Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tea with Friends

A few weeks ago I went to my good friend Diane's house for tea and good conversation.  We have so many things in common and I always feel like we could spend the whole day talking and still have plenty more to talk about at the end of the day.  My friend Diane made some wonderful chai tea and served it in the cutest little aqua blue tea cups that rested on a matching plate and sitting on the edge of the plate was the sweetest little yellow bird.  The milk of course was poured from it's own matching container and then stirred with a little rose adorned tea spoon.  We talked for hours as we enjoyed our tea and sat on old wood chairs painted in a perfect lime green.  The time flew by and I was inspired by our morning together.

tea with friends
           "Tea With Friends"

I thought it needed some matching coordinates to go with it.

tea with friends patterns

I kind of like  the teapots on white more, so I thought I would share it too!  I had a lot of fun working on this.

tea pots

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Jello molds

This month for Lilla Rogers Assignment Bootcamp we had to draw jello molds!  This subject took me completely by surprise.  It's something I would never have picked on my own, that's for sure!  I found this subject really hard and not very inspiring.  We had a week to work on our sketches and then last Monday we got the main assignment which was to use our sketches to make a design for bolt fabric.  I almost didn't do it, I wasn't feeling it.  The thought of skipping it this month just seemed to easy though, I knew I'd be mad at myself, but I couldn't find the joy in the subject matter.  I found that I didn't really enjoy drawing desserts.  I kept telling myself what Lilla always says, find your joy, do what makes you happy.  So I stopped listening to those little gremlins and decided to go for it, what did I  have to loose?  Even if I didn't like the results, I knew I would learn from it and grow.

Again I started out in Illustrator, but I didn't like where it was going, it was feeling too flat and way too digital, I then went to paper and started doing it in watercolor, but quickly I realized I didn't like where that one was going and went back to Illustrator.  I'm slowly figuring out Illustrator and Photoshop but it still is such a hurdle for me when it comes to developing my ideas.

On Monday Lilla posted some color palettes for us to try in our work, muddy pinks, purples, neutrals, acid yellows, to push ourselves and go beyond our comfort zone.  My current colors weren't working well for me so I gave hers a shot and I feel it is what made all the difference in my piece and actually made me feel excited about it.

Submission for March MATS Bootcamp

I'm very happy with the results and how it looks.  A dark grey background is very different for me and I NEVER use purple, that was a hard color for me to work with but I ended up using it on the main character!

Here it is as a repeat:

Repeat pattern

I'm working on some coordinates to go with it, which is super fun to do.  I'm really enjoying learning Illustrator and Photoshop, it's getting a little bit easier, but I have so much to learn yet.  I want to figure out how to incorporate my mixed media work, but my skill level hasn't allowed that yet.  I have to remind myself to be patient, it will happen.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

MATS Bootcamp

Last year I took Lilla Rogers "Make Art That Sells A and B"  online courses.  This was the best online course I've ever taken.  It was such an intense and inspirational course.  The course was loaded with information on making and licensing your artwork, wonderful videos with her artists and herself.  Each week we got a mini assignment on Monday, the main assignment on Wednesday with the final due on Sunday.  This was what really made this class rock!  I've never worked so hard on my art ever.  Tons of sketching, researching, pushing my limits and brainstorming in a short amount of time.   Lilla is an amazing teacher.  After watching her videos and reviews I would walk away feeling more inspired and confident.  She really knows how to get the most out of her artists.  The Facebook community that came from this has been such an inspiration and also a wonderful source of information and support. 

I was pretty sad when it came to an end, but then came Lilla's  MATS Assignment Bootcamp, yeah!!!  It started at the beginning of February.   Bootcamp is for 6 months with an assignment a month, (a much easier pace).  We get our mini assignment the first week, main assignment the next week and then it is due in 2 weeks.  We get a week off in between.  It doesn't have all the class content like the other course or reviews, but she does include color trends and other inspirations.  When the assignments are finished we upload them to her online gallery for everyone to see.

After taking MATS A and B I decided I really needed to learn Photoshop and Illustrator, so I've been watching lots of tutorials on   It's pretty overwhelming the amount there is to learn and how long it is taking to figure things out.  I'm finding Illustrator easier for me than Photoshop.  It can be so frustrating because I know what I want to do in the programs but I don't know how to do it.  Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel but then I realize how bad I want to learn them and I keep going.

The first assignment for Bootcamp was to design a cell phone cover for the gift market using our cuckoo clock sketches from the week before.  I was so thankful to have 2 weeks, because I really needed it!

I initially tried to do it in Illustrator but my sketch looked so generic that I gave it up and went to what I know, collage.

cuckoo clock collage

I liked this piece,  but I couldn't get it to look right on the case and the colors weren't quite right and wasn't feeling how I wanted it to look.  The birds and hearts are supposed to be more pink.  Here they look red even after some color tweaking.

I then decided to give it a go in Photoshop.  I'm not sure why since I barely knew what a layer was when I started, let alone try to color a piece of artwork in it!   I surprised myself with what I was able to do, but it didn't turn out quite like I wanted it to.  Once I learn more I would like to revisit it and try again.  I like it, but I didn't get the pop of the colors that I wanted.  It's soo close though!

I was going to submit this one, even though it wasn't quite how I wanted it.  I had spent so many hours on it but felt like I was at a road block with my level of skill.

