Friday, July 31, 2009

Crime and Punishment

After Hair-Cutting Disaster 2009 - that's what I've decided to call the event of Gracie snipping off her bangs, two weeks ago - Gracie hasn't been allowed to use scissors at all. She snipped her hair off with kiddie scissors, in case you were wondering how I could be bonkers enough to let my 4 year old use scissors. I thought I was being a smart mom by passing her an unused phone book and some scissors so she could perfect her fine motor skills.

But noooooo.... instead she hacked off her hair and I had to take the scissors away. And hide them. I just don't trust her anymore. Not to mention, I wanted her to learn her lesson in a way other than just having all the kids at the playground tease her because her hair looks ridiculous (that hasn't actually happened yet).

Needless to say, I really didn't expect to walk into my bedroom to go to sleep the other night, and find that Gracie had dug the kiddie scissors from their hiding spot and hacked up my bedsheets.


I'm not sure why she did all that. She said she cut the sheet because she wanted to see what was underneath it. That answer doesn't fly with me. As for her eyelashes... there is just no explanation for that, logical or otherwise.

I google-searched "How long will it take for cut eyelashes to grow back?" and found all sorts of eyelash Q & A (my favorite being - "I burnt my stupid eyelashes off trying to smoke out of a bong... how long until they grow back and is there anyway to make that process happen faster?" - is it wrong of me to laugh uproariously at that question?).

The unanimous answer: A long freakin' time.

As for punishment... it's really hard punishing a four year old. It really is. Time-out doesn't mean a heck of a lot to Gracie. Obviously, taking the scissors and hiding them doesn't mean a heck of a lot to her, either. And I've learned that taking her toys away also doesn't matter... "That means I can get more toys because my toy box is empty. I want that cupcake-maker from Target," she cheerfully informed me.

And it made me very, very nervous when she just took a look at my clean, folded sheets sitting in the closet and said, "Well, you have more sheets. You can just throw that one away and put one of those on the bed." That does not justify things, little girl!

So how did I punish Gracie? Will took Annelie to the zoo and Gracie stayed home with me.

Did it work? Oh, YOU BETCHA. Gracie was completely devastated that she had to miss out on on a trip to the zoo. And of course, Will and I layed the whole, "Well, you would have been invited to the zoo if you hadn't cut the sheets" on pretty thick.

Annelie was pleased as punch. She got to feed the giraffes rye crackers and the ladies behind the snack bar gave her free ice-pops... and Gracie cried for about 2 hours.

Whatever. If she ever touches scissors again, I'm sending her to a convent in Spain.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

5 Day Sale - Buy One Get One... Free!

I've been thinking for awhile now, that I need to do some clean up to my shop. I have close to 200 items and frankly, I find it a bit overwhelming.

So, I decided to have a 5 day shop sale - a really great BOGO sale - to help me begin clearing stuff out.

If you are interesting in some prints, now would be the BEST time, as all prints in the 8 x 10, 11 x 14, 5 x 7 and ACEO size are Buy One, Get One (**of equal or lesser value**) FREE. Buy one print, get one free, buy two prints, get two free. Buy a print set of 3 and get 3 prints free... seriously, this sale rocks.

You read that right... free. As in, FREE. And better yet... spend over $25 and get free shipping. Yup... free. Who says nothing is free anymore? Not me!

Okay, I have officially written the word 'free' 13 times now.. I think you get the point. So let me just end this post saying, that if you choose to take advantage of this BOGO (FREE!) sale, just purchase what you like, and leave in the notes to seller which items you would like for FREE. Or you can let me know if you qualify for FREE shipping, and wait for a revised invoice.

Sale ends Sunday!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Little Mermaid

Many an evening and morning did she rise to the place where she had left the prince. She saw the fruits in the garden ripen till they were gathered, the snow on the tops of the mountains melt away; but she never saw the prince, and therefore she returned home, always more sorrowful than before.

~The Little Mermaid ~ Hans Christian Anderson

I have been an absolute sucker for the unbearably romantic and sad original mermaid story, by Hans Christian Anderson, since I was four. My aunt used to read me the story from her book of fairy tales whenever I visited. I also remember getting the 1978 Japanese anime movie, featuring Marina the mermaid, from the video store often. Of course, like anyone with a heart, I bawled my eyes out when the little mermaid couldn't bear to slay her love and his new bride, and so dove into the water and turned into sea foam while her sisters called out her name in the hopes that she would return to the sea (not as foam).

