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I know enough to be dangerous

I know enough to be dangerous. I’m guessing you do too. Oh–dangerous how? Well, take this website, for instance. I’ve been messing with themes ever since I moved the site. I felt it needed a new look, and–I was going to figure out how to do it myself. Hah– Like I said, I know enough

ArtAndDesign replaces ContraryMarket

ArtAndDesign replaces Contrary Market… What do you do when you realize that you’d really prefer to keep all of your creative efforts together under one website “roof”? You create a subdomain! Whether you use an ampersand or spell it out with the and, ArtAndDesign is replacing ContraryMarket. I’m still working on rebuilding this website, but

Art Nouveau Seasons

Whether it’s the seasons of the year or the seasons of life, Art Nouveau is the perfect design medium for exploring the beautiful changes that time brings.

It takes forty-two six-inch square swatches to fill up a yard of printed fabric. This is important because it’s a much better deal to buy one yard with 42 swatches than it is to buy just a swatch or two at a time from Spoonflower. I just filled up another yard of swatches–so now I get to post these for sale and tell you all about them.

I’ve created six Art Nouveau designs for this fabric collection. Two feature the seasonal vignettes and one celebrates motherhood and boys. I’ve posted them for sale on Spoonflower, and now they’re available for you to buy for your crafting and sewing needs, and enjoy.

Art Nouveau Fabric Collection

I love my new Art Nouveau Fabric Collection! It’s the bomb! Or should I say that it’s the sun peeking out from behind a puffy cloud in my celadon blue sky? Whichever way you look at it, I love it– and I hope you will too. It takes forty-two six-inch square swatches to fill up

Capturing Christmas Lights

When it comes to capturing Christmas lights with a point and shoot camera, it helps to find the right setting. It has taken me a while–years, actually–to find the right setting on my current camera. I used to know exactly how to take night shots with lights on the old camera. It was easy. But

Art Nouveau for a Happy New Year

Check out my four latest designs for an upcoming Spoonflower challenge dedicated to Art Nouveau:

Art Nouveau Dirigibles throw mockup

Steampunk Dirigibles

Momma's blessing pillow

Momma’s Blessing

Art Nouveau seasons vignettes with spirals wallpaper

Art Nouveau seasons with spirals

Art Nouveau Seasons round tablecloth mockup

Art Nouveau Seasons


While the two with seasonal vignettes are similar in design, the other two designs are very different, yet they are all Art Nouveau. In researching art styles for this challenge, I realized that there are significant differences between Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

  • Art Nouveau (or ‘the new art’) is more organic: it flows. Colors are more muted but very rich. Blues, greens, and purples provide gorgeous backdrops for brown, gold, and cream tones.
  • Art Deco is more geometric and structured. It can be boxy and is often very glitzy and glamorous.

Circular designs, curves, and spirals define Art Nouveau. Designs repeat organically and feature layered elements. Themes from nature are juxtaposed with celebrations of the human form and even the odd mechanical wonder from the beginning of the industrial age.

Fall In Love With Color

I fall in love with color all the time. The vibrant color of a blazing sunset; the soft grays and blues of rippling lake water reflecting a cloudy sky; the shiny black-green leaves and blacker berries of an ornamental pepper… I fell in love with colors and shapes all over again when I was creating

What Inspires Me

What inspires me to create art?

That depends. I can get inspired by a set of colors, or a photo I took, a flower, a butterfly, or a special event. Sometimes I’m inspired by special requests for original artwork. Sometimes my inspiration comes from memory.

Poppy Apocalypse -Click on the image to shop artwork was inspired by the super bloom of California poppies this spring.

Click on the image to shop for artwork inspired by the super bloom of California poppies this spring.

The past couple of months, I’ve drawn inspiration from Spoonflower’s challenges. While useful in getting the creative juices flowing, I’ve also found them to be stressful. I want to do well at them, but sometimes my quirky out-of-the-box creative bent takes me off in unanticipated directions.

And sometimes, my original ideas just don’t connect with my intended audience. Stress is bad for creativity. Stress also knocks my inspiration down and stomps all over it. I don’t perform well at all under pressure. Oh, let’s be honest here: introduce stress to the mix, and my creativity and inspiration take a hike and refuse to return for quite a while afterwards.

In talking with other artists, I’ve discovered that

NEW Kiss-cut Stickers from Zazzle

This week I’ve been having fun creating new kiss-cut vinyl stickers from Zazzle. Kiss-cut stickers are cut following the outline of the design, which makes them so much nicer than Zazzle’s other stickers–which are still very nice, but limited to basic geometric shapes (i.e., hearts, stars, circles, squares, etc). I wanted to share them with

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