my creative resolution

Continuing my creative journey into 2015!


Which pattern is your favorite? {Online poll!}

I’m curious…here are the patterns I’ve designed so far this year. Which is your favorite? I’d love to hear! Just a simple click to fill out the poll below. Thanks for your input! :)

#1. Dahlia revised. I couldn’t help tweaking the Dahlia/April pattern!
See image above.

#2. Original Dahlia Pattern (April)

#3. Gardening Pattern (March)

#4. Love Pattern (February)

#5. “Draw, Paint, Create” Pattern (January)

Thanks for participating in my poll!

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The Dogwoods are blooming!

After my run today I had to take some shots of the Dogwoods. The two Dogwoods, on either side of our front walk, have sentimental value to me. They were in bloom the first time we looked at our future home. We posed in front of one of the Dogwoods when we brought our daughter home from the hospital. The house itself has changed – expanded to fit our family that also includes two sons. But the Dogwoods have remained and every time they bloom, I’m reminded of the early days and that this is home.


Dahlia flower pattern {My pattern for April}

Whew! Just in time! I’ve been contemplating April’s pattern for awhile now. I originally thought I’d use some of the flowers I created separately with watercolor and put them together in Photoshop. But it wasn’t working – too stiff looking:

So I went back to what has worked in the past. I sketched some flowers and leaves with Sharpie on Bristol (nice and smooth) and scanned them in. I pieced them together in Photoshop, added color, and repeated the pattern. I’m happy with how it came out. I love the loose sketchy feel.

I tried to stay true to the colors of the plant I picked up at the supermarket. I think it’s a Dahlia. This little plant has been my inspiration all week! I do feel the color comes across a little Christmasy. Maybe it’s the shape of the leaves? I tried adjusting the hue in Photoshop and liked the results, especially the blue!

pinkdahlia bluedahlias

If you’d like to see my other patterns click here. :)



Let the Watercolor Parties begin…

One of my 2015 goals is to host a watercolor party. Inspired by the Sip & Paint “movement” I thought it would be fun to invite a few friends over to paint. A way to share what I love to do.

I don’t think I’d want it to be a business, but I thought it would be fun to try a party. My friend since 1st or 2nd grade – Jen, who follows me on Instagram, asked, “Can I paint with you?”

So, when I was visiting her beautiful new home on Saturday, I brought my painting supplies. I figured I could try things out and see if I ‘d even want to try it on a group of people. A few days before, I tried teaching my young niece and my immediate thought was, “I don’t want to do this.” But armed with what I learned from my experience with my niece (who had been very happy painting what she felt like) I had the framework of a plan. My niece wanted to paint what she wanted to paint. That is part of the challenge – how do you teach people and “control” what they are working on, so you can guide them, but also allow them to be free to follow their own inspiration?

Here how I approached my lesson with Jen:

  • scrap paper – first I explained the fundamentals of watercolor and we practiced – wet on wet, wet on dry, dry on dry, etc.

It is really funny how people, who don’t normally create, feel pressure with that blank piece of paper. Jen asked, “What should I paint?” I think she felt like she was being tested. I explained it was “scrap” paper and we were just learning.

  • first assignment – draw lightly in pencil any shape and create an interesting background

The object of this assignment is to start playing with watercolor without stressing about what it’s suppose to be. Jen drew a heart in the middle. I drew a starfish. We kept our shapes dry and wet the area all around it. We concentrated on creating interesting backgrounds. I worked along with her on my own painting showing her different things I do, so she could use any techniques she wanted to. We let the backgrounds dry before we painted the shape.

  • final project – what do you want to paint?

I knew Jen was interested in painting a beach chair, so we found a photo for inspiration. (This will be more challenging for a group. I’ll have to have projects/photos ready for them to pick from.) The chair itself was really hard to draw. She started drawing it, I finished it up, but I was struggling. I guided her on what area to paint first, and talked her through the painting as needed. I was happily amazed at how quickly she picked up how to use watercolor – how wet the brush should be, when to add water, when to add paint. There was only once or twice that I interrupted to offer advice. One thing she said afterwards stuck with me. She said, “You made me feel like it was okay to mess up.”

This picture of her painting doesn’t do it justice! It came out great. I was proud of her and I think she was proud too!

It is really, really, satisfying to see someone experience that moment. That proud, “I made this,” moment. The same moment I had, a few years back, when I drew my bear. It’s the reason that there is a bear in my logo. For me it represents that moment. I may be hooked on spreading this joy! :)

P.S. Today she is online shopping for watercolor paints – wow.


Where is this leading? It’s leading where I want it to go!

Every couple of months I experience doubt and think to myself, “What is the point of all of this?” But this time I didn’t let negative thoughts stay around long, before I started thinking of all I have accomplished.

  • I’ve kept My Creative Resolution, and have been living a “creative life,” for well over a year.
  • I’ve developed a style with watercolor and ink that feels like me!
  • I paint/draw and share my work on Instagram almost every day.
  • And of course, I love sharing my process and inspiration (and random thoughts) on this blog!

