Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nina's Sketch challenge

I actually attempted two challenges last night, though I'm not sure how well I did with this one. Nina posted a sketch to follow here.

The card actually opens at the half-way mark, so the birds are all on the top flap, and the papers below are pasted to the "inside".

Pink & Green Island Paperie Challenge

After suffering through a miserable post-christmas flu, I finally felt up to a challenge last night - but only the type involving ink and paper, no heavy lifting.

To celebrate their new online opening, the Maui-based scrapbook store Island Paperie is hosting a challenge to create any paper-based project drawing inspiration from this pink and green hibiscus paper from their signature line.

I grew up in Hawaii, so of course I had to make an attempt (plus who doesn't want to win $25 in paper supplies?). I don't currently own any Island Paperie products, so I used my own mix of papers gussied up with cuttlebug embossments.

Stamps used: Leaves from the DoodleFactory Birds N Fish set
Moki, the hula-dancing monkey from the DoodleFactory Tropics set.

If you'd like to participate, find all the rules [HERE]

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

Christmas is over, but I didn't get to post my gifts (to others) before the Big Day. Our friend Alan came over last week and willingly agreed to stamp and color an army of Sneeqs, which eventually became my gift tags.

Mike and I celebrated Christmas Eve and Day with his family, where there is always a guaranteed excess of food, laughter and joy. I don't have to go back to work until January 5th, so I'm using my free time wisely by sleeping in, attending and having more friend&family gatherings, and in a few days we'll be heading up north to celebrate New Year's in Yosemite. Hope your holidays were merry and bright!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Seeing Double...or Quadruple

Here are the fates states of the rest of those Santas (and Frostys)

First up is a card I made for the Starving ArtistStamps Clear Card Challenge. All of these cards have been bundled into envelopes and have traveled through my office building, or are en route to various destinations around the country.

Hah, I didn't realize until now that I pretty much did the exact same positioning and layout in every single card. So much for individuality! I guess its easier to stick to a formula when "mass" producing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas is in 4 Days!?!

Just dropping by for a quick post before I head back to the assembly-line. I finally finished drawing the next DoodleFactory set yesterday which means I had time to settle into some Christmas card making.

Ever since I saw Leigh O'Brien's non-traditional santa card, I knew I had to make a differently-colored santa of my own.

Mike will kill me when he realizes I posted this photo of him. You can't even see his face, but he's worried he might get kicked out of the fine-arts world if he's caught coloring cartoons, or something. But who can resist this fun, plus he's a much better shader than I am, anyway. That mess on the table is all me, though. Thanks to Tracey, I now have a million new craft supplies and gadgets which all seem to explode all over the place when I'm working. Are you people very tidy when you're making stuff, because I need some help in that area. I should probably start by working at an actual desk instead of the coffee table, but I can't help myself.

Anyway, here's my first card from the batch. I have several more to go, so I better get back to work. Santa of course is from the Sweet Shoppe set. Dee sent me the ribbon, and overall, I'd say my influence is heavily drawn from my card-making hero, Nina.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Giving Season

I'm not one of those people who ever finishes their Christmas shopping early. Every year I vow to get better, but it only seems to get worse. I really enjoy blogs that offer gift guides because it means someone else has done the homework and I get to window shop in one convenient place. So far I've done more browsing than buying.

With all the economic hardships, I think a lot of people are scaling back and taking stock of what this season is supposed to mean. There's a movement to Redefine Christmas and push the idea of charitable giving.

My friend Max teaches 5th Grade students in the LA School District. Max is growing a mustache for 30 days in an effort to win donor support for several of his colleage's classroom projects. Donorschoose.org is actually a nifty organization. The site allows teachers to propose projects that YOU and others can bring to fruition with tax-deductable donations. I put some money into a couple of projects on Max's page, then quickly found myself searching around for more. What they say about giving feeling good is true! Plus, if you give $100 or whatever amount is needed to complete the funding on a project, you'll get thank you letters and photos from the classroom you helped!

