Thursday, December 13, 2012

Do they know it's Christmastime?

I was just on Facebook, checking to see what all my friends and favorites were doing like one does, when I came across a post from Compassion. I had 'liked' them a while back when I discovered them through another blog where the blogger had gone to Africa to meet the teenage boy she sponsored. I thought 'What a lovely thing to do..I would love to do that' and left it at that. Tonight was different. Compassion posted about a few hundred correspondent children that where in need of sponsors. No cost, just a promise to write the child at least three times a year. I thought ' I can do that! I would LOVE to do that!'. So I did. Little did I know what The Universe had in store for me when I visited the site after seeing a post from another fan about all the new babies that were up for sponsorship. Babies? I have a baby. I have a 6 year old and a 4 year old as well. And a baby. A vulnerable, innocent, baby.


So what do you think happened when I visited the site and searched the children needing sponsors by age? BABIES IN NEED all over the page! The first child I saw was a 1 year old named Tania from Bolivia. My sister's name is Tania. I took it as a sign, fought back the tears welling up in my eyes, swallowed the lump in my throat and signed up as a sponsor right there and then. Yes. I am now the sponsor of a baby in Bolivia. And somehow part of me feels like I was destined to be this little girl's sponsor. And yet another part of me is wondering how I am going to keep from sponsoring MORE children? There are SO MANY children in need, living in parts of the world that are DANGEROUS, have NO CLEAN WATER, NO FOOD. MOTHER'S that don't have the means to care for these children, but desperately do what they can to survive.

I am so lucky. YOU are SO LUCKY. And blessed. WOW, are we blessed! The fact that I am writing this blog post on my new iMac with my iPad beside me with a space heater running to keep me warm as I drink my clean water makes me feel a little guilty. And humble beyond belief.

I am going to ask each and everyone of you. Can you spare $13, $20, $40....how about $80? If you can spare any of those amounts you can buy a Christmas gift of food, safe water for a lifetime, medical needs for an infant for a year and even equip a family with livestock. Makes you feel pretty silly asking Santa for that new expensive gadget now, doesn't it? I feel silly. All I want for Christmas is for the needs of every child on the Compassion International's website to be met. Clothing, food, education, you name it. THAT is my NEW Christmas wish.

What's yours?

xxoo


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

What's New - Mr. Darcy and New Doodles!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I have blogged! Can it be? I realized the last time I posted anything was on Halloween while I was still taking the Decor8 Blogging Your Way E-Course. I was on a roll while taking the class then LIFE happened. You know how it is with kids (3!) one thing after another and before you know it a month has flown by and you have barely come up for air, buried in mommy and household duties. My apologies to all of my readers. I feel like I should apologize to Holly Beckers too. Such an amazing course, and here I am dropping the ball so soon after! I guess it would help if I caught up to all the lessons, finally? *Cringe* Yes, I am not done with all the lessons. (Bad Liz, I know!)


On the positive side I have made time for creativity and listing goodies in my shop! It just takes me a while to take excellent photos and share with you all. Want to see what I've been up to (apart from being up to my neck in dirty cloth diapers)?

I found a few of these Waiting for Mr. Darcy pendants that I made over the summer and a few pairs of Mr. Darcy portrait earrings. If you don't already know I am obsessed with Mr. Darcy and Jane Austen, in general. Love me some Bronte as well but Jane bewitched me body and soul with her Mr. Darcy character. 


I've also been doodling fiercely. You may recognize the doodle above from my BYW Mood Board. That's what I am trying to continue to do. It's my mantra. Dream BIG. I certainly wouldn't be able to enjoy life if I didn't continue to do that on a daily basis. I like to think ANYTHING is possible. 


These lovely and affirming doodles are all available now in my shop as prints. Perfect to inspire yourself, a friend or loved one. They make perfect gifts when paired with a modern frame!

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving and that you are all in the Christmas Spirit - I am! I've already Decked the Halls and this weekend plan to get some crafting and holiday baking done. I LOVE this time of year, don't you? What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blogging Your Way Boot Camp - My Mood Board


I am really behind on my homework for Blogging Your Way Bootcamp! Thanks to Hurricane Sandy my husband is home helping with the kids so I was able to carve some time out for homework - a mood board! Our assignment was to create a mood board for what we would like our blog to look like or what we currently love about our blog.