So when I start asking, “Where is this leading?” I need to rephrase the question and ask myself,
“Where do I want this to lead? Where do I want to go?”

Answer: I would love to do editorial illustration. I would like to create illustrations to accompany magazine articles.

How do I get in there? I don’t really know, but I have to start figuring it out. I need to start reaching out to people. I can’t expect that they will come to me.

Case in point:
As you may remember, I’m a Graphic Designer. and this Summer I struck out on my own. In November I saw an ad for the opening of a local clothing boutique. A new store usually needs a new website. So, stepping out of my comfort zone, I called them and left a message, telling them who I was and what I could do for them. A few months later, I followed up with a postcard. Last week they called me! If I hadn’t made that phone call, I would never have gotten the opportunity to design their website.

As Abby of “While She Naps” says, “ASK.”

So, instead of feeling negative, I’m feeling good about how far I’ve come on my journey and I am excited to take the next steps. You have been a HUGE reason that I’ve come this far without giving up and I appreciate that so much!

Thank you!



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I was nominated for a Liebster Award

“The Liebster award is a chain award that was created by bloggers and is a tradition to make new friends in the blogging community.” 

I was nominated by Mainley Mavin. Thank you for thinking of me! :)


  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions from your nominator
  • Nominate 11 new and obscure bloggers
  • Come up with 11 questions for them to answer
  • Inform your nominees

11 Random facts about me:

  1. I was a beach lifeguard
  2. I’m a runner
  3. I can’t live without coffee
  4. I’m a reformed candy addict.
  5. I just bought a nutri-bullet (juicer). Yay kale!
  6. I love shopping at Marshall’s (discount store).
  7. Blue is my favorite color.
  8. I make to-do lists like crazy.
  9. I often ignore my lists.
  10. We have a big family. My kids have 26 first cousins!
  11. My favorite TV shows – Survivor, The Biggest Loser, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.


11 questions from my nominator:

  1. What was your favorite activity as a kid, and what is it now?
    Then – eating candy. Now – watching the kids play sports/dance, etc.
  2. If you could live in one book/film for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
    Game of Thrones. Although I might regret it if they sent me to the Wall.
  3. What is one thing you wish you could change about the world?
    Children shouldn’t want for food or love.
  4. What is your biggest fear food (something you wouldn’t even eat if someone paid you)?
    Bugs. I could never be on a reality show and eat bugs.
  5. If you had to give up one sense (i.e. sight, smell, etc.) what would it be?
    Smell! Never sight.
  6. What time era do you wish you could experience, even if it is for just one moment?
    I would love to dress up in a Victorian gown.
  7. What is a place in the world you would never want to visit?
    Any body of water infested with sharks.
  8. Are you a spontaneous person, or a planner?
    I’m both – I plan and write lists, but am not afraid to be spontaneous.
  9. What is one activity you wish you’d never stopped doing?
    Swimming. I swam on a team from the time I was little through high school. (I make my kids swim on a summer team).
  10. What is your favorite season?
    Summer! I’m a beach girl.
  11. What book best represents you as a person?
    My sketchbook. It contains drawings of all the things that inspire me.


My Nominees:

  1. Drawing Escape
  2. Meagan Healy
  3. AnneMarie Welsh
  4. A Style Study
  5. No Bees No Honey
  6. Imagewright
  7. The Aspiring Illustrator
  8. Margaret McCarthy Hunt
  9. Bernice Lum
  10. Across Fields Studio
  11. Monica Makes a Blog


11 questions for my nominees to answer:

  1. What is the most beautiful place you have ever visited?
  2. What is your favorite food?
  3. What is your happiest memory?
  4. Who is the most special person in your life?
  5. What activity makes you happiest?
  6. What is your most treasured item?
  7. What is your favorite spot in your home?
  8. Where do you wish you could travel to?
  9. What dream do you have for yourself?
  10. What is your favorite TV show?
  11. What is your favorite book?


Acrylic Painting

I’ve wanted to get back into painting with acrylics for awhile. Even though I started 2014 strong (with acrylics), since then I’ve only dabbled here or there. I have a hard time finishing acrylic paintings. The longer I let a project go, the harder it is for me to get back into it.

A month or so ago I watched a video of artist Flora Bowley (via Tiffany Han). I highly recommend watching it! The video inspired me to “play” and I created this painting below. Be kind, it was more of an exercise than anything! It motivated me to work on another painting I had an idea for. But, in typical fashion when it comes to acrylics, the painting didn’t work out immediately, so I gave up.

Recently I had the spark of an idea. The idea was that the painting would be very simple – 2 areas of solid color, but the area where they met would have more detail and hint at the idea that it is a beach shot from above.


I bought all the materials, which always helps motivate me. Last Saturday, a warm day, I set up my stuff outside and got to work. As I worked I realized I would be better off if I could complete the painting in one shot. Odds are if I wait (with acrylics), I’ll never finish. Since this was a fairly simple painting, finishing in one go seemed possible.
beachacrylica  beachacrylic1beachacrylic2

I was really happy with the result and this set has replaced the watercolor abstract for the top spot over my couch!


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