Inspired by valentine love

Who doesn’t secretly love a valentines card? A little hit of color in the middle of winter.

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I have my hopes set on a big, homemade card covered in pink tissue paper and lots of glitter. I think those days may be over, but you never know.I know they can read – lets see if they actually read my blog.
Remember these?
artistically afflictedI love the  emerald-green feather ~pantones color of the year and a feather motif~right on trend for 2013, but made 10 years ago!
This is last years card from my teenager. Hastily put together with a sharpie on plain white paper and placed under my pillow the night of feb 14th. I laugh now, but this was delivered after a rather curt speech from me about lack of appreciation etc.
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Hmmpff- at least it was something.
Gone are the days when they would excitedly present me their  homemade cards.
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My homemade valentine cards(efutos) are going out to good homes this week. One is being mailed off to the aforementioned, my lovely daughter, Olivia.It’s her first year away at school and I know she will be secretly pleased to receive a pretty valentine in the mail.
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I admit it may also be a bit of payback as her mail tends to circulate the house before it actually gets to her. I am sure lots of eye rolling will accompany this card in its travels!
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The other is…sorry, undisclosed the moment, but only because I want it to be a nice surprise.

Pretty paper packages enclosed.

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I hope everyone has a lovely week. Sending you lots of valentine wishes xo

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Inspiration by airmail

It’s Friday and my weekly goal of spending some time art journaling has been accomplished. Two efutos complete!

I enjoyed searching through my old stash of paper and combining my favorites to make these lovely, mixed media handcrafted envelopes.

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I had even more fun organizing all of my paper.Lots of old treasures re-discovered.I am amazed at some of the obscure places I have  found wonderful, patterned paper.Start looking around~ it’s everywhere!
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The plan was to get rid of just a wee bit of paper ~to make room for more, but truth be told, I didn’t get rid of one single piece (although it is nicely color coded now). Instead,I have decided to recycle it into these pretty paper packs.
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I like to share and if you promise you will put it to good use and make one of your very own envelopes, then I would love to send one your way.
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One of these efutos is accounted for and being sent out to the lovely Bethania Lima.
Bethania is a fellow designer and friend. She is an active commentor, always positive and enthusiastic. She is a great contributor in our community and her design work is beautiful too!

The other efuto is homeless, but could be coming your way. All you have to do is say hello.

Are you interested in spreading some mail art love?

I am loving this concept and plan to spend some time this weekend exploring the online world for others who do the same.I am hoping to start a series Stamped with Love showcasing others who are also inspired by this.Email me at jules@bollah.com or leave a comment if this interests you. I would love to link to others and show your work on my blog!

I will have more info, and of course efutos, here next Friday.
If you havent already checked out the online directory The Little White Book of Surface Pattern Designers then you must. All created by efutos! Check out the new blog too. It’s going to be good with lots of pattern and illustration activity.

Have a great weekend.

Inspired by winging it!

For this weeks Illustration Friday ~ wings.
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This is a motif I have been meaning to explore more. The opportunities are endless here.There are so many facets of the wing to be explored ~ movement, texture, weight, the beautiful delicacy, all the lovely lines,color…

I was reminded of a post I made over a year ago about a beautiful book I stumbled upon at Anthropologie. The link is here, but I will show you some pictures to peak your interest.

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Designer Belan Mena inspired me by her practice of taking everything she discovered about the moth and breaking it down to its fullest.It’s a concept I love and mean to practice more. It’s also a concept that I need a bit more patience for!

Belan Mena, book, design, Anthropologie
I laugh at myself because I take these themes so literally. I hear wings I see butterfly wings. I am practicing my thinking outside the box but it can only come with more patience and with more work. So my goal for the next week- wings. If you want to see wings explored come back for a visit! Will keep you posted on my progress.

Back to my entry for this weeks Illustration Friday.

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Butterflies for children. I am building my portfolio and whats a portfolio without some bright, colorful butterflies and flowers.

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I love taking time to explore Illustration Fridays’ site at the end of the week. It’s a very talented community and I guarantee there will be some very creative ways of interpreting wings.

I will be back on Friday with this weeks efuto ~ also inspired by wings.Drop by and say hello and I just might send one your way.

Inspired by random acts of kindness

Look at the little ray of sunshine I found in my post box. Nestled in between boring old bills,a couple of flyers and a newspaper was this lovely.

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A beautiful, hand painted efuto from Eva Marion Seyffarth, a designer I met through the ABSPD course I recently took. To my surprise I also found a little something tucked inside- a collection of different types of paper. It’s no secret that I love paper so this was super thoughtful!I would have taken a pic, but I was pretty inspired to get at it.

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She even painted the back! DUH- I don’t know why I didn’t think of that on my original efutos!? Needless to say, but my whole envelop is now fully preened.
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I have been spending my journaling time painting, spraying, stitching and generally exploring new ideas on my growing collection of efutos. I am loving this process as an envelope is only so big and therefore easily completed in one session. I am thinking of it as a little art therapy for me these days.
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I continue to spend a lot of time at my computer designing patterns and prints so this is a welcome distraction and time to get my hands messy. It has also helped spark a few ideas for surface pattern design. I love the handcrafted approach to surface pattern and plan to dive deep into it as soon as my working knowledge of illustrator and photoshop increases.
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I have started to include a little pretty package of some of my favorite scraps to inspire the receiver to make their own efuto and send to some happy soul.Thank you for that inspiration Eva!
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I have to admit it makes me really happy to send these envelopes to random people who have warmed my heart in one way or another ~ My little token of appreciation.Thank you!