You are probably noticing the colors are not my blog colors which are currently aqua and grey. I didn't get hung up on the design aspect of my blog when creating the board as much as content and what inspires me to blog. Is there a right or wrong here? I don't know. I am taking the course to streamline my blog and make it more cohesive and uniform. To give it focus. Still pondering - should my blog be about my journey as an artist or should it focus on what inspires me or projects I work on that I may want to share?? This much is true and RIGHT. I LOVE design. I LOVE surface design - which encompasses illustration both digital and traditional. I LOVE to inspire others. I LOVE Jane Austen and books in general. I used to dream about designing book covers, believe it or not. I also LOVE crafts. So I guess I just LOVE anything art/craft related.

My hope is that by the end of this course I can once and for all decide. To re-make the blog or not to re-make the blog? So I ask my readers this question: What do YOU love about my blog? What posts do you feel most drawn to read? What would you like to see more of on the blog?

Would love to hear from you in comments! =)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sketchbook Project 2013 - My Memoir

A while back you may have heard me mention my participation in this year's Sketchbook Project by Art House Co-op. I've been busy working on it every chance that I get and posting to Instagram using the #sketchbookproject2013 hashtag. These are the first high resolution photos I have taken of my progress. So far I have completed the cover and 14 pages. At the time I took these photos and edited them I wasn't done with pages 12-14 so they aren't included in this post but you can see the sneak peeks on Instagram. My theme as you can tell by my cover is My Memoir. 

 

I wasn't sure where to go with this at first, but then I put pen to paper and it just flowed. It's actually really therapeutic to put things down on paper that have hurt or damaged me in some way. Our lives aren't always perfect or filled with light. We all have dark times, mountains to scale, challenges to face.
These hardships are what make us who we are, what shape our souls. We can choose to wallow in self-pity or guilt and anger about things that have happened in our lives or we can move on, forgive and forget and see these things as blessings in disguise. Everything we go through is meant to teach us a lesson or prepare us for the future and challenges ahead.


I have to say that I am (or was) a little hesitant to share these things. But I don't think that is what I meant to be doing with this. I think I am meant to write about things that maybe have happened to other women I know. Maybe someone else had a similar childhood trauma or experience and they feel comforted by my art and words, safe in the knowledge that they are not alone. Ever.




One of my favorite quotes is 'The creative child is the child who survived'. That couldn't be more true for me. If it hadn't been for my creativity, for art I probably would have not been able to cope with everything I had to cope with as a kid. It was my way out of reality. Everything in my world was colorful and beautiful and perfect when I was creating. I remember being in 4th grade and bringing someone else's sketchbook to show and tell and when I was asked if I had drawn all the cartoons in it and said yes. I lied. Not to be mean or malicious. But because I was so certain that I was going to be an artist that I may as well say 'yes, this work is mine' because one day I would surpass what was in that book. True story. I remember my mother secretly hoping I would give up the fantasy of being an artist because she wanted me to make a good living. 


Thank God for my faith and hope. Thank God for never leaving my side and never ceasing to whisper in my ear 'You can be anything you want to be if you believe it'. Thank God for listening to my prayers and answering them. He was my rock during my childhood. He never left my side. I know this because at the darkest times in my life when things could have gone horribly wrong I felt peaceful and assured that everything would turn out ok. And it always did! My father found Al Anon when I was in middle school and has been clean ever since and my mother found love and was blessed with two more children; my younger brothers. I cared for them as if they were my own. And they brought me Joy.



I was also very lucky to have a loving, albeit imperfect, dysfunctional family. I have so much more to say, so many more pages to fill and share with you. I'm so blessed and grateful to share this with all of you. I hope each and every one of you take something from this. And if there is anything that speaks to your soul I would love to hear from you. We are all in this life together. =)

Peace and love to you all. xxoo

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sharing Responsibly and Protecting Yourself as an Artist

On September 10th I happened to be on Facebook and notice a very familiar print was being shared by Huffington Post Women from their Facebook Page. At first I was very excited when I noticed it was mine - in shock, really. Not so much when I realized that HuffPost had gotten the image from a Tumblr account called A Place For Art. No where was their any mention of the artist, where you could find the original or a link to where it originated from. Luckily, I signed it in Illustrator. But who the heck is e caldwell? Well, I know it's me but the world doesn't. I certainly am not the only e caldwell in the world. So I did what any other Latina, raised by a single mother who grew up in the Bronx would do. I opened my mouth and blasted them for sharing something that does not have the proper credit/link.

Photo courtesy of Society6 - Print alone available on Etsy
Luckily, they were very apologetic and asked if the image was mine, how I made it and then asked me to post the link. Which I did. I thought that was very nice of them, but it didn't solve the problem. The link I posted was in the comments and the image was shared 95 times on Facebook without the proper link to the original artist. When I dove into Tumblr and realized that A Place For Art had reblogged it from another Tumblr who reblogged it from someone else on Tumblr. This image had been blogged all over Tumblr in the THOUSANDS. Sadly,  Not ONE of these blogs included a credit/link to the artist and even more upsetting was that they have no way to contact them via their blog. You can't even comment! That, of course, is because of all the art stealing they do. They wouldn't want tons of hate mail (which you know they would get).

NONE of these artists are credited - Rachael Taylor is included here 

This situation got me thinking about copyright, sharing responsibly, and linking with love. Non-artists love to find art and be inspired by it and post it to their tumblr's/instagram/facebook, etc without so much as a thought about where it came from, who made it, and how much it is. We artists don't work for free. Yes, we LOVE sharing our work with an audience. But it's so that we can inspire and make a name and a LIVING for ourselves. People don't buy our art, we don't make money. We don't make money, we can't make art. It's a vicious cycle. It REALLY ticks me off that blogs like this exist. It wouldn't be so bad if they linked with love! But nooooooo. That would take too much time from stealing art and pawning it off on their blog as their art.

Ice Cream pendant - from my etsy shop
So now I sign EVERYTHING and I am now adding a banner in the photos with my logo and information. I can't stop people from copying my work onto their blogs, but I CAN put my stamp ALL OVER my art. I suggest all my fellow artist's do the same! Protect yourself and your art!

Have any if you had a problem like this? Tell me about it in comments - would love to hear!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blogging Your Way with Decor8


As most of you know I had a baby in January this year and my posts have been few and far between for some time now. I have struggled with a) finding the time/motivation to blog and b) finding things to blog about. I jumped into blogging blindly thinking I would just learn as I go. Which is fine. But that lack of focus has left me feeling less and less inspired to blog. So I decided to do something about it!

I am proud to announce that I am currently enrolled with Decor8 Blog's E-Course - Blogging Your Way with Holly Becker. I am a bit behind because time is still an issue but I am at least very motivated and excited (finally!) about blogging. If you have never taken the e-course before I HIGHLY suggest it. So much invaluable information. Not to mention the amazing guest teachers we have - Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely (I love her!) and Jeanette Lunde, editor-in-chief of By Fryd. I'm really hoping upon completion of the e-course that I will be able to get my blog to where I want it to be. I'm so glad you are all on this journey with me. Are you as eager to see the unfolding of this transformation as I am? =)


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Society6 Shop Update


Just updated my Society6 shop which was collecting dust. Getting back into the groove of things at home now that the baby is napping a bit more consistently and both kids are at school. Hooray! Why don't you head on over and take a peek? These are the newest additions.







Have an awesome day!

xx Liz

New Goodies in the Shop


Made some glass tile pendants with some leftover calendar prints recently and finally got them listed this week. This was my first attempt at making these. It was a bit time consuming because you have to wait a long time for the glue to dry (about 24 hrs) but worth it to have a sturdy piece of jewelry. I even added patterns to the back and covered them in dimensional adhesive to give it a little something extra.

You can visit my shop and see the photos of the backs of the pendants there. These were a lot of fun to make! Thinking I may have to do some custom photo ones for my family for Christmas. It's nice to step away from the computer and get hands on and crafty once in a while. It's really relaxing!

Next up - glass magnets, push pins, earrings and rings! Thinking I need to re-stock my Mr. Darcy jewelry. Or maybe I'll do something a bit different. What's your favorite crafty thing to do?


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Practicing Gratitude


 Did this doodle while waiting for my kids to get out of school. Try to fit in creativity whenever and wherever I can. Oh yeah...and that's my shopping list on the left. ;)

What are you grateful for?

*Namaste*
xx Liz

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spark and Inspire by Robin Norgren


Just received this beautiful and inspiring postcard from my friend Robin Norgren. She has this new website and she is making these amazing OOAK postcards for her Postcard Project called the Spark and Inspire Project. Love it! Robin is a Life Coach, Art Teacher, Christian, and all around beautiful spirit. So grateful for having met her via Twitter and Facebook. She is so lovely! Please visit her site and let her know what you think about her project!

Thanks Robin for shining your light my way! =)

xx
Liz

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sketchbook Project 2013


I did it. I signed up. I took a year off due to baby but I felt the pull. My theme is 'Memoir'. Are you joining in? Have you picked a theme? Excited and anxious to get my book in the mail. There's no time to waste!

