Friday, May 3, 2013

My Blog has Moved

Hi there! I just wanted to let you know that I have moved this blog over to my new website. You should automatically be redirected there. Please swing over and say hello!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Big News! New Website coming in May!

 {My current - soon to be retired - website}

Big News, yes?  I’ve been working away with the web development team at Jordan Crown on my new website, which is to launch May 1, just before Surtex. I’m SO excited for this new site and can’t WAIT for you to visit it! I’ll also be moving this blog over to my new website, so please do follow me over there, as I’d love to keep in touch with you!

Why a new website, you ask? Well, there are many reasons – one being that I’m growing (yay!) so my current site isn’t built for me to expand as much as I need it to, and the work involved in making it expandable is pretty close to the work involved in creating a new one - sooooo I decided on just doing a new one.  And although I loooove the look of my current website, I am ready for a fresh look too.

From a business perspective, here’s some of the things I’ve chosen to update:
1)   I’m moving this blog over to my website. Goodbye Blogger! It’s been fun, but I’m ready to have everything all in one spot and to have more control over the design. So as of May 1st, this blog will be gone and redirect you to my new one.
2)   My image galleries (& my online portfolio) all utilize Flash – which means that anyone who is looking at my site on an iPhone or an iPad isn’t able to view my galleries or my portfolio. And from a Google Analytics standpoint – that’s a lot of people. It's also not helping my SEO either.
3)   My new site will utilize responsive design  - which means that things will literally move and resize to fit multiple devices and screen sizes. This will allow my site to last me quite a few years by utilizing this structure.

I'm SO excited and SO swamped with working on a new site AND preparing for Surtex. It's been a crazy, creative, but fun season, and I can't wait to share it with you!

Oh, and because we are literally in the middle of developing my new blog, I need to close comments on this blog post – but I’ll be sharing this over on Facebook if you'd like to comment.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Artwork Can Now Be Found On Checks!

 {Just Dandy checkbook cover and checks}
I am SO excited to share with you today my new licensing partnership with Check Advantage! Starting today, my artwork can now be found on checks! I've designed 6 collections featuring some of my favorite and best-selling artwork. The fun thing is that each set of checks comes with four designs, and you can get checkbook covers and labels to match! EEK!

I have wanted to design for checks ever since I got my first checking account when I was a teenager in college. I think that was one of the first times I saw and understood how artwork could be applied to product. I would check out every company I could and review all of their checks in hopes of finding ones that I loved. So when the opportunity arose to work with Check Advantage I was IN!!
Now, I just need to decide which ones I'm going to order for myself....

Which is your favorite set?
The juicy colors against black with All Dolled Up?
Retro 60s tribute to mod with Just Dandy?
Outdoor picnic inspired designs in Field Day?
Vintage Tablecloth feeling vibe of Prairie Park?
The cross-stitch and crochet homespun feel of Hope Chest?
Or the sweet vintage feel of Flea Market?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

I recently finished the audio-book 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' by Susan Cain, and just HAD to share my thoughts with you! If you are an introvert, are married to one, are in business with one, or have an introverted child, I highly recommend this book. (BTW-I listened to the audio book and found the voice of the speaker quite perfect to listen to.)

In addition to highlighting the strengths and power of introverts, this book also shares about how America became such an extroverted culture, and compares it to China's respect for quiet and reflection. How to choose a job that suits your energy needs or to set-up 'restorative niches' – places you can go or things you can do to recharge. Why brainstorming and open work environments don't bring out the best in anyone. How to understand your introverted child, meet them where they are at, support them and help them grow in the way and pace they need it. This book is also backed by a lot of research and scientific study. What I also love is that it shares quite a bit about extroverts and doesn't make them look like the bad guy. It shows the strengths of both types.

One of the many big take-aways I have from this book is the research behind open work environments. Have you worked in a corporate environment where they decided to get rid of your single cubicle, and open up the area for many of you to share a space in the pursuit of a 'more collaborative environment'.  This book shares study after study about how this model fails each time. Studies show that both introverts and extroverts are not able to be as productive as when they sit by themselves, nor come up with their best ideas when sharing an office space.

