happy thanksgiving

I know that I'm a couple of days early but if I didn't post this now I'm sure I'd forget. For those of you in the US that celebrate Thanksgiving I hope that you have a wonderful time. I'll be taking the next couple of days off to be with my family.

Have a great week!


This is a continuation of what happened to the drawing from my last post. I love his backwards flag but my mommy sixth-sense knew that he wouldn't like it printed that way. So I was going to bring it up really casually. This is what happened this morning:

Me: Guess what D? I scanned in your drawing.
D: You did?
Me: Yes and I want to show you something. (as I lift the drawing up to show D).
D: Oooohhh noooo!
Me: What?
D: Noooo!
Me: What's wrong? (knowing he'd already figured it out)
D: The flag is backwards! (as shoulders slump)
Me: You're right, but don't worry we can fix it without you having to redraw it.
D: How?

I then showed him the scan in Photoshop and in a couple of minutes the flagged was flipped. My sweet boy is a happy camper now.

Speaking of sweet this is a small story about how my D charms his way around here (not always mind you!). He's the one that tucks me in at times (remember?) and he recently did something that we would've had no idea about unless our little C would've told us. We were sitting around the table at breakfast...

C: D woke me up this morning with a kiss. (husband and I just stare at her in mid-bite and D looks embarrassed).
Me: He did?
C: Yes. (with a grin on her face)
Me: Where did he kiss you?
C: she points to her forehead (just were we do it to wake the kids up).
Me: Aww that was really sweet.
C: After he kissed me, he said he was going to play on the computer and he wanted to know if I wanted to play with him.

LOL. A sweet kiss with strings attached. He woke her up because he wanted someone to play with.

Another conversation I just remembered. Last one I promise. We were in the car...

Me: D, guess what R told me?
D: What?
Me: She said you're a very handsome boy.
D: Really? Wait. Say that again.
Me: R said you're a very handsome boy.
D: Awww shucks. (pause) I always wanted to say that.

Little turkey craft made by C in school.

would you say anything?

I asked D to draw five things to print a fabric design with his illustrations (just as I asked little C). He chose a space theme. I'm surprised that I didn't get a bunch of lightsabers and Star Wars characters—which he loves. I'm debating what to do about the flag. I think it's cute and I would have no problem in leaving it as is. But part of me thinks that he'll get on my case if I don't give him a chance to revise and tell him something now. What to do.

If all of our problems where this complicated we'd all have it made, right?

first photography favor/gig

I hardly ever get to work on any projects on the weekends, but my camera does get a lot of action. I've been wanting to make Mondays a 'photo day' on my blog for a long time. So, what better time to start than by showing you a small sampling of the two day (250+ photos), engagement photo shoot of my brother and his fiancée (no close-ups because I promised them some privacy).

I've never taken 'serious' portrait photos so I wasn't sure how it would go but it went smoothly and we had fun.

On Saturday we worked a couple of hours close to our house. Yes, their dog was in some photos too.

On Sunday we went to the center of town—Rice University and Hermann Park.

The only two non-people photos that I got to take really quickly.

My compensation? Lunch and seeing how happy my brother and he's fiancée are with the results.

collaboration is always best

For a while, I've been wanting something made by the kids that wasn't just framed artwork. Printing my designs on fabric gave me the idea of making a pair of cushions for our room with fabric designed by little C & D. I didn't have a plan yet but the thought was pestering me.

Yesterday, as we were headed to the grocery store, little C was drawing on a pad (she carries paper and a pencil everywhere we go—I wonder where she got that from). She kept lifting up the pad for me to look at her drawings. Even if I'm driving I must look or else! This time she at least waited for a red light. It turns out she was drawing houses and the thought just clicked. I knew exactly what I wanted to do so I asked her to draw me 5 houses. I gave her no parameters. Just give me 5 houses. She drew one per page and added a sun, a moon and some birds to some of them. She drew these on the fly (in three minutes tops) while in a moving car. I absolutely love the birds!

I'm still fiddling with it but this is close to the pattern that I will be getting printed for the first of my cushions (maybe even placemats? gifts for grandparents?). Now to play with color. I want to keep it really simple.

I can't wait to see what D comes up with. I don't want to show him this yet so he's just as spontaneous and doesn't plan anything. I'll ask him to do the same - draw 5 things. That's it.

Before I leave (house chores are calling my name) a big thank you to:
- Nichole who posted three of my templates on her blog! Here, here and here.

- To Sew, Mama, Sew for including my to-do list holder in their list of gifts for multi-taskers.

- To Whip Up for including my magazine bowl in their list of boxes and containers tutorials.

Things that caught my eye recently:
- I LOVE this
- There are calendar round-ups popping up everywhere but this one in particular is really good.

The kids will be home next week for the Thanksgiving break so I don't know if I'll be around here much. For now, I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!

working out the kinks

In the past few weeks I've been struggling with a creativity rut of sorts. It's been creeping up on me slowly. I have a million ideas but they seem to be jumbled up in my head. It's been hard to figure out how to tie everything together. I think that's part of the reason why I started the 'one month of projects'.

What I'll be working on in the new year is starting to evolve. It won't deviate that much from what I'm doing right now but I feel like a plan is coming together. One of the 'tools' I've used came to me serendipidously in the mail a few weeks ago. It's a book called The Creative Entrepreneur. It's a guide book that helps a creative, albeit business challenged, person like myself get more organized. One of the goals of the book is to visually record your notes or work in an art journal. I'm not the type to journal or even scrapbook so I'm completely skipping the artsy part of the book (sorry!). I'm keeping notes of everything that I've come up with so far. It's been very inspiring and the prompts and questions that are to be considered have helped me pinpoint what I really want to do. I like the fact that I'm working on this now, so that I can start the new year with a fresh outlook.

