Archive for January, 2011

Calendar Sale

There are just a few left in the shop! And I’m wanting to clear them out. I only need one, and I thought you could have the rest. Enjoy!

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Monday doodles.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been working on my fabric designs….and this weekend as I was laying out colors ( in stripes…it helps me to see them interact really well) I started to see images popping up on top of these stripes of color. You know when you see certain colors, they make you think of certain things? Well, these boy colors that I am working with just made me think  “lions”. It’s always interesting to me how ideas come. Lately, my ideas have been coming through color. Certain colors make us feel certain things. Don’t know why these colors made me think about lions, but they did.  And though I am not much of a digital artist ( I prefer to draw by hand even when I am working digitally) this little guy had to make himself known. He even had the guts to write some graffiti on my color chart. And though I don’t have any lions in my fabric, I’ve been thinking a lot about lion’s lately….and it makes me want to play with them more.  You might be seeing some more very soon!

Happy monday!

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We had so much fun doing giveaways over the holidays, and I have one more left! Warmth is an ETSY shop full of cute mice dressed up for all sorts of occasions.

You can get a pretty great sense of what she makes below, but you can also visit her shop here for a greater sampling. Linda will be giving away 3 mice: a $45 gift to you!

They are petit and sweet. How perfect for Valentines day!

This one is my favorite. Darling.

Giveaway instructions:

  • Leave a comment making sure to enter your name and email where it asks you to
  • Comments will be closed on Sunday Jan. 30th at Midnight EST
  • one winner will be chosen
  • Winners will be contacted via email
  • Readers can enjoy 20% off in her shop through the weekend by mentioning SARAH JANE in your order.

Best of luck to you!

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Rocket Ship Diorama

January is the month of Birthdays: Both Addie and Ian turn one year older just 12 days apart from each other. Not only that, but the birthday festivities start right after the holidays. I feel rushed every year!

This year, Addie went for a Dress-up/Princess theme (of course!) and Ian for Rockets. It was simple, and no-fuss. I had grand ideas like I always do, but then toned it down by keeping it about the fun and not the presentation.

We had lots of activities, but the one I wanted to share was from Ian’s party.  I planned on having the boys build rockets out of materials I was going to collect through the month. But….since I never collected anything, I came up with this idea at the last second.

Rocket Ship Diorama

Do you remember making dioramas in school? Yes I know. Very retro now, I’m sure. But I am here to bring them back. They are rather awesome, if I do say.

Here’s what we did :


PDF download of rocket figures


Styrofoam ball


Thread or fishwire


Glue or scotch tape

Sky or Space colored paper


1) Cut out the paper figures. Girl and boy rocket people are a must.

2) Attach a toothpick to the back for mounting.

3)Wrap the inside of the shoebox with paper that will look like outerspace: dark blue works best, and it’s fun to add glitter, stars, or whatever you want so that it looks super space-y.

4) Cut a styrofoam ball in the shape you need to make the top of a planet or moon

5) use fish wire to attach the firing rocket and planets to the ceiling of the  shoebox.

6) Be creative and add whatever you want to make it your own!

We were rather no-fuss about this, and let the little boys make them by themselves really. They loved positioning the rockets on their own. Even with paper they try to make things collide and explode:)

So, simple? Yes. Entertaining for a 5 year old? Yes and yes. Ian sleeps with this next to his bed so he can look into it before he drifts off to dreamland. Dreaming about green aliens and conquering the cosmos for sure.

Click here for the PDF download you can print yourself.

I’d love to see what you come up with!

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ALT recap and why making it happen has never been more exciting.

{image via FLICKR}

So. ALT:

I won’t go into the nitty gritty details about the super fab conference from last week. But I do want to talk about how this era of online living is allowing creative people to find success in ways that were never before possible.

What was ALT Design Summit all about? Well, it was for people who:

1) Really like design and everything under that bracket: art, food, photography, writing, fashion, you name it

2) Are interested in the social network and media scene

3) Have their own business and/or make a living from their hobby

4) Think outside the box. Because, well, items 1-3 really don’t fit into one, do they?

There were panel discussions, presentations, and hands on workshops like this photography class by Nicole Hill Gerulat where I had the chance to really rethink the way I shoot pretty things.

I took some pretty mean pictures (thanks to One Charming Party who put these tabletops together and Nicole Hill who knows her stuff!)

That top picture is me in green skirt, thinking hard about getting my hands on a new camera.

But really, what I loved most, was being surrounded by really smart, creative people. You think you like reading blogs? Try meeting them in person. Super enlightening.

I was part of conversations that answered questions, but more importantly ALT inspired my own creative thinking. This era of reaching people, building businesses, creating spaces and launching ideas is a really thrilling place to be.  There are rules, but there is no set path to follow when it comes to having an idea and making it happen, because the rules are constantly being rewritten.

I know so many of you are creative doers and are part of communities (online and off) where you connect with other like minded people. So you probably understand that  building communities around what you do and what is important to you, is how ideas are supported, published or become successful in whatever you consider success to be.

