Friday, May 31, 2013

the painted pot and other colorful tales

ppf flowerpot
I painted this week, I did! And I'm posting this week on time, I am! Last year's dead herbs didn't appear to be coming back so I dumped out the pot, painted it (Sharpie paint markers) and gave it some fresh fillings (tarragon, cilantro, and basil). Now, to see how long I can keep this crop alive. I'm a pathetic gardener, but I do start every season with enthusiasm.

ppf picnic basket
We also dusted off the picnic basket for Memorial Day and stuffed it with Coke, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups & Twizzlers.

ppf doodle day
I blew through two pens this week trying to get the designs right for my next tape design -- I'm basing it on one of my earliest pieces, Creative Fire, and I'm struggling to get the pattern to my liking. Lots of late nights. And my almost-seven year old has suddenly developed a fear of the darkness and likes to wake me up in the middle of the night. Not much sleep here.

ppf glue heart
So I've been drinking a lot of coffee this week. One morning the coffee maker started choking and gurgling and spitting grounds in not the right direction. I thought it was a goner, and I panicked, for that is my #1 go-to art supply. I unplugged, replugged, restarted, rebrewed, and rejoiced. (and that is an unauthorized glue stick heart on the wall).

ppf ice cream truck
We didn't stop. I'm a mean mom.

ppf pencils
I also made a buttload of pencils;

ppf chair
taped the chair (we are really into taping things these days);

ppf teacher boxes
slid inside the PO at 4:58 p.m. with a few last minute teacher boxes which is my typical postal behavior;

ppf icad
and bought my cards for this year's ICAD (Index Card a Day) challenge which starts tomorrow! Go see Tammy at Daisy Yellow for details!

One last thing -- hop over here if you'd like to sign up for The Artsyville Doodle News! Every so often I'll send out a color-filled roundup of tutorials, creative challenges, delightful discoveries, fresh stuff, doodle deals, and other happenings in Artsyville.

Happy PPFOF (Happy Paint Party Friday ON Friday!)


Thursday, May 30, 2013

where you can stick it

This week might even be more exciting than last! The postal angels have delivered the tape at record speed (already as far away as Sweden) and pictures are rolling in (so to speak) which gave me the idea to start a photo gallery of how (and where) people are using it. Upper left: Cindy (next to An Open Sketchbook's Hello card); upper right: Domestic Scribbles and the start of a birthday party project; lower left: Nicole and her good natured (and adorable) kiddo; lower right: one of Emily Lagore's beautiful mandalas in progress. Feel free to email me your photos if you want to share -- I'd love to see them!

The tape made a guest appearance on One Happy Mama today -- thank you Kristina! It's also now in stock at The Ink Pad in NYC. If you go, tell them Aimee sent you :)

Back tomorrow for Paint Party Friday and again on Saturday for the start of ICAD (Index Card a Day Challenge, hosted by Daisy Yellow). Tracey, who just drew my coffee mug, talked me into it. It's my first year participating and I can't wait! I wonder how long it will be before I fall behind.

Monday, May 27, 2013

glue it tuesday: week 11

I had fun with an empty Stash tea box for this week's Glue it Tuesday. These little boxes are the best! Four more are in the works to rescue all those tiny things constantly being eaten by the stacks: stickers, bits of paper, business cards, jotter, erasers, etc. (with an emphasis on the etc.) If you are into ATCs, these are perfect file boxes, as they measure just slightly larger than 2.5" wide. Just chop off the flaps, cut & paste as you wish, and you're done. Now I just need to thrift a hutch or something large with loads of shelves and nooks to store them (the kind I always see in magazines that people say they just 'happened upon' in flea markets or at garage sales... I have not yet been so lucky).

Goes without saying there's a lot of tea in the Glue it Tuesday lounge today -- come in & have a cup or two!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

confused thermometers & expired scissors


For those of you who also lived through four seasons this week, I don't need to say anything else about the thermometer...

Best Nutella-Oreo cheesecake ever. We (my kids + my husband) make something decadent every Thursday and this was a prize winner. Gone!

