Thursday, September 30, 2010

monkey grass hill

Does your house have a name. Meet "Monkey Grass Hill."
I love homes with fun names.
"Making a house a comfortable home" by giving it a name makes perfect sense.
If your home had a name, what would it be?
Please share.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


vintage image of reader enjoying a book, pg wodehouse - circa cigarette smoking too!
Several times this week, I have opened an e-mail or a comment left for me and I am positively delighted to know and meet so many fans of my artwork and my blog.
Here are a few quotes;
"love reading your blog at the end of the day, it calms me after a day with 17 pre-schoolers"
"your witty artwork makes me want longer legs"
"lunch with pve (blog visits) is the one normal part of my day"
"you inspired me to draw again, I had not drawn since kindergarten"
"I always have afternoon tea with pve"
"your artwork is even better in person."
"He was gazing at the waitress with the look of a dog that's just remembered where its bone was buried." From The Inimitable Jeeves, P.G. Wodehouse

Did you know that your capricious comments make my tail wag, my heart beat a bit faster and any sort of frown turn upside down? Thank-you.

Tell me - love to know what gives your day more "giddy-up?"

mud room

Years ago, I illustrated this mud room entry for J.McLaughlin and still love it today!
As home-comings approach and we bring out boots and Fall attire, why not create a "mud room" of your own. A welcome bench and a rug to rally home spirited muddy feet and paws, simple hooks to hang jackets, and a spot for soggy umbrellas provide order to any entry. Warm up your entry with a plaid or paint it a warm brown or khaki tone.

How nice to have an entry like this one! I rather love the simplicity of organized bins and cubbies for families. Although I do not have a mud room, I do have a shelf for shoes and a garage for balls and sports equipment.

Do you have a welcome entry for muddy paws and feet?
What would your mud room look like?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

fall faves

pve design "fall faves" - artwork for sale
Each and every season I shall gather my faves together in a sort of collage illustration. Here are a few of my fall favorites for a happy Autumn.

Wrap Cardigans
Potted Mums
Wood i-phone cases
Raking leaves
Skull candles
Black candles
Pumpkin chai latte
Suede grocery shopper
quilted key case
Newsboy caps or floppy fedoras
Striped t's
Skinny jeans

What are some of your fall favorites?

Monday, September 27, 2010

map it out

Maps on the wall hung as a cohesive collection look so pulled together.
Maps show where one has been and where one is going.
A map of Paris "arrondisements" in black and white look tres chic!
A vintage calendar map to map out 2011.
I can hardly wait to get lost and map something out for some vintage maps to come my way that I won from domestic ease.

Some of you may remember getting lost in the car with maps spread open. When was the last time that you had to map it out to get to your destination?

top image House Beautiful, 2nd and 3rd from my files, 4th from domestic ease~

Sunday, September 26, 2010

dancing in September

Cutting the first piece of wedding cake, circa 1987
my cousin baked the cake
"One step at a time, preparing to toss the garter and the bouquet"
"Love and kisses"

Sing along;
Do you remember the 26th night of September? (We were married on the 26th of September)
Love was changing the mind of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away

Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing.
As we danced in the night,
Remember - how the stars stole the night away, yeah yeah yeah.

Hey hey hey,
Ba de ya - say do you remember
Ba de ya - dancing in September
Ba de ya - never was a cloudy day

Ba duda, ba duda, ba duda, badu
Ba duda, badu, ba duda, badu
Ba duda, badu, ba duda

My thoughts are with you
Holding hands with your heart to see you
Only blue talk and love,
Remember - how we knew love was here to stay

Now December found the love that we shared in September.
Only blue talk and love,
Remember - the true love we share today

Hey hey hey
Ba de ya - say do you remember
Ba de ya - dancing in September
Ba de ya - never was a cloudy day.......there was a
Ba de ya - say do you remember
Ba de ya - dancing in September
Ba de ya - golden dreams were shiny days

Now our bell was ringing, aha
Our souls were singing.
Do you remember every cloudy day - yau !

There was a
Ba de ya - say do you remember
Ba de ya - dancing in September
Ba de ya - never was a cloudy day.......there was a
Ba de ya - say do you remember
Ba de ya - dancing in September
Ba de ya - golden dreams were shiny days

Ba de ya de ya de ya
Ba de ya de ya de ya
Ba de ya de ya de ya - De ya..... X2

Happy Twenty-Third Anniversary to my dear dancing partner~

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I have always loved the word "more" and how it can apply to so many things. More please, more candles on the cake, more time to play, more life to celebrate...having a birthday, click here.

