Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Yesterday morning I heard the prettiest chirps which made me think of spring.  
What is the chitter chatter around you today?  

pve design illustration for sheridan road magazine

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ageless happiness

 Did you ever stop to think that you are responsible for your own happiness?
Today is the day to find your own happiness.
There are no age restrictions on finding a happy place in one's life.
 Perhaps you might find it meandering off in nature or in a garden.
It could begin with a blank sheet of paper.
It is never too late to find happiness.
 Mrs. Delany began her life's work at the age of 72 creating stunning flower mosaics.
Are you a late bloomer?
Have you found your happiness with creating something?

Monday, February 27, 2012

find simplicity

Einstein never ceases to inspire me.
A few weeks ago, there was a whole lot of discord going on inside this cabinet.
Then I found harmony.
Simple bins for storing items.
Labels to find things easily.
Our Winter Break is over and I will be back to work with a perfectly ordered cabinet full of supplies.
Hope you make time to find simplicity in your day.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

in black and white

 Here she is, in black and white.  Our new powder room which was part of our new addition.
The black wall is glass tile "repose" from Waterworks as well as the vanity sink and all the fixtures. 
 I am framing a series of favorite items and artwork for undivided viewing pleasure.
Under the sink, I have a basket to house extra items for a clutter free aesthetic.
When the project started - I had envisioned a fun wallpaper but opted for a more graphic pop of black and white.  Now I am on the hunt for some striped towels or maybe a bit of zebra!  

Do you think in black and white or full color?

Friday, February 24, 2012

winter whites

As I lifted my head from the pillow, my eyes opened and I could automatically tell that it has snowed overnight.  A fresh blanket of winter white beckoning me to wake up as if it were my morning alarm.
Have you ever noticed that after a snowfall, everything seems to take on a wintery violet hue.
As the sun rises, the golden sun is reflected in the snow and even the bark of the trees turn from gray to gold as if they were reveling in the snow and playing with one another.

One of my favorite Amerlican painters, Fairfield Porter captured these idyllic winter scenes with such grace and harmony.  I would love to collect winter landscape paintings.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

mountain do

 Every weekend, we hit the slopes and slide down the mountains.
We are what I refer to as a "mountain do" kind of family.  
This is my girl, she is a J4 Alpine downhill racer.
 We are there in any kind of weather perfecting our downhill skills.
 Gray days cast a calm eery spell on the mountain.
Sunny days say "Hello" and beckon for all to come out and play.  Whatever the skies and mountains do, we are faithful to get outside and do what we love.  Ski, mingle and shush down the mountain.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

wired up

Why is it that when one is out of the office or away from the desk, there is a certain "wired-up" feeling of inspiration?  Just love this image for a mod farmhouse office.  Can you spot the fun totally wired up lamp in the corner?
Some lamps have a fun fresh sixties vibe - :le soleil: and there are some sculptures that make like seem as simple as a dog's life. found here at Marie Christophe.
Hope each of you are enjoying the week of feeling snippets of sun or moments that inspire you to find a spot to unwind.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

pants de leon

 If vintage clothing is your thing, then you really will love this new spot that recently opened up near Hunter Mountain.  A dear friend visiting for the weekend was surprised that I had not been there since she knows that every designer needs a fountain of inspiration and looking to the past can be like hitting the jack-pot.  What fun to take a tour down memory lane, cocktail dresses, loads of denim, vintage ski wear, chunky sweaters, and even a rare train steamer trunk.  Oh the stories these items would tell if only they could talk.    Maybe you have some vintage items to sell?

Please tell them at Pants de Leon that PvE sent you and maybe you just might get a little prefered treatment.

Monday, February 20, 2012

away from my desk

Just thought I would let you know that I have stepped away from my desk.  If this were my desk, I think I would never want to leave it.  Love the retro phone and how clean and crisp everything looks.
Have a good week ahead.
It is our Winter Break.

Friday, February 17, 2012

bird bath

Slowly, we are making our way into our new Master Bird Bath.
Window treatments are still to be installed.
At last a his and hers vanity and very own medicine cabinets.
The storage underneath is wonderful.
Keeping it real we shared a pedestal sink for years and a rather modest medicine cabinet.
Our chandelier reminds me of rain drops.
Pardon the vitabath and soap on the counter, just trying to keep it real here cause this bath has been a dream.
The frosted door on the left houses the WC.  The door on the right leads to our Master Bedroom.
Paint color is bakery box white from Martha.  It looks a tad more green in these photos but trust me it really does look like a bakery box.
The glass tile floor and glass tile walls remind me of being in a spa.
The rain shower is above.  This photo was taken before the glass door was installed.
The shelves are for holding various products.

Do you like a bird bath or a rain shower?
If you are curious about the fittings or fixtures, please e-mail me.
I will be happy to share.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Today, I will take some time to reflect.  I look back at artworks that I have done that are no longer mine.
They left me for a reason as part of sharing peace.  Like this room, there is joy finding a spot for quiet contemplation.

