Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Handmade Thank You

Right now, I am in search of employment. Since I finished school in early May, I have been enjoying my time off, but reality is beginning to set in; I need to get a job!

It's not that I haven't been looking - I have. I have had some successful interviews, and I am optimistic that I will land something soon. In the meantime, I have been doing what I can to set myself apart from the other job seekers. What better way to do this than adding a personal touch to my correspondence with potential employers?

I have decided to put together handmade "Thank You" notes to send to those I interview with. Each card and envelope is hand-drawn and constructed by me. They don't take too long, as the illustrations I am doing are relatively simple.

Often it is the little things that really make a difference in the job search process. This is my little way of setting myself apart. Hopefully I will soon be able to report that I am gainfully employed. Who knows, perhaps I will have my handmade cards to thank!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer is Here!

It's Memorial Day weekend, which means an extra day off for most. The long weekend also marks the official beginning of the summer season!

I hope you all have fun, festive plans! A. and I will be picnicking again this weekend. We plan to dust off the frisbee, bring a few books and just relax for the afternoon. I may even bring my sketchbook along for some outdoor drawing.

I'm also looking forward to having lunch with a good friend on Sunday. I may try a homemade bread recipe from this amazing book as part of the lunch I am serving up for us.

This is a little picture I finished today. I thought I would share, as I think it has a summery, carefree feel to it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Natural Creative Tendencies

In the past couple of weeks I have been sharing some of my more recent art projects. I have been lucky to have some time off since finishing school, and I am devoting most of my free time to sorely neglected hobbies.

This is a drawing I did of one of my kitties, Stella, about a year ago. If I had to pinpoint my natural artistic style, this would be an example of it. In the past I have worked largely with pencil or charcoal, and without color. My natural tendency is to use a lot of lines and shading, rather than trying to identify the simpler shapes that make up the image.

In my more recent projects, I have been experimenting with a cleaner, simpler style. I have also been playing with color. It's a fun challenge, and it adds a bit more variety to the artwork in my apartment (since the majority of it is mine!).

Do you like to play around with different styles when drawing, painting, crafting or otherwise creating? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Experimenting with Color and Style

I hope everyone had a beautiful weekend! I did end up packing a picnic for A. and I, but we weren't ambitious enough to drive to the coast. We enjoyed the spread in a park just down the street from our apartment, along the bank of a river. After lunch, I played around a bit with my vintage Nikon 35 mm in an attempt to learn some of the basics of shooting pictures with a manual camera. It was really nice and relaxing!
Lately I have been experimenting with more color in my work. The flowers and jump sequence pieces I recently posted about were two products of my foray into color, and this "fashion - inspired" piece is another. Usually I sketch, but I have been playing with different mediums and styles since picking the hobby up again.
The photo is of the perennially-fashionable Karla of Karla's Closet. I love the relaxed, effortlessly chic feeling of this picture. And, call me biased, but I adore her short hair!
This was a fun little project, and I am pretty happy with the end result.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Hobbies and Weekend Picnics

It's the end of another week! The weather in Maine has been gorgeous as of late. It's really starting to feel like summer, which is wonderful. The forecast looks great for the weekend, too, so I decided that A. and I should take advantage and head to the coast for the first picnic of the season!

On the menu:
cold roasted chicken
pasta salad
homemade french baguette with cheese
cowboy cookies

I'm looking forward to bringing a book and playing with my vintage Nikon 35 mm. A's father is a great photographer, and kindly gave me a camera to test my hand at taking pictures. I would love for it to develop into a hobby. I have to say that I am far from stellar with a digital, so this should be interesting. A. is going to teach me the basics this weekend, which I'm excited about. Hopefully I will have some decent results to share with you!

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

{image: flowers A. picked for me on a walk last summer}

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flowers and Cowboys

This is an illustration of some very pretty flowers I found outside my apartment last summer. I started the piece about a year ago, and I just finished it today*!

I have really been enjoying my time off post-graduation. I have had a chance to finish up some lingering creative projects, which is nice. Now, off to make these cowboy cookies because I need a snack.

*Granted, I took a break from this little project that was about 11 months in duration.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cute Shoes, Bensimon!

Judging by the blogs I love to read, these Bensimon shoes are old news. I, however, have just recently discovered them, and I can't wait to get a pair. I especially love the laceless style. These will be great for summer; I can pretend I'm a chic french girl when I wear them*!

