Thursday, December 23, 2010

happy holidays!

I haven't had much time for blogging, reading blogs or checking in on Facebook lately, but I wanted to pop in and say Hey to everyone out there in blogland. Wishing you all a jolly holiday! Cheers!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

santoro's books

I'll be at Santoro's books in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, on Saturday. Here's what they said on their website:

Saturday, December 18th at 10:30 AM

Author Maribeth Stephens and illustrator Nina Seven will read their children’s holiday classic, Theodore the Tree.

Neighborhood minstrel Gary Paine will lead a few interactive songs to set the mood and Maribeth promises some of her homemade cookies. Life is good!

Nice, Huh? We're getting out Theodore from last year, dusting him off and showing him the town again. It will be fun to see Maribeth again and eat some of those cookies!

Friday, December 10, 2010

my paper monkey

I illustrated a book! It's not exactly what you might think, though. It's not a picture book, it's a coloring book. Fun in the Forest, is now available on this cool website, called All the coloring and activity books are personalized with your child's name on the cover and on every page throughout the book. Just type in a name, on the right side of the web page, then hit Preview and you can page through the whole book. I love drawing woodland creatures, so this was perfect for me. I even threw in a few activity pages for fun. Help Mr.Squirrel find the Giant Acorn!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

they draw and cook

My Holiday Star Cookie recipe and illustration was featured on They Draw and Cook on Friday and I'm just getting around to posting it on here on my blog. You can see a bigger version of it on their site, right here. I'm really glad they decided to do the Holiday version of the challenge, since I never got around to doing a recipe for the 1st go around. For those of you that don't know anything about They Draw and Cook, you've got to go check out their site, it's really cool and they can explain it alot better than I could. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

FREE Printable Holiday Gift tags

Our December post is up over at my illustrator group blog, We Love to Illustrate and we have FREE Printable Holiday Gift tags for you! Everyone did such an awesome job designing their tags, you have to go check them out, right here
Here's what I came up with and you can download a full scale copy of them, right here. Happy wrapping!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

IF - savour

Savouring hot chocolate or a mocha on a cold day...pure joy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

IF - sneaky

How lucky am I? I just finished this racoon for my animal alphabet and the word of the week on Illustration Friday is sneaky. Perfect! Even if they aren't all that sneaky in real life, they sure look the part, with those bandit masks they are always wearing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

now for something really different

Thought I'd show you all what I've been working on for the last couple of weeks. Mixed media paintings for the Seattle Art Museum gallery. Each piece is 18" x 24". I'll be taking these to get framed tomorrow, then they will be available to rent or purchase through SAM. I usually just show my illustration work here, but my blog buddy, Julissa, encouraged me to post these, so here they are. It was fun to get creative in a different way, the hands on - messy way.

I'm calling these The Woodland Park Series, after the park near my house. The photos aren't the best, it was a gray day today and even though I was outside on the porch, the flash came on. That's Seattle in the winter for you. Gray skies. Maybe that will be the title of my next series of paintings. 

Monday, November 15, 2010


I'm doing PiBoIdMo this month, are you? It's a challenge, hosted by children's author, Tara Lazar, to come up with an idea for a children's Picture Book, every day for the month of November. Here we are at the half way point and I gotta say, it's getting harder! I'm doing OK, though, and I think I'll make it. Some of my ideas are just a title, like "Oops!", others are a little more thought out and have a basic idea and characters with names. A few even have all of that and an ending! It's been fun and challenging. The endings are the most challenging for me - the payoff, it's gotta be good to make it worth the read, ya know? Only 15 more to about a bear, who has to come up with 30 ideas in 30 days, hee-hee.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Hello all my blog buddies, I'm still here, just been super busy! Thought I'd pop in real quick and show some more animals in my alphabet. I actually did these a couple of weeks ago and just found a minute to put them on the 'ole blog. Some of the letters of the alpha are a bit of a challenge - not quite so much fun as others. Newt was one of those for me. I was going for a cute newt, but didn't want it to look too cartoonish. I hope I did that. The quail was fun, though, with his funky head plume.

I've been spending a lot of time fulfilling my duties as the Arts Coordinator for my daughter's High School this week and I'm working on a series of mixed media paintings for the gallery I show at.

I miss you, Adobe Illustrator, but I'll be back soon. I promise.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

pingg - staff pick

Hey, check it out. One of my designs, Turkey Time, is the staff pick Winner of the Week over on Pingg! You can use this design, for your Turkey Day invites, for FREE! Yep, that's what I said, FREE! Link directly to this design, right here. Thanks to everyone at Pingg!

Monday, November 01, 2010

we love to illustrate

The November post is up over at my group blog, We Love to Illustrate! We decided to celebrate Fall this month and everyone did such a fantastic job. The colors and imagery of Fall are so yummy, it really makes for some awesome illustrations. Check it out, right here!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween

Happy Halloween, all you goblins and ghouls, witches and warlocks, black cats and frankensteins. Have a super fun night! Meow!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

vote for me!

