10 Years on Etsy!

I remembered in addition to the opening shop date on Etsy shop pages, there was a place on Etsy’s profile page that states when you started on Etsy. Yesterday I decided to double check and see when I first created my etsy account, and boy am I glad that I did! Turns out it was the very next day, October 8th, TODAY!

v2 etsy banner2
My first Etsy Shop Banner

In celebration of being on ETSY for 10 YEARS, I’ve decided to take a little walk down Etsy Memory Lane. Picture it, the Summer of 2005. I was most definitely listening to some Weezer and Jack Johnson. I was also obsessed with the internet (still am) and hearing a buzz all over the craft blogosphere (read, LiveJournal) about this website Etsy. It was a brand new e-commerce site, similar to ebay, but where you could sell your handmade items. I IMMEDIATELY wanted to to sign up, but was also afraid. I was also unsure if this was a legit thing, or some sort of scam. I mean, I’d have to enter my credit card information online, eeeeep! If you signed up right away (if I remember correctly) there was an introductory period where you could list items for free. It took me a few months to realize this was sticking around and was for real. I created my account on October 8th and my account was something like #4885, meaning I was in the first 5,000 people to create an etsy account. Years later I was VERY PROUD of that fact and that my shop profile url page had that number in it. While our account numbers are no longer associated with etsy accounts, I was and still am OLD SCHOOL!

I knew that if I wanted to start selling I should probably test out the waters first as a buyer and see how transactions go. My first purchase was this pendent by artist Jenny Vorwaller whom I followed on flickr at the time. I still love the necklace but only wear it rarely now because I’m afraid that it was starting to wear down the colors.

I actually don’t remember what my first listing was, but I had a variety of items in my shop from the get go. Stationery sets, original artwork and quilted framed yoyo pieces. All items that are still in my shop (in some form or another) to this very day! I’m very proud to say when you go back to my first sales, 1. my first sale was a piece of artwork (this mailart postcard to be specific) and 2.Β  that I never went through that awkward phase where I was selling random things that weren’t representative of myself or my shop. More often than not when you go to shops you’ll find that they started out selling things that look nothing like what they evolved into. Maybe that means I haven’t grown? I hope not. What HAS CHANGED a lot over those years is Etsy. It has gone from this tiny community to this BIG deal that went Public earlier this year. With the introduction of Facebook Memories this year I have been SHOCKED to see how many times I mentioned that I was on Etsy’s front page, literally a dozen or more times. If you had asked me before seeing those memories, I would have said I probably got on the front page once or twice. The front page used to be first items picked by Etsy administrators, then curated Treasuries by Etsy users and now it’s just customized by each user, showing items from your favorites and shops and items they think you would like. I miss the days of chat rooms, where administrators would come in and give one on one critiques to shops.

September 2015 Shop banner update
My recently updated Shop Banner and Info Graphic

I remember the first year when I averaged a sale a week, followed by 2 sales and then 3 sales a week. In recent years I’ve let my shop slide a little bit, meanwhile Etsy was making major changes to how shops and items are found via SEO. In the last month or two I have really been digging back in and trying to dust things off and make updates. Not only are there about 1.5 MILLION active shops, the quality and caliber of items on Etsy is amazing now too. I remember getting compliments on my photography by Etsy admin back in the day. Now? I compare my pictures to other etsy shops and I can see why my shop is lost in the sea. If I was just finding out about Etsy now, I think I would be wayyyyy too intimidated to even try. I am so thankful that I was there in the beginning when we were all just trying to figure things out together.

Etsy opened a BIG HUGE door to me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am forever thankful for the opportunity Etsy offered me. Before Etsy I made items to sell, but was too shy to even dream of doing a craft show. Having an online shop allowed me to share my things safely until I could grow enough courage to take things publicly and in person. It introduced me to people I consider dear friends today. It has also opened the door to wholesale and consignment too. It was because of Etsy I was offered opportunities to sell my items at events, in stores on the opposite side of the world, to be featured on HUGE websites and even have my product on cable TV!

My actual shop anniversary date is not until May 1st, 2006, so I’m sure I will be back again with another post then, and hopefully even some fun sales and events leading up to the date. Meanwhile, feel free to check out my shop now. See anything you like?

Speed Round – Episode 20

I know! I know! Two blog posts in two days. What?!

