Sunday, December 17, 2006


It's Sunday! In a few days we are headed to the hubby's parents' house to celebrate Christmas and then it's off to mine to celebrate. I'm wrapping gifts today while I can since Chris is off at the Patriots game. Such unusually warm weather here! Everyone's joking that we could be at the December! So much for sledding! I know that we'll get plenty of our fill of snow soon so I'm not worried about it. Been looking at all the greatness on flickr and found this lovely! It instantly makes me smile every time I look at it! This week at the studio brings some packaging design, website edits, and some fun card design! My new logo design in on my etsy shop's designed to look like an official seal. I designed one for my Presslings card line and one for my design studio. Hopefully my newly designed website will be launched this spring! And one last link for fun, I love the designs at eiei-o studio...their paper is so gorgeous! And their website design is clean, simple, and easy to navigate. I notice they change up the motif on the homepage to keep things fresh. Lovely patterns on their wrapping paper keep me coming back for more! Happy Holidays to all if I don't catch you before then!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


There's something about the holiday time when I feel so happy with family and friends. But I also feel so disconnected during this time as well. I think it's because there's just so darn much going on! I've been working very hard here at the studio and away with clients. Busy busy! I have big plans to begin production on my Presslings by Megan creates... LETTERPRESSED card and paper gifts line in January. I have several ideas that I just have to execute and print. My goal is to have at least one item produced in January; hopefully it will happen! Since it's a side project it can be hard to find a lot of chunks of time needed to focus on it. I'm so excited to get started though! For spring, I also have planned to redesign my website and get it more "branded" to the new direction my design studio is taking. 2007 will be a big year for the studio and I'm so excited to get things going. I've been so excited by all the inspiration and sharing out in blog world. A favorite shop I've discovered through a friend is Design Public. It's got the coolest items for the home...for yourself or as gifts! It's really fun to look at all the neat little items. Check it out!

Friday, November 17, 2006


When I was a kid I used to watch "Pinwheel," a show on Nickolodeon. I watched faithfully every single day. And now to this day I still remember certain segments and songs...the show had a variety theme in the way that Sesame Street had. One of the segments was about Simon, a little boy who drew things in chalk and they came to life in the Land of Chalk Drawings. He had his friends there and spent a lot of time there. I LOVED that idea as a child. Especially because I loved to draw so much. I find the idea endearing even today. Here's a You Tube showing below. (It's told like a story to children.) love it! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


There's something about vintage items that are so inspirational for me! I loved this lamp that was in our room at The Whitehall Inn in Camden , ME over labor day week. Happy Wednesday! It's been a busy week so far. I find that the months of the holidays are always the busiest. Or at least it feels that way. With it brings plotting and planning for what the new year will bring. I have spent the past several weeks observing and studying what is going on out there in the world of letterpress. Part of it is for inspiration. But mostly, it's for the purposes of seeing what is out there so that I don't copy anything. There is so much out there that is similar to each other! I really want my work to be different in some way and I just have to figure out what that means. I still have a bunch of accessories to get in order to get my press in working order. I'm shooting for some time in the first quarter of the new year to have a letterpressed card or two up for sale in my etsy shop. I'm slowly acquiring everything I need, but it takes time financially to make that happen. I have to say I'm pretty exhausted from scouring the internet as I study different letterpress boutiques and shops. I think it's finally time for phase 2 now that the research (phase 1) is over. It's time to start working and brainstorming and designing. Time to figure out what works and what feels right. I need to determine my brand and what I want to be. This all takes time and consideration. I also have to start bringing some of my card and stationery ideas to life through actually designing them (instead of leaving sketches sitting in my sketchpad). I want my work to feel new and different; and that's going to be quite hard! So much of the work already out there and done by others is so great! But I'll get there. It's a process and there's no point to rushing! I need to remember that this is supposed to be a fun side project. No pressure!!! (The go-getter in me has a hard time with that sometimes). Enjoy your days!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Missing Summer

Don't you just love this shade of green? Things are very busy here at Megan creates...
and it's getting cozy with the cold weather! But I miss those warm summer breezes.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Cheese Stands Alone

