Friday, October 31, 2008

Artful Sentiments New Etsy Shop!

One of my goals for October was to open a new etsy shop, where I can list limited editions, seasonal, new products, and of course some old favorites. Well, I got it done, with a few hours left to spare in October!

Please stop by and visit, and *heart* me if you'd like!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My love list, part 2

Melissa at Operation Nice has given another love list assignment this week, so I wanted to share mine with all of you. In this assignment, Mel asked us to share what we love about the people in our lives.

I love spending time with my brother John and sister-in-law Dawn, sharing a fabulous meal, antiquing, or just hanging out in their living room watching a movie. They really know me which is very comforting. I love that John is as sentimental as I am about family and the things that have shaped our lives.

I love my {almost} daily chats with my best friend Michelle. Over the past couple years we've started using our commuting time well - we talk on our cells during the drive and catch up with what's going on in our lives, listen when things aren't quite perfect, and support each other in every way. She is the sister I never had.

I love my cousins, aunts and uncles - we are the closest extended family I know of, even though we don't see each other as often as we might like. We adore getting together for any occasion at all, but especially for holidays, where we are a big, loud crazy crew filled with love. I look forward to all the days we spend together (and am currently looking forward to our fabulous Thanksgiving day).

I love my girlfriends, who are there for me in my life and my business. I know I can always count on Grace, Heidi, Elaine, Jen and Brenda to be there for me when I need them and to forgive me for being to busy with work and life to get together. I love that when I need a break from it all, we can go out for coffee, or meet for dinner or drinks and just relax and enjoy.

I love the time spent with my former coworkers from my first job after college. Our annual charity golf tournament is a testament to our longstanding friendships. The bonds we made when we were all starting our careers together, traveling, and supporting each other through changes in our lives is strong.

I love the old friends who've found me through the internet, and have gotten back in touch. Just last week, an old college friend Rick found me on linkedin, and I'm loving getting reacquainted after more years than I care to admit... and to other old friends, if you're out there reading this and haven't dropped my a line to say hello, I'd love it if you did!

I love the online friends I've made over the past couple of years through Artful Sentiments. The support and sharing is amazing to me. I love that we openly share successes and challenges, so that we may all learn from each other.

I love my customers, readers and supporters. Your comments here in the blog, on flickr, in email, and when we see each other mean so much to me. I love when you love what I'm doing, and I love when you are honest with me about what you'd like to see me change or add. Thank you.

And I love that Melissa is challenging me, and all her readers, to remember what it means to be nice. It enriches my day and my life to think positively and act kindly.

(You can see my first love list here.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sneak Peak...

I've been busy working on my 2009 collection, and as I expected, I just can't keep it all secret until 2009! The new collection leverages some of my favorite card patterns from last year and adds some lovely new ones. I've been carving and printing like crazy, and am thrilled to give you a little peak at the results. There will also be new products featuring these designs, including the tins (or pencil cups) pictured here, mini notebooks, and some new larger magnets. I'm also putting together some coordinating desk sets, which will include all of the above.
I've decided to open an etsy shop to try out some of the new goodies in limited quantities, and will also offer some of my seasonal items and customer favorites as well... stay tuned for the shop opening later this week!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Life's a beach.... any time of the year.

The beach is a big part of my life and inspiration, not only in the summer, but throughout the year. As a New England native, and a beach-lover since I was 2 weeks old, I am incredibly inspired by the joys of the coast.

Many of my customers, both wholesale and retail, are along the New England coastline, on lovely Cape Cod, the craggy coast of Maine, the beaches of Rhode Island and Connecticut, and of course, the tiny New Hampshire coastline. I've always had a collection inspired by coastal living , and a couple of years ago expanded it to include coastal holidays, combining New England tradition and a bit of whimsy.

This year, one of my retailers, P-Town Pulp in Provincetown (at the very tip of the Cape), asked if I could message the inside of the normally blank coastal holiday was a bit of a challenge, but wonderful fun! I struggled a bit, not wanting to be too corny, but definitely needing something beyond a generic greeting.... so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites!
Now... I've got tons more of those lobsters with holly to print, so I'd better get back to work.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Soup's On!

I thoroughly enjoy this time of year - sweater weather and fall foods. As much as I love the the first ripe tomato of the summer season, I am always ready for the cooler weather to arrive so I can make my first pot of soup! This weekend I'm cooking up the family favorite, my mom's beef and barley soup. (I know cousin Darcy will be drooling thinking about this...)

My mom owned a little restaurant for a few years when I was a teenager. It was called Soupcon (with a little curly thing under the c, pronounced "Soup's On") and was located in an old grist mill which had been converted to shops, just down the street from our house. The restaurant was tiny (it sat only 22), and had a wonderful view of the river. It was only open for lunch and tea. Mom served two choices for lunch, soup and salad or a casserole and salad, with different choices every day. There was delicious homemade bread, simple desserts and yummy cookies. That's all anyone could need.

So many of the foods I love today are from mom's time at the restaurant, favorite of all is the beef and barley soup. This soup was a staple in our house, and a part of our holiday traditions as well. A big pot simmered on the stove on Christmas Eve, to warm all of our family and friends as they came in from the cold for our holiday celebration. Lots of memories surround this soup.

Of course, mom's recipes are not very scientific... most are written on tattered old index cards (if they are written at all) and were created to serve 50 people, so there's a lot of instinct that goes into getting them just right. Thankfully, I have many of them down (and so does my brother - the most fabulous cook!), so I can still enjoy mom's recipes and the memories that go with them. So now it's back to my beef and barley soup. As always, I'll make enough so I can eat it for a few days, then freeze the leftovers in containers for the next time I have this craving.


Our Creative Life

As a woman-owned business, I love to support others in whatever way I can - by purchasing their products and services, participating in supportive communities, sharing ideas and more. Over at the blog Our Creative Life Darlene has provided a way for women entrepreneurs to come together to support each other. Visit her blog to see a great list of women owned businesses - some you may already know, and some wonderful new ones to explore!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Autumn Inspirations

I've been enjoying the last few beautiful autumn days - the crisp air, changing leaves, lovely tart apples, and delightfully imperfect pumpkins. It's a wonderful time of year in New England, as so many leaf-peepers will tell you!

As inspired as I am by this season, I'm always designing about 6 months ahead, so here I am loving autumn and sketching, carving and printing new designs for spring and summer! I've never found it an easy task to design this far out, but this year I seem to have found so many inspirations that are translating to a sweet new collection for next year. I'm not ready to unveil the goodies just yet, but you may just see a few before the holidays, since I'm really not very good at keeping secrets.

For now, though, I think I'll enjoy a little more of this gorgeous fall day, and maybe sketch a little more spring and summer from my patio. (Oh, and just so winter isn't neglected in my plan for the day, I'll be printing some holiday cards as well.)
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