new items in my shop

With a new month upon us, I wanted to share some new items in my shop plus, let you that I'm having a Summer Vacation Sale! Enter coupon SUMMER20 to save 20% off any order now thru June 5th.

Set of 6 Wood Art Coasters - Made to Order


the earth laughs in flowers

My dear friend and long time coworker, Sara, is marrying to her love Josh later this year and I am working on their wedding invitations (yay!).  They are planning a beautiful wedding in their garden so, I thought a good place to start would be with, well, their garden! Lucky for me Sara has shared loads of flower pictures from their yard on their blog so, that's where I went for inspiration. 

Above are Sara's pictures and below are my first round of digital illustrations.

These flowers were truly a joy to draw! I have a few favorites for sure. It has been so nice to have a reason to illustrate. They have lots of orange trees and rose bushes which should be in bloom for the wedding so, we have decided to focus on those two plants in particular. Stay tuned for round two of sketches. I love weddings and flowers so this project is a win-win as Sara & I would say ;)

 Earth laughs in flowers.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Hamatreya"


peek into my sketchbook

wild carrot
Spooky ghost drawn by my son last year when he was 3 years old


ahoy painting


I just shipped this sweet little sailboat to Colorado. This was a commissioned 8x10 painting made for a baby boy's nursery based on this Ahoy Mate NoJo bedding set.

Here is the progress from start to finish.

At first I was thinking about a border and using the words ahoy! but quickly decided I would simply paint the sweet little sailboat without cluttering it up.


the great balancing act

I wrote about the great balancing act of being a working mother and an artist yesterday over at Soft Flex Company's blog. Click here to read my guest blog post.


what i'm up to

 Happy Monday! Here's a little bit about what I'm up to this month ...
So, what are you up to? A link or description in the comments is welcome.


painting in progress: willow tree and tire swing

Growing up there was a big beautiful willow tree with a tire swing at my grandparents house. I sometimes wish I can be there in that magical place again. I recently looked up my grandparents old house on Google Earth to see if I could get a look at that tree. Sadly, it didn't give me a clear picture. The tire swing was something my sisters and I loved to play on whenever we visited our grandparents and I especially loved just sitting under that magical tree.  This is a painting in progress of my memories of that weeping willow and tire swing. I feel like there is a long way to go on this one. It's going to be tough expressing just how wonderful this tree is in my minds eye.


art masterpiece: braque

The Round Table by Georges Braque 1929

About the Artist: Georges Braque studied Art in France. He was a painter and a sculptor.

Imagination activity: Close your eyes. Now picture a round table. Imagine objects sitting on that table. These objects could be some of your favorite things. Now open your eyes - show the print.  Is this what you pictured? What did you picture? The name of the painting is The Round Table.

This type of painting is called a Still Life.  Any ideas what that might mean? Still life = objects. This artist created several still life paintings on a round pedestal table. This one contained some of his favorite things.

What objects do you see on the table? Guitar, sheet music, knife and apple, bottle, newspaper and a pipe.

In 1907 George Braque met a man named Picasso.
Has anyone heard that name before? Together they created the style Cubism.  Cubism = objects are broken apart and put back together in abstract form. Objects are being seen from different angles at the same time.

Can you see different shapes? Sphere, cylinders, cubes.

What feeling do you get when you look at it?

What do we call art that doesn’t look like real life?

George Braque created many large scale paintings. This painting is 57 3/8” x 44 ¾” - good to show the kids a point of reference for this size, I had the tallest kids stand up (he is 54") and explained how the canvas was taller then the boy.

My table would have a book, chocolate, tea or coffee, a handmade ornament (i love ornaments!), slippers and flowers. If you wanted to paint a table with your favorite objects what would they be?


mother's day

“Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.” ~Deepak Chopra

On Mother's day I awoke to find a beautiful basket of pink tulips and handmade cards from my kids. I relaxed at home with my family, went through the day slowly and reconnected with some of my bliss's. 

My wonderful mother in law, aka Nannie, had boys for a sleepover on Friday night.
We enjoyed a family lunch date on Saturday with Nannie and Tom.
My toe polish is eggplant purple thanks to a Mother's Day pedicure from my husband.
Ethan and I looked at The Art Book and reviewed artists we learned in his class.   
Hudson and I played marbles and built a marble track.  
I read a few chapters of Choosing Simplicity and caught up on blog reading.
I finished my tree of life belly cast painting that I began back in January. 
I stole a few minutes in the studio and worked on my newest painting in progress.

    To all the beautiful mama's in the world including my mother, mother in law and godmother, I hope you all enjoyed your day too!


    tree of life painted belly cast

    Remember this tree of life painting that I began back in January? I finished it yesterday! This painting was long overdue and it is so nice to have finished it on Mother's day. I made the pregnancy belly cast when I was expecting my now 7 year old son, Ethan. 

    Tree of Life
    Plaster and Acrylic Paint
    Pregnancy belly cast created in 2004, Painted 2011



    art masterpiece: hopper

    August in the City by Edward Hopper

    About the Artist Edward Hopper was born in 1882 in New York and is known as one of the best American painters of realism. At 17 he knew he wanted to be an artist. He studied art in New York and in Paris (Died 1967-85 years old)

    What do you see in the painting? What is missing from this painting?

    Hopper used angles in many of his paintings. He often used geometric shapes. 