I had a lot of fun with the cuckoo clock theme and playing around in the programs so I decided to use some of my simpler sketches and create a design.  So Saturday evening I worked away in Illustrator and came up with a design that I liked even better and ended up submitting it the next day.  I'm a lot happier with this one, it feels cleaner, the lines are fresh and the colors are playful.  This was how I wanted my little girl to look, but my skills aren't at that level yet to where I can do it. 

And now with a week off,  I'm going to use it to watch more tutorials!  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

rise and shine

Monday, November 18, 2013

Illustration Friday: Tail

squirrels nest

                                                              watercolor painting, "Squirrel's Nest"

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tee Time

When I was at the Driftless Area Art Festival a few weeks ago, I met another Tammy Olson.  It's the second one I know besides me in our area.  When I was a guest artist at our local art gallery this past May she said she had congratulations from family and friends on her FB page for it!   Earlier this summer someone had heard I was pregnant, only to find out it was another Tammy Olson!  (Thank goodness)

Tammy wanted to know if I had any girl paintings in which they were playing golf, which I didn't.  I'm not a golfer so I hadn't thought about doing one.  (Though a love a good game of miniature golf!)  Tammy loves to play golf and described her outfit to me which she wears while golfing.  She pretty much drew the girl for me.

So this one is for her!

tee time

(I forgot to put the golf ball in the painting and had scanned it already and Fischer said to me, "I like it, but it's missing one thing."  I asked "What?"  and he said "A golf ball!"  So obvious, but I had never even thought about it.  Like I said, I'm not a golfer!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

And the marathon taper begins!

I've only ran one marathon and that was 10 years ago, the Portland Marathon.  The training was hard and pretty boring, specifically those long runs that prepare you to run 26 miles.  After completing the marathon, I remember saying I would NEVER run another one.  The race was long and painful and really who needs to run 26 miles?  I was 32.  My goal had been to run it under 4 hours.  My time was 4 hours and 3 minutes!  I missed my goal by 3 minutes!  It's kind of frustrating to have run for 4 hours and then miss a goal by only 3 minutes.

Flash forward to last summer when I was finally able to start running on a regular basis after having kids and also being able to run without the kids!   Every Sunday I would slowly increase the length of my run.  By the end of summer I was up to 13 miles and really enjoying those long runs.  It became my time, my quiet time, no interruptions, no demands, just me and the open roads.

I had a few friends who were running marathons last fall and running another marathon started to creep into my mind.  I ran a 10K last November and the racing bug bit me.  I signed up for the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in January.  Guess what my time goal is?  Yup, under 4 hours.  My goal is to beat my 32 year old self.

hello taper

In the mean time I ran a half marathon in May and another one in August.  My training for the marathon started in June, a 16 week plan, with the race on October 6th.  These last 2 weeks of the plan are called "the taper."  It's a time to recover and rest before the big day, runs are shortened and are easier.  Sunday was one of my last long runs and towards the end of the run I kept thinking "yes, the taper!", "hello, taper", "I am ready for the taper!"  I had to doodle my excitement for the taper because I am so ready for it.

But now I'm starting to get nervous, 26 miles is a long way to run!  I really like the half marathon much more,  I feel like running anything more than 16 miles is really too much for me.  It really feels more mentally difficult than it is physically.  Some days it was hard to wrap my head around the fact that I was going on a 20 mile run and I would be running for close to 4 hours! 

The great part of all of this is I have found training this time a lot easier mentally and physically than I did 10 years ago.  I'm smarter than my 32  year old self and tougher and surprisingly  I feel my body has held up a lot better than it did 10 years ago.  I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it's partly due to the fact that I listen to it better and feed and nourish more wisely, I take care of it better.   So while my 32 year old self was indeed faster, it doesn't mean I still can't beat her.

Friday, September 20, 2013


Holy smokes it"s been awhile!   Summer is so fun but so so busy.  I think from now on I'm just going to sign off for the summer.  I'm not even sure where to start with this post, so here are just a few things so I can get this out of the way. 
My little munchkins (the reason why my summer was so busy) started school a few weeks ago,  Fischer, 3rd grade,

 and Amelia, kindergarten.   Wow!  Can it really be?  Where does the time go?  A blink of an eye and summer is over:(

Amelia goes to school 4 days a week, so I have 4 days ALL to myself.  I'm so excited to see what I can do with it. (like clean the attic and basement, oh yeah and make art!)

This past weekend I was in the Driftless Area Art Festival in Soldiers Grove WI.  Saturday was a perfect day, while Sunday started with rain and not a lot of sales but the music was wonderful and made the day magical in its own way.  Here are a few pictures of my booth.

Unfortunately I haven't picked up a pencil or paintbrush in almost a month.  It always seems there are so many other things to do, so yesterday afternoon I made myself sit down and draw and paint.  Whew, that felt good.  I'm so glad I did that.  Now that I have 4 days a week to myself I need to schedule in time just for this.  It's so easy to get lost in chores and errands.  

Now that I got this first post out of the way the rest will come easier, same goes with painting.  I'll be back soon, I promise.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Have a "Hoppy" Weekend!

Have a "Hoppy"  weekend wherever it should take you!  
(Fischer called dibbs on this painting before it was even finished!) 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day
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