Pencil Portrait: Sisters


No matter how many years pass or how many painting and sketching styles i try out along the way, i think i will always continue to do plain old pencil portraits. i love them so. These cutie patootie sisters were too precious not to share.

Drop me a line if you’d like to give a portrait gift for a holiday or special occasion. i’ve done quite a few for fellas looking to make their kiddos’ mama cry that happy, mushy cry.

productive days creating

Nothing can put an actual, noticeable spring in my step as much as a super-productive day of creating….even better when some of the hours are billable, right? : ) On days like that, i sorta feel like the stars are aligned, and everything will be alright with the world. i’ve got glitter under my nails by bedtime (hopefully the kids didn’t eat any with their lunch?!), and i’ve got a big stupid grin on my face.

i had one of those days yesterday. It was so needed.

i was so grateful for it.

Half client work that miraculously hit zero snags, and half creating artwork for my shop and fun projects. Do you guys also have that magical recipe? that perfect storm of little things that add up and make you feel so happy and content just to BE?  The kind of day that makes you feel like a good night’s sleep is on its way? i’m so interested to hear….for real-real! i swear, sometimes it just a day of sunshine and breezes that can do it! Or a day when the baby sleeps soundly during his nap and the house is peaceful for a bit. AH, the little things!

Anyway! Here are a few little tidbits of what yesterday’s creative sessions entailed…

~ a new print for the etsy shop

~ and the start of some sketching for the next in that same series

~ a bit of sketching for a commisioned t-shirt design

~ and little sliver of a peek at some free, BOY-FRIENDLY art you’ll be able to download over at Lil Blue Boo.

Hope you all had a great day too, and more of the same today!


sweet commission

Here’s little something  i’ve been working on….yep, still taped to my art board….

My friend commissioned this sketch for her boyfriend who is from the town where this gate is a landmark. Such a sweet thought, right? i hope he likes it.

Here’s a little info on the gate/arch.

From Wikipedia:

Qur’ān Gate (Persian: دروازه قرآن, Darvāzeh Ghor’ān) is a historic gate in the southern-central Persian city of Shiraz.

It is located at the northeastern entrance of the city, on the way to Marvdasht and Isfahan, between Baba Kouhi and Chehel Magham Mountains near Allah-O-Akbar Gorge.[1]


The Gate was first built during the reign of ‘Adud ad-Dawla. By the time of the Zand dynasty, it had sustained a lot of damage, so it was restored and a small room on top was added, in which were kept hand-written Qur’āns by Sultan Ibrahim Bin Shahrukh Gurekani. The two Qur’āns are known as Hifdah-Man.[1] Travelers passing underneath the gates were believed to receive the blessing of the Holy Book as they began their trip or journey from Shiraz.

During the Qajar dynasty, the gate was damaged by multiple earthquakes; it was later restored by Mohammad Zaki Khan Nouri.[1] In 1937 the two Qur’āns were taken from the gate and were taken to the Pars Museum in Shiraz, where they remain today. In 1949 the arch of the gate was restored by Hosein Igar, a merchant also known as E’temad Al-Tejar.[1]

Today the gates are part of a city park where Shirazis relax and picnic during their leisure hours.

Fingerpaint & Chalk – new artwork

ImpressionistPainting1-doodledThis artwork is the painter’s equivalent of a writer’s mind dump. You get all these thoughts swirling in your head and have an almost physical need to get them out on paper, or in this case-computer screen, since i made the art using my favorite toy. My Wacom Intuos4 Graphics tablet and stylus. Oh man! How did i ever live without them?! No messy paint tubes and no brush cleanup….especially nice when your urge for a mind-dump comes in the wee small hours and you’ve got a 2 month old baby sleeping beside you! SO awesome to be able to get my vision onto the screen without even changing my seat!

i kept seeing this filmy colorful background….sort of like when latex balloons in bright colors overlap each other with the sunshine behind them? Bright, vivid and transparent….

The sketches had to be white. No other option. The sketchy, messy style is a little different than my usual doodlings, but i see a trend moving toward the UN-done look like this for me in the coming weeks. It feels very genuine and somewhat warm and inviting because of it….like a conversation. Approachable and friendly. i haven’t named it yet, though i’ve had many suggestions on facebook.

