Monthly Archives: January 2011

Free Download: Baby Shower Invitation

Remember that colorful baby shower I threw a friend last year? Well I decided to offer the invitation I designed as a free download for you to use!

Download the editable PDF right here.

Art From Everyday Objects Challenge

Happy Friday everyone! I thought it would be fun for the month of February to do a challenge: turn everyday, boring, ordinary objects into something beautiful.

I have some ideas in mind, but I want to hear what you would like to see turned into art! It could be anything that you use in your everyday life. For example, popsicle sticks, paperclips, etc. So let me know in the comments below and I’ll pick my favorites to include!

Artist Interview: Megan of MaeMae Paperie

Over the last few months, I’ve been seeing this name EVERYWHERE: MaeMae Paperie. Megan’s work is brilliant, fresh, and creative. So of course I wanted to pick her brain about being an artist! Her designs are not only beautiful, but she has such an eye for styling and photography too. Visit Megan’s shoppe and blog to see more pretty work. OK, here is the good stuff.

1. Tell us about yourself.
I am stationery designer and lover of all things print and pattern. Currently I live and work in a beautiful loft north of Los Angeles. This June I will celebrate 3 marvelous years of marriage with my husband, Jason. When my mind isn’t consumed by design + paper I love to travel, be outside, and try new food! This year I am taking MaeMae to the next level. I am completing a line of both wedding + social stationery that will be sold in stores nationwide. My big launch party will be in April! I am so excited to start another journey.

Muriel Suite – City Version

2. You are such a talented designer. How long have you been doing this?
MaeMae was started in my college art studio in January 2008. While doing homework, creating a senior art show, planning a wedding, and finishing college I began to contact other people in my Facebook network who’s profiles were marked “engaged” and sent them a link to a little blog I started showcasing a mockup of my own wedding invitation I designed.

Personal Branding Stamp

After being blocked on the site a few times for spamming several girls I didn’t know from my university agreed to meet with me and then (even crazier) agreed to work with me. Now three years later I can see how this is absolutely God’s plan for my life. It has been such an interesting collision of things I have always loved and unexpected doors being opened along the way.

Studio Tour

3. Do you ever hit a creative block – if so, how do you get out of it?
To use your creativity to make a living can be very difficult and draining when you hit creative blocks. I have learned so many great lessons from Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit and Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way on how to set up habits and patterns everyday so that you don’t have to wait for inspiration to hit to get to work.

Cloth Envelopes

I think the best way to avoid blocks is to have a very strategic method for the way you create. I used to start and work through projects haphazardly and would be so tardy in sending completed designs to clients because I had to wait until the moment struck me. And that moment did not always coincide with our timeline.

Now when I start a project I go over several different, very specific ideas for the design project and use that as a guide to make things. I always am storing images and inspiration either on my computer or physically to refer to and pull them out to show a client a specific style or idea before we start. It’s best to talk about a project and look at what you’re talking about to make sure you’re on the same page. When I work on projects that aren’t commissioned I create a “character” to dictate the likes, interests, and style the project should encompass. Structure is key for creativity!

4. What are some challenges you’ve had to overcome as an artist/business owner?
I think that 95% of the problems I have encounter as an artist business owner is those creative blocks. Those blocks prevent you from moving forward on a project delaying the whole process and result in some times late products and unhappy clients. Since working on the structure of my creative process I have eliminated that problem almost entirely, hence eliminating the problems that follow!

Sweet Love

Another personal challenge that has turned into a business challenge is learning to say NO! It’s hard to tell someone you don’t want to work on their project or that the project is too small or big for you at the moment. You have to be in charge. Don’t let other people’s requests dictate how you work and live. Do what you love and what is good for you and your business at the moment. People won’t dislike you because you say no. They might dislike you if you do a half-hearted job because you didn’t have time for their project or it turned out poorly because you knew you were not skilled in that area. Avoid those situations all together!

Raleigh Save the Dates

5. Is there anything in particular that fuels your creativity as an artist?
Outside of visual stimulants (which of course fuel my creativity!!) stories excite me. I love the complexity of characters and plots and the unexpected outcomes and details. I love exaggerated “true life” stories you hear from my friend, far-fetched fictional movies, and inspirational testaments of overcoming obstacles and finding happiness in the end.

Initial Rubber Stamp

6. Tell us something random or quirky about yourself!
I can’t read a magazine without ripping something out.


Thank you Megan! It was a pleasure interviewing you. All the best to your future endeavors!

DIY Yarn Wrapped Monograms

I’ve got a lovely project to share with you. I used this monogram for a sweet friend’s baby shower. I love making party decorations that they can bring home and use as part of their decor. A word of warning though, this is not for the faint of heart. It took a loooong time to wrap this letter. But the results…so worth it!!

Step 1: Print out your monogram using a rounded font in your desired size. I used St. Ryde. Rounded corners make it easier to work around.

Step 2: Cut out the letter and trace onto cardboard. I used a Cheerio box!

Step 3: Wrap away! You can wind some yarn off a skein or ball to make a smaller ball – this is more manageable. Make as many balls as you need. I also recommend a thick yarn, which would make your job a lot easier and faster. I probably wrapped the whole letter at least 3 times with mine to get everything covered and nice and thick.

Step 4: A bajillion wraps later, and you’re done! Hot glue the ends down in the back of the letter.

You can leave it as is for a more modern look, or you can have fun with it and embellish with buttons, fabric flowers, ribbon, bows, whatever! That’s the fun part. I made up some fabric yo-yos and embellished with some pretty beads in the center.

