I had so much fun creating this fabric. I have been taking Michelle Fifis’ e-courses at Pattern Observer for the last year to increase my skill and knowledge on how to properly create repeat patterns for the fabric industry. It’s a whole lot trickier than I originally thought and Michelle’s courses have been invaluable in my growth as a designer.
With my emerging and new skills I decided to have a little fun and participate in Spoonflower and Robert Kaufman Fabrics’ competition entitled “Geek Chic”. I didn’t have a lot of time to invest in the project, but I’m always trying to challenge myself to work faster and more efficiently. I decided to create a Binary Coded Love Note fabric for all the passionate Geeks out there who love a little cute fun and whimsy in their day. I found this awesome Binary Code translator (try it out sometime – it’s really fun to do), and created love notes for the brainy and brilliant. It was great fun. The next challenge was to create a half drop repeat, and it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add in some hand drawn touches. The end result is my BINARY LOVE YOU fabric available now for sale in Fabric and Giftwrap at Spoonflower.com! I think I’m going to make a little pillow with this swatch. I’m kind of hooked on Spoonflower now, and I’m fast becoming addicted to creating repeat patterns, so you can be sure I’ll have some more designs out in the future. I’ll keep you posted!
Click HERE, or on the image below, to go to the order page!
OH, a side note – I didn’t win the “Geek Chic” competition but I learned so much from this first go around that I am going to for sure give it a try again next time!
“Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.” - Albert Einstein
Photo by Matej Peljhan
My niece sent me a link to THIS STORY about photographer and psychologist, Matej Peljhan, and the amazing gift he gave using his artistic talent to help a young boy named Luka. With Matej’s help, Luka, who is stricken with muscular dystrophy and bound to a wheelchair, was able to realize his dreams of adventure and freedom. The grace of this story reminds me how, in the midst of trying to make a career from the gifts and talents we all have been granted, it is important to remember that our ultimate job is to use our talents to better the world. What fun Matej must have had on this photo shoot with young Luka, and I can’t imagine how excited Luka was when he first saw the final images created! Brilliant! What an excellent example of how to ‘pay it forward’.
Wishing you an Art filled day!
I am SO excited to share this with you – yesterday I had the extreme privilege to meet the amazing artist George Rodrigue (Blue Dog fame) and his lovely wife, Wendy. They graciously visited the elementary school my children went to and where I taught art at for years. Now the art program is run by my good friend Susan, who did the most amazing art project with the K-6 grade students honoring George Rodrigue. Susan has worked tirelessly since the start of the school year, going to each of the grades and classrooms teaching the children about George Rodrigue’s famous “Blue Dog” art. She took it a step farther when she had each classroom create a large image of Blue Dog in the style of another Master artist. The end result is breathtaking – from Blue Dog Monet, Blue Dog Andrew Wyeth, Blue Dog Jasper Johns, Blue Dog Frida Kahlo, Blue Dog MC Escher, and SO ON! You can see just a little glimpse below at the “street fair” style she had the pieces exhibited in.
When Susan emailed George Rodrigue about the project, he was so enthusiastic that he and his wife decided to come to the school for a visit! It was obvious when watching him admire the students’ work that he was blown away as well by their renditions of his famous dog. I’m so happy for Susan that she was able to bring such an amazing experience to the students, and I’m so grateful to the Rodrigues for their generosity!
To make it even better, George and Wendy stayed around to do two assemblies where the two of them talked about George’s influences, his journey becoming an artist, and where he is going into the future with his work. What an unbelievable moment the kids had meeting such a well known and talented artist, and I must admit that I was as excited as they were to be there and hear them speak.
OH, and a BIG extra cool part – he signed my book I’ve used for years to teach his “Blue Dog” art lesson! YAY!
Click HERE for more info on George Rodrigue and his “Blue Dog”
I haven’t been very good at blogging this past week but I’m happy to say it’s because I’ve been really busy ~ and busy is always good. My picture book illustrations are coming along nicely and I’ve got some fun new projects in the works for licensing (getting art ready for my agent to show at Surtex in May). Add on the busy-ness of daily life, track starting for my younger son, and the hustle and bustle of final decisions and trips to colleges for my older son (he needs to commit for football in the next month and it’s going to be a hard decision). Phewww – it’s crazy around here, but I’m enjoying the ride.
To keep my mind clear, my creativity flowing, and my sanity in place, I’ve been finding a lot of joy and inspiration from various places. Here is a peek at what’s been in my world and on my mind lately:
My husband and I are dreaming of travel these days. We can’t seem to get enough of our favorite shows (lately it’s Anthony Bourdain’s NO RESERVATIONS and THE LAYOVER , on the Travel Channel). Another place I love to go to get my ‘travel-fix’ is my niece, Sam’s, travel blog called THE WANDERLUST ADVOCATE. If I could redo my early years of my life I’d follow in her footsteps. Sam is amazing and she’s traveled all over the world already (in her 22 years) studying and experiencing all that this amazing planet has to offer. Currently she’s in Laos teaching english to novice buddhist monks. She posts stories, pictures, and fun short videos about her travels and experiences. Check it out – my travel bucket-list is growing every time I read her blog!
