Friday, September 30, 2016

Ushering in Autumn

The leaves are turning here in Scarborough and more-so back home in Colorado. I absolutely love this time of year as it brings back fond memories of playing in the fall leaves with my two brothers in grandma & grandpa's backyard. We romped and stomped through them, playing games, and laughing so hard. I miss those few and very precious moments in life. Memories I'll forever cherish in my heart.  Here's to Paint Party Friday and ushering in Autumn.
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Mondays...sprinkled with love


Sometimes, after a long weekend of this and that, it's nice to know we're starting off a new week (particularly Mondays!) with a fresh start to do the impossible. To follow our dreams;  to set out and conquer the world! Uh huh So, happy Monday from my end of the world! I'm tossing out sprinkles of love....grab a bucket and catch some! ;)
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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Sketches (From England)

It's been in the low 60's this past week here in Scarborough. With the brisk wind and falling leaves, it seems Autumn is pushing its way in earlier than expected. Nothing seemed more fitting than to do a quick doodle of a fuzzy bear in his woolly sweater with a perfect hot cuppa in hand. Pictured above is the before/after, as it's always fun to see where our ideas start and finish when sketching out stories from our creative imagination.

With that said, I fear this will be a shorter post than my recent ones as I'm working on a tight deadline for the current children's book I'm illustrating. Stay tuned for a brand new peek. You really don't want to miss it. (wink)

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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging one another in our creative endeavors. Thank you!

 
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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Greensmith & Thackwray: A Touch Of Home


We've recently discovered a gem here in Scarborough - Greensmith and Thackwray. An independent coffee-shop (once an early 18th century home and later, clothing shop) tucked in between old buildings on St. Nicholas Street by the seaside. Inside, one is greeted with the smell of old wood and a collection of eclectic lights weaved in and out of various barista moka coffee pots hanging from the ceiling. To the back, a brick wall is perfectly nestled to the right of a charming wooden staircase, leading one upstairs to a warm, cozy nook overlooking the city street from above.

Downstairs, old wooden chairs (similar to those found inside an old school house) are situated around wood tables throughout with beautifully patterned cushioned seats lining the outside wall. In fact, if you're not careful, you'll begin to feel as if you're in your own home, cozied up in woolly socks with a perfect cuppa in hand! Uh huh That's how incredibly warm and inviting this cafe feels. Both the coffee and tea are fabulous, along with great food and baked goodies. My favorite? Their daily made croissants, with a smidgen of powered sugar sprinkled on top.

It's my favorite place to go when needing to get work done or simply to relax and take in the moment of the day.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Creative Tuesdays: Pattern


It's been awhile since I've been able to participate in my husband's online art co-op, Creative Tuesdays, but when he mentioned the new theme was set to be pattern, I knew this would be one round not to miss.

As I sat sipping on a latte this morning, watching the breeze and light rain tussle the hair of those walking by, various images of my favorite time of year started coming to life on my sketchpad. As you can see above, they're quite small but worked out well for the final arrangement in creating a perfect Autumnal pattern.

So, if you're in the mood for some last minute doodling and painting, there's still time to hop on board this round of Creative Tuesdays.  Instructions for the current theme can be found here. Enjoy!
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Monday, September 19, 2016

Whitby's Marie Antoinette's Tea Room

One of the many things on my to do list is to write about some of the most incredible tea rooms and coffee shops we've visited over the past several weeks here in Yorkshire. Nothing seemed more fitting than to start with the quaint and cozy, Marie Antoinette's Patisserie in Whitby. In fact, after doing some research about this darling place, I was pleasantly surprised to find several articles written about it, including being listed in the top 10 best Tea Rooms to visit in Yorkshire.

Tucked away in between other old, eclectic shops, this tea room is a perfect getaway from the often busy cobblestone street, filled with various locals and tourists alike. With soft classical music filling the room, delicate antique cups and teapots situated in miscellaneous nooks throughout, one is sure to have an afternoon tea to remember. The house blend tea was lovely and the homemade scones, topped with fresh strawberry jam and real clotted cream were exquisite. Who could ask for more?

Do you have a favorite tea room or coffee shop you love to visit? I'd like to hear about it!
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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sunday Sketches (From England)

Today I started a new sketchbook journal. Prior to traveling across the pond, I listed out what supplies to bring and various projects to keep myself motivated with my illustration work while abroad. In the end, I made the decision to purchase a selection of books from the Handbook Journal Co and have been quite pleased with them at this point.

My first journal book was filled with various sketches of this and that. No rhyme or reason. Just fun doodles. With the new one, I wanted to challenge myself a bit more so am planning on filling the daily pages with rough sketches of various subjects - like the whales above. I'm excited to see where this art project challenge will take me!


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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging one another in our creative endeavors. Thank you!

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Recovery and taking in little joys

Earlier this week, almost everyone in the household suffered from food poisoning. Let me tell you, it was miserable and not a pretty sight! In fact, I felt helpless being so ill to where I couldn't help the rest of the family suffering as well. It was a long 36+ hours before finally pulling out of it to where I felt well once again. Needless to say, I'm quite trepidatious about eating anything now. Silly but true.

With that said, I've been spending the last 24 hours diligently working to catch up on projects and deadlines, as well as writing home to family and friends. With the weather now sitting around 60 degrees, we're cozied up in fuzzy sweaters, taking in the simple joys of life, like sipping tea.

