Out of this world baby shower!

This was my second baby shower project in six months and I was totally stoked! I was super excited for the theme too! Spaceships and outer space!

*right now I have limited pictures of the final project. Look for updates!

I created the vector files for the cut files I used for the banner and confetti using Adobe Illustrator.

I planned out each cut file and all the colors for each piece. I probably spent an hour in the scrapbook paper isles at both hobby lobby and Michaels to find the best matches to depict the parts of the solar system and rocketship. I loved the glitter for the fire, the sun and on planet ring.

This is the banner, the pieces are assembled I just didn’t string it until we were at the party and hanging it. I used the raised dots for the letters to give those some depth also.

Large cut confetti for table decorations, make for easy clean up too!

Cake matched the invitation so perfectly !

This shower was a huge success and got many positive comments. I was really proud of the banner!

We aren’t talkin’ Peanuts! A baby shower so adorbs!

This was my first baby shower. I was really, really excited when I was asked to help with this “little party”.

The Mommy-to-be had not really decided on her nursery theme or anything so we brainstormed and came up with a theme that we found cute/fun.  We knew it was a girl and the committee decided one this momma/baby elephant theme and for the banner “baby girl” as mom didn’t have a name decided on either 🙂

The shower was two parts, one part for all the women in our group which consisted of games and lunch then in the afternoon we joined again with the entire group to include the men, so we had a luncheon for the women and desert afterwards in the office to include the men.

Using Adobe illustrator, I put together the cut files for the text, elephant elements, etc for the banner.

for for the banner, I went to Michaels and spent probably two hours up and down the paper isle and finally went with one of the scrapbook paper books that had a girl baby theme.  I went home and spent another few hours Planning out the paper arrangement for the banner… I went into OCD overdrive with this one LOL

To assemble the banner I used raised adhesive dots and pink ribbon to string it all together

The cake totally matched the invitations and party theme: adorbs:

I look forward to doing more of these!!

Albuquerque Hot Air Ballon Festival 2015

This was a true bucket list photo opportunity for me! My daughter and I wanted to take a road trip on a long weekend and we have never seen Colorado, and so that’s where we decided to head off to. As my luck would have it, it was the weekend of the balloon festival, the largest in the states and world known.

We were able to get into Albuquerque the evening before opening sunrise flight, which allowed us to scout out the perfect spot outside of the festival grounds to catch some great photos. We only had the morning to catch the sights and I preferred to have the viewpoint away from the crowds and wanted to chase the balloons a bit so we did not buy tickets to go into the festival grounds.

We picked a most perfect spot too! We were up at like 4 am, Ashley ways a good sport :). And we were in place just in time for the very first balloons to taking flight right at daybreak! The moment was exciting and I was so excited to catch the fire in the balloons on an overcast morning.

We couldn’t have asked for a better sky, the morning sun and overcast sky gave me lots of lighting to play with!

All of the balloon characters were fun to spot and identify, some were hard to figure out! Lol

I was very excited for the water to catch reflections in!

We chased the balloons for a bit and lucked into this great landscape 🙂

We caught up with some landing balloons to complete the chase. I love that part of these events ! After a stop at a super busy Starbucks we were on the road to Denver and Winter Park!

Staff appreciation week

this was a big one for me.  I was super excited to work on this committee.  We had a tight budget for all staff for the firm (how many people?)

afer a brainstorming session we went with a “superhero” theme.  What fun!   NIndont mind givening credit where credit is due, it was an amazing them and it was mine :). But with such an easy theme and the great ideas I found on Pinterest we put on a great appreciation week, one that went down I the books.

For each day of the week we wanted to do something that acknowledged the staff.  With a tight budget I decided that I needed to come up with some good DIY projects for filler.

starting off the week, staff care in to goodies on their desk

Breakfast servedby partners who wore capes  and masks (homemade!)

friday: receptions/party,  I put together a homemade photo booth!n that was the funnest.  I painted a city and made ore capes, masks and handheld ca3rtoon signs, set up a backdrop and my own camera.  We posted the pics on on day for staff to grab and have/print.

at the end of the week, I received an email from the executive committee thanking me and congratulating me for the best staff appreciation week they could remember in a long time

2014 calendar. The 1st edition.

