Saturday, December 31, 2016

One Little Word 2017

Hello friends!

It is hard to believe 2016 is coming to a close, and that I'm typing out a post about my one little word for 2017, but here we are. 

And I know many are saying Amen! And Hallelujah! to the close of this year.

A lot of you, a lot of us, have had a trying year. The seas have been rough with choppy waves for so many.

I have felt the sea sickness of those waves coming from our political climate, and from the devastation our friends in places like Aleppo, and even Gatlinburg, have experienced. As a super empathetic person, there were days when thinking about these things has overshadowed what has been going on between the four walls of our home.

But between our four walls these past 365 days, in all honesty (and not at all to sound braggy), things have been rather joy-filled and wonderful.

I was gifted a six month sabbatical from work, we remodeled our kitchen, my artwork has grown and provided me with immense happiness, and my marriage has grown stronger. Not to mention everything about those two boys who call me momma (or fart face...but whatever). 

It has simply been a good year.

Renew was my one little word for 2016, and I chose it this time last year, thinking ahead to my time off mostly. And while it was a good word, looking back it doesn't truly describe 2016 for me. 

That's the thing with choosing a word - sometimes it doesn't quite jive. And that's OK! 

Not that I didn't have time of renewal this past year, because I did. But overall I would say it was a year of growth and challenge for me. And of major gratitude and presence.

But for this year? I was struggling with what word to choose. I wasn't even sure if I would choose one. Then recently a friend posted on Facebook for people to share one word that began with the first letter of their name, to give her encouragement for the new year. And MAGIC popped up right away into my head. So that's what I shared with her.

And then I almost immediately decided, THAT'S IT! 

My one little word for 2017 is MAGIC.

I know it may sound cheesy & head in the clouds. But I mean really...when haven't I been either of those things? (and darn proud of it!)

And this year I feel like being a bit more of those things. Because life really can be magic if we let it be. And I want as much as I can get my hands on in 2017. 

Magic with my art, with my relationships, with how I experience the world and everything in it. 

Do you have a word for the upcoming year? Or a phrase or goal you are reaching for? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

P.S. This image was in my timehop today from last year. So perfect, right? 



Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas friends! 

And happy anything else you may be celebrating today!

I'm SO very thankful for you!

We have had a truly delightful and relaxing Christmas, and I'm beyond grateful for that. I hope you are enjoying time to rest, laugh, eat good food and recharge!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

New Tricks

Hello friends!

Happy Wednesday!  I hope you are well today and ready for all of the holiday business right around the corner. I'm fighting a cold today but refuse to let it put a damper on my Christmas excitement! 

And speaking of excitement, I have a few new illustrations to share!

I was so giddy the other day when I figured out a new trick in Photoshop to give my lettering more dimension...

See how there is another layer of color underneath? Yep...that is what I'm giddy about! I also played around with a translucent layer of color underneath the pine branches which turned out nicely. 

Here is the pencil sketch of the above piece...

I'm thinking about possibilities for my next Skillshare class teaching these tricks. My first class went amazingly well so I'm itching to create a second!

And here is another fun lettering piece I did last night. Can you guess the movie this quote is from? 

(I know...suuuper hard 😉 )

I've been focusing on creating artwork that I want to see out in the world. Something I would buy if I came across it on a notebook or canvas at TJ Maxx or Target. And these illustrations are getting me closer to that goal. 

Yay for new tricks! 

I had another giddy moment a few days ago when I opened up my first roll of wrapping paper with my own artwork...

Ahhh! I basically want to re-wrap all of our gifts now. But it is a small roll so maybe just a couple special ones. 

It is so awesome that there are online shops out there for artists to create these products without needing to have a license with a company. So many possibilities! (this is from my Zazzle shop)

Thanks for sharing in my illustration excitement! And I hope you are finding time to rest and find joy in this holiday season today.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Free Holiday Printables

Hello friends and Happy Monday!

I've been busy making you things, and I have two free holiday printables for you!

First up is a coloring page:

The idea behind this page came from my son Ben, which makes me love it even more. Who wouldn't wish for presents and candy falling from the sky? No one I know, that's for sure! 

And if this isn't even coloring fun for you, You can also grab my printable holiday coloring book with six fun pages here! These pages are perfect for holiday parties and family gatherings.

And for that second printable, I got so obsessed with the different motifs in the coloring page that I turned them into a set of holiday gift tags!

There are eight different cheerful tags, ready to be attached to gift bags, boxes, or any package you desire! They would also be fun embellishments for your holiday scrapbooking. 

And because I couldn't stop there, I also turned it into a pattern!

I pretty much want to wrap all of our Christmas gifts in these happy houses. Or move into one of them. I mean a candy cane roof? Come on. 

I added it to my Zazzle shop as wrapping paper and ordered a roll...SUPER excited to see how it turned out! You can see it here

If you share the printables on social media, I'd love to see how you use them! Tag me @mandyfordart! 

Happy printing & even happier holidays!



Sunday, December 04, 2016

{new coloring book!}

This is how I like to start a Sunday morning...

Coffee & coloring perfection.

I'm excited to share that my new printable holiday coloring book is now available in my Etsy shop!

There are four new pages and two of last year's favorites. 

These pages are perfect for any age and a great addition to holiday parties and family gatherings. Or you can keep it all to yourself...I won't tell. 😉

Click here to shop!

And if you're looking for markers to use, check out this blog post where I share my favorites! 



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