Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Belated Christmas!

Hello friends! I got a little too busy and forgot to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Hope you all spent time with family and friends, stayed warm, kept or made new traditions and felt the love of God this Christmas.

I was quite busy with custom orders....personalized room art....special ornaments.....Christmas presents made with special ones in mind....and family!!!! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to this new year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A baby surprise!

Well, I kept a fun little secret from you for a little while....and now I'm ready to share. Elena's Easel is in a local baby boutique!!! It was very exciting and fun to meet Heather of Ulabu Baby Boutique in Niantic. She was very enthusiastic about putting my artwork up in her store. The store is geared towards kids ages 0-5. Everything there is so cute, cuddly, snuggly and beautiful! I could spend hours talking to Heather about her kids and ooh-ing and ah-ing over the adorable baby things.

Heather loves to showcase local artists and crafters so if you're looking for a local find that was handcreated by someone in the New England area, go check it out!

For more info you can visit Ulabu on the web:

or in person:

Ulabu Baby Boutique
Niantic, CT 06357

Packing it up

Mom and I did our last craft fair of the season this past weekend. Phew! What a crazy crafty world it is out there. Usually Christmas seems to sneak up on me every year. But this year I knew it was coming. At the craft fairs I was already hearing Christmas music, watching people shop for Christmas presents and it really helped me appreciate the hustle and bustle I usually avoid.

Here are some pics of our booths from the last show. We've learned a lot and have some new ideas for the way to find success at craft fairs in the future. Thanks to our "muscle" (or husbands) who helped us lug all of our stuff, pack and unpack every weekend and to our friends and co-workers who came out to support us.

And that's it for holiday craft fairs this year! We're packing it up....see you in 2010!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

IF: Entangled

When I saw the IF topic this week an older turtle illustration came to mind. This little guy (I like to think he was a firstborn overachiever) got quite zealous about decorating his spruce and found himself entangled in the lights. I'm sure a turtle friend came along and helped him out in the spirit of Christmas cheer.

You can see this turtle and other designs in my Etsy shop. I'm also offering FREE SHIPPING on all of my prints throughout the month of December....because I'm always merrier when I get something free!
We set up our tree, nativity scene and minimal decorations already and I've enjoyed listening to Christmas music while trying out new recipes in the kitchen. The Christmas season is definitely upon us! Happy Holidays and remember the reason for the season!

Friday, November 20, 2009

IF: Music

My little parade of monkeys that I just finished is perfect for this topic. This monkey marching band enjoys entertaining the other jungle animals on holidays and special occasions!

This is a colored pencil drawing with a little bit of collage (the sheet music at the bottom). To see the personalized version, check it out in my shop. I think monkeys are my favorite animal to draw... after turtles of course!

Finally finished!

It seems that I've been working on these two drawings forever. I finally got them finished and then had several weeks of messing with them because I didn't like how the colors came out when they were printed. I LOVE teal and aqua colors, they are finding their way into a lot of my new stuff....but it's quite hard to make the printer show teal and aqua. Everything comes out blue. Blue is nice, but teal is AWESOME!

Turtle Girls of Summer (8x10 available in my shop)

Monkey Parade with Personalized Banner (8x10 available here)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A very Turtle-y Christmas!

I've been thinking about that small percentage of people (and I know you're out there...) that seem to be obsessed with turtles. And so I thought, what might a turtle-lovin' person want for Christmas? What might I give those adoring fans of the beautiful, docile, shell-sporting about some ornaments!!!

This idea is not completely of my own invention. I saw some cool cube decorations and seeing as how all of my turtle illustrations are square (a framing nightmare by the way!) a wooden cube seemed to be just perfect for them. Add to that an obsession with pretty paper and a desire to learn the "distressed" technique and there you have style Turtle Christmas ornaments!

The large size is available in my Etsy shop now. I'll be adding some smaller fun ones soon. And not all turtles either. Did I mention that Turtle Holiay Card sets with awesome metallic envelopes are available now too! Oooooooh.....sparkly!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sugarloaf Craft Fair 2009!

I had the privelege of a mother-daughter date to the Sugarloaf Craft Festival last weekend. Sugarloaf is a HUGE juried fair with hundreds of vendors and activities. We haven't made the trip in a while but now that my mom and I have been delving into the craft fair world we decided to check out the BIG one!

Of course there was amazing amounts of jewelry, photography, woodworking, clothing, and art. The best part for us was the time we had together and talking to people that we look up to in the business. Mom got to talk to one of the 5th generation owners of Pretty Baby Soaps. And I got to see one of my favorite artists, Eric Sturtevant!
It was great seeing them do their thing and also encourage our efforts in the business. Eric mentioned and I agree that finding a mentor is key. It is wonderful when artists who are succeeding are willing to share their story and their advice with us...the confused yet hopeful crowd who is just starting out. One theme remains clear....this is really HARD work!

Random Fall-y Goodness

Some tidbits from fall so far....

going from full time to part time at work means surprises when I come in, like a desk drawer full of nuts for instance....

discussions on being thankful for what we have with the blue-eyed baby...

distracting the panda-dog from her tail boo-boo...she's convinced her tail is not her friend...

dressing up as the older versions of Charlie Brown and Lucy VanPelt for Katie's birthday party...the subsequent bring-your-wig-to-work pictures are too scary for the internet.....let's just say certain ladies wigs are not meant to be worn by men...

vibrant, gorgeous fall leaves fluttering down around New England houses (no, this is not our house!)....

and YUM, last but not least...a newfound enthusiasm for baking....whole wheat pumpkin muffins...mmmm-mmmmmmmmm!