Last year the Buy Handmade movement was all the rage (in the blogosphere anyway). Etsy.com seems to have come a long way since its inception. I love that site, but I often get lost wading through the choices. The one shop I never have to question belongs to Lorigami, one of my oldest internet friends. I've bought several pieces from her throughout the years and she continues to create the most lovely and magical things. Her eco-friendly, handmade items remind me of anthropologie, but at a fraction of the price.

I'll end this post with a more commercial item because I received a coupon in the mail and while I'm not purchasing any this year, some of you might find it useful. I bought my friend a gift set from Full Bloom Tea several years ago and she absolutely loved the way the flowering teas unfurled their magic in the glass teapot. The items came in attractive brown and green boxes and when I tried some myself a few years later, it wasn't only delightful to watch, but the tea tasted quite nice as well. If you'd like to get free priority shipping on flowering tea, just use this code in your check out (until Dec 6): free08. It's really a great gift for anyone who enjoys science experiments or a nice cup of tea.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Apartment Update

I'd promised I would share pics of the loft, and today I finally got around to taking some. It's been 3 months since we moved in, and it looks a bit different now that we have all of our stuff in place.

For one thing, I wallpapered the small bathroom. I like how it looks, but never again! I'm also not looking forward to taking it down, but hopefully I won't have to do that for a long time.

(Those are Nina's DoodleFactory cards framed in the "before" pic. They're still going back on the wall, but are sitting on my shelf for now.)

More Then & Now:

(The large pic in the background is a piece of art Mike is currently working on made entirely of cardboard boxes and tape).
More Pics This Way

Monday, November 24, 2008

Three Things

Today I have three completely unrelated things to share.

1. The [random] winner of my very first blog candy has been chosen and Rose Ann will be the recipient of the DoodleFactory Poster (now updated to include all the animals I forgot). Please send me a mailing address where you can accept a poster tube.

2. I had some momentum after I redesigned my blog and offered to make new banners for Tracey's Starving Artistamps blogs. Here's a peek, but you can also go directly to the company blog or gallery.


3. I love this animated video I found linked on one of my favorite illustrations blogs (www.drawn.ca) today. The song is right up my musical alley too:

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Today I've done a little redecorating. Not in my apartment, but in my blog. I finally did some customization, and while HTML is not my preferred language, I'm pretty happy with the results.

If you read my blog through a feed, here's a peek at the new banner. If you come directly to the page, well then this is redundant :)

From Blogger Pictures

*Special thanks to Eva who's lovely card inspired me to finally make this change today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gio's Sweet Pad

Hey lookit, I made my first step-card (or is it a stair-card? I don't know!)

I wanted to use my newly mounted stamps from the Sweet Shoppe set, but I was having issues making things "fit". In a EUREEKA moment, I remembered the "step-cards" I'd seen circulating the stamping web recently. I googled one of the tutorials but quickly threw all direction out the window. I'm learning I'm one of those "cut-first, measure later" types, but luckily this stair-thing is pretty simple and my measuring indiscretions were all easy enough to cover over.

In its flattened state, this card is a bit crowded, but the accordian steps give Gio lots of breathing room and space to romp around. I'm thinking of running a ribbon through the steps on either edge to help pull the card together (literally), but I need to upgrade my ribbon/thread supply and there's probably no room anyway.

Speaking of supplies - Tracey helped me acquire a bunch of new copic pens (whoo!) and even sent me some special cardstock and inks so I wouldn't have that runny problem I had a few entries back. Worked like a charm - now all I need is a brain that can properly grasp shading and highlights.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My First Blog Candy

Thanks so much for the positive response to my little DoodleFactory "poster" the other day. Several of you mentioned selling this as a print and I love the idea of people being able to color in the characters as they collect them. I'm not going to sell these quite yet, but I would like to offer an 11"x17" print to at least one lucky winner to be chosen at random next Monday, November 17.

