Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January Illustrations

This month I've been enjoying drawing for Illustration Friday. It helps me immensely to have a prompt each week that I can focus on, and that I know is no-pressure. If the drawing turns into something cool, then great! If not, it's not a big deal. I'll just do another one next week. I've been trying to approach drawing for fun as just that: drawing for fun. Just doing whatever comes naturally, not trying too hard to do something new and difficult.

The prompt for this one was Passion. It's me with multiple arms, holding onto a bunch of things that represent my passions. It reminds me a lot of my blog header!
Passion : Illustration Friday 1/23/2015

Invention. A couple weeks ago, I took my old, falling-apart mukluks and some leftover fleece fabric from pillows I made once, and sewed up some new slipper booties. I tried to use a pattern (sort of), but ended up pretty much freestyling them. They're different from each other and pretty freakin' wonky, but they're warm! And I made them!

Rochelle & Erik (and Muffin!) This one I just had the urge to draw after seeing a photo of my sister-in-law and her boyfriend and dog on facebook. I wanted to draw something so I drew them! I colored it in digitally, and added the background digitally, too. I realized that I really like drawing clothing on people - all those fun little details!
Erik & Rochelle

Nefarious. When brainstorming what to draw for nefarious (wicked, criminal), I kept thinking of cliché gangsters or horrible other things like the meat industry. Then these two ladies popped into my head. From the 1992 movie "Death Becomes Her", Helen and Madeline after trying to destroy each other. They're two of the most conniving characters in any movie I like, but they're still funny! (I have a few more process photos of this illustration in my flickr album.)

Toy. A quicker, smaller illustration of a troll toy with made-up hair colors and doodles around the edges. I knew I wanted to draw a toy from my childhood for this prompt, so I scrolled through my Flashback pinterest board until I found something to draw!
Toy : Illustration Friday 1/16/2015

Dr. Rob, PhD. The other day, my husband Rob was home working on a research problem for work. He came over to my desk to tell me about a breakthrough he had. His quote was, "I've gone back to the literature" and he said it in such a scholarly way, I giggled and told him I was picturing him in a 3-piece suit looking pretentious. He said Draw it! So I did :)

Handwriting. Apparently, Sakura is doing a giveaway on Instagram to win a big fancy pen set. (I learned about it from Lisa Congdon's blog post.) This is my entry. Super quick, used both of my Sakura pens (I need a new Micron one, that pen is so tiny it got squished!) The quote is a reminder to myself for all the drawing, art, and illustration I do. Done is better than perfect, always!
Life is the art of drawing without an eraser

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Vision Board for 2015

I've had minimal success when deciding on new year's resolutions. It works better for me to identify larger, overall concepts and trajectories that I'd like to focus on in upcoming seasons. Instead of the pressure of specific goals, I can try to gently lean toward doing better every day.

Inspired by Light by Coco's vision board, I created my own vision board poster for 2015. First, I made a list of main goal topics. Nothing too specific. I know they say it's better to create concrete, measurable goals if you want any chance of actually reaching them. But for this poster, I wanted it to just be inspirational. An overall picture of my ideal life. Then I found pictures that visualize each goal topic and that inspire me.


A bit about each picture [sources are linked]:

  1. Either you run the day, or the day runs you - a reminder to take control of my daily life and to-dos, otherwise I'm at the mercy of everyone around me.
  2. Minimalist clothes on hooks - continue to minimize my wardrobe and home. Simple outfits with well-loved items are better than an overflowing closet!
  3. Girl on bike - bicycle around the city more.
  4. Emma Watson beauty - take care of my skin.
  5. Tattoo girl smelling flowers - a reminder to tap into my hippie side once in awhile. Free spirited and earthy and full of love for everyone around me.
  6. Ballerina stretching - work on my flexibility.
  7. Healthy green salad bowl - eat healthfully and abundantly with colorful fruits & veggies!
  8. Buff girl dancing - work out to become strong and fit.
  9. Berries - remember how delicious plain ol' nature is and indulge!
  10. Dirty hand - get my hands messy doing creative projects.
  11. Sadie Nardini yogi - practice yoga.
  12. Motivation quote - when I'm feeling unmotivated, remember that motivation never lasts and I just have to remind myself of my goals daily.
  13. MK&A laptop - stay in touch with family and friends through technology.
  14. Colorful office - keep work and graphic design fun and colorful to remind myself that I have a pretty cool job!
  15. Nice butt - work out to get toned (I never knew this until recently, but Pinterest has convinced me that anyone can have an amazing rear-end if you do your squats!)
  16. Exploring couple - travel and explore places with Rob.
  17. Wine glasses - make every night a special occasion. The best time to celebrate is whenever you can.
  18. White minimalist bedroom - continue to minimize and simplify our home.
  19. Vegan runner - quit being a couch potato so I can be a kick-ass role model for the vegan lifestyle.
  20. Your life is your message - reminder to also practice the creativity, positivity, and healthy lifestyle I love to promote.


I found the pictures online (combing through my Pinterest boards first), then used InDesign to create the layout. I printed the 11x17" poster through OvernightPrints.com <--that's a referral link btw, tacking it on to my holiday card order. It was like $3 after coupons. When it arrived, I realized that it didn't fit on my closet wall very well. The place I wanted to hang it was too narrow. So I cut the left column of rectangles off, and rearranged them on the top. It fits next to my mirror now, and still looks good!


I hung it up in my closet for me to see every day when I get dressed and get ready for bed, and every time I pass through the closet to the bathroom. My hope is it will remind me of what I want my life to look like - all aspects of it. Then every time I make a decision, I can lean toward my vision. Eventually, this poster will be more of a reflection of my current life and less of a far-off dream!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Freebie! 2015 Calendar Printables

Last year I shared a pack of freebie Project Life cards for 2014. I haven't really been tracking it, but this pin of the cards has over 600 repins - awesome!

I've been using them in every digital Project Life spread I create; they're a staple in my upper-left hand corner each week. This is how I've been using them:


I knew I'd want to use them throughout 2015, so I updated the pack for the new year. I changed the font for the month name and year. Everything else stayed exactly the same. Whether you use them for scrapbooking or other calendar planning, I hope you find these useful!

{ Download PDF } Easy-to-print-and-cut-out 3x4" cards 5-up on 8.5x11" paper
{ Download JPEG singles } zip file of individual 3x4" cards in JPEG format, 300dpi

Happy 2015!

Attribution/credit is NOT required. (Although appreciated so that others can enjoy, too!) If you have a freebie round-up blog or something and want to share these, please link to my blog post instead of hosting them yourself. Thanks!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Project Life 2014 : Weeks 19 - 49 Update

Wowzas, I haven't been updating about my Project Life pages at all! My last post was up to week 18, way back in May. I got a little bit behind on actually creating the spreads for a couple of months this summer, but one day I powered through and got completely caught up. Since then, I haven't gotten more than a couple of weeks behind. Proof I've still been doing this project:

Project Life update: weeks 19-49

Digital Project Life has been a lot easier this year since I have been using the exact same template all year. Remembering that I have pages to fill helps remind me to take pictures: take more photos than you think you need, snap photos of anything and everything. The worst weeks are the ones where I don't take enough pictures and the slots are hard to fill.

Looking back on these spreads is always a treat, and by having this record of our life, I remember more things. I guess that's why I keep doing it. I'm pretty good at abandoning/failing projects that I start, but this simple form of memory keeping is now like an extension of my brain. I don't want to lose it!
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