Wednesday, July 31, 2013

End of July

I've entered into another Spoonflower weekly design contest.  "Fireflies" voting begins August 8th.  I love to see fireflies at night.  At first, I was going to paint them because I thought that I could get a nice glowing effect with the transparency of watercolor.  I eventually decided to not be too realistic with this one.  I thought that they were less creepy in this stylized way.  I have a smaller version too that you can see at my Spoonflower shop.

In the meantime, I'm anxiously awaiting tomorrow.  Lilla Rogers team will announce the top 50 that will be able to move on to the next assignment.  I've been checking out the blog world and I'm blown away by all of the different ways that people have tackled the playground journal assignment.  There are so many great designs, they must have had so much fun going through them all.  I'm so curious to see the top 50, I have the joy and anticipation of a kid at Christmas!  I really hope they let us know how many submissions they received too. 

Side note... Since I was in the sharing mood in my last post... I thought that I would let you know that my mom is doing much, much better:)

July has been a blur... I'm dreaming of a great August!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Life is definitely a roller coaster.  I have to say that I've been coasting along pretty well up until a couple of weeks ago.

Since my last post, my mom has had some severe health issues.  She has been at a hospital an hour away for more than a week now and visiting her and worrying about her is definitely taking a toll on me.  There were some days last week when I was not quite sure what I was supposed to be doing with myself.  When I had some free time I decided to keep working on my playground design for Lilla Rogers.  That seems silly right?  I have someone that I love near death and I'm painting kids on a playground.  Well, painting kept my mind off the dark, scary side of life and reminded me of the bright, fun side.  I'm thankful to these kids... even though some of them gave me a little trouble.  I'm glad that I was able to finish the assignment too.

I'm sharing this because I think that art, any form, can have tremendous healing power and it's a healthy way to escape.  I think it's so important for people to have some kind of creative outlet.  If you don't have one,  it's never too late to learn something new.

I'm now waiting to see where this ride takes me... I really wouldn't mind if it slowed down a bit.  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New adventures!

My newest adventure in design began July 1st...

I'm entered into the Lilla Rogers Studio "Global Talent Search"!  The winner gets representation by Lilla Rogers Studio for two years and a host of other great perks!  (Details here.)

Lilla Rogers is an artist and licensing agent.  This past winter, I purchased her book "I just like to make things".  The book was very inspiring and informative about the art licensing world and making art that sells.  It's what led me to start this blog!  The book title sums up my life, all 43 years of it.  I can't imagine a day when I'm not creating something.  I've worked in the design world before as a stylist for a wallpaper company.  I loved my job but left it almost 8 years ago to be a full time mom.  (My daughter is definitely my best collaborative work ever!)  I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to be at home with her.  However, I'm now ready and craving to do design work again.  This time I want to be out on my own (with an agent)!

While checking out Lilla's website, I stumbled upon this contest and I decided to enter.

I woke up July 1st to an email containing our first "assignment".  We are to create a journal cover for the company Paperchase and it is supposed to have a playground theme.  I'm so excited and scared to be working on this.  I can't wait to be finished and show you my design.  I'm at the point in the design process where I love my idea, I'm pretty sure that I know how I will execute it and I'm really nervous about messing up.

I'm going to wait to show you my design until after the submitting deadline has past. 

Lilla and her team will judge all of the entries (I'm curious to know how many) and they will pick the top 50.  If you make the top 50, they give out another assignment August 1st that will be judged by an impressive panel of judges from the design world (see here) and then...

This will sound pessimistic but... I'm not expecting to win.  I'm not in it to win it.  I'm doing this for the experience.  It's challenging, it's fun and it's forcing me to put myself out there (wherever there is).  I would be so thrilled just to make the top 50, ecstatic to make the top 6 and you would need to resuscitate me if I actually won!  I'm grounded to reality though, there are some incredibly talented people entered into this with me.  (Seriously, I'm not sure why some of them don't have an agent already!)  If this first assignment turns out to be the last with Lilla, I'm OK with that.  The process has been really fun and I have another design for my portfolio!

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sewing 101

I made something with my fabric!  Really simple too.  I ended up making some dinner/picnic napkins with my "Ants love watermelon" fabric.  I am really happy with the way the design printed.  I was able to make 6 square napkins from a yard of linen/cotton from Spoonflower.  It was fun and frustrating photographing them...

I made a little watermelon juice and then had a difficult time shooting the photos before the ice melted and the table and napkins got wet.  It was an incredibly hot day.    I got the idea for the slice on the glass from a beautiful photo of watermelon/coconut water on Pinterest (see it here).  My attempt looks a little awkward... I think.  This was my first venture into food photography and I give the pros a LOT of credit!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

2nd Place!

I'm so happy to say that I placed 2nd in the last Spoonflower design contest!  Thank you to everyone that voted!  The theme was "Midsummer Nights Dream" inspiration from the play by William Shakespeare.  It was a palette restricted contest too.  We had to use these exact 5 colors...

My design is named "Love-in-idleness" which is another way of referring to pansies.  The flower has a big part in the play.  I have little white details on the fern leaves that make them appear to be a lighter yellow.  Fun how that works!
Moving on...

Results for the "Citrus Fruits" will be announced this Thursday (not expecting to do so well in that one).

In the meantime, I've also entered into the "Picnics" weekly contest (voting starts Thursday).  My design is named "Ants Love Watermelon".  I painted the watermelon with watercolor.  People tend to not care for the realistic approach but I'm going with it anyway.  I like it.  I've ordered some fabric in a linen/cotton blend that I plan to make dinner napkins or dish towels with... maybe an apron.  I'm not going to promise that you will ever see finished product though.  Maybe.  I'll try.

I've really had fun entering these contests.  I love to see what all of the other designers come up with and I've loved when there have been extra limitations to the rules.   However, I'm going to take a break from Spoonflower contests to have time for NEW adventures in design.  I'll keep you posted.  Promise.  Jill