Thursday, August 27, 2009

Something New To Try

Classy New Patterns In Subtle Earth Tones

Topiary Profile Card profilecard
Topiary Profile Card

Today's design was inspired by some beautiful Moroccan tiles. Yes I know they look nothing like a Moroccan tile but I had them on my mind while I was designing these patterns. I always loved the fine detail that goes into the work behind the tiles. Today I decided to try something new and open up Illustrator to start to draw my own intricate design.

I love Earth tones and green is my favorite color, olive green to be exact. I wanted to do a complex design but use it in a primitive drawing. Topiaries are pretty simple, A ball, a stick and a pot, all very simple shapes but when you decorate them with complex designs they become a little more interesting plus I got to use Earth tones.

To begin I made a series of shapes using circles, squares and ovals until I had a small design. I copied this design and formed a bit of an intricate square which I then dragged into the swatch palette. I made several variations of this design, and my four best are featured in the new section of my store entitled "Pretty Patterns" There are also business cards that you can personalize right on the site.

This process did take quite some time, although I did enjoy it. I hope to do some more in the near future. Perhaps other colors I usually wouldn't work in, maybe something fun, who knows what will happen until it does.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Both teddy bears that accompany "Washed Ashore" have been posted yesterday.

Each one has four different backgrounds to choose from.

"Sailor Bear" has plaid and star backgrounds in blue and

"Enjoying A Cone" has plaid and hearts background in purple


Monday, August 24, 2009

Washed Ashore

Today's design comes from a side table I painted, shown to the left. The small side table has this sea shell design in the middle and two teddy bears dressed in their little sailor suits and beach wear. The original painting is acrylic on wood but for Zazzle I added a digital sand background to make it look 100% better.

I plan on getting each of the bears up today and tomorrow. I first need to decide what type of background they should be on or if I should just make them a silhouette. I am going to play around with it today and hopefully come up with something.

Click to see the line titled "Washed Ashore"


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Update On Link

Blogger is being a pain today and keeps re-writing my follow this link link in the post below

Here is the link to see the final "Sunshine On A Stick" painting Sorry about that*/gifts?cg=196207563207088615


Anatomy Of A Painting

I thought it might be nice to show you one of my paintings from the ground up. I have been meaning to do this for a while but this time I actually had my camera and remembered to stop and take some photos.

The photo on the left is the first stage of a sunflower. My neighbor has them growing down the sides of her driveway and I thought I would share them with all of you.

After lightly sketching the flower in pencil I taped off the sides to get a nice clean edge for the finished painting.I began laying down the first color of Lemon Yellow

I picked up some Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Medium and Yellow Ochre respectively and began sketching in the veins and defining the individual petals. The sun was behind the real sunflower and this gave a stained glass effect where one petal would shine through another. I tried to capture that by adding in shadows with the Cadmium Yellow Medium Paint

When I was finished I took some Sap Green and Naples Yellow to add some interest and break up the yellows. Since this was a fairly young flower it still had shades of green in it.

After all of the deatils were layed in I used a wash of clear water to blend the harsh lines and to soften the colors a bit. When I was happy with it so far I took light wash of Lemon Yellow and applied it to all of the petals. I did this twice to even out the tones.

Originally I was going to paint the center a greenish yellow as it was in real life but decided that the dark brown would compliment the background I had in mind. Using a mixture of Antique Olive and Antique Elm and Sap Green I began to lightly splotch (really I don't think there is a word for it) in random bits of color in the background. I repeated this several times building up the layers until they were dark enough to make the yellow petals pop.

With Vandyke Brown And Raw Sienna , I took a liner brush and began making small circles in a sprial motif until I finished the whole insides.

I applied a wash of clear water again to smooth out my harsh lines. I added shading underneath and in the center using Sepia. and smoothed it out again with clear water.

I am pretty happy with the way it came out. I find if I stare at it too much I overwork it and I did not want to do this here so I put the brush down.