Before reading my springtime haiku, as always, you must agree not to call the po-po (poetry police) on me...

The Stationery Show! As I mentioned... it was amazing. Paper heaven in every corner. And pigeons flying around the back of the convention center. I have a few pictures on Instagram of some of my favorite paper peeps (An Open Sketchbook and Jessica Swift) but didn't take pictures of any other individual booths. If you're curious, Oh So Beautiful Paper does a fabulous review & booth showcase every year so you can feel like you were right there. So inspiring!

Four pairs of shoes died. My favorite fabric flats went from closed toe to open toe, two pairs of the 6 year old's shoes were lost in a mud accident, and my 10 year old burst through a strap. I pitched the first three pairs unceremoniously but my 10 year old could not part with hers; she was already "so disturbed by its brokenness" that she hid it somewhere I'll never find it.

My poor scissors. They fell apart too many times, and all the king's horses and all the king's men...

It seems like the rest of the country is already out of school, but we go academic hardcore here until the bitter end of June.

I don't know how to draw a chicken, so it's not on here, but my 6 year old was the cutest chicken of them all at the First Grade musical this week :)

And the tape. The tape! I was blown away by the response to my Secret Garden washi tape and don't even know what to say except... thank you. Over half of the shipment sold in two days! I was up nearly two nights in a row packing and shipping. I've been so laser locked on tape this week that my appearance is pretty frightful and I look like a crazy bag lady. If the tape keeps going out the door at this pace, I'll be able to order more very soon, and in the meantime I'm designing away like a washi fool. I still have small quantities in my online store and in the Etsy shop, and will start to ship wholesale this week. Thank you thank you thank you!!

Late to Paint Party Friday (as always) and right on time for my first attendance at Sunday Sketches (they look like a fun and sketchy bunch!)

Happy Sunday!

Friday, May 24, 2013

it's here!


The Secret Garden washi tape is here and it arrived so much more quickly than I expected! I promised I'd stay off the caps lock, so I will, but it turned out perfectly and I couldn't be happier! Because the quality of tape on the market can vary drastically depending on how and where it is made, I was a nervous wreck until this first delivery showed up on the doorstep. I was thrilled to find that it is a lovely & heavier weight (yet still slightly translucent) tape, comparable to the premium Japanese masking tapes that I use and love. No curling on the ends and no thin waxy stuff. Happy me.

Since this was a small production run (we wanted to make sure the quality was up to par before placing a huge order), I have limited quantities in my online store and in my Etsy shop. If it sells out, I'll be able to get right back to the drawing board and bring more Artsyville designs to the collection!

Check back at noon EST today & I'll announce the Make Time For Your Art 8x10 print winners. Thanks everyone for helping keep me afloat & encouraged through my washi tape roller coaster ride!

UPDATE: We have winners! The Artsyville accountant (the Random Number Generator) chose mtnmermaid, Suzie, and Kristina. Congrats! Send me your addresses and I'll mail your prints first thing Monday. And thanks everyone for entering!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

make time for your art giveaway


Happy Wednesday! I just finished a makeover on Make Time For Your Art -- this was one of my very first doodles from ancient Artsyville times, and I decided it was time for a facelift. I made it bigger (8x10), freshened up the color, and sharpened up the lettering. Otherwise it's still true to the original piece! I'm giving away three of the new prints here and will draw winners on Friday. To enter, just leave a comment here with a way to reach you. Optional: tell me what art project you'd love to tackle if you could find the time for it. As for me -- I'd love to fill an entire wall in the house with doodle lettering!

And, a washi tape update... production is complete on my first design, and 240 rolls of Secret Garden are in transit! I'll be a nervous wreck until that box shows up. Stay tuned to find out if this thing is going to fly or flop.

