Feb 09

Share Ideas!

While teaching art today I was in a classroom and saw this sign on the wall.  What a fabulous message, and it is a phrase I know I have appreciated SO MUCH since I started my career in Art Licensing.

When we’re in grade school we are taught that sharing is good.  I am reminded of this all the time at my teaching job.  It is beautiful to witness how pure that sharing spirit looks in a child.  As we become adults it seems that spirit fades a little.  I get it, sharing isn’t always easy, especially in hard times.  However, the artists I have run across that are generous in sharing their professional tips and wisdom, have made all the difference in the world to me (and to many others).  I try to keep that spirit of sharing alive as much as possible in my life, and as I accumulate my own bit of professional ‘know-how’, I am all the more  inclined to ‘pay it forward’ too!  :0)

I want to shout out a big THANK YOU to a few of the artists who have helped me break through the scary unknown of Art Licensing!  Check out the links I’ve included to see their  blogs, ebooks, podcasts, etc…

Happy Creating!

Tara Reed’s Art Licensing Blog – There is so much that Tara does to help encourage artists in the world of Art Licensing.  She’s a WEALTH of knowledge and so generous in sharing her wisdom.

Kelly Rae Roberts – Kelly Rae has a super fun blog to follow, but even more fantastic are her books Flying Lessons.  Check them out if you’re interested in building a creative business.

Joan Beiriger – I ran across her blog a couple of years ago.  She’s got awesome tutorials and tips for photoshop.  She also follows many other amazing blogs and I find her info a tremendous resource.

Escape from Illustrator Island – For me, Thomas James is a rockstar in the illustration world.  His podcasts are a favorite of mine to listen to while I work.

Cindy Ann Ganaden’s Blu Penny Blog – is another inspirational resource for artists.  She has a terrific series called “Sketchbook Stories” where she profiles artists and their creative process.

Dani Jones –  Her tutorials are amazing!  She also posts some of them live to watch. Check out her site for more info.

Kate Harper’s Greeting Card Designer – Kate is such a gracious soul.  She is one of the most prolific bloggers I’ve found and she is an INCREDIBLE resource for info. I look forward to every single one of her posts.

Terri Conrad – Terri is a fabulous artist and a wealth of info.  We are also good friends, so in addition to her blog I have the good fortune of getting together with her and having long coffee “meetings” discussing all the ins and outs of Art Licensing.  Thanks Terri!

I know I’m forgetting some others, but as I remember I’ll keep ‘paying it forward’!  :0)

Feb 07


“Butter-man” – created by my son.

I love when boredom and creativity collide.  :0)

Feb 04

Here’s my Inspiration for the day!  This past week I’ve been so busy working on things other than my art, but today I’ve cleared a good portion of the day just to create, and I CAN’T wait!  Right now I’m working on flower patterns and found my inspiration while putting dishes away the other night.  I started this tea cup collection back in college.  I’ve got about 75 beautiful china tea cups.  Some are VERY old and fragile, and some are current patterns.  I inherited many from my Grandma and a few from friends, I collected some on my travels, and some I found in thrift stores and flea markets.  No matter where they came from they all hold a special place for me in my heart.  They’re dainty and demure and I always feel pretty when I use them (though they aren’t large enough for me to enjoy my morning coffee in – I need the big mugs for that).   :0)   Hope you have a great day!

Feb 02

Every day should start with Banana Muffins

Every day should start out with these muffins.  They are my husband’s favorite and I thought I’d share this recipe with you so you can enjoy them too.  Bon appetit!

4 soft bananas

1/2 cup white sugar

1 slightly beaten egg

1/2 cup melted butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare 1x dozen muffin tins (I spray them with canola oil from Trader Joes). In a food processor mash bananas, add sugar, egg, and butter.  In a side bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt – slowly add this to the banana mixture.  Using a scoop or large spoon, fill each muffin tin 1/2 full with mixture, sprinkle chocolate chips and cover with another scoop of mixture.  Once all the tins are full, sprinkle brown sugar over the top.  Bake for 20 minutes (check at 15 minutes – in case your oven runs hot).  Let muffins sit about 5 minutes before you serve.  :0)

Jan 30

Eye Candy

I took some pictures last weekend while cruising down Universal City Walk.  It had been a long time since I’d been there and when we arrived it was relatively empty, which meant  I wasn’t distracted by the people and was instead able to focus on the environment. It’s really cool there!  It reminds me (on a much smaller scale) of  that first feeling you get when you reach Las Vegas and see all the over-scaled structures, bright colors, fantastical shapes and images, etc…  In no way am I saying this is Vegas, but it is a very fun place to get some serious structural and color inspiration in.

