I'd rather be under a tree

I've been trying to post a "yes, I'm still alive" post since yesterday but Blogger wouldn't let me log in. Even Blogger was telling me not to step aside from work. What a week! I was so exhausted that last night I think I fell asleep around 8:30 or 9pm which is totally unheard of. I usually never go to bed before midnight (I am trying to change that).

The good news is that almost everything I did this week was for ALH. All fun stuff! It all seems to be taking over my graphic design business. At least for now. The bad news is that none of the work I did is for my shop. There probably won't be an update there until next week.



I'm so glad and pleasantly surprised that I got so many comments on my previous post. It seems like I'm not the only one that needs a little time-out. I did get a chance to hop and skip around a few blogs this week and I noticed at least 5 people talking about how tired they felt and how much they needed a break. Why don't you all just join me under the tree in my yard? The weather is perfect and the birdies that are making a nest there (for the second year in a row) are singing their little hearts away. I can hear them from here. I love it.

Friday Tidbits
I was so busy that I didn't get to be online much but I did catch a couple of things.
- Fontifier: I've been wanting to use my handwriting as a font for a long time. Here's my chance. (via How About Orange)
- Dog Appliqued Onesies: I saw this on the Martha Stewart Show the other day and thought it was a really cute thing to make (created by Austin based Christy Hodgson.). Two friends have new babies that I can make these for. The only thing is that I would make my shirts a little more nature inspired vs. using animals.

Several big thank yous to... Meg for featuring my work on her blog; Marina for letting me know about the new cute bunny boxes that she made using my Spring Boxes template. Anyone else have template pictures to share? I'd love to see - and Jan for featuriing my Spring Boxes template on her blog with other lovely spring paper goods.

Have a great weekend and if you're in Texas don't forget to vote!

taking a time-out



We went to the library with the kids yesterday (always fun!) and I picked up a copy of Never Check E-mail in the Morning (I’m really bad about that!) in an effort to get my time-management skills under control. I started reading it and one thing that struck me right away was the part about dedicating more time to ourselves. So many of us don’t do that. I’m fortunate that I love what I do for work. I REALLY enjoy it. I do however tend to over think things and my mind gets all tangled up. I need to be better at pulling away and doing something else for fun. It’s invigorating and it gives me a fresh mental start when I get back to my projects.

This may not really qualify as a break from work, but I had a little fun this morning with a scrap of paper while I had some coffee. A little house came out of it and it got me thinking that when I was about 7 or 8 I used to draw a lot of houses. They tended to be the “fancy” kind and styled like the White House – big porch and big columns. I don’t know why I drew houses so much. I think it may have to do with the fact, that back then, we lived in a very small one bedroom apartment in New Jersey. The funny thing is that I never felt like we were missing out on anything. Several of our neighbors had kids of our age so I only have happy memories of the time we were there - lots of playing, lots of birthdays, lots of fun.



Today’s little house mostly comes from the inspiration I got when I visited the Tiny Buildings blog a few days ago. I love the story about how it all got started.

So what do you do for fun and get recharged? Not to sound preachy, but whatever it is make some time for it. Take a breather. We all need to do that every now and then. Don’t you think? As far as I'm concerned, I've been meaning to start some sort of knitting or sewing project. The latter isn't exactly relaxing for me, but I've been wanting to step up to the challenge. I have fabric. Now I just have to figure out what to make first.

Friday Tidbits
- Noek Design: Speaking of houses I would LOVE - just die - for one of these in our backyard!!! Houston summer weather would kill me but still...
- Tonfisk: anything here would make me so happy. We only have white dishes so it would all fit in nicely.
- Anne Kyyro Quinn: I think this woman is a genius!

Go figure... Today I was really wordy. :)
Enjoy the weekend!

exploring

Here are some pieces that I made this week. Each has a little something other than paper. I love it when someone pushes me further and I end up with something slightly different. They're not in the shop because they're in a FedEx box being delivered to their destination today.

I know I'm not the most eloquent of writers but today I'm feeling extra short on words. So now I'll just go catch up with everything else. I hope you all have a great day!







Apparently I'm not a good speller today either. I've been back to edit this little post about three times already. Sheesh!

spring boxes



This will have to be short and sweet today. The kids are home from school - both under the weather since yesterday. I just uploaded a new Exuberant tree (#3). More are coming for those of you that have emailed me. I've also added my spring gift boxes template which were inspired by a customer's request. I hope you like them.

Have a great day!

EDIT - I just wanted to check back in to add a little something regarding international orders. I can now sell my templates directly from my site to international customers. Finally! :)  For items that need to be shipped you still need to email me directly with a list of any item(s) that you wish to purchase in order for me to get the appropriate shipping quote. Every location is so different that I need to do that on a case by case basis.

Thanks again for all your lovely comments here and on my Flickr page. They are so encouraging as always! :)

ahhh... friday

I finally got to download some photos from my iphone and I really like this one that I took at the zoo last weekend. The trees there are gorgeous! Little C is in the foreground. 



I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's. Ours was rather calm and routine - classroom V-day parties, drive home with the kids, homework time, soccer practice, dinner, bedtime. My husband and I aren't really into Valentine's so it isn't a big to-do around here. In fact, he knows never to give my anything for V-day. I prefer what he does, which is to give me "just because" flowers and my favorite chocolate covered almonds throughout the year. :)

Today, I'm loving that it's finally Friday and I'm dedicated to tidying up around here. For those of you that have asked, more trees are coming! In the meantime, I wanted to check in and post my Friday links which I skipped last week.

Friday Tidbits
- Pikaland: A relatively new blog that features many talented illustrators.
- Boohou: I just love this project that Arounna posted! So adorable.
- This is more of a product recommendation. I got this tripod from a friend that knows me too well and I just LOVE it. I use it all the time. Super handy and strong enough to hold my Canon Rebel.

Have a great weekend!

happy valentine's day!



Have a wonderful day!

If you have a chance, I just posted a new interview with the very talented Lisa Solomon on Crafty Synergy. Enjoy!

the need to make more



Does anyone else feel a twinge of sadness when they sell something they've made? Is it just me? Don't take me wrong. I love that my artwork is considered worthy enough for someone to purchase. But at the same time, I feel like I'm giving a little bit of myself away as I put an order in the mail. For some reason, I really felt that with my blue tree. So I made another. I think I'm just going to keep making these leafy trees - one at a time - no templates - all unique. I love trees. Can you tell? :)

A big thank you to Paper Crave and The Budget Casa for blogging about my gift boxes and cards. Thank you Kristen and Lyz!

you make my day

I've received a 'you make my day' award from Kristel. Thank you so much! It's so nice to receive such an award. The thought of making someone's day with my blog is so heart warming.

The award rules are:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make your day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Tell the award winners that they've won by commenting on their blogs.

It was so difficult to pick just 5 blogs because I have so many that I do visit and find so inspiring. My awards go to:
- Six and a Half Stitches - Allison's work and photography are amazing. I also really enjoy her writing.
- Bookhou - Arounna's work caught my eye the very first time I saw it.
- Uniform Studio - Martha's work with fabric is just amazing.
- Hoping for Happy Accidents - A very peaceful and inspiring blog to visit.
- Skinny laMinx - Heather's paper cutting and printed designs are so striking!

And I could go on and on... Liquid PaperEmma's blogAssemblage, Print and Pattern, Posy Gets CozyAngry ChickenKirin Notebook, Shim and Sons, Five and a Half ... Lack of talent is definitely not a problem in the blogging world.

Speaking of making my day - Yesterday, I was feeling rather irate because once again I found someone copying my work rather blatantly - and no, it's not flattering. I can understand being inspired by someone but I can never understand literally copying some else's work. It's not the first time it happens to me and I'm fully aware that it will certainly not be the last. As I was pondering all this, my little C came up to me to wish me a happy Valentine's day by offering me a page full of her pencil drawn hearts and an enormous hug (which unfortunately doesn't come too often - she's not as spontaneous with her affection as her brother). I melted to bits. She made me forget what I was thinking about and reminded me, once again, of what really matters to me. She completely made MY day.

not completely done

The weekend simply flew by. How I wish there were more hours in one day! We did laundry, worked, played (mostly doll house -w/little C), visited the zoo, went to a birthday party, the kids played outside with neighbors, had a couple of movie nights and poof we're back to Monday.