I’m posting today because I just remembered how I wanted to start a new blog post series. Every week I look forward to the weekend and a new episode of Art for Ears, the Jealous Curator’s podcast. Danielle Krysa has an amazing blog called The Jealous Curator (subtitled: Damn. I wish I thought of that), where she shares the artwork of artists that she is jealous of. How many other artists out there can relate? (Raising my hand) If you haven’t checked out the blog or her podcast, I highly recommend it. The idea behind the podcast is that Danielle interviews a different artist each week, so that the listeners get a little look into the lives of all kinds of artists. Each episode has a speed round section where she asks the artist quick questions that they should answer without thinking too long or too deeply about them. Each week I try to imagine how I would answer these same questions if I were being interviewed by Danielle, so I had the idea to start this series where I will share my own answers to each week’s speed round on this here blog.

This week’s episode was with artist Kelly Puissegur. You can find the episode of Art For Your Ears here.

1. Beer or Wine
Wine, hands down. I have the palate of a child, so in all honesty, that wine would probably be more like a “wine cooler”.
2. Favorite article of clothing from your teenage years
I had a red zipper hoodie and I wore it through high school and probably college before it became too stained, frayed and holey. Trying to relive that era and comfort, I actually just purchased a replacement hoodie. I bet you’d never guess how hard it is to buy a cherry red, zipper front hoodie. If you go into stores, the hoodies in the women’s section will always be pink or magenta, the hoodies in the men’s section will always be a maroon or burgundy. Online, if you find a red-red hoodie they will be offered in sizes XS or XXXL with everything in between sold out. Or it will be super bulky with that fake wool lining, or have some brand or logo plastered across it. It took me about a year to finally snag a perfect, plain red zipper hoodie.
3. Favorite animal to paint
I can not think of the last animal I painted, possibly a deer on Ann’s baby shower invite? If I had to paint any animal right now I’d paint a cat, since I’m most familiar with how they look.

My Top Gun name
4. If you were a fighter pilot in Top Gun, what would your call sign be?
I only saw Top Gun for the first time last year and meh. I had no idea how to answer this so I cheated and searched for a generator “What’s your Top Gun name” and pow! Hobby! I couldn’t have come up with a better option than that if I sat all day thinking about it.
5. Other than art, what would you love to be awesome at? The first thing that popped into my head is singing. I love music so much, and I really belt it out when I’m alone, but I’m also pretty sure I’m super tone deaf. I blame a bajillion ear infections during my childhood and adulthood.
Bonus: Have you ever gone topless on a beach?
No way, jose! I’m a practicing NEVER NUDE. I’m the layer queen. Layers and layers of clothes, even at the beach.

I’ve really been wanting to do this for a while, so I might go back through old episodes and postdate my answers

New Stationery Sets

As promised, I am back with my prairie project!

After returning from Nachusa I was inspired to watercolor some prairie grass. Using this picture of mine as a reference…

This might be a bunch of invasive, non native plants, but I thought it was pretty. Just got back from #nachusa #tallgrassprairie

I came up with this…

I'm about to ruin this (probably) in my next step, so I thought I better take a picture first. #watercolor #painting #workinprogress

Which is a fairly loose (read: not botanically correct) interpretation in watercolors, but I really liked it. Originally I was going to go back in and try to paint a really dark green in all of the negative space, but I ended up liking it so much that I was afraid to ruin it. If you know me, I’m not done painting grass, not for a long shot, so something like that might happen again later.

New stationery set in my shop. Link in the profile

In the meantime, I let the watercolor sit around and I enjoyed it until I came up with the idea of using it for a stationery set. I continued to paint more, added some details and voila!

I created a stationery set which has two designs, one with the grass at the footer, and one with green watercolor stripes as a header. In the past I had customers inquire about double sided stationery and so both sheets are lined on the back as well. The stationery set comes with an assortment of green envelopes and the stationery paper is printed on a lovely Neenah Classic Linen paper (same as my recycled envelope and stationery sets). Find out more details about the stationery set in the etsy listing.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve recently started exploring into digital downloads, so I’m offering the same stationery set as a printable download as well. With the printable PDF you can print the prairie stationery on whatever paper your heart desires, AND if you’d like it to double sided or not.

I’ve also started offering this geometric pattern stationery set as a printable download as well!