I myself am an introvert. I get recharged by spending lots of time by myself, vs extroverts who get recharged by being around people. I'm married to an extrovert. My parents are extroverts, and many of my close friends are extroverts as well. I love extroverts! I also love introverts and they hold a special place in my heart because I can relate so well to them and their inner lives. I have a huge passion for Myers-Briggs and Keirsey temperament sorters and research, and love to help people understand themselves and those close to them, using these tools. Because of these tools, for a long time I've been perfectly OK being an introvert, and knew the powers we had, however, I still found this book validating, interesting and powerful.
As part of my job presenting trend, color and print, I've needed to give multiple presentations a year. Learn how to project my voice. Not say 'um'. Prepare what I'm going to say, and articulate it to an audience. For my entire life I've heard how I need to 'grow', to be less like myself and more like _______. This book is the first time I've truly heard not only that it's OK to be an introvert - but that we have unique strengths and power to contribute to this world, and the world needs us just as we are. What I love about this book is that it doesn't give me tips on how to become more extroverted. It accepts introverts for who they are and shares tons of research and case studies to back up the power of introversion.

Yes, there's room for all of us to grow. I'm thankful for all the years that I had to give presentations as I went from shaking and freaking out, to finding my voice and speaking what I was passionate about. I know what does and doesn't work for me now. However, I think it's important for all of us to know that we can only grow within who we are, and can really only grow and stretch by a few degrees. We will never be able to be someone else. We are who we are and that's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Global Bazaar Fabric Collection Photo Shoot

My latest fabric collection 'Global Bazaar' with Blend Fabrics started shipping in January.
Woo-hoo! 4 weeks later, I FINALLY got my photos from my Global Bazaar photo shoot back last night, and I'm just dying to share them with you! If you follow me on Facebook, you've probably already had a chance to check them out on my website. However, for all of you who visit my blog, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos and a bit about the day.

My vision for my Global Bazaar photo shoot was to have a teepee on a beach. That's where it all started. From there I decided to cover some vintage suitcases with my fabrics from this collection to round out the theme, make some pillows, borrow the gorgeous quilts that were made by Metropolitan Quilt for Blend Fabrics, create a backdrop out of flag tape, and bring one of my living room chairs to the beach. What a day!

 {Vintage suitcases I covered with my fabrics}

I found these suitcases on CraigsList about a 2 hour drive away, and my husband and I took a morning to drive and pick them up. I covered all of the hardware with masking tape, and I spray painted the edges and the handles black. I then covered the suitcases with my fabrics using (original, matte finish) Mod Podge, a foam brush, and (multiple) fresh blades on an x-acto knife.   

{Close-up of my Global Bazaar fabric collection}

As I was determined to finish all 3 suitcases in one sitting, cutting around the hardware just about put me over the edge! It took me 6 hours to complete this project, and I must say that they are absolutely GORGEOUS in person! The Mod Podge dried completely clear. They still feel like fabric to the touch, as I didn't put a sealer on them since they're for decoration not for really traveling

Also, doing a photo shoot on the February was not particularly genius because of how cold it was. My poor models were freezing but I must say that they constantly had a smile on their faces and were having a blast! Whew!

For this photo shoot, I decided to keep it smaller than my previous ones, for many reasons. One being that this year, I'll have 3 fabric lines coming out with Blend Fabrics. Three!!! With 3 fabric collections vs. 1 this year, I need to conserve my resources and my energy to be able to do photo shoots for each. Speaking of which - I am in need of sewers who can help me out...but that's another blog post.

 {Victory Patterns 'Roxanne' and 'Simone'}

In keeping with a smaller shoot, I sewed two garments this time, and excitedly used patterns from Victory Patterns. I LOVE Victory Patterns due to their fashion forward styles. The garments fit like regular clothes too, which is dreamy. The garment on the left uses Victory Pattern 'Roxanne' and the garment on the right uses pattern 'Simone'.


I LOVE the back of the 'Simone' high-low hem dress with the contrasting pattern! I used my Global Bazaar fabrics: Global Bazaar floral Red, Chimera Gray, and Hand-drawn Stripe Red for piping.

