helping out

I'm sure many of you have read about Stephanie and Christian Nielson and the terrible plane crash they were in. What a heartbreaking story. They have such a beautiful family. If you haven't please read about it here. I found out about this a few days ago but I've been so busy that I hadn't had a chance to really post about it. Designmom posted an enormous list today of all the fundraising that is going on on their behalf. In my small way I hope to contribute too.

This week I don't have time to make anything new so I will be auctioning off a piece that I was hoping to keep for myself. It's my last 'Into the Woods' piece. The illustration itself is 4" x 6" and the entire piece has a two inch border (not completely shown in the image) which makes it an 8" x 10" piece.

I've never done an auction before so here are my rules. Hope it works out. Here's what we'll do:

1 - Please place your bid by leaving a comment with your bid amount in the comments section. Make sure it is higher than the previous bid and only in whole dollars.

2 - At the close of the auction (Sept. 1st), I will contact the winner. The winner will pay the amount of their winning bid to the Stephanie and Christian PayPal account. The winner will then forward the PayPal receipt to me and I'll send the artwork to them.

3 - The auction will end at noon PST on Monday, September 1, 2008.

Thank you!

thank you!

Thank you so much to those of you that responded yesterday! I've decided to post the my response to your comments here and in the comments section from yesterday. I don't want you to think that I didn't read every single one of your ideas. So here's my response to your input:

WOW!! Thank you so much everyone for your great comments and ideas. You've helped me more than you know.

To clarify again (I edited the original post as well): My idea has nothing to do with any new service Spoonflower is offering. It is something I would do from my end. A customer would purchase the rights to reproduce one of my designs through Spoonflower and SF would only produce the fabric. There would be no contract with SF at all.

As far as I what I've decided to do... I'm still unsure on how to proceed with this fabric/pattern idea simply because I'm so new to this. What I do know for certain (after the food for thought you gave me with your comments) is that I will only be selling fabric directly through my shop or through a second party fabric shop, if I get that far (probably way down the road).

Yes, I agree with many of you. There are instances where jumping right in and going for it is appropriate. I've done it on other occasions. In this case, my concerns over maintaining the quality and standards of my work are greater than my desire to get my name 'out there' or to earn some quick money. I guess I just really needed to hear some feedback to really cement and sort out my thoughts on the subject. Like I said before, your comments really helped me.

Basically, I have more research to do. I will continue to work on my pattern collection and will seriously look into how to get the fabric produced. I will definitely keep you posted and thanks again for all your help! You've been great!

One thing that I forgot to add was that there one phrase that stood out from all your great input. It's the one that the very talented Michelle made. At the end of her comment she said that everything depended on how dear the prints are to me. That did it. I mess with my patterns a lot. I'm tweaking them all the time. It definitely isn't a casual thing. So yes, my work is very dear to me and even though it should've been obvious from the beginning I'm pretty clear on the fact that giving away the control of it isn't an option.

Thanks again everyone! I'm very grateful for your help. And by the way if any of you that are just reading this would like to participate in giveaway just reply in the previous post and I'll include you. Since I've already cleared up my question maybe tell me a little about what you like to sew (if you do) or what are your favorite color schemes for fabric collections. How's that? I'll take comments until Sunday night (but be sure to post your comment in yesterday's post!!)

Have a great day and stayed tuned for Monday's winner!

book giveaway

Yes, I know I was supposed to stay away but hey I'm only human. I also happened to pick up my mail at my box today and got a lovely surprise package that I will be sharing with you.

Raise your hand if you love free books? I thought so. Me too. I love getting them and specially when they're unexpected. I sat down and flipped through two great ones this afternoon, enjoyed them a bit and now I'm ready to let them go - kind of. We literally have no space in our bookcase for more books and I'm determined not keep anything we can't put in the right place. As a matter of fact, I'm getting a serious "spring" cleaning bug. The type that has me clearing out closets (drastically) and taking tons of stuff to Goodwill.

I know this is going to sound strange but I'll share anyway. When I'm in the middle of purging, I repeat a short phrase to myself (out loud mind you) when I'm undecided about getting rid of something: "Be BRUTAL!" Nine times out of ten I end up getting rid of whatever it was that I was doubtful about. It really works. Try it. But I digress. On to the book giveaway.