I’m getting really excited about my etsy shop again. For a long while I wasn’t keeping up with all the changes on etsy, and apparently etsy was making a LOT OF CHANGES. Keep an eye on the shop for new listings that I hope to be adding regularly.

I have been saying this for a long while, but there’s this HUGE trend in greeting and note cards, but to me stationery is and will always be letter writing paper. To me, cards are for a quick thanks or hello, but letter writing paper is for real correspondence. I remember years ago being so sad while searching etsy and seeing the results for stationery was 99% cards. Where were all the letter writing paper sets? Then I read a feature in Stationery Trends about a particular designer (who I can’t find the name of right now) that said her best selling products were letter writing papers and I was all “YESSSSS!” and it really gave me the confidence to keep doing what I love to do, and not feel like I have to bow to trends and start offering only greeting cards. This is not to say that I don’t LOVE cards as well, I do, but I just also love paper and it also has a nostalgia factor for me, of writing long letters and being a dedicated penpal as a kid. I also know that excitement of getting real mail and how much I LOVE pouring over a long letter and rereading it over again. Even when I send postcards I try to fill up ALLLLL the space hoping that the recipient will enjoy it that much more.

Do you write a lot of letters? Or mostly use cards? And when you do write cards, do you find you just jot a few words down or fill it up like a letter?

Nachusa Grasslands


Over the Summer Matt, my sister and I attended the STEM event, Breakfast with the Bison at a nearby tall grass prairie, Nachusa Grasslands. I’ve been pretty obsessed with the tall grass prairie since I was in high school when my grandma (who volunteered to conserve prairie lands near her home) taught me. My first semester in college, I took an environmental biology class and focused projects and did outreach in the classrooms about prairies. Since then I’ve had an item on my bucket list to join a prairie conservation group.

prairie buttons

Years back I made a little prairie watercolor illustration that I turned into buttons

It poured on our way there and was a fairly blustery day, but it cleared up in time for our hike. The prairie at Nachusa was SO beautiful and so I want to share some of the pictures that each of us took.

8.29 Nachusa Tall Grass Prairie2

8.29 Nachusa Tall Grass Prairie

This might be a bunch of invasive, non native plants, but I thought it was pretty. Just got back from #nachusa #tallgrassprairie

Matt at #nachusa

little yellow house on the prairie

The pictures above were mine. One thing our guide said was how everything changes from week to week and things will look completely different, so I’m excited to go back again and again to witness those changes over the seasons. Other than all of the other people that were there for the event it was such a peaceful place and I really just want to go and hang out for a longer period of time.

8.15 me at Nachusa

Here is a picture of me I found on Matt’s camera. This is how excited I am to be in the prairie. Of course I had to wear my Prairie State shirt from The Rockford Art Deli. The next 3 are other pictures Matt took and shared on Flickr. He took TONS of pictures, but deemed only these 3 worthy of publication.




Had to get one of the bison. Apparently they just added them last year and have already almost doubled their herd. The bison at Nachusa are real bison. Apparently a lot of “buffalo” farms actually have bison/cow hybrids because they can cross breed. I didn’t know that!

Below are some pictures my sister took

Nachusa 360

You can click on any of the pictures in this post to see them larger.

Nachusa by stay1995

Nachusa by stat1995

Nachusa stat1995

Again, super excited to be in the prairie

Nachusa stat1995

Nachusa stat1995

If you follow me on instagram you may have seen a snippet of a project that was inspired by our trip to Nachusa. Check back in a couple days to see a finalized project based on that snippet.

Renegade 2015

Renegade craft chicago 2015

Last weekend was Renegade Chicago and as usual my sister and I went together. I think this was our 11th trip and this year I limited myself to $100. This meant I was already out of money halfway through the show, wah. You can imagine my anguish, sadness and regret when I found a $10 bill left hidden in my wallet later. I would have spent that in a heartbeat. Fortunately, my birthday was just a couple days later, so a couple things were bought as presents via my sister.Β Previous Renegade Craft Fair posts

9.19 Renegade overall small

I put my sister’s and my loot together for one picture and I really should have photographed them separately. We covered the ping pong table, and standing up on a chair, the ceiling wasn’t high enough to really get a picture and then I lost detail, being so far away. Lesson learned. I’ll start top left corner and move clockwise and spiral in.

