Work with what you have

There’s something quite unique that happens when you’re on vacation. We’ve all experienced it and then we quickly forget it. While I was in Italy, I thought about how little I truly need to get through a day and how relaxed I felt. So many silly things that I had all wound up in my head just melted away.

When I’m on vacation everything is so much simpler. I don’t want to forget that feeling. I’m practicing ‘keeping it simple’ in small ways and A Little Hut is definitely in the mix. I’m staying offline as much as I can; I’m reading a couple of books (finally! I love, love reading and miss it dearly) — one book is for fun and one is business related; I’m being more purposeful with what I’m doing around the house and I’m being more present in general. It feels really great and I want to keep it up. I don’t want to feel burned out the way I was feeling a few months ago. I want to work on projects that fit into my schedule — work with the time I have and not overextend myself.

By doing this you’re also getting the best from me. It’s work that I really want you to do — that I think you’ll enjoy. The older I get the more I realize that my A Little Hut projects are my way of spreading ‘feel good moments’. Crafting is such a relaxing and calming activity — it’s therapeutic. It sets your mind at ease and you can’t help but be in the moment and enjoy what you’re doing, otherwise, the glue will end up everywhere but the paper that’s in front of you.

So, yes, I have a ton of ideas but I’m starting with just one file today — an autumn wreath.

The wreath got started as an illustration and my first submission for Inktober (artists from around the world create one ink drawing each day of October). After I finished the drawing the first thing I thought of was holding the cutout in my hands (my mind is never too far from paper). I thought it would be perfect for the shop and now — bonus! — I have something seasonal on my wall. Talk about killing several birds with one stone.

The set includes a coloring page and a digi stamp of the wreath as well. Have fun with it!

Yay for Autumn!

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Adventures in the Garden and elsewhere

I’m back. Again. It’s been crazy! I don’t want to bore you with a long-winded post so I’ll try to be brief. Try!

I spent all summer illustrating my second coloring book called Adventures in the Garden. I’m not kidding — it really was all summer. So much so that Gustavo had to take up a lot of my mom duties and he did fabulously (thank you my Mr. Z!). The book will be released in March 2017 — perfect spring fun. For those of you that have my previous coloring book, Flower Nook, you’ve seen a hint of what this new one is about. Little girls floated in and out of some pages there. In Adventures in the Gardenthey are on every single page. The target audience may be girls 7-10 years old, but I think this can be enjoyed by girls 7-100 years old.

The illustrations are based on ideas that I had as a little girl, of what I thought it would be like to be tiny and walking around a garden. They were also based on ideas that my favorite muse gave me. My daughter Catalina really was a great inspiration. If I was stuck, all she had to do was give me a couple of cues and I was off again. I could tell she loved playing the role of art director when I was working on something she’d suggested. I couldn’t help but smile and had my silly clap-clap moments when I drew something better than I had imagined it. It’s a project that tested my discipline, limits, and confidence in my illustrations. It was worth every minute spent working on it. I hope it shows. I used every spare moment working on the 46 illustrations in order to turn in the manuscript on time. My deadline of August 30th was the day before I traveled to Italy!

Yes, I went to Italy for 17 amazing days! I’d always dreamed of going to Italy so this was really a dream come true. Enjoying it with my mother was the icing on the cake. It was a mother/daughter trip where she got to spend some quality time with her childhood friend — even better. I posted just a handful of the hundreds photos I took on my Instagram feed. The eye-candy was just incredible. Art history, food, sights and great people — that’s what I experienced in Italy. I loved Rome and Venice, but if I had my choice I’d live in Florence — definitely more my speed. I know, for sure, that I’d love to go back some day — even if it could be to just relive those few days on Monte Argentario and jump in the Tyrrhenian Sea again. Ahhh.

Getting back to reality has been harder than I thought. Never mind the jet lag. My brain is overloaded and scattered. I have ideas pouring out of me. A Little Hut wasn’t forgotten at all. I simply couldn’t muster the time and/or energy to be completely committed. I didn’t want to come back until I was ready. Now I am. So, look for more projects in the days to come. I can’t wait!

One last thing… I just found out that some designs that I submitted months ago will become part of a fabric collection for next summer. What a nice surprise to come home to!

Happy first week of Fall — Finally cooling off around here!

Flower quartet

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The Flower Quartet is my first digi-stamp set and it also includes an added free bonus – the SVG files! I’m quite excited to get this product line officially started. It may be an evolving product and that’s what makes it fun. I hope that in time you would also be willing to contribute any suggestions to this new category.

This particular set includes three images all based on my go-t0 flower doodle. It has a main illustration and two complimentary smaller ones. The medallion is something I picture using as an envelope seal, gift tag, or something similar. The image shows you different ways of cropping the three images to get other card ideas. The illustrations don’t necessarily work just centered on a page. Find ways of cropping the images to get variations in your work.

I don’t remember the first time I drew this flower but I do remember thinking that it was going to stick around. It’s fun to draw and I have no idea why. It doesn’t really represent any flower in particular. It just captures a little bit of everything that is fun about flowers and it has a good variety of areas for shading and coloring. When I doodle with no plan in mind, this flower always sneaks into my sketches. I’ve always felt it’s like a good friend that visits often.

I cheated a bit with my card. I colored it digitally but I wanted to give you an idea of what the main illustration could look like. It would be a great piece to frame too!

I hope you enjoy them and I look forward to seeing what make with these files!

All heart

Today’s plan was to post and introduce my first digital stamp product. What I didn’t foresee was that I’d change my mind about what that first image would be. With the events that occurred over the weekend (can’t we all just live in peace? please!) I felt the need to draw this heart image and then it clicked. As my first digital stamp All Heart will always be free.

The digital file is accompanied by a coloring page and by an SVG file. Please note that the SVG file should not be used any smaller than how it’s saved (8″ wide). The details are many and some are really small. At a width the cutting machines may have trouble.

And now some happy news…
You will be seeing my digital files come more frequently in the weeks to come. My SVG projects take up more of my time (design, testing, assembly and photography) and time is something I have less of nowadays – but for a great reason. I’m working on my second coloring book and it will be coming to a bookstore near you soon. Yay! I’m so excited about this and I can’t wait to share more details when the time comes. As you can imagine, all I do is draw, draw, draw. My deadlines are during the summer months so I’ll be back to my normal SVG project speed after that.

I hope you enjoy the file and help spread the love!

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