Well, it was an interesting visit yesterday! From the testing, he says my body does not agree with Aluminum, Wheat, or Dairy. I guess aluminum is everywhere and can't be avoided, but I CAN change my deodorant (contains high aluminum) and I can avoid processed foods with food coloring (lots of aluminum in food colorings). The wheat and dairy thing is rough. It's ALL I eat!!! Perhaps that's the problem, but STILL! No more cereal with milk. No more cheese. Cheese is what makes my food-world spin! No more wheat pasta. No more tomato-soup suprise (the tons of garlic I like to add is the suprise for my husband...hee hee) *sigh* I'm supposed to eat lots of chicken, lean beef, vegetables, and fruit. And that's about it. I'm cutting out things that aren't whole food (except my maple and brown sugar Quaker Oat Meal in the morning). I hope this makes me feel better. Changing my entire food life is going to be a big undertaking. But I have to do it. I'm GOING to do it. I want so badly to feel better and to have my hives be gone (see post below). And if this might help, than so help me, I will eat grass only if it means better health. We're off to the grocery store tonight to explore and look at the gluten-free aisle and check out all the special foods I actually might be able to consume. It's a great opportunity to find new recipes that are healthy and will restore my body. I'm on the road to having energy! I think this might be a bumpy ride.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A new day?

Good morning all! Geez it's cold out. Been keeping very busy here in my home office; designing patterns and concepting for my future line of high-end stationery. I've also been pretty busy with my corporate clients and that makes me happy! I've been freelancing now since March; so that's 8 months. I'm grateful I haven't had to take on an extra job yet to make ends meet. It's all too common; so I'll knock on wood now. Ok. Done.
Anyway, I have an appt. today with my chiropractor who is going to do Nutrition Response Testing (tm) on me. I've had to fill out a ginormous health questionaire and plot my answers in a graph (it took my back to grade school let me tell you). I've also had to keep a food diary. It ain't pretty. It's hard to look at what you've eaten in a week and realize how crappy it looks on paper. I thought I was more balanced, but I can see differently. Anyway, Dr. Kowalik will look at the chart and my answers, etc. and do an analysis through testing my neurological reflexes and acupuncture points. It finds energy or lack thereof. Then, it is determined what my body needs and how to meet that need. Why all of this? Well, I've suffered from pressure hives for over 6 years now (almost 7) where my body is covered with hives wherever there was a bit of pressure on my skin. There is no treatment and no cure. Just constant itching. As a side effect, it causes fatigue and painful joints. So, it seems that everything I do causes pain and itching. If I carry a heavy bag, wear clothing, sit, stand for a while, do any manual labor...all equals hives. I feel like I need to live suspended in a pool of water (too bad the goggles would give me hives on my face as would the bathing suit give me hives on my body). It's frustrating. There are good days and bad days. Some so bad I can't move. Some days where I feel so sorry for myself I wonder how I can go on. Where the itching is so bad I will scratch through my skin all over. No creams help the itch. Nothing helps the itch. And believe me, I've tried absolutely everything over the years.
Other days I'm grateful that it's not something worse. I'm grateful it's not terminal. They say these hives can last as long as 50 years. But they can also disappear in 9. I'm hoping for the earliest possible date...when they will just up and disappear with no explanation. Just they way they came in the first place. So keep your fingers crossed for me today! Maybe with a complete alteration of my diet I will be able to heal my body. I know it won't be an overnight thing, but hope is what keeps me going day in and day out. I will post later on what was said, and we'll see if any discoveries are made today that might help me. (In the meantime, I will not cross my legs, carry heavy bags, or sit on hard surfaces).
Have a great day all; I hope it is a good one!

Monday, October 30, 2006


Hello! We're back from our trip to Washington DC. I truly enjoyed seeing everything. I've never walked so far and for so long in my life!!! I took a zillion photos and posted just a few of my favorites on my flickr site. A few are, of course, here as well. The Holocaust Museum was a highlight as well as the Vietnam Memorial (my Dad fought in the war, so it was a must-see). I loved the American Museum of Art and Portraiture as well. That had all the Presidential portraits from Washington to now. Amazing! We had a great time taking in all the history and learning. The area is so rich with our culture and so heavy with burden. Everywhere we went had a tinge of sadness and loss to it; everything seemed to be a memorial or a rememberance of some kind. The place definitely makes you think, that's for sure. The Museum of American History is closed until 2008, so I didn't get to see all the cool memorabilia from pop culture; so we'll have to go back then. Now, I'm just trying to get back into the swing of things here at home as I fight off a head cold. Good times! Time to get geared up for the holidays! I don't want to wait until the last minute like I usually do. Hope everyone is well today!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy Tuesday!

Not much new going on today. Been doing some work for a client and I also just finished this silo portrait commission. It was fun to work on. In travel news, we're going to DC soon for several days to see the sights and visit fam and friends...I've never been there! There's so much I want to see and am very excited. I'll be sure to post my favorite things when I return. For a fun link, here's a blog from a friend of a friend. He posts a photo and entry EVERY single day...and has been doing it for many years. I learned of the blog through former cooworkers who had worked with him once upon a time. And the chain grows on. Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Pearl is here!