It's time to vote in this week's Spoonflower fabric design contest. I entered my Squirrel Fun pattern in it because it was a Woodland Creatures theme. You can vote for me and see all the other cool designs, right here!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

i'm late, i'm late

One of the most iconic of racers in children's literature - the White Rabbit, from, of course, Alice in Wonderland! I thought of him immediately when I saw the topic for Illustration Friday this week - racing. And, I had to put the Queen of Hearts in there, she's just such a fun character.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

FREE printable halloween treat boxes

It's getting so close to Halloween, that I thought I'd post again about our FREE printable Halloween treat boxes, over at We Love to Illustrate. Everyone in our group did such a fabulous job on these. Here's what mine looks like:

You can download the full size version of mine right here. And to view and download the rest of the team's boxes, go here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Well, I finally joined the millions (or is it billions?) of other people in the world and joined Facebook.  I think I might be one of the last people on earth to join. Why did it take so long? I thought it would be a time waster and I didn't want anything to distract me from doing what I really want to do and that's to create art and illustrations. But I finally came to the conclusion that I want to be relevant and being on Facebook is relevant. I also want to promote my art, and being on Facebook can help me do that. I also want to connect with friends and family and make new friends and connections.

So, come be my friend, write on my wall or comment on my status. You can even poke me! I'll see you there, on Facebook, along with everyone else in the world.

Me on Facebook!    

Friday, October 22, 2010

picasso show at sam

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to play hooky from working and go see the Picasso retrospective at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). It was an extensive and enlightening show. To see his work evolve over the years and how it was influenced by what was happening in the world around him was fascinating. This piece, above, was one of my favorites in the show. Titled, The Shadow, it was painted in 1953 and is thought to be a self portrait.

Another favorite in the show was this one, titled Portrait of Dora Maar, painted in 1937. Dora Maar was his companion, lover and artistic muse. She was also a painter and a photographer and somewhat famous herself. He often painted her as sad and sometimes in tears, because of the tumultous emotional nature of their relationship. The guy was a real ladies man and had many lovers, wives, muses, etc. throughout his life.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I have a new passion (borderline obsession) to create patterns! I've always LOVED patterns and now that I know how to create a repeat pattern in Illustrator, I'm happily making my own. I have these two patterns for sale on Spoonflower. These would make cool decorative pillows, tote bags, tea towels or maybe even stuff for kiddos. I can see a cute dress out of the owls, for sure. I'm thinking of entering Squirrel Fun in an upcoming contest on Spoonflower, called Woodland creatures. Or should I enter the Friendly Fowls instead? What do you think? Which one is your favorite?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


For Illustration Friday this week. I vant to drink your blood, or just give me a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup!

I was curious about how trick or treating got started, so of course, I googled it and found this (among other interesting facts): The tradition of going from door to door and receiving food originated  in Britain and Ireland, in the form of souling, where children and poor people would sing and say prayers for the dead in return for cakes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

giraffe road trip

For Illustration Friday this week with the theme word of transportation. I'm trying to work on being a bit more loose and fun in the way I lay out my elements. Not quite there yet, but I think I'm getting closer.

Friday, October 08, 2010

animal alpha progress

I've been working steadily on my animal alphabet and I'm happy to report that I'm over halfway! The addition of these four make 15 done! Only 11 to go! Whoo-hooo!

All of the animal images will be available on the Magic Murals website, (some are already there) but it takes some time for the designs to be prepared for the site, so check back every once in awhile to see if the one you want is there. Next up - K is for kangaroo!

Monday, October 04, 2010

IF - beneath

A quick little illo for Illustration Friday this week. I know, the Witch of the East actually had on the ruby slippers, when Dorothy's house fell on her. But, I didn't want to draw little slippers, I wanted to make witch boots with curly toes, so that's what I did.
What kind of a witch wears ruby slippers anyway? They wear little black boots, everyone knows that! 

Friday, October 01, 2010

FREE printable halloween treat boxes

Our October post is up over at We Love to Illustrate, and this month we all designed Halloween treat boxes that can be downloaded and printed on cardstock. And they are Freebies! Yay! Here's what my design looks like:

And you can download it right here.To see what the rest of the group came up with, visit our site, here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

IF - old-fashioned

My Mom still has a corded phone in her kitchen. The same phone I remember using as a teenager, unwrapping and stretching the cord as far as it wold go, until it reached the pantry. And that is where I had my most intimate teenage conversations, away from the prying ears of my parents and siblings.

Not only is this type of phone now considered old-fashioned, long intimate phone calls seem to be out of style as well. A teenager today would rather text than talk. No need to hide in the pantry anymore.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

p is for pig

One more done for my animal alphabet! I'm almost half way there. Gonna have a little party at the half way point, then a HUGE one when I'm all done! Are you all getting sick of me posting these animals yet?

I do have some other news. You can get my animals and some of my other work as wall murals now. I'm thrilled to be one of the artists at a new site called Magic Murals. The murals come in a variety of sizes and 2 different types. One is like wallpaper and fairly premanent. The other is repositionable and lasts for about 5 years. Sounds really awesome. They have some great images, you should check them out.

