A Picture, an Iron and a Sewing Machine

For a long time, to me,  mixed media meant using different art supplies (acrylic, watercolors, pencil etc)  on paper, canvas or other flat surface. I’ve learned that it extends so much further than that.

After years of experiments with supplies , digital imagery and computers, reading about other artist in their ventures, I’ve come to realize that mixed media overlaps into everything. It’s like a big web of colors, images, textures, tools and techniques all coming together. Whatever makes you happy “sorta thing”. And the funny thing is no matter what I am working on be it soap making, or sewing up a pillow, the end results still has that “Me Brand”.

I have let myself go in my creative playground…..where everything and anything is possible….no rules.

gosho pillow

Using transfer paper, I ironed a photo of Gorgi (our Pug) on a piece of linen (curtain cutoff). I then stitched and trimmed it into a pillow and little pouch.

Holiday Sweet

holiday sweet

My very first illustration “Forest Spice Cake”, for my friends at “They Draw and Cook”  is featured in one of their two Holiday Books, just released.

Holiday Sweet and Holiday Savory are both available for sale at their site.

watercolor

Forest Spice Cake Gift Box:

I designed a gift box perfect for packing Forest Spice Cupcakes. Another idea would be a mixture of the dry ingredients and the “just add” card with the things that are not in the box.

Download the PDF files below and print out the images on medium to heavy paper 11 x 17. Align the printouts and stick them together before you score, fold and trim.

Forest Spice Cake Box PDF

Habichuelas con Dulce

If you want a Dominican to really make a sacrifice….ask him/her to give up “Habichuelas con Dulce” for Lent. This traditional sweet bean dessert is typical during this time. The custom is to prepare large quantities, enough to share with friends and family, especially during Holy week. What makes it even more special is that no “Habichuela con Dulce” is the same. Every version of the recipe comes with family history and secret ingredients. So I grew up loving the dessert but never dared to make it myself. Until last year……I figured I had baggage enough to give it a try.

Habichelas con dulce

And was so bold last week, that not only did I make the beans, I  decided to illustrate the recipe and submit it to one of my favorite websites.

“They Draw and Cook” created by Nate and Salli, two incredible illustrators. Their idea GENIUS! They provide a format…and you illustrate a recipe.  A contest turned into a book and a beautiful website filled with delicious recipes from around the world with amazing illustrations and designs. Visit them for more than a treat!

Love in a Box

Boxes, baskets and special packaging are on my list of favorite things. I had so much fun with the Holiday Spice Cake Box, I decided to design another one for Valentine’s Day, using one of my greeting card illustrations.

The box is approximately 4 x 4 inches, perfect for a special Valentine’s cupcake! And if you are computer savvy, you can reduce it to any size.

Please know, I’m always an email away if you have any questions or problems with the PDF.

THE BOX:Cat and Mouse Love Box

Download the PDF below. For Printing you will need two sheets of medium to heavy weight paper 11 x 17 (tabloid size).  Adjust page settings if needed. Remember to align the printouts and stick them together before you score, fold and trim.

Cat and Mouse  Love Box PDF

Have fun and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Click Here to view more “Love Illustrations.”

The Henry Glass Very Merry Blog Hop

The fun has started with The Henry Glass Holiday Blog Hop. To get everyone in the spirit of creating and sharing, the Henry Glass textile designers on the day of their post will feature an easy project so stop by their blog to check them out.  Don’t forget to visit the Henry Glass Blog each day for a chance to win the Holiday grand prize….a huge bundle of fabrics and a giveaway from each designer. I’m thrilled to be a part of the fun!

November 11:
Linda Lum DeBono http://www.lindalumdebono.blogspot.com
Little Quilts http://www.littlequilts.blogspot.com/

November 12:
Dawn Heese http://www.dawnheesequilts.blogspot.com/
Jill Finley http://jillilystudio.blogspot.com/

November 13:
Shelly Comisky http://shellycomiskeydesigns.blogspot.com/
Wilma Sanchez https://racoonillustration.wordpress.com/

November 14:
Leanne Anderson http://thewholecountrycaboodle.blogspot.com/
Beth Logan http://artstuff.typepad.com/

November 15:
Kari Ramsey http://www.freshcutquilts.com/
Heather Mulder Peterson http://ankastreasures.wordpress.com/

November 16:
Brenda Pinnick  http://brendapinnick.com/topics/brenda-pinnick-blog/
Jana Nielson, http://www.izzyandivydesigns.com/?page_id=154

November 17:
Kim Diehl http://www.kimdiehl.com/
Lizzie B Cre8ive http://dreamlaughcreate.blogspot.com/

Haunted House Fundraiser

Last year, we had an unseasonal snowstorm Saturday Oct. 29. Our Halloween extravaganza had to be postponed for the next day…..luckily we were one of the few not to loose power, and somehow the maple tree that split and blocked our driveway was chipped away minutes before the party. It was a messy Halloween day, cancelled in some neighborhoods…we managed to go around the block careful not to trip over branches. But for our Halloween obsessed family, it was disappointing.

I believe the day after as we put our skeletons, spider webs and tombstones back in bins, Sergi started planning for this year’s “Haunted House”. Numerous drawings and layouts were presented to me in the ensuing months. He started recruiting the zombies in early July (summer camp).We found his mask on ebay….limited edition…in September. Then one night he mentioned he wanted to collect 50¢ as an admission fee because he wanted to donate the money to the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society….one of his classmate was diagnosed with the disease a few years ago. Amazing!

We pulled it off!

And the best part…we were able to celebrate before Sandy…..even though we were forced to pack up the graveyard, the fortunetellers tent and the dancing skeletons……the Haunted House remained intact until Halloween day…tucked safely in the garage

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The Starving Artist!

All my life I’ve been an Artist and an Entrepreneur. My first job as an illustrator happened in 6th grade. I hand painted Valentine’s day cards for my classmates…..they couldn’t believe I actually wanted money for them. At the time I was selling homemade brownies and chocolate chip cookies  during lunchtime…..I saw no difference. I had no idea Illustration existed as a career. But there I was pedaling my little watercolor originals…..fifteen years later I founded “Heavenly Greetings” my own line of cards.

As in any career or new beginning…..success takes time and hard work…..”seven years is the average for an illustrator,” I read somewhere……don’t know if it is true. What I know is you really have to be 90% business and 10% creative. And once you have your foot in the door you have to keep on knocking. Because believe me, somebody else will be there if you’re not.

So why is it so hard? Why does that cloud of “Starving Artist” loom over most creatives at some point in their careers? And as a freelance illustrator I can tell you the cloud walks hand in hand with procrastination. The greatest challenge is self-discipline and focus. Forget the laundry, soccer practice, the closet that needs reorganizing…….goals must be set to meet the deadlines.

With the invasion of technology, the illustration market has evolved into a different monster. Everything has changed from the execution of an image, it’s submission, to the self promotion of an illustrator. So At this point in my life, after years of experience (more than I like to admit), I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to reinvent, recreate and reeducate myself and my work. I have to get out of my comfort zone and stretch my brain cells.

Creating this blog is my first step out of Starvation!