spring

Pink blossoms, Spring fever and creativity overload...

Hello lovely readers! I've got Spring Fever! I'm planning and creating like a mad woman and I don't want to stop. Lol. Even a bad cold isn't stopping me! I have been in bed for three days but I'm sketching away.

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Dreaming of my upcoming retreat to Scotland - (that is Edinburgh Castle). Can't wait and yes...you can see my sweet kitty companion, Leo has been keeping me company while I rest.

And one more - a moody gal inspired by some vintage fashion photography.

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Lucky for me, I have a pretty great view from my cozy bed - the pink blooms of a cherry tree are just starting to pop! One of my favorite things about Spring. They inspired a bit of a Pin-fest and this board emerged...

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Oh and speaking of PINK and gorgeous images, my dear friend Georgianna Lane just published her stunning book! You must get it. If you love Paris and flowers then you will adore this...

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To go along with all this flurry of Spring energy, I'm having a BIG SALE on our online classes too! Why not!? It's the perfect time to encourage growth and creativity, right? I would love to have you in class.

Spring Sale

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Hope you enjoying the first signs of Spring where you are!

Much love and gratitude,

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Life lately...

Hello lovely people! How are you? Things are going very well in the Newport home. We just got back from celebrating Grace's 8th birthday in Disneyland! The Claire Bear stayed home with the grandparents, so it was really special (and a hell of a lot easier) to just be able to spend time with Grace. Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 1.31.39 PM

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She loved Disney...of course. Her favorite ride - Space Mountain! Below is the very embarrassing but hilarious shot that is taken while on board this insane roller coaster. Although, I look like I am about to be killed, I am actually having fun...sort of. Grace on the other hand, looks just thrilled and a lot less terrified! We laughed about this one for days...

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On the Art front, I finally completed my most recent abstract commission. It sat like this for a LONG time...

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Then one day, I just couldn't fight it anymore...so I tackled the underpainting.

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And then finished it within a couple of days. My client loves it! Thank God! I'm so honored that it will be hanging in her front living room above the mantel. Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 1.39.14 PM

I did the underpainting in acrylic and then went over the entire thing with these water-mixable oils that I am totally in love with! I was originally trained in oils and I've missed them ever since art school but once acrylics became so popular I just migrated over to them. Less toxicity and easy clean up but I've always missed the buttery richness and blend-able quality of oil paint. Discovering these has been exciting and I want to continue exploring them.

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So...the BIG news is that I leave for my very first Art Retreat on Thursday morning with my friend Katie! I can hardly wait! It is the Nuture Your Creative Seed Retreat hosted by the lovely, Serena Berry on the enchanting Bainbridge Island, WA.

The teachers will be Jeanne Oliver and Stephanie Lee!! SO EXCITED! Jeanne has been an inspiration to me for years and was truly the one that led me back to art, so it will be such an honor to meet her and learn from her in person. I adore Stephanie's book and her whole thought process behind her creations, not to mention all the inventive techniques she has to share, so I know she will be an amazing mentor too! I feel so grateful to be able to experience this! Like deep in my bones grateful. 4 days of art, connection, creativity and even a dash of yoga. I couldn't ask for more! Thank you, Katie for being brave enough to join me on this adventure!

I look forward to sharing my creations and experiences with you when I return!

Have a fabulous rest of the week!

Much love,

Ivy

 

 

 

A Magical Garden

Hi friends! How's life? I hope all is well. We are preparing for our trip to Disneyland to celebrate Grace's 8th Birthday! She is beyond excited! Claire on the other hand, has decided that sleep is rather over rated and has nightly parties in her crib - laughing, talking and calling out to me. I'm exhausted, to say the least! I'll be glad when this little night owl phase passes. Anyway...A couple of weeks back we visited a magical place right here in Lake Oswego - The Elk Rock Gardens. It was a gorgeous Spring morning, so Grace and I headed over there to stroll the many paths that crisscross this enchanting place. I, of course, took a plethora of pictures, so I thought I would finally share them with you...

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What an amazing morning we had exploring this wonderful place! As Spring comes into full bloom, I encourage you to check out local gardens in your area! It's so easy to forget about these precious places and just get caught up in our day to day tasks. So much inspiration can be found in nature!

Have a beautiful rest of the week!

xo,

Ivy

Life lately...

Hello there! Oh my goodness, it's been a tough couple of weeks! My little Claire bear is just now getting over pneumonia. Poor baby...and well...poor Mama. We were both sick of being cooped up so it was fantastic to take her to daycare yesterday and see how happy she was to run into the classroom and play with her wee friends. I started the day (childfree) with a trip to the nail salon for a quick, Spring manicure! My hands were trashed from constantly washing them! It's amazing what a coat of pretty nail polish can do to lift your spirit! ;)

Anyway, as you can imagine, I haven't had much time to paint or do anything really BUT thank goodness for my iPad because it's so easy to reach for it and create something minus the setup/cleanup. Here are a couple of digital collages I made this past week...

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Absolutely love creating on the app - Procreate! Such fun! Oh, and I just splurged on a new pressure sensitive stylus. I highly recommend it!

A couple of other things to share with you...I just received the most gorgeous necklace from my jewelry designer friend.

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It's a beautiful piece of lapis lazuli and it resembles a dreamy piece of the starlit sky! I adore it! Thank you Amy!

