In just about two hours I will be picking up with kids from school and it will be all over for 1st and 4th grade. It just seems to go by faster and faster every year (and I say that every year). The kids had their challenges and they made it through. We're so proud of them.

I can't wait to get the summer started and while we settle in to our new routine things may get a bit slow around here. But don't worry, we'll be on the idea + projects wagon again soon. Promise!

For now...

Friday Tidbits
- Ink + Wit - I love these stamps that Tara has just released. Adorable.
- Zen Habits - This post I read this morning just really resonates with me. I love my quiet time.
- Bholu - I found Bholu a while back (and love it all) but this interview of the owner Jodie Fried is eyeopening and very inspiring.
- Awesome use of recycled materials!
- Wondering if it would be too crazy to submit and idea for this.

And the winner of the giveaway is... Shannon! Congratulations I'll be in touch shortly. As always I used the random number generator and when the number 50 popped up it just seemed right—5th anniversary and 50 for the winner. I've always had a certain 'thing' for numbers that include the number five like 5, 15 and of course 50. Add that to my personal list of my tid-bits.

Have a great weekend!

lessons of the day

Lesson one:
Step away more often. Sometimes all you need is some paint and brushes to have a great time. I just got back from the kids' school because I was helping out with 'Fun Day' at the face painting station. I painted many pudgy cheeks of kids ages 7 to 12. They were all so sweet and fun. They wanted beards, mustaches, butterflies, owls, snakes, fish, octopuses (mine look horrible!), flowers, hearts, etc. No one cried so I guess I did a decent job. For those of you that don't know brushes and paint are not really my forte.

Lesson two:
Remember that my kids are always so happy to see me helping out at school. They knew I was going to be there but as soon as they made it to where I was at, their little faces just lit up and were all smiles.

Lesson three:
Remember to take your camera out to record the event. I was so busy that I totally forgot to pull it out! Waah!

Lesson four:
Have a gratuitous photo handy to fill in for not coming through with lesson three. I don't know about you but I need some visuals.


Lesson five:
Be prepared and just relax. Tomorrow is the last day of school. Let the summer begin!

PS - Thank you, thank you to all of you that have left me the kindest messages in my previous post. I've read them all and they're the best anniversary gift ever. Thank you!

five years?

Really? I can't believe that I started this blog 5 years ago. It just doesn't seem like it was that long ago. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, that I'd last this long or what would happen once I started down this path. It's been very, very worth it.

The professional and personal rewards have been great—more like huge! You've seen me toot my horn with my successes (and you've graciously supported me) and I've had the great pleasure of meeting wonderful people. I'm so grateful for all of that.

What you haven't seen much of are the struggles. The biggest one is actually sitting in front of my computer to create a post and put the words together. Even after 60 months of writing, I still get waves of doubt when I hit the publish button. But, yes, it is getting easier. Some days I simply think that 'good enough' is perfect. I need to learn to give myself permission to have more of those days or better yet, to recognize that I'm not as bad as I think I am.

Creating projects for the blog is easy. Ok, not easy, easy but it's fun. Maybe that's why easy was the first word that came to mind. I like the challenge of coming up with something new and unexpected. It's like performing mental yoga or gymnastics. Love it.

five years

It still amazes me that these simple tools have given me so much. I left that stumpy pencil in the photo even though I was tempted to use a newer one because that's the one that one of the kids used for their homework the other day. They have been a part of this adventure and I need to fully acknowledge out loud how influential they are in my creative process. They really are quite inspiring to say the least. They also help me create a rhythm between my professional and family life. While I'm on the family subject I need to give my hubby a shout out too. Without his enormous gifts of patience and understanding all my crazy projects wouldn't exist. Any other guy that hears the phrase "Oh I have another idea!" as often as he does would've probably gone crazy by now.

I realize that I don't share much of our personal lives with you but I'm not really good at that and I don't really think that's why you visit, is it?

Speaking of which, why do you visit? That is a question that I wonder about every now and then. As much as this blog is for the exploration of my ideas, I hope that my intent of inspiring other projects and lighting other creative fires is working. That is my hope.

So, will there be another five years of this? I don't know but let's assume that is the case for now. What will I be looking back upon 5 years from now? We shall see.

I'm two weeks away from our family trip so I haven't had time to properly arrange a better giveaway. I do however have a one-of-kind eraser board (in photo below) that is not available in my shop right now. I'll be giving it away with a copy of my book and a set of block printed cards. To enter the giveaway just leave me a comment below. If you feel inclined to do so let me know what you'd like to see more of on the blog and any other thoughts of improvements that you have in mind. I'm all ears!

I will leave this post open for comments until Thursday at midnight and I'll announce the winner on Friday. Please make sure to leave me an email or some way to reach you.

Happy Wednesday!

anniversay giveaway

new work - eraser boards

I don't think I've ever mentioned this before but aside from paper there is another thing that I've always had this weird attraction to—office supplies. Pads, pencils, drawer organizers, pink erasers, wooden rulers, file folders—you name it I melt. If they look anything like Muji products or something more colorful, when I'm in the mood, then I'm in heaven. So, what to do when an eraser board looks so terribly boring? Design one yourself.

Below is my solution to write my 'must be done today' to-dos. If I see them in front of me they really get done. These are really sturdy and they can be hung or kept within reach on your desk.


Are you a paper/pencil, digital or eraser board to-do lister? I'm actually a little of each depending on what it's for. Paper/pencil is for right away or if I'm on the phone, digital (or online) for work and like I said eraser board is for 'musts'.