Before I tell you the rules of how to enter, I have to confess that my poster is actually quite inaccurate because I FORGOT several of the characters. I'm going to rework the final to include everyone, but in the meantime, I'll turn my mistake into a way to win.


Leave a Comment in this entry with the name of one of the DoodleFactory characters missing from the original poster. [Only named characters, none of the accessories - if you need some help, you can always check out all the sets at StarvingArtistamps.com]


Leave a comment in this entry with a link to your favorite card you've made using a DoodleFactory character.

Also, (not required), if you know of any DoodleFactory fans, send them this way!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Every DoodleFactory Character Ever Drawn (So Far)

Just a silly little thing I put together last night. The original animals and creatures are 3 years old now, but the majority of these guys were born just this year!

From tales from the doodlefactory

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Rusty Robot & A Reindeer

I haven't made a card since my first attempts this summer, but Tracey asked me to participate in the CPS Sketch that was sponsored by Starving Artistamps last week and I did (but in my general last-minute fashion).

The new Christmas set is rolling out, but I thought I'd give a little love to the original " DoodleFactory Winter" set. Since it's still Fall and it never snows in L.A., I made the snowflakes rusty to go along with Robot Blip from the Urban Set. I hand-wrote the "Hello Dear", which my boyfriend later informed me I should have spelled "Deer" instead. oops!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Santa's Sweet Shoppe

First of all, thank all of you lovelies who gave me tips on inks, papers and the science of coloring! I really value your help and will try your advice this weekend.

By now you've all seen the newest Doodle Factory release on the starvingartistamp blog, right? If not, get yourself over to [THIS POST] for a chance to win the set FOR FREE!

I have to admit I couldn't have pulled this set off without my boyfriend's help. When we were on the plane to Hawaii, I immersed myself in This Book and gave him the assignment to draw me some sleigh and gingerbread house prototypes. I remember being really stressed out in September and October and I have to admit it was nice having him as a cheat-sheet for a few of the drawings. I can draw a kooky creature or silly animal with my eyes closed, but I often blank at common objects.

Anyway, Happy Early Christmas! I hope you like the new set!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Coloring Outside of the lines

Last night I attempted to stamp while simultaneously watching a movie, which isn't that huge of a feat, unless of course the movie is subtitled. I thought I'd get my feet wet by coloring in a bunch of characters before placing them on any cards. Here they are hanging out in a stock photo catalog until I can figure out what to do with them.

I have a new respect for the coloring masters out there. Shading is still my weak point, but I also seem to have a problem with the ink running. I used an archival black ink to stamp, prisma color markers and thick watercolor paper - is there a trick to keep the outline from running into your colors?

Monday, October 20, 2008


I JUST sent Tracey my drawings for the next set (finally!) but I think she's still traveling back from her latest show, which means I'll have to post SOMETHING ELSE to keep myself from giving you all an illegal sneak peek before it's official.

So, in the interest of distraction, here are a few photos from my vacation. We started on the Big Island of Hawaii (where I grew up and lived for 18 years), then to Oahu for where I also spent several years of my life.

We did an easy 3 mile hike in the Volcanoes National Park (one of my favorite places in the world). The trek started out easy and sunny enough, but within minutes we were walking through sheets of rain. Eventually it cleared and the view from the top of the lava cone we climbed was gorgeous.

We went from rainforests and lava fields to beaches and turtles.

There were about 150 more photos, but I won't bore you with the rest of them. Stay tuned for a real DF update soon, very soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sorry for the lengthy disappearance. September was a super-busy month for me, especially since I was getting ready for two weeks in Hawaii at the beginning of October. Ironic that preparing for my vacation was such a source of stress, and now that I'm back home and slowly catching up, I can finally relax (a little).