Picture by Diane Sudyka

-Flora and Fauna of the Midwest print by artist Diane Sudyka, I loved all of her work

-Wrapping paper from La Familia Green. One paper is a pressed penny pattern and I collect pressed pennies, and the other is a cat pattern. They also had a food truck pattern that I was tempted by, but their deal was for 2 wrapping papers, so I just got the two. Backstory on this paper was that I bought it and they wrapped it up all nicely, handed it to me in a paper bag with handles, and apparently the tall rolls must have fallen out of my bag almost immediately. I went back to the booth hoping maybe someone had returned it to them, but they hadn’t, and the, they gave me 2 new ones, which was so kind that it made me tear up. I feel indebted to them for their generosity.

-Felt (yellow) Wild and Free pennant flag by The Diggingest Girl

Picture by Elingeling on instagram

-Migration Goods cat ornament (with tongue sticking out. My sister bought a little Nope bunny plaque and some barrettes for our niece. It was very nice to meet Eling after having followed her online for years, probably first through flickr back in the day.

Picture by Louise Dean

-Bison dishtowel by Louise Dean, which reminds me, I need to post about our recent trip to Nachusa grasslands and the Bison we saw there

Picture by Genevieve Santos

-Genevieve Santos bookmarks, sticker and buttons. I was excited by everything in this booth, especially after I discovered that I was familiar with her work. I recognized a card she was selling as one I had purchased on Paperwoven, when I was researching the site and if I’d like to try and sell my own cards there. Everything she does is beautiful and super cute! How could I not buy that sticker above with the girl drinking bubble tea?

-My sister bought a bunch of greeting cards from TheBoxBerry

-We both chipped in to buy these brilliant Pon pushpin paper clips, that I remembered from their kickstarter. They allow you to hang prints and things in boards and walls without damaging the artwork.

-My sister purchased this “All the Things” bag by Mouth and Trousers

Picture by Maelu

-My sister bought this infinity scarf from Maelu

-She also bought this Alternate Histories of the World book by Matthew Buchholz

-My sister bought the watercolor patterned zipper pouch from Louise Dean, the same artist who made the bison towel above.

Renegade 2015 photobooth

-I got my annual photobooth picture taken from magbooth. So glad my sister saw it because last year I missed it.

-I bought a stamp ring from Matters of Delight. I’ve been wanting a ring with a stamp on it for a long time. You see little kids toy stamp rings all the time, but I was wanting something a little more adult. But just a little bit, ya know ;) it says yay! and I love it!

-Another birthday gift was the Stay Home Club bag which I’ve been wanting for years and years. I think I first found out about them via Katie at Skunkboy and love everything they put out. Side note: because I am constantly fighting contradictions within myself, I said I need to buy the Oh Darling Let’s Be Adventurers Bag and sew them together into one bag.

-At Oh Hello Friend, I bought a bunch of little pill capsules with smiley faces and rolled up notepaper inside. I thought they would be perfect for putting in geocaches and sending to friends. I also bought a few gold letterpressed business cards with friendly greetings.

Picture by YAB

-I purchased some You Are Beautiful stickers AND an enamel pin that looks like their stickers.

-I made a free leather pouch at the Leather Arts, Inc. booth

-My sister bought a silk screened ship patch

-My sister bought an super adorable quilted turtle plush.


It was such a good day, beautiful weather, the people were all nice, I got such great treasures and found out about so many new, great makers. I could have easily spent twice as much! We were saying how some years the vendors will be a lot of repeats of very similar products, but this year there was a really great variety and lots of new booths that haven’t been there before.

Previous Renegade Craft Fair posts

DCWV Little Art Book

A page detail of the #LittleArtBook  I've been working on. Pages are 4" squares and (4) 2" inch squares, like pictured here.

When I first found out about Project Life I was so excited because I thought it seemed easier and the people I saw doing it were using it in a much more artistic and creative manner. I saw it as a potential way for me to combine scrapbooking AND art journaling. Breaking up the pages into smaller bite size pieces seemed so much more approachable and less daunting than full 12×12 pages, or even smaller pages… Woah, while typing that I just had a flashback to this “scrapbook” from 2005 (below). It wasn’t project life, but just a small scrapbook that I thought would be smaller and also easier in the same way that Project Life seemed.

2005! This "scrapbook" was an attempt to bring scrapping together with art journaling.

