Saturday, December 26, 2009


pve design photo of little red cabin - upstate ny
Taking a little break from the blog to relax, to ski, to rest, to spend time with family and friends. Wishing each of you great tidings of comfort and joy. Take time to look around you and listen to the sounds, see the beauty and give your senses a treat.

Not to worry, I will be back in the New Year full of good things to share, to illustrate and to give thanks for.

Friday, December 25, 2009

tucked away

Wishing each of you time to tuck yourself away, time to reflect and to give pause to the true meaning of Christmas and making room in your heart for mankind. I shall be taking time off, tucked away with my family and friends.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

hurry up Santa

pve design illustration for melissa c. morris
C'mon Santa, hurry down my chimney tonight! Wishing each of you a splendid Christmas eve.
Don't forget to leave a little something for Santa, some cookies, a glass of milk or eggnog!
Take time to slow down and enjoy your self!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

holiday cheer

Wishing each of you holiday cheer!
May you find joy in your hearts and your homes.
Make time for Mistletoe kisses and holiday hugs.

Hopefully all your lists have been checked!
T'is the season to share it with those you love.
Welcoming guests into your home from far and near.
Preparing room in your heart and your home.
Sumptuous meals to share.
Libations to toast! Chin Chin!
Peace and Joy to each and everyone!
Travel safely and celebrate holiday cheer!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

stocking stuffers

It seems most people are wrapping the shopping up and all that is left is to fill the stockings by the chimney with care. Last year, I shopped at this wonderful spot "Barneche" located in the Catskills of NY and found some lovely items, soaps, creams, and handmade things. I love filling stockings with thoughtful items and old fashioned things too, like oranges, peppermints. Are your stockings hung by the chimney with care?

Monday, December 21, 2009

got the spirit

I have always loved fancy writing and those that have "got it." Way back in elementary school, I became obsessed with script and just how fancy I could make my own writing. Well this gal (Jessica Hische) has got the most spirited script over here.
So, how about you, does fancy script put you in the spirit? Somehow it does seem that seeing messages written in a card or on a sign seem to be gentle reminders to find the true spirit of the holidays!
How quickly do you begin to lose that feeling and life returns to routine. I for one am going to challenge myself to hold on to the spirit and the magic of the season during the year ahead!

How do you plan to get in the spirit while there is still time?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

santa baby

Tartan, tattersall and ties all add a bit of festive flair during the Holidays. It is always fun to see designs appear in the form of merchandise! You can buy this tie for "Santa Baby" to hurry down the chimney on Christmas morning!

This witty design was illustrated (August 2009) for a tie pattern, for happy jolly souls to sport.
The design is sketched and then the colors are decided in what is called a "strike-off" or a "sample" from the factory. This pattern is woven on a "Jacquard" loom to produce intricate designs. There is something fun about wearing holiday ties or socks to add a smile. Look closely and see who is pulling the sleigh?

Do you have any Christmas accessories or attire to deck the halls this week or is that a major faux pas in your book?

Friday, December 18, 2009

happy and (sad) holidays

Holiday greetings to each of you. I am busy sending out greetings, finishing art, polishing the place and preparing room in my heart for a Merry and Joyous Holiday here. Unfortunately, I took on way more than I could do this year, some happy clients and some not so happy and I have learned that for the new year, I will pace myself. Anybody else feeling (sad) side affects of the stress of trying to please everyone. My apologies to those of you that I promised art. I promise to be better, faster, stronger! Thanks to those of you who have been so encouraging over the years which makes me so very happy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

california dreamer

pve design - home illustration - commission artwork

When Mel contacted me to illustrate her "crumb" and the above home illustration for a friend, I of course jumped up and down but at the same time, was a tad nervous about living up to fulfilling the expectation. It is like that for me especially when I know that I am working to achieve something for someone with such a lovely style! Surely you all know Reverie-daydream, hop on over and see what Mel is dreaming up today!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

qautre saisons

A recent commission for a friend and neighbor envisioned her holiday card showing her lovely home in all the seasons.
I love knowing that Spring is the next season in line.
Ah, Summer, one of my favorite seasons, I do love summer time, fireflies and the warm weather.
Autumn enters with cooler air, crisp apples, colorful leaves and lots of raking, and Fall celebrations. Hay rides, harvests, halloween and a display of pumpkins and costumes.