I'm not good about giving book reviews (plus I'm not really supposed to be here - remember?) so in the interest of efficiency please click on the links below to read more about each book. Here's the info:

Over and Over by Mike Perry - This book is particularly painful to let go. It's all about hand drawn patterns. Very, very cool!

Forecast by Nicholas Blechman - This book offers a lot of food for thought and is very visual too.

So here's the deal. I need a little help deciding something and I'd really love your input. Please! So... to enter the contest please answer a little question I have. If you've read my blog before you know about a small (emphasis on small) collection of patterns that I've been working on) so I've been toying with an idea for a while. Coincidentally it was also mentioned in the Spoonflower blog. If I sell the rights to my patterns to be used/uploaded for Spoonflower fabric would you consider that a good idea? Any pros/cons comments or other ideas are also welcome. I can think of a million reasons why it isn't a good idea but I can also think of other good reasons as well. I'm really torn. Easy. Right? Thank you in advance for your input.

I love that giveaways pull some of you out of lurking. And I love meeting new people, so please join in the fun and introduce yourselves. Everyone is sooo nice here. Really.

I will select two winners on Monday, September 1st. Yes, it's a holiday but we're not going anywhere. Good luck and thank you to all of those that visit every day.

By the way, thank you so much to those of you that made comments on my horrible bag post. I still cringe every time I see that photo. You're all too nice. Thanks!

And this was supposed to be a short post. Yikes! Out of here now...

EDIT - Just to clarify something that came up in the comments section. Spoonflower is not offering to sell the rights of any patterns. They will allow people to sell their own designs in the future but as of right now it would be something that I'd be doing on my own end. My customers would purchase a file for a fee from me and use it to upload it at Spoonflower. Sorry for the confusion.

varying results

This is going to take a while, but I can't wait to see it complete. This project came to mind as soon as I saw this lamp that Holly bought for her new apartment. I'm going to make a paper version. I'll be cutting a small section at a time, between breaks from my other projects. I figure I'll be done by the end of the week. So far so good.

The lamp idea came about on Saturday, after I tried my hand at sewing a tote of sorts. It didn't work out the way I planned it so I've already pulled it apart. The only evidence it existed are these photos. I still had pins in the bag and I already knew it wasn't working. I wanted a tote but I wanted one that didn't exactly look like one - if that makes sense. The straps were all wrong and the actual bag was too long (it's much wider than appears in the photo - the sides are tucked in). So that was that.

Even though I don't like the bag, I decided to show it here to hopefully show a progression (improvement!) of my sewing projects as I make my sewing machine my friend. But I'll freely admit that it makes me uncomfortable to show something I'm not happy with. No taking it back now.

The good thing here, is that the idea is out of my head and I can move on to something different. I had to spend a couple of minutes explaining this to my lovely engineer husband (the part where I didn't consider it a waste of time... lol). I'm trying to decide what to make next. For some reason I think this pattern is better suited for something home related like a pillow, coasters or place mats. Maybe that's just me. It'd be interesting to see what someone else would make with fabric I've designed. Any suggestions on what to make? Not that I'll be sewing any time soon.

I'm going to have a very busy week ahead of me. I'll be editing the manuscript for my book, maybe for the last time, and I need to take more photos. So I've decided that there will be no internet for me. I'm going to my little corner of the world and sticking my head in my work for several days.

Have a great week and good luck to the kiddos that are starting school in the next few days. We're starting our second full week and everything is going great so far. I hope your weekend was as relaxed as our was.

thank you craft!

In less than a couple of days I've been on the Craft blog in one way or another here, here and here. I hope you don't get sick of seeing me!

Everyone I've ever been in touch with at Craft has always been extremely nice and I consider them instrumental in getting the word out about my work. I am very appreciative of everything. Thank you. Thank you!

Welcome to those of you that are visiting because of their posts!

recycle project no. 13 - to-do list holder

Remember my recycle projects? I miss them! So here's a new one.

When it comes to lists I'm still more of a pen + paper kind of gal. I needed a little something to keep the small ones more organized. A scrap of linen, a small piece of chip board that I had in my scrap drawer, some ironing and a glue gun was all that I needed to make this to-do list holder. I wanted something firm to write on and compact enough to tuck into a handbag. The sheets I will write on will be index cards or cut down sheets of paper from my recycle stash.

