Saturday, December 26, 2009


This is the collage portrait I created for my parents for Christmas. I didn't have time to scan it, so I snapped a quick picture at night. I hope to get a chance to scan it soon. It has all their grandchildren on it. I also added a key with the word "heart" on it. My dad and brother are locksmiths, so it's fitting.

We just got back from visiting my husband's family in Buellton. Here's a pic of the ocean at Pismo Beach. Beautiful!!! The weather was gorgeous down there. We had a great time, but it's good to be home. Back to work on the house tomorrow. Can't wait!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a great holiday. I am so grateful for all of you who take the time to read my blog. Thank you so much!!! I have big plans for the New Year that I will be blogging about soon. Take time to relax and enjoy your family and friends. I might even take my own advice.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Iraj!!!

I wanted to wish my husband a very happy birthday on Thursday. I am so grateful to be his wife. He's a great husband, and father. He's worked hard to make our dreams come true and we love him so much.

Unfortunately, my eldest is going into surgery on Hubby's birthday. It's hard to feel sorry for a guy who's playing video games instead of going to school, though. He's so tough he hasn't even had any pain meds. He takes after his dad and mine. I wish I had their pain tolerance and speedy healing powers.

Monday, December 14, 2009


After quite a cold snap, we're back to our regular California weather in the 50s. Thank goodness, since I could not get warm. I'll be MIA a bit more as I get our new home ready, pack up our stuff, and move. The kids only have one more week of school before Christmas vacation. They just had three days off last week for the flu. It seems like they're never in school anymore. At least they're helping with the new house. Hope to check in with you all soon with some pictures of all our hard work.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Disappearance & Sale

Sorry I've been MIA lately. We got hit with the stomach flu. We're better now and to celebrate I'm having a 2 day Holiday sale. Receive 15% off everything in my Etsy shop Thursday and Friday only (Dec. 10-11). Just mention the code H1209 in the message to seller.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Featured Artist

I'm so excited and honored to be the Featured Artist on Elizabeth Caldwell's blog. Go check it out here. She's a great Twitter friend and a very talented designer. Check out her shop here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Collage Portrait

I just finished this Semi Custom Collage Portrait for a client. Her boys are very into Legos, so I added some Lego bricks. This was so much fun to do and I'm glad she likes it!

It's not too late to order yours for the holidays! Click here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Kiyon!!!

My oldest turned 12 today. I can't believe he's this old already and in 7th grade. High school is looming-OMG! He is the most amazing, creative, wonderful guy and I love him from the tips of my toes to the top of my head and deep into my heart. Happy Birthday Kiyon!

He doesn't like cake or cupcakes, so I usually get Brownie Bites for his "cake". This year I got him a Texas Size Cookie from our favorite restaurant, Armadillo Willy's. He always asks for it when we go there, and I always say no. He was so happy!

If you follow me on Twitter, you know he wanted a Nerf dart battle in the park, but it was going to rain. We finally decided that they wouldn't mind the rain, so the battle was on. They all had a great time. It was the perfect birthday. Very simple and loads of fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I just can't hold it in!

I'm apparently incapable of being prudent with news this big. We're buying a house. Now I've jinxed it! We (ok I) have wanted to move into a family friendly neighborhood and into a bigger house with a bigger back yard for a long time. I finally convinced (badgered, cajoled, whined, cried to) my husband that this was a wise idea. We finally found one in our choice neighborhood where we have lots of friends. The house is the same size as our current one, but 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Did I mention that it's a fixer upper? Oh, and that my husband has no interest whatsoever in fixing up anything? He does cut the grass once a month whether it needs it or not;-) I'm not complaining. I knew this before I married him and expect nothing more from him in this arena. He's great in so many other ways!

So I will be doing all of the painting, cleaning, packing, unpacking, and hiring of contractors all by myself. Shoot me now. I'm serious. I obviously have several more screws loose than the garage door does. Did I mention that while all of the above is happening, I had my wisdom teeth taken out, Dad had hip surgery, I'm having Thanksgiving (and you all know how much I love to cook and entertain :o), am throwing a bday party for my oldest outside, in the rain, and let's not forget Christmas. Not even sure which house we'll be in then. I also need to prep the current house for rent.

Fun times. If my future blog posts sound like gibberish, please call 911 and have them find my brain and reinstall it. I've lost it for sure!

