Baby Girl Birth Announcement (without Pink)

     We recently welcomed this little bundle of joy into our family.  She is beyond adorable!  I had the pleasure of creating this birth announcement for little Eden Marie.  
     The parents of this sweet little lady are not big fans of the color pink.  Having a little girl myself, I know it's very hard to find anything feminine that doesn't include pink.  We still wanted the announcement to feel girly, so we opted to use peach as our accent color.  We were all really happy with the outcome.  

     Welome, little one!


Sketchbook: Long Hair Woman

graphite on sketch paper


Facebook Timeline Cover: Everything is Awesome

...because I saw The Lego Movie almost a year ago and still can't get that song out of my head.  

Free to download and use on your Facebook timeline.  All you've got to do is right click over the image, select "Save As", and save the file wherever you like on your computer.  Then upload to facebook.  Easy Peasy.


Watercolor Housewarming Gift

     watercolor and micron pens

        Some of our closest loved ones recently bought their first house.  It's a beautiful one hundred year old home with tons of character in rural Minnesota.  We hope to get out there for a visit and see this place in person, but for now, photos and Skype tours have been doing the trick.  

        After a conversation about what to do with all of the blank wall space they now had to fill, I had the idea of giving them a painting.  My husband and I wanted to give them something unique for their new home and we both loved the idea of original art.  This can be tricky since everyone has their own taste, and nothing is more awkward than being given ugly artwork, so I knew it had to be something they could both get into.  Then it hit me!  What better subject matter for a housewarming present than giving the gift of your very own house!? painting form.  


Bee Yourself

     A little something for those times when you're forced to fit into a check box, asked to pretend you're someone you are not, or you're reprimanded for expressing yourself.  Don't be afraid to BE YOURSELF!  You should never need to compromise who you are for anyone else.  

   And, BEES!  The pollinators that help us grow life.  I just like bees ...and puns. is a process pic for you.  

I drew the bee with a pink Hi-Liter.  I didn't like my first attempt at the bee's wings, so I made a new sketch and pasted it all together in Photoshop.  After removing the color, I brought my bee into Illustrator and created the little poster above.



Tree Bark Detail Photos

     I know you have been desperately searching the internet for tree bark photos.  Look no further!  I have them here.

     In art school, I was required to take a visual design course.  This class was basically meant to change the way you look at ordinary objects.  Looking around your backyard, you shouldn't see merely a lawn and some plants, you should see the color story, the textures, the way the light plays with the shadows.  Those were the words of my instructor.  Whether or not she was sober when she said that is another story.  
     Being an apt pupil, I diligently tried to understand what she was teaching.  It took the entire semester, but I finally got it.  Grass is not always green.  Tree trunks are not always brown.  Take a closer look and you'll begin to see beauty in the most unlikely places.  


How to Create a Graphic Floral Print

 - Adobe Illustrator -

     On a typical day as a textile artist, you are handed a swatch of fabric that someone has painstakingly excavated from the depths of the fabric archives and then asked, "Can you make this print?"  Sometimes, you get photo references or a general order of, "we need some graphic florals."  Usually, this direction is given by designers, merchandisers and/or sales people who are reacting to the demands of the client.  Therefore, you must accept this as a starting point and find a more specific direction on your own.  
     Remember, excluding stripes and basic dots, you can never copy a print exactly.  Most print artwork is copyrighted.

     For the sake of this little tutorial, let's work with the direction, "we need some graphic florals." Here is a breakdown of how I would approach this project.

Step 1:  Collect inspiration and reference images.

sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

     At this point, it's best to check in with the client to make sure you are heading in the right direction.  I cannot stress enough how important that is.  You don't want to spend extra hours working on something the client never wanted, wasting time for both of you.  Visual references will not only help you solidify a specific design direction, it will help the client get a better idea of what to expect.

     Good news!  The client loves the direction you are going in and is convinced that you are psychic for knowing exactly what they wanted before they even knew it themselves.  They decide to add a bonus to your fee and rave about you to all of their wealthy and easy-going friends.  (Haha! Wouldn't it be a dream if it was always that way?)  

     Let's get started on the artwork!

Step 2:  Find a floral reference photo to draw from.  

     The inspiration artwork shows the flowers in silhouette.  I found a photo (source unknown) of a mixed bouquet and decided that there was enough variety in there to start sketching.  

     Trace around some of the flowers that you think have the most interesting shapes. I did this with the pen tool in Illustrator.  Once you have your outline, you can fill the shape with color.   Repeat these steps until you are satisfied with the silhouettes you have created and you have a good amount of variety.

Step 3:  Create your pattern

     Next, arrange your floral shapes into a pattern. This part can be a little tricky and does require some trial and error.  You'll need to put them together in a way that the pattern will repeat itself continuously.  Once you've got that, you can create a fill swatch with your new design.  

...aaaaand you're done!

     Present your artwork to the client. Expect critique and color changes and do your best to accept them gracefully.  Trust me, that's not always the easiest thing to do.  

     Once you're artwork is approved, you can look forward to seeing it printed on anything from fabric to stationary.  The photo below is of a different graphic floral silhouette print that I made which was printed on fabric and used for women's panties.

 click image for source


Birth Announcement

It's official.  I'm a mom!

     My baby girl was born into this world on July 11, 2013.  She arrived 5 weeks early and spent 8 days in the NICU before she could come home with us.  She is a strong little girl and has been growing at the same pace as any full-term baby.  My husband and I are learning how to be parents and so far we've done pretty well.  Admittedly, there were a couple frantic calls to the 24 hour nurse hotline, only to be told we were "doing just fine and had nothing to worry about."  We are madly in love with our little Sienna and we are enjoying watching her grow and change right before our eyes. 

     To commemorate the birth of our little one, I created this birth announcement to send out to our loved ones.  Simple and sweet.  Photo credit goes to my husband.