Sunday, January 25, 2015

be happy (free printable) & book review for Monica Sheehan

I have a confession. I don't like January. It's the pits. I have tried and tried but it's cold, dark and not cool. Not cool my friend. 

I am usually a happy person who cracks myself up watching America's Funniest Home videos (best show ever) but some days (like in January) I have to work at it a little. 

It is during these cold, dark days that I think of that little picture "be happy" by Monica Sheehan that I found 3 years ago. 

I fell in love with it and found myself thinking about my own "be happy."  I used a couple of her ideas, (exercise, help others, limit tv), and then created a couple of my own. This is still one of my favorite pictures I've drawn. I updated my poster for you using a better editing program. 

To download click on the following for jpeg or pdf format. 

Just last week I thought I about the original artist Monica Sheehan. 

I looked her up and found some awesome things about her. I don't know if I gave Monica enough credit in my original post and wanted to give her the wonderful credit she deserves. 

Monica Sheehan is a freelance artist. She has illustrated 12 books. She has a monthly feature for Real Simple magazine, and her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, and Woman's Day. Here is a list of her books on amazon

I had to dig around a little but I found this post explaining her poster "be happy"
be happy began as one of the most popular cartoons from Monica Sheehan’s monthly feature on the back page of Real Simple. For the past 3 years she has been receiving letters from readers across the country expressing their gratitude, asking for posters, and wondering whether the cartoon appeared in any other form that they could display or give to friends. More than once Monica has spotted a stolen copy of the cartoon on a buddy’s fridge.
Hence this book.

I found her book "be happy" on amazon and quickly bought it!! It's a tiny book, just a little bigger than 4" x 5".  Each page with a simple phrase and drawing. So adorable. Something to keep in your purse, in a bathroom, or give to a friend. I plan on giving it to my 9 year old daughter for Valentine's Day. She loves little books and will love the drawings. 

These are just a few of the pages

 I love how creative she is.

After looking at all her books online . . . I bought 2 more!!

Be Happy This one has bigger illustrations, feels more for children. I'm excited to give this to my 7 year old son who is starting to read. 

Here are a few of the pages

I loved the full color pictures and sweet words. This one is for my little 2 year girl. 

I hope I did justice in sharing Monica Sheehan's awesome skills and beautiful books. Hopefully if you pass her books at the book store or library you take a moment to look at her pictures and feel a little more  . . . happy.

Thank you Monica for your wonderful inspiration. I plan to steal the books back from my children and proudly display and read them often.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Custom family stick figure pictures

I love this part of the year . . . when I can finally share many of the pictures/portraits I drew during my busy Christmas season. 

You can look at my first Christmas pictures I drew in 2011 and see I have come quite a ways. I hope it keeps getting better each year. 

I thought this time I would share the comments my customers wrote when I sent them their picture. This is really why I draw pictures. I love how excited they get, and the way they express it over e-mail (usually lots of exclamations points!!!). I walk around my kitchen with a fat head for about 15 minutes and then go back to cleaning up spilled cheerios off the floor. Oh ya! The good life.

This family asked me to draw their Christmas card. They couldn't all get together for a picture so this was the next best thing!
"You are so incredibly talented! Love, love, love!! I am over the moon with our family Christmas Card you created!! I had high expectations and you far surpassed them!!" - Jones family

I loved drawing each of this cute family member's interests. The fish is probably my favorite.
"I love our picture! You made us all look fabulous! . . . My little boy was so proud that he was riding his tractor with his boots on. This is such a treasure for me." - Carson family

This cute family has twin boys, one with hair, and one without. Don't forget their other two adorable boys. 
"It's perfect!!! I love it, thanks!!" - Rebecca A.

I especially love to draw for family. My husband's brother's Boise-State-football-loving family 
"We LOVE the picture!" - Jamie McDonald

Big family pictures are a lot more work because I usually have to work from several family pictures, trying to figure out which kids belong to who, make sure heights are right and then somehow squish them all in there. BUT they are often the most rewarding. There are usually always little inside jokes thrown in, such as the Alabama shirts, the dragon fly, the Croatian flag, and the 80's glasses. I love how big families can tease and love each other. 
"Your pictures are soooo adorable! I was given my grandparents for Secret Santa this year and I could think of was a family photo . . . but one where I didn't need to get everyone in one place and this is perfect :)" - Erling family

I loved all the children in this picture, especially the family on the right, 6 children, including twins. So adorable!
"I keep squealing over this, I love it so much!!" - Sara Stout

Have I said how much I love drawing pregnant ladies? 
"Oh, I loved the picture you drew of our family, it's actually framed and sitting on the mantle." - Williams family

I tried something a little different with these next two. I drew backgrounds. I like how they turned out. 

I drew this picture for my best friend's grandparents. I have met these sweet people several times and they are just wonderful. 
"I'm in love with this" - Megan B. 

Nanci ordered this picture as a gift for her sister Leslie who just got married. They live the good life in Maui with their awesome animals, and Hutch is a bass guitar player.
"I love this so much!!!!! They love love love it!!!!!!" Soooo happy." - Nanci
She also wrote a nice etsy review. "I love love love the portrait that Spring drew for my sister and her new hubby. She was communicative throughout the process and the entire process was really really quick. I now want Spring to draw one for myself of my family (of all animals). This really is such a nice gift because, honestly, who really needs another scarf :). P.S. My sister and hubby absolutely loved it. Thanks again Spring!!"

Another beach scene, Erica loves to cook and John rides a Harley motorcycle and they both love the beach and their sweet dog Daisy. I'm particularly fond of the black leather jacket. 
"We love the picture of our family it was an easier and quicker process than I anticipated. Not only do we have this picture framed on the wall, we plan to use it for our Christmas cards in the future. Thanks a bunch!" - The Moody Family

I love drawing, but even more, I love getting to know new people, drawing their beautiful families, and making wonderful friends in the process. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 New Year Goals FREE printable

I saw this awesome 2014 Year in Review printable from Skip to my Lou (she has mad skills), and wanted to make something like it but with 2015 goals. 

(click on picture and save to computer)

We sat down with the little kids today and colored . . . it got a little crazy.
We tried a couple pictures . . . um . .  these were the best ones

My 7 year old boy listed "Read chapter books, learn the drums better." That's right . . . drums. Our little boy saved for over a year for a drum set and we now have endless boom, boom, boom, noise here. 

This cute 9 year old had a whole list of goals, "Learn to ride a longboard, become better at the piano, be nicer to others" etc. 

Here's my goals (like my picnic table cloth shirt? I wasn't really going for that)

My goals for 2015
1. Learn the step to have my cards publish at a card company
2. Lean how to submit art to my favorite magazine FRIEND
3. Take a local graphic design class
4. Maybe, just maybe improve my cooking skills, or at least draw more cooking pictures. :)

And my husband's goals. Half way through drawing he said, "This is going on the blog huh?" Yep! He was a little embarrassed but too bad. The kids crowded around him the whole time to see what he would draw. He wrote his goals after I took the picture, but yes one of them was to improve his drum skills too. Oh boy. It's going to be a loud year.

And we can't forget the 2 year old. Her goals are to eat more chocolate, watch more Bo on the Go, and sing more songs in her very high pitch Minnie Mouse voice. Actually, I like her goals more than mine. I think I'll just do what she does. 

Happy New Year!