We picked up my letterpress today!!! A huge thanks to my brother, J., for coming down from Maine to help move it. Couldn't have done it without him! And a special thanks to my husband for nearly breaking his back trying to bring it in, and then toiling for a while putting it all back together again. He's such a trooper and a sweetie!!! I appreciate it soooo very much, Thank you both! She's a "Pearl Improved Number 11" and she's got all her working parts. I have a lot to learn and am so excited to get started. She's in our basement in my little corner for "messy art things..." (You know, the stuff you don't want to ruin your floor with, so you use it somewhere "safe.") We all got pretty greasy with all the oiled parts when we were moving her in and putting her together, but we had our "work clothes" on so no damage done. Chris made sure to get a photo of me with her...our first portrait. It's the beginning of a beautiful friendship! And I promise to take good care of her. Hope everyone is doing well and happy weekend!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

(Photos all by Michele Stapleton...a glorious photographer. She's got 2 and
Wow. This Sunday marks our 1 year wedding anniversary. A year ago that day we stood in an old, warm church filled with character and love and exchanged our vows in front of our closest friends and family...and it has been bliss ever since. It rained and rained and rained and caused flooding all that following week. I love you Chris! This is just the beginning; our story is beginning to unfold.

Oh boy!

(Image shown is from Briar Press's website...has a great online museum!) I'm very excited today because tomorrow we are picking up my antique letterpress! It's a "Pearl Improved Number 11" and is full of character and history. She's a beaut! It will be a while still before I get to print with her since I still need to get some starter accessories, but it won't be long now! The man who sold her to me is soooo nice. And he's taken such good care of her. He spent several hours with me teaching me how to use it...which was just so nice...I feel like this important baton has been handed to me and now it's up to me to carry on the tradition and add to the history of this press. I have a lot to learn but have found the people in the letterpress community to be so nice and welcoming and helpful! Anyway, I look forward to getting to know "Pearl" and I hope she likes me. I promise to take good care of her.
And I've got lots of good arty ideas in the works and am just itching to start cranking them out. All in due time!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Where to now?

Do you ever find yourself sitting there and wondering "what next?" That's how I feel right now. I'm in the middle of figuring out exactly what I want out of my career and what it is I want to spend my time focusing on. I'm having a hard time deciding which thing I want to focus on and that ends up confusing me; thus DE-motivating me. It's this stupid endless cycle of planning and thinking...thinking and planning. Yet I can't motivate myself to move forward and get into action. I know it's because I take it all too seriously. My Dad would probably tell me "Lighten up Louise!" And it's true. Anyway, I think I'm finally coming to some conclusions that will guide me through at least the near future and that's all I can ask, right? But don't get me wrong; I'm not melancholy about this. I'm just........quiet. Hopeful. Eager. I'm glad I do have a bit of design work for clients that helps keep my mind busy when I get tired of thinking and thinking and thinking.

On another note, my 10 year high school reunion was this past weekend. I have to say I'm glad I went. I ended up having a lot of fun and saw a lot of people I wanted to see again. It felt warm. It felt weird. But it felt happy. And then I blinked and it was all quick! But I'm relieved it's over with now. (I didn't LOVE high school. I was just sort of going through the motions while I counted down the days until I could move to the next step and just sort of coasted along as if in a blur). There were many amusing people and some people haven't seemed to change a bit (for the worse). Such is the way of life I guess. All I can say to sum it up is it was weird and fun. So, where to now???? What next???? And so it goes.....
(feel free to share any of your own reunion stories or career ponderings)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

New Cards!

My new cards are for sale on my etsy shop!
Both are hand screen printed and drawn by me. Limited edition!
It's another beautiful sunny day outside today here. Hope all is well for everyon

Monday, October 02, 2006

Happy Fall!

Hello All! Well, fall is really here. I mourn the summer, but fall is always so invigorating and refreshing. Been working on freelance work and gocco stuff on the career front. Here is my gocco project in progress. Hopefully soon I will make an announcement for when it is on sale at my esty shop.

Chris and I went apple picking this weekend. View my favorite photos here.
It felt nice to be out in the fresh air and sunshine...a busy work week lies ahead complete with my 10 year high school reunion on Saturday. eek.
Ok. Off to get some work done!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my amazingly wonderful husband! To another year of fun and love.
You are my light.

