out of my head and on paper



During times of looming deadlines I still have a little space in my brain that works on other ideas and wants (needs!) to come out and play. Once I'm done with a little exercise like this, I find that I'm able to concentrate on the real work I need to tackle. This is what half a sheet of paper turned into.

Now back to work.

new ideas



This is where I sat this morning going over some paperwork and working on some sketches for a new logo project (excuse the iphone hazy quality photo). I think one of the most exciting parts of logo work is this brainstorming session I have with myself. I can literally dump all my ideas onto paper and not have them dancing around in my head. It's liberating. It's also interesting to catch people trying to take a peek at my sketchbook. I feel like they want to ask me what I'm doing but they don't. If they only knew that I don't mind being asked.

I'm at home now and the weather is so absolutely perfect that almost every window in the house is open. I can hear the birds chirping away and the breeze is wonderful. There is no way I cannot be creative on a day like today.

Speaking of creativity - I just saw this and it is now on my list of summer projects to work on with the kids. It will be a lot of fun (most important!) and it will also help my little C retain her alphabet lessons from this year. The summer is just so long and my mind keeps working on how I will keep the kiddos entertained.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! 
- to Diane for mentioning my diorama project on her blog and congratulations to her for being in the same Craft issue as well. If you've never listened to her podcast you must! It's wonderful.
- to Natalie for featuring my perpetual calendar on Craftzine. I've already gotten messages from people that will be using the calendar as Mother's Day and teachers gifts.

need help remembering?



A blogging friend (thank you C!) suggested that I design a perpetual calendar based on the calendar template I designed for this year. I thought the idea was a really good one so here it is. It will be a nice place to keep track of birthdays, anniversaries and any other important dates in your life. Yes, it would've made more sense to offer this in January but it's never too late to get organized. Right?

Have a great day!

happy earth day

I know it's a little late in the day to be wishing you a happy Earth Day but I think it's never too late to keep our environment in mind. I would've liked to celebrate the day with a new recycling project but I was "just" a mom for today. So... instead, I'm going to share a few of the photos I took today (during D's second grade class day trip).

Why wouldn't we want to make sure we keep beautiful places like these safe?







make a diorama



I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Today, I have another bit of news that I'd been holding back. I got my latest Craft - Vol. 7 magazine (on stands on May 6th) in the mail over the weekend and on page 103 you'll find a diorama project made by yours truly. I was approached by the Craft editor in January to work on this project and nearly 3 months later it's so nice to finally see it in print. Initially, the scene was more winter oriented so I did have to revise it a bit to make it look more 'springy'. This is the first time I write an article for a magazine so I was a little apprehensive about the whole thing but in the end I think it turned out ok.

Speaking of dioramas, I was about to throw away some shoe boxes this weekend when I thought about my own project. Now I think they'll be the materials we use for our first summer project with the kids. I can't believe the year is coming to an end so soon!

One more thing - If you haven't visited the Crafty Synergy blog in a while I posted a new interview on Friday. Check it out!

wow



Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! You sure know how to warm a girl's heart. I didn't get a chance to get back on my computer until this morning and I'm so shocked by all the comments everyone has made so far (and the book isn't even complete!). If everyone responded to accomplishments, big or small, the way you've done here this world would be such a nicer place. All I can say is 'thank you' again and again. I also want to add that it's so nice to meet some new people through these latest comments. Welcome! - xo

confession time



You have no idea how hard it’s been to be tight lipped about the little story I’m about to tell you. No idea! I didn’t want to say anything until I signed on the dotted line. I just did that today. So here it is: I’ve started writing a paper craft book that will be published in mid-2009. Yeah!! (you can now picture me jumping up and down, up and down, up and down).

This whole thing started last year when my literary agent discovered my work. Thank you K for being so instrumental in all of this, for being so patient with me and for answering all my silly novice questions. You’re wonderful! And of course, a big thank you to my publisher who believed my proposal was book worthy.

The unassuming sketch book you see above has all my project ideas in its pages. I’ve been carrying it around for months and months. It is a treasure trove of sketches and doodles. Most of them will end up in the book and others may make their appearance on some other occasion. It’s been a great experience to stretch my creative muscles and come up with what I consider well designed and interesting projects. I obviously still have a lot of work ahead of me but I’m so very excited with the challenge.

The book will contain paper craft projects for the home and will reflect my typical clean lined and quiet style. I certainly hope that the book lives up to everyone’s expectations but more than anything, I hope to live up to my own worst critic - me.

So if any of you were wondering why my tutorials had slowed down – now you know why. It’s so very frustrating to have so much work that I can’t share just yet. You’ll have to wait and see it all in my new book.

I’m excited and nervous but with my husband and family cheering me on I’m sure this is going to be a lot of fun. I'm also happy to be finally sharing this on my blog. So many of you have been so generous with your comments about my projects that I felt like I was cheating on you by not sharing all of this sooner.

