Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Canon Rebel XSI

Okay so by now I've chilled out a bit, but on Christmas Eve I got one of the best gifts EVER from my love, Joey. Through the year, I had always talked about how 'one day' I'd save up to buy an SLR. I love my Canon PowerShot, and it works beautifully for some things, but I knew if I wanted to have complete control over a photo, I'd need to upgrade. You can imagine my surprise when I opened this:


I am *so* in love with Canon! The camera has so many features I have to get used to, but for now, here are some random photos I took as I played around to get used to my new toy.


The best part was Joey's reasoning behind such an elaborate gift: He believes in me. He sees my passion for creating, for illustrating, for sharing it with the world. As I said before- 2009 is going to be a fantastic year for Elegant Journey. I have a few tricks up my sleeve - I've been pushing past my fears and can't wait to share all my experiences with you.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Studio Space

ItalicOkay so check this out: 1 hammer + 6 nails + 6 clipboards = one easy, cheap and fun way to hang interchangeable (is that even a word?) art.


I love to feel inspired and cozy in my studio. My space is important to me and I try to surround myself with things that remind me to have fun, be silly and to use my gift of creativity in ways that will inspire others.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


I have off a full 13 days from work and that means I'll actually have time to update my readers on all the fun stuff I have going on. 2009 is going to be one super stellar year. Elegant Journey has been my process of self-discovery. It's brought me face to face with myself and revealed my true passions and purpose for life. It's time to start taking these ideas that have been floating around in my head and do something with them. This year, I'm definitely not letting fear get in my way.

Also be sure to check out the Paper Breezy blog. Collette is one fabulous gal and she wrote the sweetest entry on Elegant Journey. Yes, I know...the give-away she talks about is over, but the first one went so well, I think it'd be fun to do a whole lot more!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Star Garland Tutorial


Merry Christmas fellow Artists, Crafters and Creatives! A splendidly easy, unquestionably fun star garland project from Elegant Journey to You:

• tin star garland (I purchased wholesale from www.factorydirectcraft.com)
• thin piece of cardboard or thick piece of paper to make a template
• scrapbook paper
• mod podge
• paintbrush
• xacto knife
• cutting mat
• burnishing tool


1) TRACE your tin star on the cardboard and cut out the shape with your xacto knife to create a template.


2) PLACE the template over a piece of paper that you'd like to use. (I found this step to work well so I could visualize what the star would look like before actually cutting the paper star out.)


3) CUT the star shape out with your xacto knife. Keep all 10 fingers? Great! Move to step 4!


4) BRING on the messy goodness! Use the paintbrush and liberally apply your mod podge to the tin star.


5) CENTER your cut paper star on the tin star and hold down with your fingers to position in place.


6) USE the burnishing tool to help crease the paper into the edges of the star.


7) WHEN you feel the paper has adhered itself, apply more mod podge on top. Continue down the chain of stars. I did every other star because I like the rust finish.

And that's it! Now just find a special place to hang and display your lovely stars.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Give-Away Winner & My New Favorite Book

Congratulations to Lauren of Hoosick Falls, NY!

Lauren- please email me your address and I will get to the post office to ship your print off.

Thank you to ALL who participated in the button print give-away! I loved reading all of your kind words and suggestions!

Also, I wanted to share this amazing book that I picked up the other day. It's published by Chronicle Books, one of my favorite companies! Craft Inc. by Meg Ilasco is a helpful little book for those of you like me...who know NOTHING when it comes to the business end of things. Besides having great examples from other people who have turned their craft into a business and step by step instructions on things like business plans & licenses, it's just plain pretty! Being that I'm in the publishing business, if a book doesn't feel good in my hands or have a good design base that intrigues me to read it, forget it! This book even leads you to great internet resources that come in super handy! If you're like me and you've got this gut feeling that you want to turn what you do for fun into what you do for money...this might be a great book for you too.

What are some of your favorite and inspiring craft, art or business books? If there's one I should know about, be sure to fill me in!

Monday, December 1, 2008

DECEMBER GIVE-AWAY!

As a thank you for all of your encouragement and emails, I wanted to give you the opportunity to win a print of my artwork. Hand drawn and digitally colored, this button is printed on 8x10" Kodak archival paper. The art itself is 5.25x7.25", so it fits perfectly in an 8x10" store bought frame with a matte.

So how do you enter?

It's simple. I'll even give you two ways :

Either leave a comment on ways you think I could improve the blog OR post on your blog about my give-away at Elegant Journey (be sure to let me know where you'll be posting). Ooooh, you could even tell me what you think I should draw next. Do both and get entered twice!

*ALSO* please be sure to leave your first name, city and state. I will pick a random winner on December 15. Please note, the contest is open to all–however, if the chosen winner is outside of the US, they will be responsible for shipping.

