Happy Belated New Year!

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2014schacon_NewYearHello friends! I realize “the New Year” is kind of old news by now. 2014 has just been a weird year so far and I finally feel like I’m getting back into routine.

*Disclaimer: Some of these doodles are literally taped to my wall. I didn’t bother to set up any fancy methods to shoot these. I just pointed my camera and clicked. Don’t judge. Just read.*

Do you guys set resolutions? Yearly goals? Word-of-the-year? I’ve had lots of thoughts and plans and hopes for 2014, but I haven’t settled down enough to write them out like my mentor keeps suggesting. I typically don’t, but if I’ve come to any “resolution” or mantra for 2014, it is this:

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This is what keeps whirling around in my head as the Señor and I talk about plans for our little family (ok, “big” family according to national statistics, but whatever, who’s counting…). I heard someone say recently “bigger and better ain’t always better”. (Yes, I live in the South and “ain’t” comes out of my mouth occasionally.) It is taking 30-something years to realize that, but it’s true. I tend to get bogged down with what “everyone else” is achieving. I read blogs of successful artists and think, “I want to be like that when I grow up!” Then I have to kick myself in the pants and quit daydreaming and realize they didn’t get to where they are by wishing and watching. So now, the wanderer in me is getting that itch to wander some more and find the simple life…

Anyway, back to the doodling…2014schacon_JanSketch05

I recently came across this website called They Draw and Cook. I was inspired to give it a try. I love chips and salsa. Homemade salsa, not that mush that comes in a jar… So I chopped up a batch and had myself a snack, and a doodle.

We’ve recently started at new series at our church in Exodus. This is how I take notes during church. This was the burning bush.2014schacon_JanSketch06

And this was a song lyric on a different week. And yes, these are my notes on the cover of my bulletin. I hope we never change bulletin formats. I really need that blank front cover… :)2014schacon_JanSketch03

Do you know the story behind the hymn It is Well? It’s kind of a sad tragedy of events that lead Spafford to write it. It’s always been a favorite. I posted a peek of a version of this artwork in a previous post. It was for a friend whose family has experienced several losses in the past year. I hope that whenever their families look at this artwork in their home it brings comfort and hope.

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I finished the black and white version, but later, I decided I wanted to give more energy to it, because really, it is hopeful. The last verse of the song says:

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

How can you not get excited about that!? It’s a work in progress, and I’ll get back to it when it speaks to me again.

And finally, one more peek from my sketchbook. I played around with a mix of acrylic, watercolor and ink on this one. Not my typical style, but I think it came together ok.

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What have you been working on in this “new” year?

~Stacey

What’s Up Wednesday and A Gift for you!

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Happy almost Christmas! How are ya? Are you keeping busy this season as the hustle and bustle of Christmas parties and programs and shopping and baking and planning and packing and wrapping and decorating and general near-end-of-year business is in full swing? I hope you get to take some time to stop and breath and doodle with me! You know I am!

I’ve been busy lately finishing up some custom projects before Christmas. I’m so excited to share a sneak peak of this new piece, “It is Well.” This will have 3 variations once it’s ready for the shop.2013schacon_ItIsWell02

Speaking of shops, I was recently invited by the owners of The Painted Home to share some of my art in their store. If you’re local and into handmade home goods and furnishings, it is definitely worth the time to stop by and see what they have have. Tell them I sent you! (I should have gotten a few pictures of the shop to share with you. It really is such a cute place!)

Now, for your gift!
So, with one week to go before Christmas and family coming in this weekend, I finally got around to wrapping up a few gifts this week. And wouldn’t you know it, I was out of gift tags… 2013schacon_GiftTags02

No worries, I whipped up a batch of my own. A quick print on a home printer on some card stock I had left over, chop ‘em up, punch a hole, add some twine and Ta-Da!!

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Gift tags. And I want to share them with you too. So here ya go! Click here to download a pdf and print some for yourself! It’s not much, but just a little something to say thank you for hanging out with me in blog world and supporting my art journeys.