Off I must go to begin ticking off tasks from my wonderful to do list. One of my projects is making the special announcement of my online classes launching once again. Check them out on my website. There's a bit of everything for everyone alike. You never know what might inspire you on your creative journey!
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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Sketches (From England)

A lot has been going on here this past week. Between caring for Michael's mother, helping with chores around the house and catching up on book illustrations, this weekend has been welcomed with open arms. I've been working diligently the past 3-4 days to complete the last few illustrations for my latest book, "Ladybug! Ladybug!", and you don't want to miss it! As you can see above, it's going to be a darling children's book - this one filled with various charming poems about ladybugs. So, keep an eye out for the release date!

Until then, please do keep Michael and his sister in your thoughts as the last few days have been quite challenging with their mother. Thus, making it a bit hard on them both emotionally. Here's a little photo I was able to capture last week before things started going downhill quite a bit these past few days.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend. Happy Sunday Sketches and I'll catch up with everyone very soon. It will be lovely to see what each of you have been up to this past week.

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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging one another in our creative endeavors. Thank you!
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Thursday, September 08, 2016

Bringing special stories to life!

Special things come in various sizes and delightful ones, let me tell you! Just like these super adorable handmade dolls created by my wonderful and talented friend, Stephanie Cowburn, a felt design maker of all things magical and whimsical. When you have time, you must take a peek at her page to see all of the other wonderful stuffies Stephanie designs herself.  Beware, they'll touch your heart in ways you never could imagine.

Not long ago, I had inquired with her about the possibility of making some dolls based off of the illustrations from one of the recent books I illustrated (The Adventures of Chopper & T) and a set for my upcoming book (Ladybug! Ladybug!), launching soon. Both myself and the authors are thrilled with the results! What do you think?
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Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Early mornings in Scarborough

As the early hours roll in, seagulls gently touch our ears with their morning lullaby, informing us the sun has risen. A beautiful lull compared to the awkward and somewhat annoying coo from a neighborly pigeon every morning at 7:15 am. Impeccable timing, let me tell you.

As we roll over, pulling our newly found quilted treasure (above) up to our chins, snuzzling down for one last bit of warmth, fresh air tumbling off the sea willows its way through the open windows, caressing our skin with that final tug to rise and begin our day. Sounds glorious, doesn't? It certainly is and something I'll unquestionably miss when we return home to Colorado in mid-November.

Once dressed, Michael and I begin to make our way down to the seaside village for our daily morning walk and coffee date. Something I've come to cherish deeply. Every day here has been a reminder of how precious life is. We all will grow old one day. The question is, what will we do between now and then? For us, we're building memories to last a lifetime...
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Sunday, September 04, 2016

Sunday Sketches (From England)

Just this past week, I had a few minutes to pop in at the local fabric shop here in Scarborough. It truly is my absolutely favorite - Sewing Centre Scarborough. Needless to say I purchased a few different remnants; some to make our own tablecloths and some to incorporate in my illustration dresses, as you can see above. Finding inspiration in the smallest and sometimes, sweetest places...that's me!

Michael's cousin, currently living in Addis Ababa, came to visit this past week and it's been wonderful walking the seaside with her, showing her the various quaint shops, while discovering new coffee shops along the way. As you can see by the photo shared in this post, we've had some incredible sunsets these past few days.

Thank you for your patience over the past week or so with us moving and transitioning things. As of yesterday, I believe I've caught up on Sunday Sketches. Next, my regular blog followers. So, off I must go!

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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging one another in our creative endeavors. Thank you!

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Friday, September 02, 2016

Finding "home" in the midst of change

I won't lie. It's been a bit of a challenge for me, this change, from our home in Colorado to where we are now here in North Yorkshire through mid November. Living out of suitcases and a small room has been wonderful but has also left me feeling a bit lost in regards to my illustration work. Meaning, with not really knowing what to expect each day with Michael's mother while also trying to find a comfortable, temporary place to set up my studio to work, the desire to dive in and focus on deadlines has been lacking. I feel horrible, to say the least. There's a small inner desire to 'light the fire' but getting to the place to do so has been (emotionally) challenging.


No one said it would be easy. In fact, I've been continually addressing comments and emails where various individuals think we're on some long, extended holiday, when that is simply not the case at all. Yes, our first two weeks here were vacation time spent with family and boys but our primary purpose for temporarily relocating to England is to assist Michael's sister with finding a care home for their mother who can no longer care for herself.

With that said, they've visited a handful thus far and are scheduled to visit more in the coming week. They're currently eyeing one particular home visited that seems quite fitting for their mother. It's extremely clean, bright and cheery and has a wonderful group of staff members. Michael is hoping they're able to transition his mum within the next few weeks so he is able to visit her in the care home for awhile to ease the (natural) fears that will come attached to the transition as a whole.

We've a lot to do and hope to move/settle in the rental cottage within the next few weeks. I'm confident this will help ease some of our own feelings wrapped up in an emotional roller coaster. To have a place to call our own, space to unwind, to fully unpack, will be a Godsend. Things have been a bit delayed here but we're doing our best to go with the flow and trust all that is meant to be will fall in place when the time is right.
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