holiday

Happy Holidays Sale

Hello lovely blog readers!

I hope this year has been FULL of beautiful things for you. I'm sending you all so much love and best wishes for this festive season! Thank you for being the most fantastic students ever. I'm so grateful for each of you.

sale-collage

SHOP THE SALE NOW!

So...we figured a good SALE is always a fun way to kick off the merry days to come, so check out this amazing line up of our FANTASTIC online art classes including a couple of NEW additions.

Remember, our classes are self-paced, downloadable and all have lifetime access so they are there for you to enjoy at your leisure. Stock up now and have art classes ready to GO all year long!

Give yourself the gift of creative inspiration.

xo,

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A Creative Weekend away...

Hello there! How is life treating you this week? Besides a pesky summer cold, I'm doing quite well and I'm so thankful that last weekend I got to get away with a dear friend for a creative retreat! We stayed at the sweetest cottage in the quaint Oregon beach town of Manzanita. Here are some shots via my Instagram... Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 4.01.53 PM

This cottage doesn't get any cuter right? It is the perfect place for a beach getaway.

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The vintage kitchen is adorable with layered personal touches and unique collections.

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Mornings (sans kids) were blissfully quiet and peaceful - sipping coffee, reading magazines and writing in my journal. Here is Katie enjoying a fav cooking mag.

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After we had substantial amounts of coffee we would move outside into the "garage" which is really an amazing outbuilding that my friend Candace converted into a charming dining hall. Strung with lights and adorned with artwork, old wine bottles and other beautiful objects it feels like a beachy treasure trove. The energy in this space is fantastic and you can tell many wonderful evenings have been spent at the long farmhouse table. We were immediately inspired.

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It didn't take long for us to spread out and get right into a creative zone...

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After a little bit of art journaling and playing with my watercolors...

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I began a small mixed media piece...

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Almost done...Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.43.35 AM

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And finished! Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.43.48 AM

It was an amazing weekend and I was sad to leave. As much as I missed my family, having some precious time to focus on art was such a gift. Katie and I agreed to do it again soon! Thank you, Candace for letting us stay at your magical home!

Do you have a favorite place to get away and create?

xo,

Ivy

Happy Valentines Day

Hello friends! Happy Valentines Day! As promised, Grace and I made Valentines this weekend and it was a great success. Although, Grace's attention span wavered after the 3rd one, (we made 21) she really enjoyed working together and designing the cards.

I had racked my brain for days on what exactly we would do. As usual, I was scared of choosing a direction so I was waffling between several concepts. Finally, I forced myself to sit down and figure something out. I already had brown card stock and pink heart cut outs so once we had decided to use the die-cut shapes it came together quickly. Grace was so cute selecting each item and pairing it with other shapes. We moved the shapes around on the card until we liked the looks of it and got down to gluing. Here are the results...

Grace insisted that we paint our nails red so we have matching manicures. I love her cute little fingernails. Precious.

These vintage themed die cuts by K & Company are the best! So cute and fun to play with.  They kinda saved me.

Grace, of course, loved the ones with pink the best.

I am especially fond of these little pups.

We created a message for the back and taped on a piece of chocolate. Perfect. Now Grace has a sweet little set of Valentines that she is proud to hand out to her friends. It was well worth the extra effort to make these and I definitely want to do it again next year!

So what are you up to today? Don't wait for someone to buy you flowers...I just went out and got myself a big bunch!

I hope you feel loved today.

xo,

My pretty Valentine

It's sunny here and so pretty out! The whole city comes to life when Mr. Sun decides to hold court in our Northwestern skies. I love it. To celebrate, I decided a good dose of pretty Valentine pictures were in order. I've been collecting them from all over the internet for my Pinterest board. Enjoy...

Hope the sun is shining in your world too.

xo,

Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Valentine's Day Cards

Grace is thoroughly excited that V-day is just around the corner. Everyday she comes home, goes straight to her craft table and draws a million hearts in every shade of the rainbow. As she rushes by me in a blur of pink and white, I ask, "What are you doing?" She puts yet another Valentine day card on the fridge and says over her shoulder, "Mommy, I'm getting ready! Don't you know that it's Valentine's day soon!"

The girl just can't get enough of those hearts.

So, here's what I usually do for the Valentine's day exchange in her classroom...the night before, I drag myself to Walgreens, buy the super commercial Valentine 24 pack , usually with some sort of Disney princess on it...grab a bag of Hershey's kisses and call it a day.

Does it get the job done? Yup.

Is Grace excited about her generic Valentine cards? Yup. (You could put a Disney princess on an old shoe and she'd like it!)

