Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A gift of love...

My daughter, Amanda (the artist who created the two designs above) and I were talking about a recent news story that focused on the impact this troubled economy is having on pet owners. Now these are not irresponsible pet owners... These are people who have loved and taken very good care of their pets for years, but who are now being forced to turn over these beloved family members to shelters because they just cannot afford the costs associated with owning a pet anymore. Shelters and vets agree that it is a heartbreaking situation for both pet owners and pets.
The vet we take our animals to is wonderful. His office has treated our fur babies for over 20 years now. Unfortunately during that time, we've had to have several of our older pets put to sleep. Whenever we have done this, our vet has always made a donation in our pets' names to The Bunky Walton Fund; a charitable group who helps out people with vet bills or pet medicines.
My daughter was saying she wished there were more organizations like this because it would allow more people to be able to keep their pets in these tough times.
Well, my daughter puts her money where her mouth is. She decided she should do something, so she put up an eBay auction where the winner will have their choice of either of the two signed prints shown above (watermark not on prints)... She is providing free shipping and is donating 100% of the winning bid to: The Bunky Walton Fund, 64 Oak Hill Rd., Westford, MA 01886-1505.
Click on either of her print images above and it will bring you right to her eBay listing. Here is a chance for you to own a beautiful piece of artwork and to help out pets and pet owners in need...
Amanda definitely has the spirit of giving in her heart during this Christmas season...
Merry Christmas, everyone,

Saturday, November 29, 2008

E-Pattern Sale...

From now through Christmas, I'm running a "Buy 2, get 1 free" sale on all of the e-patterns in my ETSY shop. In most cases, the e-patterns are sent to you (via e-mail) the same day the order is placed and paid for (so you can start painting immediately!)...

There are many Christmas patterns in the shop, including this St. Nick Ironing board...

... or these Christmas kitty ornaments or gift tags...

A "BELIEVE" Santa Sampler...

... or three Santa ornaments/gift tags...

These gift bag designs are painted on brown paper lunch bags...
There are many other e-patterns in my ETSY shop, both Christmas and everyday designs. So just pop on over to my ETSY shop, purchase two patterns and pay for them through PAYPAL. Then in the comment section, let me know which pattern you would like to receive for FREE!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks...

Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving...

...filled with family and friends...

... and the making of many wonderful memories...

(a sampling of some of my "thankful" artwork... I have so much to be thankful for...)

All of my best to you and yours,


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Halloween & Autumn E-Patterns

Here in New England there is such a nip in the air - it's clear that autumn has arrived! Now that it's getting too cold to spend much time outdoors (at least in my neck of the woods), it's a great time to pull out the paints and get creative!

If you're looking for a Halloween design to paint, this "Trick or Treat" e-pattern might be of interest...

... or if you want something that paints up really quickly, BOO might be just what you're looking for....

And then there's this autumn sampler which is part of a series of four seasonal samplers.

All of these e-patterns are available through my ETSY shop or through The Pattern Mart (links are in my sidebar).

Now to grab a few extra blankets for the beds tonight... Yes, it's that cold!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Fantastic Turnout!

The charity auction at Ned Devine's (located in the historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston) was a huge success! As you may have read in my previous post, Amanda was asked to be the featured artist at this fundraiser.

Here she is posing in front of some of her beautiful art!

This is a sampling of just some of the art she donated for the auction...

It was also a great time for Amanda to reconnect with many of her friends from college as most of them haven't seen each other since graduation this past spring...

I'm so proud of her for sharing her artistic talents in order to raise money for those less fortunate... Way to go, honey!!!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Featured Artist!!

Way to go, honey!!

Amanda has been asked to be the featured artist at a prestigious fundraiser this September in Boston. I'm so proud of her!! She is donating original artwork as well as prints to help raise funds for "One Home Many Hopes." This is the postcard (front & back) that has been created to promote the auction... I love that she is using her talent to give to others!!... We're all so proud of her!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Our 'Cum Laude' College Graduate...

"Do not hate or fear the artist in yourselves... Honor and love him...do not try to possess him. Trust him as nobly as you trust tomorrow. Only the artist in yourself is more truthful than the night." (e.e. cummings)

From Nursery School Graduation ...

to College graduation...

We are SOOO proud of you, honey! As Harry Chapin sang in one of our favorite songs, Flowers Are Red, "There are so many colors in the rainbow, so many colors in the morning sun, so many colors in the flowers, and I see every one..." So go out and use every one, honey, and make the world a more beautiful place!

Love, Mumsy XO XO XO

Monday, May 12, 2008

A girl can dream... right?

I was flipping through a recent issue of Country Living when this ad toward the back of the magazine caught my eye:

I don't know where most of you create. Perhaps you have carved out a little niche in your home somewhere.. or perhaps you have a large open loft.