Take time to meditate today.  Find a spot alone with your thoughts.  Breathe and find a calm place.
Is there something you need to let go of, something to open up your space for peace.  Think of yourself as a dove flying into this room and landing softly, peacefully.  I think of my art just like that.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

bonjour sugar

 If per chance yesterday left you wanting more sugar, why not treat yourself today.
A visit to a local patisserie or nearby sweet shop for a little "bonjour sugar."
  What sort of sugary sweet treat takes you away in the midst of a busy day and reminds you of a sweet vacation.
pve design illustration done for a client "vivre les vacances"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

love to you

 Today is all about giving love.
 design by Alexander Girard.
 Giving love to our favorites.
etsy fave
 Wearing something red.
vintage dior
 sharing love makes life brighter.
happiness glassbaby
Love to you today.
Happy Valentine's day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

brought you some red

bringing the red seems just in time for valentine's day
clever wine tags spotted on etsy
perfect touch for bringing some red
spotting lots of red storefronts too.
love this one I illustrated a few years ago
red book covers too.
 some red in one of my favorite Tina Steele paintings.

What sort of red are you planning on bringing or giving this Valentine's day?
My husband asked me, "So when is Valentine's day?"

If you are reading this, it is in fact tomorrow!
Are you ready?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wine Auction

The Santa Barbara Vintner's Foundation is having a Wine Auction tonight -"Casino Royale" and yours truly was pleased to donate artwork for the auction.  The proceeds will be benefitting Direct Relief's International and US Program.  

The mission of Direct Relief is to provide appropriate ongoing medical assistance to health institutions and projects worldwide which serve the poor and people in need of assistance due to natural and civil disasters

During times of need, it is good to know that Direct Relief has furnished over $35 million in medical material aid provided to those in need.

Friday, February 10, 2012

fresh off the farm

Many of the commissions that I do require me to work from a photo and often, I can really work myself up into a tizzy trying to capture what I see and what I cannot see.  This farm house made me remember my very own Father who was raised on a farm.  He was born one of nine children and his Mother paid the fine Doctor with a fresh off the farm chicken.  It was a barter of sorts and my Dad loves to say that poor chicken is gone and he is still clucking around.
Although I could pick my work apart and want to re-work this one, it is more of a feeling that I try to capture.  Can you imagine arriving here and feeling far away, calm and having all you need and wanting nothing more.  Such simple places, farmhouse, cabins and spots tucked away at the end of a dirt road  
are so inspiring.

If you are trying to practice your artwork, work from a photo, imagine yourself there and what you want to capture.  

Thursday, February 09, 2012

pve happy montage

This happens to be one of my favorite illustrations done for J.McLaughlin years ago.  It made me happy then and now.  Over fifteen years ago, drawing, raising my children, and juggling my life - much like a collage or montage.

The idea of a collage or montage of sorts came to me while the challenge of gathering all the shops at that time was mind you simply around a dozen.  Now there are over 40 J.McLaughlin shops.  
The above artwork appeared in several magazines and was used for a press kit.

Just the other day, I spied a reputable madison avenue shop advertisement in The Wall Street Journal which had a similar hand to that of my artwork and it made me smile to think that perhaps might have inspired another artist or merchant.  Like any good parent, I stood up straighter knowing that leading by example goes without saying.

A few years ago, I sent out my own montage in the form of a post card which showed snippets of the array of artwork that I do.  I love looking back and also looking ahead to compile recent works and am in the hopes of having an illustrated book one day.  As I edit and piece my work together I realize that this makes me happy.   

I hope that you will look at your work as one happy montage.  Part of being a designer, an artist, a parent or even a friend is being able to stand back and see life as a collage of events, moments and memories.  Thank-you for your support of my artwork.  You have no idea how happy you make me.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


 Location, Location, Location really does say so much especially when it comes to coveted real estate and then of course,  to coveted art.  Ahem. Well, not just any art but feast your eyes on the illustration.
I was so excited to see the art take the page instead of being relegated to one tiny corner.
My latest illustration, in the latest issue of Sheridan Road Magazine.  Sometimes just a line or a shoreline can say it all.  For this particular work, I thought keeping it simple in shades of watery blue worked best to convey the "North Shore" from "Lake Bluff" on down the line to "Evanston."

Does your address need to be illustrated to show off it's location, location location.  Let me know your whereabouts?  Did you know that I also illustrate on location for parties or events?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

my ink

 This is my pen & ink of choice.  Sakura micron archival pigma ink comes in a series of nibs or points depending on the thickness of line you desire.  Long ago I used a rapidiograph which I had to fill the ink in the cartridge and quite honestly it was a mess.
 Begin with a spiral bound journal and make it a goal to sketch once a day.  You can search around on line and fine scads of artists and aspiring artists who keep journals and post daily works, be sure and sign and date your work.  Soon you will begin to see your own line and style develop.

Monday, February 06, 2012

monday motivation - glad supplies

Nothing like starting off a new week with the chance to love to work and to play.  Containers gathered together and holding pencils, brushes, scissors can be very motivating to jump start one's creative spirit.  Are you satisfied with your possessions?

Perhaps your tool is the computer to gather your images or words.  Fear nothing, be glad of life and embrace today with glad supplies ready for a guidepost to creative peace.
Be governed by your admirations.

What sort of supplies make your life glad?
This week I shall be sharing some supplies I admire.
(images from pinterest)
Be glad of life!