Monday, June 5, 2017

Then Sings my Soul

Hello! I've been absent here a bit - the past two weeks have seen a lot of house guests over here. Relatives, much fun but wow, am I tired out from it all! Just as the last guest was leaving, my teen daughter fell on the lawn and dislocated her kneecap. Ouch! She's recovering but needs lot of help from me. 

In the midst of this, I decided to challenge myself by painting a page in my sketchbook each day this month. That may not sound like a big deal, but some days it's really hard to pull myself away from life and sit down to paint. I'm not the first to do this kind of challenge, and reading how it has helped other artists grow was inspiring. I hope to work on developing my own style and refine my skills with some of the tools I use.

Here's yesterday, Day 4:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sara's Sketchbook - Blue Blossoms

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day weekend! My family made me feel so loved - they really are the best kiddos (and husband) out there. They went out of their way to take care of me, and even sat outside on the deck (with the bugs!) with me. :) I'm the only outdoors lovin' member of this family!

The day was relaxed, and I worked on a spread in my sketchbook. I never know how these will turn out, and I'm really happy with this one! Sometimes I look at my art when I'm finished and am surprised. All these moody blues aren't really me, but I like how they play with the reds and oranges.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Spring Dreams

Yesterday was a lovely spring day, full of sunshine and working in my garden. We are trying to spiffy up our backyard, so much work is needed. The kids trampled the grass to death leaving us a dirt yard, so we are replanting and coaxing those new blades of green to grow. The flower beds need to be edged, weeded, and annuals planted. I really enjoy getting my hands in the dirt and seeing my efforts take off!

After a good weeding session yesterday with my son, I came in and painted an imaginary garden full of all the colors I love. :)

What flowers do you grow? Favorite colors? I love yellow, purple and orange blooms!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New Prints!!

There's a trio of new prints added to my shop! I'm so excited to share these with you - the colors are so vibrant and the lettering has just enough whimsy to make me smile.

I'd love to know what you think of these. I plan to add more prints to my shop when able to.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is coming quickly, and so I've been adding more items to the shop to stock up! There are lots of prints and cards and coloring pages, but did you know there are also home goods?

How about a pretty place to sit and relax? Dress up Mom's favorite reading chair with a hand painted pillow cover!

Hand Painted Pillow Cover - Watercolor Blue flowers

Or maybe your Mom is the more organized, practical type - always keeping the family on their toes and making sure everything is done in good order. She might be the type to enjoy a pretty new checkbook cover (did you know I liked to sew, too?) :)

Fabric checkbook cover - wallet, coupons, receipts, and more!

Does Mom always have that odd item that's needed at hand? Band aids? Hair ties? Tire pressure gauge? (hey, some moms are REALLY prepared!) Or does she love to keep her make up handy for on-the-go touch ups? A hand painted zip pouch will make her day!

Pink Flower Canvas Zip Pouch - Mothers Day, graduation, Birthday

Moms do a lot of hard work, physically and emotionally, much of which goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Honor her with a phone call, a hand written letter, or a gift which tells her THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU.

It's a hard day for those whose moms are absent in one form or another - take some time to think about her, pray for her, and remember her. Encourage and bless other moms - especially the new moms - by sharing how your mom was a blessing to you.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

His Mercies are New Every Morning

Good morning! Even though we've had rain for days (I miss you, sunshine!), I can still jump out of bed because I know that all of yesterday's junk is history! Today is a new day, and in Christ, it's full of promise! I love dwelling on such truths while noodling out a painting.

I plan on adding prints of this to my shop very soon! Stay posted!

Monday, April 24, 2017


Every summer I see the bright, bold zinnias at a neighbor's house and I always kick myself for not remembering to plant some of my own. But this year I've got a bunch of baby zinnias growing in my pots! Their bold, bright colors make them one of my favorite garden flowers. And they're easy to grow - bonus! 

While I wait for my zinnias to grow, I painted my own version. May summer come soon and may all your flowers bloom!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Lettering Blitz!

Last year I spent a lot of time selling my art at local craft shows. It was a great experience and opportunity to meet lots of wonderful people, but it did not make a good fit for my products. So I spent the first few weeks of this year thinking about my art and what direction I want to grow in, both in my personal style and as a business. I enjoy so many different forms of creating, but I really felt the need to narrow my focus for Domina Design. I took some time to think about what I enjoy the most, and what facets of my art were the strongest. Flipping through the past year's sketchbooks was very enlightening. One thing stood out over and over again - lettering.

