Friday, December 12, 2014

a few things on Friday 12.12.14

-We are halfway there and will be adding a little girl to our family!

-I'll be shipping orders up through December 23rd most likely, but December 15 (Monday) is the USPS suggested cut off date to guarantee packages will be delivered by Christmas Eve. I'm offering FREE domestic shipping today through the weekend if you have a few last minute things to grab. Use the code SHIPFREE in the shop.

-I'm thrilled and honored to now be working as a designer for Jewel Branding. I could have never dreamed two years ago that Pen & Paint would be where it is today. I'm so grateful for the encouragement and support I have received from family, friends, clients and customers. I can't wait to see where things go in 2015.

-I shared a yummy holiday drink over at The Common Table. Also I have been drinking this hot chocolate every day ;)

I hope your days are merry and bright,
and you are enjoying this season with your loved ones.

Monday, December 1, 2014

mama's new glasses (Firmoo review)

I needed new glasses. Mine were officially too old (we are talking as old as that little cutie there)!

I decided I needed new updated frames, and was pleased to find a cute pair on Firmoo.

Their website is so easy to use and their frames are super affordable. First-time customers get a pair free! I really enjoyed using their virtual try-on system where you can upload a photo of yourself to see what pair works best. I will advise you to be sure to look at the lens size (height and width) and maybe use a ruler to see how big the lenses are compared to your face. The cute pair of frames I picked out have very large lenses, so the next pair I buy will be a bit smaller.

The frames are great quality, my prescription lenses are just right, and the hard case & repair kit were a nice added touch.

If you are looking to update your glasses for an affordable price I recommend using Firmoo. I'll be ordering more soon!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pen + Paint Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It's time for some of the biggest sales of the year.

11/28 only buy one 8x10 print get a different 8x10 print of your choice for FREE! Code BOGO8X10
Please include the description of your FREE print in the message to seller at checkout. There is no minimum so if you buy three 8x10s you get three 8x10s free.

12/1 save 30% on your entire order (prints, cards, etc.) with the code CYBER30.

Be sure to follow along on Instagram or Facebook to catch any flash sales through the weekend.

Thank you for supporting independent, handmade shops like Pen + Paint!

Friday, November 21, 2014

a few (big) things on Friday 11.21.14

1. I got new glasses, and I'm loving them. This is the first time I have ordered glasses online. It took less than 5 minutes and was super easy.You can get a pair for FREE. What? Yes. Go here.

2. There is so much to be thankful for. Surprise! We will have a new addition in the spring. More on that later :)

3. Christmas and holiday cards, tags and prints are in the shop.

4. Calendars, calendars, calendars. I'm so excited to share you can find 10 Pen & Paint illustrations in the Page-A-Day calendar and two in the mini calendar for 2015.

5.  Wanna win some great handmade stuff for the holidays. Check out this giveaway (and all the coupon codes)!

6. Shipping deadlines for the shop:
Domestic shipping-
To receive orders by December 16 (Hanukkah) please order by December 8.
To receive orders by December 24 (Christmas Eve) please order by December 15.
APO and international shipping-
To receive orders by December 24 please order by December 3.

7. I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
See you on Black Friday.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

a peek inside the Pen & Paint Studio

Join me in sharing where you create. Meet the community of creators of WeWork.

"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail."
-Edwin Land

Two and a half years ago I found a set of pens and a sketch pad in my closet. I had no clue where those tools could take me. I honestly wasn't sure where to begin. Thanks to the push from another artist friend I kept trying and decided there wasn't anything to be afraid of. I had nothing to lose.

I drew and I drew and I drew more. My kitchen table became my work space, my shipping station, my conference room, etc. It was totally inconvenient, but it was my only option so we made it work. There were so many days I would say, "I wish I had my own studio." I couldn't imagine a day where I could have my own space.

Five months ago my family made some huge changes. One of them allowed me to focus on Pen & Paint full time. If I told you I wasn't afraid to fail I would be lying (remember this post). This meant I had to have my own space. My husband helped me transform our small spare bedroom into a sweet, colorful studio. It took several months, but after a few coats of paint, second hand furniture, and adding color and inspiration from other handmade shops and artists it finally came together.

My favorite part of my studio has to be my new work table (the only piece of furniture we purchased for the studio). And of course I love all the light! The studio has five windows, two facing east, allowing me to enjoy the sun come up each day while I sketch or paint.

My studio isn't perfect, but it is wonderful. I look forward to "going to work" each day and having a chance to create. If I could have my dream studio it would be about three times larger with hardwood floors, endless amounts of storage, a comfy couch, and a mural wall. Until then I'll enjoy this bright, little space and keep creating and sharing.