The visit to Hawaii was great though. I took my boyfriend to two islands to visit my friends and family and attend a close friend's wedding. Everytime I go back (about once a year) I see so many changes to my little hometown. Take, for example that green guy at the top of the page. When I was growing up, all the geckos in Hawaii were light brown critters that have now been chased away or eaten up by these meaner, stealthier greenies. I never liked the brown geckos (or any creepy crawlies for that matter), but I'm still saddened by their disappearance. It's this strange reminder that nothing ever stays the same and life is a constant revolution of adaptation and change.

Philosophical thoughts aside, I have so much catching up to do. I want to post some photos of my trip, but I'm behind on so many other things at work, not to mention being extremely late on the next Doodle Factory set!!! I'll probably be a little quiet for the next few days as I try to pick away at the things I let fall behind.

In the meantime, here's something I meant to post ages ago. Before leaving for my trip, I asked Tracey to send me some of the stamps from the Doodle Factory Fairy Tale set in mounted form so I could give them to my friend's young daughter. I know the Pro-Stampers out there prefer to mount their own, but it was really neat for me to see these on blocks since I'd only ever seen my sets in rubber sheet form.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Isn't this baby bedding from IKEA so awesome? I was really disappointed it didn't come in full duvet-size because I totally would have bought it for my bed this weekend. Actually I had something very similar floating around my head for a long time now. Ever since Mike and I did this little doodle, I've envisioned a piece of fabric (namely a dress) with a stark white background and bold black pattern that pooled at the bottom. From afar, it would just look like a graphic element, but up close it would be a cluster of doodles. I should probably sketch out what I mean, but no time!

On a related note, a friend of mine encouraged me to check out http://spoonflower.com for customized textiles. Some day I'll get it all together...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Mail

Ahkkkk! I am now the proud owner of my very own Nina Cards! Doktor Nina (as she's known in Denmark) caught my eye months ago in the StarvingArtistamps Gallery, and since then I've been an avid follower of her blog.

At one point, I begged her to send me some of her work (No, I ain't too proud to beg). I'm so excited to own these amazing pieces of art - I'm thinking of framing them to use as decoration in our spare bathroom. She is a true artist (she even has her own line of stamps sold at October Stamps). Her style has even inspired the very first challenge at the StarvingArtiststamps blog! Check it out Here - you could win an entire sheet of stamps from the shop.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My First "Interview" & 20% Incentive

I've mentioned before that the first sets were released in 2005, but it didn't occur to me to google the DoodleFactory until late last year. I was tickled to find a few cards made by Heidi Kingery (a.k.a sweetheidijo) and immediately requested her permission to post some of her cards to my blog. Since then, Heidi has continued to make some of my favorite cards and now she's even written a DoodleFactory critique on www.craftcritique.com.

If you read her post [HERE], you can also score a discount code for 20% off DoodleFactory stamps from www.starvingartistamps.com!

Created by Heidi Kingery featuring "Fern" from the Great Outdoors set.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Mike's Mice

Sometimes I like to ask my boyfriend to draw with me when I'm working on a new set. Cartoon doodles aren't really his "style" (he's more of a fine artist) but his drawings always make me smile. He drew these guys while I was making the Halloween set.

And just for fun, check out these silly sketches he made a while back. I told him to draw a series called "Troubled Dreams", inspired by my cat Trouble. Back then Trouble was a skinny whip of a cat who was dwarfed by my alpha-cat Toby. Three years later, just about all of Troubles Dreams have come true!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Motivation, Balance and the Daily Grind

I've already started on the drawings for the next release, but my lips are sealed until they're ready to launch.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a little about what I do outside of the DoodleFactory drawings. I work as a Graphics Manager for a music company in my day job. A lot of my work is non-creative (uploading files to our websites, answering emails about how something prints, shipping digital bundles across the globe), but I also do my fair share of photo retouching and designing posters and singles, which I consider the "fun" part of my job.