To see the finished painting click on an item below:


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Peace, Love And Halloween

Today's design just kind of happened. I guess it is all the talk about the anniversary of Woodstock and some of the nostalgia that seems to surround it.

Made in the Halloween colors of orange, black, green and purple the peace sign has smaller peace symbol pattern inside and the heart has recurring hearts and polka dots.


Friday, August 14, 2009

A TBA and a Top Ten Views!

My Barnyard Grapevine recipe card was honored today with a Zazzle Today's Best Award. It was a nice surprise to see in my mailbox after getting some bad news.

I also want to thank everyone of you that checked out yesterday's TBA "A Kitty's Imagination Tie" It earned the Top Ten Tie Views and that is quite an honor in itself because all of you made that happen and I thank you!

Just a reminder: the time to take advantage of the Buy One Get One Free poster sale on Zazzle is almost over. Use code BTSPOSTERS09

The custom scrapbook sheets you add your own photos to on Always Remember Me do qualify for that deal as well as any other prints/posters in any of my stores. You can Mix and Match!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Two New Designs Unveiled!

A Kitty's Imagination came to me while talking to a friend via the computer when I happened to look up and over to the window. Anyone that has a cat own them will know that if there is a window, a cat will surely be sitting there. It just so happened that my cat was sitting upright - unusual for she is always sacked out in a dead sleep, feet draped over the side of the sill - and her head was lined up perfectly with the tree outside. It looked as if it was growing out of the top of her little noggin as she sat there clicking away at the birds flitting amongst the tree.

I quickly sketched the scene out on scrap paper then when I was able to I completed the drawing in Illustrator. Here is a close up of the patterned background:

I am honored to say that my Kitty's Imagination Tie won a TBA (Today's Best Award) on Zazzle and that is always appreciated.

The second design is a set of calico pumpkins and they can be used for both Halloween/Samhain and Thanksgiving/Mabon. This design was also done in Illustrator

To view Kitty's Imagination and see the full line Click Here
For Calico Pumpkin Trio Click Here and as always thanks for looking


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pumkins With Star-Shaped Freckles

Here is another twist on my pumkin design. This time I added some stars for freckles and a matching plaid-like background. I spent most of the day catching my Greeting Card Universe store up to speed. I have fallen a little bit behind. Most of the new designs will be up as soon as they are approved, usually around 2-4 days. Visit my store for a coupon code on 10 or more cards and get a head start on the holiday season or visit Zazzle for the complete line of Starry Night Pumpkins


Monday, August 10, 2009

Bats In The Belfry

*insert any name instead of Mom

I seem to be on a Halloween kick this week which is ok by me. Bats In The Belfry started out as a little doodle I made in Illustrator. I began with a circle for the head and two for each eye, triangles for the teeth and a freehand smile. For the ears I used a triangle and applied "pucker and bloat" to give them a more interesting effect. I drew the left wing freehand then copied it and pasted it in place. For the top wing layer I also added "pucker and bloat". Grouping the two wings together, copying and pasting in place I reverted the new set of wings and placed them on the right side of the body.

The great thing about this design is that I made it so YOU can change the background color to anything you like. It is very simple with Zazzle's online design tool. All you need to do is hit the "customize button" next to any product and select colors and background. A preset palette will pop up but you can use a hexdecimal code to make any color you want. Go ahead, give it a try even if it is only for fun!

Some color samples of Bats In The Belfry:


Back to School Sale - Week 2 On Zazzle

Back to School Sale - Week 2!

Buy 1 Poster Get 1 FREE! (50% off 2+ posters)

50% of the net poster sale price will be deducted when two or more posters are purchased and the coupon code BTSPOSTERS09 is applied at checkout. The net sale price is the price of the product (excluding shipping and taxes). Offer is valid from August 3, 2009 through August 17, 2009 at 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or discount offers. Offer valid on only and is not valid on,, or orders.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Halloween Patchwork

I spent yesterday on another Halloween design that is less bold and more subdued called Halloween Patchwork, inspired by an old pair of socks I used to have. I worked the new design the same as I did "Halloween Stripes" and used Illustrator.

