Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Two times in the past few years I've been lucky enough to be able to work on some of my dream projects. One was the fiberglass bulldog that I painted all over with Illinois wildflowers. Working on it in our family room with my newly-crawling son afoot should make it pretty obvious that I really wanted to do it... or that I'm certifiably nuts.

The other was this: a Project Life core kit that's being released today. I am amazed and quite proud of myself that I created this in only about a month and a half: dozens and dozens of individual patterns, textures and designs; a little hand painting, a little sketching, some collage, even bits of my children's artwork.

I love its name, Bloom, because of the obvious reference to flowers and gardens -- I'm a bit of a plant hoarder and this kit is full of bright, happy blooms -- and because of the metaphor: the strong roots and love of a family helps children bloom and grow.

I was so thrilled to be asked to work on this project and am even happier to finally have it out in the world. Can't wait to see what you do with it!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Contests, hound dogs, and the end of the winter of my discontent

When I was a kid, we lived near ski areas, ice skating rinks and open fields where we'd cross country ski on weekend afternoons. I was never too keen on winter in general, but having things to do helped.

Now I have small children and a dog, I have to drive and walk in the nasty slushy ickiness, and I have to say, winter has really lost its luster. I also now live in a fairly flat and suburban area (meaning, no skiing, no long solo walks in the woods, no ice skating on the frozen creek across from the school), and we've been cooped up in this house for what seems like ten years, bickering and screaming and throwing plastic bricks at one another. I am SO ready for you, warm temperatures that bring peace and quiet to the inside of homes across the land.

To make myself feel better, I've been doing some personal work lately. Fun things like drawing beagles and splooshy watercolor amoebas as I sit in the TV room waiting for my son's preschool class to end. The beagles ended up in this week's Spoonflower contest and the watercolors ended up as a semifinalist in the Pattern Observer/P&B Textiles contest.

I have a bunch of other stuff in the works... tons of Surtex prep (my work will be there with my fabulous agent, Painted Planet), a giant (and secret until July) mega-project that is done and currently in production, a logo design, new Silhouette diecut designs and the usual sketchbook and collage nonsense.

Tonight they say we're going to get about two inches of snow. I think I am slowly losing my mind. Maybe I should send the kids upstairs to look for my lost marbles? (That actually kept them busy for about 20 minutes once!!!)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ribbon storage box assembly instructions

Several people have been asking for a tutorial for this ribbon box design, so here you go! Hopefully you can make sense of my potentially too technical drawings. :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Busy, busy

I need to get on a schedule with blog & FB posting. It's just too easy to overlook it for months (er, half a year) at a time.

My excuse this time is an autumn funk, which ended quite suddenly when a couple big opportunities came in a couple weeks before Christmas. I went from feeling like giving up all this art nonsense to crazy busy all within a couple days.

The project I'm still wrapping up I can't talk about yet, but it's pretty exciting and something I've been wanting to do for years. The other news is that I'm thrilled to be represented by Painted Planet Licensing Group! Now I get to be a real artist like I've wanted to be since I was three!

In other news and in no particular order, here are a few things I've been working on lately.

Experimenting with watercolor, hand-drawn elements + digital. I really love typography and watercolor, and the combination of messy + hard-edged here is really appealing to me.

This illustration is in the Crazy Cat Lady Planner, since I'm a former one of those myself. You know you need one (link to Etsy shop)! This was all digital but based on a pencil sketch.

Collage + paint. Trying to figure out how to make these marketable because I love doing them so much.

And my latest Make Art That Sells Bootcamp project. This one is completely handpainted on a slice of birch.My acrylic skills are a little rusty and still can't find my good brushes.

I've been really trying to figure out how to combine all the things I love to do into something marketable. Drawing, painting, collage, digital. I'm still not sure my style is apparent in all the different pieces, like those above. One of these days I'll figure it all out.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Feeling a bit spacey

I've been absent from Spoonflower contests for a while. MATS and other things have taken over my life since February or so, but I couldn't pass up this most recent contest: Cosmic Voyage.

I have a special fondness for space and astronomy. It ranks right up there with my interest in tornadoes and apes that communicate via sign language. Growing up in a rural area with very dark skies, we could regularly see the Milky Way, and in college I was fascinated by SETI and went on a reading binge where I read a bunch of books on the subject. Aside from my own interest, my husband always wanted to be an astronaut when he grew up, so he really, REALLY likes astronomy.

The first Christmas my husband and I were dating, I bought him a big, fancy telescope kind of like this one. It was so awesome: it was motorized, had an automatic star finder device, and could track celestial objects across the sky. It went with us on our trip to NY to see my parents that December, and one night as my husband-to-be and my dad looked at the stars together from out on the driveway, he asked my dad's permission to marry me.

Now, 11 years later, our oldest child is maybe just old enough to appreciate (that is, not break) the telescope. Maybe we'll get it up out of the basement this summer!

Here's what I came up with for the Spoonflower contest -- some astronauts, watercolor planets, and goofy aliens. It's entitled "Space… A Friendly Place!" because thinking that the aliens might not be glad to see us (as in, they might want to annihilate us) is something I'd rather not contemplate. Thanks to my husband's Ancient Aliens just-before-bed obsession, I often go to sleep creeped out by alien abduction and that sort of thing. (Actually I do like to get a glimpse of that guy's hair.) So my aliens are a little bit goofy and very, very nice.

Friday, May 16, 2014

MATS at Surtex

Surtex, the big licensing show in NYC, is coming up this weekend, and some of my MATS mates and other artists I know have been knocking themselves out preparing for it. I've put together a list of their fabulous promo cards and look books. Take a peek at some really amazing work!

This week our 5 year old is graduating from preschool, which happens to be at the same time as Surtex, and of course I don't want to miss her ceremony, so Surtex is out this year. One of these years I'll make it to NYC walk the show. It's been almost a quarter century since I've been to that part of the world… dang, I'm old!


Victoria Johnson


Alex Columbo / Studio Alex


Sarah Ehlinger / Very Sarie


Bari J.


Kathy Weller

Artwork ©Kathy Weller


Feng Liang



Aileen Tu (exhibiting with Cultivate Art Collective)


Gina Linn Designs


Stacy Peterson


Nina Edwards / Metropolitan Miss


Lauren Minco

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

They Draw & Travel

I've been working feverishly (no, really!! I actually did have a fever!) on a map for a contest on They Draw & Travel. The task was to draw a map of the town where you live now or your home town. I decided to draw my home town of LeRoy, NY, even though I haven't lived there in over 20 years, because I know (knew) it so well.

That knowledge was kind of a problem, because OF COURSE I had to include all the details on most of the notable buildings, so it took me something like 100 years to finish it, and both the to-do list of stuff to draw and the time it was taking me to illustrate them increased exponentially because I was so sick. I was still tweaking after I'd uploaded it, but I think I'm going to call it done now.

Today they're posting the runner-ups and honorable mentions…. very exciting! I know mine hasn't won any special mention; really, I'm just happy to have finished it, especially considering the circumstances!

Anyway, I loved seeing all the different ways other artists interpreted the theme: hand-drawn, computer illustrated, some very loosely designed, some more traditional. It was a surprise to find out so many of my fellow MATS-ians created maps, too! I wanted to highlight as many as I could, so in no particular order, here they are: