Monday, March 29, 2010

road trip

On the road, going down south to visit the folks. We are loaded and ready for the drive. Found this vintage woodie which looks like lots of fun. This week, the children are on "Spring Break" and visiting family and seeing the Grandparents is long over-due. Enjoy the week. I will be on the road and taking a brief blog break. I will be back soon with lots of goodies.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday shelf- daily bread

"Give us this day our daily bread" - image from emma, norway bakery
I was raised in a home with freshly baked bread. My Mom went through many phases and bread kicks, whole wheat, sunflower and oat bread, french bread, parmesan pull apart loaf, raisin bread, banana bread. You get the idea. Well, there is one thing that continues on in my home, which is the love of really good bread. Do you allow yourself a little daily bread? What kind is your favorite bread?

I love seven grain from black cat Bakery which can be found at our local whimsical bakehouse.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

kitchen stew

Pardon me, while I am in the midst of a kitchen quandary for my "new" kitchen. My kitchen ideas run from light to dark. We will have an island with a sink. The other side of the room will have an area to "lounge." There will be a copper bar sink, and I am planning a copper counter.
I love the light counters with a bit of sheen. The island will be used as a breakfast bar of sorts since we all seem to be on different shifts. I will also use it as a spot to serve from.
Although I do love the look, no to wood floors. I want something easy to wash, porcelain tile in a modern neutral. I have seen some awesome tile with subtle textures.
Love a bit of lucite, white and some soft color. I cannot wait til the fun begins. Even though I know there shall be dust and lots of take-out during the construction, I am excited to be in the
phase of what I call "kitchen stew." I know that taking care in each decision will alleviate any sort of "stew in one's juice" sort of quandary. What would you add to my kitchen stew?

please pardon me, the collection of kitchen photos were gathered and my lack of noting the image source is in no way shape or form to the copy the designers. I just need to thank them for fueling my stew.

Friday, March 26, 2010

little squirt

This is an oil painting that I did a few years ago. I call it my "little squirt." There is something about just a little squirt of lemon that can add a certain zest to my day.

What sort of patronizing little squirt adds a bit of zest to your day?

Congrats to Laura Casey who won the "little cakes" book from The Riviera Whimsical Bakehouse.
I know Laura will enjoy baking with her little squirts, oh, I mean her adorable little ones!
(My daughter randomly selected number 29.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

little dippers

The Beach Boys
pve design illustration, little dipper, the surfer girl
There is something synonymous about Spring Break and some sort of surf. That first plunge or "dip" into the water is so luxurious. As Spring Break approaches, my mind is full of images of little dippers running towards the sandy beaches with boogie boards or surf boards to ride the wave and watch the stars.

What are your plans for your Spring Break?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

little blossoms

Artwork done by a student of pve
This artwork was done by a student that I am currently teaching, privately on a weekly basis.
I love teaching little art lessons to people of all ages.
My student has gained so much confidence and is truly remarkable, in only a few lessons, she has opened up and blossomed.
We have worked with pencil, prisma-colored pencils, micron pens, and water color wash.

Please leave a comment for me to share with my student about the artwork titled -
"little blossoms."

*Remember to leave a comment for the "little cakes" book giveaway in the previous post from yesterday. Winner shall be randomly selected and announced friday March 26th.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

little cakes (book giveaway)

This week, I am all about finding joy in itsy bitsy, teensy weeny things and fortunately live nearby this wonderful bakehouse, full of whimsy and sweetness.
I know that many of you have given up sugar for lent, so as a reward, today I am having a giveaway of a very special book, "Little Cakes" which is from the whimsical bakehouse.
How sweet are these little cakes for Spring, for a birthday, a special class or just because joy can be found in little things. After all, it is the little things that bring us happiness. What little things make your life sweeter?

Leave a comment here and you will automatically be entered to win this book. There will be a little treat included in the package too, a little sweet surprise.

(Winner will be announced friday. Comments may be left til midnight thursday, March 25th.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

itsy bitsy

Long ago, I illustrated this wee shop. I have always been attracted to small shops. On Saturday, my youngest needed a flesh colored leotard for an upcoming dance performance.
I immediately remembered a small shop nearby. We went on our mission with a list in hand.
The sales clerk was itsy bitsy, full of smiles and so thrilled to help us procure 2 leotards and 2 pair of footless tights.

At the check-out, I made a remark of how much I loved small, wee shops and we each made a quip that in the large shops, the only people who seem to work there are the cashiers. Is it me, or do you have a wee thing for small shops too? I just love the service small shops offer.

What is your favorite eensy weensy shop?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

spring is hope

HOPE market tote from dsquilts

"Hope" springs eternal! We have been enjoying some glorious snippets of Springtime weather.
A client told me about this wonderful site for quilting and I stumbled upon this tote. (free downloadable) pattern for making your own tote. This would be perfect for Springtime along with a nice new quilt in Spring patterns. Denyse has some incredible designs!