When I was studying Design at UC Davis, I had an amazing professor by the name of Dolph Gotelli.  I absolutely LOVED this teacher.  His lectures and courses taught me to see the world in ways I’d never imagined, most notably on the need to immerse yourself in art.  At the time I was learning how to create art as an environment and I remember for one of his courses he showed us his photos of his journey across America capturing the images of sculptural advertising (you know, that big ‘Bob’s Big Boy’ guy on top of the restaurant roof, or the large donut, or coffee steaming, or slice of pizza over the little hole in the wall road-side shop).  When I walked down the street in Universal City Walk I had a flashback to Professor Gotelli’s lecture.  It was fun to fully immerse myself in that environment – with all the color, size, and energy!

Jan 27

my way-cool coffee table

I am NOT a gifted tile artist.  I can paint and draw just about anything, but tiling isn’t my forte. However, a few years ago I got a bee in my bonnet to make a collaged tile project.  When a friend of mine was going to throw out a very cool butler’s coffee table, I grabbed it from the trash and brought it home with the intent of creating something out of it.  It had a perfect tray top and it was just the right size for our family room.

For years I had been collecting my favorite tiles, and pieces of things that I knew I wanted to tile, and they were screaming to be made into something of prominence for our home.  I set out one weekend and started the project and about four weeks later I finally finished our tiled coffee table. This piece of furniture, with all its cracks and many, MANY flaws, is definitely one of my favorite treasures in my house. It is a terrific conversation starter for people who come to visit for the first time. Four of the tiles are the hand and foot prints of my boys when they were babies, along with two hand painted tiles they made when they were about 5 and 2.  There’s a tile my husband and I got on our honeymoon on Catalina Island, and I included pieces of a broken china plate my dog knocked over the first week we had him.There’s a hot wheels car that looks like the “Mach 5”, and a toy YF-22 fighter plane that my boys were obsessed with one year.  I also have baby spoons given to the boys by our friends, a few random buttons, shells from our first family trip to Hawaii, and beads from a bracelet I made for Davis.  The table is bumpy, poorly grouted, and utterly impractical, but I love it and every time I look at it ~ I smile.  :0)

Jan 25

Gotta love Birthdays!

This past weekend we celebrated my youngest son, Cole’s, 12th b-day!  It’s hard to believe that he’s getting so old. We had a marvelous time at Universal Studios.  I think the last time I was there I was 12 years old.  I had a lot of flashback moments as we went on the studio tour, though it’s for the most part totally changed now.  “Jaws” still makes an appearance and the “Psycho House” will never stop being very creepy.  The new King Kong 3D experience was super cool, and I was excited to see the neighborhood of Wisteria Lane from “Desperate Housewives”.  My son is a huge “Simpsons” fan, so that particular ride was a must do for him, and it really didn’t disappoint, however, I felt pretty whoozy afterwards and passed on the second run at that ride.   All in all it was a fabulous day spent with a FABULOUS kid!  I have a TON of inspiration photos that I’ll share in a later post.  Right now it’s all about my baby’s b-day.  :0)Oh, that other strapping young man is my older son, Davis.  My husband, who thinks I never say anything about him, was taking the picture.  He’s strappingly handsome too.  :0)

Jan 18

A Great Escape

Today I needed to get away.  I needed an escape, and I needed it BAD!  For the past year I’ve been very busy working on building my business: creating new art, redesigning two websites, starting a blog, and writing and preparing art lessons for my teaching job. Combine that with my regular life “stuff”, most important of which is being a Mom, and it can leave me feeling a little stressed out at times.

SO … this morning I decided to take a much needed break.  Since it was a holiday, and my sons were home from school, and for the first time in months neither of them needed to be at a sports practice, we decided to drive to our favorite beach for the day.   Yes, you heard me right, the beach.  Two weeks ago it snowed here and now we are in the 90’s! Only in Southern California!

Carpinteria is my sanctuary… my place that I go when I need to detox and unwind from life.  Today was a SUPERB day in Carpinteria.  We started our day off with lunch at “The Spot”, the world’s best beach food, and then took a walk along the shore, collecting shells and really cool looking rocks.  We made our way to the tide pools.  We saw so many beautiful things, but the image that stands out the most for me was the sea grass at the pools!   The color was amazing and the light was just right when I took my photo  (I’m seeing a photoshop brush from this picture).

I feel ready to get back to work now.  It’s amazing how a simple day away can be the best cure of all for stress.

Here are some pics  ~    :0)