I think my body is trying to tell me something

Last night I picked up my arsenal for combating this cold I feel coming on and hit the hay at 7:30. The last two weeks have been super stressful and it seems as if my body can’t take it anymore and is shutting down for a long need rest. It appears I have no other option but to oblige.

sometime it’s ok to take a break

I’ve been having to force myself to take more frequent breaks away from the computer because my eyes have been straining.  Taking a break, really is a good thing!  I sometime forget how important it is to take a few minutes to regroup and rejuvenate, not just my eyes but my body and mind too. And it always makes going back to a tough task that much easier. So why did I have to wait until I was having eye spasms to figure this out?  Gosh, sometimes my body is truly smarter than my mind.

Just what the doctor ordered, the eye doctor that is.

I went to the eye doctor last week to get a check-up because I was having trouble seeing. It’s been 3 years since my last visit and I was actually looking forward to picking out a new pair of glasses.  Well, I got a little more then what I was hoping for. My optometrist told me that my eyes are straining and I am having eye spams, because of all the time I was spending in front of the computer. Her recommdation was to get a second pair of glasses for computer use and reading. Not at all what I wanted to hear considering on any given day I can spend upwards of 16 hours in front of the computer screen and who wants to switch back and forth between glasses. What a pain in the bum. The only other thing I can do is limit my computer time. So this past Saturday I decided to give my eyes a rest and we got out of the house and enjoyed a beautiful day at Tomales Bay.

This was Ava Blu’s first time trying oysters and she absolutely loved them. We couldn’t shell them fast enough. I actually think she winded up eating more oysters then Jay and I. We had a great time, and as a added bonus ran into some friends who had the same idea.

sketchbook stories :: monica lee


I “met” Monica while we were taking a blogging e-course together and instantly felt a connection to her and her art. Monica delights in all things girly and this is truly reflected in her feminine and classic designs, that have a slight wink to the past. She creates her art by combining her hand drawings and painted elements with digital accents to create stylish illustrations.

Monica is often hired to create chic and hip gals. She was contacted by Guideposts, who found her thru her theispot portfolio. Guideposts asked Monica to illustrate the cover and interior spots for a book called The Christian Mama’s Guide To Pregnancy” authored by Erin MacPherson.


Here is Monica’s Sketchbook Story ::
ML: I usually send over quite a few roughs and I like to add a tad of color because it helps the client get a better feel for what I an envisioning in my head. I send a lot of sketches over because “hip, current etc” all mean  something different to different people. I think I  actually did 6 or 7 sketches for this client. I also NAME each girl I draw because it helps me communicate better with the clients… i.e. “We like Vanessa and Sophie best…” It is much easier than just marking them 1, 2, 3, trust me!


ML: If I am really sold on a “pose” I will draw it with 2 different hairstyles to try to really sell that to the client! (my secret trick)

ML: Then I give them one more round of choices (I actually sent her in two different dress choices! Clients like choices!)  cover 1a and cover 1b.

ML: Then it becomes the cover, hooray! I think it comes out Spring 2011.


I want to thank Monica for graciously offered to be my first Sketchbook Story Feature. Thank You Monica!

And here’s where you can find Monica:

website: http://www.monicaleestudios.com

     blog: http://monicalee.typepad.com/monicaleestudios/

theipsot: http://www.theispot.com/portfolios/index.cfm?clientnumber=a2550&artistName=Monica%20Lee

Soon to launch :: Sketchbook Stories – A Page in the life of an Artist

I’m taking Holly Becker, from decor8, Blogging Your Way e-course. I’d recommend it to anyone that wants to improve their blogging. It’s less about the technical act of blogging and more about your content and what you want to say and how to say it in a way that’s your own.

Up to this point my blogging has not been very consistent and to be honest it’s been a little too self serving. Pretty much I was just posting  on my blog when I was about to send out a newsletter, so I would have a place to point people to see my new work. I want it to be more consistent and authentic. My new tagline and my underling objective of my blog is to give an honest and real account of “living the life creative”. Exactly what that means, I’m still figuring out. But one thing I do know is, that I absolutely love and can’t get enough of seeing how other artist work. I’m fascinated by what inspires other artists, what type of reference they use if any, how they work-out their concepts from the first round of thumbnail sketched to final sketched and finishes. I find the process magical, and I love seeing how it all evolves and unfolds.

So I have this idea to start a weekly column that would showcase the artist process by showing their inspiration, sketches and then final finishes.

I’m calling my new column Sketchbook Stories, a page in the life of                      (fill in the blank with the name of the artist being featured) Here is a example of what the column headers will look like:

I could really use some help in getting it off the ground. So if you are an artist and would like to be featured in Sketchbook Stories email me at cindyann@blupenny.com

The things I would need are:

  • a picture of you. (preferably in a square crop)
  • pictures of your inspiration (really this can be anything that inspired this piece of artwork)
  • pictures of your sketches
  • pictures of your final art
  • if you have any pictures of your art used on products that would be a lovely added bonus
  • and of course if there was anything additional you wanted to note about the project process or artwork.
  • and a link to your website or blog

What do you guys think? Are you game? ;-)

Working up a New Collection: A Sketchy Sneek Peek

Some of my preliminary sketches for my new collection.

drawing and wardrobe inspiration

cupcakes in every flavor

heavenly cupcake

how many flavor cupcakes are there?

drawing and head dress inspiration

close up of her cupcake head dress


I could draw cupcakes for days

scoutie girl & cupcake

how can I help you?

My Sketchbook has Finally Arrived!!

Yeah, my sketchbook has arrived!! Now I have the daunting task of actually filling all the pages around my theme, “A day in the life” by Jan 15th. The possibilities are endless the only rule is that it needs to stay the same dimension when closed shut.  It’s all a bit overwhelming. I think I’m going to start in the middle and work my way out that way I avoid the”first page” stage fright.