Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Inspired Design Style: Wildflower

The beauty of late summer meadows, sprinkled lightly with color amidst an earthy richness
brings forth a rustic vibrance that is light as honey, yet rich as wine. There's a unique glow this time of year as the days shorten slightly. In the garden, many plants have now completed their cycle and August wildflowers take center stage.

1.  Rose, Black Eyed Susan and Daisy bouquet, from our garden
2. Claude Monet's "Garden at Argenteuil", one of my favorite paintings!
3. Bleeding Heart and Trillium arrangement, our garden
4. Felt/embroidery flower basket wall hanging, a Robin Phillips Studio pattern
5. Antique basket of lavender from my collection, our garden
6. Kanzashi folded fabric flowers, so fun to make
7. Garden bed inspiration: Lavendar, Pampas grass, Yarrow and Sedum
8.  Floral candleholder, wicker mat and old crochet runner, my heirlooms and thrift store finds
9. Beaded sunflower picture frame,  peyote stitched flower
10. Patchwork table runner, embroidered linens and wood inlay frame, RPS pattern and antiques
11. Arrangement inspiration: Bacopa, Butterfly Weed, Dracaena
12. Sunflower!, my favorite August flower
13. Dahlia, pansy and vinca vine in my old clay pot planter, our garden
14. Primrose printable design (design downloads RPS shop)
15. My grandmother's wildflower painting, circa 1970
16. Our bird garden/wildflower bed: Black-Eyed Susan, Salvia, Penstemon, Crocosmia, Hyssop
17. Old crochet, wicker, shells and silk flowers, my thrift store finds and antiques
18. My painting "Sun Spirit", 6" x 8", oil and mixed media on canvas
19. Flowering Thyme, our garden/pond
20. Etched pewter platter, Violet china, shells, silk flowers, my thrift store finds and antiques

And a wildflower-inspired table runner....

Use your favorite floral prints in 2-1/2" squares. The finished mat is 22" x 22" with 4-inch border sashes. I used Clover's Yo-Yo Flower Maker for the small flowers and the large flowers are based on the traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt block.

More wildflower design ideas:

-multi-color accents paired with earth tones
-small flower motifs
-Impressionist style prints
-old paintings
-wicker and weathered wood
-vintage pitchers and clay pots
-layer wicker mats, crochet and old-fashioned lace
-country plaids
-Gardens: Try a wildflower bed with long stems such as Salvia, Lavendar, Black-Eyed Susan, Sunset Hyssop, Purple Coneflower, Aster or Daisies. Small groundcovers like violets or thyme and grasses are great for borders and rocky areas.

Enjoy the summer while it lasts and happy designing!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Creative Time Management and Goals

Looking for a creative way to manage multiple tasks and be productive during your work day?

Recently, I was asking myself the same thing. With so many things to do and distractions, it's easy to lose focus and jump around from one thing to another. Unfortunately, this is often less productive and then it's hard to dive deep into a project and do it well. And focus creates success. Being a visual person (as many creatively-minded business owners are), I created a system of decorative scrapbook-style cards to help me focus on each task at hand.

First, I identified several main timeblock categories to schedule during my week, such as:
Business Planning
Design Client Projects
Marketing - Website
New Art/Design

I created unique cards for each category with scrapbooking supplies such as decorative papers, markers and edging scissors. Use your favorite materials and get creative! Printing out graphic icons or fonts on cardstock would work well too. If certain colors resonate with you, consider color-coordinating the categories as well.  For example, I matched green/red with money-making activities and yellow/orange for creative activities. Then, I decorated a simple copy holder to display the cards. Business card holders, small decorative boxes or wood blocks would work well too.

I schedule blocks of time for top priority categories on a weekly to do list. Try to spend the most time on your top one to three priorities. Remember focus is key. You can achieve more if you focus on one task at a time rather than trying to do six things all at once.  Once I have planned my timeblocks, I place the card right in front of me so that I have a visual tool to maintain focus. Try it!   

Another creative tool I use is inspirational quotes to generate excitement and enthusiasm for my goals. Try displaying a new quote on your desk each week. Write your own or find quotes from inspirational websites.

The cards would also work well for highlighting your goals. If you have a monetary goal or number of clients goal, try displaying that too as a visual reminder. Or better yet, write down a goal as if you've already achieved it. "Three new clients this week!" "$5,000"  "Publisher Contract"

Not only does this build positive energy which you need for success, it also helps keep you focused on your tasks and goals :)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Nene Dreams

Nene Dreams is finally finished and delivered! This large custom piece (36x48) honors the Nene Goose, endangered state bird of Hawaii. This was a big project for me, as I typically paint 16-inch or smaller canvases.