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I’ll be quiet on my blog for the next week or so as I take time to celebrate the season with my family and friends. I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and I’ll see you in the new year!
~Stacey

 

Christmas Shopping Sale!

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Hello friends!

Oh man, what a messy day we have here in WNC. Snow, freezing rain, wet rain (you don’t say!?), cold… We hit the high for today this morning at 5am. Not a great day for traveling at all, which is a real damper for millions of folks in America this week as tomorrow is Thanksgiving here.

After Thanksgiving the next US “holiday” – Black Friday. I’ve never been one of the crazies to get up and rush the stores to save $10 on a toy. I’m just fine staying home and recovering from all the feasting thank you very much. I do, however, scour the interwebs for coupon codes and unique gifts. You too? Great!

I’ve created TWO coupon codes for you for the DoodleSwirl shop!

Free shipping: FREESHIP2013
25% discount on your order: DOODLEMONDAY

And they’re already in the system, so you don’t have to wait for Black Friday, or Buy Local Saturday, or Cyber Monday. Click here to start shopping!

Thanks for stopping by!
~Stacey

2014 Calendars are now in the shop!

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I’ve completely fallen off the AEDM parade this week. I’m so sorry… But that’s because I’ve been working on this…2013schacon_Calendar01

My 2014 Calendars are now in my Etsy shop!

This calendar is filled with some of my favorite doodles from my projects this year. They’re printed on recycled cardstock with just a hint of speckle. I wish I could get you get a close shot to show you the speck. It complements the black ink work quite nicely.

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And I’m sending them to you in a jewel case that doubles as a stand. You just carefully remove the case cover and reassemble it “backwards” so that it folds back to a nice desktop stand.2013schacon_Calendar03

Showing January through June above. Featuring “Dream Catcher” (to catch all of your goals and dreams for 2014!), “Elephant” (to march through March), “Big Bloom (for May’s flowers), and “Treble Clef” (for the songs of Summer in June).2013schacon_Calendar04

Showing Jully through December above. Featuring “Happy Harvest” for October and “Peppermint Twist” (festive and fun for December!)

And they’re only $12. They’d make a great stocking stuffer for a friend, co-worker, teacher, mom, grandma, sister, assistant, even buy one for yourself!

Head on over to the shop. I’ll keep the printer warmed up and ready for more!

~Stacey

What’s Up Wednesday and AEDM

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Well, well, well. It didn’t take me very long to fall off the Art Every Day Month bandwaggon, did it now? Here’s my weekly check-in for my usual What’s Up Wednesday.

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I doodled up AEDM #8 on Friday. Friday’s are my lighter days for computer projects so I can reward myself with a little more hands-on doodling. I was back in the gouache for this, and it was a chance to do exactly what it says. Breathe. Nothing fancy. Just doodling for the therapy of it.

I missed a couple of days of AEDM over the weekend. Our family went on our first geocaching excursion at the WNC Arboretum. Then on Sunday I cleaned up my office a little after church.

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Ok, it was only one little nook that I cleaned… but I finally got some artwork and inspiration on the wall, wiped off the drawing table and put things back where they belong. And yes, this is what my table looks like when it’s “clean.” Don’t judge me, everyone’s level of cleanliness is different!

Anyway, my little inspiration board is my favorite thing right now. I pulled together some color swatches from a few of my favorite designers right now, added a happy note from a friend, and of course, my calendar. Just really really low-res internet prints (I don’t recommend), but the colors inspire me.

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For my AEDM #11, I whipped up this little to-do. I’ve gotten in the habit over the last few weeks (maybe even a month or so?) of adding a little tidbit of inspiration to my weekly to do list. This week, I’m taking over the world. Do y’all remember the Animaniacs? Pinky and the Brain? And every day, they plan to “do the same thing we do every day. Try to take over the world!” It was one of my favorite cartoons back in the day. They just don’t make good cartoons anymore…

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So last night I doodled this for #12. I was up most of the night working on a tough project Monday night, which carried over to many more revisions on Tuesday. It’s been a long time since a project has brought me to tears, but this one did. It happens to all of us from time to time. (Note to self: I plan to write a post about that process when the project is completely done and I see the actual printed piece.)

