Monday, December 26, 2011

Present from a far away friend

Svetla and I have never met in person, yet from the moment we got acquainted through our blogs I felt a strong connection with her. She has a very unique style that represents traditional Bulgarian design mixed with modern creations and miniatures. I also love her special projects that you can take a look at here, the clock that is on page one reminds me so much of Hugo Cabret!

Svetla creates her own designs with such care, you can never mistake her work with the work of another. Especially because I admire her so much, I am very happy and proud to own some of her creations. Svetla was so incredibly nice to send me and my kids gifts, which I just have to share with you. I don't think my pictures do justice to her work, so if you would like to see more of what she has created, please check her blog out. 

This is what she sent me:


Just look at these beautiful notebooks and the frock shaped card

A Bulgarian martenici card

A paper purse with a small handmade notebook and a card

Svetla was also so kind to send me extra materials to make my own crafts

Thank you, Svetla, for the wonderful gifts and I hope soon to return the favor!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UB Homework

When I first heard that we'll have Photoshop retouch homework I was really happy, because some years ago I was working as Image editor at a modeling agency. Although it was tedious and sometimes boring job ( unless you have five models behind you talking too fast for their own good, "explaining" to you  which part of their body you should fix first) sometimes I miss the " fixing" effect of it.
It would be so easy if we can fix things the way we do with Photoshop, wouldn't it? One brushstroke and 10 lbs from last Christmas are gone. Second brush stroke and your hair is longer...

Anyway, I'm a little rusty with the retouch, but still I think I did OK for not using retouch for 11 years.
What do you think?

Fixing red eyes ( Ok, I added a little extra from me)
redeyes1     redeyes1

Fixing underexposed picture
underexposed    underexposed1

Skin correction and blemishes
skin   skin1

Now here is time to mention that I just got my brand new Lightroom 3 ( Boo-yah) and I'm enjoying it very, very much ! :-)
Do you use retouch for your own pictures?  I honestly don't have time to do that for my own pictures but it's nice to have an idea how to do it, right?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Update on Niskayuna Art out! WOW!

WOW is really all I can say! I had no idea that our work would be judged so that was a  big surprise, but actually winning 2nd place was even bigger surprise for me! It was really my first time participating in an event like that and getting the 2nd place prize under these circumstances it's pretty good in my book! :-)

Niskayuna Art Out 201125

Niskayuna Train Station Art Out 2011

I had absolutely no idea what I'm signing for but I thought that whatever it is, if there is ART and it's OUT( side) it would be fun.
Of course I was right! :-)
I don't remember painting/drawing/woodburning for 2 straight days ever! The only down side was that I actually had to work both days, not like I planned but I managed somehow to survive ( talk about being tired today! Ha!) I met wonderful people aaaaand maybe have some interesting ( ;-) hint, hint) news in the making, will update you when I know more!

Here is everything I managed to make for the 15 hours I spent working on Friday and Saturday:

1. White ink on black background- " Conversation"
Conversation 201102

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lalaloopsy update

Just a quick update on what I've done in the past couple of days for the Lalaloopsy birthday party I'm planing for my daughter. It wasn't easy but I've found the time somehow...I drew in Corel Painter Essentials the doll, then I colored it. After with the help of the Silhouette software I made different designs, printed them out, then cut them with my digital cutter Silhouette. It took quite a while, since I haven't used the cutter very much and it showed I lacked experience ( which was obvious around the time I asked the kids to go to the other room so I can curse as much as I like and of course by the full recycling bin with papers). At the end I think I did fine. It was interesting enough to keep me busy anyway.

So, the placement cards are done.
Lalaloopsy party decorations02

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Birthday madness

This summer is probably the busiest yet. I can't remember when was the last time when I actually had time to catch my breath. Oh, and I have kids. Not to mention I'm starting school in a month and I'm having second thoughts on how this is going to work out with my schedule. Did I mention I have kids?
Yes...the kids. Well, one of them has a birthday very soon hence, the B-day party planning.
I hate b-day party planning. On my birthday I want to stay as long as I want in bed, to wake up and have my brunch served for me and to spend the afternoon near the pool with a book and a cocktail in hand, thank you very much!

However, my daughter ( Thing 2) has a slightly different idea about the event. She's imagining something in the lines of spending a week making her cake, spending a month preparing the favors, decorations and attire. She also wants HANDMADE invitations (The audacity! Like someone has made them invitations for all of their birthdays. Oh, wait...I did. Bummer. ). And last but not least- the 5 course meal.
Hello?! Working mother here!Adjust your expectations if you please!
Note to self-  that's what happens when you spent the last 10 years at home.

My trusted friend in the next 4 weeks
 Ellie5th Birthday preparations 13

So, after a long deliberation we were set on a date and place( that thankfully provided all of the above, minus the handmade invitations). That place was( please note the past tense) going to cost me half an arm and half a leg, but if I didn't have to spend the next 3 weeks bending over backwards to work as a cake shop, Party city, Michales, Perfect maid cleaning service and  Bozo the clown entertainment I was all for it.

