just using what we have

I'm back sooner than planned. My little C wanted to see her artwork posted. We worked on these this afternoon. I've named them wwh.1 and wwh.2. (wwh = what we have). I have a lot of paper, paints, and other crafty materials around and we're going to start using them before we get anything else. So these are the results of our WWH afternoon session:

Mine - Remember this one? This is version two and all the pieces came straight from my scrap pile which is getting bigger and bigger. Little C's contribution was the placement of the two orange strips on the left. I think she did good.



Little C's - She used a small canvas that was already painted purple (no idea why). She picked the brushes and paints she wanted to use and made this with no direction at all. We were next to each other but in our own little worlds.



And D you ask? This is how it went:

Me: D would you like to join us and work on a project?
D: Nah. (as he plays with his little action figures)
The end. 

Now I'm really out of here for the weekend. Have fun!

white



I hope everyone has a fun weekend!

Friday tidbits
- In a perfect world I would own everything here and here. Gorgeous, gorgeous! (via Olivelse - another great blog on my list)

- Bowie of Print & Pattern has just posted a call for entries for her book. Exciting opportunity!

tagged

I've been tagged twice! So here I go.

Maria tagged me for this one:

1 - What was I doing 10 years ago?
I had just graduated from a second college. I was in college for seven years straight. I got my first degree in graphic design and the second in biology (was going to go to med school - didn't - obviously). I was about to celebrate my first wedding anniversary.

2 - What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
Continue to write how-tos; take the kids to swimming lessons; catch up on laundry; figure out what to make for dinner; go to the bank

3 - Snacks I enjoy
Anything baked is the death of me (bread w/some coffee, chocolate chip cookies, etc); sliced almonds - but even better... chocolate covered almonds!

4 - Things I would do if I were a billionaire
- Travel, travel, travel
- If it happened overnight I'd first pay off the debt of everyone in our immediate families and give them extra for fun.
- It would also be great to throw a big party for our closest friends where the party favors are checks to cover all college costs for the kids of the families in attendance and second honeymoon trips for the couples.
- I'd fund a business that I've always had in mind. A combination coffee house/childcare place where the everyday mom/dad could have a place to hang out with some friends, read and maybe do a craft or two, while their kids are in the next room taking an art class or just playing and having fun. There would be a great big double sided mirror between the two rooms. Parents would see their kids but kids wouldn't see them. Everything would be designed in a super clean lined way (danish style?) and eco-friendly from top to bottom. Oh and it would be super affordable. I wouldn't run this place. I would just fund it and go there myself (maybe with a craft group I'd finally gotten around to organizing). I think parents need time to relax in order to be better parents. If there are better parents, kids will grow up healthier and eventually society could be affected as a whole. It all starts from the ground up.
- And travel, travel, travel. Oh did I already say that?
- I've always said that if we won the lottery I'd be happy with winning just enough to cover debts (ours, our parents and siblings) and continue the same life that we have now. That would be the ideal. I've always wondered what billionaires dream about...

5 - Places I have lived
New Jersey, Colombia, Houston, San Antonio, Kingwood (technically part of Houston)

6 - Jobs I have had
Retail clerk at a department store, makeup sales person at a different department store (only 30 days and hated every minute of it - worst job EVER!), teller at several banks, production manager, graphic designer

As long as I'm sharing... This is not a current photo. It's all a mess right now.




The second tag was by Amy. I'm supposed to write about 6 random, unspectacular quirks that I possess. I don't think I'm that quirky but let's see...
- I think I've mentioned this one before. If using a pen it must be black. I just can't use any other color of ink. Can't.
- I always delete photos that show my profile.
- I love the smell of eucalyptus. A quirk in the sense that I really really like it a lot.
- This isn't necessarily a quirk but everyone in my family probably thinks it is - I don't like avocados in any shape or form.
- I must fold towels with the edges on the inside.
- Can't stand colored nail polish on my hands. I hardly ever have any on but if I do it has to be clear. I can be a little more adventurous with my toes but not my hands.

