the other side

garden sketches

These are just a few examples of ink illustrations that I've been posting on my Instagram feed. It's a direction that I've been headed towards for a long time. Until recently I hadn't really considered this something I wanted to pursue more seriously. But I can't seem to stop. Whenever I pick up my pen it just appears on the paper. None of these drawings are preplanned. I just start. Always in ink and no pencil.

My work has tended to be more graphic and clean, so adopting this loser style is something that has taken time to get used to. As I've grown more comfortable with it, I've had several friends tell me that I need to illustrate a coloring book. So, that's where this is all headed. I consider these the warm-ups and the illustrations for the book will be inspired by everything I've done so far.

I have several projects ready for another paper craft book but somehow they weren't coming together the way I expected. This new project on the other hand is something I can see completed in my mind — something that always happens to me when a project is really the path I should follow —I'm following my heart. Like many of you, coloring was my first introduction into art and paper and I LOVED it. I could color for ever when I was little. This makes this project feel like I'm coming full circle. Pretty cool.

So, there you have it. A coloring book is coming. Yes!

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm off to a church retreat today and will be back on Sunday. I think the time away from everything will be awesome.

See you on the other side! :)

buds & stems - a feeling of connection

Buds & Stems Collection

This is my new Buds & Stems collection (coming soon to Spoonflower). Just three simple little patterns that I love so and came about through the work I've been posting for my shop. It's like spring truly invaded my work (not a bad thing for sure!). I tried coming up with another pattern to make it a balanced set of four but it wasn't happening. So I let the group stay as is. I notice that I've been doing that with other parts of my work — I'm not forcing things. I'm just letting them be.

This year in particular I've been letting things develop more naturally and working on truly listening to my inner creative voice. You'd think that I'd have that well taken care of by now. But I can tell when I'm falling off the rails my work doesn't feel as genuine. One thing that has helped me a lot is that I've been conscious about staying offline for longer periods of time. The less I look at Pinterest, random web sites and blogs, the more I can see myself in what I'm designing. Don't take me wrong — I love seeing what other artists are creating (specially when it's in a medium I don't work in), but time away is time to recharge and it really works.

So, here's to more work that is truly me.

Have a great day everyone!
• • •

TIP:: I didn't have dark blue ribbon so I made one out of thin strips of blue card stock. I wrapped the gift with one piece, used another one for the bow and third tiny one for the center of the bow. I was going to make a typically symmetrical ribbon but this lopsided version seemed more interesting to me. That's it!

slow (on purpose) week

Square cross card

Easter is just around the corner so I had to squeeze at least one small project before the holiday is here. I wish square cards where more of a standard format—love them.

Thank you, thank you to all of you that ordered the Lush Garden Gift Set over the weekend! It's always so fun to see that my projects are so well received. I truly hope you'll enjoy it.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend not too long ago. We were talking about how a lot of what we do as artists is taking risks and how scary it can be to show our work after pouring our souls into the process. The work can be well received or not but somehow we always come back with more to show —and let me tell you it can still be a bit nerve wracking. Every single time I press publish I feel a bit of angst — every single time — still. I'm always proud of what I show (there are plenty of bombs that don't make the cut/see the light of day!) but ultimately it is my customers who will tell me whether a design is successful or not.

Yes, I can make art and not care about what people think. But here's the thing I want to love what I do while earning a living with my passion. Since I'm fallible and not everything I make will be a hit, the whole thing feels like I'm rolling the dice with every project. The important thing, like my friend told me is that I do come back, and I do press the publish button.

Last year, after taking on a full-time job, everything at A Little Hut slowed down — way down. It had to. I had to get used to the new routine and to put in plainly, I was burnt out. I feel like I'm back again. Slowly but surely my designing rhythm is here again and it feels great! I'm so glad I gave myself some time off to renew the energy that is needed to fully engage in meaningful work. We'll see where this new chapter takes me.

• • •

I will be quiet for the rest of the week just soaking in some family and reflection time. It'll be nice to slow down for a spell. I'm trying really hard to be more purposeful with my time. It's amazing how quickly it flies by and some days I feel like I'm not focusing on the most important people in my life. So yes, I love my work but I love my peeps even more — as it should be.

For now and a little ahead of time... Happy Easter everyone!

Lush garden tote

Lush garden tote bag now in my Society6 shop!

lush garden

Lush garden gift set

This week I gave you a tiny preview of the Lush Garden Gift Set in the image for the cover of the quarterly that I have in the works. You can see most of the set in the photo (only the full size images of the card designs are missing). I'm still working along the lines of making projects that can be used for your own decor or to be given as gifts—those are the best.

I'm killing two birds with one stone here because I'm using the framed piece for our own home which is in need of some artwork. I used a 12" square frame for the piece that is cut out of one piece of paper. It's gracing one of our walls now and now I'm thinking that it needs some company. I'll be working on that for the next few projects.

The illustrations are direct copies of sketches that I worked on when I was just doodling one day. Sometimes the work that you start without an end in mind seems more genuine and more joyful. That's why the more I worked on this the more I fell in love with it. The final touch was adding spots of color that don't match up with the outline illustrations. I think that offers a bit of a contemporary edge that seals the deal.

You can now order the Lush Garden Gift Set in the shop. I hope you enjoy it!