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Showing posts from September, 2015

Break the Rules with Coloring

This past spring, I published a coloring book of floral mandalas called Flowers All Around. (It’s available NOW on Amazon!) I had so much fun drawing these designs. I can honestly say it was one of my favorite personal projects I’ve ever done.




Mandala designs are popular in adult coloring for their repetitive and intricate nature. I like to draw them using floral elements because I’m obsessed with drawing flowers and patterns. I’ve created floral mandalas with a variety of media—paint, pencil, ink, digital, etc. I often draw them when I don’t know what to draw. So I had a lot of practice before I got the idea to even make this book.

Adult coloring books are a great way to relieve stress and create works of art in the process. These aren’t the brand of coloring books you used as a kid. These designs are often very detailed and can be beautiful and sophisticated—though there are some fun quirky ones as well. There are adult coloring books for just about any subject matter you can think…

The Patterns of My Life and InkTober 2015

My relationship with arts and crafts has always been an on and off thing. One minute, I'm bursting with creativity, and then the next, I'll put aside my sketchbooks and craft supplies for months, or even years. I guess you could say it's an ongoing pattern in my life.

When I was a little girl, I loved to draw and paint, so I've always been a bit of an artist. Growing up, art was one of my favorite classes. In high school, though, I thought I wanted to pursue a career in math or science. Upon entering college, I majored in architecture for my first semester, which required a basic drawing class. That was all it took. True to form, I returned to art once more.

After receiving my art degree back in 2005, I suffered from lack of focus and direction. I knew I loved art, but what to do with it? During school, it seemed like my choices were limited to narrative illustration, graphic design, fine art, or teaching—all great, but none felt exactly right for me. I half-heartedly …

Easy Macaroni and Cheese

When I was single, I shared a house with my two sisters. We were pretty good at sharing in the responsibilities that come with running a home. Eventually, we settled into certain habits, and we each had our own specific chores that we generally did—my sister Shannon took care of the cats, and I usually did the dishes. My other sister, Dani, was the cook. And she’s a really good one, too. :)

Once I got married, I had to get used to a whole new routine. I’ve had to make my peace with the fact that unless I wanted to eat Chinese takeout and pizza for the rest of my life, I was going to have to get back in the habit of cooking meals. The hard part has been finding meals that are a) quick and easy for busy weeknights and b) appealing to both me and my husband. A few of the staple meals that I’ve been making since I was a teenager have gotten less-than-enthusiastic responses from Mr. Sturk. One dish that he LOVES, though, is macaroni and cheese. I’d never really made it that often before, …

Doodling and Tangling

I've come to realize that there are two main areas of art that really click with me. The first is crafting. I love to create things by hand. I love the challenge of learning new skills and figuring out how things are made. This very blog is a result of this obsession. The second area is surface design—creating decorative patterns and images. A few years ago, I became interested in the ins and outs of pattern design, and I had a bit of an "Aha" moment. It's not like it's a new concept or anything—surface pattern has been around since, like, forever—but I had never really explored it myself. Once I did, I was hooked. I found that it really suited me. As a result, I've become very fond of doodling, as it's a natural way to explore and create patterns. Now I draw everywhere and on anything...

IN sketchbooks, ON sketchbooks, 

on shoes, eggs, rocks,

Post-it notes,

and even myself.

I draw big or small,

on paper, on my phone and tablet, and on chalkboards.


My fri…

Mood Board: Autumn

Because sometimes you'd rather look at pretty pictures than read a long, rambling blog post…




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Learning New Things

Is there anyone out there who misses getting ready for a new school year? Maybe I was just a huge dork (well, I still am...), but when I was young, I always found it exciting. Buying school supplies. Getting my first-day outfit ready. Anticipating meeting my new teachers and seeing all my fellow classmates again. Don't get me wrong, I loved my summer vacations and was sad to see them end just like every other kid, but each new school year was a clean slate of possibilities and a welcome change of pace.


I also kinda liked school. I loved learning and challenging myself to do well. I was that straight-A nerd. (Told you I was a dork.) But while I miss getting ready for school nowadays, I do not really miss actual school because by the time I'd completed my four years of college (10 years ago—whoa), I'd had enough. Boring lectures, homework, tests...yuck. So over it. I mean, entering adulthood and "real life" was hard, too, but once I figured that out, it wasn't…