The collar on this 'Roxanne' top is to-die-for! What a great sewing pattern!
For this pattern, I used my Global Bazaar fabric 'Dancing Geos Blue', along with a black sequin fabric and a solid pink cotton.


Above is a bolster pillow that I created (and hope to put together a free sewing pattern for you...).

I must say that I'm quite proud of myself for creating everything for this shoot on my own. Although, I know now that next time I will definitely need some help! It's just too much to do it all and be successful at running my business (& preparing for Surtex!) as well. I hope to blog soon about how much I need you. Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoy these Global Bazaar photos and that they inspire you to use my fabrics for your own creations! If  you'd like to see more photo's, I've uploaded them to Flickr, and also created a slide-show on my website for you to watch. Please do share what you create! I'd love to see!

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I've been up to!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Moyo Digital Magazine Feature - Fashion & Fabric

Issue 3 of Moyo magazine is out, which includes an interview with me talking about 'Fashion and Fabric'. In this interview I answer questions like 'How to submit your work to a fabric company', explain the differences between designing for fashion and bolt fabric, and I walk you through my thoughts and process for designing my Hope Chest fabric line.

Also included in this issue is Amy Butler who talks about the business of design, a fun designer diary from Jessica Swift, and other great pattern news and information that I'm sure you'll love. If you are a textile or surface pattern designer, I encourage you to read this issue of Moyo which is all about fabric!

If you haven't heard of Moyo magazine yet, ‘MOYO’ (pronounced mo-yor) is from the Japanese for ‘pattern’, and was started by Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls.

Please feel free to share this resource on your blog, in your newsletters etc and tell all your friends about it. Visit the website and scroll down for details of how to share it. MOYO is free and they want to share the wonderful world of surface pattern design with as many people as possible! 


If you read my interview and have any further questions about fashion and fabric, please post them in the comments section and I'd be happy to answer them!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

From My Shelf - Marie Claire Idées

I recently went through the latest Marie Claire Idées magazine that arrived in my mailbox, and just HAD to share these lovely photo's with you! I absolutely LOVE the mixed textiles on the couch, and the gorgeous wall collage, below. My old studio used to be the color of that teal wall up above, and I really enjoyed being surrounded by such a bold color. I sure miss that!

I really enjoy the blue and green color story represented in this photo shoot, as well as the mix of patterns and textures. Although my decorating style is much different, I can definitely appreciate the eye candy! I hope these photos inspired you today!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Global Bazaar Fabric Collection Sneak Peek!

On Sunday I had my Global Bazaar fabric collection photo shoot! If you've been following along on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you've had the chance to see some sneak peek photos already. Today, I'm including a few new photos that my photographer, Natalie, took using a super-old school Polaroid camera.

I can't WAIT to share the rest of the photos and story with you in the next few weeks! Please stay tuned!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Just Added to the Shop!

I'm working away preparing for my Global Bazaar photo shoot tomorrow, which I'm SO excited about! In the meantime, I just had to let you know where you can find many of my gorgeous fabric accessories, stationery and scrapbook lovelies that my licensing partner Blend, the licensing division of Anna Griffin, Inc. has available to purchase on their online shop!

They just added tons of gorgeous Hope Chest items. If you're ready for some new stationery, or some fabric accessories, or ready to scrapbook 2012's memories, head on over and check out what they've got! They are the perfect items for gifts too!

I love them ALL...but if I HAD to pick some favorites I'd pick the Hope Chest wrap tote (these are AMAZING and GREAT to carry in your purse when you're shopping!), Hope Chest Duffel Bag, Hope Chest Tote Bag, Hope Chest Note Cards, Hope Chest Sticky Notes, Hope Chest 3D Art Stickers, and the Hope Chest 6x6 Cardstock Pad, and, and and!!! It's seriously hard to narrow it down.

What are your favorite items? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Spring 2013 - Hermes

 {All images from}

I have so much more Spring/Summer 2013 runway to share with you, that I thought I'd better start, now that I've recovered from the flu. I can finally bring myself to sit at my computer and put some visual inspiration together for you!