The last few years I have created a little photo calendar for myself, but this year was encouraged to put my digital illustration software skills to practice to help push my drawing skills and start learning to create my own original works.

I’m mostly happy with each piece though a few are quite juvenile and could be much better. The peacock was probably my favorite so I put him on the cover.

October was my most favorite behind the peacock:)

I look forward to doing something better for next year. Working through the imagesreallyhelped me start to learn how to get an image on paper with pencil, something I never have been very good at. I’m starting to feel I might actually be able to draw. Lol

The Big Lebowski Bowling Tournament Poster

I had He pleasure of working with the Man of the Year committee for one of the candidates to promote one of his fundraisers, a bowling tournament with a Big Lebowski theme.

I provided an handful of drafts.

His is the one we went to final with. The promotional team used the design for all of the promotional pieces for the event, including the online media, printed materials and t-shirts.

Devil’s Bridge, Sedona

This hike has to be one of the most rewarding and exciting “buckets of gold” at the end of the rainbow with some amazing thrilling views.

The trail from the trailhead is 4.2 miles and Climbs only 564 feet, so it’s an easy hike if you can do the distance. However, if you choose to attempt this hike in July, like we foolishly did, then it certainly isn’t exactly breezy! Be sure to pack along an appropriate amount of water too! To our credit the high was only supposed to be mid 80’s, which probably was closer to 90 and this trail has little to no shade, so walking in direct sun in Arizona is something you really need to account for! Lesson learned for us!

This hike is chock full of classic Sedona red rocks and amazing views.

We rewarded our hard work with pizza at Pago’s Pizza. We have eaten at this spot a number of times. They are a hit and miss kind of place, today it was a hit. 🙂

Chicago Chicago

We had an opto take a long weekend road trip to Chicago. It was early October so it was already getting cold and it was windy!

We hit one of the lake side parks first….had great views of the city skyline too…

Then we hit downtown…..

And we could not miss Navy Pier!

Don’t ask… ?

More of downtown…the Chicago Tribune building.

We went up to the top of the Hancock building for some night time city views.

We were lucky to get. Fireworks show over Navy Pier.

We hit the famous Gino’s East for some deep dish pizza pie, it was cheesy and it was delicious!

We also took a really long walk for some other night time sightseeing, I really glad we did this. It started raining on us and it was really cold walking back!

Some of the architecture I was able to capture….

And we did some driving through the beautiful neighborhoods.

Stopping at Scoops Hamburgers for a fantastic burger and Grilled cheese with cheese curds, onion rings Mf some chili cheese fries! LOL we needed some fuel for the drive home!

Eventually we will need to go back and spend more time, 2 days is not enough!

Woooo! Pig Sooie!

This was my first serious attempt at painting, or non-digital/film related art. It is a gift for my dad who is a huge Arkansas Razorback fan.

I bought a table top easel, a canvas and some student grade acrylic paints, as well as a few sizes of cheap pint brushes and I set up on the kitchen table. 🙂

Since at this point I can’t draw! I used an image I found on the internet, print it out in the right size and then cut it out to use as a stencil. In hindsight, some carbon paper or a small projector would have worked much easier than the cutting and for getting details!!

I went with a black background and the painted a white base for the razorback outline.

Then I went over that with the red of the Razorback, and after I got the layer down really good I then outlined the some of the black features.

Finally, I put the white teeth, eyes and mark on the hoof for the final details. While student grade acrylic paints are fine, for this piece, knowing what I know now, I absolutely would have invested in a few tubes of better paint for this piece. I am not a paint snob, but you should always consider what your final piece is and what you are using paints for in each project. I still use the student grade and mid grade paints for lot of mixed media pieces, however, in a piece that is all paint like this, I would use quality paints for a better finish.

I was so very happy and proud of his piece and my dad absolutely loves it so much it’s displayed over the fireplace!

Creative learning note: There are artists out there who will try to shame you for tracing or using stencils for your art, but do not be shamed. Whatever gets you creating is art and how else can you learn? Even though I still will trace or use tools to get my images how I want them, doing this has definitely helped me improve in my freehand sketching, which used to be limited to circles and squares!

