Studio Update + back to school

Oh, the carousel of time has come around again and here I am at the beginning of a new school year (which will probably always feel more like the “new year” than the actual new year as long as I have kids in school and a teacher husband). I know I say every year that summer went by so fast, but this year it really did go by fast. I’m usually ready for the transition into the academic year but this year I was NOT at all. Unfortunately they don’t let me decide when these things happen, so here we are!

I’m getting back into a regular work routine while still finishing up my studio project . . . yes, that’s right, it’s not done yet. Oh, home construction projects. It’s getting close though! I hope I can give you a tour soon because I’m anxious to get back in there.

I’ve got walls, paint, and some trim. All that’s missing is a closet door, flooring, and some barn doors. Oh, and all my STUFF.

I’ve got walls, paint, and some trim. All that’s missing is a closet door, flooring, and some barn doors. Oh, and all my STUFF.

So besides my studio project, what else have I been doing? Let’s catch up!

I did a short course at the beginning of the summer called Explore Florals with Victoria Johnson. I’ve always liked Victoria’s style and the variety of ways in which she approaches her work. This 3 week course gave us a few different themes to work from with a lot of suggestions on how to explore the subject. The above collection, Wild Botanica, came out of this course and it’s one of my favorites. It was inspired by a walk I took on our family vacation in northern Minnesota. I liked it so much I turned it into my 2019 tea towel calendar design. It’s now available in my Spoonflower shop and on Roostery and finished tea towels will be in my Etsy shop (which is still temporarily closed) later this fall.

There are a few other new collections in my portfolio (see below) that I worked on this summer and I also received some fun new samples over the past few months! My first fabric collection with Robert Kaufman, Flamingo Paradise, is now in stores and the next collection, What do the Animals Say?, will be available soon! Because of the construction zone in my house I haven’t been able to make anything with the fabric yet, but I hope to get to that in the near future.

I love seeing new product samples!

I love seeing new product samples!

And now it’s back to class for me! It’s always a bit hard to get back into a good routine, but I’ll get there! I’ll be back soon (I hope) to share my new studio!

Chit Chat with Show & Tell

My youngest child (my baby!) started first grade this year and every Friday his class has Show & Tell day. Didn't you LOVE show & tell day? Maybe that's just me. I still love show and tell. I suffer from some kind of delusion that other people are going to be interested in stuff I find interesting. I send ridiculous emails to friends and family: "You should listen to this podcast!" "Look at this cute dress I got!" "You've got to try a plumcot! It's a plum and an apricot!" They've probably blocked my email address. But lucky for me I have this blog audience and I can share whatever I want. And if I actually don't have an audience (!) I won't know it anyway because I pay little to no attention to my website statistics. Win! Today's post will be a mix of personal/professional chit chat by way of bulleted lists with a little show & tell of new portfolio pieces.

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  • The kids are back in school! Yay! I love the time I get with my kids over the summer but we all function a little better with some routines in place. And we'd been spending a lot of time together. Now the kids are happy and not squabbling as much, I'm back at work and re-adjusting to that schedule, and it's all pretty great.
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  • I was in issue 8 of MOYO. MOYO is a free online magazine about surface pattern design from the people at Make It In Design. I'm in the student showcase and you can find me on page 104. I've taken all 3 modules of The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design and really found them valuable.
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  • Every year Spoonflower teams up with a fabric company (this year it's Moda Fabrics) and holds a contest called Fabric 8 where the winner gets a licensing contract for a fabric collection with that company. This year the theme was "Botanical Sketchbook" and I worked really hard on a design but when I went to submit it I had some technical difficulties and by the time I got it uploaded I had MISSED THE DEADLINE by a matter of hours. Insert hysterical sobs here. Seriously. That took awhile to get over but I'll share it here and it's now in my portfolio, called Milkweed Meadow. It features the lovely monarch butterfly, one of my favorites, and the state butterfly of Minnesota - I bet you didn't know that! (Unless of course you live in MN)
  • Butterflies in Bloom
  • I also participated in the Lilla Rogers Studio Global Talent Search this year. This contest is how Lilla (an art agent and Make Art That Sells creator and instructor) finds new artists to represent and unfortunately I didn't make it into the semi-final round but it was still a great experience and above is my entry which was based on a creative brief from Lilla.
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  • My Butterflies in Bloom collection is available in my Spoonflower shop! You can get one yard that has all four designs or you can get each one separately.
  • New prints from my first gallery show are now available in my Etsy shop, including this print, "Bloom." My Etsy shop celebrated it's one year anniversary on August 25! Confetti! Thanks for supporting my shop!
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  • I've been working on art that could be used for greeting cards which I think is funny because I spent my high school years working in a Hallmark store (a haunted Hallmark store but that's a different story) and I spent a LOT of time sorting and re-stocking cards. A number of years ago I decided to have a booth at a craft fair and I printed some cards (all hand-drawn) to sell. It was a raging failure but I'm apparently still on the greeting card path and these are a couple of my designs.
  • I've been trying to incorporate more watercolor/painting into my work so I got myself some new watercolor colors: Indigo! Opera Rose! Naples Yellow! I use Winsor & Newton watercolors. Since the kids started school I've also been trying to make sure I make time every (or nearly every) day to paint and/or draw. Usually in the morning, in the quiet, and it's FANtastic. Here's another new pattern that uses some painted elements.
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  • I just listened to a fascinating episode of the Radio Lab podcast called The Rhino Hunter. SO interesting. By the way, World Rhino Day is next Tuesday, Sept. 22! I bet you didn't know that! Kiss your favorite rhino. 
  • Who's doing Christmas Shopping?! I should be, but I'm not. I have a ton of things on my own Christmas list though. But I AM trying to add more Christmas/Holiday designs to my portfolio like the ones shown above!
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  • So, what do you think about starting sentences with the word "so"? I've noticed it's a writing quirk of mine that I'm trying to eliminate but here's what NPR says about it.
  • And finally, to put an end to my random ramblings, here's a new Nordic "folksy" design inspired by my Danish/Swedish roots that was pretty fun to create.