For now I have very limited stock of these two designs in my shop.


need to burn some calories...

After a weekend of tossing all intents for eating healthy out the window. But it was so worth it! We had a great weekend and my family spoiled me rotten.


The only issue I had was figuring out what to wear for dinner on Saturday. I don't know what's going on but lately I'm getting really picky about my clothing tastes. I ended up with a pencil skirt (gotta love basics) and a blouse that was ok but not wow. Where are the Audrey Hepburnish designers within a normal budget range!? I'd run to them in a heart beat.

Enough about me. Here are the latest samples of my artsy kiddos, who asked if I could feature them here. Sure! I'm going to frame all of these.

Hers... She says this is me.

her art - supposed to be me

A close up of her version of blue bonnets.

her art - blue bonnets

His... Love this use of layered cardboard. The kids in the class were following an artist's work (D doesn't remember the name) that used particularly large eyes.

his art


Today I turn 40. I've been worried about this birthday for years. Now that it's here... it's just another day, another year. It isn't such a big deal as I make it out to be. In fact, I already made up my mind that this year I'm going to push myself more than ever and instead of lamenting its arrival I'm going to use it as a launching pad. I have a list ready for me to tackle.

I received a package of goodies yesterday and it felt like an early birthday present. It will get me started with the 'pushing' that I'm talking about. I'll show you what it's all about next week.


Today I'm going to relax, get a haircut and do laundry (life goes on, right?) and in the evening we're all going to dinner with my family. All I want/need for my birthday is to be surrounded by those that I care about the most. It's going to be so much fun.

And... thank you to all of you that come by and visit. I don't take it for granted and I really, really appreciate all your support and kind words.

Have a great weekend everyone!

bit of this, bit of that

As I've said before I typically have some sort of side project going. For this week's "just for fun" work I'll be tackling a bit of fabric and more embroidery. This time the fabric I'll be using has already been printed for me (via Spoonflower). We'll see if the idea I have in mind pans out.

This is a cut out of my stamp flower. As you can see part of it is missing (oops!), but I wanted to see what it would look like on paper. I can fix what's missing and then what? Frame it? Maybe.

paper flower

paper flower

I had the intention of doing so but at the urging of a friend's request I've decided to add a set of Full Bloom flower cards to my shop. I'm offering them as a set of 6 cards. Each is stamped individually and never in the same exact place. They are all one of a kind, if you buy a set it will be entirely unique.

full bloom

I promise there will be no more flowers for a while!

happy mother's day

Here's the final touch for the sachets I showed you yesterday—a box made from scratch (hadn't done that in a while) and a preview-of-contents card (sick of the flower yet?). All done!

a box from scratch

Many gifts come in pretty boxes, but we all know that the most precious ones can't be wrapped. May all Moms get lots of love, warm hugs and mushy kisses from all their kiddos.

I wouldn't mind breakfast in bed too!

Have a great day on Sunday!

a preview of what's inside the box

her first embroidery

So here it is. This is part of the gift I'll be giving my Mom on Sunday. The rest will involve printing an assorted set of my block print cards (which she's been asking for a while!) and other tid bits.

Little did I know that this project would offer my little C her first embroidery experience. I was working on the red/pink piece when I heard the very familiar "Can I help, Mom?" Of course! I was so excited and beside myself.

She had it a little harder since I was lazy and wasn't using an embroidery hoop (slightly starched linen made it easier to cheat), but she handled everything so well. She didn't quite understand what I was sewing until I told her that the embroidery I was doing was like coloring but with thread. As soon as I said that she totally go it—she's the coloring queen!

The top pink stitches were her first. The red was much better and by the time she helped me with the purple flowers she was doing it much better. She's such a mini-me maker—love it!

It was great to watch how focused she was in making sure her stitches were close to one another. However, she was moving so much this is one of the best shots I got of her little hands in action.

We asked D if he wanted to sew a few stitches (as C said "Boys can sew too! - Sure!) and all we got was a most disinterested "No thanks." Ah well...


We're in the middle of some small remodeling work of the kids' rooms so all their belongings are all over our living room. To say that I can't wait to have this all done is a huge understatement. I can't wait to put things away! The sleeping arrangements aren't too bad. We managed to squeeze the kids' beds in our room, making things a bit tight but surprisingly cozy.

Since things are a bit crazy around here I'm not getting much done, but after some quick design work I managed to make progress with some embroidery. I'm crossing my fingers that I can get this finished before the weekend...

recycling project - mother's day card

Last week I shot two segments for the local show called Going Green with Yolanda Green. One was a how-to for an extra special Mother's Day card/gift (which could work for Dad as well) and the other for a 4th of July project. The first one aired this past weekend and below is the video which, by the way, does not show up on Google Reader (psst! you'll be able to see me with my new haircut).

- Empty cookie or cereal box
- Pencil
- Ruler
- Scissors and/or Xacto blade and cutting mat
- Tape
- Tissue paper (can be wrinkled/used)
- Mod Podge or craft glue (slightly watered down)
- Bowl
- Brush
- Leftover cardstock or colored paper
- Ribbon
- Round corner paper punch (optional)

I completely forgot to take photos of the process as I made the project so I created a project sheet that you can download below. To save paper just print the first page and then the second on the back side of the same page.

Download here.

If you like the format of these project sheets or you have any ideas on how to improve them please let me know. I'm thinking of continuing them for the projects that I post from now on. Thoughts?