Fingerpaint was my favorite theme so far.

Maybe Fingerpaint & Chalk??

sketchbook – boho rag doll

HippieRagDoll001i just got my new  Wacom Intuos4 graphics tablet today!!!  Now i am busy trying to make my hands forget more than 13 years of digital drawing with the mouse, and hand-drawing with the pencil or pen. i must learn the ways of the stylus! It is …interesting. i’m not so good, but i’m trying to cut myself some slack since i’ve only been at it a few hours.

The wonderful, amazing, endlessly talented and sweet Stephanie Fizer has shared one or two tips with me. Her illustrations are way too cool for school. Check her out!

One thing Stephanie recommended for me was to start with a pencil drawing, scan it in and work from there. So, i made this little drawing of a Boho Rag Doll to play with. And i’ll post some progress images as i work on it on the tablet! Bear with me, and feel free to send me tips if you’re one  of folks who has already got it down-pat : )

sketch week continues…

AlenconLaceBodice001 Ah…this dress was one of my favorites. Imported Alencon lace was used for the center-seamed, deep v bodice. i lined the bodice with a silk that took forever to find. i was going for a color that would fall somewhere between nude (ick!) and natural white, which was the color of the gown. i wanted the motifs in the lace to stand out a bit and have a lovely vintage flavor. The color i ended up using was like a very soft sand color….like the color of linen. That fabric was so beautiful! The skirt was just awesomeness to the touch. The bride wanted a very slinky feel with layers. We did a shiny silk charmeuse layer and self lining, then 2 layers of chiffon. That’s 4 layers all together. The skirts were light and weighty all at once. The word, sumptuous comes to mind. Yum. The top most layer of chiffon was the natural white, but the underlayer of chiffon  was in the linen/sand color. Oh man, the depth of creaminess that resulted was just dreamy. Dreamy creamy! i hand-stitched the scalloped edges along the neckline, backline and armhole openings which were sewn like like slit-openings on the side seam. See them in the sketch? i love tiny details like that. Everything about this dress was designed to elongate the body. Everything was based around long vertical lines and seams. i’m falling in love with it all over again. These dresses were like my babies! It was always difficult to send one out the door.

i’ve really been loving blogging about these designs this week. It makes me remember what i loved so much about sewing one-of-a-kind gowns. (sigh*)

day 3 of looking back…the keyhole racerback


Please do not use this design without my permission.

Um, this sketch stole my dream hair. Touseled, wavy low ponytail with perfect pieces around the face. Ah well, my hair does not have quite the volume to pull this off, but pencil chick here is rockin it!

This sketch was for an asymmetric beaded/sequined skirt with a charmeuse keyhole, racerback bodice with beading along the armhole edges.  This was one of 3 sketches that were shown to a very cool bride who actually became a dear friend. She chose a different dress….a sheath dress entirely in beaded chiffon with a low scoop back that was held up entirely by an attached corset which was the workhorse of the dress. She is awesome. She rocked a cage veil and black gloves and i think there were black feathers involved (tastefully) in the bouquet. My fashionista buddy. She is fearless!…and is now a brand new mama : )

looking back – ah glamour

Hello all! Here is what i’m thinking. Since i am up to my elbows in commissions and it can be tricky posting progress pics “during” the creation (clients like to be the first ones to see a work and still others might consider me stealing their thunder if i posted theirs) i am going to post a bunch of dress sketches this week.

i had so much fun sifting through my design journals from my days in the bridal biz. And response from my sweet readers was quite positive….so here we go~ a week-long peek at some of my favorites.

Dress #1

This sketch is a beaded, triple layer chiffon gown with a bodice overlay in wispy coordinating chiffon with beading along the edges & dangles on the points. i think i might revisit this bodice for a little summer dress! : )


Please do not use this design without my permission

Dress #2

Now, if only i was a good at taking actual photos of the completed gowns to compare! i was horrible at that. i think i only have maybe 4-5 photos? My sister and a few friends are easy marks though. i can squeeze some photos out of them! For now, i’ll leave you with and in-progress shot of my sister’s gown and veil back in 2000? i think?  In this pic, i was about midway through the sewing and had a lot of hand beading left to complete….


Please do not use this design without my permission

bye for now! More tomorrow!