with lots of client work with not as much time for new personal work. I'm excited for 2015 and a new year of projects and illustration. We'll see where this goes… 

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, friends! 2014: What a year! I was much a stranger to this space in 2014, but want to kick off the new year right with a hello to you all. I thought it would be fun to take a look back through my calendar designs from over the years. I started this project way back in 2011, so here's a look at five years of Januarys:

It's really fun for me to review and critique and see the ways in which I've grown and changed as an artist. Which is your favorite? I think for me, it's 2015 — but I always seem to like my newest work best. (You can still purchase the 2015 calendar right here.)

I plan to take a look back at the start of each month. I hope you'll follow along. Here's to a new year of adventure and art!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

2014 Holiday Craft Show schedule

It's hard to believe it's that time of year already! (I probably say this to you every year, but it feels like it becomes more and more true each and every year. Are you with me?!) Next Saturday, November 22 marks my first of four holiday craft shows this year. I hope you'll make it out to one or more so I can say hello and merry to you in person. I'll have new holiday card designs, my 2015 illustrated calendarsDIY ornament kits, new print designs and more! 
Ridge Fine Art Show
Saturday, November 22
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Drayton Avenue Church
2441 Pinecrest Drive
Ferndale, MI
Crafty Supermarket
Saturday, November 29
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Music Hall Ballroom
Cincinnati, OH

Detroit Urban Craft Fair
December 6 and 7
Masonic Temple
Detroit, MI
December 13 and 14
Riverside Arts Center
Ypsilanti, MI

As has become tradition, I will also be involved in two local art center holiday shops:

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center
December 4 to 20
Birmingham, MI

212 Arts Center
December 5 to 13
Saline, MI

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2015 Illustrated Calendar

It's here! My 2015 illustrated calendar is available in the shop. This is the fifth in what's become an annual tradition. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Foraging Tote

I recently made this "foraging tote" for a friend's birthday after spending a week in the woods with her gathering sticks and stones for crafting projects. We wrapped sticks with wool thread, painted fun nature-y things on big dark rocks and laughed a lot the whole time. I came home and inspired by this project, decided this handmade carryall would be a great gift for our next outing.

I made it all up as I went along, but was originally inspired by this photo on Pinterest:

As cute as the found sticks are, I thought smoother handles would be more sensible. I found this tutorial, too, but didn't quite feel like following directions and doing things like measuring! But they're there if you want a place to start. Happy summer gathering, friends!