I didn’t bake butter cookies yet this year. I say yet because I still may bake them this week. We’ll see. In the meantime, enjoy my visual version.

Also, I was at at loss of what to carve as a stamp today, so I flipped open Julie Balzer’s “Carve, Stamp, Play.” I can always use another border. I highly recommend Julie’s book.


What can I say about confetti? I had several ways to approach this prompt and I felt like playing with patterns, so I went a little bonkers on the iPad. I find myself playing on the iPad the same way I play on paper.

My whole life was in sketchbooks until I installed Procreate on my iPad several years ago. Now, I find Procreate can be a digital sketchbook, a place to clean up something that came out of my sketchbook or a place to create fine art. Once I got past the idea of going digital and still being true to myself, I found myself leaning toward tools on Procreate that fit my technique and style.

My biggest inspiration for creating art for art’s sake on the iPad? David Hockney. I saw his exhibit in Manhattan, saw how he used the iPad as a tool, and was finally able to embrace it as an authentic artistic tool. Another artist I would recommend checking out for creating art on the iPad is Rob Sketcherman. I love his urban sketches done on the with Procreate and they look like they were done in a sketchbook! Rob plays with the tools on the iPad to take his sketches to a whole other dimension. Rob inspired me to take just my iPad out to sketch, using it as a sketchbook.

The iPad with Procreate has been a life changer for me, but I still love the traditional media. Especially when the battery dies on my iPad. (Bummer)

Looking at “Confetti” again, I wonder about doing this pattern play in my sketchbook so I may try it again with other media.

As with my Confetti Design, here is a simple stamp that I carved with no direction or sketch. I love this Carve December challenge. Today’s design almost looks primitive and it was only a few lines.

It’s December….Again

December is such a busy month and I scratch my head when art challenges pop up for December. Especially when the list hits right before the start date so that you can’t prepare ahead of time. It almost seems sadistic.

Getting off my soapbox….Shannon McNab’s “Daily Sketch Challenge” prompts for December are very helpful and she encourages not spending a lot of time overthinking them but to use the daily prompt for inspiration to illustrate an idea. She is correct when she says if you were looking to create illustrations or art for the holiday season, there’s no better time to do it than during this season.

Christmas is the time of year when you feel the season in so many different ways…the festivities, the food, the visual celebrations of lights and decor, the music, TV specials and ironically, even the stress could be a source of inspiration. Watching Hallmark Christmas movies or listening to holiday music in July doesn’t really capture the moment or ambiance like the living in the season does for providing inspiration to create holiday art.

I discovered another prompt list called Carve December (that I need like a hole in the head) that I could probably incorporate with the Shannon McNab’s list. I am really excited about Carve December because carving stamps and having inspiration to do them is making me very happy. Stamp carving is fun and relaxing and I can do so much with my own stamps in my creations. I have already found that they make cute little gift tags.

Here is my Daily Sketch Challenge and my CarveDecember print.

On a side note, I need to pick up a red ink pad. This one leans toward pink.

Lili’s Christmas Parka

3×3 Design Challenge #1

I like doing Shannon McNab’s design challenges. This is last Friday’s submission but my posts are a little backed up right now from last month’s St Patrick’s Sketchbook. I am also working on ideas for Easter which should start on April 1.

The Challenge for Week 1 was Folksy Florals are something folk arty so being born a Pennsylvanian, the first idea that popped into my head was Amish hexes so I incorporated some flowers I did in one sketchbook and one of the birds from last month to come up with this submission.

Little dog & Owls

I started to play with drawing bulldogs but this little guy happened instead. The whole drawing was “accidental.” Sometimes the pencil has a mind of its own.

Our screech owls are back and the palm tree they used last January fell over during the summer. It was dead for a while but we didn’t remove it because the owls were using it.

John made the owls an nesting box and put it in a safer tree for them. Now we wait to see if they use it. We called the wildlife folks to ask where the best spot was and this is what they suggested. Keeping fingers crossed. I can hear them outside right now.

PS…it is “winter” in Florida right now and this tree loses it leaves every year. They don’t change color, they just fall off.