Designing for Home

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a true homebody. I love to be at home, to decorate a home, and to take care of a home (although my housekeeping lacks a certain level of enthusiasm). And I find that surrounding my home with things that have meaning to me or that I really enjoy makes my home “fit” me. Which is why I’ve been looking to expand my work into markets like home decor and tabletop. It requires me to think about design and art in a slightly different way but I’m looking forward to creating more art for the home and coming up with product concepts. Here’s a peek at a recent collection I call Citrus Bloom. While warm summer days have just left the building around these parts, these designs make me look forward to next summer.

citrus-bloom-tabletop-collection.jpg
citrus-bloom-home.jpg
citrus-bloom-bouquet.jpg
citrus-bloom-group.jpg
citrus-bloom-teatime.jpg

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!

Spring, please. PLEASE!

Yeah, it’s a cliché, but I’m sorry, I live in Minnesota and the older I get the more I appreciate spring. I’m so blasted excited for winter to be over I can barely sit still. I’ve been wearing flip-flops around the house just to make myself feel better. But then it snowed 6 inches on Monday so, you know, one step forward then you fall on your butt on the ice. 
 
I cope by making floral art (then more Christmas, but then more florals). Florals will always have my heart. As the snow came down on Monday I was painting fruit and flowers, which turned out to be a nice form of therapy. Then, because I couldn’t help myself, I made this homewares collection presentation because I would LOVE to see this on some dishes or serving pieces - or a tablecloth! 
 
 

#12019 Fruity Floral

#12019 Fruity Floral

Here are more brand new collections that make me feel all kinds of bright and warm spring/summer feelings:

#9053 Twilight Floral

#9053 Twilight Floral

#9054 Peachy Posy

#9054 Peachy Posy

#9052 Simple Things

#9052 Simple Things

Everyone feeling better? Deep breath. We’ll get there. 
 
If you’re interesting in licensing or purchasing any of the above artwork, just drop me a line and I’d love to chat with you!

Love is All Around

It’s the week of LOVE! I celebrated Valentine’s Day with a fun dinner with my family, complete with pink cupcakes (I also like to decorate the table for the holiday). Then we did a little “escape room” puzzle challenge with the kids. They’ve got to work for their Valentine treats. Being Ash Wednesday, I also spent some time at church! It was an odd mashup of events. 

It will come as no surprise to you that people spend some money on CARDS this time of year, so here’s a selection of Valentine designs from my portfolio. Lots of love to go around! 

Maybe I’ll add some fun hand drawn lettering so this could work as a card too.

Maybe I’ll add some fun hand drawn lettering so this could work as a card too.

436F971B-BD06-48DF-9282-66E30A426DA1.JPG
0339082E-82DA-4F01-891C-DE5D667E7E4E.JPG
These cute classroom valentines are available on  Mpix.com  as a customizable valentine for the kiddos!

These cute classroom valentines are available on Mpix.com as a customizable valentine for the kiddos!

How I’m working better and smarter this year

Does everyone start off a new year ready & rarin’ to go? I’m probably not too unusual in that respect. While I don’t make crazy resolutions or run myself ragged trying to accomplish all my dreams in the first two weeks of January, I do try to set some goals, re-think how I work, and brainstorm ways I can work smarter and focus on what I want to do and accomplish. With that in mind I have a few recommendations for those of you who might find yourself in the same new year new energy boat. 

  • I always do one of those “brain dump”/mind map things when I’m planning out a new year. I do believe that writing things down helps me narrow my focus and leads me to accomplish more of my goals. This year I’ve also been using the Your Best Year 2018 book by Lisa Jacobs. It’s been a really helpful tool to be even more intentional about how I spend my time and what I accomplish. Hopefully it will help me stay on track when the shine of January is far behind me. 
  • I’m determined that 2018 is the year I finally get a handle on my business finances and accounting. I’m not going to lie, I HATE this part of business, but I’m finally ready to embrace it and I know my business will benefit from it. I’m using the resources and wisdom of Melissa Whaley, a tax advisor and financial strategist especially for creative women entrepreneurs. I’m learning TONS.
  • I also finally did a one-on-one consultation with Jennifer Nelson, the founder and artist agent behind Jennifer Nelson Artists. Jennifer is so incredibly generous with her advice and support that I’ve been thinking about doing a one-on-one with her for awhile. It really helped me know what I don’t need to worry about and how to move forward in the best way. It was awesome and I think it’s really important for those of us out here chugging away on our own to have someone we can check in with, whether that be a paid consultation or having a good support group (ideally, a little of both!)
  • I‘m also taking charge of some of the technical issues involved in my business. My computer is getting a badly needed upgrade that will (hopefully) drastically improve my workflow. And I’m also using some new tools to help with my work. I just took a Skillshare class by Elizabeth Silver called “Optimize Your Design Workflow: Adobe Bridge for Artists.” I don’t currently use Bridge and I know it can help me, so I’m diving into that.

Those are just a few of the things I’ve been using in this new year (one month gone!) to work better and smarter. Of course I’m also making new art! Here’s a little show & tell of some new stuff: