Monday, July 11, 2011

Sketchbook Love

How many sketchbooks do you have?  I have probably  10 completely filled sketchbooks.  Some of my sketches are finished drawings and some are complete doodles and random markings (kind of like what you see in the picture above!)  I love looking through my old sketchbooks and seeing how my style has evolved and see what interested me (and still does in some cases) 5 or 6 years ago.  Sketchbooks give you such a behind the scene look at what is going on in the artist's mind.  If you get a chance check out these sites to see some cool sketchbooks:
sketchbook project
design sponge

Meanwhile, here are some more of my sketchbook pages from over the years:

You might notice that almost all of them are done in mixed media.  I love to experiment with lots of media while sketching.  Collage, watercolor, ink and pencil are my favorite combos!  What are your favorite materials to use in your sketchbook or while doodling? 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Art: Wave Series

Hello!  How is your Sunday going for you?  Mine is going very well!  I am off for a girl's day  to see Jersey Boys!  The husband is staying home all day with Little I...great bonding time!

I just wanted to share with you a new artwork I have been working on.  It is the first in hopefully a series of 5 or 6 artworks.  I don't know if I am finished with it yet but here it is:

Small detail picture:

They are kind of like cloud waves.  I used acrylic and some painted paper collage elements.  I love the color scheme so far.  I can't wait to do more!

Hope you have a lovely and productive day:)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Creative Ideas to do at the Lake

My parents' cottage is on one of the Lake Erie islands which is notorious for it's rocky beaches.  I have to wear swim shoes when I go swimming!

The cool thing about it though is that it is a prime spot to find beach glass. 
It is so exciting to find these gorgeous pieces of smoothed down glass.  I could search all day long!  Here are some of the pieces I found:

Another creative thing to do at the lake is look for interesting shaped-rocks.  I began to look for heart-shaped rocks and found quite a few!  I have a mini collection now:)

Another thing I collect are feathers:

They actually work well as paintbrushes:

I used a feather to create these interesting brushstrokes in my sketchbook with watercolors.  Kind of reminds me of using a fan brush!

 And lastly, my favorite thing to do is....

Paint on rocks!  Using acrylic paint (very important...don't use anything else or it will come off!) I painted a funny little toad and some designs on some smaller rocks.  So fun:)  What is your favorite thing to do on vacation at the lake?

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Island Adventure

Well I am back!  I have been without an internet connection for 2 weeks!   I was at my parents' cottage on one of the Lake Erie islands.  They just built their cottage last October and it is our first summer relaxing and fun!

Here is the husband and I driving to the ferry boat(you can't reach the island by is a true island!)

Here is the view on the ferry boat

Once we got to the island we saw:

Gorgeous new favorite flower!

An awesome roadway with lots of shade.

A charming home off the road (very secluded!)

The old school house with amazing hydrangeas!

Finally we got to my parents' cottage.  It is right on the lake.  The cottage is small and modest but the view is AMAZING!  My parents bought the lot 30 years ago and finally were able to build (college costs and a wedding kind of put the cottage on hold!)  Our lot used to be called "Sunset Park."  This is why:

Our "backyard":

I could live there forever!  It is such a quaint island!  There is only one store and two restaurants.  The entire time I was there I looked for beach glass, rocks shaped like hearts and painted (I will post about that this week!) Little I and I went walking everyday and smiled and waved to everyone because everyone was super friendly. *sigh*  I can't wait to go back!

Anyways I hope everyone is doing well!  How was your 4th of July?  I hope you are all well and enjoying your summer.  I will post more about my little island adventure tomorrow!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Going on a Trip!

Hope you have a lovely weekend!  What are you up to?  The family and I are going on a road trip!  I will be unable to post for the next couple of days but I promise I will be back soon to tell you all about my trip!  Have a fantastic weekend!  Talk soon:)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seashore Life

Have I mentioned that I am totally in love with anything that has to do with the seashore?  I have always loved the idea of living on a little cottage near the shore.  I recently discovered the most amazing blog called A Beach Cottage.  It is all about a woman named Sarah's life on the sea in her little cottage in Australia.  Her decorating style is AMAZING!  I am a huge fan of everything white, clean and cozy.  Her cottage is my dream home:)  Check her out if you get a chance!

While going through an old poem book of mine I came across this lovely little poem:


Play on the seashore
And gather up shells,
Kneel in the damp sands
Digging wells

Run on the rocks
Where the seaweed slips,
Watch the waves
And the beautiful ships.

-Mary Britton Miller

Conjures up wonderful thoughts of the beach, doesn't it? 

Dr. Seuss on Love

Hello everyone!  Hope your week is going well!  Summer weeks seem to fly by for me.  I can't believe it is almost the end of June already!  Tomorrow is the husband and my 5 year anniversary!  This quote by Dr. Suess pretty much sums up the husband and I:

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."
Dr. Seuss

Gotta love Dr. Seuss...he really knows his stuff:)

Here is the husband and I five years ago on our wedding day:

And here is us 5 years later at Christmas with Little "I"

Wow...I just realized that we have not taken a family photo since Christmas!  I totally need to get on that! 