Enjoy this weekend and I am in hope that you have some signs of Spring~

Friday, March 19, 2010

yes, it's ladies night

Tonight a few ladies will be hosting me to a birthday night celebration.
vintage photo of legs, and fishnets, not the cigarette buts, eehuw.
I came across this vintage photo of a bevy of beautiful vintage legs sporting fancy fishnets!
Time to dress up, gather with the ladies and have an enjoyable evening.
I promise to behave and act like a lady.
We cannot get into too much trouble, after all it is being hosted in a home.
Celebrations like these make me miss my sisters, my aunts and my Mom who all enjoy gathering for a Ladies night!

Happy Weekend!

a gift for

Lavande, Savon de Marseille Soap
Dr.Bronner's "Magic Soap" Citrus Orange

lovely porcelains from Middle Kingdom Porcelain.
A dear friend recently completed a wonderful bathroom renovation and I gave her some "savon de marseille" which she remarked, you always seem to have time to do everything with such ease, such grace and style. You really have such "a gift for" giving.

Question; How do you find time to do it all and to give?

My answer; I keep a cabinet of small gifts so that I am prepared to meet any occasion.

The above porcelains along with the packaging are devine. A small colorful bowl for collecting jewelry, sea glass or dip! A bar of delightful smelling soap is always such a small luxury. Many of the discount shops have them for as low a *three dollars for a box of three. A "hard milled" soap can last a really long time. A jar of good mustard or "cornichon" for the condiment connoisseur in your life. Something from the thrift store, cleaned up, polished and artfully presented. A candle. A bouquet of flowers artfully arranged in a small container or pretty pot. (Just a few ideas for your own secret stash) A wee small sketch or a personalized card accompanies each item to add a personalized touch.

* Mind you nothing is over $20. I try to keep the gifts under $10.

Tell me, do you keep a secret stash of gifts at the ready? It sure is like having my own personal shop. Do you have the perfect gift for giving? Love to know!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

dog Ma

artwork of Maira Kalman (an inspiring artist to many!)
There is not a day that goes by, when either myself or a family member quips -I am coming back "as a dog Ma!" All our dog has to worry about are his next meal and walk! Fortunately, our dog does live a nice lifestyle, but I know some dogs are not as lucky to be idolized!

Tell me your opinion, would you like to come back as a dog? What sort of "dogma" or dog would you be and who would your faithful owner be? What do you think your day would be like?

* Winner of $25 gift card to Branch goes to Maureen at The Inglenook decor! Congratulations.
Maureen is hosting March giveaways, so please be sure to pop over for March madness!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

easy being green

flap, flap

come fly with me and let's land on a green branch...or blarney stone.
image from verdigris vie
$25 gift certificate -

a give-way for being green
it would be easy landing this hammock, no reservation necessary!
just a bit of calling it "first"
an easy green market tote from branch at the ready

Today is all about being green and flapping my birthday wings.
Ever since I was a wee one, my day (St. Paddy's day) has been celebrated with something green.
My birthday (today) has always been all about green and something lucky.
No wonder green is my favorite color.

David Gauld - 1893 (thank-you little augury)
Consider this your lucky day!
Leave a comment and enter my giveaway for $25 gift certificate from here.
Winner shall be chosen midnight tonight, March 17th and posted in the morning.
Do you find it easy being green? Care to share an easy tip on living green?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

got the power

I've got the power restored here. (Cable, internet and phone are back!)
Forgive me while I do a little dance and pump up the volume.
Well it is after all the day before my birthday! I will be back to living a new normal with power -one year older and wiser!

anybody home

photo from Sharon Pruit - Flickr
You may be wondering if I am home. I am home, however I have no internet, no phone and no cable. My inner colonial dame has provided much wit and spirit as my children quip, "What are we going to do?" I retort, "Why, when I was a child, we had no internet and cords on our phones and no plasma televisions, so there!" We survived daily without this sort of instant gratification of communicating with those that you may have never even met, but can relate an entire lifetime to.

I am in hopes to be back soon, in blog land, so be patient with me - my heart aches for those that have no powere at all. I do have electricity and the will to prepare a nice meal.
Guess the universe is telling me to do my art and blog less.

Thanks to my dear friend for the use of her internet cafe!

Anybody home?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

rain and rainbows

"Remember, you cannot have rainbows without the rain."

Rene Descartes -1596-1650 (French Philosopher and Mathmetician) -He writes:"Considering that this bow appears not only in the sky, but also in the air near us, whenever there are drops of water illuminated by the sun, as we can see in certain fountains, I readily decided that it arose only from the way in which the rays of light act on these drops and pass from them to our eyes. Further, knowing that the drops are round, as has been formerly proved, and seeing that whether they are larger or smaller, the appearance of the bow is not changed in any way, I had the idea of making a very large one, so that I could examine it better.

This weekend, lots of rain is forecasted and I was reminded by a dear friend that we must remember to look for the rainbows. My friend recently lost a close friend tragically and I think his reminder is in part, that he himself is trying to look for the rainbow. I was touched by his words. Thank-you Michael for your gentle and kind words.

Do you look for and follow rainbows?