I made mine pretty big – about 7 inches tall, but you can make smaller ones too. I think that a little one would be super cute.

My First Oil Painting

Here it is ya’ll! My first oil painting. We are making history here! Haha. I loved my oil painting class. Loved it. Two hours of uninterrupted creative bliss. I think I’m hooked. I love how forgiving they are, and you can build and layer and change and it’s very fluid. You just don’t get that with watercolors or acrylics.

The instructor was great. He’s a very talented realist painter well versed in pretty much every medium I can name. Since it was the first class, he showed us the basics and suggested painting a very simple shape in black and white. I’m very excited to paint next week. I think my inspiration will come from this photo by Laura Evans.

I think the soft moodiness will lend itself well to the fluidity of oils. I’m so excited!

Have any of you ever painted with oils?

Want to Sponsor?

I’m adding sponsors to my blog this year. Yippee! I want this place to be a source of lots of beauty and inspiration, and adding more eye candy to my sidebar is just the thing.

So if you have a neat blog, shop or something else to promote, I’d love to have you!

I’ll be adding them on February 1st, and the first 10 slots I fill get a special rate for the first month. Just $35 for a 125×125 pixel ad, plus a blog post feature. Good deal huh? Here are some of my readership stats:

  • 10,000 visitors a month
  • 18,000 page views a month
  • 958 feedburner + twitter + facebook followers

Please email me if you are interested: info at

Mother Teresa vs. Martha Stewart

Thanks to Miss B. for the lovely wreath graphic download (see above)
What a contrast in photos: one holding a precious human being and one holding a chicken. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

These are two of my heroes since my early teens, both great women for completely opposite reasons. My husband says I’m a cross between them both, and while flattering, personally I think I only possess a few of their qualities in a much smaller measure. Here is what I love about Martha:

  • Ambitious
  • Professional
  • Does things very well
  • Loves beauty
  • Creative

And Mother Teresa:

  • Selfless
  • Pure motives
  • Completely committed to her call
  • Not about the 100’s, about the 1
  • Didn’t care about what the world had to offer

When I took the Clifton Strength’s Finder test a few years ago, my #1 strength was Empathy. What?! That’s what I thought. My top strength is feeling sorry for people? But, no. That’s sympathy. Empathy is by definition:

1. the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
2. the imaginative ascribing to an object, as a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself: By means of empathy, a great painting becomes a mirror of the self.

So I’m empathetic and creative. I have to think that this combination of qualities is for something. Somewhere at the intersection of art and heart lies my true passion. That’s why I started A Beautiful Idea last year. We raised over $900 together, with 58 participants. But I want more. The “Martha” side of me wants more. More artists to catch the vision of creating art with a purpose. More money raised to see suffering eased. Will you help me?

If you are an artist, and haven’t joined A Beautiful Idea, please consider it. This year I’m opening it up to any artist – photographers, writers, musicians. Everyone is invited. You also get to decide how much to give. It could be 10% of your profits, maybe 100% of one product.
If you helped last year, and would like to participate again, drop me a line in the comments below.
Thank you for reading this!

A New Frontier: Oil Painting

Painting by Paul Ferney

This week I’m starting a 3-month class on oil painting.

Dun dun dun.

It’s been a goal of mine for quite some time to take an art class, but the watercolor class I wanted was canceled. So I opted for the oil class – totally out of my comfort zone. I’ve painted with acrylics and watercolors, but I’ve never touched oils. They’ve always intimidated me for some reason. But I’m positively pumped to try them. Look at these beauties!

Portrait by Zoe Pawlak // Celery Slopes by Emily Jeffords // Later In The Morning by Jose Lampreia

After finding these gorgeous creations, I think I’ve found a new love in oils. I’m practically chomping at the bit to try them for myself.

Detail of “Roses” by Vincent van Gogh// Moist Devils Food by Paul Ferney

Ricky by Aaron Coberly // Pigeon White Earring by Aaron Coberly

Teeny Paintings by Michelle Armas

Is there anything you’ve been reluctant to try because it’s out of your comfort zone? I hope this encourages you to go for it! I’ll be posting my artwork for you to see…my first class is this Wednesday. Yay!

My Handmade Christmas

Hi everyone! I want to take a quick moment to say thank you to all the people who read my blog…especially the ones who have stuck with me for several years! I really love reading EVERY SINGLE comment and enjoy hearing from you. So, from the bottom of my big Evie heart, thank you.

{ image source }

I hope you had a great Christmas. This year was especially fun for me, I wanted to create gifts for my loved ones instead of buying them for two reasons: 1. I love making things 2. Hauling two babies around all creation to find the perfect gift for all on my list did not seem like an option. So as soon as November hit, I started creating – and here is some of the bounty!

Fingerless Mittens // Scarflet with vintage buttons

I knit alot of the gifts this year, it just makes sense because I can do it anywhere, anytime. Ask my husband, I was knitting something almost every night!

This is a pretty knit I-cord piece that can be worn as a necklace or doubled up as a bracelet! Made out of baby alpaca from Peru. I just might have to make one of these for myself!

Cute bow hairclips for some sweet little girls. You know I gotta get the cute frilly stuff out of my system somehow…no girls to knit for in my house…yet.

This was one of my favorites to work on. Some coasters for my brother in law that had various photographs of London, a place he loves. I used this concept to make them.

Did you give/receive handmade this year? I’d love to hear!