Handmade Marathon (and a giveaway!)

Today I’m just tickled pink to be the featured artist over at The Petit Cadeau’s Handmade Marathon. What’s the Handmade Marathon, you say? Well, it’s only the sweetest handmade gift roundup / most epic-celebration-of-art to ever grace the internet. As writer and gift-giving expert Alison gears up to run her first marathon at the end of the month, she’s using her momentum to bring awareness to the handmade community. She’s featuring a different artist each day for every mile of the race, and including a whole bunch of giveaways to boot. The party just started (it’s day 2!), so be sure to pop on over, leave a comment for a chance to win a little something from my shop, and enjoy a curated tour of some lovely handmade gifts. Psst, the holidays are just around the...

Where one lucky reader wins a pet portrait

*The winner was chosen via random.org!  Counting started from the top.  Congrats, Adele!  You won a 6″x6″ portrait!   Hey there! Today my business transformation is being featured on one of my all-time favorite blogs, Oh My Handmade Goodness! I’d love it if you’d pop on over and check it out. I get the opportunity to heap praise upon the spectacular team of ladies who are helping me to make my little biz grow bigger in 2012. Believe me, this is a group of creative entrepreneurs that you absolutely want to connect with. That’s right — Erin, Meagan, Lisa, Arianne, Sara, and Jessika: I’m talking about you! February has been a truly amazing month for me. Between being featured on OMHG (a dream come true!), getting through my first craft show (without fainting from nervousness), and making more sales than the previous 6 months combined (sending love to all my new clients!), things are finally beginning to click. Honestly, it kind of feels like my painting studio is having a sweet sixteen birthday party today. That teeny, tiny business idea that tip-toed into my brain a little over a year ago…well…it’s growing up fast. So I’m going to throw it a fiesta! ……P.S. You’re invited. Today, I’m pulling out all the stops, because I’m celebrating: the launch of my new logo, new website, and new business plan, thanks to the wonderful women of the OMHG community. the making of many new friends. the fact that I haven’t set foot in a cubicle in over 15 months. every reader who has ever left me a kind comment, sent me a...

Adventure is out there! (and a giveaway)

*The winner was chosen via random.org!  Counting started from the top.  Congrats, Tabitha!  You won a screen print!  Send me your address and I’ll pop it in the mail for you today. Making art and taking a class are pretty much two of my all-time favorite things. So when a friend asked me last minute if I’d join her for “First Time Screen Printing” at the Lill Street Arts Center in Chicago, I considered it for all of 10 seconds before I jumped on board. I showed up to the first class without the slighted idea of how one produces a screen print. I mean, I figured that the process would involve paint and layering…but, heck…that was just a lucky guess. As it turns out, the process is far more precise, messy, creative, mechanical, spontaneous, and crazy-awesome than I had anticipated. We even got to use some chemistry. We would spend the first four classes working on just one three-layer print, so we were asked to spend our first week brainstorming our design. Well, Valentine’s Day must have been on my mind, because my inner lovely-dovey cheese-ball took the conceptualizing into her own hands. Um, yes, those are two love birds looking out over the Swiss Alps (which I consider to be one of the most romantic places on earth.) And the quote at the top is from one of my favorite movies. No, it’s not important which one. It’s just important to know that it was a very sophisticated, independent movie with subtitles. Yeah. And it definitely wasn’t animated by Pixar. Anyhow. I snapped a few photos over...
Big news + a chicken dance!

Big news + a chicken dance!

Happy new years! I hope 2012 has brought you nothing but joy and adventure thus far. I’ve asked around, and I think the general consensus is that 2012 is going to be a rockin’ good time. In my studio, at least, 2012 has been pretty darn rosy. You might remember that I entered a contest about a month ago over on the fabulous blog OhMyHandmade.com. It was a contest to win a slew of awesome creative biz development products. I made a video entry (you can watch it here), which was pretty nerve wracking, I’m not going to lie. The moment I see a rolling camera I tend to act about as poised as a rhino in a tutu. So, the big news is that I won 3rd prize! Which means I’ll be working with the amazing design firm Aeolidia to create a new logo. Plus, I got a bunch of other fun products to help me dig deep and grow my painting business in 2012. You BET I’m excited. So excited in fact that I prepared this historical reenactment documentary of the day they announced the winners. To answer your question: Yes, most of my dances do end up looking like the chicken dance. Yes, it’s genetic, and no, I don’t want to talk about it. But the best part about the contest wasn’t even getting the prize…(cheese-ball alert!) The best part was getting to connect and swap stories with almost 100 new creative business owners. These are some seriously talented folks, and I hope to be able to feature some of their awesome work here on my...
The Grand Stationery Giveaway results are in + How do I make these darn things anyway?

The Grand Stationery Giveaway results are in + How do I make these darn things anyway?

One week ago (has it really been a week already?) I announced the launch of my new line of custom stationery and promised a free set to one lucky reader.  All you had to do was leave me a comment telling me your favorite animal. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I’m excited to inform you that Katie’s favorite animal is the wily coyote – and that Random.org selected her to be the winner!  Congratulations, Katie!  Head on over to my order form and design the custom stationery set of your dreams! Katie’s comment did get me thinking, though.  She asked me about my process in creating these sets of cards.  I realized it’s something I should explain, as I think my rather archaic, collage-inspired method makes my stationery extra-special (if I do say so myself).  Would you mind if I took a moment to show you?  Lovely. After you send me your order, the first thing I do is create a little stencil of the animal you picked.  Then I hand cut squares of the patterned paper in whatever colors you choose.  That part’s easy, thank goodness.  Next I trace the stencil onto the back of each of the colored cards, and then hand cut out each animal’s shape and accessory with an exacto knife.  That’s the part that takes the longest, but wow I now have some mad exacto knife skills.  Finally, I carefully glue it all onto the blank card. My favorite part about the fold-over cards is that the dog or cat is actually the bottom layer (the blank card).  It’s the background color that’s glued on...
Introducing: my custom-designed pet-themed stationery + (is that a give-a-way?)

Introducing: my custom-designed pet-themed stationery + (is that a give-a-way?)

The wind is howling, my house is shaking, and I can’t see my next-door neighbor’s home through the swirling snow. Uh, was that lightening?  In the snow? If you live anywhere near Chicago, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Some might call it inclement weather, but I’m going to go ahead and say the world is just all riled up about the launch of my very new, very exciting product. That seems reasonable, right? So, without further ado, introducing my custom pet stationery! I spent weeks working my buns off to design the perfect line of handmade cards.  Something adorable, unique, personal, colorful.  The only problem was, I could not for the life of me decide on just one design.  You know how we creative folk get when given an unlimited number of colors and patterns, right?  It’s not pretty. So I’m passing the buck.  Now you’re going to have to choose for yourself.  You get to pick the type of dog or cat, the accessory (bone, bow, bowl, etc.), and the colors, and I’ll make you a totally unique, completely fun set of stationery. Do decisions stress you out?  Then just pick the type of cat or dog, and let me do the rest. I even made a handy-dandy order form on google docs, so that you can record all the details of your order in one place. Now that we got that exciting announcement out of the way, I have a new, even exciting-er announcement… In honor of the big launch, I’m giving some stationery away! Simply leave a comment on this post telling me your...