Nov 1 2017

Studio Sale!

Mark your calendars! We’re about to have our biggest and best Studio Sale to date! You’re not going to want to miss this one. Not to mention, you get a free cool gift just for bringing a copy of this postcard. (one per family)

Sep 28 2017

Funky, fun Planters & a Giveaway!!!

One of my favorite products I’ve worked on to date are these hand painted planters! Maybe because I love plants and cute pots and can’t seem to ever have enough of them!
I also LOVE that if you don’t feel like planting, you don’t have to! A standard 4″ pot easily slips right down inside! We also designed them with a plug in the bottom for optional drainage.

And to celebrate all this goodness, we’re doing a GIVEAWAY!

There will be FOUR WINNERS 
One winner will be drawn from the comment section on this post!
One winner from the comments/shares on Facebook!
One winner from comments on Instagram!
One winner from Our Newsletter Subscribers!


1. Leave a comment on this post: Telling me your favorite planter and your favorite plant

2. Comment on the giveaway posts on Facebook or Instagram 

3. Sign up for our newsletter (bottom right of home page).

Contest will close Friday, October 6th at midnight PST, (winners announced Mon. Oct.9th).

**Contest open to US residents only. Plant not included


Jul 24 2017

Spiffy Eyeglass Cases!

Check out our *NEW Eyeglass Cases* 👓!!! And they come with a matching cleaning cloth!
My personal favorite. My second fave would probably be the dog park glasses case.

This is a project that our Australian distributor and myself have been working hard on for a while. It’s so nice to see it finally come to fruition!


Feb 15 2017

my 16 year old clock designer

My youngest daughter has been talking about designing her own clock for years. This past fall she made that talk/dream come true. She came up with the subject matter, color scheme and design all on her own.


This is one happy girl, and so she should be. It’s already proven to be a winner.


“It has been pretty fun and exciting to watch my own ideas and design turn into a beautiful, finished product, just like what my mom has been doing my whole life. I hope to follow in her footsteps somehow by owning my own business and this has been a great way to see what it will be like.” – Jess


We’re still in negotiations over pay/royalty rate. I keep reminding her that we are feeding her and housing her. She’s not sure that’s enough. 😉

allen-designs-sunflower-clockBee Sunny‘ Sunflower Pendulum Clock by Allen Designs


Nov 3 2016

Local Portland/Vancouver Peeps!!!

Our 16th Annual Studio Sale is right around the corner and we are busy, busy, busy gearing up and getting excited! SO many good deals this year! 

I created my first stop-motion video to go along with the holiday cheer and it was super fun! I can’t wait to do more of them. 


If you’re not local, not to fear, we’ll be sending out a few special deals via our newsletter! So be sure to sign up if you’re not already!

Sep 20 2016

Is Journaling for You?

Five ways to ignite the passion to journal

Journaling does not need to conjure a yawn or a chore-like feeling. While it is true that some journaling lovers fill many journals in all shapes and sizes with deep thoughts, personal experiences, emotions, challenges, illustrations, ideas — and just about anything else that springs to mind – journaling can take a simpler position in your life too. Anything goes in a journal. And the freedom to express with no rules and personal abandon can spark a journaling habit that also invites a sense of joy, peace, and fun.

Journaling invites relaxation and the chance to relish being uninhibited. There is zero pressure to create a masterpiece. A journal can be long, short, sloppy, or neat, and just filled with everything that is you. You can share it with others or keep it private. You can write daily, monthly, or yearly. There is no right or wrong way to journal. The trick is to get started – to give it a try – and see where journaling takes you. You might just find yourself filling book after book!