I hope you've enjoyed my show & tell. That's what I've been up to the past few weeks! See you soon!

Free Summer Printable and Butterflies in Bloom

There are only three (three!) weeks until school starts here so our summer is rapidly coming to a close. I teeter between "School can't come fast enough!" and "I want more summer!" on a daily basis. Everyone is a little frayed around the edges, a little bored, a little excited about a new school year, and a little sad to say goodbye to endless days of doing whatever they want. I will miss the late mornings and late dinners. I will NOT miss the whining. Last month, in celebration of this bright yellow season, I created this free printable of an Emerson quote for my newsletter subscribers. You can pick up this freebie below and I hope you enjoy whatever remains of your summer. If you don't already, you can subscribe to my newsletter (see the signup form down at the bottom of the page on the left) and each month you'll get a new free printable: cards, stickers, quotes, gift tags, scrapbook paper, and more. The August newsletter (coming soon!) will feature some back to school sticker labels, so sign up today!

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Download Emerson Summer printable

* This print is 8x10" and will print on standard letter size paper.

Finally, while we're talking about summer, I have a new collection called Butterflies in Bloom that I created for the Spoonflower contest this week. This is a fun theme because we designed four coordinating patterns that will fit together on one yard of fabric, essentially giving you four coordinating fat quarters all on one yard. My fabrics will be available in my shop soon. Voting starts on Thursday, August 13 - check out all the beautiful butterflies and I appreciate your vote!

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What I've Been Up To

For the past two weeks I've been moonlighting with a little part-time, make a little cash, job. Sometimes those are necessary and they pay for things like groceries and soccer for the boy . . . and MATS A & B. I'm glad to do it but I haven't had much time for designing so I'm pretty excited to get back to work next week. In the meantime I've been trying to sneak in some design work when I can with quick little pattern projects. Some of these were halfway started already and just needed to be finished up. Plus, sometimes it's helpful for me to work quickly and not overthink things. I can get caught up in "this color or this color" for HOURS when left to my own devices. Not healthy. Anyway, here's a little show & tell with some new patterns. Paisley Pop

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Floral-Border-Print

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Animal Talk

New in the Shop!

Happy Friday everyone! I've been busy adding new things to my Etsy and Spoonflower shops over the last few weeks and I thought I'd do a little show & tell for you today. new-spoonflower-fabrics-4_15

Over in my Spoonflower Shop you'll find 15 new fabrics. There are 4 new collections with a couple individual prints. The new fabrics are (from top to bottom): 1) Spring & Hop Collection: Spring & Hop/Spring Garden/Spring Sky/Spring Leaves 2) I Mint to Send you Flowers (this was my entry for the Coral, Mint, Black & White Contest, which came in 11th after community voting) and Lime Going to Send You Flowers 3) Southwest Direction Collection: All Signs Point Southwest (this was entered in the Southwest Baby Bedding Contest) /Southwest Stripes/Southwest Arrows 4) Flora Patina Collection: Flora Patina/Ba Ba Bloom/Checky Dot 5) Casserole Kitchen Collection: Pinch of Pepper/Cutting Board/Olive Drop (this collection was part of my MATS A assignment from week 1)

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Some of these are already getting into the hands of Spoonflower customers and I'd love to see what people make with them!

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Next up . . . prints! I've added 7 new 8x10" prints to my Etsy shop! A couple of these are older pieces but have never been in my shop and most of them are brand new prints. I'm especially fond of the Spring Bouquet series with the rain boots, umbrella, and bicycle - they were really fun to make. I also like the Stitched Fields print which was based off of a MATS Bootcamp assignment that I painted on a wooden circle. Re-doing it digitally allowed me to fine-tune it a bit and I really like how it turned out.

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So check out the shops! Just today I ordered even more products for my Etsy shop and there will be some stationery items coming in another couple weeks! Thanks for visiting my online shops!