Recently I received a performance award and a promotion at work, which makes me think I'm taking all the right steps in climbing that corporate ladder. I'm extremely fortunate to work for a boss who appreciates what I have to offer and never misses an opportunity to make me feel valued in the department. It's not too far off from the feeling I get when I see how well people respond to the DoodleFactory images. Hearing all the positive comments is such great motivation and keeps me striving to do a good job.

I'm curious to know what you all do, whether it's working in an office or running your own household. Do you feel like you have balance in your life? Do you like your job, and how is your personal/creative time impacted by your daily duties and chores?

I often feel drained by the daily grind and my constant quest is to find that elusive "balance" and the energy to do more than I already am.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Happy Halloweenie!

Yay, it's New Release Day at starvingartistamps.com! I love NRD's because it means that my work is done and it's only a matter of time before I'll start to see the new images implemented in the Design Team and customer blogs! That part of it is just like Christmas, except in this case it's Halloween!

I have to admit I pushed the deadline of this set to the limit. I literally delivered the goods to Tracey at the 11th Hour, which means that I haven't missed a deadline yet, but I fear my Procrastination Disease is getting worse as I age.

One of the last things I did on this set was name the characters. I actually have a cat named "Trouble" who was inappropriately named "Vincenzo" when we adopted him 4 years ago. I love that all the DF characters have names because it seems to lend to the storytelling the designers and customers often associate with their scenes.

The first DF sets I ever created were the "Animals" & "Creatures" and back then I enlisted the help of my (other blog) readers to help me name them all. It was a fun collaborative effort, and while I can no longer preview the characters before they release, I'm open to naming a future character after your suggestions.

So, if there's a character name you're dying to have immortalized in rubber, leave a comment I may end up using your suggestion in a future set!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Popping In

We moved into our new apartment last weekend. You wouldn't believe how much work it is to move just 2 blocks!

I haven't set up the internet at my new place yet, nor have I unpacked any of my art supplies. We have so much left to do before our place is ready for the world, or at least outside visitors, but each night we chip away at the lengthy list of Things To Do.

Last night I tried to make dinner while my boyfriend put our wardrobes together. He succeeded in his task. I, on the other hand, managed to make the most incredibly inedible meal ever. It was supposed to be a simple meal of tuna steaks seared with a white wine sauce, but I pretty much failed on all levels. I am sentenced to study a bunch of recipe books and forbidden from improvising EVER.

Oh well, this is the Doodle Factory, not the Cooking Factory. I have nothing new to share, but have been reading through my favorite stamping blogs. Donna made this adorable card featuring Sneeq on the bicycle from The Great Outdoors set. I remembered that early in the drawing phase, I'd originally made the deer to fit on the bicycle, but the upright deer ended up being too weird even for The Doodle Factory. I'm glad Fern ended up looking the way she did in the final set because Nina made the most beautiful card with her, ever.

While looking for the early "Fern" prototype, I also found my initial drawings of Sneeq. Almost all of the characters had a bunch of make-overs before I settled on the final one. I don't know if this is normal or if I have some sort of OCD, but I like having a record of the evolution. I think my stamps have the signature of thick lines and googly eyes, but in a way I'm still trying to find "my style" with each set.

Monday, August 04, 2008

My Little Pony

My boyfriend and I have been doing a lot of furniture browsing lately as we get ready to move into our new apartment (10 more days!). These little spice holder ponies were at a warehouse that specialized in Indonesian imports. We didn't buy any, but the fat ponies are right up Doodle Factory's alley. Am I now referring to myself in the 3rd person? I don't know! I just wanted to post this picture.

And since I'm sharing, here's a table we're considering. We want an oversized wooden table since we have so much space to fill. This one's 7ft long! It's not perfect, but it's under $400 which is the best deal we've found so far.

Finally, a look back at the finished Zot mug I made in my ceramics class. This is a terrible, noisy photo, but I'm too lazy to retake it.