    • What shapes has he used? What natural shapes to you see? 
    • What is the focal point? How does the artist get you to look there?
    • What type of building is this? Old or new? City or town? 
    • What color do you see the most of?   
    How does it make you feel? This is what he is known for. Feels like it is bright and cheery, however is nobody around so it’s also lonely and eerie. All of his paintings have this lonely, sad feeling.

    What is the style of painting?  We have seen it before … when an artist paints things that are real …and ideas?
    Realism. This means he paints the real objects and places he sees.

    How do you think the artist felt when he painted this picture?
    He was very skinny and tall as a kid. When he was 12 years old he was 6ft. He was made fun of by his classmates and felt lonely.

    When I showed his other paintings a few students mentioned that they had his "Nighthawks" print shown above in their home. It's one of his most famous paintings. Edward Hopper painted everyday scenes in New York or Europe such as restaurants, movie theaters, storefronts, city streets.

    If you wanted to paint an everyday scene what would it be?


    alphabet bunting painting

    Yesterday, I showed you the handmade baby gifts I mailed off to some dear friends. Today, I wanted to share my process for the alphabet bunting painting I made for my friends nursery. Here's how it unfolded one lovely Sunday ...


    handmade gifts for baby

    Spring babies are sprouting up all over. The precious little bundles remind me just how big my own children are getting. I recently sent a mailed some gifts to friends with these wonderful handmade goodies from local artisans.

    I sent precious Isabella this adorable dress and hair bow handmade by Denise of Live Beautiful by Dee.

    I sent adorable Ryder and his big brother Quinn matching tie t-shirts handmade by Amanda of Desert Baby.

    I sent baby Henn a beautiful and functional car seat cover handmade by Amanda of Desert Baby and this adorable alphabet bunting nursery painting handmade by me.

    zucchini orzo

    This Meatless Monday post comes from a book I read two years ago. It is an awesome book about local and seasonal food called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barabara Kingsolver. Novelist Kingsolver recounts a year spent eating home-grown food and, if not that, local. This is one the recipes featured in the book me and my family enjoy. The kids even like it!

    Zucchini Orzo

    1 lb. package orzo pasta
    3 large zucchini
    1 chopped onion
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    garlic to taste (I use 3 cloves minced)
    olive oil for saute
    vegetable or chicken stock (optional can just use water)

    Bring 6 cups of water, vegetable or chicken stock to a boil and add pasta. Cook 10 minutes. Use cheese garter to shred zucchini; saute briefly with onion and garlic until lightly golden brown. Add spices to zucchini mixture, stir thoroughly and remove from heat. Combine zucchini mixture with cheese and cooked orzo.  Serve cool or room temperature. Add little extra Parmesan cheese to garnish.

    Learn about the Meatless Mondays Campaign


    may biz goals

    Wowza, can you believe that it is May already?! Luckily we are still having really beautiful weather here in Arizona. Here's a look back on April ...

    April Goals
    • begin S&J wedding invitation design - not as far along as I would have hoped.
    • complete commissioned baby nursery painting - have not begun yet
    • print art and resin custom coasters - finto! these turned out great.
    • list new bottle cap magnet set and create with resin art pendants - total slacker, in fact I didn't get any items added to my shop this month at all.
    • add about page to creative stash blog - yes! the blog template I had didn't allow for pages to be added easily so, I installed a new template and worked on my about page. So excited to get the ball rolling on this. I plan to add a new page each month until I have it all complete.
    • get involved with creative every day theme - small - rats, another month slipped by me on this.
    • family art play time - we painted eggs for Easter and gave the kids playroom table an update.
    • setup monthly meal plan - I am having a mental block on this
    • movement - family walks, yoga and dance - took some walks this month with our dog
    Here's what I was up to this month ...


    We celebrated Ethan's 7th birthday! I cannot believe I have a 7 year old son. He is growing up so fast. He wants a pool party so, we are planning his party for this summer.

    I had a custom order for art coasters. I was so nervous about setting these in resin and whether they would be level and able to hold a glass. They turned out great. I just have to ship these lovelies off to Brooklyn, NY!

    I made personalized bottle cap magnet sets for mother's day. I didn't do a very good job of marketing for mother's day and need to make a mental note to pay a little more attention to the calendar ;) Personalized magnet sets are for sale in my Etsy shop.


    We went boating and fishing for the first time with some friends. It was a beautiful time.

    We painted eggs, made a scrumptious carrot cake and celebrated Easter. For those who don't already know, sadly, my grandmother passed away this month. She fought a long, difficult battle with Parkinson's. She was a generous women and loved to spoil my sisters and I when we were children. I traveled home to NY for a week to say my goodbyes and be comforted with the support of my family. We shared many stories together and celebrated her life.

    For May, my hope is to act. To stop gathering inspiration and instead embrace what I already have inside and act. A new month means new challenges and I am really excited to create and see where it leads me!

    May Goals
    • S&J wedding invitation design
    • baby nursery painting
    • design jewelry with resin art pendants
    • complete 1 new painting
    • add artwork page to creative stash blog
    • get involved with creative every day theme - big
    • family art play time
    • setup monthly meal plan
    • movement - family walks, yoga and dance
    Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.  ~Author Unknown

    If you would like to join in the Meetup biz goals fun, head on over to Athena Dreams to read more about how we support one another and how to join in.