But I just knew it's too good to be true. It turned out they don't allow pinatas at the facility and this is something my daughter absolutely positively cannot live without! Right.
So we are having the party at home. Again. Great.

At least I was hoping there would be some ready made decorations etc to use. Nope. She choose as a theme Lalaloopsy dolls ( damn these button eyed chicks) and so far...I'll have to make the invitations, decorations, cake and games. I AM NOT making the food! For now. Ask me again in 3 weeks. No, even better, ask me the day before.

The conclusion....I started working on the project. The earlier the better if you ask me, considering I can't work on it every day. Sigh.

The doll that is in the center of it all is this one ( which is already ordered and shipped) and everything will match her "character". Oh, and the other great thing- the kids invited vary from 3 to 15 years old, so the art project we are doing has to be fun for every one.
Fun. Fun. Fun.
Anyway, if you are up to seeing work in progress, here are some of the things I'm working on.

 I calculated that each piece costs approximately $2. I made them from Styrofoam balls, wooden rods ( for cakes) 0.28c glass bottles and I bought 1 large Hawaian flower garland from Party City for 2.50. I made all 3 purple centerpieces with it. The pink garland was $1 and I made 2 pink ones from it.
Ellie5th Birthday preparations 09

I have seen people refer to these as flowers, fans and/or lanterns. Whatever they are, I think they are pretty cool. I was working on them last night just before I went to bed at 9 pm ( yeah, some of us wake up at 4:30am) but I have more to do. 
Ellie5th Birthday preparations 11 
 Considering they are made out of tissue paper + string+ ribbon, they cost around $2 a piece too.
Ellie5th Birthday preparations 01

Ellie5th Birthday preparations 15
My favorite part, I can't wait to use these!
Ellie5th Birthday preparations 16

Ribbon and balloons 
Ellie5th Birthday preparations 17    Ellie5th Birthday preparations 18

The craft supplies
Ellie5th Birthday preparations 20

Wish me luck!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Present ideas for teachers

Have you woken up on the night before the first day( or the last day) of school realizing that tomorrow is the day you were supposed to prepare something for your child's teacher?
Have you ever browsed mindlessly through the store looking for the perfect teacher present that won't be thrown away as useless?

I have !

So each year I post a couple of ideas that I hope will help other parents and save them the frustration in trying to make their children's teachers happy.

This year our theme was " Chinese"( I make up the themes, in case you are wondering), so here is what I came up with:
End of the year teacherpresent 01

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Forgotten " Kiara"

After spending an amazing Saturday at the SCBWI conference in Fishkill, I realized that I didn't post anything last week. I thought I did, but I guess having a girl with 105 F fever didn't help my memory either. So, before I forget again, here is the last of the gift sets that I started posting in April. Although I did forget about this set, it's one of my favorite, I hope you enjoy it too!
"Kiara" gift set

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Long overdue...

Almost 5 months since I finished this plate, I can't believe how time flies! I hope you enjoy the pictures of work in progress as well as the finished product.
Art March 201115

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sneak peak

I am so excited ! I have been asked to prepare a cake and a paper gift set for a very special girl and I have been working on that for the past week and I wanted to share what we are going to surprise the little girl with. Her mom really liked the Pottery Barn elephant that I drew and decided to have that as a theme and butterflies. Oh, and the girl's favorite color is lime green, so the photo album was my idea.

The whole gift set
Caroline gift set01

A gift box for the little cross her mom got her
Caroline gift set03

A gift bag to carry all the things
Caroline gift set04

A photo album that has little butterflies, buttons and trees
Caroline gift set05

A little sketchpad/journal with craft paper and stamped golden butterflies on each page.
Caroline gift set07

A little correction- we added the name of the girl to the notebook as well, so here it is:
Caroline notebook01
Soon I'll show you pictures of the cake as well!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

How to make Angry Birds Easter eggs

 Angry Birds Easter eggs01
 You wonder how I made these? Here they are! 

Angry birds Easter egg decorating!

I was thinking of an unusual way to wish everyone who follows my blog Happy Easter and just before I went to bed I came up with the idea to make Angry Birds Easter eggs and I HAD to share it right away! :-) 

Angry Birds Easter eggs03

Angry Birds Easter eggs01

 If you would like to see how I decorated the real boiled eggs as Angry Birds, check out my video.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Pottery Barn inspired baby shower gifts

For some time now I have been pondering on the idea to make something that would resemble a real fabric design. 

When I was presented with the idea to make a gift for the baby shower of my son's teacher I wasn't sure where to start. Then I found out she likes a particular Potter Barn Kids comforter and I thought wouldn't it be nice if I actually made a whole gift set based on that design. It took me a couple of days to figure out how exactly I should do it but at the end I think I did very well.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I'm feeling blue...

