Lottie Lamb & Dottie Duck Illustrations

Hello, Friends! I’ve been absent for far too long and I’ve missed all of you!

I’ve been taking several online drawing classes. This time I’m getting instruction from http://skillshare.com.   Have any of you taken classes on this site?  They have a variety of topics and classes are taught by professionals who work in the field that they teach.  Each class is broken down into small segments and you can watch them at your leisure.  You can even slow down or speed up the videos.  If you’d like feedback from your teacher or classmates, you can submit projects from your classwork homework.  It’s a great way to learn!

One of the classes I took was called Drawing Cuties in 3 simple Steps by Yasmina Creates.   It was such a fun class and really helped me loosen up a bit!  Here are three of my animal drawings:


I decided to use the lamb and duck prints, ribbon and clay molds.  I think they turned out pretty cute!

I think these would be so cute in a nursery!  I think I’ll continue working in this style from time to time.  Does anyone have any animal you’d like to see drawn like this?  I can think of several that would be darling drawn in this format.

Paper clay is another fun medium in which to work.  I just purchased the key hole molds and can’t wait to make more of them.  I love shadow boxes because you can include a custom piece of art along with some 3-dimensional pieces like vintage jewelry, buttons, and clay.

Another class I recently took was about drawing different styles of banners.  This was another Skillshare class and was taught by Peggy Dean.  I know that banners are a popular trend among people who use bullet journals.  I’m going to tell on myself about my bullet journal experience.  I was so excited to get started journaling that I purchased a brand new journal and decided that I would be perfect for using a bullet journal.  I couldn’t wait to start all the doodling and drawing neat banners.  I had each day pictured as a magnificent work of art.  Of course, I was only thinking of how much fun I would have making each page look cute and not thinking about the whole reason one uses such a journal!   My phone rang one day and I was mortified to realize that I had forgotten about my dentist appointment.  After realizing that I missed my 6-month check up with them, I felt my face flush as I realized that I had also missed a post-surgical appointment for my mom!  That was the end of my bullet journaling days.  However, I still love drawing banners and including them in my artwork!

That’s all for now.   I always love hearing from you so feel free to drop me a line!

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My Creative Slump



Time to be real and confess that I’m in the throes of a maddening, creative conundrum. I think it all began just before Christmas.  I spent a week working on pencil dog portraits.  I hadn’t worked in pencil for quite some time, so I found myself pretty nervous.   Finn has a vision problem if you noticed the difference in his eyes. Here are the sweet pooches that I drew that week:









The following week I spent a painting on canvases for my amazing grandchildren. I don’t pretend to be much of a painter.   I love to draw, but painting feels out of control to me!  I managed to get them all done but didn’t have any drawing time that week.  Here are the paintings I worked on:







Christmas came and went.  It was a lovely day and so much fun!  You should have seen all seven kids unwrapping their gifts at one time.   It was hysterical!  After our festivities were over, I planned to spend plenty of time drawing.  I’m not sure exactly what happened to me, but a couple of weeks went by and I hardly drew at all.  I stayed busy and didn’t worry much about my lack of creativity.  I had signed up for a class that began on January 2 and I thought it would get me back on track.  Here are the only two drawings I did after the holidays:








Class began and I practically had to force myself to do the exercises.  I really liked the teacher’s style of instructing but I wasn’t really getting into the assignments.  I allowed myself to take off last week and draw in my normal style, medium and subjects that I enjoy.  Slowly but surely, I feel that I’m beginning to work through my creative slump.  I’m so grateful that I’m beginning to feel more like myself!  Here is the last drawing that I worked on:

At least it’s a start!  I know a few other artists who struggle from time to time with similar problems.  I’m curious as to whether any of you ever find yourself unable to do something that you love.  If so, how do you get over your writer’s block, artistic slump or any kind of creative trap?  Let’s encourage one another!

Please leave a comment!

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The Chocolate Extravaganza

The big event is finally here!  Tomorrow The Chocolate Extravaganza will be held at The Barn at Bay Horse Inn, Greenwood, Indiana.  The doors will open at 10:00 a.m. and close at 3:00 p.m.  There will be 38 vendors of various kinds and also a raffle that will include gift items from each vendor!

Here are a few of the items that I’ve been working on recently:

Colored Pencil/Ballpoint Pen Note Cards
Framed Vintage Illlustrations

Ballpoint Pen Illustrated Note Cards

Sorry that my pics are blurry!  I am packed up and hope to see you tomorrow!

Have you begun your Christmas shopping or are you all finished?  If you had to choose one gift, that you are most excited about giving, what would that gift be?

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Lux Handbag Drawings

More Ballpoint Pen Illustrations

I’ve had a wonderful time playing with my pens the last couple of months!  I am working on my techniques, as drawing with a ballpoint pen is so different than working in pencil or colored pencil.

I have tried many brands of pens but really love Zebra and Staedtler the best. I also purchased a set of Japanese pens because they include yellow, which is a color that’s hard to come by.

I used the following illustrations to make blank note cards.  This was a fun project because I love purses and I love drawing them, too!  I used a gold gel pen for the metal and added Swarovski crystals to embellish the cards.  I also hand lined all the envelopes with coordinating papers.

Next week is the Chocolate Extravaganza at The Barn at Bay Horse Inn.  I’ve worked an incredible number of hours to prepare for this show.  I’m not quite sure what to expect but it’s been good to have goals in place.  It’s also given me a reason to draw almost every single day.  Now that makes me happy!