Friday, March 12, 2010

gift of art

The gift of art is a special gift, a portrait of a home, a pet or a simple work of art elegantly framed has everlasting appeal. Flowers fade, chocolates melt, art is everlasting.
A framed work of art, perched on display on a buffet adds personality and flair when entertaining.
(Stately home illustration for sale, framed with silk matting and an ornate frame and filet, contact pve if you are interested in this work of art)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

corner view - miniature world

These miniature garments were made by artist Jon Coffelt. I am seriously considering having a vintage cocktail coat miniaturized that I found years ago in San Francisco. (really love to have my wedding dress miniaturized too) Jon makes these tender miniatures by hand, fashioned to mimic the original garment. The miniature world travels for viewing. I had the great pleasure of speaking to Jon and the spirit and joy in his voice spoke to my artist heart. I so appreciate other artists finding passion in their work.

Granny Mae had a lady make her clothes because she has a slight hump in her back. When she bought something from a store it never fit correctly. She gave me this dress in 1970, years after she had it made. I told her at the time if I ever made a dress for her I would put darts in the back at the shoulder area as to accommodate her hump.”
—Jon Coffelt
There is something so charming about having a miniature garment to treasure. One is never too old to play dolls, I always loved the tiny garments, the tiny accessories and the miniature world. What treasured garment would you have transformed into a miniature? If you do decide to have Jon miniaturize a garment, please send a miniature hello from pve.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

a snappy dresser

I love snappy dressers that display personal style with flair. It looks easy enough to simply add a mirror, some fresh cut flowers, or a potted orchid, some frames, a shell or a rock, a clock, a lamp or two and voila, all of the sudden, they look so utterly feminine. (Images above and below are for pure inspiration and caught my attention to snap my dresser into shape!)

a marsupial pouch

I found the perfect hip pouch here. All I need to make a run for it.
Why were we not designed and equipped with a marsupial pouch?
I will never quite understand huge hand-bags. I always wonder when I see a gal with an enormous bag weighing her down. Part of me wants to run over and examine the interior contents. Does one really need to lug around "half a house?"
I love a streamlined clutch or pouch.

Weekends are for the tote, to toss a few items, pj's, undies, socks, toiletries, jeans or one fancy pant, a top, a sweater and a tee. (Maybe a dress for dinner) A book and a project in tow. A bottle of water and some dried snacks, nuts or fruits.
I'd die for these accessories, they are young, hip, and easy. Is it me or am I feeling punchy for a pouch?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Five Fabulous weddings were mentioned in Papercity, along with my illustrations done for a Dallas couple, in July 2009. The event took place in Chicago.

As the illustrations were complete, there was a gallery, on display for guests to view.
I am so delighted for the mention here.
Thank-you to Birch Design Studio for trusting me to capture the wedding in my artwork.

in Papercity, Dallas. (click to enlarge the above photo)

soft air

There is something so intoxicating about the soft air of spring. To me, spring feels like a time to clean, a time to polish and for our very own awareness to come unwrapped. The morning light, the added daylight allow one to see the essentials of our life. Making seasonal lists gives me a guideline. It is all about designing an artful life, be it writing, illustrating, creating one's day.

Start by making a list of essentials to follow to realize the reward of your promise.
My Father told me that having children was one of life's greatest rewards. He told me that it is essential that you pay close attention to their minds and to find promise within each being. Fathers give good sound advice. Fast forward to yesterday, my son came home wanting to know if I had ever read any of "Jack Kerouac's " books. He had me, in a nano-second, I was full of intrigue. I asked him to read to me, so he did. The words felt like soft air on my neck.

Then I wanted to know more about him. Here is a list of thirty essentials for writers. What is on your list? Soft or Hot air?
  1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for your own joy
  2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
  3. Try never get drunk outside your own house
  4. Be in love with your life
  5. Something that you feel will find its own form
  6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
  7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
  8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
  9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
  10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
  11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
  12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
  13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
  14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
  15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
  16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
  17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
  18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
  19. Accept loss forever
  20. Believe in the holy contour of life
  21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
  22. Don't think of words when you stop but to see picture better
  23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
  24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
  25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
  26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
  27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
  28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
  29. You're a Genius all the time
  30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

Monday, March 08, 2010

just right

I happened upon this home and I decided to let myself in. There was something about the green door that left me wanting more. The light, the cast shadows, the planter, the brass door knob and the panes of glass caught my eye.
Around the other side is another green door. I want to know who lives here and what is on the other side of that door.

I knocked and the door opened.

I walked in, sat down in a wonderful chair and began to paint ( my paints go with me everywhere) but the paper felt too cold.
(Arches Paper - 140 Lb. cold-pressed, 100 % cotton)

I then tried this paper, and the paper felt just right to me.
(Arches Paper - 140 Lb. hot-pressed, 100% cotton)

So, tell me, do you have a preference of paper, the cold-pressed or the hot-pressed paper.
The cold-pressed paper has a more traditional water colour wavy texture to it, while the hot-pressed has a flat, satin smooth finish.

Excuse me while I go upstairs and check out the beds for a wee nap.
I have a feeling I will find just the right spot.
(Trina, thanks for allowing me to illustrate your green door and for stalking such
a country farmhouse as yours, just right. I have a feeling I will feel compelled to illustrate each and every room and taste every bowl of porridge too.)