Nenes are graceful, gentle birds with beautiful striped markings. The border of the painting represents a lei of Hawaiian flowers: Hibiscus, Ginger, Anthurium, Plumeria, Protea and a hanging Heliconia at the top. This piece celebrates the grace and beauty of Hawaii, as well as endangered wildlife. In the hills, I captured the serene mist that is often present on Kauai.

I started with a rough outline of the background, using bright colors as a base for background highlights...

With color shading in two deeper tones and grass, the painting began to take form

Then, I added the floral border, using photos as a reference...

On my trip to Kauai a couple years ago, I was lucky enough to see a flock of Nenes in the valley....

Hawaiian Heliconia, Protea and Anthurium

 Choose from a variety of sizes. All prints are made and packaged with eco-friendly materials. :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

New website launch: Sacred Art Studio

I'm excited to reveal a new site I recently developed for eco-spiritual artist Amy Livingstone. The site includes dual navigation, a rotating slideshow, a shop, a blog, several interactive galleries and an email newsletter signup linked to Constant Contact. I built a unique theme for the site in WordPress and also provided a training session to my client on updating the site.

We worked together closely to achieve her design and optimize the site. For maximum SEO benefit, each page has unique titles, and the shop and blog are integrated in the site instead of being hosted elsewhere. Like the blog, shop items also have unique tags and categories. The design is mobile-friendly with customizations for both tablets and phones. My favorite part is the gallery which includes a full-screen lightbox with a background fade when viewing each painting. 

Amy's beautiful artwork....

See more graphic/web design at

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Blog Redesign

The RPS blog is evolving! Stay tuned for theme posts/series that cover everything that is happening around the studio, design ideas, creative business tips and more. 

In the Studio:  Latest works from the studio in painting, graphic design, web design, illustration and craft pattern publishing.

Crafty Design Ideas: Fun design, decor and gift ideas using a wide variety of materials and RPS printable designs. Get inspired to create!

Creative Business Tips: For creative and small business entrepreneurs, this series explores tips for successful web design, SEO, branding, marketing and more.

Artful Home and Garden: Step inside my home, studio and garden throughout the seasons. Follow our creative remodeling/landscaping/design projects and meet my adorable four-legged family.

Travel and Nature Inspirations: Journey along with me and my camera, capturing beautiful scenes near and far.

Inspire!:  Uplifting books, messages, scenes and stories that inspire my work.

Inspired Style: Get inspired with image collages, mood boards and design theme styles for decor, handmade gifts and beyond!


Thinking of redesigning your blog? Consider hiring a graphic designer to create custom header graphics or to help you design the layout. This increases the professionalism of your blog and enhances the organizational structure for your content. Typically, it is a very affordable project and you can use the same designs on your website or social media pages.

Here are some of my favorite resources that include professional blogging tips:


Monday, March 31, 2014

Hello Spring! + Decorative Pattern Designs

Time flies so fast and spring is here! While admittedly I have taken a break from the blog recently (a long hibernation!), I have planted many new seeds and I have some exciting new work to share...

In the studio, recently I have been working on developing digital art/design for licensing, crafts and beyond. A new RPS website is underway, and a series of website themes for sale are also on the horizon. More spring printables are coming soon including greeting card and invite templates. It's a digital heaven around here :)

So, I'm excited to introduce the first spring printables- digital paper packs! These fun designs are now available in the RPS Shop. Simply download and print them on a color copier or laser printer and use them for scrapbooks, handmade cards, paper collages, stationery or any personal projects you like. (These copyrighted designs are for non-commercial use only).  I plan to release these in my Spoonflower fabric shop as well. Stay tuned!

Sneak preview of the new Flowers and Rain table runner pattern!

The yard has come to life, and the first flowers are blooming everywhere. Happy robins chirping and skipping about in the yard. Love. The gardening year has officially begun. We have started a new bonsai and herb garden in the front with a bamboo fence. I planted lily bulbs under the deck trellis and soon it will be time to start basil seeds inside.

Last week I took a leisurely walk with my camera around our rustic neighborhood, taking in the sights, smells and sounds of spring all around.

An old country spring road.....

What is sweeter than a rainbow in the spring rain?

My grandmother's bunnies (from 1980). And I crocheted the one on the right. :)

Happy Spring!!