Today I'm sharing with you Hermes. Their scarf prints are to die for. Extremely well executed, from an artists perspective. I love how they translated their scarf prints onto garments – from the hand-sketched botanicals and hand-painted tropical tree & bird print to the graphic mosaics.  I just loved the detail in these prints, and wanted to show them to you close up!

This color story of primaries and red and blue shows up again. There was a LOT of red + blue on the runway this season. Stay tuned - it'll be flooding our marketplace (even more) soon! I've also been seeing a lot of the blue + gold + gray too. I've never met a blue that I didn't like, that's for sure, and teamed up with gold and gray makes it soothingly refreshing.

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Hope Chest Scrapbooking Line on HSN!

Hi Everyone! I've got three BIG announcements to share with you today! First off, my Hope Chest collection just debuted as a scrapbooking line at CHA with Blend!

Second, it will be selling on HSN Wednesday, January 23rd during the Today's Special at 11:00am (EST), particularly at 11:40am (EST)!
 {Image from Anna Griffin, Inc / Blend}

This is the perfect opportunity for you to get some new papers and embellishments to scrapbook your life and adventures - especially if you loved my Hope Chest fabric collection! In addition, there's more fabulous Hope Chest stationery items on their way too!

  {Image from Anna Griffin, Inc / Blend}

And Third, the main floral from my Hope Chest fabric collection, Hope Chest Floral, Olive, debuted at CHA also as a line of travel bags! Three pieces of great news, yes?!? Now I need to book a flight somewhere so I can use said beauties!

You can find some of my current Hope Chest stationery for sale on Anna Griffin's shop, under Blend.

  {Image from Anna Griffin, Inc / Blend}

My good friend, Diane Kappa, attended CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) and took some photo's of the gorgeous Blend / Anna Griffin booth that showcased my Hope Chest collection. Didn't they do an outstanding job? Check out the plethora of beautiful projects they created!! WOW!

 {My Hope Chest Scrapbooking Collection Display at the Blend / Anna Griffin Booth at CHA}

Didn't they do an amazing job with the display?

  {Close-up of My Hope Chest Scrapbooking Collection Display at the Blend / Anna Griffin Booth at CHA}

{Close-up of My Hope Chest Scrapbooking Collection Display at the Blend / Anna Griffin Booth at CHA}

Below are close-ups of some of the projects. I just think they did an AMAZING job. Everything they touch turns beautiful, seriously!

{Project Blend made using my New Hope Chest Scrapbooking Collection}

 {Project Blend made using my New Hope Chest Scrapbooking Collection}

{Projects Blend made using my New Hope Chest Scrapbooking Collection}

 {Project Blend made using my New Hope Chest Scrapbooking Collection}

 {Some of the new Hope Chest stationery coming out!}

I'm just so excited for all of these gorgeous products to hit the market so they can bring beauty and smiles to the women's lives who encounter them. If these make your heart happy, be sure to watch HSN this Wednesday, January 23rd so you can add them to your paper-crafting collection! Hope you enjoy! Thanks!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Word for 2013

After spending last week building out my goals for the year, budget and design calendar, I finally feel caught-up to 2013 and ready for it to continue to march to its beat. As I've been planning away, one word has been pressing on my mind and heart to be my focus for 2013...Intentional.

Intentional: Done with intention or on purpose

With 2012 being my first full year in business, I chose to ride the wave a little bit so I could be flexible enough to learn the ropes and see what types of things I would be juggling with my "new" business. As a planner type personality, it was really hard for me to do that, and to be honest, it kinda drove me crazy. Although I learned quite a bit last year, I'm excited to really focus in 2013 and be intentional. Propelling. Forward moving. Purposeful.

What's your word for yourself for 2013?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year! 2012 Review

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that your 2013 is off to a great start! I absolutely LOVE a fresh, new year — however this year I already feel behind by a few weeks. Bummer. I'll have to catch up now or forever feel it as the months go by!

Well, I thought I'd go ahead and recap my 2012 so I can reflect on the things that I'm so thankful for as well as be able to officially close the door so I can move forward.