Wall collage: prints from Pen & Paint, sign from Evie Ivy Crafts, hoop from Big Red Heart. Black inspiration board: 2015 calendar from Recipe for Crazy, artwork from ArtsyvilleLetter Happy, and Today is Going to be a Great Day Page-A-Day Calendar. Handmade items from Natalie Creates ShopFarmgirl Paints, and Celebrate Life.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

mark your calendar

New Pen & Paint 2015 calendars are in the shop today!
I loved working on this project and drawing out the illustrations for each month.

The mini calendar has to be my favorite because of the adorable wooden hanger. I know what I'm giving everyone for Christmas this year ;)
Each calendar comes with a hanger, 12 monthly pages (January 2015 - December 2015), and a fun cover page representing all the months. You can find them here.

I'm also loving the 11x14 wall calendars here and here. They look great framed or hung with twine and mini clothes pins.

Also, if you had your eye on a nativity set from last year be sure to set an alarm because I'll be listing those in the shop at 9:00 PM Eastern Standard Time tonight. There will be Holy Family sets and Nativity sets, each is hand painted and a wonderful Christmas keepsake.

More holiday items will be hitting the shop this month so stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall is in the air.

13 days until the official first day of Fall.
Leaves are already falling in our yard. Also, it's still as hot as can be outside, but nonetheless I'm looking forward to a new season.

You can find seasonal note cards and prints in the shop here. Mark your calendar for October 1, I've got some fun new Pen & Paint products and holiday items coming soon!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

creativity expressed

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep."
-Scott Adams

To take colors, combine them, and see how they transform a simple piece of paper really is a magical thing. Sometimes I sit back and look at what I have drawn or painted and I can't believe my hands put that on paper. It's a humbling experience to have the chance to express the creativity that is inside.

Each time I create I have a different experience. More often than not, I have a struggle. I crumple up pieces of my sketch book and begin again. Sometimes the ink or paint flows easily, especially when I have no agenda. I think that's what's been the most interesting about my journey as an artist - I have experienced so many happy accidents.

For much of the beginning of my creative journey I just drew anything that came to mind. I had fun with drawing. This allowed me to learn and develop my skill with illustration and hand lettering. Now, rather than being intimidated to draw something new I dive in head first, excited to see what will happen when I put my pen to paper.

My newest creative outlet is watercolors. Whenever I have a creative block or need time to decompress from work I pull out my watercolors. I take a deep breath, and I just see what happens. This has been a wonderful tool for me to learn and a chance to surround myself with color. I look forward to the day when I feel the same confidence in my watercolor pieces as I do with drawing.
For now I will enjoy the journey and 
learn which mistakes to let go of and which ones to keep.

This post is a part of the Creativity Expressed Blog Series hosted by Jen at Lovely Messes.  Nine creative women are sharing the secrets behind their creative process, don't miss a single bit of inspiration!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day Sale

Happy Labor Day weekend! You can take 25% off your order today through Monday with the code 25OFF.

Friday, August 29, 2014

my favorite supplies

If you follow along on Instagram or Facebook you'll see my weekly sketches and paintings. I receive frequent questions about my supplies so I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

Sketchbooks: Strathmore is my go to sketchbook. I try to stock up on them when they are on sale at Michael's. I just recently tried the Strathmore mixed media visual journal for my watercolors, and I love it. I also use Master's Touch sketch paper for drawing and Canson Mix Media for painting with watercolor or gouache. 
Pens & Markers: Fabre Castell Pitt pens are my favorite. They are waterproof so they are perfect if you will be using paint or markers. I also use a Sharpie marker and Pentel brush pen with my hand lettering. For markers I use Pentel color pens. They are wonderful and have a HUGE variety of colors. 
Pencils: I like an inexpensive mechanical pencil (I think from Target) for sketching. The colored pencils by Pentel are definitely a good fit for my collection of supplies. I love the range of colors offered. Also, I have to hide them from my boys.
Paints: The Winsor Newton pocket box is what I'm using right now for the majority of my watercolors. I chose Reeves to try gouache for the first time. The set was affordable and offered a fun collection of colors. My acrylic paints are for the most part an inexpensive collection of my favorite colors. 
Brushes: My watercolor brushes are Royal, and I also like to use Craft Smart and Loew-Cornell for acrylic painting.

I also have an FAQ here for other questions you might have.

I hope this is helpful for any of you who are interested. Remember, whether you have a Sharpie pen and a cheap sketchbook or fine art pens and paper, the main thing is that you are taking time create. Also, it's okay to buy cheap supplies. The first watercolor set I started really experimenting with was $8. I bought it because I liked the colors. It got me interested in trying a new medium and allowed me to get my feet, or should I say brushes, wet.

"You can't use up creativity. The more the you use, the more you have." -Maya Angelou