Which season is your favorite? I sincerely hope that each season brings you JOY!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

all is calm

One of the best things about being an illustrator of client's holiday greeting cards are getting the actual card in the mail. There is a certain sense of "all is calm" in knowing that my art has a way of making things bright in each greeting. My client sent me several photos to work from and I just could not resist the urge to illustrate this charming home all lit up for a silent night.
But wait a minute, remember these fine four legged creatures, they live in that house, see them sneaking a peek out the windows upstairs to see if Santa has anything in store for them. I imagine a home full of spirit and magic and all things bright!

Monday, December 14, 2009

12 days of peace

When asked to illustrate a button to promote peace, I jumped at the opportunity to do this for Deidra, from Jumping Tandem. During the holidays it is so important to find the peace, by making a list of all the things that you are grateful for. Simply visit her blog and grab the "peace" button and spread some peace.
I have always been drawn to those who have a positive attitude and a certain knack for spreading peace. Deidra is one of those gals, who was born to inspire, to push and to provide support.

Friday, December 11, 2009


How fun it is to see this holiday blog banner appear during the month of December. I illustrated this for Ronda at "All the Best Blog" several years ago and it was before I even had a blog or much less really knew what a blog was all about. Now I am a believer as I have been busy posting nearly every day on my blog. Do you believe that a blog can bring about all the best to you?

Thanks so much to Ronda for her encouragement, her kindness and her believing in me to be and do my best. A passport to stylish living is something to believe in!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


gilded framed cool "Allie" cat
I am quite honored today as Alice aka Allie over at (Summer is a verb) was ever so kind to bestow upon me such a wonderful post. Most cool cats are aloof, but not Alice, she has such a sunny disposition. When I sent off her artwork, she chose to frame this little "quick" illustration that I had done for her, (on the envelope mind you.) If you read Allie's blog, you know she is hopelessly devoted to a "bon vivant" lifestyle. She touts jewels, concoctions, felines, needlework, notions and the latest tonics to indulge one's fancies. Lucky me, to add myself to her list of affections.

Below is the wall of "my" art hung in her bedroom. I feel totally pampered, just like her cats.
Nothing like wallowing in a good scratch, getting the satisfaction of a perfect purrr.
Excuse me while I go leave a token of my affection, in the form of a hairball. Eech....eech~
Good to know that I will always be loved.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

latte love

Emily (faithful blog reader) sent me this wonderful photo of a latte that her dear husband made for her. I would love this right now as we had a 2 hour delay due to some nasty weather, snow, icy and rain. I drove my husband to the train, took in a neighbor's daughter to bring her to school and had 3 shifts of breakfast, french toast topped with powdered sugar, hot cocoa, fresh fruit and juice. Making lunches, delivering to school and respective buses.
Now, my day begins.
Hope your day begins with lots of latte love!

Monday, December 07, 2009


Truly, the month of December already seems a little sweeter with all the wonderful cookies around. These came from over here.
(sweetness from etsy)
Bear hugs are sweet too.
My Dad loves to say "Give me some sugar, Sugar" which means a hug.
Congrats to this sweet lady "Emily" who won the Jess LC Necklace. She selected gold. Emily has been an avid blog reader and commenter. Hope this makes your day sweeter Emily!
Emily actually lives just outside Chicago, so I am in hopes she can meet JessLC to get her gold necklace!