I searched Flickr but apparently I never shared any pages from it. It was really meant as a personal book, so there aren’t many pages that I felt comfortable sharing, but above is the first page of the book. At the time, my mom and sister were really into going to these scrapbooking and stamping classes, but it still seemed so planned out and lacked the freedom of expression I was looking for. Around 2002 or 2003 I bought this mini album (pages 7×7″) with the intention of combining scrapbooking and Art and then didn’t actually do anything in it for a few years. I love that it has those strips of woven paper in the background. That is something that found it’s way into a lot of my artwork during college. Always green woven magazine. Fast forward past this, and even past my attempts at Project Life.

The living room floor work space, still going strong. I've been bingeing Rita on Netflix today. Just about to finish season one. But before you get too critical, I did mow for about an hour and still got in my 11,500 daily steps. πŸŽ¨πŸ“ΊπŸŒΎ:da

I found this super mini DCWV Insta scrapbook I bought at JoAnn Fabrics (Ooooh, looks like they are super reduced and I might pick up more filler pages for only$1.50!) The album caught my eye because it was next to the Fuji Instax Mini cameras. I have a Fuji Instax Wide and have been wanting to buy an album to hold my pictures for that. The pages were not really suited for the wide pictures, but I did notice that some pages would hold 2×2 pictures which I thought might be perfect for printed out instagrams. And then of course there is always this desire to combine scrapbooking and art.

Good morning and happy Friday!

But instead of scrapbooking/art journaling, I ended up taking this book in the direction of Art and design alone. I obviously have the a thing for little Artist’s books. After I made that tiny Matchbook piece for the Strike Away Show I was really wanting to work more in a super tiny format. So booom! This album was perfect. I just cut up a bunch of watercolor pages into 2x2s, as well as some 4×4 pages, and started having fun. If you were interested in doing something like this, you could use Project Life or any PL styled scrapbooking pages.

Watercolor and white gel pen

I mostly stuck with watercolors, but some pages have gel pens (white and gold) as well as colored pencil and regular graphite pencils. (side note, I’ve been becoming more and more obsessed with the quality of pencil line work, and have been using it more and more in my art and design lately)

For the last week or so, I've had tons of art supplies spread out over the living room floor and have been creating, lying down in my little makeshift studio, each evening. Matt hasn't complained about the mess yet.

If you follow me, or the Little Art Book, on instagram you’ve probably seen these pages (and seen these pages again). I tried to make sure there was something in each picture for size comparison since the book is so small.

Little art book




Day 4 #littleartbook





As usual, when I first started this project I was just having fun and had no expectations. Now that I’ve shared some of these pages and it’s time to make some more, I’ve got this self imposed “This better be good” feeling, immediately followed by the “I’m afraid I’ve lost my mojo” feeling. Tale as old as time.

One last side note: these pieces were all made, not in my designated art studio room, but spread out, and lying on the living room floor while listening to music or watching netflix.


Picture via Charmsking on etsy

I’m getting old. You wanna know how I know this? I’m finding more and more of these things that I used to dismiss as “old-person stuff”, to be suddenly in my taste. Things like: Gold, or any warm toned jewelry for that matter, as opposed to “SILVER ONLY” of my youth. Thin, patterned scarves made from fabric that serve no purpose other than fashion, as opposed to chunky and thick knit scarves to keep me warm. And then the subject of this post, Brooches, as opposed to NO BROOCHES, because well, only grandmas wore pins and brooches. I remember looking at my grandma’s jewelry box, overflowing with gaudy brooches, enamel (probably on some brass or bronze) and floral and what have you, and thinking this “costume jewelry”Β  just screamed old lady.

Fast forward to today, brooches are the bees knees, the cat’s meow, just the ultimate. I’m an old 37 years! I have definitely found myself on etsy, window shopping brooches more than once, and my small personal collection is growing.