(p.s. I am doing an identical giveaway on Instagram for a total of 6 prints, if you want to bump up your chances of winning!)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

glue it tuesday: week 10

glue sticks

I found happiness at Sam's Club on Saturday in a 24-pack of glue sticks -- complete with its own little stand!

and I found double happiness yesterday at the National Stationery Show... my first visit ever! I've wanted to go for years. Paper heaven! My feet were numb and my eyes were crossed and my mind was whirling in the very best way possible by the time I left.

Can't wait to see what everyone is sharing in the Glue it Tuesday lounge this week... bring it on!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

blooms, booze, & bursts of color

ppf front porch
I scraped off the layer of pollen from the front porch, hosed it down, and made it habitable enough for a book & a brew;

ppf flower coffee
had flower coffee;

ppf blooms
went back to Manhattan for another dose of spring in the city;

ppf painted door
wanted to take home this door I found along Bleecker Street, but it was painted on the building;

ppf spotted pig
had a Bronx ale with two of my favorite paper ladies at The Spotted Pig in Greenwich Village;

ppf gma js cocktails
unpacked one of the (many!!!!) boxes my parents sent me of my grandmother's belongings and memories, including her cocktail notes (she does not partake much now but was very serious about her cocktails back in the day);

ppf sunflowers
got a dose of sunflowers from my friend Karen on a day I really needed it;

and whipped up a few hand-inked paper packs. I make these by "painting" with inkpads -- a technique I'll be teaching in my Inky Antics class at The Ink Pad in NYC on June 26. If you're nearby, and want to play, come & join us -- I'd love to see you!

And thanks everyone for your wonderful feedback on my new home! I'm very excited about the new shop :)

Happy PPFOS (Paint Party Friday on Saturday) and happy weekend!

(p.s. I finally got with it and put the Followers & Follow by E-mail widgets on my sidebar... thanks Mary for the prod to do it!)


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

color in the city + a new artsyville shop

Some bursts of color I found on a photowhirl in New York City last weekend:

nyc appliances
I never met a nicer purple oven {18th Street}

nyc bike
A bicycle built for me {Christopher Street}

nyc do kham
Do Kham {Nolita}

nyc bleecker street
Pick-a-shirt {Bleecker Street}

nyc fire station
Fire station {18th Street}

nyc gypsy skirt
Gypsy skirt {Bleecker Street}

nyc waverly
With a neon sign like that, it's got to be good {Greenwich Village}

nyc jefferson market garden
I could have spent the entire day here {Jefferson Market Garden}

nyc mustard
Lunch {Soho}

nyc paper presentation
Thousands of square feet of paper joy {front window of Paper Presentation}

nyc paper source
Sheets of course at Paper Source {Spring Street}

nyc soho
Walk down Crosby Street {Soho}

nyc whatever street
Doorstep {135 Whatever Street; can't remember which one}

Also, big news! I have another new home: the shop at is finally OPEN! We still have lots of content to add (I will be indexing all my tutorials & free printables over there among many other things) and it is still undergoing lots of layout changes (It's fun to play in a brand new sandbox!) but the shop is fully functional and we are already shipping orders! We opened up the new shop b/c I'm going to be adding a lot of new goods over the next few months: washi tape, boxed notes, paper packs, etc.) and expanding my wholesale business, and the Etsy shop isn't quite set up to handle that type of volume (the more items I list, the more stuff seems to get lost) so we decided it would be a good idea to set up a shop that would make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. I'll still keep my Etsy shop running for those who like to purchase there, too -- I'll just have a bigger variety of goods in the new casa.

For those who asked for a washi update: the samples are IN PRODUCTION! There are still so many things that could go wrong (so speaks my eternal internal pessimist), but getting this far -- I'm telling you -- is reason enough to crack open one fine craft beer on the front porch.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 13, 2013

glue it tuesday: week 9


The Glue it Tuesday lounge is open for week 9! The coffee is on, and there are chocolate croissants this week along with whatever baked goods you want to bring. It's back to the gluebook here today-- the ULINE catalog showed up yesterday and it was profoundly scissorworthy as it always is.

Your favorite collage material this week is/was...?