Happy Autumn!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

IF: Skinny

Long, lean Lenny loved the autumn. He loved wrapping his long, skinny orange scarf about his neck and trundling outside to watch the leaves dance for him. “They’re so graceful” he thought, as he reached out and let the leaves land on his tongue. Crunch, Crunch.“And tasty. Mmmm….Tastes like red.”

Yippee!!! A little IF illustration after hours and hours of sketching other ideas! Have you ever really studied a llama?! Wow. What character! I know a certain friend might really like Lenny....!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

5 Lessons I learned from Craft Fairs

It IS the season of crafty goodness. Fall here isn't complete without hayrides, hot cider, hot chocolate, pumpkins, apple everything and tons and tons of crafty goodness. I have been busy trying to balance normal life with crafty life and taking part in the crazy pre-Christmas festival season. I have a lot of respect for people who do this year round, all the time. I don't think I'm cut out to be a lifer but here's a little snapshot of what I've experienced so far.

If you wanna make it in the craft world.....

1) You have to draw people in....
Dozens of doggies in costume and competing for various puppy prizes at the Pumpkins and Pooches Festival....a must see for animal lovers.

2) You have to stand out from the crowd, you need to have an original idea...
This lovely local man started making reindeer from leftover wood a couple of years ago, he shows up with a truckload of little Rudolph's and often goes home with an empty truckload....even I couldn't resist having one of my own after staring at the little guy all day.

3) You have to be professional....your booth and your work should look like a million bucks but your prices have to make people feel like they're getting a deal.
Evelyn Villegas is a very talented woman who sells Peruvian jewelry
, some of which is intricately woven together in the technique of her ancestors. Her prices were so amazing, I dropped a bunch of money on Christmas presents right there.

4) You have to be kind to your fellow crafter. It's amazing how many wonderful people I've met just by sitting next to them during a long festival day. Watching each other's booths, lending supplies, swapping ideas for upcoming the end of the day, you feel like you've made it through an ordeal together and become friends.
My favorite crafter to sit next to is of course my mom!

5) You have to be brave. It is not easy to let people touch, look at, comment on or pass by the things you've taken hours to make. It makes you just want to sit down and cry when the wind knocks over your carefully placed display. It certainly is not logical to get up early in the morning, lug all of your wares out to the car, travel to the fair site, set them up frantically and then take it all down and start over again another day. You have to be gutsy (or nutsy!) enough to do this without knowing the outcome. This is the hardest part for me as it is with all of life.

If I knew that doing something would bring great success, much joy and plenty of moula....of course I would do it. But most times we don't know for sure, we're just stepping out in faith. You can't get anywhere if you don't start somewhere. Keeping your eyes and ears open along the way. So many times I want to stop and figure out if something is worth my time, worth investing my heart in....will I waste money, will I waste time, will my heart get broken? I believe in making wise decisions but if I waited for the answer to all of these questions I would be unable to move. In the wise words of Bob Wiley from the movie What About Bob? all you need is one baby step at a time. "Baby steps to the elevator, baby steps get on the bus, baby steps down the aisle, baby steps..." Happy baby stepping!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cards and Magnets...ooh la la!

I just added some great new crafty items to my shop! Check 'em out if you're interested in stationery and magnets. I'm still in the middle of craft fair season here. The hard part about being an artist/crafter is that every weekend I attend a craft fair I think I'm ready for the next one....but in between the fairs I'm making more art and of course want to bring the new things along! So I'm never ready! It's a lot of work but also a lot of fun. At the Scarecrow Festival a couple of weekends ago I met so many great families and amazing kids. One in particular kept coming back to visit me (if you're reading this...Hi Leyah!!!) and bringing people with her to exclaim over my work. To see kids spend their dollars on my prints because they love them so much certainly warms my heart. Now if only I could hire Leyah as my spokesperson on these crafting weekends so I could shop around myself! (Leyah? Wanna be an artists' apprentice?!)

We are enjoying fall in New England as everyone should with hayrides, apple crisp, walks in the leaves and head colds! If you're in the area come by Colchester green for the Pumpkins and Pooches fair this Sunday and visit me....or at least check out all the pooches in costume! Happy Autumn everyone!

Friday, September 18, 2009

When you stay up late....

you get no sleep but lots of things done! Working on lots of new things as the weather gets cooler and we head into fall. It seems that I'm not the only one that suddenly has a burst of energy and ideas around Autumn time. I'm not sure what it is about the season that makes you re-invent yourself. For us New Englanders, maybe it's the knowledge that winter is right around the corner and we have to kick it into high gear before we bunk down with our blankets and hot chocolate!

Finally, as promised, I'm close to finishing my Turtle Girls of Summer paintings. This is a sneak peek of them almost done. With a few finishing touches and a beautiful ribbon for them to hang on, they just might make their debut this weekend.

Also making their debut.....MAGNETS! Don't the turtles look great in glass! I'll be adding these to my Etsy shop, but I'm bringing them along to some great fall fairs coming up.

If you're in the area, stop by the Preston City Scarecrow Festival tomorrow (Saturday, the 19th) from 9 to 6pm. I've been before and was pleasantly surprised by how big this small town fair was! It's free to the public and there will be food, crafts, pumpkin painting, a moonbounce, a scarecrow competition.......fall fun for everyone! I'm looking forward to it. Hope to see you there!!!