inspire me... Lois van Baarle

Sunday, October 28, 2012

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I've been watching the work of Lois van Baarle evolve for over five years now. She's very open about how her style has progressed, which I think is amazing. It lets others learn from her, and see that her beginnings were just as humble as theirs. In fact, while I was researching her for this post, I found a live interview with the artist that I could participate in. Fate? I think so.
The piece I've chosen to show you is just a quick sketch she did using deviantart's online drawing program Muro, but it's my favorite. It's pretty good example of some of the reoccurring elements in her work. Soft feminine lines, exaggerated anatomy for a cartoony style, dark jewel tones, a whole lot of texture (which is amazing, considering her work is mostly digital), and a girl with some fish. She says she's influenced by a lot of art art nouveau, a fact which comes very apparent when you look at the hair in her pieces, and her shading is very much inspired by retro pinups.  Her work on a whole puts me in a blissfully calm state of mind, and also makes me want to float around with fishies for a while. Now you'll have to excuse me, because I've been inspired to draw. :]

View Lois's portfolio here:

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halloween party invite (print me!)

Friday, October 26, 2012

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I was thinkin about sushi, because I was going through some pictures to write a post, and then this happened. I love it when I start my morning out with a little bit of design, even if the outcome kinda hurts your eyes. 

(beautiful font used was Necropsy from

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ten things

Thursday, October 25, 2012

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Just so you know, those things that I always feature on the top of my ten things posts are each things that I absolutely love with all of my heart. I don't just put them all up there cause they look good together. But that hat? It's one of the most amazing things I've seen ever. Simply perfect, and gorgeous, and all those other nice words.

I want to own one of these skulls. They're so exquisite. Delicate but still menacing. Beautiful.

I love sugar skull inspired make-up. I made my face look like a skull for roller derby last Saturday, and we didn't have time to make it anything but a plain old skeleton color. It was still super creepy, though, so it was totally worth it.

We've been planning a Halloween Party, and there are a few things we won't be able to use, but I still think are totally amazing. This candy apple, for example. Plus, wouldn't these misfortune cookies make the cutest favors? And this is the creepy Halloween decoration I've ever seen.

Black Milk is releasing a new Star Wars line. I can't explain how excited I am. I've been thinking about buying some leggings from them, but I could never justify the price. But now... now I'm really eyeing those droid leggings. Or maybe the Fett dress. Or the Death Star... or all of them?

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around my world...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

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Saw a beautiful sunset, doodled a lot of pictures of me with my boyfriend, and went to go see Zombie and Manson, which was awesome. I also read Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, which I loved. His brand of humor is perfect for a light read.
That's pretty much it. :]

How was your week?

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ten things...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

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The peek in to Caitlin Wilson's home from Design*Sponge is so very perfect. Colorful and bright. I'm hoping one day my studio is that inspiring.

As soon as I saw these Demon Hoof Boots from the etsy shop Oonacat, I fell in love. Ever since I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, I've been infatuated by the idea of chimera. These boots take that fascination to another epic but gorgeous level.

I've been thinking about taking part in the Blog Love e-course from Red Velvet. I'm finally done saving for my continuing education class... so maybe now is the time. :]

The Sketchbook Project is something else I've been considering spending my money on. It's such a great concept. They send you a small sketchbook, you fill it according to a theme, and send it back. Then, the sketchbook gets put into a display that travels to different galleries. (So I guess you could say your work has been in galleries across the US.) Also, it's just a fun challenge. It would be the perfect birthday or Christmas present... cough cough. :P

I've been really fascinated with the art of tarot cards. These gorgeous cards were featured on Design*Sponge. So lovely.
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Apples and Stories...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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We did a really fun story hour recently, so I thought I would share it! 
It was all about apples!

For a basic story hour, we search out kids books on the theme, then read through them all until we find the best. Sometimes we even borrow them from other libraries, because we can be super picky. Also, it gets a little boring to read the same stories every year. :]

For Apples, Apples Everywhere! we put together a basket, which is something we do for almost all of our story hours. Basically, we pick out key elements on every page, and then put them all in a container. While we're reading the book, we call up the kids one by one to find something from the story in our basket. Not only does it make the child feel special, it also gives them something tangible to see from the story, making it easier to relate to.

