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.


goulcamole002I love avocados. I eat them all the time…sometimes even for breakfast. After trying various guacamole recipes, I found that this is my favorite. Mainly because it doesn’t have lime in it. The catch is, you have to serve and eat immediately or the guac’ will turn brown. I only add lime if we have leftovers…..which is not too often at my house.

It’s spookilicious paired with blue corn chips and black olives! Visit “What’s Cooking” for other of my illustrated recipes.

And if you like to cook ,  “They Draw and Cook!”  has a wonderful collection of recipes from all over the world accompanied by beautiful illustrations.

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.”

Day 3: Very Merry Holiday Hop

This is day 3 of the Henry Glass Very Merry Holiday blog hop. I’m so happy to be a part of this group of talented individuals, with diverse styles, backgrounds and personalities. I am sharing this day with fellow illustrator Shelly Comiskey. We are the two non-quilting textile designers who are participating. So we may have something a little different to offer. Let me start with a little about Me, my Favorites, my Family Traditions.

I love baking…..I was eight the first time i made a box cake all by myself. The cake came out perfect. However using the left over batter as frosting was not a good idea……..at least not then…..the concept of cookie dough ice cream and chocolate cake batter coffee  was yet to be discovered.

But that little “fiasco” did not stop my kitchen creativity. And like Julie going through every recipe in Julia’s Bible….I made every single cake, cookie, dessert, candy or pie in  Mom’s Betty Crocker’s hard cover orange volume. And the variations!

So by the time I was in High School, I was running my own little baking business. I created a very special cake that took fruitcake off our family Christmas menu forever and  became my best seller. The family (and I have a big one…my dad had 20 siblings and mom 6) called it Wilma’s Christmas Cake. But last year I renamed it Forest Spice Cake for this illustration of the recipe.

The Holidays, as a child and now as an adult with my children, have always revolved around baking and food. Baking, decorating, packaging and then sharing with friends, family and clients.

My son Sergi makes Gingerbread people for his teachers and classmates every year. He has become quite the expert with the icing!

And just as important as the delicious treat is the presentation. I collect platters, plates, jars, old tins from tag sales, discount stores…anything to make the packaging part of the gift.

My Husband who enjoys photography helps create the family Holiday card. It’s a very fun and creative time of year, and I always feel like if there was more time or I had more hands,  I could do one more of the million ideas in my head.

The #1 favorite: Cookie Cutters. I have all shapes, sizes, metal, plastic, seasonal, everyday…..great for everything!

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
Have fun and keep hopping through the week. Check my previous post with the schedule and links to the different designers. And remember to visit the Henry Glass Blog  everyday for your chance to win the grand Holiday Prize!

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


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!