Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creative Tuesdays: Ideal Coffee/Tea Break

Confession - I don't drink coffee or tea on a regular basis.  But I can certainly appreciate their greatness, especially on a brisk, early, Autumn morning, or a cold, winter snow-day.  I guess you could say I'm more of a seasonal drinker...  :)  But, in an effort to enjoy more coffee at home, we did just buy our first coffee maker last December... right before I found out I was pregnant. So that effort has been on hold for 9 months.  I'm sure, soon enough (baby should be here soon!), I will be downing the coffee with the best of 'em.

Anyway, as I thought about the perfect coffee/tea break, what kept coming to mind is the one time of year that I always look forward to having a cup - Christmas morning.  I'm a Christmas fanatic - that's downplaying it, but there are no words to convey my insane excitement for this holiday.  Usually on Christmas morning, I'm at my grandparent's house, and a cup of coffee, which always tastes better when brewed by my Grandma, is the perfect way to start off the best day of the year.

This design is called "Cup of Cheer", and I'm now officially ready to pull out the Christmas music... (Oh, who am I kidding? They never get put away) and my ideal coffee is enjoyed in the quiet, too-early hours of Christmas morning, surrounded by the colors of gift wrap, the smell of pine, the glow of twinkling lights, the warmth of a wood stove, and a happy family. 

So thanks, Creative Tuesdays, for a great theme this week!  And readers, go check out all of the other fantastic ideas for coffee/tea breaks! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

More Critters

A few more critters today!

I posted the beginnings of these stuffed animals in my Sunday Sketches, and these are some of the more refined ones. I got some more baby things posted up on zazzle, too...

Critters doodle
Stuffed Cow labelStuffed White Bunny Birth Ornament ornament

Music on Mondays

I don't have any challenge blogs right now for Mondays, so why not make my own? 
Away We Go stampI'm thinking I'll start off Mondays with a song that's on my mind... and possibly (if I can swing it) a sketch or painting inspired by the music later that day!

I'll start it off with Paolo Nutini's Pencil Full of Lead... it's an older song, but I can't get enough of that trumpet and the fun that they seem to be having playing the song.  I usually listen to it twice... or more...

This is a live version, but definitely go check out the album version as well. It's just a happy way to start off a Monday - nothing's gonna bring me down! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Some sketchy stuffed toys for today's Sunday Sketches...

I must have baby on the brain. :)

I'm having fun doodling things other than my trees and birds, but definitely need to get back to that this week!  But first, some sketchy-stuffed-animal baby announcements, just for the fun of it.

Please visit the Sunday Sketches site for more fantastic, sketchy designs!
Stuffed Dragon photocard
Stuffed Blue Bear photocard
Stuffed Lion photocard

IF: Disguise

I like to think of these critters on the left as teddy bears in disguise. :)

Busy Week... Doctors, Earthquakes, and Hurricanes - oh my!

Well, I'd been doing good with all the new challenge/weekly inspiration blogs up until this week!  It's been busy getting ready for the baby, and I guess I've hit the exhaustion phase.  I'm super tired all the time, and of course can't sleep comfortably enough to get any good sleep. I guess that's just preparing me for when baby arrives!  But it didn't leave me with much energy to create!   I also had a disappointing doctor's appointment that I was told would end with a plan, but instead ended with a wait-til-next-week, and anyone who's been pregnant knows the last few weeks seem like a lifetime!

Scaredy Cat
We also had a earthquake! Some people make fun of a little 5.9, but when your house is shaking and you are home alone, ready to go into labor anytime - that's a pretty big deal! Luckily there wasn't any damage unless you count a few pictures falling and one of my cats now having PTSD!  Poor thing wouldn't come upstairs for the rest of the day. When she finally got up the courage, she took one step at a time, sitting on the second step for over 2 hours before she finally made it - treats and food didn't even help her!  She was so cute, I had to take a picture. :)

And now, a hurricane! I haven't checked around yet for a wet basement or on my newly planted flowers in the backyard.  It's a little too early in the morning for bad news...so we'll see later today how everything held up.  But the point of all this is, I've missed all the inspiration this week!  But today's Sunday, and I'm determined to get up a Sunday Sketch later today! And to do better this week about updating. So stay tuned!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Zazzle Promotion

I noticed this today over at zazzle - a new promotion for back-to-school. I can't believe summer's over already. It went quick this year! Anyway, if you're ordering from zazzle this week, be sure and take advantage - ends Thursday!