Hope you have a weekend of more love, more laughter, more time with the one's you love.
Sunday, is my wedding anniversary. Another year of "more" to celebrate!

Friday, September 24, 2010

let's focus people

My twin son's are seniors and this is our mantra. They will more than likely be focusing on two very different future Universities. I keep telling them to reach for the stars, aim high. Just focus and pick one out of thousands of schools. I have been told that there is a "lid for every pot."
Inside I keep saying things like the title of this book.
Serious Drawings and humor help me to focus.

How do you find your focus people, in stressful situations, humor me?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

a little bird

A little cosmopolitan house sparrow landed in my ear and chirped crisply, "please draw this old world chair for me!"
After I drew the chair, then there was another request for another chair and some bird-seed.

The above artwork was recently done for my-sparrow.
Please pop over and take a look around at all the lovely things.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

studio dreams

Gathering images for my dream studio. I want a mix of cozy and minimal clutter.

A workspace to paint.
A studio space to meet with clients to collaborate on commissions.
What would be on your dream studio list?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

art rules

Art actually rules my life. I mean that in a good way. When you find something that you are passionate about and then try to set your own rules to your life, it is then that you are in fact making changes to live the life you want.

Pick up a copy of Chris Guillebeau's book!

Are you living the life that the remarkable you wants?

Monday, September 20, 2010


At last, inspiration in a can, guaranteed 100% effective against procrastination, indecision and dormancy. Now how nice would that be to just pop open a can of inspiration for positive results.

How thrilled am I to know that since my blog journey began that I have in some way been a source to inspire others on a path to create or design their very own dream into a reality.

Two summers ago while in Chicago on business, a blog reader invited me to lunch and she shared her passion for wanting to start a business that would allow her to design and create a more artful life while raising her family. She held a position that was flexible, but longed for something more creative. How thrilled was I to speak to her and know that perhaps I helped to inspire her (and her partners) to launch Inspire HG. You can order from them at their etsy site or attend their upcoming show in Western Springs, IL. (see site for details)

I would Love to know if my blog may have given you a push to design, create or inspire a more artful life . Leave a comment or contact me if you have a story to share. I would be happy to share your story with others. A "can-do" attitude is inspirational not only to me but to so many readers.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Suppers- butternut squash

Simply cut open a whole washed butternut squash and roast in the oven. Serve as a side or a meal in itself. Garnish with some fresh herbs or a little maple syrup and brown sugar and enjoy. Did you know that squash is chock full of good vitamins and excellent for your skin?
My Mom always told me that beauty is skin deep!

What will you be serving for your Sunday Supper?
image from whole living

Friday, September 17, 2010

Saturday secrets

pve design, artwork for the upcoming Sheridon Road Magazine
On Saturday morning, I have hung a "privacy please" sign on each of your bedroom doors.
You have been granted permission to go back to sleep and dream like a child. Vivid dreams.
You are luxuriating in dreamy Matouk bedding
with your very own monogram.
A soft blanket envelopes you-

from gramercy fine linens and furnishings.
oil painting by Stephen Gjertson, The Newborn
You fall back asleep like a newborn baby held in the safety of tender arms.
The smell of the blanket tells you you are at home.
oil painting by Stephen Gjertson
You are greeted with a smile and suddenly refreshed for a new day full of secret love.

What is your secret to begin the day feeling like a newborn?

first home

If you are like me, there is something nostalgic about first homes. This illustration was part of a give-away and the winner wanted an illustration for a family member of their first home. I am living in my first home and my parents are living in the first home they built.

Are you living in your first home? Does your first home need a little honor and dedication?
Why not celebrate your number one home!
Does your home need a gift?
What would you give your first home?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

global shopper

I love how the internet has made shopping the globe much easier. Constantly, I stand in awe of the connections that I have made around the globe with clients. The above artwork was created for "The Global Shopper." Imagine yourself atop of the world shopping and scouting for far away finds. It is rather fun to think of my very own artwork scattered about the globe and not all in my own backyard.

Nothing like sitting on top of the world and letting your imagination run wild.
Tell me your virtual global shopping wish list?
This is for all of you who have a passion for purveying and procuring!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

yoga flow

Yesterday was the first morning yoga class after a summer hiatus. The class is right in my neighborhood which makes it incredibly easy to attend and I adore our teacher. Yoga is;

a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.