I was exhausted from not sleeping on Monday, and praying through some things as I was getting into bed (at 7:30pm! Did I mention I was really really tired!?). Doodling is meditative for me. So it’s easy for me to get into a rhythm with patterns and subconsciously doodle while my mind focuses on heartwork. So #12 ended up being a dream catcher. Two-fold meaning there, I suppose. Praying for sleep, yes. But also some goals and dreams and plans. I think it turned out kind of cute.

Wow. What a long post! If you stayed along through the whole thing, you deserve a gold star!! *ding!*

What are you up to on this Wednesday? How are you doing with the AEDM challenge? Are you taking over the world?

Be blessed.
~Stacey

AEDM #6 and #7

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Here are my next two pieces for the Art Every Day Month challenge. This has been fun “meeting” folks around the globe through this little expedition. That being said, this is getting harder than I expected, which means I’m doing it wrong. I think It means I’m trying too hard and not just going with the flow and having fun with it. That crazy voice in my head is telling me I should just throw in the towel and stick with what I know. Leave real art to the real artists. But then as I started to doodle some little flowers, trying to think of something to share, Hebrews 13:21 came to mind.

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And I was reminded that it doesn’t matter how great it is or isn’t. It’s more about doing and putting it out there. Remember that Andy Warhol quote from a few weeks ago? Yeah that… So that’s my #6 for the challenge. Ta-da! I love those ah-ha moments.

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And then came #7. Just a quick doodle in gouache. I had fun playing around with it, but I think I’ll save gouache for playing.

(Note to self, I plan on doing this hymn again. It’s another oldie-but-goodie and a favorite of mine. I think it deserves more attention to be in the “collection” I’m wanting to build).

Does anyone else have that internal struggle to just go with it?

Thanks for playing along!
~Stacey

AEDM #4 and #5

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I’m going rogue with today’s AEDM post. You can see my #4 in the image above. Embrace. What am I embracing? Well, this week, I’m trying to embrace everything. Embrace processes. Creativity. Community. Communications. Life’s busyness. If I try to fight it, it will be one of those crazy lady weeks, and none of us want to see what that looks like right?

So for my #5 entry, I present the following…

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This is my general work area when I’m not at the computer. It’s quite a spread, no? I’m embracing messes.

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I’m embracing gentle reminders that tend to come to mind at just the right moments, when I feel like the busyness of responsibility just might swallow me whole.

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I am embracing sticky notes. (I’m a bit of a sticky-note junkie.)
(Dear Santa, I’m running low on sticky notes.)

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I’m embracing the creative process. That which to everyone else just looks like a pile of books and journals and notes and scribbles and sketches. But for me, it’s just part of breathing. Breathing in wisps of inspiration, and breathing out, well, messes.

What do your processes look like?

New Card in the Shop

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I’m excited to share a new card with you! Mostly because I’m so proud of a childhood friend who was worked so very hard on his career and just passed the NY Bar Exam. Wahoo!! So I felt he deserved a little something more personal than just a social media high five, so I doodled up this little card.

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“You did it! And I never doubted you.”

And then I thought, well maybe some of you could consider that too. How often do we just glaze over our news feeds scrolling and giving just a click of a button to congratulate a friend? I’m guilty. There really is something extra special in sending a hand-written note. Taking a minute to jot a quick note and drop it in the mail. It’s a win-win. They get a happy moment in their day, and something to keep and remember. And you feel happy in your heart because you’ve shared a little piece of love.

Did your friend just pass the Bar Exam? (Way to go Rhett!)
Run a marathon? (I may never understand those kinds of runners!)
Cooked supper without burning the biscuits? (Go Mom!!)

Whatever their feat, you’ll want to send them a special note to congratulate their accomplishments!

Stop by the shop and pick out a card to send a special note. It’s better than a “Like!”

~Stacey

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