I was able to interact with people who had a creative idea, and made it happen! Come on…you know that’s easier said then done!  But these people didn’t accomplish their goals by “traditional” measures. Instead,  by using social media to connect with people, they were able to build communities around those ideas and find success through networking with like minded people who supported those ideas.

Why is social media so important then? Because this is the era of transparency: Where the world is getting smaller and more personal (because of the internet) which is how we as human beings prefer to connect. I’m not talking about stalking celebrities (gag!) or finding out what Obama had for lunch. I’m talking about connecting the human side of all that we are and do. That is how businesses are growing. That is how we are connecting as people and communities. That is the story that we are telling and want to hear. And that is how artists, designers, and creative thinkers are carving their paths and making their voices heard. They aren’t writing books and just sticking them on the shelves. They aren’t just taking pictures and submitting them to the NY Times. They are telling the story behind the story and building communities around what they love. You get the idea.

They, like me, are interested in connecting their art to people.

It’s an amazing era we live in.

So, being around people this week who are willing to take a few risks and put themselves out there in this new era of “transparency” was just really inspiring. If you have a blog, or if you have a space where community is important to what you do, I think you can imagine the limitless potential and positive outreach there is.

I am just super passionate about this whole idea of putting yourself out there and finding new ways to make ideas happen. Maybe I get it from my dad. He is a man of big ideas. A dreamer, if you will, and always encouraged us to think things up in our heads without paying too much attention to the hard fast rules out there in the world that would stop us. I owe him a lot for that. And now, more than ever in the history of the world, ideas have a place to grow: all because of the limitless communities that are out there or that have yet to be created.

Or maybe I love talking about this because that is how I went from being a no-resume, no-art-degree, no-business-degree woman into a full-time illustrator, designer and business owner. I still marvel that I am doing what I am doing. But it’s all because now is the era where if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen.

So I guess this post is for you artists out there. There is no one right way to get yourself out there. Dream up what you want with your art, and there is a path for you. Making it happen has never been more exciting!

So, there you have it. I really like smart people who come up with conferences like ALT that support the notion that crazy people like me (mother of 3 young children, wife, children’s book illustrator, designer, business owner, blogger, and creative doer) no longer have to identify ourselves as one or the other. We can be all things wrapped up into one. All those hats we wear? They are part of a greater whole called “YOU.” And the new era of social media means that being “YOU” is just as important as your art or your hobby or your business. In fact, being you is your business. And I think that’s a pretty neat idea.

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Hello! Happy Friday!

I don’t have much to say today, as I’m at the ALT Design Summit (and loving it by the way).

Last night we had dinner with small groups, and today was a full day of learning, meeting up with online friends, and taking lots of notes!

We got to spend the night last night with such wonderful people…old friends and new friends. Being around such creative people who aren’t afraid to think outside of the box is really energizing. No two people are a like…no two people have the same path or the same story. Just a love for writing, design, art and communication. What a group.

Here’s a shot from last night: Justin Hackworth, Stephanie and Christian Neilson (Nie-Nie) and my awesome boy and me.

I’ll post more next week on some highlights! It’s a treasure to meet all these people in real life. You think that the online Blogging community is nice? Well, they’re even nicer in real life.

Have a great weekend!



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I spy.

Hey Friends!

How are you? If you’re like me, I can’t believe January is almost over. Where did it go?

I’m getting ready for ALT Design Summit….so excited. Will I see any of you there?

While I was looking through said color inspiration yesterday, I came across this photo on Decor 8. It was funny;  my inner dialogue went something like this:

“I love this space! So great.”

“Oh wait…that’s Ishtar’s studio (a long time e-friend and blog reader).”

“Oh wait again…there’s my THREE BEARS REVISITED print on her desk.”

Funny how the internet works. I stopped at the photo just cause I liked the photo, and turns out there’s a piece of me in it. It’s such an amazing world we live in. I could have never had that experience, say, 15 years ago.

I’ll be on twitter during the ALT conference if you want to follow along. I’m going to be speaking on Licensing your designs & Building online sales. If you have questions about any of those topics you’d like discussed, post them here, and I’ll try and answer them on Friday Morning during the discussion! Maybe even formulate a blog post on it too.

Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

And remember: Calenders are 50% off….and close to gone!



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What’s not to love?

Oh dear, oh dear. In a hunt to find some color inspiration this morning, I may have found a possible addiction to another…yet another…Danish shop. This is bad. I’m officially addicted now. Have been for years…and no hope of recovering.

House Doctor: Home decor…nothing in the children’s department that I can see yet…but I am loving their color and style: the perfect mix of bright colors against white or casual naturals. My favorite. Old meets new, neutral meets fresh and virbrant. Red meets pink. Yummy.

It’s funny…since art and illustration is a natural extension of myself and what interests me, it’s no wonder that design of all kinds inspires what I’m thinking about. I can be thinking about book illustration and get completely inspired by the color of a suitcase. Or the feel of a quilt. Or the color in an umbrella. It all meshes together into one big pot called, “eye candy.” And today, it’s no surprise: a little shop in Denmark.


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