Sign up for the Sketchbook Project 2013 here.

xx Liz

Saturday, August 25, 2012

New fabric collection for Robert Kaufman : "Metro Cafe"

Just catching up on my favorite blogs and saw this on Pink Light Design's blog from back in July! It's my new fabric collection for Robert Kaufman! It really looks fabulous and I can't wait to get samples of it. If you happen to purchase this fabric when it's available for a craft project I would love to hear from you! Thanks to Pink Light Design for securing the license for me. =)


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Make a Wish

You know those days when you have something planned and NOTHING goes right? You  have a destination in mind and just CAN'T seem to get there without delays, blocks, etc? I had a morning like that yesterday. The outcome was such a blessing and I am sharing it with you in the hopes that the next time you encounter blocks on your way to somewhere you will sit back, breathe deeply, and look around and see the hidden blessing.


I was on my way with family in tow to a specific park that we have not been to this summer. We tried and tried and tried and streets were closed due to construction and we were eventually forced to just go to the next to nearest park because we couldn't get anywhere near where we wanted to go originally. Now I have been going through some very trying times, personally. A lot of challenges and what seems like a lot of mountains to climb. The night before I had overcome a HUGE issue with my husband and we found ourselves at peace with one another and closer than ever. What we encountered at the park was both a miracle and a blessing and we would have missed it had we been able to get to the original destination. 


We walked into the park and saw this tree covered in manila tags with a sign on it that read 'Add Your Wish'. Above it was an envelope which had originally contained tags for people to write their wishes. it was empty. Every tag was used and after closer inspection, I realized that people began to attach their own scraps of paper with wishes on them. As I read the tags I started to cry. I was so moved by what I read that I just couldn't help it. 


One of the tags read: "I wish people could see how lucky they are"...another one read "I have Cancer. I wish I could live another year"; Yet another read "I wish he had never cheated on me" and someone had added "He doesn't deserve you". Amongst my favorites were the ones that read "I wish for everyone's wish to come true" and "I wish people would be nicer to each other".




Reading all these wishes and adding my own on a napkin as it began to rain, filled my heart with such gratitude for everything that I have. For the ability I have to forgive and love and to make a difference in this world; for my kids, my health, my husband, my home, and my friends and family. Gratitude is something I practice every day now, and the more I practice it the more blessings I receive. The more I get these little messages from God that everything is as it should be and that I am loved and that all is not lost. We CAN achieve peace on earth. One wish at a time. One kindness at a time. I urge you to put some 'gratitude in your attitude' as my dear old dad says and make it a point to make one person happy everyday. Be kind to a stranger and see them smile and say thank you and know the gift of kindness you gave them will be passed on and on and on. 

Just out of curiosity....what would YOU wish for? =)

*Namaste*

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Art Journaling




Spending some time art journaling today since I have some help around the house. My cousin is staying with us while my husband is away and she is really helpful with the kids. It's so wonderful to be able to squeeze in some creative time for myself! I am revisiting traditional art methods that I haven't used in a very long while: colored ink, watercolor, gouache and acrylic. I dug up my old Art Bin from college and was surprised I had so much in there! What are your favorite art supplies at the moment?

Peace and love,
Liz

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Inspired by Nature

Sometimes when I get stuck in a creative rut, where nothing seems to flow from me and I have forgotten how to even draw the simplest of things, I take a walk or spend some time outdoors and bust out my camera. (In this case camera phone) The outcome is always positive. I encourage you to do the same when you are in a creative rut. It really does help to refresh your creativity, especially if you are photographing nature! 
  





The photos above were taken in Essex Fells, NJ using Vignette Demo for Android.

*Namaste*

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I am Truly Blessed


I was working on this doodle the other day and posted the WIP to my Facebook page. Below is the final, colored version. Really happy with how it turned out! I drew directly into Illustrator using my Bamboo pad and pen. Might try to color my next doodle in Photoshop to try and get a more painterly effect. Heck..maybe I will just paint one and then scan it! 


This will be part of an affirmations collection I am working on for the shop. Keep an eye out for more WIP's. In the meantime, have an awesome day...and remember YOU are truly blessed! =)

*Namaste*

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Savannah Tails

My dog collar designs for Savannah Tails are still available on Amazon.com. They are available in both a collar and a lead. The paw print camp comes in pink as well but is only available on SavannahTails.com. Really hoping to design more in the future (and get a dog to sport them).