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. 😉
‘Bee Sunny‘ Sunflower Pendulum Clock by Allen Designs
i seriously can’t believe i’m even old enough to have a daughter getting married… but I DO!!!
she’s almost 21, her and her fiancé are both graduating college in May and are planning to marry in June.
they seem so young. but, i was 20 when i got married, and we’re still married… happily. thankfully.
we are excited for them and proud of them both.
i’ve never planned a party like this before. let me just say, pinterest makes party planning easy AND hard at the same time! we did a dessert bar with chocolate fondue. the sweet love banner i made from old doily coasters that i stamped on and then taped to a ribbon.
me and my sweet girls before the festivities commenced. (thank you mom for insisting on the pic!)
i used white gel pens to make the little signs for the tables.
the bride-to-be herself made these beautiful french macarons.
inspired by this i just had to do a mimosa bar. i scoured thrift shops for pretty glasses instead of buying plastic ones for close to the same price, and it worked out perfectly. it was super fun and interactive! i’ll definitely be doing this again.
we had the party in the upstairs of our Allen Designs studio so the lights and tassels were already set up, which was really nice. it just adds to the party feel instantly.
i’ve had this piece pinned on pinterest for a long, long time and throwing this party was the perfect reason to make it finally happen.
it was a lovely time and my daughter was immensely blessed. i couldn’t ask for anything more.
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!
I am so excited about this opportunity to share my love of creating, explore Oaxaca, Mexico and spend time with like-minded people! Not to mention teach alongside the prolifically talented and fabulous Sunny Carvahlo (check out her work and her workshop post here)! We would LOVE to have you join us on this adventure!
Kathie Vezzani, also an artist, has been organizing culinary trips to Mexico with Culinary Adventures, Inc. and Marilyn Tausend for the past twenty years with chefs such as Rick Bayless, Diana Kennedy, Susana Trilling (from Oaxaca), Roberto Santibanez, and the late Elaine Gonzalez. Additionally, she tested recipes for Tausend’s last three Mexican cookbooks. Kathie’s tours combine two of her passions, food and art.
Joining her as she has with Culinary Adventures’ tours, is Ane Elena Martinez, a pastry chef from Puebla who coordinates details in Mexico.
Together with their many friends and contacts in Oaxaca, they have planned a once in a lifetime experience for us!
Trip will include:
• Painting and creating with Sunny and myself all week!!! • “Welcome” fiesta • Cooking lesson at Seasons of My Heart Cooking School with Susanna Trilling • Market Tour • Visits to artisans- black pottery and alebrijes • Visit to museum and paper making demonstration • Art supplies • Transportation within Oaxaca • Time to explore Oaxaca and its many artful offerings • Opportunity to sign up for massages and/or a temazcal • And, best of all… a new ART TRIBE!!!
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!
Looking back, some of my best years of productivity and happiness have been the years that I make a list of things I want to accomplish in that year. I’m realizing though that it’s not JUST the list writing, cause truth be told, I do that every year. It’s been the times that I put my list of goals out there, document the progress and really reflect on my list that seems to make the things on my list actually come to fruition.
These are all things I REALLY WANT to do. But I get tired. And lazy. And distracted. The list helps me to stay on track. And putting it out here for all of you to see, gives me a sense of accountability.
I like to break my list up into different categories, as you’ll see below.
Well, I have to say, this has been a REALLY GOOD challenge for me.
I’m already more intentional to be creative knowing that I can’t get behind.
And, along with it, I’m FEELING more creative!
Below are a sampling of a few of the days so far…
7/300 Thinking a lot about the lack of snow up in our poor mountains, makes me sad.
8/300 If all I get done in a day is a sketch, then I count that.
9/300 Love this wonky guy. “Angst Expressed”
11/300 I decided to make and keep a journal of the 300 Days of Creating as well as my 2015 Goals.
If you want to see more, follow along with me on Instagram (allendesignsstudio).
Also, check out the hashtag #300daysofcreating to find others who have joined me in this challenge! And, it’s not too late to join! There are still 331 days left in the year!!!
p.s. if you want a pdf copy of the 300 Days of Creating lettering from above, make sure to sign up for my mailing list as that will be included in the next newsletter 🙂
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! 🙂
as some of you may already know, cause you follow me on instagram (allendesignsstudio), i was asked to paint a violin for a charity event put on by the Vancouver Symphony & Orchestra.
i had told myself earlier this year that i wasn’t going to say “yes” to any additional charity pieces through the rest of the year. but, when the violin came up, i just couldn’t say no.
i LOVE music. and who wouldn’t want to paint on such a beautiful instrument!
here she is as she came to me.
some of the progression.
i played the flute in 6th grade and i sucked. i really wanted to be good at it.
i practiced. and practiced. a lot. (my mom may disagree, but it felt like it was A LOT)
i had no rhythm. nor patience. so i quit.
if you look closely, there’s a string missing. that would be due to my lack of stringing-an-instrument-skills!
i was determined to paint a rose. i’ve wanted to for a long time and i just decided i was going to work at it until i got it.
roses are HARD! in the end, i’m pleased with how it turned out. happy with myself that i pushed through the good hour of frustration that it took to paint and repaint till it actually looked like a rose.
i love how this turned out. it’s playful yet serious. free yet organized. Playing it Forward auction Nov. 1st.