Happy blogging & commenting! It's always so much fun to hear from you! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What Are You So Afraid Of!?

I realized the reason I haven't been in my studio for a while: fear. Fear that I couldn't create what was in my mind. Fear that I'd get frustrated and give up. Fear that if I would feel pressured to make something greater than my ability. The excuses for why I wasn't creating were getting old. And the more excuses I made, the more frustrated I became.

So tonight, even though I could think of a million excuses - I picked up my pencil anyway, grabbed a tiny scribble from my 'secret stash' and started in.


I also found these bins for a shelf in my studio.

I had been looking for some way to hide all of my back up discs and music and 'bingo!' who would've guessed I would have found these beauties at the DOLLAR STORE! A grand total of $4 and it looks like an organization article from Real Simple Magazine. They go great with my fun binders too.


And... I had to share these early morning photos of my studio since the windows face the east. Who wouldn't feel inspired when the sunshine makes this kind of a statement in the morning!


Wanna win a print of my artwork? Check back for December Give-Away details. I'll be posting sometime next week. Have a Happy Thanksgiving :)
xo


Friday, November 14, 2008

Secret Stash

Wake up. Get ready for work. Eat breakfast. Get to work. Design books for 8 hours. Come home. Make dinner. Run errands. Relax for a bit. Take a peek into my lonely studio. Crash for the night. Repeat.

I really do enjoy my job, but one of the most frustrating things about not having time to do new art is... *sigh* not having time to do new art. So I've devised a plan: When I have all these creative ideas running through my head, I stash my thoughts as tiny thumbnails on post-it notes or whatever other piece of paper I can get my hands on. Then they end up here, in my Secret Stash folder:



And hopefully sooner than later, I'll get back to them and make them real. So far, this method has been working well for me. It's all part of my journey–figuring out which path I want to take and what things in life that are most important. Art has always been a part of my life. It's what makes me the most happy and I feel the most comfortable with. I know that this journey is leading to something bigger than me, and I've just begun to realize that I can't always answer the "what-if's" or "I-don't-know-hows". I take one step at a time (sometimes easier said than done) and trust that I am exactly where I need to be at this moment in my life.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Elegant Journey Teams Up With Madison Reece Designs!

This is what I've been *SO* excited to tell you about! A while back- Melissa, from Madison Reece Designs, approached me with the idea of teaming our talents and creating some really unique & classy pieces of jewelry. You can now purchase these chic pendants from Melissa's Etsy shop.

You can view this piece here.And this one here.

We both think that the colors of these pendants go perfectly with the new winter fashions and they'd make such unique, hand-crafted holiday gifts or stocking-stuffers. Melissa also now takes more wholesale orders, so be sure to check them out and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Entryway Art + 7 Random Facts


4 months after my move, I'm sitting here in my studio sipping some hot chocolate and finally feeling like this is my 'home'. When I moved during the summer, I never really felt like spending too much time inside messing around making this place cozy. Now that the days are shorter and much cooler, I'm finding that desire to 'nest'.

Here's some new art I made and put together in a grouping right in the stairwell entryway of my house. Since I can't paint the walls because I'm renting, I wanted to bring color in with my art.



On a side note, I found this super cute old skeleton key when I was first unpacking my things. And to my delight, it still works! I wanted to include it in the grouping so I strung it up with red ribbon.



The other day I was 'tagged' by Yellow Lux. The rules state you need to share 7 random facts, so here are 7 about me:
1) I work better when I'm in a clean space.
2) When I get stressed out, I'll pop in old movies I used to watch when I was little. It takes me back to the days when I was a worry-free kid!
3) My toenails are ALWAYS painted some shade of pink.
4) I've know my best friend, Sarah, since Kindergarten.
5) A very special 'someone' found a REAL 4 leaf clover & I have it framed, sitting on my desk.
6) I {heart} sushi.
& 7) *smirk*
I'm currently bursting at the seams with some exciting news that I'll be sharing soon! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

There's No Place Like Home...

Okay, okay... I suppose I'll end the suspense. Since everyone knows how we dress up at work for Halloween, people have been dying *giggle* to know what this year's Halloween office shenanigans would be. So I present to you – The Wizard of Oz, complete with Munchkins, Flying Monkeys and the 'oh-so-pretty' Ruby Red Slippers:


Pssst, and a special 'thank you' to Glenda the Good Witch (aka Lisa) for sewing my outfit! It fit perfectly!

Which reminds me, I've really wanted to start sewing again. Okay, okay, so the last time I actually 'sewed' was in my 6th grade Home Ec. class, but I have some really fun ideas that involve my illustrations, fabric,...and well, you'll see.

The rest of my day involves absolutely nothing in particular. Yay, my first lazy Sunday in a looong time! I'll have my football fix at noon when our Packers play the Titans. Oh! And bake some cinnamon rolls later this afternoon. Yummy!

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