I've been all over this little house of mine... When I first started out, I painted on the dining area table, and since we're in a small split entry and that's our only eating area, that got old quick!

After a few years I moved downstairs to a finished room in the basement. I quickly learned that I am not a cellar dweller... It's COLD in the winter and I felt so isolated and far removed from the family happenings upstairs.. So once again I was ready to move.

It was then on to the family room located off the kitchen. I painted there for years, tucked away in a little corner of the room. Unfortunately I am not a neat painter. I leave things spread out everywhere... transfer paper, paints, brushes, water bowls, surfaces... (it is a gift to be born an organized person, a trait I was most definitely not blessed with!)... Therefore, the family room was always in a state of disarray (sigh)....

Then several years ago my youngest girl (now 19) asked if she could use the big downstairs room as her bedroom since she felt totally stifled in her <8 x 10 foot room (it's the closet sized room that is jokingly considered a third bedroom in many split levels).

Anyhow, I took over her old room when she moved downstairs and this room has served me well. It's a comfy room with good light (a huge window over my painting desk) and a door that can be closed to hide all my messes! But it does lack storage space. And being a small room, I don't have room for a big surface area/table on which to create large pieces of art, so for those projects it's deja vu - back to the dining room table where I first started out!

So yes, my imagination runs wild when I see ads like this... I can totally picture myself in the COVENTRY with all of those big windows, wearing a beret and standing in front of my easel! But then again, look how charming that little TELLURIDE SHED is! Oh, wait... I can definitely see myself in the CANMORE CABIN with the peaked roof ... or the SONOMA POOL CABANA/STUDIO with it's French doors... or.... or... or....

Like I said, a girl can dream, right?


Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Angel Mother...

I dedicate this to all moms out there on this special day. I was blessed to have had the most wonderful mother. She always encouraged me, 'oohing' and 'aaahhing' over everything I ever created, starting way back in my coloring book and crayon days! She and my dad made it a point to stop by and visit me at every craft show I ever did. She is always in my heart, and is the inspiration for many pieces I've designed over the years, such as the one above. I love you, Mom!

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Seasonal Sampler E-Patterns

I finally converted these to e-patterns. All four samplers were originally published in PaintWorks magazine and they have also been published as prints by Penny Lane Publishing. I just listed the e-patterns in my ETSY shop ($4.99 per seasonal e-pattern or $15.00 for all four seasons). As with all e-patterns, there is the benefit of no shipping charge and "speedy delivery." (anyone else remember Mr. Rogers?)... Now it's out to the garden to hang my hummingbird feeders. It's so warm that I'm hoping they show up early this year (although the first sighting usually doesn't occur until the first to second week of May)... Enjoy your day!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Christmas in April...

Yes, you read that right! I have a feeling that many painters are just like me... procrastinators. I wait until the last minute to do everything it seems! But this year I've vowed to try to do things on a more even keel and not wait until the last minute for everything... So if you've made a similar promise to yourself, it's not too early to start painting for CHRISTMAS!! Wouldn't it be nice to have everything organized and ready for those fall craft fairs or for your own gift giving or tree trimming, rather than rushing through things at the last minute?

Therefore, I've just listed two e-patterns on my ETSY site... one for Santa ornaments and one for gift bags. So if you feel inclined to get an early start on your Christmas painting, by all means, check them out!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bees in my Bonnet

How fun is this sign that I have hanging in my hallway? It's an 8-1/2 x 11 framed collage I put together featuring ATC/ACEO prints by the incredibly clever and witty Becky of Bees in my Bonnet (ETSY shop link). Her designs are so fun and always get a good laugh when people see them! This one features vintage housecleaning prints...I've included some closeups so you can read them, or click on the photos to enlarge... (I'm afraid I relate to way too many of them! LOL)

Last Christmas I used Becky's menopause ACEO prints to make decoupaged signs for my friends at our annual gift swap and they laughed so hard they cried!

So if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary that is sure to get smiles, check out Bees in my Bonnet (eBay store link). Becky also sells other items (jewelry, charms, etc.) and is always updating her ETSY and eBay shops, so visit often!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Help is just a click away....

As I sit here scanning instructions, photos, and line drawings for some old pattern packets that I'm updating as e-patterns, I realize how very lucky I am to have discovered Brenda at Hattie's Workshop and The Prim Pattern. Confession time... I am a computer klutz. Just mention PDF and my head starts spinning. Oh, I know.. I know... People have told me it's not all that difficult, but to me, it is. And I know that I'm not alone. There are legions of us out there! We are the ones who still have to read instructions on how to change the TV settings every time we want to watch a DVD in surround sound... who get confused by the idea of more than one remote... we're the ones whose car or microwave clocks are accurate during daylight savings time, but an hour off for the rest of the year because it's too bloody hard to figure out how to change them! I'm technically challenged... gadget challenged... cell phone challenged, and I admit it!

