Wednesday, December 5, 2012

so creative


Check out this awesome graphic my son made for my new business, A Joyful Soul!  So cool and creative ~ and he just started using Photoshop a few weeks ago!  So much faster at getting the hang of it than I!  :)  Isn't it great??  I think just a few little "tweaks" - changing a couple fonts - and it'll be ready for screenprinting on some shirts & totebags don't you think??  Watch for the final version!  I'll be posting it soon!  I'm off to paint!   Have a super day!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

the power of a quote


I'm a big quote person!  Words have the ability to take me to another place, lift my spirits, make me think, and to contemplate my place in the world.

Maybe it's because I've been an avid reader all my life, but a great quote can have the same effect on me as an entire novel!  I've read thousands of books in my life so far ~ give me a good James Patterson or Michael Connelly murder mystery, a "how to" live a happy life spiritual book, or the back of a cereal box!  You name it, I'll read it!  So adding quotes to artwork in the last few years has just taken art to another level for me.  Now you don't have to make a picture speak a thousand words all by themselves, you can add a quote that takes that artwork into the "novel" realm!  Every time you look at the print on your wall, the inspirational calendar on your desk, or the artwork keychain you got from a friend ~ you are given reminders to "Believe in Yourself", know that "Everything Happens for a Reason", to "Do What You Love", and "Be Grateful for your Simple Blessings".

The power of a quote to inspire, uplift and motivate is one of the most wonderful ways to show your love, spread joy & hope, and to express the feelings you may not be able to convey in person.  Small words on a bracelet have the power to remind the wearer of the joys of life and how to keep their balance in a crazy, busy world.

I have a notebook where I've been writing down quotes and inspirations of my own, for years.  With that book in hand, I'm creating a whole new line of "Artwork Inspirations" prints and "Mini Inspirations" wood blocks, mini prints, cards, clothing, and jewelry for my new venture - A JOYFUL SOUL!  I want to help spread positive and joyful messages around the world, in whatever way I can.  Everywhere and Anywhere you look, I want positive inspiration to flow!   That's my mission, for this second half of my life!  Won't you help me? 

Spread JOY wherever you can ~ And live a HAPPY life!!

Watch for announcements on the new Etsy site, website & products coming soon!  :) 

Friday, October 26, 2012

missing san diego

Oh how I'm missing San Diego!  Especially now that the weather is turning cold in Wisconsin -- and we're getting lots of gloomy, "no sun" days!  :(   I miss the palm trees, the smell of the tropical air, the sound of the ocean, watching the seals lounging on the beach....and little inspiring messages, like this heart art on the sidewalk, on my way to Twigs Coffee Shop in the mornings! 

These little hearts are popping up all over the neighborhood -- and it makes me smile every time I see one!  I wonder who this person is... sneakily spray painting them...maybe in the dark of night?  They must be a wonderfully, fun soul -- that I'd LOVE to meet someday!  :)   Is it their way of spreading love and joy??  So inspiring!! 

Until I can get to San Diego again (maybe January) -- I'll have my pictures, my memories (scent memories too!  hehe), and skyping with my daughter, Lindsey, who gets to live there every single day! Lucky ducky!!   (I can't wait until I can!!)

In the meantime, there's lots of ART to be made!!  And lots of encouraging and inspiring of my own to do!  :) 

Monday, October 22, 2012

NEW Free Patterns!

Just posted some NEW Free Patterns to both my FREE PAINTIN' PATTERNS blog and my FREE STITCHIN' PATTERNS blog!  If you've never visited these blogs - you'll find lots and lots of my previously published patterns for you to download and make for FREE!  Most of them have been in magazines in the last 15 years, but are still fun and popular!   Have fun browsing!  (just click on the blog names to open them in a new page!)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

long drive


I'm off today for a long 30 hour drive to San Diego from Wisconsin!  Have to deliver a car to my daughter who lives there.  It'll be a fun - just my husband and me - talking and laughing and traveling for 3 days!  We really enjoy being together and having an adventure - which is AWESOME after almost 25 years of marriage!  :)  But I'll be taking along my notepad and pencils - and drawing up some new designs for when I get back next week! 