As far as my work is concerned, I still have some wall art that isn't ready for showing so my shop update isn't complete at all. I'm not beating myself up about it, because I'd rather only show work that I'm happy with. You can see a few new pieces here. I'm also participating in the spring themed Popppytalk Handmade Market and you can find my 'table' here. If you have a minute visit the site to check out the work of some wonderful artists!



Oh! There is one more thing that I actually got to do this weekend - READ! Ahhh... I'd forgotten what that feels like. I read Country Living's Crafting a Business which I received last week. I didn't know what to expect since I already had the bar set high by Craft Inc. which I bought and read about two months ago. I think that by having both books I have the best of both worlds. Country Living's book features artists that I didn't know anything about (except for Amy Butler of course) while in Craft Inc. I only learned about two new artists. The rest I'd heard/read a lot about. The biggest difference between the two books is that Country Living dedicates over half the book to the artists features and their inspiring stories (with lots of photos) and skims over the business details in short chapters at the end of the book. Craft Inc. on the other hand, gives many details and ideas about running a crafty business and the feature stories or interviews are much shorter (no photos at all - fine by me because I love the clean layout and design of the book). How I wish I had read these types of books when I got my start!

All in all it both books are a great read and I'll definitely be going through them a few more times - mostly for the stories about the artists. I love reading about how someone has 'made it' in their industry. It gives me higher hopes about what I'm doing myself.

a is for...



Actively working. This is what I've been doing for the last few days. I will be participating in the Poppytalk Handmade Market that opens it's spring theme in a few days and I'm trying to get ready for it as quickly as I can. Sometimes I wish there was two of me which is one of the reasons why I really love my templates. It allows me more time to work on new ideas, and those of you that have been kind enough to purchase them, have all the fun making your own paper crafts and customizing them to your own tastes.

I always wonder what other people go through when they're creating new work. Doubts and misses seem to be part of my process, until I feel that I've reached a point where I have something worth while. I'm going through some doubts right now. It can be a bit frustrating. Ok - really frustrating. Typically, to get past this, I either have to get away from what I'm doing for a while or dig my heels in and work through it all. The trick is to find which approach to take.

Speaking of templates, I'm not sure what to make next. I'll have to take a peek at my sketch book, to see if have some ideas that are asking to come to life, or if I need to come up with a new one. We'll see.

For now it's time to go pick up my little ones at school. Have a great evening!

priorities

As you can see (for those of you that may have been keeping track), there was no shop update today. As with other recent weeks, the hours have been swallowed whole by other worldly adventures. Ok, wordly may be stretching it. Basically family time has taken over. Not a bad trade off I'd say. Soooo, my shop update is still coming. It's just had a little delay.



I have such a weakness for pottery and I was so happy to get this package in the mail. I ordered this tumbler from Melissa and I love it! You can see more of her work here. The Mardi Gras beads are courtesy of my little C. ;)



Thank you to Grace, at DesignSponge, for including my calendar template among the great work of so many others, in one of her posts today! And thank you to those that have been emailing me your ideas, work and comments and have complimented my templates. I appreciate every single one of your messages. Thank you, thank you!

Now back to my second favorite tool... my Xacto. My absolute favorite? My Mac of course! :)

sunny

The sun is out, there isn't a cloud in the sky. The weather is perfect. Finally! Hopefully we'll have at least a couple of days of this so that we can be out and about enjoying it. Before any of that can happen though, there is that little thing about cleaning up the mess I created around here this week. Stuff is everywhere. I'm continuing some work for my shop update (that is set for Tuesday) and when I get in the thick of things my poor little house pays the price - dearly.



Before I go, I have some thank yous to go around: to Jan for posting about my gift box and cards templates today, to Natalie (again and again! :)) and Michelle for posting my egg-carton project and to Jessica for posting my magazine bowl project. What would I do without such generous bloggers?

Oh and one last little thing...

Friday Tidbits
I'm going to start posting some links that I find interesting and that I've run across during the week. Sooo, here it goes.

- I've signed up for Judy's fun post card project. Check it out here. If you're interested I think she's filling up quite quickly!

- I LOVE all the crafty projects that Arounna has been posting on Irene's kids blog. Adorable!


Enjoy the weekend!