Fortunately, all hope need not be lost. With the DIY and Handmade movement, brooches and pins need not be your grandma’s jewelry. How often has your own grandma sported a denim jacket covered in pins from her favorite punk band? This reminds me, Matt was telling me recently about how there was a meet and greet for the new students at the college where he works. He and a coworker heard the Weezer’s Undone – The Sweater Song come up on the background music they were playing, and they both had a laugh that none of these college students would even know that song. When Matt recounted the story to me later, it dawned on me though, they may very well know that song because that’s the music of their parent’s generation. So, while I listened to (and my Dad even took me to concerts of) The Rolling Stones, the kids today may be jamming to golden oldies like Fiona Apple, Third Eye Blind and Sublime. Feeling old? Great, I have some jewelry for you to check out!

felt mushroom broochButton, button, where is the button. Making buttons, like a fool.Of course, in addition to any brooches or pins I’ve made myself, I have been acquiring some real lovelies. Georgia Perry Pin

My latest favorite has to be this Fingers Crossed enamel pin by Georgia Perry. To me, the most glaring omission of the emoji keyboard is the Fingers Crossed. I was constantly looking for it when I first downloaded the keyboard, and finally at one point I even made my own graphic to insert in text messaging.

Picture by Migration Goods

Yeah, I pretty much rocked it today.

I have a few felt brooches from Eling of Migration Goods


Here are 3 brooches I recently purchased from Katie Cowden, via instagram. She had shared these styles as earrings, but since I don’t have my ears pierced she customized them into brooches for me.

Are you keeeding me with this #pumpkinpie brooch, or wait, is it sweet potato pie? I don't want to take it off this whole month! #plushofthemonthclub @mypapercrane

Here’s a seasonal pin, that was part of Heidi Kenney’s Plush of the Month Club, a potato or pumpkin pie (with whip cream nose) face.


Here is another custom brooch. Last year at Renegade I Ooohed and Aaaahed at the Fox and Hammer booth. I searched and searched through soooo many animal brooches for one that really spoke to me. I loved all the pieces but I didn’t want to buy just any animal, so after the show I emailed them about a Bison (American buffalo). She said she’d been planning on making one and drew one up and emailed me to see if I liked it and then I got to choose the fabric as well!


I found out about these adorable cat badges via instagram as well, from illustrator Emma Carlisle. (The pictures above are from her Etsy shop)

A silk screened lion over crochet by Kim Smith of Art Equals Happy (picture by Kim Smith on Etsy)

from marta

Definitely one of my first and favorite Brooches (top Right, but the other pictures are of a necklace she made as well) by Marta Mendes. I’ve actually acquired a few more over the years through mail swaps with her. In addition to her blog link above, she can be found here and here

OK, so what do you think? Not grandma Jewelry, right? Let’s not talk about the frequency of cat brooches though.

2 Year Fitbit Anniversary

WooHoo! August 10th is my 2 year annivesary on fitbit!

I was very curious to see what my numbers would be this year, since I raised my daily goal of 10,000 steps to 11,500 daily steps starting sometime in February. I was kind of curious if raising my goal would actually increase my overall steps, or if giving myself a higher goal would mean that I would have fewer days where I naturally get higher steps and how it would all average out. I wondered if by increasing my goal to 11,500 steps, I might have fewer 12,000+ step days than when I was only aiming for 10,000. For example I can think of a few times where I had my step goal early in the day and when asked if I’d like to go somewhere or do something that would give me a TON MORE STEPS, I passed because I’d rather do it the next day and get those steps tomorrow. I may get a rare 20,000 step day, but sadly those extra 8,500 steps do not get pushed over to the next day as bonus steps.

Fitbit 2 year anniversary

These numbers and stats might bore you, so feel free to skip over this section. I am proud to say that since getting my fitbit I have walked 8,112,781. If my calculations are correct, that is over 3,840 MILES in 2 years! Last year my steps were at 3,967,584. This year I walked 4,145,197 steps from august 8th 2014-Aug 8th 2015, or 1,962 miles. That’s an increase of 177,613 steps over last year. At 11,500 steps per day that’s an extra 15+ days of steps over the previous year! Go ME! 4,145,197 steps averaged over 365 days (even though I was only doing the 11,500 since February) equals 11,356 daily steps over the year. I can’t wait to see where my steps are next year!

My #fitbit said #woot! 15,000+ steps today

I really am SO PROUD of myself for sticking it out and really dominating this daily goal for TWO YEARS! I really have no idea why I can be in so control of this goal in my life and yet I can’t set and keep other simple goals, to say, um, fold the laundry when it’s straight out of the dryer or not eat that extra piece of pizza when I’m already full. I’ve heard so many people say how they’ve lost weight doing 10,000 daily steps, but yeah, I haven’t had that benefit. I am so in love with my fitbit, but it isn’t easy, I’m telling you! Some days getting in those steps is such a torturous goal, that it makes me want to cry. Many days I am meeting my goal in the last possible minutes of the day. The only reason I really can explain why I’ve stayed on the step tracker bandwagon so religiously is because for soooooo many years I really wanted to track my steps. I went through so many pedometers over the years and was so certain that it was IMPOSSIBLE to reach and maintain 10,000 steps daily. Now that I have a quality product I know that it is possible and it can be fun too. It still feels like a game (almost) everyday.