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 🙂
wow! two blog posts in a weeks time. i’m out of control!
to be completely honest, i came home from Camp Create with a new perspective on who i am.
i can tell you, and if you’ve read my blog at all you already know, i’m not the best writer. and truth be told, i’ve been super INSECURE about it!
i really want to let that go.
if you can’t handle my poor writing skills and bad grammar then maybe my blog isn’t for you.
and another thing you really need to know about me… i’m pretty much all about the pictures anyways! 🙂
above and below are samples of what the gals made in the block printing/pillow making workshop i taught.
i was beyond thrilled, they did SUCH A GREAT JOB!
thank you again Meg & Kimberlee for inviting me and for offering this experience to others.
i’ve come home inspired and encouraged.
and it feels good.
UPDATE: check out Meg’s blog post that has a lot more details and fun pictures!
i don’t know if you remember, but a few years back i went down to Newton, KS to Meg Duerksen’sWhatever Craft Weekend? it was a blast! so, when Meg asked me if i wanted to come down and teach at her newest endeavor Camp Create, i was ALL OVER IT!
i mean really, who wouldn’t want to go to a place stocked so beautifully & creatively with arts & crafts supplies?
and where beds with vintage quilts like this welcomed you!
like last time, i had to get my hands on her giant chalkboard!
pretty sure this took me half the day. at some point i would love to take a hand-lettering workshop to learn tricks to make it look better and go quicker. i’m thinking i’ll give this one by mary kate mcdevitt a go. many people have said great things about it. and she is crazy good!
we had mini devotional/thought provoking times working on our “god sized dream“, led by the lovely, wise & oh-so-kind author holley gerth.
we went to a gigantic sunflower field. it was B E A U T I F U L !!! #duh (as stephanie ackerman would say)
sunflowers for days!
the sweet lady herself. her heart is so big. her intentions pure.
many special moments. friendships made. dreams shared.
and lots and LOTS of laughter!!! and i’m talking gut-hurting, face-cramping, eyes-watering laughter!
really, all this to say… i didn’t have much fun. 😉
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.
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.
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?
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, facebookdid 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.
and IT WAS FUN!
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 overnightprints.com, 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.
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!
Every year I paint the windows to announce the Studio Sale.
Some day I would love to learn how to really paint windows.
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. 🙂
art journaling is probably one of the things that makes my heart sing most.
inspired by a friend coming over and us making new book signatures, i’m back at it! my journals are mainly made up of a compilation of travel smack, doodles and all kinds of other misc. paper gems.
and the aftermath…
i really can’t believe we’re about to enter the month of September!!!
time to get a new desktop calendar done…
hope you all have exciting and adventurous plans for this holiday weekend!
august is here already!!!
since doing these monthly free desktop calendars i’m realizing more than ever just how quickly the months FLY BY!
my desire is to be intentional this month.
writing a good list of things that i plan on doing, both in my business life & my personal life.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” -Benjamin Franklin
a few months back, i was invited by a friend to participate in a charity event, “HeArts of Clark County“, which is raising money for an improved life saving heart room of sorts at PeaceHealth Medical Center.
we were asked to paint on fiberglass hearts to be auctioned off at a gala in the fall.
above are the humble beginning of my heart.
and with a few more layers…
my sweet daughter keeping me company one of the days.
starting to come together.
this is probably after about 13 hours of painting.
not positive which side is meant to be the front.
and not quite sure which side i like better. maybe the bird?
and after about 15 or so hours of very intense painting, it’s finished!
my friend Anne John is the lovely woman who organized and kept everyone on track.
not to mention, a crazy-talented artist!
and the friend who got me connected, is this sweet & uber talented lady, Jennifer Williams.
this has really been a fun and meaningful project.
i’ve had a desire to get involved in my community in this sort of way for quite some time.
i’m thankful to finally have had the time and opportunity!
p.s. i think i look kind of cray cray in this picture!
i guess that goes with the guy at the preview/artist reception who told me that my bird looked stoned!