So I hope you have a lovely day!  It is rainy and gross outside here in Ohio.  I am staying inside all day with the air conditioning and going to do some incredibly fun things such as laundry, dusting and organizing.  Jealous?

Have a great one!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hello Summer Solstice!

Painting of a Michigan City Sunset completed in acrylic

Apparently today is the summer solstice for us here in the northern hemisphere.  Hooray!  The longest day of the year:)  Don't you just love how it stays so light out until like 9:30 at night?  Since little "I" gets up around 6 everyday it is equally as nice to have it so light out in the morning as well.  So what are your plans for today to celebrate the summer solstice?

Here are my plans that I hope I can do:

1.  Go for a run with Little "I". 
2.  PAINT.....anything.  It is really hard doing artwork with a little 6 month year old.  I have a feeling my painting will last about 10 minutes but that is ok as long as I get some painting done!  I have a feeling I will be bringing back my 10 minute sketches which are super fun!
3.  Organize art supplies and clothes.  For some reason these are the two items that never seem to stay organized!  I need my supplies and clothes to be organized like this!
4.  Listen to Little "I"'s favorite singer Elizabeth Mitchell.  Our favorite CD is You Are My Little Bird.  Seriously awesome music for kids and grown ups:)

Well have a lovely summer solstice day!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Crazy Cool Creative Watercolor Self-Portraits

Yes...crazy cool creative.  Try saying that 5 times fast.   So, since I have been gone so long from the blog world (3 whole months!), I thought I would post some projects from my painting classes.  So here are their "crazy, cool and creative" self-portraits done in watercolor. 

Some close up ones:

I love this one because it totally fits his personality.....

And this one turned out pretty well:

To complete this project I took a high contrast picture of each student with my digital camera and then played around with it in my iphoto program to get the best contrasts.  I wanted the shadows to help define the students' faces.  Students then gridded their photographs and drew their faces on watercolor paper using the grid as a guide.  They then had to fracture their faces into different shapes and use at least 10 different watercolor techniques (rubbing alcohol, salt, wax resist, saran wrap, etc.)  I will have to post the watercolor technique chart in another blog post!  The students completed these portraits with my long-term sub while I was gone on maternity leave.  I was so lucky to have such a wonderful sub!

Well I hope you have a fantastic day today!  What are your plans?  This morning I have to take Little "I" in for her 6 month dr. appointment.  YUCK:(  She has to get another round of vaccines today.  Poor "I".  Other than that I think I am going to try and get some art done today and of course play with Little "I". 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Best Father Daughter Song....

Sooooo...I have been taking a break from blogging for a wee bit.  I am on summer vacation right now and am hoping to post a little more now that I have some time!  Little "I" just turned 6 months yesterday...time sure is flying like crazy!  She has developed quite the  personality these past couple of months... it is amazing!  She definitely understands the husband and my quirky sense of we got that going for us:)  Above is a picture of "I" and the husband.  So sweet!

So happy Father's Day to all of you wonderful fathers out there!  Here is one of my favorite Paul Simon songs that always makes me a little weepy:)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cleaning Day!

Hello!  I hope your weekend is going well so far:)  The husband's parents are in town helping us get our house ready for showing (we have officially listed our house....scary but exciting!)  Anyone could call at any moment to come and see it!  So our house must look amazing!  We spent Friday night playing with Little "I" (she giggles now!) and basically just hanging out and staying warm and dry.  Today is "Cleaning Day" here at our household.  Sounds like a great time right?!

Well I do not have any new art to post...all of my art stuff is pretty much packed up until I go back to work next week.  So sad to take a break from it but we can't have any clutter anywhere!

Well I hope you have a wonderful Saturday.  I will leave you with this lovely song covered by Sondre Lerche.  The husband is currently learning  to play it to Little "I" on his ukulele.  She LOVES to hear him sing and play to her!  I wish I was musical but alas I just am not:)

Wish us luck on the cleaning!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I have posted this quote before...but I just love it so I am posting again:)

My life is significantly changing.  I am hoping for the good.  The husband and I are moving back to our hometown which is VERY exciting and fun but stressful.  I actually teach in our hometown and have an amazing job that I love.   Since the birth of Little "I" we knew that we would have to change our living situation.   With Little "I" around we decided to be back near our family and closer to where I work.  So.....we are putting our house up for sale in this horrible market and I am going to give being a working mom a shot. 

 The point of me telling you all about my crazy life is that as human beings we are a lot stronger than we think we are.  Everyone has obstacles and craziness that they have to work through.  Some of our obstacles are not as big as others but all in all we have things to work through.  I just came across this article (click here to view it) that talks about how we don't give ourselves enough credit when we do something well.  We are quick to compliment others but never ourselves.  It also talks about failures as being feedback.   I thought this quote by Thomas A. Edison was fantastic:  " I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward."  

I think this quote is something we can apply to ourselves in everyday situations.  Whether it is art, our jobs, parenting, etc.  I have been kind of a quote junkie lately if you haven't noticed.  I think when we go through stressful situations it is helpful to have some words of advice that kind of guide us and make us feel better:)

Ok...thank you for listening to me be all deep and stuff...I am not usually like this!  