First I created a checkered background and played around with the colors. I settled on tans as this made a good neutral background. I created the stitching lines simply by using the line tool and selecting "dashes"

For the Jack O'lantern, well he may look familiar. I opened the one I made from Halloween Stripes and added color to him with a slight black outline. I wanted to give him a bit of a different appearance so I squashed him down.

The candy corn was a simple triangle I drew freehand. I added two extra anchor points on each of the sides and duplicated the triangle twice. I changed the top triangle to white and "cut" the bottom off so the triangle had a white cap on top. I repeated the same thing with the yellow bottom. I "grouped" the triangles to make a candy corn and duplicated another for the set.

Taking all of the artwork into Photoshop I applied "texture/burlap" to give it some interest and there you have it, enjoy!

Halloween Patchwork Mousepad mousepad
Halloween Patchwork


Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Halloween Design

Well I had fun today! I decided to rely on my good old standby when I am dry for designs and that is Halloween and Samhain. I absolutely love Halloween/Samhain. I love the colors, the smells and scaring the trick or treaters and their parents when they come to my door. (You have to work for your candy here) and most of all remembering loved ones that have passed from this world.

To begin the design I started out in Illustrator and made a striped background of orange, green, black and purple. I opened it up in Photoshop and though I am not a big fan of filters I started to play around with them. First I added some "Noise", then I used "Sprayed Strokes" and added a "Burlap" texture to it. This added some interest from just plain old stripes.

Still something was missing so I went back into Illustrator and drew a simple little spider. I started with an oval, drew each of the legs on the left side, copied the legs and pasted in place then reflected the new set of legs and placed them on the right side of the spiders body. Then it was simple ovals for the eyes and a string to hang from. I placed him against the background but one big spider got quite lost so I shrunk him down and duplicated him until he ran along the green stripes of my background.

Liking where I was heading with this I opened Illustrator and drew three ovals, one a bit larger than the other two. This formed the Jack O'Lantern's body. I freehand drew the stem and mouth with help from the swirl tool for the ends and added triangles for the eyes and nose. I then added him to my background in Photoshop as I did the spider.

For the witch hat I took the stem from the pumpkin, added a few anchor points and disstorted it a little bit. I put an oval along the bottom and added some stars using the "Shapes" tool. It was then ready to add to the background.

To add to the designs I could make on Zazzle I repeated the process with the filters for a green, a purple and an orange background. I also saved copies of each drawing. I uploaded all of them into zazzle and well, you can see for yourself the designs that came about. Also you might want to take advantage of the back to school sale on bags. I have a few trick or treat bags for sale, some of which you can add your own phtots to.

I hope you like the new design, I have another idea I may work on tomorrow, Until then, enjoy!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back to School CafePress Sale

We all know CafePress is not very giving with sales or coupons but right now they are having a back to school sale that is pretty good.

Posters $6.00

Select White T-Shirts $15.00

Select Dark T-shirts $19.00

Men's Hoodies $25.00

Throw Pillows only $18.00


Monday, August 3, 2009

Zazzle Sale Codes

Back to School Sale - Week 1

40% off skateboards, 20% off bags, and 10% off mugs!

Free Shipping on orders of $25.00 or more

good until 8/8/09


Jump For Joy

It has been a little slow around here as the creative streak nearly screached to a halt. I have been switching to acrylic paints and working on various items for my soon-to-be Etsy store. The above design - Jump For Joy, is taken from a small wooden box I painted.

I am not sure if it has been this dreadful weather we have in the Northeast USA or just life in general that has me uninspired, perhaps it was all of the designs that has poured out of me a few weeks ago. Anyway I might take a bit of a rest and see if that won't jar something. Hopefully I won't be gone too long but I find if I don't force anything it comes out better than imagined.

meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow
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