the making of flower nook

Trio of leaves

The way my Mom tells it, it was my Dad who was the most concerned with keeping us stocked up on crayons and coloring books. That's where my love of artwork started. I loved coloring and drawing before I even started going to school.

There's one thing that I haven't shared about how my coloring book came about. It's on the personal side of things – something I've never talked about – but I figure, why not share it?

I've always known and believed that my artistic abilities are not my own. I was born with them — they are a gift from God. I draw, create, design because I'm compelled to, but also because, with time, I've come to understand that sharing my gift is a must. That's how I approach all my work but for whatever reason I had it more present than ever with the creation of Flower Nook.

Coming up with 50 illustrations for the coloring book was challenging because I wanted each drawing to be unique but still feel like it fit in with the others in the book. When I couldn't come up with a fresh idea I started a little ritual of just closing my eyes for a moment and asking God what I should draw. I'd open my eyes and jump in. The images and ideas would just flow. It was as simple as that. It was like it was all meant to be.

So, yes, this is a special book. I feel like I've come full circle with a destined purpose fulfilled. But it isn't the end of a path by any means. It feels like a new beginning – the start of a new phase of my work. Very exciting!

So there you have it. Sorry for the mushiness. I just had to get this out.

Back to more creating and for now the reality of putting clean laundry away. Haha!

• • •

Diane and Kjansma, you are the winners of the Flower Nook: A Coloring Book giveaway. Congratulations! I will be in touch shortly.

Thank you to all of you that participated and shared your thoughts on coloring. I loved reading every one of your comments and kind words. Too bad we all don't live close enough to have one happy coloring group — wouldn't that be fun!?

Maybe an online version? Hmmm....

• • •

Cards
These are three new cards I made for my stash. My Mom liked my previous three (last post) so much I gave them to her, so I needed some replacements. Lol! -- I drew these illustrations on Borden & Riley Boris Layout Paper for Pens and then attached to A2 sized card stock. I used the Borden & Riley Boris paper to create all the originals for my coloring book. It also takes the marker ink really well. I will definitely be getting more of this paper soon!

One more thing
I am revamping my newsletter. I haven't been terribly creative with it and some of you may have unsubscribed from it (I don't blame you!). I have a new plan in mind and look forward to creating a weekly treat for your inboxes starting next Wednesday. If you'd like to join in the fun subscribe here!



happy national coloring book day!

national coloring book day

Tomorrow is National Coloring Book Day. Who knew? I just found out by chance a couple of days ago. I celebrated a day ahead by coloring one of my Flower Nook coloring pages and then turning it into a trio of note cards.

This weekend also marks the end of our vacation (insert sad face). We stayed home this year and I took a very close to 100% internet and work sabbatical. It was a fabulously relaxing week and now I feel energized to take on the end of the summer and the start of school in a couple of weeks (ahh! too soon!).

I'd been wracking my brain to see how one the illustrations from Flower Nook could translate into a paper craft project and I just couldn't come up with anything. I want it to be a bit like what I did with the Fantasy Bloom Gift Set. The week off gave me the mental space to finally come up with an idea that I think will work. We'll see!
• • •

To celebrate National Coloring Book Day I'd like to give away 2 signed coloring books (and a few other suprise goodies) today! All you need to do is leave a comment below (include your email address or a way to contact you) by answering one little question: what do you like the most about coloring and what is your favorite coloring tool.. or just say hello!

I'll pick a random winner from the comments that are posted from now until Monday (August 3rd).

That's it. Good luck, happy Sunday and happy coloring!

coloring cards

color and frame - part 2

Flower Nook - A Coloring Book

I posted this photo on Instagram yesterday and I thought it would be a good idea to answer some questions about using my coloring book.

First of all my favorite tools for coloring:
- Right now I’m into markers. I got some Prismacolor Double-Ended Art Markers for my birthday and I’m really hooked. One end has a flexible brush tip which is wonderful to give strokes a more organic look. The other side is a fine tip which is great for more detailed work.
- I’ve always been partial to Prismacolor colored pencils. Thery're just the best.
- Pastel pencils - My dad had a set when I was little and I was so careful with them. I just thought they’d crumble under the pressure I used back then. I've loved them ever since then because the blending options and soft look is just beautiful. I want to give them a try again with these coloring pages.
- Good old regular lead pencils. Sometimes I keep a drawing in black and white and just add some shading. That’s a lot of fun too and less decision making.

The coloring book has illustrations on only the right hand side of each spread - so the backs of all the drawings are blank. This makes it safe to use markers. Just remember to place an extra sheet of paper behind the page your working on so that the ink doesn’t bleed onto the next image.
color and frame

I move my paper around a lot when I’m coloring or drawing. Sometimes I want a stroke to be just so and the angle of the page is just wrong if I keep it straight in front of me. That's why I like single sheets. My coloring book pages aren’t perforated (it would’ve made the book much more expensive!) but you can cut them out with a few simple steps.

1. Place a letter-sized sheet of chip board or cardboard (a cut out of a cereal box would be perfect) behind the illustration you’d like to cut out.
2. Place a ruler at the point where you’d like to make the cut. Make sure the ruler is covering the image to protect it (in case your blade goes in the wrong direction!).
3. Make sure the cardboard is pushed in as close to the spine as you can get it and under the area you’re going to cut.
4. Hold the ruler steady and cut. Done!

As you can see in the photo I also used the cardboard to protect my clipboard from the ink bleeding through the page.

I hope these easy tips help you out. If you have any other questions feel free to ask below.

Thanks again to all of you that believe in my work and have been ordering my coloring book. It’s been an exciting week!

If you don’t have a copy of Flower Nook: A Coloring Book just yet you can order one on Amazon. If you do - thank you! - if you have a few minutes I’d appreciate you leaving a review on the. I’d love to see what you think!

Have a great day everyone!


color and frame

Flower Nook: A Coloring Book (4 flowers) 
Here is a mock-up, inspired by vintage botanical illustrations, of how you can display some of the images in Flower Nook: A Coloring Book. I kept the color to a bare minimum just to see what a limited color palette would look like. Full colored versions of these would really pop against the white background. Why not display your handy work?

I'm still pinching myself because I can't believe this project is finally complete. Thank you so much for all your kind messages on Facebook and Instagram and for all your orders. I've been smiling all day long. Now onto the next big thing. I'm already thinking of the theme for the second book and I'm sketching ideas for another A Little Hut set. I need more hours in the day!