art, Education

Learning and Growing with Grace

grace wins

This past year has been an amazing year for me as an artist. I have spent many hours – many, many hours – exploring, practicing and learning all the elements of surface pattern design. I have to admit, learning illustrator was a massive undertaking, but I am so glad that I jumped in with both feet and got it done. An entirely new world of creating is now at my fingertips. So exciting! I am slowly starting to piece the business elements with the artistic components. I have met numerous great designers along the way and am blown away by the grace and assistance they have extended to me – what a beautiful world.

The quote by Seneca, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings’ end”, sums up my pilgrimage in art. It is incredible to look back and see how every step along my way has helped lead me to where I am now.

This year I have also learned to be gracious with myself. If I don’t feel like I am good enough or things are not happening fast enough, I can’t flourish and grow. I know I am not alone when it comes to feelings of inadequacy. So many established pattern designers have relayed the same story to me. It is easier to extend grace to others than to yourself; however, I know I am worth it, and I can accomplish the goals I have set for myself.

I have included a design in this post, my screen saver, that incorporates elements from a couple of the patterns I am working on for a collection. I will also be making available clip art of some of the motifs. There are many designs to come, but also much work to be done as I continue to learn and grow in this business. I am up for the challenge and thrilled to see where this journey will lead.

This particular design incorporates the saying, grace wins. This saying holds special meaning for me on many levels, but that is a topic for another post. Till then my goal is to extend a little grace to my world around me. People have bad days and need a little grace.

Designs and Patterns will be posted in my Design Gallery.

Environment, Uncategorized

Intentional Living for a Sustainable Life

If you look up the definition of intentional living you will come across words and phrases like conscious attempts, life choices, attitudes, deliberate decisions, purpose, self-awareness, and the list goes one. Recently I watched a Market Place episode on plastic waste and it’s impact on our environment. As I sat there watching I was appalled by the lack of knowledge and concern of how our lifestyles are impacting the environment. Yes, this includes my own ignorance! I was struck with guilt the very next day when I made a quick stop at the grocery store. A plastic bag for the tomatoes, another for the lettuce, …the avocado, does it really need to go into a plastic bag, and that one lime I bought…

The story continues as I proceeded to the checkout and realized my reusable bags were at home. Really?!

I thought I was doing my part, growing my own vegetables, composting, recycling, and making products that are better for the environment and better for my family. After all, I chose to use water-based ink over plastisol for screen printing. What does that matter when other areas of my life are contributing to the problem? Better yet, how am I going to fix this problem?

First, a quick definition to clarify goals and intentions.

  • Goals and intentions are not the same but work well together.
  • Goals are set in the future and have a destination.
  • Intentions are in the present and focus on how you live in that moment.

Back to the question I asked earlier. How am I going to fix my problem? I have decided to set intentions and goals that revolve around helping our environment. Simply put, I want to recognize and live my values daily, with intention, to help meet my goals that include reducing my footprint.

The Project

I love fun bags and totes and I love creating items that are not harmful to our environment. For me, having pretty totes that are multi-functional sets me up for success – I am more likely to have totes with me when I have to make that quick stop at the grocery store for one or two items. Let me be honest here, one or two items usually turns into more items than I can carry with my two hands.

Natural Cotton

It is important to me to use natural fibers in my creations. This bag is made from 10 oz. natural cotton. The design is screen printed with water-based ink. Functionality is also very important to me. The printed design portion of this bag creates four deep pockets for books… The main large section (16″x 14″) is perfect for the “one or two” items from the grocery store or for carrying books and lunch on the way to work. I included an inside zipper pocket for my phone and a key clip. I also decided to incorporate leather handles to add a little class.

Moving Forward

As I move forward I am excited to make a variety of totes incorporating an assortment of custom surface pattern designs. I plan to make some of the bags with canvas handles and others with leather handles. To keep it fun, I will introduce color into some of the designs. I am excited to start creating!

In order to help fulfill my daily intentions and environmental goals, I will be designing other environmentally friendly and sustainable items. For those who have joined me on this journey, thank you, I will keep you posted.

For more images follow me on Instagram.


If you don’t think using plastic is a problem, check out the Market Place Episode on Plastic Waste. Every little step helps!