Monday, September 13, 2010

bird day

Yep, it's my bird-day today and nope, not gonna say how old I am. Celebrated over the weekend and saw The American with George Clooney. How does he keep getting better looking as he gets older? I don't know, but he looked sure looked good in this movie! Ate some Thai food, too. It was nice.

If you like this card, there's a similar one over at Pingg, and you can e-card it to someone for free. That's right, free!

Friday, September 10, 2010

more animals

Two more done on my quest to do an animal alphabet series! What's up next? hippo, pig, and owl. There are a few coming up that I'm not really to thrilled about - the letter I is one of them. Iguana? Inchworm? hmmm, not really feeling either of those. If anyone has any great ideas, please let me know! You can see all the animals I've done so far, right here.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

IF - dessert

I've been neglecting the 'ole blog, so I thought I'd put up this Oldie but Goodie for Illustration Friday this week. It's a mixed media piece, appropriately named Time for Dessert. I always liked this piece, maybe I'll rework it in vector someday. Hope you are all having a great week so far. The kids are back in school, starting Wed. Whooo-hoo! I somehow got talked into being the Arts Coordinator at my daughter's High School...not sure what I got myself into and why I said yes, but TAG, I'm it! 

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

FREE Back to School Printables

It's time for our Sept post over at We Love to Illustrate. This month, we are doing a really fun thing - FREE Printable stickers for downloading. Back to school book name tags, lunch box stickers, labels, etc. Each artist did their own unique take on the subject and there is something for everyone. You can see all of them and download your favorites, right here. You can also play along and do your own set, by attaching a link to your set through Mr. Linky at the bottom of the post. ENJOY!

Monday, August 30, 2010

IF - immovable

For Illustration Friday this week - the theme word is immovable. "It was pure gridlock on the Old MacDonald Expressway. No one was moving an inch and some people (er, animals) were getting a bit testy. Beep, beep! HONK!" Please click on the image for a bigger view.

Friday, August 27, 2010

2 more for the animal alpha

Whew! Two more down on my quest to do an animal alphabet. Only 18 (gulp!) more to do. Will I make it? Yes, I think I will...up next? F is for frog. You can see the rest of my animals, right here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


My designs have been chosen to be in the Designer's Spotlight over at Pingg. I'm so excited! What an honor! Pingg is a really cool site, where you can download e-cards and e-vites for free! They can also do snail mail cards and invitations, for a fee. You can see the rest of my designs, right here. I'll be updating the site with new designs, periodically, so check back now and then.

Monday, August 23, 2010

C is for cat

I'm on a roll with my animal alphabet! I also thought I'd post this for Illustration Friday this week. For every animal, from A-Z, I'm creating an atmosphere for them, that fits them and their varied personalitites. Is that a stretch for the theme? I don't works for me!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

M is for monkey

Whoo-hoo! I can cross one more animal off my list in the quest to do an animal alphabet. 5 down - only 21 more to go. Next up - the letter C. Guess what animal I'm going to illustrate. Yep, my favorite little furry creature - a cat.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

IF- caged

For Illustration Friday this week. Allie was caged on a small island, but he didn't care. With birds for friends, coconuts to eat and a big swamp to swim in, he was as happy as an alligator could be.

I finally started back up on my animal alphabet! At this rate, it might take a year to complete, but I consider it a long term goal that I work on when I can, so it's all good. More to share soon.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

cat tales

Today, I cleaned the back of the couch. You know, the one where the cats sleep, so they can be by the window. Let's say, I attempted to clean it. It's been hot and the cats are shedding and I should do this job more than just every once in awhile. There was enough hair on the back of that couch to make another cat!

I would love to find a great way of getting cat hair off furniture. Those masking tape lint roller thingies? Nope, they work, but it takes about the whole roll to do any good. Vacuuming? Nope, doesn't pick it up well enough. Those cat brush hoops with the teeth? That's what I used today and it does get a lot of it, but not all and it's teeth tear up the back of the couch a bit.

Dear readers - If you have cats and have that same problem, what do you do?  Leave me a comment with your cat hair problem solving advice, I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Dog Days

We have a new post up over at We Love to Illustrate, with the theme of Dog Days for the month of August. I entered this pattern of doggies for the challenge. It's so fun to see what each team member did, they are all so unique and wonderful, you'll have to go check them out. Each month, we change the banner, too. Cally did this month's and it's so cute!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

IF - double

I just got back from my week in the Midwest, so I don't have time to do something new for IF this week, but I did have this anniversary card that fit the theme. So, here it is - last minute, down to the wire.

How was the Midwest, you want to know? Hot and humid, thank you very much! I had a good time, anyway. There's lots of air conditioning there...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

new from a muse

A Muse has just launced their latest Halloween and Holiday stamps, so I thought I'd show a few of my favorites of the ones I designed. I know, I know, Christmas - already? Yep, Christmas, already, but Halloween, too! I love designing spooky things for Halloween. Anyway, if you want to see more, you can, right here.
I'm off on a little vacation, see ya in a week!

Monday, July 19, 2010

IF - breakfast

For Illustration Friday this week. I don't eat bacon or eggs for breakfast, but if I did, I'd want it them to be in a smiley face like this.