3. GOOD READ: THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz *
Academy Awards Day is a major holiday for me! It means my husband cooks for me (love that) while I park it in my favorite chair at 3:00-ish and watch the Red Carpet coverage while giving myself a luxurious pedi-mani! I can’t wait! I must confess I haven’t seen all the nominated films, but I have some faves: I’m partial to Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook (especially Sally Field, Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Day Lewis). I wanted desperately to see Argo but never made it to the theater for that one, however everyone is raving about it and I’m guessing it’ll be a big winner. Others I’m rooting for are: Life of Pi and Beasts of the Southern Wild. Should be a great show ~ I can’t wait to see Seth MacFarlane as host, too!
Oh my GOSH – how did I not know about these before?! My amazing and talented friend, Janice, stopped by the other night and delivered this gorgeous and oh-so-warm and snuggly neck scarf she crocheted for me! I am LOVING it so much. My house is super cold in the winter, especially in my studio, and I seem to never be able to get warm. Now that I have my new neck scarf I am a happy camper! If you are talented like Janice, and can crochet or knit, click HERE for some fun neck scarf pattern ideas! Seriously – these things are the BEST!
6. My absolute favorite TEA
Every afternoon around 3:00 I have “tea time” and I make myself a huge mug of this awesome herbal tea! There’s nothing better on these cold late winter days!
7. Daily walks with my dog
8. YOGA Move of the week: DOLPHIN POSE
I love this yoga pose. It’s a wonderful exercise for an aching artist (or anyone who sits for long periods of time). Click HERE to learn more about it.
Oh, side note – re: MUSIC – for a while every day I tune into my “The Buddhist Monks” Channel on Pandora. It’s wonderful music to work to and/or to do yoga to and I find it really clears my “monkey mind” (as Eckhart Tolle calls it).
I’ve been trying to stick to my healthier living ‘new year’s plan’ and have discovered the many amazing attributes of kale. It’s chock-full of good stuff from fiber to vitamins C,A, K, B6, and D! It increases your metabolism, lowers cholesterol, helps aging eyes, and is a natural anti-inflammatory! Seriously – what can’t this amazing vegetable do?! But yesterday while I was cleaning a bunch I had just bought, I caught myself staring at the beauty of kale. From texture to color, this vegetable is really quite lovely.
(Click HERE for more fun kale info).
OH – and it makes a great photoshop textured brush too!
I thought I’d share a little peek at what I’ve been up to lately… a close up of my desktop and one of the MANY versions of this character for the picture book I’m illustrating. Here’s the latest (and hopefully last) draft. I like her spunky face. I’ll keep you posted.
OH, and my husband just introduced me to the amazing singer Kat Edmonson. I made a Pandora station of her and it’s really wonderful music. Check her out, I think you’ll love her too!
For all my creative friends who may not have purchased this book yet – please go and do it now! It doesn’t matter if you create art for fun or for work, Lilla Roger’s new book I JUST LIKE TO MAKE THINGS is simply wonderful! On page 36 she talks about creating inspirational rituals for yourself. For me, my daily ‘pre-creating’ ritual is to pour a good strong cup of coffee and sit for 20 minutes with one of my favorite Somerset Magazines, Art books, and – now – Lilla’s book. She has great wisdom to share and the book has some fun exercises for sparking up the creative juices too. You’ll LOVE it, I promise!
I am illustrating my first Children’s Book and I know I want to create the artwork digitally but I don’t want to have it look overly “digital”. For the past week I have been brushing up on my digital painting skills and took an e-course from the amazing illustrator Will Terry (if you’re not familiar with his work please check out his website!). I always love to plug awesome online instructors when I find them and Will is definitely one to check out! Click HERE for his list of his e-courses.
In Will’s e-course on Digital Painting he mentioned that he pretty much exclusively sketches now on his iPad, and … get this … he doesn’t even use a stylus but rather his finger! I know I’m not quite at that level yet but I wanted to give it a try. I went to my iTunes Store and purchased a couple sketching apps and downloaded a few that were free, but none of them really worked for me. I finally decided to email Will Terry directly and see if he’d share what App he uses and I was so happy when he replied right away. The App he uses, and the one I just purchased, is called “Procreate”. It was $4.99 on iTunes and worth every penny. The key feature that Will mentioned he liked was the way you can rotate the canvas like you would a real piece of paper. I’ve been playing around with it too and I agree – of all the Apps I tried this one is definitely the easiest one for me to use. I’m not sure I’m ready to give up my sketchbook and pencils just yet, but this is a fun way to explore this whole new medium. Check it out if you have an iPad.