I was eight when Ariel hit the big screen, and I still remember the panicy feeling of knowing the movie was nearly over and expecting Ariel to die and turn into sea foam. Silly eight-year-old me... didn't I know that Disney doesn't kill their animated characters?

Oh wait.. yes they do. I made the mistake of letting Gracie watch the Disney version of The Little Match girl. Uh, yeah... the girl dies. I didn't think she was going to. I really didn't think Disney killed little orphan kids.

But they do. Gracie was devastated and I felt like I deserved the Bad Mom of the Year award, as I watched her just sit there and cry her little eyes out. Whoops. I have yet to introduce her the real story of the little mermaid, despite the annoyance I felt when Gracie said, as she looked at my finished illustration, "That's not the Little Mermaid. Ariel has red hair. And where is Flounder?"


So here is my little mermaid illustration. I wanted to have a collage background for this one. You have to be very up close and personal with this picture to see the sheet music underneath the sky, and the text in the rocks that the mermaid sits upon. But it is very textured and lovely. Not to mention, I added an illustration from a vintage book of fairy tales, featuring a mermaid and her prince.

I'm pretty annoyed that my scanner (which hates the color blue) didn't pick up all the lovely blue-violet around miss mermaid. The print is much lovelier in person, than it it on the computer. Trust me.

After yesterday's public humiliation, I figured my muse was going to abandon me completely. Luckily, calling her out was just what she needed to get her act together.

Thanks, Muse. You rock.


Monday, July 27, 2009

My Muse Hates Me

She is sadistic and cruel.

She is turning what should be cute, whimsical snobs into drag queens fit to dance at Darcelle's -- which ordinarily I'd be cool with, but right now, Snobs in Drag isn't quite the look I'm going for.

I don't know what the heck is going on.

I've had several requests to add fairy tale illustrations to my shop, specifically my frog prince illustration, which I have to recreate as the original watercolor I painted a billion years ago is just WAY too big to make prints from without costing a fortune. The new sketch (on the right) is the 11 x 14 size, so you can imagine how huge the watercolor is.

I've been so eager to color all my favorite fairy tales. I have all the sketches ready to illustrate: The Frog Prince, The Little Mermaid, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood...

I really want to color them in. I really want them to look perfect...

But my muse hates me. She just sits next to me and taunts me.

Pick up violet blue, Marisa. Go on... do it, she whispers in my ear. And then she grins evily because violet blue was the WRONG color.

Add some thicker lashes to that princess, Marisa. Really, she will be lovely, my muse breathes. And then her sadistic laughter fills the room because my illustration, which was supposed to be a she, now looks like a he dressed as a she and named something like Lady Cupcake La Fleur.

Actually, I'm starting to suspect my muse hates children. And crap Barbie fairy tale movies, which Annelie is currently obsessed with. Go figure. They are so hideously terrible they make me want to off myself... and we have ALL of them. It seems that every time Annelie stomps her feet and throws a tantrum because I wont give her more juice, or when she begs to watch Barbie Swan Lake for the umpteenth time, my pictures go horribly wrong.

At least Gracie is having a good time. She loves when my illustrations turn to the dark side, as she gets new coloring pages out of it.

Ball numero uno was the front of the halter, and ball numero dos was the back.

Even last week's knit halter top project ended up badly (aka shredded by the Wrath of Marisa). I finished the entire thing before realizing that the pattern I designed was just flat out ugly. Okay, actually, it would have been really cute, but I couldn't find those darned size 2 knitting needles.

MUSE. What are you doing to me?? I really want some explanations.

And seriously, if you destroy my second attempt at this little miss mermaid, I'm going to ditch you for a new muse and you will be out of a job. In this economy, is that what you want? Huh?

Yeah, I didn't think so. Shape up, lady.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Proudest Mommy Moment to Date

Sure, watching your little tyke learn how to crawl, walk, talk, share toys, say "I love you, Mommy," and play nicely with other children are all proud moments for a mom to witness and all that...