And speaking of a quality product, I really can’t recommend the fitbit One enough. This little electronic device has been worn daily for two years. It has made it into the washing machine twice, once through 15 minutes of a cycle fully submerged, been dunked in rivers and lakes, and it’s never had a glitch. The folks at Fitbit have been stellar to deal with! A+ customer service! When the fitbit I bought my mom was glitchy from the get go, no questions were asked and they replaced the device. Most recently, my fitbit clip (essentially the cozy my fitbit One lives in) had a piece break off and fitbit fully replaced the whole clip!

Happy New Year!
One highlight from this year was my 30,000 step day! Kind of like how they say a mother forgets the pain of childbirth, it feels like that day was an eternity ago, I actually had to check and make sure it wasn’t a whole year and a half ago. On January 1st, 2015, my sister and I aimed to get our 30,000 step badge. What we didn’t account for beforehand was how horribly cold and miserable it is outside in the winter. It was below freezing with horrible winds and we both suffered from foot pain for quite a while after that day. I still can’t wear the walking shoes I wore on that day without foot pain.

#LittleArtBook watercolor pen flip through

I just found this little art book I made a while ago and then forgot to share. It’s just office scrap paper from my work stapled together with a little white binding cover. The pages are filled with random watercolors, as I experimented with my watercolor pens.

Since I made this book I made the mistake of letting my 5 and 2 year old nephew and niece also paint with my watercolor pens and now I need to buy new ones, sad face. Seriously though, stabbing straight down motions at full force will ruin your watercolor pens, folks!


International Zine Month and Grass & Stars III

Zines for #littleartbook
Some of my zine collection
Apparently July is International Zine Month, so I figure no better time than now to announce that (after years’ long hiatus) I have finally created issue 3 of my zine, Grass & Stars.

Grass & Stars my first zineGrass & Stars No. 2

Props to any readers that remember my zine, or have even bought or swapped for one in the past. Here are the first two issues. The first zine I ever made was in a matchbox!

zine swap 2015

The new issue, like my very first one, was made for a swap. I was invited by Lelaina Lloyd late last year to participate in an art zine swap and it was exactly the push I needed to make my next issue. The swap was completed mid June (above) and so I am finally sharing it here. It had a size and page count requirement, and so I’m excited to say this is the largest zine I’ve made so far. At first I had no idea how I was going to fill 20 pages of content, let alone what it was going to be about. When the idea of luck came to me, it made perfect sense and everything else fell into place.

Grass & Stars III zine

I had so much fun working on the zine and it was hard not to spoil it all on instagram. I definitely did share lots of sneak peaks though, so I will share them here too. There are plenty of things that I LOVED SO MUCH that I still want to share pictures but I know it wouldn’t be much fun if someone got the zine and realized they’ve already seen it all on instagram.

A little somethin'-somethin' I've been working on

This is a little thumbnail of a coloring book page. I’ve been kinda obsessed with the idea of a fingers crossed emoji for a while, wishing there was such a thing, making my own fake ones and then this. Just last week I bought an enamel pin that also looks like this.

Here's a little peek of a fun grass brooch I've been working on today.

Yes, a set of felt brooches were made specifically to be featured in the zine.

It's totally a fake, held together with hot glue on the back, but ya know, you gotta make your own #luck sometimes πŸ˜‰πŸ€

A four leaf clover of course, only, it’s fake. I hot glued the fourth petal, as I shared on instagram, sometimes you just have to make your own luck!

Forcing myself to sit here and do something. Working on a night version of the quilt field spread I did before. #LittleArtBook

Here’s another work in progress that made it into the zine.

Of course these are just snippets that I hope entice you into wanting to see more. This issue contains original artwork, articles, a comic, coloring book pages, a lucky penny pinback button and more!

Issue no. 3 is now available in my etsy shop, and as usual (and in the spirit of zine making) I’m always open to swaps! Just leave a comment or message me!