Monday, September 11, 2006


We're back from our trip; it was great! We drove up Route 1 through Maine to see the little sea-side towns and ended the journey at Bar Harbor where we got married last year. It was wild being back there...our last memories were of the wedding and all our friends and family. We were very nostalgic about it all. We had fun hiking and sitting by the water and wandering around. I got to take tons of fun photos and uploaded just a few favorites to my flickr site. We even got to see Little Miss Sunshine during a rainy evening. I LOVED it. I found it so touching and hilarious. Anyway, the inspiration was endless all over that little town! I highly recommend the trip to anyone looking for relaxation and eye candy. I'm back to freelancing in the city the rest of this week. I'm hoping to do my first gocco work soon! Free chunks of time have been hard to come by lately; but I'm definitely not complaining! Happy week to all!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I got my Print Gocco in the mail yesterday!!!!! I'm so excited. I can't wait to try it out! It will be a while yet as I am working on-site for a client and then I'll be away for a few days; then back on-site for the client again. As soon as I get a free chance I will dig in! It is sitting in the box on the floor next to me...taunting me to come play. tempting!
Hopefully in another 2 weeks or so. (sheesh) In the meantime, I've been brainstorming and planning some very fun card designs! I've finally found a favorite design that I'm proud of; so I'm going to try my best with it.
A lot of work and thought goes in before I even get to the print stage; so that's what I've been working on while on the train and during my evenings. It's so fun! My plan is to put the cards up for sale on my etsy shop once they are complete; and of course put them up here on my blog for all to see. good times. *yawn* I'm going to bed!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006


I got my simple Polaroid in the mail on Friday! These are a few of the photos I took...the chandelier was my first ever Polaroid experience. As you see, I even tried 2 self-portraits. I love watching them develop! It's fun not knowing exactly how the photo is going to look. It's going to be fun using this camera to change up the digital "norm" that I'm in. Nice to mix it up once in a while! I'd love to experiment with a Holga camera...but I think I might wait a little while. I can only have so many goals/interests with my art before I become overloaded and would rather take a nap!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Arty excitement!!

I'm so excited! I won a Print Gocco machine auction on ebay. I cannot wait to receive it. Now I can do small print runs by hand for new greeting card designs! I love the quality of how gocco prints come out. So textured and pretty. *sigh* I have a million ideas for cards; so I just have to find that one special one to start working on and setting up. Oh, why can't it be here NOW! :)
And in other arty excitement I am going to start getting into Polaroid photo-taking again. I love the arty look to the photos that can only be done on polaroid. And it is the perfect medium for snapping interesting every day objects and shapes. A unique way of looking at the world and noticing every day beauty. They aren't meant for landscapes or for macro shots (that is saved for the digital camera). But it IS fun for spontaneous self portraits and for taking shots of signs and other cool things that inspire. I'll post them to my flickr site when I get some good ones. Yay again!
As for this weekend; we have the Patriots pre-season game on Saturday night to go to. It will be fun to tailgate and game-watch when it's not 25 degrees outside. Go Pats!

Flight of the Bumblebee

Last weekend we took a drive into Concord to see the downtown shopping area for the first time and to wander around part of Minuteman National Park. We had so much fun! There are so many little boutiques and antique stores all along several blocks. Lots of restaurants too. I loved it. We even found a great wine shop and a cheese store! And it only took 15 minutes to get there so I'm excited to have a new place to shop. The national park was beautiful. It's amazing to think of H.D. Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorn walking those same paths. What's more amazing is realizing the most important part of our Nation's history happened there. I took the posted photo trying to do a macro view of the flower and a bee flew in just as I took the shot. It startled me and I yelped! When I took a look to see the shot, I realized I'd inadvertantly gotten the bee in there! Kind of fun, though startling at macro view. Alienlike to say the least. At some point soon I will be posting some of my favorite photos of the excursion to my flickr site. (link is in my right list of web links)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

flower sunset straight

flower sunset straight
Originally uploaded by mlcassid.
Summer is going to be over before we know it! This pic will keep summer here online when the first snow of the year falls.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Illustration Friday: Play

Here is Morgan the wonder Corgi at play with a red ball. A quick painting sketch I did today for the topic made with acrylic paint and marker on paper. Starting to explore materials to find out what it is I most enjoy working with. Still not totally sure yet, but it's fun so far. I'm also discovering different painting surfaces which really make all the difference when it comes to different effects you're trying to pull off. I always use the same thing, and I'm finding it's probably not the best material for what I want to be doing. Learn learn learn.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Works in progress