I cut the chip board slightly larger than a small index card and used only one piece of fabric for the whole project. The fabric is about 2 1/2 times wider than the chip board and about twice as long.

The backside (on the right) is a little bumpy because of the fabric on the corners but I can cover that up with a colorful piece of card stock or with extra index cards.

I think the photos are self-explanatory but if you have any questions I'll be happy to answer them in the comments section.

Variations -
- Print or embroider something on your fabric before using it for this. I just remembered that I have a block printed tree on another scrap of linen that would've been perfect for this. I would've used it as a decorative touch for the back area.
- For those of you that sew - I can see a small zipper pouch working with something like this. One side should have the folded over edges to hold the paper. A secured chip board inside of the pouch (attached with velcro?) will offer the firmness needed for writing. The pouch can be a great place for coupons, receipts, etc.

Happy Monday!


I finally completed the SFG Blankbook project. It was awesome to have a book full of spreads created by other artists in my hands. Everyone did such a wonderful job. As soon as I got the book I sat on the couch, with the kids on either side of me, looking at everyone's piece. I was surprised to see they enjoyed it as much as I did. Part of the project was taking a photo of myself with the case in a landmark of my home town. I chose one of the newest areas of our community. You can read more about the project and see a small sneak peek of my spread here.

By the way, seeing my hair like this is a rare thing. It's naturally very curly.

Well... the summer break is over for us. The kids go back to school tomorrow and I will resume what I hope is a more relaxed schedule. However, I can already feel that I'm going to miss my babies. The house is going to feel so very quiet. I hate the annual emotional tug of war I go through. I obviously want them to go to school but I also feel like I'm missing out by not being with them. Sigh.

This is one of my favorite shots of the summer. They were quiet, just looking at the ocean and completely unaware that I was right behind them. Love it.

One last thing. I've posted a new interview on Crafty Synergy. This time we get to hear a little bit about Elizabeth Soule and her work. I was very taken by her photography the first time I saw it. Enjoy!

more talk about patterns

I made a small mention of this last week but I think it deserves a post of its own. This is my piece that will be in Von Glitschka's second book, which includes a CD and 94 patterns. It's called Drip.Drop.Swirl and will be published in March of 2009. To say that I was very flattered to be included is a huge understatement. I've always admired Von's work and to be asked to participate in his book was awesome. He assigned about a dozen designers and illustrators a specific pattern each and we were to create a piece using it. I wanted to do go the three-dimensional route (surprise!) and this is what I came up with Click on the image to see it a bit larger and a side view is here.

The framed piece consists of three layers of white and dark blue paper and a linen background. Several tries and Xacto blades later, I finally figured out what to cut and what to keep. It was like putting a puzzle together. The single white sheet in the background is my idea of showing a simpler application of the same idea. These are relatively small (the framed piece is an 8" square) but bigger panels, using any pattern and different materials (wood, acrylic, aluminum), can be made to be used as room dividers or hung as decorative wall panels. Can you see it?

What I'm really dying to see is how everyone else applied or used their pattern. Can't wait.
Thanks so much Von!

no more excuses

Look what I got in the mail from Spoonflower! This will definitely spur me on to get to my sewing machine out and running. I really wish the fabric where heavier but the ability to print my own design was just too irresistible. Remember the little sample swatches I got a while back? The detail and coverage were great (for my purposes - a novice that isn't selling any fabric related products) so that's why I decided to go ahead with this fabric. I did have an issue with colors. They were muted on my swatch, so I'm glad I got a sample to go by.

The design has been sitting in my computer for ever. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago I'm going to start collecting my hand drawn doodles. This is a sample of what I've been collecting as far as digital 'doodles' go. I have a folder full of patterns and I like working on them every now and then. I think I've mentioned wanting to design fabric but I haven't done anything in regards to researching how to get serious about it (maybe lack of time!?). I suppose other applications are a possibility too. In any case, this is the first pattern that comes 'to life'.

No more excuses, also applies to training. Today I 'officially' started training for the Houston half-marathon that we'll be running in January. I'm already 3 weeks behind schedule and running only 4 miles today proved how lame my conditioning is right now. Lame with a capital L! Ugh! But at least I started. Maybe the Olympics had something to do with it. How awesome (and eerily daunting at the same time) where those opening ceremonies?