BUT... is this method creative? Does it show that I want to be involved? well....not so much. For a busy mom, this works great...but since I'm not really that busy...I think I could do better right? I mean, I didn't go to four years of art school for nothing. So this year, I have decided that we will be making our Valentine Day cards. Me and Grace. Our little project. So, I'm sure you are wondering what we are doing? Well...right now...I have no idea. So I went on a hunt for inspiration!

I love the idea of cutting out hearts from fabric scraps. The quilting shop near us sells baskets of scraps for just a couple of dollars.

With Grace's cupcake obsession we have no shortage of these liners. A little glue and some pretty hearts and voila! Easy!

I just adore this idea! Get some cute stamps, a black ink pad and a stack of paint swatches! Just ignore the strange looks at Home Depot...

So sweet. I don't have a sewing machine but I think you could tape the edges too. Pretty tape would work even better!

Tracing her hand is one of Grace's favorite things to do so this one would be right up her alley! Nice personal touch.

If you are just not feeling the crafting vibe this year...forgo the store-bought cards for these really cute free printable Valentine's....

Click here for the download link.

Do you have any Valentine traditions? Whatever you do for V-day...have fun and indulge in a little chocolate!

xo,

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Winter Bliss

I've got snow on my blog page, snow on my internet home page...but NO snow on the ground. boo. I know that Portland comes to a complete standstill when the white stuff comes down but it sure does make everything look magical. My parents arrive this weekend from their own winter wonderland - Montana - so maybe they will bring a few flurries with them...in the mean time I guess looking at these lovely images will have to do... I've been collecting these from around the web and posting them to my Pinterest Page. A little curated piece of winter bliss. Enjoy.

Doesn't that snowy porch look like the perfect place to sit and sip hot cocoa!?

xo,

Images including links via: Winter Bliss gallery

Customize your holidays

Okay, so I love these printable custom designs by Anders Ruff. This ingenious concept is the brain child of two incredibly talented women: Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff! I love it when creative women team up! So cool! So...make your holiday buffet, table and gifts something ultra special by customizing all your treats with these fabulous labels, tags and garlands! Buy the designs online, get the file via email and print at home (or your local print shop) ! Easy peasey.

So inspiring right? Go check out their Etsy shop here and their lovely blog here.

xo,

All images via here.

Hello my beautiful tree.

After a teary eyed day, picking up all Sydney's toys and cleaning out her food bowl...I needed something pretty to work on...something to cheer me up. On Saturday, Chris brought home the most beautiful tree for us. It's our first real tree! I haven't had one since I was a kid. The whole house smells amazing!

I set to work decorating it...

I kept it super simple using only silver and white ornaments and paper snowflakes. Instead of a star I crowned the tree with sparkling branches.  It was an honor to adorn such a grand tree and I often just sit in the living room and smile up at it. I'm still missing my kitty but this gorgeous house guest brightened my day. Thank you tree.

Have you decorated your tree yet? How did you do it?

xo,

Christmas around the world: Paris

I miss our Vicarious Vacations. Do you? I do love to research new places and although it was hours of work, I miss that feeling of discovery. So...I thought I would start a new little series celebrating the holidays. These journeys won't be as thorough as the VV's, but I couldn't resist hunting down beautiful images of places around the world and how they look at this special time of the year. I asked Grace which city I should begin with and of course she said, "Paris!" Together we perused Flickr, finding the prettiest pictures of Paris during Christmas.

Here's what we found...

The City of Lights certainly doesn't disappoint. It would be truly magical to stroll the Parisian street during Christmas. Maybe one day we will...

Want more? Check out this video tour...featuring some of the elaborate window displays on show this season...

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLU_qjTSYbU&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0]

What is your favorite city at during the holidays?

Hope you have a lovely Monday.

xo,

Photos via Flickr 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

All wrapped up...

To be honest, I'm not the best at wrapping gifts. In fact, I usually let my super perfectionist hubby do it. He has a way with paper and creases...me...not so much. I end up squashing down the ends, slapping some tape on and calling it good.

However - I am a newly evolved, crafty, inspired person compared to the Ivy of Christmas past, SO this year I'm going to really try. Really.

I went on the hunt for inspiration and finding it via this down-under mag comes as no surprise - Aussies are geniuses after all! Look at all the pretties!

Gorgeous right? I can only hope to achieve such results. But hoping is good...

How do you like to wrap up your goodies? Any tricks or tips to share? Trust me I need em'.

xo,

All images via homelife.com.au