The following five suggestions are easy ways start your journaling engine:

  • Choose a journal design that resonates with you. When you feel connected to the image and texture on your journal, it feels like a friend and an inviting space to just let go and relax. You can also consider the binding, and whether you want lined or unlined paper. Unlined paper works well for visual journaling to jot down pattern ideas, sketch, or play with color combinations. Lined paper could work well for creating lists – all sorts of lists – including goal lists, love lists, need lists, want lists, done lists, favorite lists, and why to make lists in the first place lists.
  • Journals are great reference tools. Just store ideas, notes, writings, inspirations, experiments, and doodles in your journal. The journal will become a useful reference for you should you need motivation or juicy new project ideas.
  • Use the journal as a creative portal. Dedicate your journal as a tool to frame things you might want to paste, adhere, or staple. These nifty items could include fun quotes, pictures, post cards, ticket stubs, business cards, and places you have seen and experienced. This type of journaling could even provide a bit of interactive paper therapy since it encourages textures and tangible items that will trigger memories, different emotional responses and feelings, possible solutions, or cool new ideas.
  • Journals give voice to your personal history. Document moments and life events that left strong impacts or impressions. This can also reveal interesting life patterns.
  • Journals provide a safe haven to just be. Your journal is a place to focus, express your innermost thoughts, and weigh pros and cons. A journal can go anywhere you do. And a journal will never judge – it only gives.



Shopper Bag Giveaway!

Lately I’ve been dreaming of traveling and all the places I want to visit. So for this giveaway, I’d love to know your thoughts on this subject! And speaking of traveling and shopper bags… I always pack one of these handy gems folded up in my suitcase just incase I have more to bring back with me than what I went with. Works like a charm, you need one, so don’t miss out and enter to win!!! 🙂 



1. Leave a comment on this post: Telling me THREE things that are on your BUCKET LIST.

2. Share us with your friends on Facebook or Instagram and leave a comment (here on the blog) letting me know you did.

3. Sign up for our newsletter (on the top right hand side of this blog).

Contest will close Saturday, Sept.24 at midnight PST, (winners announced Mon. Sept.26).

To enter the Facebook drawing, there will be a post up on our Facebook Page on FRIDAY, Sept 23rd. that you can comment on to enter there as well.

Nov 2 2015

It’s almost Studio Sale time!!!

We’d love for you to join us at our annual sale where we sell close-outs, samples and slightly blemished products, along with everything else. You can seriously find some great deals here! The dates and times are in the images below. I’ll be posting more info on this later and also sending out some specials via our newsletter (upper right corner of this blog) soon. So be sure to get on that list!



Jul 20 2015

Hot Air Balloon Friends!

We are all absolutely gaga over this new cute bag hot air balloon bag!
If you look close you’ll spot lots of furry friends… a unicorn, owl, bunny, birds and a black cat.
These sturdy bags are perfect for the beach, sporting events, grocery shopping… you name it! 


Apr 2 2015

Note to Self…

TODAY’S NOTE TO SELF: Start small. Use time wisely.


Mar 2 2015

March Desktop Wallpaper

dreaming of snow covered mountain tops…
i truly love going to the mountain (mt. hood) in the winter. driving up and crossing into the land of snow always gives me instant peace and a rush of happiness! sadly, snow is one thing we have not had enough of here in the NW. i’m sure there are many of you who would gladly give us yours. of course, wouldn’t it be nice if it worked that way!

Wallpaper Calendars_march_2015

click here for your copy of this month’s FREE calendar.
hope you enjoy!
xoxo- m

(for personal use only)

Feb 19 2015

6 Bag Giveaway & Thank YOU!!!

I’m feeling a bit sentimental right now and wanted to show you how much I appreciate YOU!!!
You guys are AMAZING! It’s because of you that I am encouraged on a daily basis, thank you!

p.s. these bags are a wonderful gift as they fit perfectly into a large envelope and are super easy to send.


bag givaway allen designs


1. Leave a comment on this post: Telling me what kind of art/theme you would want to see on a bag???

2. Share us with your friends on Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment (here on the blog) letting me know you did.

Contest will close the evening of Monday, Feb.23.

To enter the Facebook drawing, there will be a post up on our Facebook Page on SATURDAY
that you can comment on to enter there. 🙂


Cups, Cups, Cups

Would you call these cups or mugs? I keep vacillating.
None the less, they’re BACK IN STOCK! woohoo!


Find them here.


Most everything is back in stock, as we received our last container of the year yesterday.
Can’t believe Christmas is only a few weeks away!