As "Saufung" was adjusting me in a posture, I realized how much I missed her over the summer and her beads. She is always wearing some sort of lovely necklace which radiates joy and sparkle. Yesterday's class, the lesson was to let go in a posture of what you are holding onto - and to find the force of the "flow." It sort of made no sense until I got home and then had an "aha" moment.
I am not the only one who loves finding the creative force through the discipline of yoga, sparkle gems and groovy beads.
I remembered the artwork I had done for another yoga devotee who found the force of the flow of yoga which gave her creative business a focus.
A few years ago, this lovely lady asked me to illustrate her "story" to use on her site and on some mailing brochures. Yoga was the force that gave Margaret the inspiration to create "Bhati Beads."
Take a look at her site and you will love her beads, silk wraps, prayer boxes and laid back sexy stuff which have graced the cover(s) of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Bhati Bead silk wraps come in an array of yummy colors.
Look at her arm, adorned in Bhati Beads,as seen on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
This was the "final" artwork used on her about page.

Do you have an about page?
What would it say about you and your story? Is there a discipline that you practice that you honor?
Has the discipline of yoga or another forceful flow helped you to find your creative focus?
Love to hear all about your story!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

self discipline

How do you impose a little self discipline when you have certain expectations or goals to meet? I often think that good old fashioned "discipline" is the best friend for achieving positive results. You may find this post a little odd, but please bear with me, I do not mean to come on too harshly. I am not here to scold or reprimand you. This is about your own self-discipline.

Why is it that self discipline has become a thing of the past? Today, there seems to be a softness permeating our society, no rules, no bed-time, no curfew, and no punishment for bad behavior. I am speaking on behalf of the value of the virtue of self discipline and the fact that when one has imposed values and standards to live by, one can produce positive outcomes.

Do you value self discipline and structure or do you prefer imposed guidelines? How do you coach or guide yourself to be on your best behavior when you are trying to ascertain a goal or accomplish a project?
Here is a list of reminders, feel free to add yours to the list by leaving a comment, is there a self discipline you are working on perfecting?

Take your vitamins
Make that Dr. appt.
Feed the meter
Obey the speed limit
Drive phone free
No texting while driving, please
Read more books
Use your coupons before they expire
Be on time
Challenge yourself
Dedicate yourself to a worthy cause
Get to bed on time
Don't be late
Pay your late fees
Eat your vegetables
Wear your seat belt
Look both ways
Do not interrupt
Wash your hands
Make your bed

Leave a comment (The list is additional comments from "disicplined commenters")

Limit computer time
Say Please and Thank-you
Hold the door open

Monday, September 13, 2010

sweet on

Please don't tell my husband, but I've got my sweet on, sweet paul. Take a look at this fun fresh and fabulous fall digital mag.
"chasing the sweet things in life"
I fell immediately in love with his sweet tag line and his blog.
You can click on his blog and the mag. button.
Trust me, you will fall for sweet paul.

September shelves

September is a time to come back indoors and re-group.
For some of us, September symbolizes a fresh start.
Open shelves or cubbies remind me of school"lockers."
Remember the excitement of having your very own locker?
Open shelves can be quite practical, especially when it comes to reaching for things one uses on a daily basis. It certainly seems to work for Ina. I do love a combination of open and closed shelves.
Having had lunch here on a warm Summer day, I admired the counter and the open shelves too.
There is something practical and efficient about open shelves. See them on the wall?
Book cases are a perfect solution for a room divider. Line them up and add your own collection of books, baskets, and then get to work!
Tell me, anything exciting on your shelf this September?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Supper

When I was growing up in Kentucky, we would have Sunday Suppers at my Grandma's house. She would serve her home-made fried chicken and sides of mashed potatoes, green beans and salads. My Grandma never ate, she just cooked and enjoyed serving us.

I would love to have a local spot like this for Sunday Suppers. I think Grandma would approve.

Do you have Sunday Suppers with your family and friends?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday secrets

There is a secret path for each of us.
It takes tremendous patience and dedication to persevere
even when one is on an unknown path headed in the face of danger.
The heart wants what it wants.
Hold your head high
your heart steady on your way.
One can only hope that our hearts and our steps are in harmony.
It is good to move in tandem or in harmony with the right gear.
It is good for your heart too.
Take this day to find some time to restore order and grace.
You only need a few minutes.
Reach out to those who may be hurting and to those who are celebrating a birth.
Take time to create your own secret wish for this solemn yet heartfelt day.
You may write it down or draw it here.
Remember it is your secret.

Take a moment to pay tribute to our fallen heros and angels.
You can do this in secret.