The Max & Mo part of the story hour was my favorite, just because the story had a built in craft. In the story the two main characters ended up making apple stamp prints. With some paint, apples, and paper, we were easily able to re-create this project. The children made wonderful works of art. 

During down time we let them look through the fruit book, because it has these see-through pages that let you see the insides of the fruit. They loved looking at the apple seeds. To add even more of a scientific touch, we did an experiment to see if the apples floated. When they found out they did, they wanted to experiment with all sorts of things. (Toy cars, by the way, do not float.)

For snack we had applesauce, apple cider, apple butter, and apple pastries. All very yummy. :]

And we closed the day with a few songs. 
Here's one you can use at home. Enjoy!

(to the tune of I'm a little teapot)
I'm a little apple
short and round.
I make a munchy
crunchy sound.
If you bite into me
you will see,
I'm as delicious
as can be!
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inspire me... Sylvia Ji

Sunday, October 14, 2012

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I've seen this artist's work around the internet, but I finally found a piece with a name attached.
Sylvia Ji has a massive portfolio, and all of her works are absolutely gorgeous. My favorites are the pieces are the ones with snakes in them... or the ones with the sugar skull makeup... or all of them, because they are fabulous. I will warn you, though, a lot of them are not safe for work so take care when you go to look through her portfolio.

Her detail work is stunning, and she uses a very art nuevo influenced approach to hair. Most of her works are interesting portraits with bold, bright backgrounds. She does all of her work with acrylics on wood panels, which is a surface I've been meaning to try out. 

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driving in the fall is the best

Friday, October 12, 2012

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This week has been absolutely crazy. I've driven all over the state, at least an hour away, every day. I've had some fun adventures, got tons of swag, and won a prize ($50 for iTunes! I immediately downloaded the new In This Moment album), so I really can't complain. But now you know why I haven't been around!

PS... How cute is Gwen Stephani on that cover? She looks my age, I swear.

PPS... I got to meet the amazingly talented Anna Dewdney, the author of the "Llama Llama" series. If you're involved with kids books in any way, you'll know what I'm talking about. So inspiring. She made me want to work with oils again.
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ten things...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

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No pretty graphic today for ten things, because none of my favorite things this week really had pictures that would work. :)

I love absolutely everything about this look. The hair! And that t-shirt! Drool.

Lina Tesch's lookbook is so inspirational. I love her sense of style.

This tutorial for adding custom foil to your projects is amazing. Now I want to make everything shiny.

Love these tights from Emerging Thoughts.

This space from Little Chief Honeybee is so wonderful. Creative arrangement for a small space, and so cozy, too!

I've watched this music video so many times. There's something about geeky covers of pop songs that I just can't get enough of.

This vertical planter wall art from Tiffany's Living Art is fantastic. I'd probably kill it, though...

This door. It's so beautiful, it's almost magical.

I would love to have this book about Furoshiki from the Link Collective on etsy. According to the description on the page, "Furoshiki (風呂敷, fu-rosh-ki) is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth." Basically, they use giant scarfs to do all sorts of crazy, fun, awesome things. Oh, and it's also super practical. I've been keeping a kinda big scarf in my purse in case I ever need to use it... haven't had the need yet, but you never know...

These pieces by Danica Jean. Lovely!

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let's play pretend...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

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I start planning my Halloween costume in August. It might seem a tad bit obsessive, but Halloween is by far my favorite holiday (Even beats out my birthday! Unless everyone started wearing costumes to celebrate that, too...)
So, every year, I gaze at the costumes, hoping I will find that PERFECT one. I never do though. I usually end up going dressed like a zombie... or a pirate... or a zombie pirate. Yeah, it's a problem.
No more! This year I am determined to find a outfit cute and flattering, and unique but recognizable. Here are a few of my favorite so far:

Which is your favorite?
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