It's Friday! I spend the last 3 days this week working for a client in the city. It was about a zillion degrees outside, so the commuter rail and trains in the city were packed with sweaty people. I'm home today; just picked up my new glasses. They are snazzy and I like them. Here are some things I've been working on. The first is my vintage rubber ducky's a small 9 x 12 size done in acrylic. I think I'm going to post him for sale soon on my etsy shop. Below that is a project I'm working on. It's a drawing of dogwood branches on wood, and then I'm working on using woodburning tools to etch it in. It's a lot of fun! Plus, the wood was under a dollar at the craft store already pre-cut. so, it's very inexpensive to do! I traced an existing drawing I had and used graphite paper to make the transfer onto the wood. I'm going over that with the woodburner. You can see on the left is the part I haven't burned yet. I think I'll use butchers wax to finish it off. I may sell it on etsy and I may not. I haven't decided yet. I'm kind of attached to it. I guess I could do another one? In other news I've been commissioned to do a painting! I won't go into detail yet, but it will have a classical guitar theme. It will be a fun challenge to research and work on...I might have normally shyed away from something like this. But I know I'm capable of doing it and I finally get to see what I can really do if I put my mind and skills to it. I'm nervous and excited. We shall see how it goes!!!

Illustration Friday Topic: Capture

Here's a quick ink sketch I did. I hate killing bugs (unless it's a spider or a mosquito) so I usually capture them and release them somewhere outside and away from the house. It usually works out ok. :) I just feel guilty killing them. Too many years of watching Disney movies has done this to me.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Lately I have been obsessed with embroidered items. They are so pretty, delicate and interesting. I am drawn like moth to the flame to embroidered clothes. *sigh* I've been finding all these sales and incredible deals lately on clothes like this. I got a lined silk sweater covered with embroidery and beading...a 3/4 sleeve 50's-ish style cardigan with little hook closures....I about fainted when I found it. That brings me to the other day when I bought this little green 1/2 sleeve knitted sweater on sale for 50% off. It was the only one left and it was my size. It's not something I would normally pick out to wear, but I was drawn to it. I tried it on and it looked really cool! The colors drew me in...such a nice palette. The colors are inspiring to me. Then I realized it's the embroidery that draws me in as well. I decided to buy it and now I can't stop staring at it. If I could hang it on my inspiration board I would.

Along the same note, I was touring a nearby mall several weeks ago with my friend and business associate Debbie. We were researching interesting displays and other "eye-catching" retail solutions. We wandered into
this store...I don't have kids, but I WANTED the clothes in there. They were quite pricey for the age group, but they were so beautiful it almost seemed worth spending that kind of money. Almost. We were mesmerized by the beautiful packaging and hangtags on the clothes. We oohed and ahhed over the retail signs and displays...a graphic designer's dream store. My eyes fell on a little clearance bin...more like a tray of small belts and other odd objects. I pawed through and gasped as I pulled out this GORGEOUS hat. I gave a little yelp to show Deb...the colors in this hat are so beautiful. And the hat is so soft. I could pet it for hours. And, there is this little embroidered bird on the side. *sigh again* I looked at the price and it was $1.99!!! I decided that I had to have it. Again, I don't have kids. But, I figured it was so pretty and was a real inspiration for me. It was a perfect item to pin to my inspiration board in my office. And it was less money than a lot of greeting cards are now! I excitedly brought it up to the register and the associate asked me "When are you due?" with a smile on her face. I felt so embarrassed and sheepish. All because I'm buying a hat for myself that I can't wear. I managed to peep out that "I'm not!" with my own smile. I felt bad for her; she was so upset for saying it. She said most people get so excited about the clothes and they are usually expecting. I said "no, not me. I just excited over the colors and design of things...I'm a graphic designer and I love this store!" She agreed, she loved the designs as well. And to add to the dorky design excitement, she gift wrapped the hat for me so I could have the gift box and all the little details that go along. The tissue paper....AMAZING! The gift boxes....SO CUTE! And the shopping bag....again, so great. Everything was inspired by vintage wallpapers and pretty patterns. She included a ribbon and sticker in the box for me as well. When I have kids, I'm definitely going to shop there! (Probably in the sale area, but it's all good!) Such a great store. The website pales in comparison to the actual shopping experience and all the beautiful tags and signs and props. All this makes being a designer so fun for me. Below are photos of the steps of the "packaging experience" for my little hat. The gift box had little flowers on the lid and a pale green gingham pattern as the bottom of the box. You can click on the images to might be able to make it all out. Even the tissue is a contrasting printed pattern and has scalloped edges. wow.
I adore it all so much. I feel silly getting so excited. But, I can't help it and that's fine by me! I know I'm not alone!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Eyes on me...