Ok so how'd I do? I know I'm supposed to tag some people but I'm terrible at that so I'll leave this as is. Thanks Maria and Amy!

So what are some of your quirks?

in and out

After four days without internet access over the weekend (four days!) I have been trying to catch up with everything. I have so many unread blogs (we all love to write don't we?) but I got so much done. I was nearing a meltdown last week. It was an "almost in tears" kind of meltdown, compounded by the mom-guilt, but my husband came to the rescue with his ever present "it will all be ok" assurances. Needless to say having no internet was a blessing in disguise. I just wanted to check in to mention a few things.

- If you haven't been to Crafty Synergy since last Thursday I've posted two interviews since then with the very talented Michelle of Cicadia Studio and Lotta of Inleaf Design. Beautiful work!

- I got my Spoonflower fabric swatches! I promised I'd show them and tell you more about the results so I will write about this in my next post.

- Thank you so much to Knack Studios for featuring me on their blog!

- I just discovered Periwinklebloom because Tyler was kind enough to leave a comment on my last post. It's a gorgeous blog and I look forward to seeing her shop when it opens this year.

And this is a just a little sneak peek at a project I finished recently. It's not for my book but it will hopefully be featured in another one. I'll fill in the details at a later time.



Speaking of my book, you should see my desk!! It's completely surrounded by 30 projects of all types and sizes. It seems unreal to be paid for doing something so fun! I'm in the middle of manuscript writing frenzy so I'll have to check out for now. Have a great day!

translation

I've been taking photos of plants that are around the neighborhood to catalog for future use. The shapes of leaves, branches and flowers are all so inspiring and eventually find their way into my work. I like to take natural shapes to their most minimal expression while still keeping them interesting. Here's a tiny example of how leaves turned into petals.



I've been meaning to take some shots at our local nursery and I haven't gotten around to it. Now that's a place full of nature eye candy!

The kids are starting to notice how I take these photos and take some of their own. I like the fact that they're more spontaneous than I am and they get the coolest shots without trying too hard. I try to keep my mouth shut as much as possible. They just point and shoot. The wonders of digital cameras never cease. They're really easy for the kids to use and the really bad shots simply get the delete button - with child's approval of course. If I forget to ask of it's ok to delete a photo you can't even imagine the sadness and/or fits (mostly from little C). But can I really blame the artists for protecting their work? ;)

Thank you to...
- Carrie at Apartment Therapy for featuring my alphabet mat boards!
- Scribbit for making A Little Hut the blog of the week!

I won't be around tomorrow so I'll post my Friday Tidbit today... that's ok right?
- Party Perfect - This is a new blog but it looks like it will be a fun one to watch for party ideas. It is written by Sara Hicks Malone, founder and designer of Hicks, who also is a graphic designer and a former art director of Martha Stewart Baby and Kids magazines.

Have a wonderful weekend! And to those of you on our side of the world - stay cool!

the sun is shining and a new week begins

There are many things to do but the good news is I got plenty of rest over the weekend. For the most part I've been all about write, write, write (yes - you know the book!). I've been getting up at 4:30 every single morning (not the weekend!) since last week to work on it. I used to be a devoted night owl but my body can't take it anymore (age catching up with me?). I'd rather concentrate in the early morning with a cup of coffee next to me and be wide awake when the kids are ready to start the day.

I only have one simple side project to speak of. Here's a wallpaper image I made for the kids' computer. Recognize the animals? The monitor has a particular licensed character duplicated over and over on it right now and I just can't look at it one more minute! I'm already thinking that safari type animals would be cute for the next one.



A couple of things worth checking out:
- In case you haven't seen it, I posted a new interview on Crafty Synergy a couple of days ago. Here it is.
- Marisa, recent guest of Crafty Synergy, has just announced the completion of her first children's book. So adorable!!