So enough about me!  I hope your week is going well!  What are you up to this evening?  I can't wait to watch the Middle and Modern Family tonight!  Wednesday is a good t.v. night for me:)  

I hope you have a lovely rest of your day!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Authentic Self and Mother/Daughter Bonding

I love this quote by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  It really is reassuring especially when you feel lost creatively.  I also like the idea of an "authentic self," or who your true self is.  I like to think that there is some sort of plan that your "authentic self" knows about and will automatically guide you in the right direction.  It is a nice thought right?!

So was your weekend?  My mom came Sunday and we had a fantastic Oscar party!  My husband is a wonderful cook and made us an amazing dinner both Sunday and Monday night.  I am not much of a cook but I love to watch cooking shows.  Is that strange?  My favorite is Jamie Oliver . He is such an amazing chef and most importantly....he has an adorable british accent:)

My mom and I also got to sneak away for some sushi yesterday!  So fun!  I had not had sashimi for almost a year because you are not allowed raw fish when you are pregnant.  We also got to do some fun shopping....yay for mother/ daughter outings!

Well it is sunny outside here in Ohio...makes me feel happy!  I am starting back to work on March 14th so I better start planning what I will be doing with my lovely students!

Have a gorgeous day!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Coffee Talk: Oscar Party

Welcome back to my little kitchen!  I hope you are in the mood for some coffee!  If not I have this amazing ginger peach tea that is to die for!

I also bought us some sweet treats.  Frozen dark chocolate Hershey Kisses!  They melt in your mouth when you drink them with hot coffee or tea!


So what are your plans for this weekend?  The husband and I will continue with the enormous process of cleaning and organizing our Cleveland cottage so we can put it up for sale. 

 My lovely mom is coming on Sunday to help out.  We are going to have an Oscar party!
Mom and me!

To be honest I have not seen all of the movies up for nominations.  I loved Inception though!  Black Swan looks cool but a little too freaky for me.  I have heard nothing but wonderful  things about The King's Speech and I have a special place in my heart for Mr. Colin Firth (I loved him as Mark Darcy in the Bridget Jones movies!)  The best part about the Oscars for me is the fashion and celebrities!  I can't wait to see what everyone is wearing!  Well I hope you have a fantastic weekend!  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kite Flying Music

Ivy's Guestroom is one of my all time favorite cds.  It consists of lovely covers of such bands as The Cure and Steely Dan.  This song in particular is a cover of Nick Heyward.  I usually am not a fan of covers but this  cd is amazing and summer-like!  I have had this cd for 8 years now and never tire of it!  The lead singer Dominique Durand has the most airy voice ever...totally reminds me of a warm spring day!   So listen to this song, light a spring scented candle like one of these

And think lovely warm thoughts!  Have a fantastic day:)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sketchbook Sparker: Collecting Quotes and Images that Inspire

Hello!  How are you today?  Have I mentioned lately how OVER snow I am?  We got hit with a large amount of snow Monday night and now they are predicting a possible storm on Friday here in Cleveland.  Arg! here for an instant pick me up that will make you feel warm!

So today we are going to be talking again about sketchbook sparkers.  These sparkers are meant to give you ideas if you are ever in a creative rut.  Today's sparker doesn't involve as much drawing as last week's sparker.  It is meant more of as a brainstorming technique that could lead to more drawing and painting (I like to do both in my sketchbook!)

Have you ever heard a cool quote or seen one in a book or magazine?  The kind of quote that really makes you think or just makes a lot of sense?!  What about cool images that you are unexplainably attracted to while flipping through a magazine?  Why not start collecting them in your sketchbook!

Here is a little peek into two of my sketchbook pages that incorporate quotes and images.   I actually didn't even do much drawing on these sketchbook pages.  Instead I let the images and words do the talking.

This quote is something I heard Carrie Bradshaw say on a Sex in the City episode.  I can't remember for the life of me which episode or even which season she says this!  I thought it was so true about growing and changing as a person.

Here it is in my sketchbook  (top right.)


On the left is this quote I found in a magazine:
Sadly I always seem to buy the cheapest!

On these pages I also assembled pictures that inspired me and included my own little drawings and slabs of color with paint.

Here is another example:

A beautiful quote I found in a magazine

Here is how I incorporated it into my sketchbook page:

I also included some images that I liked along with a song lyric that was stuck in my head at the time.  

So if you are ever stuck for an idea for a sketchbook, incorporate a quote or image that inspires you!  It is a great way to get the creative juices flowing!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tres Chic Nursery Finds for Girls

Hello there!  Today I would like to show you some very cool items I have found on etsy that would look excellent in any little girl's nursery.
 Being a new mom I have become quite interested in adorable girl things.  So here are some of my favorite finds on etsy this week.  I don't know about you but right now in my life it seems that all of my friends are either pregnant or have children.  These would make great gifts for new moms or they would be awesome gifts for your own children!  Happy looking!  

Sweet wall decals

These burp cloths

This beautiful quilt 

This adorable print

This cork sweet!

These cool butterflies

And of course...I must shamelessly promote my own artwork...

Have a lovely Tuesday!