Now I can finally exhale... :)

the car stayed home



It was a great weekend! We celebrated our little C's birthday all weekend long and she enjoyed every minute of it. Aside from that, the highlight of the weekend was our Saturday afternoon. What would've been a few minutes of running ordinary errands turned into a fun time spent together. We went to return a rented movie, eat ice cream and purchase a few other items. Like I said - ordinary. The only difference is that we did it all without the use of our car. Where we live, you use your car to go anywhere. I don't think I've ever seen anyone around here walking around to take care of some errands. For exercise - but not for errands. What would've taken us 20 min to do, took us about 4 hours but we had a wonderful time and the weather was absolutely perfect. My only regret? Not taking my good camera. These shots were taken with my iPhone.



Thank you to Natalie for featuring my tealight cover project on the Craft blog and thank you for all the lovely comments about the project. It never ceases to surprise me when I get such response over something I make. Really.

five

I can't believe my baby is five! Where has the time gone? She's been waiting for this day forever. Since January to be precise, when she got upset because it was her brother's birthday and not her own. No amount of explanations could convince her that her birthday would come soon enough.

This little drawing is a self portrait she drew yesterday. She's standing next to our dog - a miniature schnauzer. I love it.

And here she is running away from me to avoid getting her picture taken before going to school this morning. Can you tell she's not much of a morning person? I know she'll be all smiles and posing like crazy when I go at lunch time. Happy birthday my little C! :)



EDIT - I went to visit little C at school during lunch time. As predicted, she was very bubbly and posed for every single picture I wanted to take. She was thoroughly enjoying being the center of attention. I know my girl oh too well. ;)

Thank you for all your sweet comments and have a wonderful weekend!

recycle project no. 12 - tealight decoration

It’s almost 5am and I’ve been awake all night. Instead of going to bed I decided to work on something to keep me from falling asleep. Yes - a bit crazy. But I know myself too well. If I go to bed right now I'd be clueless even if the entire planet shook violently. It’s best to stay awake and help get everyone ready for school/work. I'll have time to pass out after all my sweeties are out the door and on their merry way.

Did you think I’d forgotten about my recycling projects? Nope. I just haven't had time to work on any extra-curricular ideas. I’ve had a paper towel tube calling my name for me for a while. Here is what I did...



I started by folding the tube lengthwise - not making the crease too harsh. I used scissors to cut sections that are a little over 1/4” wide. I ended up with 29 ovals but only used 14 for the final project.



I slowly joined all the pieces by placing glue only in the center and inside edge of each oval. I formed a slanted circular shape by using the bottom of a tapered glass container as a guide/mold. That’s it!



Now I need to wake everyone up and get the day started. Have fun today!

weekend reading



This is going to be really short. If you'd like to do a little more reading I just posted a new interview on Crafty Synergy. That's it.

My throat is killing me so I think I'm about to follow my body's urging of stopping here and snuggling with a cup of tea. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!

reading & reminiscing

I love getting mail. It's even better when it includes a book. Here is what I read last night: At a Crossroads by Kate T. Williamson. It's tells the story of how the author feels and what she goes through when she moves back in with her parents. Every single page is illustrated with watercolor paintings (makes me jealous already) and the writing is witty and honest. It almost feels like you're reading an abbreviated version of the author's diary.  

I think this book would make a great graduation present. Much of the story is about the internal battle that goes on after graduation and the decisions involved in taking the "next" step. Personally, I remember feeling quite in awe of the fact that after graduating and for the first time since Kindergarten, my life was really my own. I was fully in charge of my future. It was daunting and exciting at the same time.

I mentioned being jealous of the watercolors because that is something that I never quite mastered in college. It's completely my fault though. I concentrated so much on my design classes that I didn't pay much attention to the other art classes I took. I regret that so much. Ms. Williamson's watercolors are a lot of fun to look at because they are simple, humorous and give the book a laid back feeling.



I love the spreads, like this one, that are sprinkled in the book between major sections.


Have a great weekend!

trees, light & emotions

I've been through such a range of emotions this week with regards to my work with ALH. I don't realize how much things affect me until I notice that routine production work isn't as soothing as it usually is. I thought that a major opportunity that I'm working on may have fallen through and I was very surprised at how disappointed I was. It turns out that things are still OK. However, I've decided that regardless of the outcome I will remain positive and not take things so personally. It's hard to be objective about feedback of your own work isn't it? I thought that the thicker skin I've developed with my graphic design projects would help me with reviews of my handmade work but apparently it doesn't. It may be because the work is more personal.

Balancing things out in my head makes my hands crave for spontaneous creative motion (what a mouthful) so today I took a few minutes to make these trees. I used the inside of a manila envelope that I got in the mail this week. I love using something that would typically go unnoticed as material for something unexpected.



Thank you so much for the lovely comments about my hurricane cover! I agree with those of you that said that leaving the piece
as is, is best. I've placed on the outer part of the glass and it looks quite soothing when I light a candle.

Oh and look at what I saw in the CB2 catalog this past weekend (image below). As soon as I saw it I thought of what I did here.