Yikes! I finally called my eye doctor today. I've been having problems with "red eyes" and other issues with them every time I wear my contacts. It's been a nightmare this past month. I've never had problems before after 14 years of wearing them. So, I'm now wearing my out-of-date prescription glasses that I hate and can't see all that great through. I just want my eyes to feel better!! Hopefully, it's just a lens fitting issue since I recently switched brands. Anyhow, I have an appointment for a week from now. I ordered new up-to-date eye glasses today; and have to wait until next Tuesday or Wednesday for those. I'll make do; it could be much worse. On the way home, I stopped at the library and read some magazines (much cheaper than constantly buying them!) and checked out a book on Leonardo DaVinci (I love books about him...) and one on the anatomy/drawing of wildlife animals. It's very detailed in terms of different poses and scenarios for every kind of critter. Good for studying! As for DaVinci, I just love his line quality and his drawing style. It just captivates me; his notebooks are amazing. That was one curious man I'll say! I like to get out a magnifying glass and peruse all the little details of his work. Endless fascination for me! And finally, below is a photo I like that I took after the Fourth of July fireworks up at Great Pond in the Belgrade lakes of Maine. It was pitch black outside and this little area was lit by a porch light. The photo, while not totally accurate to what our eyes saw, it reminds me of some sort of children's book illustration. Very luminous. :) It's a favorite of my husband and myself.

Illustration Friday: Clean

I instantly thought of the germs that are on the kitchen counter before I spray it down. Here's a little cross-section of them. I nice reminder of why we clean in the first place.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

All is well! Yesterday I worked on-site for a was a very busy day! Lots to do. It was a lot more harried there than I've gotten used to working at home. I felt tired when I got home last night from all the action. So far today I did some client work and sent out invoices. I went shopping at this little boutique...they always have such cute finds! It's rooms and rooms of pretty things...clothes, furniture, art, objects, toys, name it. And the fact that it's a short drive to the center of town doesn't hurt either! Here are some photos I took the other day:

The grasshopper was hiding in the grass amongst the purple flowers. I spotted him; he didn't seem to mind that I took his photo. We're neighbors after all. Not much else going on; just reading blogs and brainstorming art ideas. I've been coveting these blogs lately: loobylu and heather. Another fun one is's endless with inspiration and fun. Okey doke, I'm off to clean a bit of the kitchen and eat (garlic tortellini with pesto sauce is on tap for the night). Mmmmmmmm....

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Pain in the Butt

As promised, here is our new backyard retreat. We have a little outdoor firepit/stove (perfect for s'mores and roasting marshmallows). Toward the right back by the hose, you can see a bamboo-like structure...that is our outdoor fountain. Water trails from the top "tube" and flows down through each tube. Sounds a little like a small waterfall. The hammock is fun, although I sat out today in my bathing suit ready to ponder my work when this black bug (not sure WHAT it was...) flew at me out of nowhere and flung down into the hammock. I squealed quite loudly and fell off the side of the hammock along with my notebook and pen. Sprawled on the ground, I felt a stinging pain on my right butt-cheek. The damned thing bit me in the behind!! I started to get scared and in a flash I whipped down my suit bottom to check to see if whatever bit me was in there. Thank goodness it wasn't. And thank goodness the neighbors weren't home! Our backyard is pretty private luckily. Not that I cared at that point in my freaked out state. I scared away my little chipmunk friend I'd been watching...I'm sure he was laughing at me from the bushes behind the rocks. Anyway, I'm working INSIDE for right now; as my butt heals. I worked a little more on my painting this steps. The front empty part will be very detailed and I'm sure it will take quite a long time to do. So, I've spent a lot of time getting all the background finished up so I can focus my attention to the front. Since it will go in the dining room I really want to do a good job on it and not just rush through like I normally might. (I don't have much patience). Here it is so far.
It's a start at least. I've also decided to post my inspiration board / and one of my desks.

It's got visual treats that I really enjoy looking at lately.

It's got 3-d objects and flat objects on there. I have some fabric items I have yet to hang. And on the desk you can kind of see a rubber ducky painting laying flat that I will put up for sale on my etsy shop at some point soon. I found that I really enjoy painting "non-reality". Landscapes have their place, but I like painting little characters and critters. I'm thinking I will have to expand on that idea as I move forward. I get totally energized and excited when I paint things like that and that's what I'm going for. Well, the rest of the day will be spent getting cleaned up and getting done some client work before Chris gets home from his softball game tonight. Tomorrow I will be working for a client on-site so it will get me out of the house for a bit which is always fun. Hopefully nothing will bite me in the behind there too!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The big follow-through

