Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The making of Jingle Bulbs

First it starts with a sketch, I carry my sketch pad around all the time, so all year I am thinking of what I could illustrate on my JingleBulbs. I am going to show you an ornament I created in 2009 and the process I used to do that.

Then I prime them to make the paint stick and to make them a  bit stronger.

This one is a good example, I had designed it to have the garland around the buildings, then I changed my mind, I did some with the garland and some without....

And this is the one I really was happy with.
Check out the new ornaments on


Friday, August 23, 2013

My new scanner....

This year has been a year of a new client that wants all my work digitally. Thats great I get to keep my originals, but the downside is since I am only as good as my last job,  if that scan that I am sending is not good,  thats bad.
So I bought a new scanner, an Epson V500,

 I had to test it... so here we go. The scan from my old Epson 4200....
And the scan from my new scanner...

So at first I was alarmed, the scan from the old scanner was so much brighter......then, I brought the scans into Photoshop and played with them and felt relieved, because adjusting the colors in Photoshop were so different from the old scan to the other.
 The scan from my new scanner had so much information, I could adjust the colors so much easier, I could pull out nice yellows with out effecting the other colors. 
This is an adjusted copy from the old scanner. The colors were adjusted in levels, it seems like the blues became greenish, and the water looked washed out.

Then I took the scan from the Epson V500  and played around in Photoshop with levels and got the blues I wanted with the yellows that were in the originals. This is very close to the original. To me it looks richer.

I bought the scanner from the Epson store, clearance, for $100, money well spent. I learned that the new scanners have more information to work with, thus giving me more color adjustment options.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Laundry room redu

This is what my laundry room looked like this year, so sad, I hated it.
Then, Pinterest arrived and I found the solution, cabinets, so after much persuasion, whining, etc. Our nephew Michael came down and said those magic words to Mark (my husband) " Put those cabinets in, she (me) wants it and it is a easy job that would make her happy" Soooo......

And look what happened, he put those cabinets in and I finally finished my laundry room painting that was running around in my head, so happy wife, happy life, thats me.
Make doing the wash a pleasure.

Monday, April 29, 2013

New Baby Present

Our niece Mallary is having her first baby, named Mila. So I painted her a bank, a good friend told me that she used to buy banks for her friend who were expecting, so I was good to go.

Looking online I really didnt like the name on the pig anywhere, especially not on the butt, I really dont like that, so I put Mila on  an earring, a perfect solution in my mind, I hope she likes it.
No, she did not die, I wanted to show you her fancy pants. This was very fun, I would highly recommend Martha Stewarts paints, they are beautiful and will adhere to anything. On ceramics you have to give your self some time, first coat and an hour later the next, worth the wait.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rain Barrel Update

I finally finished my rain barrel that I got from the city of Ocoee a couple of years ago. It is hard to see, but on  the water, I put Extreme Glitter which is a great product that I use on my Jingle Bulbs.
I love painting towns, and I find I do it often, this barrell has about 4 failed designs on it, so I decided to 
stick with what I enjoy. Here are some other pictures.....


An outside view, I was very inspired by The Bloom and Grow Festival they had in Winter Garden.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Next Big Thing...

The next big thing is a global tour which started in Australia, to bring awareness to authors and illustrators and their current work. Thanks go to Jon Nez for tagging me.

1. What is your Next Big Thing?
A Book I wrote and illustrated called "I wont share my Underwear"

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I went to a writers conference and really started thinking of the possibilities of writing a childrens book.
I have illustrated many, and have always written, but never wrote my own childrens book. On the drive home this title popped into my head, I thought it was funny and I pursued it.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
Picturebooks. Ages 3 to 6

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I cant see a movie done of my book, maybe an animated movie based on my characters? That would be fun.

5. What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
I won't share my underwear is about sharing, sisters  and respect.

6. Who is publishing your book?
Well, so far it is out under consideration at a couple of publishers, but no contracts yet. Some very nice rejection letters, which I collect in a file, but  no publishers yet.

7.  How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I really dont remember, I was in between projects, I am thinking about a year. And then a writer friend of mine Diane Ohanesian added some of her magic to it, it has been an on going project.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within you genre?
I love the childrens books that Holiday House publishes, my favorite being "Its Not Fair" by

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My big influence is the relationship I have and used to have as a younger sibling to my sister. I also remember fondly the days of being in the house with my kids when they were little  and hearing them teaching each other. The warmth of being at home, I tried to bring that into the book.

10. What else about the book might pique the readers interest?
Hopefully the illustrations.

Thanks for visiting my blog and joining me for my part of the Next Big Thing. The tour continues on April 4th with 2 illustrators I greatly admire.

Melissa Iwai, and her new book Truck Stop.

 Anne Jewett and her book Silly Frilly Grandma Tillie.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Spring

Its Spring here in Florida already. Time to plant the flowers and get ready for the heat.
But for now it is really beautiful, which inspired this illustration. "Gardening" is a combination of traditional and Photoshop.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Digital finish

The finished illustration, the thing I think with Photoshop I can overwork it. It was a very good experience, I learned a lot off to new digital work.

Monday, February 25, 2013

My new Photoshop illustration

This is my first real attempt at using Photoshop to paint. Its not finished but today I was playing around with how it would look on my blog, so here it is, I still have alot to do, but so far I liked playing around with the colors, a little bit of textures.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Februarys High Five

This is my latest Thats Silly for the Highlights Magazine High Five. I always enjoy working for the Highlights company, especially High Five.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Behind The Pencil...: Atlanta Gift Show

Behind The Pencil...: Atlanta Gift Show

Atlanta Gift Show

This Friday I took a trip to The Atlanta Gift Show, it was incredible. This is where the buyers go from little shops to huge stores go to purchase items for their stores. 3 huge buildings with 18 floors on each. The photo above is from one of the hallways.
I went because I really want to illustrate greeting cards, puzzles calendars etc. but having done childrens books all these years I wasn't sure how to break into this business.
My friend Rose Mary Berlin has been selling her art in this field for years, she asked me if I wanted to join her at the Atlanta Show this year, I am glad I did.
I spent the first 4 hours wandering around by myself, totally confused, and then I met up with Rose. After spending time seeing her in action, I realized companys really want to meet artists, as long as they are not busy with customers.
We found out from one puzzle company they are looking to start a childrens line, we would not have known that had we just looked at their booth and not spoken with the owner.
As the day went on I got over my insecurity and started to value what I have to offer as an illustrator. The whole building was filled with everything from cards to statues, all created based on illustrations. I ended up feeling excited to be a part of it.
Friday night we met up with some illustrators that Rose knew, I recognized alot of names and was really thrilled to be able to talk with illustrators that know this field, they were so willing to share all kinds of ideas. One of the things that really stuck with me was to design in groups of 4's.  Sounds simple but seeing the show the next day, I can see why that works and now my mind is having so much fun thinking like that.
I also got to meet Jim Shore, he was signing his flags , he was so charming and represents his work so well. The company that makes his flags as well as many other artists is Carson Home Accents
On Saturday we started the day out at Legacy Cards, They had breakfast for their artists and customers. I am a big fan of their products and have purchased their cards and calendars for years. Rose introduced me to one of the owner and really learned alot about what they are looking for, such a rare opportunity. Below is a picture of one of the owners Cathleen Llanso with some of their artists. 

We also got freebies, a Lang calendar signed by Jane Shasky. A little but nicely done mini santa by Pipka, Cards by Show Offs Art, and some coasters by Magnet Works.
So to wrap up my weekend at the show it was well worth it for an artist. I met alot of very nice people, I learned alot from some really wonderful artists. And spent the way home sketching.