Monday, May 6, 2013

glue it tuesday: week 8


The Glue it Tuesday lounge is open -- come on in! Freshly brewed coffee is waiting (cocktails, too, if you are checking in later in the day) and I know sooner or later someone will bring cookies. The big sticky news here this week is that we've placed the first order of Artsyville tape. Holy washi, you guys. If this works, I'll flip my lid. After a good few months of research, dozens of conversations, scores of questions, measuring, head scratching, more measuring, more questions, and finally some answers, my trusty and wise sourcing manager (my husband) negotiated a test run of 240 rolls of my Secret Garden pattern (mockup above) so we can make sure all goes well before charging full steam ahead with big quantities and multiple designs. Will the colors turn out? Will the repeat work? Will the tape suck? Will our money disappear? Stick with me, so to speak, for we will find out together... hopefully within the next month!

My other gluey adventure this week: mini file folders. It was as easy as chop, score, trim, glue, file! Tutorial here. Have a great week!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

file it

Time for a tute: mini file folders! I love these things. They have so many uses -- coupons, notes, ideas, recipes, journal folders, labels, business cards, etc -- plus, it's just fun to file stuff. But the store bought ones can get pricey, and there were reams of cardstock in my inventory that I knew would be up for the job. I figured they couldn't be hard to make, and they are not. I couldn't find a tutorial that gave me what I needed, though, especially for the tabs -- so I came up with my own. The raised tabs on store bought file folders posed the only tricky part to this process. I saw no way to create the tabs as part of the folder itself without using an X-acto knife to cut the excess away. I have a spotty safety record with those, and I didn't want to spend hours shaping the curves by hand, so that was out. I worked around it by cutting the tabs separately and gluing them on. I'll get back to that later. First, let's get started...

Gather a variety of 8.5x11 cardstock (and scraps) from your stash -- different colors, patterns, textures, etc.

Pick one.

Decide on a folder size and cut your cardstock. Make sure to cut the piece at double the height you want for your folder, since you will be folding it in half. For example, if you want a 4"x6" folder, cut your piece to measure 8"x6"; if you want a 3"x5" folder, cut your piece to measure 6"x5".

Using a paper scorer (mine is from ProvoCraft which works fine for light duty work), place the longer side of your paper along the edge and score the piece in half. For example, you'll score an 8"x6" piece at the 4" mark; you'll score a 6"x5" piece at the 3" mark.

The scoring will leave a nice, neat indentation through the middle, making it easy to fold without cracking.

After folding it in half, use a corner rounder to round the top left and right corners -- don't round on the along the fold. (Here the folder is rotated to fit in the corner rounder, so I'm actually rounding the top right & bottom right corners in this picture.) I use an industrial corner rounder (the Lassco CR20 with a 3/8" die -- a dream if you do lots of paper crafting!) but a simple hand punch paper shaper will do the job well too. You can skip this step if you don't have a corner rounder, but I love how clean and finished the pieces look once the corners have been rounded.

Now you have your folder! On to the tabs.

Using your smaller pieces of cardstock scraps, cut your tabs to the desired size. (I cut mine 1" high and 2" long.)

Round the top left and right corners, run a glue stick along the lower half of the tab,

and attach it to the file folder. 1/2" should be below the top edge of the folder, and 1/2" should be above. (More or less). You can either glue it on the inside (where you'll be able to see the whole tab) or on the back of the folder (where you'll only see the top half of the tab, and it will look more like a traditional file folder). As you make more folders, you'll probably want to stagger the positions of the tabs (some on the left, some on the right, some in between) so that you'll be able to see multiple tabs as you're flipping through your box.

Then you can write anything on your tabs.

Now make lots of them,

put them in a box and file away!

Mine are rather plain for demo purposes (and also, Oreo truffles were being made in the other room which eventually won my attention), but you could do so much to dress these up. Doodle on them, collage them, write on them -- and if you're proficient in Photoshop or Illustrator, you could even print your own patterns on the cardstock and then make the folders from your own designs. That's it -- have a great weekend!