Overall, as I look back at 2012, it was a big year! Full of new product launches, new partnerships with companies, and for my business, it was getting the foundation laid and processes put into place to strengthen my years ahead. I also finally started to take care of myself...regularly.

So with that said, here's a review of my 2012 both in business and my personal life...

* 2102 was my first full year being self-employed! I loved every minute of it and can not tell you how thankful I am to be able to do what I get to do. So 'thank you' to all of you who make it possible.

* This was an exciting year as my artwork launched on a variety of licensed product lines including fabric, stationery, holiday cards, desk organization, personal organization, tote bags and cake! Psst...and more to come in 2013! (Which I'll be sure to share as soon as I can!)

* Throughout the year I was absolutely fortunate enough to be featured in Uppercase Magazine, Sew It All, Print & Pattern Blog, be interviewed for A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight, have my licensed products featured in a handful of industry publications, be quoted in Pinterest Power, see Randy Jackson wear my print on American Idol, and even appear on a PBS TV episode with Sew It All! (Which BTW was one of the scariest, most interesting and rewarding thing to do!)

* After 5 years of owning a home out of state and being landlords, we finally were able to sell our home and move on with our lives. What a great feeling!

* I started weight lifting. Yes, you read that correctly. Me? Yep! I started this book called The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess. I highly recommend it! I don't know that I would say that I 'look like a goddess' but I bet I can lift more than some men now! And no, my muscles aren't huge. Girls, it's good for you!

* I attended Quilt Market for the first time (psst...AND met Anna Griffin! and Amy Butler and Tula Pink and Patty Young!)

* Thankfully Quilt Market was in Kansas City, so since we lived there for 2 years (when I worked at Hallmark), we made a mini-vacation out of the trip! My husband (& his parents) came with me and we had a chance to catch up with good friends & family=a WONDERFUL and much needed trip!!

* AND Quilt Market and Surtex were back to back - eek! So I took 2 weeks off and flew from Seattle to KC, then from KC to NYC all while carrying 3 overweight suitcases (NEVER again!...wait, I think I said that last year...)! I dropped off my husband to head back home to Seattle, and took my good friend Laura with me to NYC for Surtex.

* Attended Surtex 2012 and had a blast seeing current clients as well as meeting new ones

* The first morning of Surtex 2012, we walked in to find my back wall completely on the floor and learned that we rock & handle it when things are stressful. Funny that this should show up as an accomplishment, but hey, it sure felt like one!

* Hired a lawyer to write and review my contracts

* Upon shopping, I noticed 2 different companies who knocked-off and/or stole my artwork which turned into having my lawyer send out 2 Cease & Desist letters. (The not-so-fun part of running your own business). I would tell you all about it, but my lawyer advised me not to. All I would say is be sure you Copyright your work and have a lawyer in your back pocket.

* Painted a huge 10'x10' backdrop for my Hope Chest photo shoot, and had the photo shoot at the zoo's carousel

* Opened a pop-up shop to sell my holiday cards, gift tags, and 2013 Desk Calendars

* Finally, after many years of working really, really hard and long hours in the corporate world, and always putting off what I needed to do to take care of myself, this year I finally decided to do it. I finally went to Physical Therapy (which was prescribed to me by my doctor for the past 3 years & I never did anything about it), Acupuncture and a Chiropractor. No, I'm not falling apart, but it's amazing what years of stress does to your body...& years of sitting in front of a computer! Eek!

Overall, 2012 was an amazing year. Lots of learning and lots of growing, which is a great mixture. I've already sat down and set my goals for 2013, and I can say that I'm excited. Excited to wake up every day and run my business, create new artwork, build relationships with my current clients, and meet new ones as well. Excited to add beauty and creativity to the world. Inspired to continue to learn and grow. Inspired to give, and to listen, and to allow myself to be me.

If you made it through this long, picture-less post, thank you for reading! May 2013 be wonder-filled, prosperous and insightful for you. May it stretch you in good ways and may you get better and better at becoming the best version of yourself.

Happy New Year!



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