UPDATE :: I've decided to go ahead and start selling this pattern as fat quarters. I'll be listing my new fabric designs on my Etsy shop as I produce them. Take a peek here.

11 years

We got married, in the church were we saw each other for the first time, surrounded by a small group of family and friends. It was a sweet and very happy day. It doesn't feel like all this time has passed.

One day I may share our story. The very, very brief version is that we met when we were 16 & 18 but we didn't date until years later and a few months before getting married. The proposal came after only 3 months of dating (of which we only saw each other 1 month). I'm telling you it's a long story!

I love you my NN! Happy Anniversary!

pen + paper + ink

I'm going to start a series of daily doodles that take me no more than 20 min. to work on. They'll only be in black ink and I'm going to keep whatever comes out first. I've completely abandoned drawing and I miss it. I think this will help me further develop my small but growing pattern collection. Don't worry, my blog won't become doodle central. So just for today, here's doodle 001 with a little quote to go along with it.

The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice.
- George Eliot

And on a completely different subject... Woohoo! The Olympics are finally here! I'm not the type to really sit for hours watching televised sports but the Olympics are the big exception. I'll definitely be watching. Don't ask me why (because I don't even know the answer) but my 'secret' pie-in-the-sky dream would be to participate in... archery!

Friday Tidbit
The Design Alphabet: You’ll be here forever! So much to look at and such dedication to find everything for each letter. (via Elle Deco)

Enjoy the weekend!


We can get our own patterns on fabric. What about on shoes? I played around today and ended up with these kid's shoes. I'm not buying them, but Little C would love her favorite colors on her feet. You can make your own here. (via Vonster)

Speaking of patterns, the uber talented Von Glitschka has completed Drip.Dot.Swirl. - a book that includes 94 illustrative patterns. Several designers will be featured and I'm very flattered that I was asked to participate and will be included. I will have the piece partially seen here included in the book. I can't wait to add this to my library!

well hello there!

I didn't want another week go by without at least checking in for minute. My time was completely taken over the photo shoot - getting ready for it and actually working on it last week. It was the busiest I've been in a long time.

The photographer (the nicest guy ever) came to the house 3 days in a row last week to work on taking the beauty shots of all 33 of my projects. We worked pretty steadily, but we did have some fun and I definitely learned a lot. I think I got an average 3-4 hrs of sleep each night getting things ready for each day. Thankfully my husband took those days off so the kids were taken care of. I don't know what I'd do without my loving, understanding and very patient partner in crime!

We live in a small house and there wasn't any corner that wasn't in total chaos last week. This was a small set up in the living room. Every other wall in the space had furniture piled up against it and the kitchen counters were covered with all sorts of odds and ends. Total. Chaos.

My body finally gave up on me by Thursday night. I've been sick since then (upper respiratory yucky stuff). This hadn't happened to me in a while - where the stress gets the best of me and my body makes me come to a screeching halt. I guess that's not good, is it? The good news is that this week will be the last of the major work. 

On Friday night we went to a lovely restaurant to celebrate my Mom's birthday. Great food and atmosphere and a nice break from everything going on here. It's amazing that this is smack in the middle of the big city.

Here's the painting that my brother made for my Mom. It's inspired by a trip he took with his fiancé and my parents to Europe last year.

This morning I'm sipping my coffee looking at some of these cheery floral leftovers from the photo shoot and getting ready for more work behind the camera (how-to photos). The sun is shining outside and it's hard to believe that a possible hurricane is fast approaching our area. I'm a wimp when facing natural disaster type stuff. Me no likey.

To help you start your week on a positive note, visit a great blog by Melissa, a fellow graphic designer, called Operation Nice. I think it's absolutely wonderful!

A couple of more things::
- A big thank you to Cassi for mentioning a couple of my projects on The Crafty Crow blog. Stop by and visit for a collection of great ideas to work on with kids.
- Blogger named Crafty Synergy a Blog of Note last week. Thank you!
- If you feel compelled to follow my daily update snippets I finally joined Twitter here. I'm still getting used to it so don't expect much! ;)