No, I'm not sad nor depressed, relax! :-) I'm talking about feeling blue as a color, with every fiber of your body. I have never liked blue before, as a matter of fact I have been avoiding working with it. Recently I can't help but notice that my work is gravitating towards this color. 

Art March 201111

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Even I want " Marianne"!

Did you ever feel you would love it if someone gives you a gift that you created? This is what happened to me when I was creating this gift set. I totally would have loved to receive this one, no doubt about it.
I love this kind of  "rustic/nature friendly" look with all the warm colors. 
So if any of you ever wonder what I would like, take a look at this:

Gift set "Marianne" 
"Marianne" gift set

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dreaming of Summer ( and it's snowing)

Art March 20112
* Watercolor, ink and Copic marker drawing on watercolor paper, 9"/12"size

How is it possible?! Seriously, it's Spring already ( technically) and it's snowing! Absolutely outrageous, Mr. April should really think about his behavior, because I'm getting tired of all these hats and scarves, and layers, and layers of clothes. 
I dream of a hot sunny day, of flip-flops and ice cream, a cold lemonade with lemon pulp and fresh mint...Aaaah.
Well, as for now, I'll have to just draw in warm colors and think positive, summer it's not that far ( I hope). 

Are YOU tired of this winter?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Isabella" in purple

"Isabella" gift set

One of my favorite colors is a specific shade of purple. It's something between violet and lavender with a drop of milk and I was so happy to find a paper that color. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kaiko- a child of forgiveness

"Kaiko" gift set
I have been saving the " Kaiko" set since February with the intention to publish it with a favorite Japanese poem of mine. After what happened in Japan, I simply cannot. I can't talk about Japan and pretend what happened didn't happen. And I won't. I  won't pretend it didn't affect me either.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Paola" - to be happy when you are sad

" Paola" gift set
Have you had a friend, who you got to know though a whole bunch of mysteriously coincidental circumstances that totally gave you the feeling of serendipity? For me that is my friend Polina, who I know almost 17 years now. It's unbelievable how life( or fate) gets it's way to separate us and then get us back together only to separate us again but for the major events in our life we have always been there for each other, and time and space never affected our relationship. I might not see her for 2 years and then when I talk to her it's like we've parted yesterday. That is why I am really, really sad and really really happy at the same time today. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A sense of Elinor

"Elinor" gift set

I would never forget when I first came to the US how I was terrified that I am taking a huge step back, leaving everything I have worked for behind, knowing that it will be a very long time before I feel home here. I knew very little English and I never received formal English language instruction with a teacher and all, so it was even scarier that it will be quite a while before I learn to think in English and express myself as well as I would wish to without the inhibition of the language barrier. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


After the post about my giveaway I got hooked up on decorating sets of bookmarks + other things.
Here is the first set I created, named " Florentina".

"Florentina" gift set

The set includes ...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The girl from Japan

The girl from Japan2

Wind turns red her cheeks:
I will open my heart up
As wide as the sky.
    -- Daniel Westreich

Just felt inspired by Daniel Westreich's haiku and made a quick sketch...aaand then I wrote this...which is not a haiku by all means, but it came with the drawing. 

I have never seen her. Never will.
She probably doesn't exist,
but she entered my dream and
and smiled.

The way I made the composition wasn't intentional but I knew it had to be that way. The space behind her is very important. The space in front her she doesn't want to look at. She closed her eyes and remembered what was behind her.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I have been going through my box of cards the other day and I saw couple of cards that I made last year but never made it to anyone's home. I have posted before how I drew the pictures for these cards ( check out the previous post) and then I posted the actual cards I made ( you can see them here).
As you can see the cards images are drawn with colored pencils and at the time they didn't look bad but when I saw them now, I thought since I already have the Copic markers, I can "remaster" them and freshen them up.
See for yourself what came out of it:

The old version     vs.    the new version
Carrot festival09001   Valentine's day cards 20112

The old version    vs    the new version
 Carrot festival09011    Valentine's day cards 20111 

The old version     vs      the new version
Carrot festival09013        Valentine's day cards 201122

The old version    vs        the new version
Carrot festival09014      Valentine's day cards 201123

The old version   vs      the new version

Carrot festival09016      Valentine's day cards 201124

The old version    vs     the new version
cards3ndbatch003     Valentine's day cards 201125

The old version   vs  the new version
Carrot festival09009       Remastered cards Jan 20113

The old version   vs  the new version
 Carrot festival09010       Remastered cards Jan 20111

Old version   vs   new version
cards3ndbatch010      Remastered cards Jan 20112

If you want to take a close look at the drawings just click on the pictures and if you want to see more pictures, visit my Flickr set.

Have you remastered any of your cards before? Do you think it's worth it or you just go ahead and make new ones?I feel it's kind of like restoration and to me it brings a good feeling of preserving something and make it better and help it last longer. 

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