But yesterday, while I was watching Pride and Prejudice for the ten billionth time, Annelie walked over to the TV and pointed at the handsome hunk of Regency love and said, "There's Mr. Darcy."

A two year old with an appreciation for Jane Austen... my kinda kid. Now I just need to introduce her to Captain Wentworth *swoon!*


Friday, July 24, 2009

Tell Me a Story

A blessed companion is a book, - a book that, fitly chosen, is a lifelong friend,... a book that, at a touch, pours its heart into our own. ~Douglas Jerrold

I created this illustration for my friend Lorissa and am completely in love with it. Lorissa has a print of In Our Hands and wanted a little blondie to match. So here she is!

I am happy to add a few limited prints in my shop in the 10 x 10 and 8 x 8 size. I am going to have to keep one for Gracie, though. She loves this picture as much as I do.

It has been a long time since I put together a mixed media collage... I really miss getting my fingers messy with paint and glue and vintage text. I love the text! It's from an old beat up and battered children's book from the early 1900s.

I may be a little biased... but I think they look really sweet together!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Alex's Angels

I wanted to share this custom project with you all. Designing this bike-loving sock monkey in baby Alex's honor really moved me. I had to do the illustration twice because the first time around I actually cried while coloring the sock monkey in, and ruined my paper.

This illustration was created as a t-shirt design to be worn by the team of Alex's Angels, who will be riding in the Courage Classic bike race in Colorado this week. The Courage Classic race will be benefiting the Children's Hospital where baby Alex spent 1/5th of his life. You can read the story about Alex and his family in this newspaper article:

Good luck with the race, Alex's Angels! And I'm so lucky to have created a bright, cheerful illustration to help Alex's family honor his spirit.



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Down with the Knitty Gritty

I've been hit by the knitting bug the last few days, knitting summery halter tops for the girls. I'm working on Annelie's at the moment and she is so excited about it. She sits right next to me, smiling at the work-in-progress, just waiting to try it on, despite me telling her over and over that it will take me ages to finish and that she needs to just go and play.

I'm a bit annoyed that I can't find my smaller knitting needles... I'm making cute knitted ruffles to decorate her top, but things aren't working out quite as I designed. There is a big difference in using size 2 needles (where the heck are mine?!) and using size 9 needles, which is all I can find. Ah well, we shall see how it turns out. And I'll be sure to share photos.

Next bit of craftiness on my list of things to-do: Figure out how to crochet flowers. I keep getting tangled in the yarn.

And then, sewing the skirts to match the halters. When will I find the time? Not sure, but I'm determined to finish sometime in the next few weeks... or at least before winter sets in and the girls can't wear them.

Hey! I'm a guest over at On the Dot today, sharing how I make a lasting impression on my customers. If you haven't discovered Julie's blog, you are going to want to check it out. Seriously, it is fantastic, always filled with gorgeous handmade finds, business tips and giveaways. My one question interview today is about packaging... go on over and see what I have to say.

That's about all, folks. Have a nice day!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Jealousy Rears Its Ugly Head

I'm not typically a jealous person. Not when it comes to my illustrations. Granted, I do have my moments, when I look at successful illustrators and think,"Why, oh why, can't that be me?"

But mostly, I see successful artists and am inspired by them.

In the case of me vs. Cholla, the painting horse, I'm just flat-out jealous. This horse has a watercolor exhibit in Venice this September... and sells his art for 2 grand a pop.

Why, OH WHY, can't that be me?


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lesson Learned

(my kitchen cabinet)

When you are just about to cook up some egg sandwiches for lunch, and then the phone rings... it is a very, very bad idea to leave the room to answer it.

Especially when your 2.5 year old is hell-bent on making your life as difficult as humanly possible.

Just sayin'


Friday, July 17, 2009

Summery Samplers

Let me just start by saying my heart goes out to all the online crafty sellers who have to photograph every single item in their shop, each time they make something. Especially the ones who live in a house that gets absolutely zero natural light in the day (and obviously zero light at night, as well).

Ugh. I hate taking photos. I love my scanner with all my heart. Unfortunately, when I need to add something to my paperie, out comes the camera... and out comes my hair as I yank it in frustration. Grrrr... I hate photographing items for my shop!