*Funny story: when I was a grad student teaching assistant, a rumor got started that I was from Paris. By the end of the semester, all of the students thought I was French (shows how much I had to speak in the class, as I'm from Maine and obviously have no accent). I don't know if it was my haircut (a short red bob with blunt bangs, at the time), or my clothing style? Whatever the reason, I thought it was hilarious and pretty darn awesome!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I stumbled upon this photo at Daydream Lily, and was inspired to create a jump sequence illustration in the same spirit of the image.

I used ink and color pencil for this little piece. The hard part is going to be deciding on the best way to hang them in my apartment! I do plan to place them diagonally from one another to emphasize the jumping motion as seen in the photograph.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Embellished Tee

A few months ago, I came across this wonderful tutorial from Still Dottie for an embellished tee. What a great way to get that "jeweled" look that is so popular right now without having to pay a lot of money (that I don't currently have). The shirt was on sale for $2.99 at Target, and the craft supplies totaled about $5.

The directions she provides are fantastic, and end result is worth the effort, I think. I may try this on a colorful cardigan for a fun summer look.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Porcelain Produce Crates

How adorable are these white china farmers market baskets from Jayson Home and Garden? I would love to store lemons, garlic, berries and other fresh produce in these little guys...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Doodles and Such

This marks the first week of life after grad school! Without a pile of homework or research to do, I have had a bunch of spare time to do as I please. The break has been a really welcome change, and I have been trying to capitalize on it before professional work demands take over my days once again.

I'm especially excited to dust off my sketch pad. I have a few ideas that I really want to complete this summer. So, last night I pulled out the paper and ink and played around a bit...

I'm a bit rusty, of course, but it was a lot of fun to sit down and doodle a bit!

Today I watched Mamma Mia! and painted my toes because it's summer, after all, and it felt like the right thing to do. Nothing says summer like the breathtaking Grecian scenery in that movie!

my toes are ready for a new pair of gladiators!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Family Profile

A few weeks ago a posted about incorporating some homemade silhouette art into my space. I had been brainstorming some ideas for artwork in the bedroom, and I thought a cluster of family silhouettes would be just the right thing - both personal and charming.

So, this weekend I got cutting! I took a profile picture of A. and myself, and used the images to freehand our silhouettes. I pondered tracing the photos, but I thought that drawing them by hand would add a more personal touch and a bit of extra fun to the project.

I drew our profiles onto white paper, cut out the images, and used them as templates to trace our silhouettes onto good quality dark paper. I cut out the traced shapes, then glued each silhouette onto a white background - done!

It was a quick little project, and I'm really happy with the result. I plan to do one for each of our kitties (they are our children, after all) as well. I hope to find a few mismatched vintage frames to house each silhouette. I just love the eclectic feel of this collection featured by Country Living.

I would recommend this project to anyone wanting to add a few personal touches to their home decor. If you don't like to draw, you can trace!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yellow Pom Inspired Earrings

I am currently loving yellow pom flowers. These little lovelies have been featured a lot in the design blogs I enjoy, and I have definitely been bitten by the pom bug too!

This particular feature from Ruffled inspired me to get crafty this weekend. I thought, "how great would it be to wear these cheerful little flowers everyday?", and the idea to make a pair of "pom" earrings was born!

To make these, I used clay as the base, and strung a web of seed beads around the form to imitate the look of real yellow poms. I backed the studs with a matching yellow fabric, and voila!

Now I get to wear these happy little buds whenever I want! I think they came out quite well, considering I made up the design as I went along.

Has someone or something ever inspired you to get creative? I would love to hear!

{top images: Ruffled}

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sometimes, Life Gets Busy

Whew! What a hectic few weeks it has been.

Today I can happily say that I have officially completed my Master's degree! It's such a relief to finish. I truly enjoy my studies, but I am really looking forward to taking a year off to reflect and to think about what it is I want to do next. Do I want to do a PhD, or start my own business? I don't really know at this point, which is exciting and scary all at the same time.

What I am looking forward to is devoting more time to other things I enjoy. It's pretty obvious that I neglect my hobbies when things get busy at school (hello, I haven't posted since April 20!), so not having research to do or exams to prepare for is really going to free up some of my evenings.

My goal is to start taking this blog a bit more seriously. So, you may start to see some changes here in the near future. Stay tuned!

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