(Winner selected via Random number generator)
Just this morning, I was awarded The Fabulous Sugar Doll blogger award. Thanks to these chic ladies for such an honorable award. Back later with my acceptance speech.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Nutcracker fun

One of my favorite scenes from the Nutcracker is the dance off against the Rat King and his comrades. How touched was I when the above illustration arrived. This was a gift to me from artist, Maia Chavez Larkin. She illustrated my daughter Amelia and titled this "Amelia takes a stand." If you know my girl, this work captures her fearless smiling self. I can just see her laughing during this dance as she protects the Nutcracker. Surely, Rat King has no idea who he is up against.
Enjoy the first weekend in December.

brand new oldie

This illustration was done for J.McLaughlin, exclusively for Dillard's and every time I look at it, there is something that makes me want to rush out and shop for something new. As a child, I loved riding my bike to a wonderful shop "Bycks" located in St.Matthews in Louisville. I would look at all the pretties. I would feel the fabrics, look at the way things were made and dream of being all grown up and having lots of money to shop for something new. Truth be told, I really love to scout at thrift shops, find bargains and bring home an oldie and make it look brand new.
Are your brave enough to give a gift of old or does it have to be brand spankin new?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Holiday smiles

It is that time of year, Holiday greetings, photo cards and the opportunity to see how families have grown and how they have changed. The addition of a pet, or a new family member is always such a treat to see. I am in awe of those who give birth, adopt or become a foster parent.

In the midst of all that December entails, take time out to go see "Blind side" and feel your heart fill with holiday cheer. Based on a true story, this movie touched me in a real way. As a mother, I left the theatre thinking that taking in someone less fortunate, opening my home is all that we need to know just how fortunate we are. We can so easily get caught up in the material side, and lose focus that it is a time to renew our spirit and hope for a better world full of joy and peace.
Sandra, you should be smiling at your incredible performance, you rock! The role she played of "Leanne" was touching and empowering. I left the theatre feeling stronger, hopeful and proud of women who plow ahead, stand tall and live fearlessly. Have you seen it and what did you think? Did it make you smile or cry?

circle of style

I was honored to illustrate the door of this stylish lady to be used on her holiday greeting. It was the first card to arrive at my door yesterday and how proud was I to see how she had utilized my art along with a photo of her four smiling children. They look so excited for Christmas! My illustration was like a little tiny treasure on top! Read below for the history of the wreath.

pve design illustration for style chronicle

History of the Wreath;

The wreath is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life. Even these evergreens have a traditional meaning which can be adapted to our faith: The laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering; pine, holly, and yew, immortality; and cedar, strength and healing.

Laurel Wreath, Wikepedia

Holly also has a special Christian symbolism: The prickly leaves remind us of the crown of thorns, and one English legend tells of how the cross was made of holly. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life found in Christ. Any pine cones, nuts, or seedpods used to decorate the wreath also symbolize life and resurrection. All together, the wreath of evergreens depicts the immortality of our soul and the new, everlasting life promised to us through Christ, the eternal Word of the Father, who entered our world becoming true man and who was victorious over sin and death through His own passion, death, and resurrection.

Do you deck your door with "a wreath" and have you ever given thought to the origin of this circle of style and symbolism? I just love the history and tradition of the wreath.

thanks to Debra over at life-scapes for these lovely wreath images!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

silver and gold (giveaway)

armitage double strand necklace, with triple pearl inset, in sivler or gold from JessLC
"Silver and Gold" happens to be one of my favorite holiday songs sung by "Burl Ives" and another favorite is JessLC and her fabulously chic collection of jewelry. I am so honored to be the host of this fabulous giveaway- your choice of silver or gold with these tiny pearls.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jess in Chicago during the month of July. We became blog buddies first. Jess has a life full of good intentions and sparkly energy. You have til Sunday December 6th to enter, simply leave a comment and your choice of sil

The winner will be drawn on Monday December 7th. silver or gold.
(Winner is Emily from Chicago!)

"Bethesda Fountain" - boxed set of note-cards -set of 8
Hop on over to "Make under my life" and see my little giveaway there (a boxed set of 8 note-cards)
After all December is the month for giving!