P.S. The pics above are of a "Secret Room" accessed via the closet in my new studio. The "hole" is the emergency exit. Hoping to finish it off and add a ladder to the dining room below. Crazy? Yes! but this IS a boy house, you know. You've got to have a secret room with a ladder!

Still Recovering

Sorry for being MIA lately. I'm still recovering from my wisdom tooth extraction. I still have pain, but the meds are making me sick. I am a bit better each day which is good because I am sick of this!!!!

I can't wait to share some news, but I'm so afraid to jinx it. Some of you have already guessed. Sorry to be such a tease, but you never know what'll happen. I hope to be back creating soon. Meanwhile, here's a Penguin Christmas Carol for your viewing pleasure. Take care everyone.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Checking In

Sorry I've been MIA lately. Both kids and my husband have been sick. Little Guy started it with a sore throat, then an ear infection, then pink eye, and just as we thought he was getting better, we found out he's allergic to Penicillin. I feel so bad for him. He is definitely feeling better now. I'm hoping he'll be back at school tomorrow, because I'm having 3 wisdom teeth removed. Oh joy!! I'm hoping for a quick recovery, but it may stay quiet around here this week. Oh yeah, did I mention my dad's getting a new hip on Friday the 13th? Yup. Prayers appreciated.

Teaser: Since I don't want to post without a picture, here's a little sneak peak at some big news which I sincerely hope I'm not jinxing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Idea Savings Bank

Twice this week on Twitter, I heard the frustration of creative moms yearning to create, but can't because they have young children and no time. I so remember those days. With my first, it wasn't a big issue, but by the time the Little Guy arrived with his own agenda, I had no time to create. If you're creative, you know that it's as necessary as bathing. You can get by without it, but you and everyone around you suffers.

I nursed both of my kids and they would hang out forever if I let them. I'm probably one of the few moms who got a LOT of reading time;-) This was also a time of amazing idea generation for me. I was planning what I would focus on with my illustration career when I got back to it.

To keep from losing all of these ideas and going crazy, I started pasting pics from illustration magazines, color swatches, sketches (thumbnails, really), color studies, quotes from O magazine, and catalog pics. If I had an idea for an illo, I'd write it down in the journal. I wrote things about the kids, too, like when Little Guy started walking at 9 1/2 months on vacation. My kids don't have baby books, but they do have these memories written down in my journal.

If you are going through early Mommyhood or an illness that keeps you from creating, give this a try. It sure saved me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy November

I just wanted to pop in and say hi. This is an old watercolor I painted. It hangs in my kitchen where I seem to have a slight Halloween theme going on. You can purchase a print of it here.

I can't believe it's November already. I'm taking it easy today in anticipation of all the business to come over the next two months. Hope you all enjoyed your Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pre Halloween Goodness

The kids wanted the dog to wear a costume for Halloween. Little Guy really wanted him to be Batman because of his ears. I wanted to make him a poncho. I didn't want to spend any money, so I hit my fabric stash. I used an old t-shirt for the body of the costume and some leftover scrap of satin and felt for the cape. It's not my finest craftsmanship, but it'll do. By the way, I don't think the dog appreciates my creativity.

The principal and vice principal had the most creative costume. They're dressed as the old man and Boy Scout from the movie Up. Too clever!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Collage Portrait: AJ

I just finished this Semi Custom Collage portrait. This little guy is totally fearless and loves baseball with a passion. He's so adorable, too! This is the first one in which I've used the green option. You can get your portrait done here.

I entered the PS Print Holiday card contest. Please vote for my Christmas Chihuahua here.

I just had to share this Christmas card by my Twitter buddy, Elizabeth Caldwell. Don't you love it? You can purchase this and many other designs here. Be sure to follow her on Twitter, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Bounty and a Win

I received my prize from Swirly Designs today and I love it!!! This handmade, polymer clay ornament will be out year round. I love Halloween decorations, and have a few that are always on display. I love them too much to put them away. Thank you Lianne & Paul!! Be sure to check out their Halloween and Christmas ornaments, they're beautiful!

My favorite time of year and my favorite fruit — persimmons! My mom has an amazing tree. No matter how many we pick, there's always more.

