Hi friends, happy Friday!

Since I'm really terrible at waiting and being patient, coupled with the fact that I'm *really* excited about some new stuff I've been working on the past couple weeks, I'm sharing a little sneak peek photo with you of some brand new one-of-a-kind creations that will be available in my shop next Wednesday. Eeeee! I get little butterflies every time I look at that photo. I don't even care that it's a little bit blurry.

Since returning from Morocco, I've been itching to work on some pieces that are a bit different from my usual (I've been feeling in a bit of a rut and slightly bored with my work lately, so I've been thinking about how to shake it up) -- these new pieces have definitely scratched that itch. I can't wait to share them! 

Check back here on Wednesday morning for full pics and details about the new goodies. I think you're going to love them.



In other news, I've been working on my little daily drawings each day this week -- these are drawings #3 and #4. I'm digging working in just one color. (Usually I use All The Colors, as you're probably aware. Limiting my palette is not my forte!)



Just some doodles. Yesterday's drawing was done while laying on the floor in the basement, while Juneau laid on top of me. #ilovecats

In non-art-related stories, and since I can't resist a good rainbow, here's a photo from my morning run this past Wednesday:



My friends and I got caught in a crazy early-morning downpour; we didn't let it ruin our run (we smiled and laughed all the way through it!) and were rewarded at the end by this beautiful rainbow. Not a bad way to start the day.

Man, I love Portland.

Tomorrow night Ryan and I are running a 5K together (his first race ever!) called the Starlight Run. It's going to be such a fun time! There's a parade at the end, and you know I love a good parade.

And I couldn't not share this, because it's too funny:



Yep, that's Fabio. At Whole Foods. Again. (What's with me and taking blurry photos? Sheesh.)

This is the second time I've happened upon him at a Whole Foods here in Portland. At 2 different stores! Ryan and I stopped in after a morning run last weekend to pick up a few things, and there he was, selling his whey protein powder in all his Fabio-ness. Haha! I can't believe I've just stumbled across him twice now; I literally don't think there is a more random celebrity for me to keep seeing. I imagine now that I'll continue to see him every couple years from now on. I should probably introduce myself next time so we can become friends, right?




A box arrived yesterday full of fabric from my newest collection with Blend Fabrics, called Harmony, and you guys, I think this is my favorite collection yet.

I am SO INTO the moth fabric! I don't know which colorway I like better, the grey or the blue....

Harmony5_lowres

I've been waiting for the fabric to arrive, because I've been itching to try a sewing project lately, and I've been picturing a shift dress like my very favorite cat dress.

I've never sewn anything from a pattern before, but I'm thinking I could probably manage a shift dress... it's sort-of just like a pillowcase with sleeves, right? I'm wondering if I could even just figure it out without a pattern by looking at the dress and tracing its shape onto the fabric. If I go that route, I should probably do a test run before making a Harmony dress -- I can envision my winging-it-nature and figuring-it-out-as-I-go-edness turning into a disaster real fast, and I don't want to waste any of my precious Harmony fabric!

Harmony2_lowres

If you were to make a dress out of one of these fabrics, which would you choose? I'm leaning toward the blue moths (below) or the black and white (above).

I also have a couple questions for you sewers out there:
  • Have you ever bought a digital pattern? If so, what are some good sites with cute patterns? How do you print them out/use them?
  • Have you made a shift dress before, and if so, do you have any tips? I want mine to have 3/4 sleeves!
Harmony8_lowres

Also:

If you're looking to purchase some of the Harmony fabric, I don't have any in my own shop yet, but the full collection is available on Hawthorne Threads.

Hope you love it as much as I do!




Just a few pics of some things I've got going on lately...


Paintings in progress, and a new project I'm working on that's feeling pretty fun and exciting so far:


That's just a sneak peek above; I had some shapes laser-cut for the first time, which I might be sort-of addicted to now. I should have some finished products to show you in the next few weeks...

And I sent out a cool freebie to my email newsletter list last week, of which this is the beginning:


Are you on my list? When you sign up, you get access to 10+ printable freebies from past emails that I've sent, plus a code to get 15% off your first order. Jump on the list here if you'd like!

You'll be able to download the final version of that black and white drawing above... it's blue, and it's pretty much my favorite drawing I've done in a while. 

Happy Monday!




{print available here}

Last night I built a fire in the backyard in our little fire pit. Sitting out under the sky, waiting for the full moon to rise, it was so peaceful. I was so grateful just to be sitting, taking time to invite the energy of the full moon in. I realized how often I rush through moments and don't pause to appreciate.... to wonder.... to take a deep, grateful breath of fresh air....

So this is my reminder. 

It's always a good idea to pause and let the magic of the universe fill you. To give thanks for this moment that is truly, truly a miracle. Because really, it's quite miraculous that we are here, on this earth, on this beautiful day, in this moment where everything is as it should be. Even if everything is in shambles around you, that pause is available to you. And in that pause, which is the present moment, you are ok. Everything is ok. Everything is ok.




Jessica Nichols and I did a photo shoot for our book yesterday, and this is one of my favorite outtakes that we captured -- isn't that background magical? Jessica made it, and I think it's absolutely perfect. I'm going to try my hand at making something similar this weekend, I think. I love the texture and how it makes the colors on my iPhone cases look so bright and happy!

040414-paper

Here are a few other snaps from my iPhone. Piles of patterns, swoon. And yes, that's a potato. :)

040414-potato

The studio where we're shooting is in a funky old building in an industrial part of Portland, and each floor in the stairwell has a giant painted floor number on the door. It's very striking and had to be captured.

040414-five

Jess and I are meeting again today for photo shoot #2 this week -- follow us on Instagram if you want behind the scenes peeks! I'm here, she's here.