San Antonio, TX

Reaching way back. . .  Ok, way back! in 2006, Ashley and I got to take a long weekend road trip to San Antonio where we saw the Alamo and 4 missions along the Mission Trail, the RiverWalk and SeaWorld!

On arrival day we drove around the area where we stayed, got familiar with where things were and checked into our hotel.

We stayed in a Days Inn closest to the RiverWalk and the shopping center we favored. To be honest it was probably a bit sketch, but it was cheap and clean and customer service was great. I had them put us on a door that faced the office for extra eyes on our door.

One of the shopping areas we happened upon, Historic Market Square, was probably my favorite shopping markets that I can remember as far as the tourist types go anyway! where we found our requisite cowgirl hats, Spanish influenced baubles and I actually found a wooden carved keychain that spells my name with an IE! (which I still have btw)  I know the hats were cliche, but something felt like it was necessary 🙂

After we left the market we made our way on foot towards the RiverWalk, talking us by the Spanish Governor’s Palace

City Hall San Antonio and, what I believe is a building on the back side of San Fernando Cathedral the Cathedral and the Bexar County District Court Building.

The River walk, well, I’ve never been a big fan of overcrowded tourist traps, so it was more like a thing we had to do.  I do love exploring shops for unique items and my favorite spot of the tourist spots was the Historic Market. We spent the afternoon and into the evening at the river walk and had dinner at a Mexican restaurant on the walk also.

Day two was covert education time…Always trying to bring a bit of education to our trips, we headed to the Alamo and spent the day exploring the Alamo and the 4 other missions, Concepcion, San Jose,  San Juan and Espada.

We started in the morning after breakfast at the Alamo and spent time walking around the grounds.

It is hard to choose just a few pictures to tell the story of these missions. The stories these walls must be able to tell us. After the Alamo we continued on to the other 4….

I thought the best time of day to see the Alamo was late at night.  Of course, if you want to tour it, go during the day, but do not miss going really late at night, lit up and the crowds home for the night was a very peaceful, more relaxed time.

One afternoon we found a petting zoo, where Ashley got to bottle feed some goats and play with other farm animals and we saw some snakes, pigs, chickens and beautiful peacocks.

SeaWorld; was amazing.  The tickets were a gift and the side trip unplanned, but this was a lot of fun,  Ashley rode her first big roller coaster and wow, that was just hilarious!  She screamed and cried all kinds of pleas for her daddy her momma her nanna and her pawpaw to save her… the ENTIRE TIME… HAHAHHA when the coaster slowed to a stop she, almost cartoonishly, went from fear to adrenaline then a huge smile where she begged to go again…we did.  Lol !

This spitfire was wearing knee socks before roller derby made it cool and she rocked the style with confidence. ? This was also her, ‘gonna be a photographer like mom’ phase. I do miss those days.

My favorite parts of the trip were seeing the Missions and other beautiful old buildings sprinkled throughout the city. Hers was probably the petting zoo and SeaWorld but I know she has fond memories of exploring the trail too.

Petit Jean State Park

This weekend I wanted to take Ashley and the dogs for a little hike and my finger landed on Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas. Situated just north of the Ouachita National Forest, this is Arkansas’ first state park!

We had to start out early and make the drive from Memphis, which was a few hours (I love a road trip too!). We arrived fairly early and set off on the 2 mile round trip hike. Lol. It was a 2 hour drive for two miles of hiking, but it was also a ‘moderate to strenuously’ rated hike and I had a 12 year old and two dogs. I also chose the hike for the waterfall reward at the end!

This first little waterfall is a bit hidden and found just at the entrance of the park, I believe, and you kinda need to know to look for it… but I knew and had to spend some time round this little bridge before the hike.

The fall foliage and fauna were so beautiful. I was loving the way the light was playing with the orange leaves.

My little hiker 🙂

This hike had lots of water to see along the way, which I always love.

And the waterfall reward at the end!

This is such a beautiful area to explore and the views on the drive are spectacular! These times spent with my daughter were so special to me ?

If you live in Memphis or area, I highly recommend checking out this beautiful state park only 2 hours from Memphis (Bartlett!)!!

All photos here are shot with my Nikon D70 digital. This was my first digital camera after having shot on film. I believe we were at 600 megapixels at a 2240×1488 file sizes here. 🙂