Okay, rant over. Now on with my new items.

I'm in a summery mood (probably because I'm inside with the air conditioner on. If I was out in the West Texas heat, I don't think I'd be in a summery mood. I think I would be in a very foul mood) and felt a little handful of summery samplers were in order for my paperie shop. I've also been listening to the Go-Gos all day long, so being in a summery mood kinda goes with the territory of listening to early 80's girly rock pop.

Most of them are cute and girly... but of course I had to have a boy one, featuring the Cap'n.

They're pretty darned cute, if I do say so myself. And pretty darned cheap, too. Because sometimes things should be cute and cheap, don't you think?

Me, too.

Each sampler is $2.50 and includes one note card with envelope, one 3 x 4 inch gift tag (with polka-dotted seer sucker ribbon), one 3 x 3 inch gift tag, and one sticker.

Happy summer!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Lil' Illos

I Only Have Eyes For You
5 x 7 in.

"... Are the stars out tonight?
I don't know if its cloudy or bright
Cause I only have eyes for you, dear
The moon may be high
But I can't see a thing in the sky
Cause I only have eyes for you..."

Seriously, how perfect are those song lyrics for this new illustration? Perfect, I say. Perfect.

I have two more 5 x 7 inch illustrations that I've added to my shop. I'll be listing limited prints (only 20 of each) as well, although I don't know if all 20 will make it into my shop. Holly (aka Winklepots) is getting ready for a craft fair in August and I'll be shipping out some of my favorite prints for her booth. These little owlets are definitely amongst my favorites. I hope you love 'em too, as I have a few more owlet sketches waiting to be colored in!

By the Sea
5 x 7 in.

Gracie and I sat down with some paper and colored pencils to draw sock monkeys the other day. "Drawing a sock monkey is easy," she informed me. "You just draw a hot dog and then put a sock monkey face on it."

They do look like hot dogs with faces, don't they? Ah, my artistic secrets are being revealed by a four year old with a love for Oscar Mayer.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Some Things on a Sunday...

Medicine - by Emma Klingbeil

I'm sick today *cough cough* which is no good, but luckily my girls are finally at the age where they can play together with minimal biting and scratching, so I can veg on the couch watching My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music. Yay.

Although lately, I must say that the girls favorite game is Peter Pan, in which Gracie is Wendy and Annelie is Captain Hook. Annelie plays a fierce Cap'n, and is notorious for smacking Gracie upside the head with the vacuum attachment while shouting "Hook! Hook!"

But today, they are playing Barbie and the Diamond Castle, so all is (currently) peaceful.

For those who didn't make it over to The Mama Dramalogues, for my post this Wednesday, you wont want to miss Gracie's new haircut {click here!}

Awww, isn't she just the cutest lil' thing?

And some more news in my life... Will was transferred back to work in the town we live in (Actually, I'm not really sure if I ever blogged about his work transfer to a town an hour and a half away, so I don't know if any of you knew that I was getting ready to move for the ... what is it? 8th time in 4 years? Something like that). He had been driving about 3 hours to work and back each day for the last 6 months or so. As of this week, he only has to drive 15 minutes. Hurray! And we don't have to move again!

But his work hours are a little insane, as he doesn't get home until 10 pm each night, and our weekends are now Tuesdays and Wednesdays, rather than Saturdays and Sundays... kinda weird. But livable. And I don't have to pack. Or move. Did I mention that I was really, really happy about that?

And last, before I retire on the couch for the day, let me just give you the link to this weeks crafty project tutorial (with templates!) that I put together yesterday: Under the Sea Critters for Felt and Paper Crafting {click here!}

Happy weekend! (for you, not me. I'll be enjoying my weekend on Tuesday)


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Printable Elegant Snobbery Coloring Pages

For the littlest fans, here are a selection of free coloring pages, to keep hands busy all summer long. I'll be updating with new pages, so be sure to check back!

Just click on the images below to see it full size, do a print preview to make sure it fits - you might need to adjust portrait/landscape settings and scale %, depending on image - and then print.

NOTE: These coloring pages are not for commercial use! Please do not print them to sell.

I would LOVE to know what you think! Please leave me a comment letting me know if a little kid in your life has enjoyed one of my coloring pages!


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