Grateful

In the midst of working on this project, I heard about a large group of artists and employees being laid off from a company that shut its doors without any warning — no paychecks, severance… nothing. I can’t even imagine going through something like that. This type of news makes me reflect and renews my feelings of gratitude. I may get frustrated because I can’t keep up with posting here regularly but that’s because I have a day job and there are only so many hours in a day, right? A Little Hut is something that happens in the evenings and on weekends — and that’s ok. The fact that I DO have a full-time job (aka steady income) allows me to continue working here and doing my own thing. That’s a huge blessing.

My Whimsy Flowers Card Set or anything I make wouldn’t be as whimsy if I didn’t have peace of mind. That’s the thing with creativity. It flows when the rest of my world is ok. I hope that it flows for you once you start creating with my work. That’s always been my intent. Who can think of problems when they’re crafting? I can’t — thank goodness! I think it’s become particularly important to have some time to get away from the online, TV world. There is simply too much out there and many days it’s just too negative, counterproductive and silly. The peace of just making something (maybe with a few favorite songs or a movie playing in the background) is just the perfect therapy for the everyday grind.

 

The peace of making and spreading that is what keeps me going with A Little Hut — really. I revisited the intent and mission I have with this site once again (nothing new for those of you that have been around here long enough). It’s something that I periodically do. I don’t want to do subpar work. You deserve better and I just can’t stand showing up with something half-baked. Yes, I’m still hanging around. I’ll stop when I feel like I have to move on or I can’t contribute something meaningful. It’s still feeling good. I hope it is for you too.

Having said that, sometimes I wonder what you’d like to see from me and sometimes I get a little stuck with what I should make next. Are there any particular projects that you’d like me to tackle? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Have a great week everyone!

Available in the shop now:
Whimsy Flowers Card Set
Inset Flower Gift Box

 

Helping out after Harvey

As many of you know I live in the Houston area and we’re dealing with a lot right now. The devastation left after Hurricane Harvey is so much more than anticipated — ever. My family and I were some of the very lucky ones that came out on the dry side. Many of our friends and neighbors were not.

I’m about to head out for another day of helping with the aftermath. But, before I do, I wanted to finally post my latest project that I got started when the storm was raging overhead.

During one of the nights of the worst part of the storm, I couldn’t sleep after what seemed like endless rain and so many tornado warnings blaring on our cell phones. I think it was day three of the storm. I lost count. The days keep getting blurred one into another. So, I got up and did what I do to relax — I started drawing. I don’t remember why but I decided to look up which is the Texas state bird. I didn’t know that it’s the Northern Mockingbird — a bird I see almost every day — makes sense. This is the illustration that I drew that night (I used an iPad Pro and then added some watercolor textures in Illustrator). It’s the inspiration for the Northern Mockingbird Gift Set that is now available in the shop.

 

I didn’t think much after finishing it. It was something to keep my mind at ease (it worked). But as the tragedy of this last week became more apparent and I realized that we were in it for the long haul I want to contribute a little bit of what I do to help out. While I’m physically doing something to help out our friends and neighbors, you can help me in my efforts and get something fun to make in the process.

I’ve been working on this a little bit every night after running around during the day. This project has helped me unwind in the evenings. I’m at that point that I’m so tired I can’t fall asleep right away. Being crafty comes to the rescue — again!

 

As I put together the artwork and the cards I realized that I was missing a third shade of the color of paper I was using. Since running out to my nearest craft store isn’t an option right now (either it’s not open or it’s flooded — I’m not sure which at this point), it occurred to me to use a colored pencil to darken the bottom half of the leaves to get that third shade I needed. It worked. The background paper and the bottom halves of the leaves are the same colored paper. By adding the extra shade of teal with a colored pencil I darkened it and made the texture of the paper stand out in the process. I need to keep this little technique in mind for future projects.

Another little note: If I would’ve had my way I would’ve used a slightly lighter tone of gray for the top layer of the bird. But again, I was limited to using what I have on hand.

 

So, here’s the part where you can help me out. While I’m out running around I hope that this little set sells like crazy because I will donate 100% of the proceeds to the Houston Food Bank. Right now every little bit helps.