Speaking of the year coming to a close…
The wonderful Mark is already beginning to recreate our Atlanta Gift Show space.
I’m excited for the change and the new look!

Dec 8 2014

Clock of the Day!

Clock of the Day!!!!!!
20% of THIS clock through tonight!


Dec 3 2014

Impromptu GIVEAWAY!

To show how thankful we are for you all, we’ll be giving away this clock by the end of the day tomorrow!
Go to our Facebook Page to to enter.


Nov 30 2014

Cyber Monday Sale Start NOW!


thank you again to all of you who were able to make it out to our annual Studio Sale!
it’s always such a treat to see so many friendly faces. it’s like a yearly reunion!


Nov 20 2014

Sale in the Shop!

we’re having a sale in the shop!
sign up for our newsletter (upper right of this newsletter) to get the coupon code.

Nov 12 2014

My Home Art Studio Tour

in case you didn’t make it out to the Clark County Open Studios this past weekend i thought i’d give you a little “virtual tour” of my home art studio.


i will admit, i like organization and places for everything to go.
hence, the abundance of dressers and containers.



this is where i spend most of my time… unfortunately.
i’m thankful to have a nice window that looks out over the street and a pair of beautiful Ginkgo trees.





i really need to pare down my paints. i can’t resist a pretty color.
but then it almost overwhelms me when i go to paint.


i love this old library cart i got at a garage sale years ago.


thank you for visiting.


Nov 5 2014

Want a FREE BAG?


sign up is on the top right side of this blog. 🙂
offer ends Nov. 18th

Oct 27 2014

Studio Sale, China Travel and Open Studios

there’s a lot going on!
first off, many people are a bit confused as to the difference between the Clark County Open Studios and our own Allen Designs Studio Sale.

i’ll start with the 14th Annual Allen Designs Studio Sale which is at our business location off Minnehaha Rd. this is where we sell close-outs, samples and slightly blemished products, along with everything else. you can seriously find some great deals here! the dates and times are in the image below. i’ll be posting more info on this later and also sending out some specials via our newsletter soon. so be sure to get on that list!



oh, and i’m in China right now, working on our newest line debuting in Jan. 2015. a little sneak peek above.


and then we have the Clark County Open Studios. this is where myself along with 49 other artists open their art studios (mine will be my HOME studio in downtown Vancouver) for two days- Nov. 8 & 9, 10AM-5PM, enabling the public to get a glimpse into what it looks like to be a working artist.
(p.s. i won’t have any clocks at this event)

and then there’s Preview Night, (where one piece of work from each artist will be on display) Saturday Nov. 1, 5-8PM.

if you’re a Portland/Vancouver local, i hope you can make it out to one of these fun art events! 🙂

Sep 24 2014

allen designs studio space

over the past several years our business has evolved & changed.
to the point that we have a fairly large space upstairs that doesn’t get much use.
and it has been killing me. the light is amazing up there!

but no longer, we’re taking action!

we’ve replaced the ugly brown carpet with salvaged shiplap. and it’s BEAUTIFUL!

flooring makes all the difference. (as it should since it is so crazy expensive! ugh.)

we had gorgeous tables custom-made from salvaged wood.
i’ve been scouring garage sales for random chairs… not sure how this part is going to turn out, right now it’s looking a bit disastrous. 🙁

now we’re down to the details. the fun stuff!

at this point i still don’t have a definitive plan for the space.
i’ve got lots of ideas swirling around in my head.
i do know, that i’m TOTALLY EXCITED about the possibilities!
so stay tuned 🙂

May 20 2014

Artful Owl Cup

Allen Designs Owl Cup
Check out one of our newest items- artful CUPS!!!
I don’t know about you but I really love drinking my tea or coffee out of unique & fun cups. It just makes everything taste better.

Available on our website & in stores soon!