I also finally got a bracelet from Becky at Farm Girl Paints on Etsy! It reminds me to keep my head up and live courageously - not easy for this girl - who tends to back away from scary or intimidating situations...

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Oh and I did a little Spring cleaning in my studio! I'm hoping to start creating more frequently now that both kids are healthy!

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And....lastly...a little glimpse of Spring blossoms popping in my neighborhood. Such a beautiful time of year!

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I hope you are all healthy and happy! Enjoy your weekend!

Much love,

Ivy

Tulips, tulips everywhere

This past weekend we woke to sunlight streaming into our bedroom. Grace had actually slept in and we felt fresh and rested. I popped out of bed and announced that we were going to head for the Tulip Farm! It's Tulip Fest season and every single year we forget about it. With my new passion for photography and a sweet daughter who adores flowers, it was the perfect year to attend...

It was a gorgeous flower filled day! When I asked Grace what her favorite part was....

The pony ride, of course!!

xo,

Flowering Branches

We've been a having a lot of rain lately and well...honestly... it's getting a little tiresome but I am taking great pleasure in witnessing the slow bloom of all the flowering trees. Dogwoods, cherry blossoms, camellias. I'll take them! Give me some brightness and beauty amidst the gray! This weekend, I plan on going out into the garden and bringing in some of these gorgeous flowering branches. They make the most beautiful display. Inexpensive, dramatic and inspiring you can't help but want them in your home. Check out these gorgeous images via Style and Home.com...

Don't you love the deep shades of navy, teal and amethyst and how they contrast against the lightness of the blooms? So lovely!

What spring blossoms are you enjoying where you are?

xo,

D is for Daffodil

This afternoon, my camera and I spent some quality time with some daffodils. They were growing right outside my window, just begging to play.  These seem to be the baby variety. Perfectly dainty and beaming sunshine yellow,  I couldn't resist going out into the muddiness of our back yard and bringing in a tiny bouquet...aren't they sweet?

Hope you are seeing daffodils spring up where you are too! Spring is almost here!

xo,

Pretty Rooms: Touches of Pale Pink

I'm not typically a pink girl. I don't often wear the color nor decorate with it...but...I really do love, love, love the touches of palest pink in these gorgeous rooms.

So pretty right? It's amazing how this color instantly softens a room and adds such a feminine touch. I may be a pink girl after all...

What about you - do you like this shade?

Hope your week if off to a good start! The sun is shining here so that is making me smile...especially when it's supposed to pour the rest of the week.

xo,

 

Images via here.

Spring Decorating via Skona hem

Last Monday, I featured a Scandinavian designer and it looks like, quite by accident (well almost), I am back in the land of Swedish goodness. I'm sure many of you love the Swedish magazine, Skona hem...what's not to love? If you haven't checked it out...you should. Can't understand a word but the images are breathtaking!

I was drawn to this article about re-decorating for Spring, using what you have. I love the creative ideas and the colors are so fresh!

How gorgeous is this floral head board? It's made from MDF board and covered with fabric! Instant garden in your bedroom!

Simple Ikea lights and glass shelves make the blooming background functional.

This whimsical arrangement was made using wire and colored paper. So pretty and that cobalt blue paint is rather stunning!

Little vintage doorknobs make for an instant jewelry display...

and this re-finished vintage chair couldn't have more personality!

Remember to use Google Translate if you actually want to understand this fabulous magazine. I'm seriously considering learning Swedish.

Hope your Monday is going smoothly!

xo,

 

All images via Skona hem

Hints of Spring by Suzanne Kasler

After living in Portland for eight years, you come to realize that, at times, January and February flirt with Spring like conditions...but, like always, the rain has resumed. As the gray closes in, I found myself drawn to the lovely interiors created by Suzanne Kasler. I really love the soft, pastel hues in these rooms...reminding me of the first blooms of Spring...

So soothing to the eye...I could look at her rooms all day - imagine living in one! I wish!

To view her amazing portfolio of work check out her site.

Hope you are seeing signs of Spring where you are!

xo,

All images via suzannekasler.com

Peonies & Peas

Yesterday the rain poured down one minute, only to be replaced by the glorious sun the next. It's the nature of Spring in Oregon and we love it. Unpredictable but beautiful. Silver light and gold. With a bouquet of gorgeous peonies on my table and a handful of fresh spring peas I figured it was the perfect afternoon for a little team work with Grace. She was so excited to pop open each pod to reveal the tiny green peas. While she delighted in this task, I took pictures. I really loved the green of the peas with the pink of the peonies.

At the end of this lovely afternoon, I cooked up a fresh Spring inspired meal from Rachel Ray's cookbook. Check out the recipe here. It was delicious!

Happiness all round.

xo,

Ivy

H & M Garden Collection

Spring has sprung at H & M and I'm already planning my trip up to Seattle to go pick these flowers...

These sweet and fresh florals are just a peek at the new spring line aptly named - The Garden collection. Featuring lovely feminine looks, perfect for those sunny spring days that we are longing for.

With prices starting at only $14.95 you can't beat H & M for a fabulous deal! Not sold...well maybe the fact that all these garments are constructed from organic, recycled materials may change your mind.

Inexpensive, ultra pretty and good for the planet too. Yes, please!

Now if only I could order online...sigh...

xo,

Ivy

All images via H & M