Paper crafting has always been a fun and therapeutic thing for me to do, so why not make it a great way to contribute to a good cause too? Are you with me?

If you have prayers and thoughts that you can forward to Houston and all our surrounding towns I’d appreciate that too. So many people need them.

Thank you and have an awesome and creative week!

XO – Patricia
PS – One last idea: Enlarge the artwork for the cards to a size that you can frame but instead of using card stock for the background use handmade paper or a watercolor sheet painted with the same color of teal that I use here. It would look closer to the original that I made. Have fun with it!


UPDATE
Thank you SO much to all of you that ordered this set. Thanks to your support we were all able to make a donation that was larger than I thought this effort would add up to. $5 x many friends added up to a little more than $300. Thank you, thank you! 🙂

A break does wonders for creativity

I hope everyone’s summer has been fun and relaxing. Our certainly was. We travelled to Colombia and had a great time with family and friends. If you follow me on Instagram you caught some glimpses there and I’m posting some here. I think it was a big break we were all needing. As I’m sure many of you have experienced, when we travel we get forced into a totally different world that gets out of our routine and it’s so refreshing. I’m a much better mom, wife and creative person when I’ve had a break like this — who wouldn’t be?

The prettiest countryside house.

We stayed with family and got to experience everything between the cool mountain weather and a warmer 80s pool, sun bathing type of climate. When it’s 60ºF outside every day and you’ve just come from a daily 90-100ºF, you’re in heaven! The food was to die for (Colombian food always is), the sightseeing was amazing (I always miss the mountains), we got some hiking done (I’m in horrendous shape – already knew that — just confirmed it… again!), and we got to celebrate our 20 year anniversary a few days ahead of time. It was an all around great, great trip.

While I was away I had a lot of time to think about where I am creatively and how I want to move forward. Since my full-time job takes up most of the hours of my week my options are limited. If I had it my way, I’d just sleep 3 hours every night and spend my time making, designing, making. I LOVE working at night – but alas I do have to take care of myself and not turn into a walking zombie — ha!

So, what’s left is a limited amount of time for a limited amount of project. I’d rather make less but projects I’m proud of, than many half-thought through projects. This obviously affects my frequency of posts and product offerings. I want to accelerate the pace and I have a plan for that so hopefully you’ll be seeing the effects of that soon.

We took the kids to visit the town were we spent our honeymoon — 20 years ago this week!

In the meantime I’m still trying to catch up with the See the Light Ornaments. I hope you’re enjoying the projects. It’s been an interesting mental challenge for me. I want them to be interesting shapes and fun to make at the same time. I hope that it’s working. Here are shots of the four ornaments that are posted so far. I love how they look with just white paper but I can see them made in all sorts of color combinations.

See the Light Ornaments

Speaking of handmade. The amount of artisan work that I see in Colombia every time we go always blows my mind. There’s so much amazing detail, color and craftsmanship that it’s surprising I don’t have to buy an extra suitcase to bring back everything I’d love to buy. Amazingly, I was very conservative with my purchases this time. I’m in the midst of wanting to go to bare minimum at home so bringing back more stuff was not on my wish list. My purse strings certainly appreciated my restraint.

We’ve been to this shop before and I love all the different mobile options they have. They’re everywhere!

Finally, you’ve probably noticed that my latest project, the Dahlia Shadow Gift Box is now available. It was definitely inspired by all the flowers I saw and dahlias were everywhere! The layered effect of the flowers is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I just hadn’t come up with the most appropriate idea for it. It finally happened and I love it.

Dahlia Shadow Gift Box

So, this is where I’m at. I want to work more, I’m carving out the time, and more is coming. After finally coming back to reality, catching up with work (and laundry!!), I feel very ready to tackle my wish list. I can’t wait. Seriously, can’t wait.

As always, please feel free to email me with suggestions or just to say hello. I love when I get an email from any of you. I love hearing what your thoughts are about a particular project, your comments about anything creative, and any ideas you have to improve the shop.

Have a great week everyone!

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!

alittlehut-autumnwreath2

Pages:123»