It is such a blessing to just e-mail all the pieces of my pattern packets to Brenda and then, like magic, to receive back this perfect little PDF e-pattern attachment with everything in order, just as it should be! So for any of you who are PDF or website or computer challenged like me, just click on Brenda's banner and your hair pulling days will be over... (ooooh, I think I can hear all the sighs of relief starting already!)


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Meet the CATkins

These are our babies. Spotty and Tiger, both 14, are brother and sister. And then there's our Blackie (Jul 1995-Dec 2007), who we miss every day. (You can probably figure out who is who based on their very unoriginal names!) Several years ago I was inspired to paint their portrait (as it was next to impossible to get the three of them to nicely pose together for the camera, let alone say "cheese"). This is the end result... my interpretation of the Atkins cats... In a future post, I'll share a few of my Amanda's paintings of our fur babies! Her style is quite different from mine and it's so neat to see how she painted them! Hoping you find inspiration all around you!


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

One of my "bestest" friends!!!

I am so excited to be able to share a small sampling of the artwork of one of my absolute best friends, Jill Ankrom! Jill and I met about 10 years ago while designing decorative painting books. Ours is definitely a friendship that "was meant to be." (We share the same likes, dislikes, the same thought process and career path, not to mention the strange hours we keep!!)

Jill's work is so beautiful and unique. If it looks familiar to you, it's probably because in addition to her prints, Jill's art has been licensed for use on many different products including wallpaper, dish sets, and on the cards, gift boxes, tags, and wrapping paper at Target every Christmas! All of Jill's prints are available through Penny Lane Publishing. I'm lucky enough to have her signed print, "Hope is the thing with feathers," hanging in my office. (That's another thing she and I share - our love of quotations!!)

I hope you enjoy this small sampling of her work. If you'd like to contact Jill, you can e-mail her at straycat@roadrunner.com
And since we both love quotes, Jill, here's a special one I found just for you...
"Toto did not really care whether he was in Kansas or the Land of Oz so long as Dorothy was with him."
~The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1900

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
~ Marcel Proust

Sunday, March 30, 2008

How it all began...

"Any arbitrary turning along the way, and I would be elsewhere. I would be different." (Frances [Diane Lane] Under the Tuscan Sun)

That quote, from one of my favorite movies, sums up how I feel about my art career. It was a chance lunch with a friend on a warm September day in 1994... a chance stroll through our town center... a chance encounter with a painting shop that led me to where I am today. Had any of those things not occurred, I would be elsewhere...
Although I never took any lessons beyond that one night a week / 6 week beginner course that I signed up for that day, I was hooked. I painted furiously at home, which led to selling my work in craft fairs, and then to designing for books, packets, and magazines, and now to designing for the print and licensing market. (Who knew that little rooster, my very first painted piece, would lead to a whole career!!)

I'm not sure where I'd be had there been "any arbitrary turning along the way," but I am so grateful that there wasn't. I think this path, for me, was meant to be.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Spotty's New Friends...

Poor Spotty... He wants to invite his new friends in to "play," but they just want to eat the peanuts I tossed out on the deck.

This is Spotty's favorite place to recline - his hassock. We push it over in front of the slider for him so he can bask in the sun to his heart's content, although as you can see, today was quite the dreary day.

Look at those finger indentations I left in his fur when I stopped scratching his neck... he looks like he has eyes in the back of his head! All the better to see those squirrels and chipmunks coming and going!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Don't be afraid to fall down...

I thought it would be fun to bid a fond farewell to winter by featuring one of my favorite Tascha videos (although it's hard to pick just one!)... I love the inspiration for "Skating Blissfully," and how Tascha incorporates into her painting demo an old home movie of she and her childhood best friend skating... I love that she uses the word 'bliss' (one of my favorite words)... and I love her message, one that we should ALL remember whether we're trying some new art technique or style, embarking on a new career, or simply muddling our way through this crazy, wonderful thing we call life... "Don't be afraid to fall down." Just click on the photos to go to Tascha's blog or to the skating/painting video... Enjoy!!
"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."
Mary Pickford


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ms. Gizmo (1992 - March 22, 2008)

The house seems empty; our hearts are heavy. We love you... we miss you... till we meet again, our little Gizzy Girl...

"My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet." ~Edith Wharton

"My goal in life is to become as wonderful as my dog thinks I am." ` Toby Eileen Green

"I think God will have prepared everything for our perfect happiness. If it takes my dog being there [in Heaven], I believe he'll be there." ` Rev. Billy Graham