Monday, August 30, 2010


The use of templates to format your art for licensing has become a bit of a controversial issue. Some manufacturors say they are tired of seeing mediocre art slapped onto a template for a presentation, but I think the real issue there is the "mediocre" art! The fact is, some clients need you to format your work in this way. They have a set group of products that they need you to illustrate, and these cannot deviate in size or shape, due to the manufacturing process. You will gradually accumulate specific templates from your clients, and general ones can be purchased (check out Phyllis Dobbs' blog for this).
However, some clients aren't constrained by specific product shapes, and that is where product design comes in. I am just starting to try product design, and boy, is it fun! You have to have a certain knowledge of the manufacturing process, so you know which shapes are easy to reproduce (here's a hint: rounded shapes are easier than sharp, cut-in angles). Other than that, the sky, and your imagination, is the limit! Research your client's current line. You want to propose both versions of products they already make, and offer brand new ones that they haven't thought of yet. So now I'd better quit blogging and get back to the drawing board. Hooray!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


It is another Teacup Tuesday, and today is cool and cloudy, just right for a nice, hot cuppa. The cup I picked for today is German and has a picture of dear little birds on it. Isn't the handle an impractical shape, though? I got this very cheaply at a flea market a while back. The stamp on the bottom is unreadable, so I can only tell you that it is from Germany. From the style of the decoration, I would date it to about 1910.

I thought I'd also show a few more of my favorite milk jugs (I actually have more jugs than cups! Maybe we should start "Milk Jug Monday".) These are all mottoware from Torquay. I have decided to focus my mottoware collecting on seaside themes, which are a bit more rare than the cottage scenes. I may live in a landlocked area, but I just love the coast!

As usual, for more teacup fun, head over to Artful Affirmations or Martha's Favorites; links are at the right.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Taking a Hike

Monday is our 24th wedding anniversary, so Mr Right and I decided to take some time off over the weekend and go for a nice hike and then out to dinner. There is a new park in the mountains called Hermit Park, and I hadn't been there yet. It used to be owned by Hewlett Packard as a recreational place for their employees only, but they sold it to the county and now anyone can go. The wildflowers were gorgeous. The photo doesn't really do them justice.

We saw lots of critters, including these bighorn sheep. Mr Right saw a bear up at Hermit Park once, but I was pretty happy to stick with things like birds and chipmunks!

Here is a view from the trail looking back over the town of Estes Park. If you look very closely, you can see the large white building which is the famous Stanley Hotel, where Steven King got snowed in and wrote The Shining. If you've ever watched "Ghost Hunters" on television, you'd know that it is a very haunted building! After we were done with our hike, we went into the town and had dinner at one of our fave resturants, a Mexican place called Casa Grande. We like it because they have a patio where you can sit by the river while you eat (the food is good too. I had a seafood quesadilla, yum! Mr Right had Carne Asada). I meant to take a picture, but we ate it all up too quickly!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Colors, colors, colors! How I love them. I've been spending so much time designing on the computer lately that it feels so great to get back to painting, drawing, playing with art supplies. I usually use my beloved watercolors, but sometimes it is fun to play with mixed media. I like the chalks that they make for scrapbookers. They can add a nice, soft blush of color.
And look at these lovely new paints that Plaid sent me. I can't wait to play with them. I used to write books for Plaid and like their products, so they still send me boxes of new products to try. It is always so nice to get a surprise package in the mail!
And the best color combinations are found in nature. Complimentary colors like yellow and purple, swallowtails and goldfinches on purple flowers... Later today I'm going to take some more flower photos in some of the display gardens at the University. Sounds like a perfect day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Is It Tuesday Already?

I don't know where the days go. Remember when summer days used to be endless? Now it seems like they go by at the speed of light. School starts next week and we are starting to look forward to Autumn.

Yes, it is way to early to be decorating with cornucopias, but I have been playing with some still life ideas. In my business, you have to think a season ahead, so I spend the summer painting Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas ideas, and in the winter I paint flowers! No wonder I am so confused! I thought for Teacup Tuesday I would use this teacup, which has an Autumnal feel, and is one of my favorites.

This cup is made by Myott Meakin. Years ago, when I was an illustrator at Hallmark Cards, there was a department store across the street called Halls (yes, it was owned by the same family). My friends and I would spend happy lunch hours there, taking advantage of the employee discount. One day I saw this set of dishes in the china department, and liked them so much I just had to buy them. I should look at the Replacements site, because this set has been well used, and some of the plates and things are broken.

Thanks again to Martha's Favorites and Artful Affirmations for hosting! Their links are on the right side of the page.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just a Quickie

This week's Teacup Tuesday post will have to be a fairly quick one, as I have a very busy day today. These are actually some more pictures from the Atlanta Gift Show. I have been enjoying designing teasets for a company called Thornberry Creek, and the first two sets debuted at the show. We wanted to have the Peaches design ready in time, since the show is in Georgia!

I also did a design with violets. I think the teapot and cup have a nice shape. There is also a taller, thinner teapot, but I didn't get a photo of that. Can't wait to drink tea out of these pretty sets! My friend Cherish Flieder designed the packages, which turned out well. The art world sure is a small one! Better go and get back to painting, but many thanks to Terri and Martha for hosting, as usual. Their blogs are at the right side of this page.