happy valley news

It’s been a fantastic week, lots happening in happy valley. The garden is in now. We’re having a drought, so it will be interesting to see how I can water less, but still have a small garden.



Also, got news last week that my hex sign art was chosen to be featured at a local store called Stripe Men. It’s an awesome store in downtown Santa Cruz right off Pacific Ave for men decorated in mid century furniture and vintage items. They provide an inspirational playground for customers to find products from some of the best local talent, like me 😉 The art show is on Friday, December 4 from 5-9 PM  and the art will be on display and for sale through out December. Super EXCITING. Everyone is invited.

Lastly, I am super stoked to be featured a couple weeks ago on a blog called a Daily Dose of Pattern. Check out may pattern and if you like patterns, check out Esther Bley’s patterns. She does some really lovely work.

What have you been up to this week.



I’ve been obsessed with spring life and have been drawing bees, butterflies and beetles. Last weekend it rained and was a chilly 60 degrees. I had a fire and painted.


Here are some of my butterfly sketches.


Here are the watercolor versions.

yellow Blue-Green

Here is the pattern I made of all of them.


What have you been up to this week?


pattern making and beetles

Folks have been asking how I go about creating patterns. It starts first with an inspiration, which I usually find on my walks on the 200 acre orchard I live on in Happy Valley.

Lately I’ve been inspired by spring and all the wild life and flowers, in particular beetles. I first start by sketching. I gather ideas and inspiration from pictures on the web or pictures I have taken. Here is an original sketch of the beetles from my sketchbook.


Then I sketch them on watercolor paper and watercolor them. Here is an example of two of the finished pieces. I can also use these finished watercolors to make cards and other lovely gifts.

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I then scan each individual beetle and place them in a repeat pattern in Photoshop. Below is the final repeat pattern that can be placed on any surface curtains, wrapping paper, iPhone cases, calendars, cards, etc.


Here is an iPhone case that I had made with the pattern.


If you are interested in having a product created with  my patterns, let me know. Check out my website and see all the patterns that I have available.

What have you been up to this week?


sketchbook view

Thought I would share some views of my sketchbook this week. Spring has sprung and I’ve been drawing bugs, flowers, and butterflies.

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The above sketch turned into the individual watercolor pieces below. I’ve been working with them in patterns too. More to come on that next week.


What have you been up to this week?


frakturs and hex signs

Hi! It’s raining here in Santa Cruz. An event that has only happened three times since December. So, it’s quite exciting.

Through an old friend from Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania, I’ve discovered fraktur art. I’m super excited to try some of this in the coming weeks. What do you think? It fits well with my hex signs.

Fraktur art, like hex signs, is also a type of Pennsylvania Dutch, German folk art. Frakturs were made for special occasions in life like births, marriages, deaths, etc. The pieces originated and were common in Pennsylvania, where I grew up. Frakturs are usually ink and watercolor and contain beautiful fonts. I’m particularly interested in the motifs for patterns. Here is a typical fraktur.


I love this fraktur for a motif for a repeating pattern.


Talking about Pennsylvania Dutch folk art, here is the completed collection of hex signs and am looking for a local Santa Cruz store to feature them for the First Friday Art Tour in Santa Cruz. They are also for sale in my etsy shop. The hex signs are on square, 15 x 15 reclaimed fence board. Here is some of the pieces in the collection.

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I’ve also been creating patterns with them in Photoshop. What could you envision these patterns on laptop skins. shower curtains, tea towels?


Let me know and have a GREAT week.


patterns from students of the Art and Business of Surface Design

A while back I shared that I was taking Module 2, Creating Your Professional Identity a pattern design class from the Art and Business of Surface Design with Rachel Taylor and Beth Kempton.  This week I’m going to share some of the work that my fellow students are producing.

The first student is Cathy Westrell Nordstrom from Studio Lila Form. She is a surface pattern and graphic designer. She is inspired by nature, abstract shapes and all things flora and fauna. She hand draws her patterns before scanning the drawings and adding color and texture in Illustrator. Her patterns are lovely and her use of color is fantastic. Check out her work on her website.

Patterns by Cathy Westrell Nordstrom

Patterns by Cathy Westrell Nordstrom

Kevin Brackley, from Sydney Australia also has some beautiful patterns. Kevin is the most knowledgeable person. During the class he was super helpful in the online community. His patterns are intricate. I Love the use of different sized motifs and his use of color.


Here is a beautiful pattern from the lovely Emma McGowan.


Hope you enjoyed these lovely patterns. Have a great week.


week four – branding and style

Currently in week four of Module 2, Creating Your Professional Identity a pattern design class from the Art and Business of Surface Design with Rachel Taylor and Beth Kempton. I’m starting to feel sad that this class will be over next week.

This week we’ve been learning about branding and typography. It’s been fun to think about logos, my style of patterns and incorporating type. Below are some attempts to group my patterns to see if I can begin to describe my style.  I’m thinking that my patterns can best be described as abstract, colorful, hand drawn, and fun. What do you think? What do you feel when you view my patterns? Let me know below in my comments.

Patterns 1 Patterns2

Have a wonderful week.