Leave me a comment and one may just find itself in your mailbox!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Inspired by… the lovely,lush and radiant,emerald

It’s lively. It’s radiant. It’s lush.

Introducing Emerald, Pantone Color of the Year for 2013.

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Today I am joining together with a group of designers from all over the wold in a bloghop celebrating Pantone Color of the Year~ Emerald.

I hope you are arriving here all the way from Leeds in the U.K~ from surface pattern designer Emma Frances Designs blog. Emma creates -she sews,sketches and loves her camera. I think we would be good friends if only she lived a little closer.

If you would like to hop back right to the very beginning then please feel free to jump to Gill Egglestons  Pattern Addicts site.

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I love the color green.I live in a mountain town surrounded by every shade of green.Green in my art work though? Well, that is something I always find challenging!

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I was hoping to combine it with hits of color like red and pink, but I just couldn’t seem to find the right match. I am really looking forward to see how everyone else used the color in combination.I am curious to see their perspective. Hoping to pick up a few tips along the way!

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A special thank you to Rosie Martinez-Dekker of Believe Creative Studio.She has done a wonderwoman job curating todays bloghop.

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Up next is Elixabete Ariztegieta of Eli Risty Design. Eli is a textile designer based in the lovely town of Donosti, in the Basque Country.

I have more Efutos  and a special post about the Little White Book of Designers coming up next. Stay tuned!

Inspired by ~ an attempt at papercutting

I am not sure where the urge to try this new craft came from. I have a feeling it was probably inspired by one of my favorite paper magazines  Paper Runway from Issuu.
Intrigued, I thought how hard can it possibly be?

Some questions are better left unanswered.

With a pencil, some sturdy cardstock and my trusty, very sharp, cutterbee I went to it.
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Some thoughts as I sat there, knife in hand…

One wrong move and its time to start again

I should have stuck with straight lines for my first attempt

This has the potential to be quite dangerous ~ do I even have any band aids in the house?

Why am I holding my breath?

Ok, I have to admit, many thoughts of being a surgeon went through my head. And of course with those thoughts came many more questioning the importance of my life endeavour as I sat cutting out pretty flowers.( This is where you come in and leave me a comment telling me how inspired you are by my creative offerings….)
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Lessons learned:

The heavier the cardstock, the better. Flimsy paper just doesn’t work here.

Cutting board should be on a slippery surface so rather than moving your hand around object, you move the entire board. This goes without saying  – straight lines are easier than curved.

I know there must be proper paper cutting tools out there, but I am scared to look. I have enough crafts on the go.
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Well you have probably guessed where this is going. That’s right~ onto my next efuto!  I just might  be sending it your way.

These envelopes have become my new journal pages. A place to try new techniques, play with color and experiment ~ small scale.The beauty of these is that I get to share them with others.  I am enjoying the enthusiastic response from the recipients.
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Last weeks efutos were sent out to Emily Cline, Debbie Smith and Dawn Clarkson

Thanks to everyone who left a comment! Feel free to leave another because you just never know when an efuto may be coming your way!

Enjoy the holidays!

Inspired by ~ a handcrafted envelope

Efuto ~ e=picture,  futo=envelope

How nice would it be to find a colorful, hand crafted, envelope tucked in amongst all the other plain, old white bills? Very nice! I know I would be quite pleased.

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Efuto’s are just that ~ colorful, artfully created, envelopes designed especially to send to one happy recipient.

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I was recently introduced to this concept by a fellow creative, Gill Eggleston of Pattern Addict. She has thoughtfully put together a group of participants each partnered up with another member somewhere in the big wide world. We are to create an envelope for this person and mail it off.My efuto is heading off to France and I am to receive one from Germany.Something lovely to look forward to!

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Her idea  gets even better as she is currently putting together a directory of surface pattern designers The Little White Book of Surface Pattern Designers with envelopes created by us.

Here is my entry.

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I have had a peek at the work in progress and it is looking great. I will be sure to share it with you when it is finished.Until then you can follow its progress here.

This is not the first time I have sat down to paint envelopes. A few years ago our family took a half year off life and travelled through Europe.To keep my creative juices flowing and to mark the occasion I thought it would be nice to have a stack of mail, from all the places we visited along the way, to greet me on my return home. The kids filled each envelope with notes and goodies from the area. I now keep them pinned up on my inspiration board ~ they make me smile.

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Would you like to receive a bit of color in your mailbox? If so, then please leave me a comment. I have a few extra lying around and if I draw your lucky name I will mail one your way. It will be a fun way to connect!

I have a feeling these wont be the last. I am finding them the perfect, go-to, for shorts bursts of creativity. My little fix!

And yes, those are little white snowflakes you see slowly falling down your screen. Its December and wordpress likes to add snowflakes. I tried once or twice to rub them off my screen until I remembered that ’tis the season.

Have a great weekend and please feel free to leave a comment saying hello!