The boys helping with the harvest and pruning. The big guy wasn't too excited about picking, but when my mom suggested pruning, aka: destruction, he was hooked.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mural Project

Yesterday, we created murals in honor of National Drawing month in 7th grade. The kids had a good time and the murals came out great! I urged them to draw for fun, as a means of expression, and as a form of communication. At this age, their always saying, "I can't draw." I tell them they can.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Illustration Friday—Frozen

Just because they're frozen, doesn't mean they can't be colorful! The coat and flower were inspired by Bari's embellished coat which is actually yellow, but it still inspired me.

If you haven't already, please check out my Semi Custom Collage Portraits here.

Friday, October 16, 2009


This is a sketch I'm working on for Illustration Friday. I'm busy with my new business, but I still hope to color this one in time.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Semi Custom Collage Business is Live!!!!!

After much sweat and tears (mostly tears), my new Semi Custom Collage business is now live on the web. Deep sigh of relief. It's been a tough battle, but worth, I think. I have to thank my husband, for finally getting me past the part I was stuck at. My brain had shut down by last night, so I had to borrow his today. Worked like a charm.

You can check it out here.

Now I can get to the fun stuff, like laundry, house cleaning, decorating for Halloween, and, let's not forget, sleeping. I was so grateful for the warm weather today, since my son had no clean long pants to wear to school.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Semi Custom Collage--Zuzu

I just finished this semi custom collage portrait on canvas for one of my Twitter friends, @zuzugirl. Her daughter is so adorable and has loads of personality. This was so much fun! I have two boys, so I don't get to go crazy with the girly stuff very often. Fun, fun, fun!

I hope to have the website up and running by the end of this week. (Famous last words.) If you would like to commission me to create one for you and you can't wait, send me a email.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Leaping into the Abyss

I'm really enjoying painting right now. It's freeing and terrifying at the same time. I never know if the painting will work out. I have no real plan other than to go with the flow. Once I paste the collage down, it looks so good, so perfect already what will happen when I paint it? Will it be completely ruined? I often walk away for awhile to work up the courage to paint.

The first strokes aren't bad, they mostly enhance the collage, but to continue I risk destroying the artwork. Every time. I have to take a deep breath and plunge forward. I must have faith. I have to let go (if you knew me you'd know how ridiculously hard that is for me). So what if it stays in that ugly middle place? It's not the end of the world. I can throw it away and start over. Who cares?

I really believe there's a reason I'm attracted to collage right now. I need to let go, to take risks, to not plan, to leap into the unknown, the abyss. Art is a journey towards truth. Collage is my current vehicle.

What are you working through right now?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Illustration Friday—Pattern

Since the word is pattern, I thought I'd post an actual pattern today.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Collage Portrait: Mothers

This is a collage portrait of my gramma, mom, and me. I was very close to my gramma, and am very close to my mom. This portrait strengthens that connection. They're quilters, and now I am beginning to quilt. You can see my first attempt here. The collage process is a bit like quilting plus I added old sewing patterns to add to the theme. The photos were all taken by my grampa.

New Collage Portrait

Just finished this painting last night. It's a progression of my boys growing up. I am so grateful for their relationship with each other. It's magic (most of the time)! You can see it in progress here. This will be one of the semi custom options I can create for you.

I used Donna Ingemanson's beautiful papers for this collage.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quilt & Collage Update

Making progress on my first quilt with Bari's beautiful fabrics.

Here's the base for my current painting. It's a sample for my new custom collage painting. Can't wait to show you the finished piece.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

In My Studio

A week ago, I went on a trek to Ikea. Love that place. A friend and I spent 3 hours, shopping, looking, and dreaming there. So much fun! It's my idea of a candy store.

My studio is usually in a state of chaos. It's a loft space upstairs with no closet, so I have almost no storage. I have a "Grand Plan", but so far no funds to back it up, so I muddle along dreaming of how it will be "Someday".

Recently, I began to collage. Those of you who do this know how many bits and pieces you collect to collage with. I actually avoided collage for awhile because I knew where it would lead. I'm so glad I finally gave in because I love it! Above you can see the solution. It's a handy set of drawers in which I can store all my papers, bottles, paints, brushes, and sparkly bits. I love it! Now I actually have a work space on my drawing board and I can find what I need easily. Thank you Ikea! Luckily, mine came with all the screws. Carol wasn't so lucky as you can read here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

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