creative monday - cards & a painting

Once again it's Creative Monday on a Tuesday.  Maybe next week I will get my act together!  The last couple weeks were not the best but I am starting fresh this week and so far, so good.

Last week I started my first painting of 2016.  I'm still working on my goal of painting 50 landscapes.  It's not finished, but I am happy with the beginning.  I am trying to mix my landscape style with my more map inspired (abstract) style. 

Today I finished a bunch of cards.  I'm in the need of some thank you cards, so I quickly put these cards together.  The backgrounds on most of them were time consuming, but I had made them months ago.  I enjoy learning different background techniques and often make a bunch of the same backgrounds.  And as you can see when I made these I was really into butterflies...  Almost all of them were inspired by Jennifer McQuire

I made this card using a new die set from Simon Says Stamp.  I just love these geometric shapes, and have lots of ideas in my head on how to use them.  I also bought the coordinating stamp set.  You can find both here

And finally these two cards are made from my doodles.  They are gold foiled, but it's so hard to tell in the photo.  I am thinking about making a set of these to sell in my shop.  And for now will leave them without a sentiment on the front.  Kind of fun!

Color story - pink

a dream in pale pink:

The Conservatory Garden at Central Park in New York City:

Lovely birds on stalk legs - flamingos reflected in the still waters at the beach sand's edge. RESEARCH #DdO:) - - other REFLECTIONS of all sorts #Pinterest board.  - That's a LOT of pink in these waterbirds! Did you know? What they eat affects how deep their color is, like shrimp and algae that are high in pigments called carotenoids. Pinned via Jill Redmann.:

Pink // mohair - oh love this, wear this all the time, - soft - warm - beautiful color:

15 Colorful Reasons to Break From the Neutral Sofa |
Pink Robin (Petroica rodinogaster) by Tim Collins Tasmania. So pretty:

look by Julia Sarr-Jamois:

I thought pink would be a good choice for me on this dreary, gray winter day.  I don't mind winter, but the week after the holidays when my kids go back to school always make me a little sad.  Add zero sunshine for the week to the mix, and yuck.  Anyway, hope your week was great.  Thanks for reading!  And happy Friday!

You find all photo sources here

On my radar - style crush

I discovered this fashion maven via The RealReal.  When I saw the photo in her green coat, I was like YES! Her name is Julia Sarr-Jamois (even her name is amazing) and she's been a street style
favorite for awhile, but she's new to me. She is also a senior fashion editor at i-D magazine.

I love how her style is so real.  Could I wear any of these outfits?  Probably not, let's get real I'm a stay-at-home-mom-in-her-midforties living in the Midwest, but I can grab bits and pieces of her outfits and maybe kick up things a couple notches.

The Huffington Post described her style as this:  The key to her success lies in the basics. She sticks to a few key pieces like boyfriend jeans and sneakers, and then adds in unexpected patterns and colors. Though she isn't afraid of a neon skirt or a floral jacket, they are always grounded by classic items, so she never looks too over the top.  Source

Julia Sarr-Jamois in Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti Shearling Coat...she totally rocks that coat:

London Fashion Week street style. [Photo by Kuba Dabrowski]:  
julia sarrjamois

Paris Fashion Week, Street Style #streetstyle #fashion #pfw:

Creative Monday

Today isn't Monday, but my kids went back to school today after their winter break, so it's a Monday for me!  Since I took a blog hiatus over the holidays, I have lots to share today.

First up are my two most recent pet portraits.  I've painted lots of dogs and several cats, but never together.  My customer requested this pose with their legs crossed.  Funny that they both do the same thing!

These are my good friend's Becky's dogs.  Becky has commissioned lots of portraits from me over the years (My friends are the reason I started selling pet portraits!).  These two sweeties are her new dogs.  Oh my, they are adorable.  I hope I did them justice!  Becky is an incredibly talented photographer, you can check out her work and photos of her dogs here

Switching gears...  These are teacher gifts I made for the specialists at school (PE teacher, counselor, principal, etc.).  I think I made five sets of six cards for each.  I recently got a laser printer, so I was itching to do something with gold foil.  These cards are heavily inspired by the very talented Carissa Wiley.  You can see her version here.  

This is the front of our Christmas card I designed this year.  I've had this idea in my head for a couple years, and was able to get it together last minute.  I always use Overnight Prints for my Christmas cards, they are actually post cards which makes them very inexpensive, but still great quality.  And they sell envelopes.
And finally, this is kind of creative...  If like many, you are trying to eat healthier here is a great recipe I just shared with my sister.  I started making it after my first Whole 30 I did late last summer.  It's great, if you need a little chocolate but you're trying to stay away from the bad stuff.  Enjoy!

Healthy Chocolate Bark

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 to 2 T almond butter
splash of maple syrup (optional)
shredded coconut

Melt coconut oil, remove from heat.  Whisk cocoa, almond butter and maple syrup to combine.  Pour into a small rimmed and lined cookie sheet (I use a silpat).  Top with nuts and coconut (or leave plain).  Place in freezer until solid and then break into pieces.  You must keep this in a bag in the freezer.  Enjoy!