I have always loved typography and finding creative ways to draw the same 26 characters of our alphabet. So it shouldn't have been a surprise to find that lettering appeared in almost all my sketchbook pages! After thinking about it awhile, I decided to intentionally work on improving my lettering skills this year. Research and a host of lettering supplies from my guy for Valentine's Day has kept me busy!

I'm pretty familiar with brush lettering because most of what I've done is with an actual brush (duh!). However, brush PEN lettering is new to me. It has a slightly different feel from a paintbrush, and definitely different from the dip pens I've used in the past. Perhaps you could describe it as a cross between the two? The Tombow Fudenosuke and Pentel Touch Sign Pen have been my two favorites so far. The Tombow Dual Tip brush pens have a great juicy color and feel, but I'm still adjusting to the larger tip - which means larger writing!

One of the hardest things is being patient with myself as I learn. I make LOTS of mistakes and find imperfections galore. But I tell myself to chill out, keep practicing, and that it's those imperfections which make hand lettering stand out from a refined computer font! And while there are lots of demos, practice sheets, and pictures of gorgeous lettering online, I find it important to pull back from that and find my own style. I know I'll be happiest with that work and have something I can really be proud to call my own.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

For the Love of Letters - I AM

A little lettering practice while my son was doing a Bible project for school. I'm getting used to using Crayola markers, but I think I'm ruining the tips with my heavy hand!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

For the Love of Letters - Happy Birthday

A little lettering practice on my son's birthday - happy birthday to my 14 yr old guy!

The start of a new year requires reflection and redirection for many. While I'm not a resolution person, I have been thinking long and hard about the direction for my art. What do I really love to do? Where do my strengths lie? What are my favorite pieces from last year? Flipping through my sketchbooks told me a lot. I discovered I really don't do well with watercolor. Acrylics have the strength of color I love. And lettering rose to the surface, no surprise. The designer in me will always love typography!

This year I want to work on my hand lettering, and part of that process includes using new materials. So I bought myself a new box of Crayola markers, the same kind I used decades ago when I was in grade school. I must admit, there was a bit of nostalgia involved while creating this piece!

I love a bit of birthday fun shortly after Christmas - it keeps the party going!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Welcome Snow!

There's a big snowstorm headed for the Southeastern states - which you know is a big deal if you've spent any time in the South. No plows. No salt. No winter driving savvy. Being a Michigan gal, 6" of snow isn't something you really stop life for, but south of the Mason-Dixon it's a different story.

Everyone thinks a snowstorm warrants stocking up on bread and milk. Nope, not me. I'd rather get crafting! How about a new SNOW themed wreath for the front door? All the Christmas decorations are down and the house feels a little bare.

In the classic use-what-you-have spirit, I took our old autumn wreath and gave it a make over.

The old autumn wreath. I'm so over monograms.

Most of the leaves and artificial pumpkins had fallen off over the years, so it was an easy job stripping it down. I still liked the pheasant feathers, so I kept them. Yeah, pheasants live through snowstorms too, so they're seasonally appropriate. :) 

I rummaged around for anything white and wintry - I found some sheer & solid white fabric scraps, a few yarn pom poms I made for another project that never materialized, and leftover ribbon from Christmas. Our front door is black, and the feathers are black and brown, so I wanted to include a black and brown garland to tie it all together. Remember, I'm all about quick and cheap - a paper bag and Sharpie.

Ribbons, pom poms and fabric strips were tied to the center point of the feathers. The sheer fabric reminded me of blowing snow, so I swept that around the top. The SNOW garland was a quick project to assemble. The banners aren't identical and I hand drew the letters. All in all, this wreath came together in about 20 minutes and cost $0. That's a win in my book!

And now that I'm freezing from hanging my wreath outside, I'm off to snuggle and work on some WARM knitting. Currently I'm making the Milk Stout Cardigan by Thea Colman (Ravelry link). It's a cozy cabled cardigan with a shawl collar - perfect for keeping my neck warm! There's a lot of knitting to do before it's finished...

I hope you're inspired to be creative this weekend no matter what the weather! Be safe in the snowstorm, and as Grandma always said, "Wear a hat!"