Ugh. There is so much I want to do! Sometime I don't know how to fit it all in. I overwhelm myself with ideas until I am paralyzed and find myself wasting the day on television instead. I spent all last week working, working, working for a client in the city. It was a long commute and tiring. But I enjoyed the work. I just didn't enjoy getting home so late! Now, this week I don't forsee a whole lot of work. (of course that could change any second now with the ringing of the phone). Feast or famine is my life right now. I'm always either bogged down with so much to do, or light as a feather. I love it. I'm lucky. I'm going with it.
So, I make all these plans for what I want to do with this found time, and I get overwhelmed. I finally have the chance to spend time on all the things I daydreamed about (what I'd rather be doing if I were home) when I had a 8:30-5:00 job before. And I've got NUTHIN'. I realize I just have to decide what my biggest priority and interest is for the day and dive in. (I never WAS a diver...I always sort of hopped in the water butt-first...I have never done a dive before...hmmmmm). So today, I'm going to work on a painting. I started it at the beginning of June and haven't found ample time to touch it since. So, it's got the background filled in and that's it. I want to do a nice job since the intent is to hang it on our dining room wall once complete. So I guess that's my big goal for today...not to finish, but to continue on it. I also have lots of bookeeping and filing to catch up on for my business...and invoices to send out. Never the fun part but necessary if I want to be paid! Oh yeah! My other thought was wanting to fix some photos I took and upload them to my flickr page...see what I mean? I start coming up with plans and a whole host of new ideas swarm like bees around my head. I refuse to give in to my normal pattern of retreating to the couch...I must break that bad habit. I know I will be grateful to myself if I do. I feel like I'm normal. I just need to bite the bullet and see things through. And THAT is what is hard for me to do. I'm a starter, not a finisher. And I need to change it. I WANT to change it. Being creative and accomplishing art depends on some sort of follow-through. I need encouragement...I need strength.
I've got the inspiration, now I need the strength to be confident and FOLLOW-THROUGH.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ahhh, summer.

I love summer. I've missed it!!! I've been thoroughly enjoying it so far! I'm sitting in our brand new backyard right now. Well, we always had the yard. After we've had the house for over a year, we still didn't have any outdoor items set up. So I haven't gone outside the house much during the day. So, for my birthday (which is this coming Friday! yay!) we picked up a new patio table and chairs (to replace the green plastic) and an umbrella and a hammock with hammock stand, a bird bath, some bird feeders, a fountain, and some large colorful outdoor urns to plant annuals and other things in. It feels like a littlel retreat now. All the items are from end of season clearance sales, so we spent staggering little for it all. I'll be sure to post a picture soon. There's a zillion dragonflies out here. They must have caught on to our gazillion mosquitos. I've noticed that we don't have nearly as many as last year. All thanks to those dragonflies. They are all, green, black, speckled, brown, and techni-colors. And huge. These look like little bi-planes. I keep peeking at the bird feeders, but haven't seen any birds yet enjoying the seed. I think they have to discover it's there first. Anyway, we went to the beach in the other part of town the other day; it was fun. It's a big beach on a cute pond. It must be fun living there. We live across from a similar pond, so it's fun to be able to walk or ride the bike over and lay on the sand and swim. I feel like we are finally settling down and making the town our home. Finding the shortcuts, the trails and the roads to get to places more quickly...discovering little shops and other excitements. It's been so fun getting to know the area here. So much to take in! Other than all this, we've been going to fun barbecues. We also visited my parents at a house they rented for 2 weeks up on Great Pond in Maine. We stayed for several days enjoying the lake and the relaxation. Again, I love summer. The smells of the barbecue and the flowers in the air. The fresh cut grass. The smooth warm air on your skin. And the cool breeze in the lazy shade at the pond... I wish it could stay like this all the time, but summer in New England just wouldn't be the same without the fiendish winter that preceeds it. Well, I'm off to get back to work. And reality I suppose.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My new boutique

After much work and fun, I have finally launched my etsy boutique.
I am selling decorative art for children and adults. I also have lines of notecards on there as well. A mix of everything. I had so much fun getting everything ready; now we'll see if I can even sell anything! That's ok, the fun was getting everything created and together. My work will evolve and change as I develop more of a set style. Most of my work is completely customizable and I can work with the recipient to add quantity or make changes or whatever. I also take commissions. If anyone out there has an idea they'd like me to execute in my own little way, contact me and we can work together on it. It's fun to make a unique gift that nobody else has. Just a little small something that can brighten someone's day. I like that idea. Attainable art...not in an expensive gallery and not mass-produced at the mall. Just little hand-made bits lovingly put together and sent off to a new home. Now, off to the "real world" to do my normal graphic design day job which is a whole different kind of fun.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New inspiration