Back to School Savings - 15% OFF ALL PRODUCTS!     Use Code: STUDYINSTYLE
Offer is valid through August 25, 2011 at 11:59pm PT.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Sketches: Something Different

I don't stray much from my birds and trees style, but sometimes something like this comes out in my sketch pad.  I like him... maybe I will paint him soon and see if I like doing something different.

Hop over to Heather's blog this week to see all of the other Sunday Sketches!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Design: Pumpkin Party

Pumpkin Party postcard
In case you missed it in Friday's post, here's my latest - "Pumpkin Party".  I think this will satisfy my urge to paint all things Fall and Halloween for a little while...  It's not so productive to paint Halloween designs because compared to others, they hardly ever sell, but it's just too much fun.  You can't beat the color combinations of Autumn - hands down my favorite.  So enjoy the new products!

Red RibbonOooh, and I just got an email from Zazzle... this design won a Featured Product award  for a binder! 

Sweet Saturdays

"Bird Watching"
 My cat is convinced that all of the newly moved in baby gear is for her.  I can't blame her... she fits in it all nicely.

Her favorite was the changing table, which I had next to the nursery window on the top floor of the house... the perfect place for bird watching- her favorite past-time.  She got so bad about being up there, I actually had to rearrange the room and keep the door closed.

I thought that might solve the problem, but now she's laid claim to the cradle, the bassinet, the glider, and the nursery in general... she loves it in there.

I try to scold her, but she's just so cute, I usually just end up taking pictures of her instead.  I'm assuming a screaming baby will quickly take care of the issue, but for now, I think she's sweet enough for this week's Sweet Saturdays post!

Stop by and see all the sweet posts on Diana's blog!

Bird Watching stampBird Watching mousepadBird Watching, Blank card


Need a new mousepad? They're 20% off until tomorrow - and don't forget about Zazzle Black, the new shipping promotion!  Also, check the coupon center (or my promotions page) to see all the current deals!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Paint Party Friday

For my first Paint Party Friday post, I finished up my "Pumpkin Party" design!  I started this one for Sunday Sketches, and I like where it went... perfect to quell my Fall & Halloween craving for a little longer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Creative Tuesdays: Moon

I'd intended to make a new "moon" picture for Creative Tuesday's theme this week, but I only got around to sketching part of it as I'm 9 months pregnant, and it's getting more and more uncomfortable to sit in any one position too long without aches and pains!  It takes so much longer now to get things done!  So I'll instead post a partial picture of the sketch-soon-to-become-painting and some of my past moons... :)  
Sleepover card
Big Fun on the Bayou postcard
Moonlight Kitties invitation

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Design

An Apple A Day
It's almost back-to-school time, and I thought an apple design was due...  This one was made to go along with What a Pair, and I think another fruit tree will be in the works in the future. Maybe peaches or oranges.  There's just something fun about fruit trees!  Enjoy! And good luck to anyone going back to school - and any teachers getting ready for the new year!

An Apple A Day card

An Apple A Day invitation
Apples sticker
Apple Dots label

Sunday Sketch ... a little late.

This is my Sunday Sketch... just didn't get a chance to post it yesterday!  Hopefully it will evolve into a fun pumpkin party painting very soon!  This is only my first sketch for Sunday Sketches (hosted this week by Heather at Rose Hill Designs - go check out her adorable sketch for this week!) but I hope to participate in many more!

I have Fall on the brain lately! I'm not a summer person at all, so I'm thrilled that in a few weeks it will be September and well on the way to cooler weather, beautiful colors, and all the best holidays!