While I'm on the subject, another book that I have and has been helpful when I'm creatively stuck is Caffeine for the Creative Mind. I work on it randomly opening it to any page and trying out one of the 250 exercises that are included. It has worked before so it's always in a handy spot.

If books don't help then another option is to jump right in. I did just that today. I called it In The Breeze..

holiday stationery for kids

I was on a roll and planning ahead so here is another holiday goodie. It'll probably be my last for a while, so fear not, I won't be bombarding you with more of these. I remembered the kids' tags that I started last year and decided to make a new holiday set. I did keep the snowflake though as a wistful reminder of winters long past. This Texas snow-less weather makes me sad for the kids. However as an adult I wouldn't look forward to the driving in snow thing.

Of course, in the 'real' retail world this would've been designed six months ago but in the time lines around here are off a bit. Ha! This new PDF set includes printable materials for four different letter-sized sheets (maybe for those lists), note cards (can be used as large gift tags), four small gift tag designs and a template for an envelope suitable for the note card (A2 size).

Yes, I did offer a similar set of tags as a freebie last year. Why are they in my shop this year? It's a long story and not a good one at that. I love sharing my work with all of you but there are those few that ruin things for everyone else. As you can tell, I don't want to go into detail because I've always considered my blog my happy place. I thought I'd mention this in case you were wondering about the change in 'philosophy'.

It is now obvious that I have revived my Etsy store again. I've stopped and started twice or three times before. I've never had that much luck with it. The stopping/starting probably doesn't help one bit. But I've always gotten noticeably more results through my regular site. I'm not sure what that means but I've decided that spending a bit of effort on Etsy won't hurt. This will be the last time I give it a shot (famous last words).

Speaking of holiday things. I'm in charge of coming up with a holiday craft for the kids to make during their Christmas party the last day of school before the break. For now I'm thinking that I want the kids to work on an ornament. I want it to last, so I'm not sure what material to use with just yet. I'll have to do a little craft research or come up with something myself. We shall see.

Gotta run. Little C has been home all day with a fever. Illness prone season has begun in this household. Yeah.

holiday templates

So here they are! I couldn't decide what images to pick for these boxes. I like the ginger bread man, stocking, candy cane, reindeer, etc. - but I had to narrow these down to the easiest to cut or the ones more suitable to be cut in half for closing the box. The snowman takes a little more effort but I think he looks cute. Fill your boxes with small treats, make one for each day of advent, for party favors or fill them with strips of paper with small gifts of your time—something like holiday coupons.

The thought of the holiday coupons sparked this idea. How about hanging your gifts of time/coupons from the tree itself? So here are printable templates that can be hung as tree decorations or used as gift tags.

What would you like to get on a coupon? Help with chores, a back rub, an afternoon off to go anywhere/do anything? What? Anyone game to share some ideas? I need some for our coupons.

Me? I'm an easy girl to please. Breakfast in bed (more often) or more help with the cooking would be wonderful.

Have a wonderful weekend!

pods and seeds

I've been in a creative rut of sorts so I was so happy to get these new designs from Spoonflower in the mail yesterday.

Garden Seeds Little C said these looked like watermelon or pumpkin seeds.

Blue Mod Spoons

Floating Pods - I'm going to be using some of this orange fabric for a cushion. I've been using these pods shapes for a while. I really like them for some reason.

I'm working on a little something else that I may get done this week. I feel like I've been moving in slow motion lately. Very slow motion. Maybe it's the weather. After what seemed endless days of perfect weather it's finally rainy and gray here (ooh! the sun just peaked out from behind the clouds).

I was just thinking that I can't believe Thanksgiving is around the corner! Before you know it November will be over and my month of projects will be complete. I've gotten a lot done and a lot of good ideas for the new year.

One last thing, Crafty Synergy is still blocked by Blogger (it's visible but I can't post). I'm beyond frustrated so I may jump ship to another platform very soon. I'll keep you posted!

gifts in the mail

After making something or coming up with what I think is a great idea, I'm the type that wants to share it right away. My fingers itch to get on my keyboard and blog away. Not being able to mention projects just about kills me! That's why the unveiling is so sweet.

This is the artwork that I produced for the Nov/Dec cover of Wild magazine (distributed on Frontier Airlines flights). It's the first time that I have one of my paper illustrations on the cover of a magazine and I feel so happy about it—giddy happy—jump up and down happy. Ok, you get the picture.

The timing of this project was terrible. Remember the hurricane? Well the sketches and production were all completed during the aftermath. Yeah, real fun. The motivation to finish it, and finish it well, was what really kept me going.

Today was a great mail day. Not only did I get the Wild magazines but I also got the first draft of the layout of my entire book! It looks great and I wish I could show it to you (10 months to go for that). I'm so excited to see Home, Paper, Scissors coming to life!

Another great surprise to share today - The wonderful Nicole Lecht of FreshlyBlended included me in an article she posted on VenusZine yesterday. I'm very flattered by being in such great company. All the blogs she mentions on her list are some of my favorites too. Thank you Nicole!

My One Month of Projects is coming along. I'll reveal a little more about what I'm doing tomorrow.

By the way, those of you that think that I've forgotten about my Crafty Synergy blog please hang in there. I'm still waiting and my hands are tied. For those of you that don't know, Blogger has a block placed on it for over a week now. I've submitted the formal review form and still have had no success. I don't know what else to do and I'm very frustrated about that. I'll keep you posted.