Happy Monday!

still

I love Martha's new idea for a Flickr 's t i l l ' group. I think we could all use some stillness in our lives, or at least appreciate what is already there. I think my favorite still moments are the kind I have with the kids. They happen either in the very early morning, when they're still a little sleepy, or late at night when they're too tired and just give in to the fact that the day is over. They just want a quiet hug or to be read a story. The best moments.

The photos for this group were supposed to be taken during this week - one a day. I didn't have time to add mine until today and I only have a couple. Here they are.

Printing



Reading (the quickest paper project ever, using some scraps from projects for the book)



I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

side projects

Even when my plate is full, side projects keep me happy.

Side project 1 - Today I got the SFG Blankbook! It's my turn now. I've been flipping through the whole book and the artists that have illustrated spreads so far are amazingly talented. I think I was a bit (more like - very!) delusional when I signed up for this. Where did I come up with the idea that I could measure up to the likes of all the illustrators here? Too late. I've got to come through with something.



Side project 2 - Remember I mentioned fabric designing a few days ago? It seems like things are lining up for me to give it a try. First off, I learned about Spoonflower a few weeks ago. I signed up and got my invitation yesterday. At Spoonflower, you can upload your own patterns and a few days later you get your custom designed fabric in the mail. Then, today, Jessica blogged about her start with fabric designing and she provided a wonderful link to tiling in Illustrator which I really needed. Thanks for sharing Jessica and thank you for sharing my to do list with your readers.



So here are the two swatches (8" x 8") of fabric that I ordered. No, these aren't part of my tiny stash of patterns. I decided that before I invest any serious money on fabric (for things like cushions - nothing too adventurous) I want to verify the quality of the printing that Spoonflower offers. One swatch is to see a sampling of some colors and how they may or may not change from file to printing. The second swatch is to verify coverage on a larger area and the crispness of lines. I guess I should've included some thinner lines here too. Too late. When I get my swatches I'll let you know what the results are.

Side project 3 - I put a mood board together for Holly's mood board contest. I've never done anything like this so it was a fun exercise. Here's what I put together.

Tiny side project 4 - I gave my freebies page a small face lift. It was looking really sad.

put it all in one place



I just realized that I never posted another idea I had for the pattern I used in my note card project. So here it is: a to-do list sheet. Click on the last link here for the download.

Thank you to Amanda for including in her article about 50 interesting Blogger design layouts. Link.

Now I'm off to work on the things on my list!

now we have farm animals



So who doesn't have fun on a farm - or at least pretending you're in one? These little boxes (pig, cow, hen, duck) came about because I was putting away some of the kids' toys and saw the Fisher Price barn set that Little C plays with on occasion (flashbacks anyone?) . Pop! - new boxes came to mind. My favorite animal was always the horse and opening and shutting the barn door so it would 'moo' was something I remember doing a lot. For those of you that are curious to know how my ideas come about, now you know one more little detail. Toys and games inspire me a lot. Anyhow... this new set is now available on my site here.

If you happen to notice, my wall art is quite depleted. It will probably remain that way for quite a few more days. My plate is so full at the moment, that making new pieces is not an option right now. I'll keep you posted about when I do a more substantial update of my shop. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

catching up + thinking ahead



I put this stationery together early this morning for some thank you messages I owe. The design is the same one I used for my latest banner and it's just a small part of a growing collection of patterns that I haven't done anything with. I have several ideas of what I want to do with them. One in particular is designing fabric. Maybe that's a little presumptuous of me. But can you imagine?! That would be such an interesting project to work on.

There's nothing interesting to tell regarding last week's disappearance. I was sick the whole time so not much got done in the crafty department. I only worked on client work and my book projects of course. The next few days will be for catching up on everything else (laundry!).

Happy Monday!

new visitor on crafty synergy



I'm a busy little bee so there isn't anything terribly exciting to report around here. But please visit Crafty Synergy for a new interview I just posted. This time around we're lucky enough to learn more about the very talented Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday. Enjoy!