Have a great weekend!
xo


{print available here}

Such a simple and complex thought, all at the same time. Thank you, Yogi Bhajan, for the reminder to be happy, no matter what the outer circumstances!

We can choose happiness in each moment, no matter what is going on around us. Choosing happiness invites happiness in.

xo



So, I realized I don't think I've shared here on my blog that I'm writing a book. Yes!

I share the news with my email list (which you may be on... if you aren't on it but you want to be, you can sign up here) a couple weeks ago, and I alluded to it a couple months ago here on the blog, but I never officially told you that yes, I am writing a book. About pattern design!


It's a tight deadline for the book, so I'm deep in writing-mode lately; it's keeping me a little quiet on the art-making front, so I haven't had much new stuff to share recently. Which feels weird, but it is what it is. Sometimes things have to shift around to make room for bigger projects, and I can't keep up with everything at the same pace, as much as I'd like to be able to!

Yesterday I was working on a section about how to make different types of repeat patterns, and I loved the way these squares were looking in black and white. Usually I use so much color (obviously), and it's fun to see things stripped down to just the basics. I thought you might like to see these versions, too, in a little sneak peek!


The book will be out next Spring -- if you follow me on Instagram, you might see some sneak peeks tomorrow and Friday as well, because Jessica Nichols and I will be busy photographing some sections of the book. We're having so much fun working together! Lots of learning happening... writing and photographing a book is a challenging process, omg!




{'Great Mystery' print available here}

My word for the year is Inner Compass. The way it normally goes for me, I think of my word for the year in late December/early January, and then I promptly forget about it by, ohhhh, February. ;)

Not this year, though -- my Inner Compass is definitely my guiding light so far this year, and every time I remember that, it helps any anxiety or doubt that I might be carrying melt away. I'm trying to trust more that it's ok not to have all the answers right now... or ever..... I like to try to control everything, and I've never been very good at just going with the flow. But that seems to be shifting a bit. I'm not getting as annoyed when sitting in unexpected traffic. My friend showing up an hour late to meet me because she unexpectedly met a guy earlier that day is a fun adventure instead of a reason to freak out that my precious time is being wasted. The knowing that everything I need to do always gets done, whether I worry about it or not, is finally beginning to sink in. I am less stressed about wanting to figure everything out all the time.

I think what's going on is that my inner compass is asking me to view time differently; every moment is precious, and I don't need to rush through them to get to the next one. Moments are there to be savored. Obviously I don't remember this every single moment (I've lived a lifetime of worrying and rushing and doing so far!), but it feels so sweet when I do. The rush of love that I feel for Ryan and our kitties when I really look at them. The heart-bursting pang that comes when I look at photos of my sweet nieces and nephews and the sadness in knowing I don't get to see them every day. The contentedness that's there lurking underneath all the worry when I allow it to bubble to the surface.

The Great Mystery is asking my soul to show up in my life in a new and less rushed way than it has before. It's asking me to slow down and take a break and not to worry so much. I suppose that's what people talk about when they say 'live in the moment'. (I've never been very good at that! I'm always thinking about the past or the future...)

I'm not really sure what the point of this post is. I guess I just needed to work out in writing that my soul is asking something new of me, and I'm slowly learning to bypass my mind and its incessant thoughts in order to step into a new way of being. The Great Mystery is always kissing each of us, in every moment, but we can only feel it if we're paying attention.

I'm starting to pay attention!





Good morning! Last week I posted a photo of some framed mixed media pieces that I was sending to my sister for her new apartment on Instagram and Facebook, and I got lots of comments about how much people liked them. I've got lots of mixed media background pieces on paper (from creating these types of pieces) accumulating that I've been wondering what to do with.... and now the answer is: frame them up and sell them!

I can't get over how much I love them in these white shadow box frames. Aren't they so fun and colorful? I'm feeling inspired to create some new abstract pieces on canvas along these lines now, too...

The frames are 10x10", and the images inside are 9x9". The frames are 1 3/4" deep and ready to hang. $95.00 apiece, all totally one-of-a-kind.

I hope you love them and find one that you can't live without!

Just click on the images to check out each one individually, or find them all right here. 

{At the top: Shell}



Above: You Matter



Above: Happiness



Above: Invited



Above: Smudge



Above: Ripple



Above: Italiane



Above: Courage



Above: Love





Hi guys! I'm excited to share a project with you that I've been working on and is now ready to burst into the world this morning: a pre-made website template collaboration with my website developer, Emily Thompson.

When Emily asked me if I wanted to design a new premade template with her, I immediately said yes. I don't know anything about coding a website, but I do think it's great fun to design pretty websites for someone else to code. (That's exactly how I worked with Emily when launching this very site a few years ago. I designed, she coded.)

So, we created the Lovely Studios template together. I designed it, she made it functional.


Lovely Studios is a feature-rich premade eCommerce template for Adobe Business Catalyst, that comes with three page templates (with newsletter subscription placement variations), full eCommerce functionality, and a blog. (Business Catalyst is the platform my own website is built on, and it's pretty great.)

Emily and I have made this a limited-edition template, with only 8 up for grabs. A pre-made template is much more affordable than a fully-customized website, so if a new website is a bit out of your budget at the moment, this might be a great option for you. We'll replace the 'Lovely Studios' logo at the top with your own logo, and obviously your photos/products will go where my Ganesh images are, which will make the website look and feel all your own.

You can check out all the different page variations and what all is included with the Lovely Studios template right here.

Let me know if you have any questions (just shoot me an email). Emily and I are here to help. We hope you love it!






© 2014 jessica swift, LLC / website coded by emily thompson