I'm so excited for Halloween this year for a bunch of reasons:

1. I will be able eat candy. I haven't had sweets in way too long.  Normally my husband is the one who eats the first round of candy we buy for the trick-or-treaters... then we have to go back to the store and buy candy all over again.  This year we may have to make three trips...

2. I'll have an almost-two-month old to dress up. Oh, the cuteness.  We already have several costumes ready to go.  Let the torture begin. :)

3. Last year, we hit a major after Halloween sale and bought a ton of stuff for next to nothing. We went from having one pumpkin candle as our yearly decoration to now having two full tubs of stuff ready to be used and really get in the spirit of things.

4. Our annual black spaghetti, homemade meatballs, Phantom wine, and a scary movie.  (If you haven't tried it, the black spaghetti ends up looking like worms after you cook it - perfect for a spooky dinner.  Last year I took leftovers to my Grandma and she wouldn't even eat it.  Great Halloween fun.)

 5. And lastly, after Halloween, we're one step closer to Christmas, which I'm fanatical about. I love my holidays. Let the festivities (and holiday inspired designs) begin!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sweet Saturdays


So for my first Sweet Saturdays submission, I'm posting an old painting - Cupcakes.  Sweet Saturdays is featured on the blog of Diana Evans, a very talented artist who seems to also love cupcakes! Check her out!

Unfortunately for me, because the baby has been measuring big, I haven't been able to eat cupcakes lately... I've been on a low carb, low sugar diet for months now, and let me tell you that is not so sweet!  But hopefully in several weeks, I'll be able to enjoy all the things I've been missing, plus my new, even sweeter, baby!

New (to me) Inspiration Blogs

I've participated in Illustration Friday's theme challenges for a while now - they're great for sparking the imagination, helping you focus on an idea, and letting you visit and view the work of other artists.  Today I decided to look for some more blogs like that to help me get back into the swing of blogging and creating, and I found a bunch - check them out if you're in need of a little extra inspiring these days. :)

Paint Party Fridays - Post a painting you've created each Friday! 
Sweet Saturdays - Post about something sweet!
Sunday Sketches - Create and share your latest sketch!
Creative Tuesdays - Every other week, post a creation related to the theme!

We'll see how many of these I can keep up with - but since I'm on my last three weeks of this pregnancy, I should have some time on my hands to get started!  I'll start with my next post for Sweet Saturdays!  Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 11, 2011


So a big part of a fun of a design is the first stage... sketching it.  I've had a sketchbook on hand since high school (we won't mention how many years ago that was), and I've always loved the doodling and random things that come out on the pages.  I love to look back through the books and revisit old ideas and laugh at some of the  sillier scribbles.

Not too long ago, my husband was looking through one of my sketchbooks, and he found a drawing I'd done of him that I have no memory of making.  If you know my husband, this is hysterical.  I imagine quickly jotting this down while trying to work on something serious as he is prancing around in front of me trying to get some attention! I can only assume that the floating head next to him is me, not amused.  We had a good laugh over this, and he now uses it for his blog.  I think everyone should keep a sketchbook just to catch these little gems on paper!

Anyway, that's a very long intro to my real point - I'm thinking about being a part of the Sketchbook Project. I toyed with the idea last year, but never committed to it. Now might be a better time - here's the gist... You pay 25 bucks and they send you a small sketchbook with a bar code on it. It tours around the US for a while (no DC stops yet - boo), then gets a permanent home in the Brooklyn Art Library.  With the bar code, you can tell whenever someone checks out your book to read/see, which is a nice feature.

The best part for me would be the extra inspiration to sketch things other than what I plan on making into designs for my shop. These days, almost all my sketching involves trees and birds and things that could turn into bigger paintings, so it would be nice to have incentive to draw other things and see where it goes.
I'd get the book in September and have until January to finish it and send it back. This is extra cool because that will be the first four months of my son's life - could make for some interesting, sleep-deprived ideas for sure. So, we'll see what I decide...

New Design

This kitty is celebrating in style, decorated and ready for the party!                               

With Flair card
Pool Party invitation