Apr 3 2014

April Desktop Calendar

okay so i skipped a month.
i’ve decided to put guilt aside and am, once again going to try to get back at it.
may i present April’s Desktop Calendar with a seahorse theme…

Wallpaper Calendars April

can you tell that i’m dying to go on vacation somewhere warm???

click here for your copy of this month’s FREE calendar.
hope you enjoy!
xoxo- m

(for personal use only)

Feb 12 2014

Letter A and my dad

looky at what my FABULOUS dad made me!!! (and mom, she did the painting!)
as most of you probably already know, i collect the letter A.
i’ve wanted one of these large marquee types for a long time!!! *squeal*

and isn’t my dad cute!

still haven’t quite found the perfect spot for it.
i’ll show you it all ‘lit up’ when i do.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 8.50.03 PM
realized i never posted this picture from the Atlanta Gift Show…
love the bag display with the porcelain hands that my friend Mark put together for me.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 8.49.49 PM
this was another treat from the show… i had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Lotta Jansdotter!
she’s as darling & sweet in person as she seems on her blog.
(don’t mind me… i just look cray cray in this pic!)

hope you’re all doing well… staying warm, healthy and creative?

Feb 8 2014

biz cards and how useful facebook is

i know that there are all kinds of frustrating things about facebook and how they’re going about monetizing their site.
i share in much of that frustration, as it’s getting harder and harder to reach the people who have already chosen to “like/follow” my page.
there are some great reads & perspectives on this issue flitting around on the www.
hopefully with all the chatter they will figure out a way that works for all parties involved.


that aside, facebook did work for me this time!
i had 88 people give me feedback on my card options, totally helping me make a final choice and some small changes to the design.
thank you to everyone who took the time!


as you can see i went with rounded corners and a satin matte finish which i think visually add a lot.
i had them printed through, i’m pleased with the printing quality, pricing and turn-around time.
but not so much with the cutting on the corners.
if you look closely you can see that there is a bit of choppiness going on.
i’ve emailed them to ask if this is common & acceptable but i have not heard back as of yet. 

Feb 3 2014

February Desktop Calendar

anyone still there?


i totally don’t blame you if you’ve all given up on me.
please take this February Desktop Calendar as a token of appreciation for those of you who still check in on me!
click here for your copy of this month’s calendar.

i can’t even begin to go into all the things that have kept me from this blog.
in short- living life.
and a little longer- working a LOT, family, soccer and getting involved in the arts community locally.

Nov 26 2013

Allen Designs/Close2myArt Studio Sale!!!

Done with our first weekend of the 13th Annual Studio Sale!
And now we’re onto our 2nd starting the morning of Black Friday.
If you’re local, we’d love for you to join us.
If you’re not, we’ll be sending out some specials via our newsletter (bottom left of this page) so be sure to sign up!

window painting
Every year I paint the windows to announce the Studio Sale.
Some day I would love to learn how to really paint windows.

Allen Designs Studio Sale
The studio looks the best it ever has!
Thanks mainly to Deb, who is new to our studio crew and has an eye for decorating. 🙂



Google Map directions here.
Hope to see you soon!


Nov 4 2013

November Desktop Calendar

finally getting to this months wallpaper calendar!
this month’s art is inspired by the 2 ginkgo trees i have out my window, which i absolutely love!
and by my recent trip to China.

on another note-
do you care if there’s a calendar on this?
or would you just as well prefer art without the calendar?

click here for your copy of this months calendar.
hope you enjoy it 🙂

(for personal use only)


Oct 2 2013

October Desktop Calendar!

can you even believe we’re already to the month of October??? i sure can’t.
for me, this month means a trip to China to develop our 2014 winter Allen Designs product line.
and all the preparation to be ready for that trip.
it means time to pull out all the warm clothes and put away the flip flops. boo 🙁
it means  it’s pumpkin-everything time!
it means watching a LOT of soccer games in the RAIN.
and last but not least, it means it’s almost my BIRTHDAY time! 🙂

Wallpaper Calendars_oct
click here for your copy this months free calendar!
i hope you enjoy it!

(for personal use only)


Sep 24 2013

the “blog” shopper bag winners are…

thank you ALL for making this shopper bag giveaway so much fun!
reading through the comments and seeing which ones are people’s favorites, along with some stories, have totally made my day!



winners: please email me your mailing address along with your bag of choice 🙂