Wow. It's been forever, it seems, since I've written! There hasn't been a whole lot to report and I've just been chugging along on my same ol' goals. I've been continuing to work for myself and trying to drum up work. Still going well so far! I'm really excited about it. It's a whole new world. Now that my work life is falling into place I really feel the need to enhance my time with my hobbies and my creativity. When you have a creative career like I do, it's easy to fall into the trap that your job is your creative outlet. It's simply not healthy to think that way, especially when my work is for clients...not for myself. So, I've started an oil's 30 inches wide x 24 inches high. It's of some tree blossoms I photographed a month ago and as soon as the painting is complete it will go on the wall of our dining room. I've got the background blocked in so far; now I have to begin work on the blooms. I really want to take my time with it. I have such a tendency to work way to fast and impatiently. A bad habit! I've also decided to do some fun, whimsical, decorative art for children and adults and sell them at an online boutique forum I found. I'm so excited! I've got lots of ideas and now I just have to turn them into works of art. I'm going to sell original paintings, prints, photographs, and note cards. So, on my own time I'm going to work on getting enough items created to sell.I've already got some photos that are ready, but I'd like to get a good variety of other work prepared. As soon as the boutique is posted I will get the link up here and make the announcement. My plan is to have it going within the next 3 weeks. I've always wanted to do this, but never figured out how I could get going. But now I've found the answers I need and am ready to enter the art/craft world as me with my own original ideas to offer. And for the first time, instead of feeling scared or like a procrastinator, I feel excited. I feel hopeful. And I feel motivated. Mainly because I finally figured out the kinds of things I want to do and I finally feel like I have the permission from myself to do so!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The thrill of revenge?

Did you ever have a bully when you were a kid? As a small, shy, and insecure girl I was an easy target. While I was always nice to everyone, lots of kids found it fun to pick on me and call me names. I remember this mean older kid who was a sort of nemises to my older brother....he would follow me home from school with his little minions and say that I was "Cassidy's younger BROTHER" (clever to say that I was a little boy or something despite my wearing a dress.). He would then throw icy snowballs at me as I screamed and ran as fast as my little legs would go. I dreaded that walk home. But one day, as I breathlessly ran through the kitchen door with tears streaming down my face, my brother ran outside and chased that bully away with his own snowballs and several choice swear-words. I felt so proud that my brother defended me that day.
Not all bullies were boys. There was this nasty clique of girls in our school who thought they were the greatest things on earth. Now, I wasn't part of that clique, but I DID have lots of friends. Anyway, she loved to make fun of me and call me names and do whatever she could to assert that she was "cooler" than me. I completely HATED her. She was in my gym class along with all the rest of her coven. I remember she started making fun of me as we stood in line for roll call. I got so mad I actually stood up for myself and started making fun of her back. We went back and forth and then she yelled out the dreaded "Oh YEAH!! Well at LEAST I have FRIENDS!!!!" I stood there, embarrassed and stunned. None of my friends were in the same class as me. I had nobody to defend me. I just stood there there was a huge spotlight on me. I felt like Carrie from the Stephen King novel. I went beyond mad to exceedingly calm and composed. That day, we were playing floor hockey (my favorite). We were both slated to face-off. I remember the teacher dropping the ball on the floor and as we both went to hit it, I "accidentally" missed and smashed her shins with the hockey stick instead. Ooops!! We both ran all over the floor. Normally, I was so good at the game. But I just kept smacking her shins "by accident." She soon caught on and began to yell "she's hitting me on purpose!!!!" I just batted my innocent blue eyes at the teacher and said "no I'm not, I'm really sorry! I don't MEAN to!" I was known for never acting out or getting into trouble. He didn't think that I would do such a thing. But I continued the entire rest of the class making it my vendetta and purpose to make her hurt just like she'd hurt me. She soon began to run away from me and stopped going near me. (heh heh). At the end of class, her shins were all black and blue and had welts on them. The months of her making fun of me were over and she never bothered me directly again. And I never had anything to do with her again. She always remained a snob. And to this day, I know that what I did was wrong. And I don't think I could ever forget the years of her making fun of me. She'd made me so miserable. Violence is never the answer. Because to this day I still get annoyed at the memory of her. I can't help it. And in all honesty, I got thrilling satisfaction by "accidentally" hitting her with that hockey stick. The memory makes me smile. And if nothing else, I've learned to accept that I'm proud of it. And I'm not sorry. :) Sometimes, it feels good to simply not be the bigger person. Sometimes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Illustration Friday Topic: Speed

Now that it's spring, soon the dragonflies will be out and about. Because our house is surrounded by protected forest and wetlands (and also have a lake across the street), we get lots of dragonflies. From little to huge; they dart around the yard. They're fun to watch! Now if only we could get rid of the nightmare mobs of mosquitos we'd be all set.