Saturday, December 18, 2010

Personalize Your Cards

Maloney Home

I'm sharing a card I illustrated for my good friends, the Maloneys. They have a beautiful stucco home they trim with lights and this Christmas, Mother Nature provided plenty of snow to add to the ambience. I illustrated our home for our Christmas card a few years ago, and was commissioned by our neighbors to do their home for their Christmas cards. Then later that year when their home was destroyed by fire, they did a cheeky card and had me repeat the home illustration but this time it had smoke and flames coming out of their Bungalow windows.
Inside the text read "Merry Crispness."
Christmas card following year
Passolt Christmas card

It's fun to receive personal cards like these and I've been illustrating other cards for sale locally and in my Etsy shop.  Some I leave intentionally blank without a verse so the buyer can write their own heartfelt greeting.  We sent my Ginkgo wreath design that was blank inside and personally wrote a greeting in each one.  I believe a handwritten message is such a gift, especially in this email world. Your handwriting is an extension of who you are and it brings you closer to the person who reads it.  I hope you'll take the time to personalize your cards for your family and friends.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Eucalyptus Fabric Apron

This is going to be a great surprise for my Mom.  I had an apron made for her using my own fabric design called Eucalyptus brown from Spoonflower, digital fabric printer who I send my designs to.  My favorite apronmaker on Etsy "Aprons and More' was up for the challenge of making it for her. I ordered a yard of the linen cotton canvas from Spoonflower and had it shipped to Aprons and More. The fabric was heavier than the fabric Katy is used to working on but my Mom makes pies with the Presbyterian Pie Ladies in Monticello, Iowa and needed something functional yet pretty.  As you can see, it turned out wonderful and has a matching potholder!  Katy put a recipe for 'Apple Delight' in the apron pocket.  Such a nice touch!

 A little about Katy....she has been sewing since she was a teenager.  She graduated college with a degree in Costume Design and grad school with Interior Design.  Five years ago she moved to take care of her Mom who has a rare cancer and is now her full-time caretaker.  Katy said she made a few aprons to sell at a friend's produce shop/cafe before discovering Etsy.  Aprons and More has been on Etsy for almost 2 years now and has racked up over 900 sales. I have ordered at least a couple aprons from her previous to having her do this custom one for me.  She does beautiful work and is a wonderful person.  Please check out her Etsy shop at   

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Handmade Family Art

I'm not the only creative person in my family.  There are my parents, sisters, grandparents and aunts who either sew, create floral arrangements, decorate interiors, knit, crochet and do woodworking.  I still have rag dolls my grandma Mabel made, a water color by Grandma Wilma, my Mom made me a fall wreath for my door, my sister Cathy sewed special stuffed bunnies for my son Taylor's baby room and on and on. I was just having a conversation with a friend who's Grandmother also sewed Barbie clothes for her doll when she couldn't afford to buy them in stores.   The wreath in the picture was made by my Aunt Doloris many years ago and it hangs in my entry way. I love the simplicity of design and the craftsmanship of the wood. It is beautiful, timeless and seeing it makes me think of her and my family who live in another state.  So if you can share your own gift of art with someone, or decorate your home with the art by relatives, it's a wonderful way to add meaningful stories to your decor.