May MATS Bootcamp - Marine Mashup

The MATS (Make Art That Sells) assignment for this month was a marine mashup of marine life and pattern for a plate design. I focused on the following crustaceans: shrimp, crab and lobster. I researched online, looked in my marine life book, doodled and sketched them first. Part of the instructions in the mini was to illustrate the crustaceans in a dark color and then work on vibrant patterns as well. Even though it is the biggest sin ever to use black watercolor (ivory), I used it for this because I was using it by itself and not mixing with other colors to get a dark shade. I discovered I love working with it and it was fun to work with pure values, black and white.

So once I got that done I worked on my patterns. I used my compass to draw circles and then I painted the backgrounds using cool toned sea-glass colors. Lastly I painted the hand lettering as well. I scanned in all of my elements at 600 dpi and once I got the compositions the way I wanted them, I merged them together in Photoshop. I completed the finishing touches as a mock-up design using this tutorial. I love my final result and if any of my favorite stores like Anthropologie or Crate and Barrel are interested, it would be a dream come true to stock these in your shops. Just sayin'.

Hope you're having a great day!

On Repeat

One of the things I've always wanted to do was design patterns.  Which is pretty odd because wearing patterns scares me.  I know big prints overwhelm and other cardinal rules like that but I usually steer clear and just stick with basics.  I took yet another Skillshare class (love!) and it was excellent.  I just worked out my first digital pattern because of my love of juicing my green juice and I'm pleased with how it turned out!  There is a LOT of adjusting involved with this so where the repeat isn't obvious and you get a good flow.  It is incessant but necessary, just a little warning.

I am going to submit it to Spoonflower so I can have it available there and maybe there will be a pair of sister pants made for Addy and her little sister?  I hope so, so excited.

I wonder what I should make into a pattern next.

The Nursery Project

When we found out we were having a new addition to the family, we were immediately overjoyed.  Couldn't wait to find out what we were having and imagined how differently our life would be, for the better, with two little ones running around.  Pretty quickly after that my mind was filled with home designer dilemnas because we needed to make a new room for this little one.  Raul and I each have an office, mine in the loft with no doors, his with an actual door and all.  Addison has her own room and then there is the guest room that houses the only other TV we own.

We already knew the guest room was the one that would get all the changes but it is a small room, 10'x10', and already has a queen size bed.  From my newborn baby days with Addy, the bed was a godsend.  I could just go in there, all times of the night and nurse, watch TV and pass out.  I think the bed will stay because downsizing will just be a disaster.  I can quickly see both of us toppling out in the middle of the night, not cute.  That leaves little space for more nursery furniture so I'm thinking we should focus on finding portable or compact options like a rolling crib on tall legs.  Or a changing table/dresser on tall legs (a little something I learned from Nate Berkus).

I'm in my second trimester (19 weeks) so we need to figure this out and soon.  We installed an IKEA cloud light already with a dimmer, just like Addy's. Lord knows how much longer I'll have the energy to design this little room.

Do Over

mama y bebe
mama y bebe

Happy New Year!  Since January was a wash for me, I am declaring a new New Year, right now.

I have fantastic news to share and it happened toward the end of last year.  My watercolor birdies are being used in the packing for a mother and baby products line in Chile.  :)  I think the end result looks beautiful, Carmen at Leon Del Monte did a wonderful job!

One thing I did manage to get done in January was to re-open my shop on Etsy, three new prints have been listed (Sweater Whales, Cool Cats and Slouchy Bird).

Since most of the house is organized and under control (ha ha), I 've been focusing on getting things organized digitally:

Feedly - working well for checking up on favorite illustration sites, beauty gurus, you name it.

Inbox Zero - the number of emails in my inbox is embarassing and crazypants so I am becoming a little ninja and anhilating them one by one.

sunset

Here's a sunset shot from December I wanted to share.

kale
kale chips

Thanks to Michelle Kondrich and her kale chips recipe, I was able to try them out.  Not bad for my first go but it still tasted very kale-y.  I'll try again though, Raul liked them too.

Kale Chips

Take one bunch of kale, tear all the leaves away from the stems.  Try to keep them on the small-ish side.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Drizzle with olive oil (go by instinct the more you make it), toss, then add salt and toss. Bake for 5-6 minutes, take it out and shake it around or use a spatula to flip it over and stir it around.  Bake another 5 minutes.  When you do it the first few times, keep a fairly close eye on it.  The best is when it's mostly crispy but still greenish.

juice
green lemonade

I made some of my Green Lemonade to go with the chips, delicious!

Green Lemonade

3 fuji or pink lady apples 5-6 stalks of kale 1/2 lemon 1 head of romaine bit of fresh ginger (to taste)

I cut out the apple cores and get rid of the seeds in the lemon. Toss all ingredients in a juicer and you're good to go.

bird visitors

We have no trees in our backyard and the deck has stairs so all the nature action is on ground level.  Found a beautiful bird feeder and this little couple has claimed it as their own already.

This post was random and all over the place but this is how January left me. Feel like I'm playing catch up.  Blowing the dust off of my goals and going at them full force again.