Monday, July 29, 2013

Halloween Jump for Joy

Another whimsical design that isn't a pattern yet but will soon be ready for publication.  This is a sneak peak of my Halloween Jump for Joy pattern.  I love these chubby little characters and would love to see these painted on a different surface, a treat bag, or Halloween candle stands, a photo album.  I like to design projects that have potential for other uses other than the one that I have completed.  Wouldn't these be cute on small canvases?  Any ideas? 


I am known for my whimsical designs, at least I think so.  LOL.  When I was a child I always wanted to be an animator for Disney or a book illustrator.   Are you starting to see where the whimsical side comes from?  Needless to say neither of those aspirations came about but I do love designing whimsical designs.  These seasonal samplers are very whimsical in nature and in my opinion speak to a more vintage time period of quilted and needlework samplers.  Curious to see what all of you think.  This pattern called Samplers through the Seasons is available on my website and the wood pieces are available from the guys at Ideal Wood Products Inc. 


I love to design, I love the potential and the ideas that come to mind whenever I dream up a new project.  When I was younger I sewed most of my own clothing and always loved picking out the pattern, fabric, but then when it was time to get started had a hard time getting started.  Once I was going it was all good but it was that boring, monotonous time period of pinning the pattern onto the fabric and cutting it out that I hated.  Because I was a 4-H sewer I always had to finish my seams which I also found very boring.  Can you hear my voice saying boring????  Well times have not changed and I am still a procrastinator when it comes to getting a new project started, I still dislike the boring parts of painting.  Oh don't get me wrong I love to paint, it is an important part of my life but base-coating?????  Seriously does anyone like to base-coat.  I suppose there are folks out there that do but I find it tedious and unfortunately a necessary part of the process.  So I set myself down at my painting table and force myself to do the boring, tedious things that I find distasteful.  So imagine my jubilation when I decided on one of my last projects to use scrapbooking/patterned papers for the coat on  my characters.  I've done this before, it wasn't anything new but I am happy to report that I eliminated the boring step of base-coating by doing this.  Will I use paper on all of my projects?  Probably not but I do like it on this one.  I decoupage the paper onto the wood piece and then added some shading and highlighting to make the areas pop and loved it.  Like I say this isn't anything new but I have to say that I enjoyed this part of the process more than base-coating.  LOL. 

This is a pattern that I did called HO! HO! HO! Santa Picket Ornaments and I love it!!!! The patterned papers just added the visual punch that these guys needed.  This pattern is now available on my website and you can purchase the picket ornaments from the guys at Ideal Wood Products Inc  You might have to call them to get the wood pieces as I'm not sure if they have had time to get them on their site yet.  Loved them. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Copic Marker Journaling and Papers to Use

Copic Markers are an amazing media and the best thing for is that they travel really well.  I take them with me whenever we travel choosing a limited palette and can work wherever we happen to be.  There are amazing tutorials out there on You Tube that will actually help you use this media if you are interested.  One tip that I'd like to mention is to use paper that will hold up to the alcohol inks or to at least put a couple papers behind to catch any bleed through that is bound to happen.  Someone asked me the other day if they should use watercolor paper with Copics and my response was to use a paper that has a smooth finish because your markers should glide across the paper rather than just being absorbed.  Watercolor paper will absorb your markers and you will not be able to blend as easily, not to mention will use up your marker rather quickly.  Of course you can always refill your marker but why not use papers that will lengthen the life of the marker?  There are numerous good quality papers out on the market that you can use very effectively to have a beautiful result, look for papers that are designed for marker use.  Canson, Strathmore, Stillman, Stonehenge just to name a few, most scrapbooking/stamping stores carry good quality paper that they recommend to their customers.  Try some out to see your personal preference. 
This project was completed on Strathmore Paper. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Journaling 2

I have been working quite a bit in my journal this summer and am really enjoying the process.  We've done quite a bit of traveling this summer and my journal travels with me easily. I have a really small travel sized sketchbook and I've always taken it with me whenever we've traveled, it is great for sketching out quick ideas that come to me, fleshing out a project that I'm working on and just doodling for the sheer pleasure of doing just that. In fact I was sketching while I waited for my husband at his eye appointment the other day.  However I've kept my Journal for more formal or should I say finished projects.  I've been using my Copic Markers to complete these pages allowing me to work out some color combinations that I am interested in using, however this page is actually done with watercolor.  Twinkling H20's to be exact.  The beauty is that if I don't care for the combination then I just redraw the image and try a new color combination.  That is my idea of what a journal is meant to do, allow me to creatively and freely explore ideas, concepts, and just have fun without worrying about completing something that is artistically pattern ready.  

This is the third page that I am sharing where I was exploring a variety of different doodled ideas. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013


I love this term because it makes playing in your sketchbook sound so official!!!  LOL.  Seriously I love the term, it kind of reminds me of when Zentangle started to take off and is such a phenomenon and I thought, "I didn't realize that my doodling could have made me money.  Why didn't I think of that?"  It is a brilliant concept and I applaud anyone who has the vision to take an ordinary activity and make it amazing, and that is what has happened with Zentangle.  Who would have thought that Journaling would take off like it has?  Again, that is amazing to me and I again wondered why I didn't think of that.  Maybe I could have quit my day job, most likely not.  So instead I'll just enjoy the activity, that sounds easier and more productive than bemoaning my uninspired fate. 

In my last blog post I showed you a journal page that I had worked on using my Copic markers. I thought that today I would share with you a page that I did using just black and white.  I don't think that I will add color to this one, I think that at times black and white is very powerful and I like the way that this turned out.  I'm fascinated by lettering and using lettering in my designs.  I've had limited exposure to the art of lettering and really would like to expand my skill, I'm currently looking into different options to do just that. 

Who knows where this new interest will take me?  Maybe I'll become inspired to capitalize on some activity that I've taken for granted all these years and write a book, in my spare time of course.  Most likely won't happen so instead I'll just use all of you as my sounding board.  Thanks for the opportunity. 

  Thoughts?  I love getting comments.  They make my day.   

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Doodling 1

Wow, I didn't realize how long it had been since I last blogged.  I have been really busy, you'd think that school was still in session.  LOL.  I've had a number of family obligations that required my time as well as trying to use my time to get some painting done.  And maybe trying to have some fun in between.  So.................... 

Do you doodle?  I'm always in awe of those of you who Zentangle!  I have never really gotten the Tangling bug but I do love to doodle and recently took a class from Joanne Sharpe called Doodle Arts and Letters and it was fantastic.  I've been wanting to take one of her classes and this one just spoke to me. 

I have always kept a sketchbook, in fact usually have quite a few of them in the works and love to just sit while I watch TV and sketch, in fact some of my best designs have come out of a spontaneous opportunity to just let my fingers and mind play. My Jump For Joy characters came out of one of those mind drifting zen moments.  I've also started Journaling which I find hugely entertaining and can be very inspirational as well. 

I feel that my artistic style can easily be considered whimsical and Joanne encouraged whimsy in her class which was right up my alley.  I'm going to share a few of my Doodles that I've completed since taking her class.  I'd recommend her class highly to any of you who have wanted to try an online class. 

This first piece that I am sharing is a whimsical look at flower design and colored with Copic Markers.  What do you think?