Fall is DEFINITELY in the air!  I LOVE Fall -- but it's the "after season" - the dreaded "W" word - that I really dislike!  hehe  So for the time being, I'll concentrate on the yummy pumpkin drinks and foods, the fun bonfires, football games, soccer games, chili & stew, and the fall colors I love... LIVE in the NOW... and not think of what's coming next!  Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

not so good



OK - I know!  I promised I would post more often to get into the routine of things -- but.....  excuses, excuses...one thing leads to another in a busy artist's life!  :)   So here I am, giving it another go.

All right, one thing I want to know -- what is up with this "Text Enhance" highlighting words on everybody's websites and blogs, that link to nothing!  Are they going to link up to something at some point?  Or how can I get it to stop??  :)   I'm not a big techie.  I learn what I need to learn to communicate well and do business and I'm usually a few steps behind everybody else when it comes to NEW things.  I hate learning new computer programs, new procedures, new anything (hello - Windows 7 - I avoided it for as long as I could...until my computer (with XP) crashed earlier this year and I had no choice but to get Windows 7)!  I know there are usually great reasons why new updates come out - but I like when I know how something works and can easily do what I need to do and move on to the next thing!  

I'm from the "old school artists" that did everything by hand!  Paint every design by hand, do all the color ways by hand, sent in ACTUAL paintings and sewn products for licensing and books and photography...  and then everything changed... in a flash it seems.  Agents and manufacturers downsized their graphics departments, artists were expected to manipulate their own art, new artists were creating art digitally which made them faster and more prolific -- and some of us were left behind trying to catch up by teaching ourselves how to use Photoshop and scan and manipulate our own art!   I'm getting better, but I'm still way behind -- there weren't (and still aren't) many books out there that teach you Photoshop or Illustrator for Artists!  Most of the books and tutorials for learning these programs are for manipulating photography, not artwork.  So.... it's a lot of trial and error...looking up videos on You Tube and Googling for help!  But I'm getting there! 

I still prefer to do my painting by hand, then scanning the artwork and manipulating it to form different products and collections.  I think the handpainting gives it a "character"... a "soul"... a "uniqueness"...that you just can't create fully,  if you're doing all the creating digitally.  I KNOW how a brush feels in my hand.  I KNOW how the paint will react to the different surfaces I use.  I KNOW how to get the effect I want by using different products, different tools, using found objects to paint with or stamp with or even using my fingers to smudge or smear!  And I never want to give that up!  That's the FUN for me!  That's the JOY!  :)

Creating and manipulating digitally is a NEW kind of FUN for me!  At least it's starting to get fun now that I know more about the programs and can create things that my mind envisions.  It's getting easier to create things quickly -- so I really see the advantages to being digital-literate!  hehe   It's taking time - but you'll be seeing new artwork flowing like crazy outta me someday soon!! :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

starting out


Isn't the hardest part of a new blog the VERY FIRST post?? Ugh! I go 'round and 'round in my mind, trying to figure out what the topic should be... should I rough draft it OR should I just "go for it" and type it straight out onto the blog?...will anybody be interested in what I write anyway?...where should I begin?

So, I'm gonna JUST DO IT! Isn't that the most iconic saying ever? Thanks Nike! One of the first things you should know about me is that I use lots and lots and lots of exclamation points! And CAPITAL letters! No - I'm not mad at anyone - hehe... I'm just a very expressive person and I guess I write, text & post like I talk... and when I'm excited about something...or REALLY mean something -- I express it in the typewriter characters I'm allowed! It's my way of adding a little personality or inflection into my black and white online conversation. :) So please don't take offense!

I'm going to be posting, while I'm still working on getting this blog set-up, so I can get into the routine of it... (I don't know if anybody will actually read this part - hehe). I'm hoping to post a few times a week on life, art, friends, inspiration, and whatever strikes my fancy at the moment! Hopefully I'll find my "voice" along the way!!

My other blogs have always been like newsletters, instead of a conversation, letting people know about my newest patterns, designs, publishing, etc. and not about how those things fit into my everyday life or what I'm thinking, feeling, or being inspired by on a daily basis. I want to have a "real" conversation. Show you my whole quirky self - inside and out... and share my joy of art, life, love, and work...and how all of that leads to my HAPPINESS!

So CHOOSE JOY today... and I'll be back soon with tons of exciting news to tell you! :)