Kate Spade Handbag

Kate Spade

Chanel Handbag Illustration


Betsey Johnson Handbag Illustration

Betsey Johnson

Michael Kors Handbag Illustration 1


Michael Kors

Dolce & Gabanna Handbag Illustration

Dolce & Gabanna

Michael Kors Handbag Illustration 2

Michael Kors

Do you like note cards that have monograms, illustrations or one that has a more trendy style?  I’ve seen so many that have owls or quatrefoils on them this year!  I think those are fun things but if I’m going to take the time to hand write a note, I prefer something that is more personal to me.

Please leave a comment and give me your thoughts!

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So Many Things!

snv30195-1 A Royal Birthday

This was a fun invitation to make for the sweet, little birthday girl’s big day!

Marilyn Monroe Pin-up Dress
      Marilyn Monroe Dress

I’ve been happily drawing away each day and working in ballpoint pen.  It’s challenging and so much fun!  I’m putting together sets of vintage clothing and making blank notecard sets for an upcoming show in December (more on that later)!

Vintage Lily Ann Coat
           Vintage Lily Ann Coat
Capp Shoulder Swing Dress
     Capp Shoulder Swing Dress

I’m also illustrating cakes and cupcakes.  It would be fun to draw a specialty cake for a wedding invitation or another special event!

Layered Cake with Bird Embellishment
             Layered Cake with Bird                           

Purple Polka Dot Cake with Bow Embellishment

Purple Polka Dot Cake
Blue Polka Dot Cake
        Blue Polka Dot Cake       

Another love of mine is makeup!  Here are a few ballpoint pen illustrations for all you girly-girls out there!

Dior Lipstick

Christian Dior Red Lipstick Illustration

Mac Lipstick

Mac Hot Pink Lipstick Illustration

I could draw all day, every day but the business end of things must take place as well.  My sweet daughter-in-law, Danika has set up some social media for My Cottage Blue!  I am now on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Also, I will be participating in Center Grove’s first-ever Chocolate Extravaganza.  This is a boutique show for Christmas shopping and will host a myriad of specialty shops. The event will be held at Bay Horse Inn and will be open from 10 am – 1 pm on December 3, 2016.  This is a lovely, new venue and there will be all kinds of chocolate being served!  What can be better than a pretty setting to enjoy friends,  scrumptious chocolate, and meaningful gift shopping?  I hope to see you there!

I’d love to know if you think hand-written notes are a thing of the past or are still a wonderful way to convey your deepest thoughts to that someone special. I am always happy to accept commission work for anything that would make your notes personal to you.  Please leave a comment and let me know if you have any specific kind of illustrations that would interest you!

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Vintage Hats & Handbags

Ballpoint Pen Illustrations

Vintage Hats in Ballpoint Pen

I’m still working away on learning to draw in ballpoint pen.  Honestly, it’s kind of become an addiction as of late!  I guess there are worse things, so with pen in hand, I’ll continue practicing every day.

One of the things I’m really liking is the simplicity of working with only a few tools.  With colored pencil, I needed several colors and different shades for each drawing.  With ballpoint pen, I only need one pen for the drawing and one or two pens for the lettering.  That really simplifies the process!

Vintage Purses in Ballpoint Pen

Do you have a certain style of art that appeals to you?  I’d love to hear from you!

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Tomato Basil Soup Collage

Hello Peeps!

I hope you’re enjoying the lovely fall temps and the first signs of color changing of our foliage. I love the brisk morning temps and am looking forward to the return of a blazing fire in our wood stove!

I’m enrolled in another class in sketchbookskool.com http://sketchbookskool.com.  This course is about illustrating recipes and the assignment required that we make a collage from a favorite recipe.


In an earlier assignment, we were asked to do a simple recipe in ink and watercolor.  I love to draw but don’t really enjoy painting.  Anyway, I’m a type A stickler when it comes to class participation so I gave it a go.


I’ve been playing around with the idea of taking family recipes, illustrating them and putting them in book form or a custom recipe box.  I think this would be a lovely gift idea for families to give out and to keep those favorite family recipes from disappearing.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this plan.  Would you have any interest in a project like this?  How many recipes would be enough to make a nice gift?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Please leave a comment below.

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Letters from God


Hello my friends,

I hope your September is going well!  My hubby and I headed north for a few days.  It was so nice and relaxing and we enjoyed getting away together.  We went to Winona Lake and stayed near the water. Having grown up on a small lake, I realized how much I miss being on the water.  Second to water living, though, is being in the woods and that’s where we live.  I love being surrounded by all the trees, hills, and wildlife. Our trip was something I looked forward to after finishing up my last class.  I drew a lot while we were away and haven’t stopped since we got back home!

This drawing was my last class project.  We were supposed to combine several techniques we learned.  I found a quote on Pinterest that I loved.  My quote; “Pay attention to your dreams for they are your letters from God,” reminds me that it’s okay that I keep working toward my goals of creating.  Sometimes it feels like I’m just playing and not doing anything significant to help further God’s Kingdom.  I definitely make more money from designing invitations and I truly enjoy the creative side of graphic design.  My all-time favorite work is illustrating.  I love getting lost in a drawing and emerging much later, to realize that I had lost all track of time.  That kind of job opportunity doesn’t come as often as I’d like, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

So this assignment began with a quote and then along came the idea of God sending a letter, to one of His many children, via U.S. Airmail.  That’s the beauty of art.  It can be as realistic or contain as much fantasy as you’d like! Anyway, I’ve loved Psalm 37 for many years because it carried me through a terribly difficult time in my life. I decided to incorporate a verse from that Psalm and included it as the part of the letter peering up from the envelope.

I chose old skeleton keys because of their beauty and because of the old saying referencing the key to your heart.  I made them gold to bring out their lovely shape. The acorn was added because of the quote, “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”  It helps me remember that our talents begin small but can grow in time.  This keeps me from wanting to give up.

I honestly don’t know why I decided to include scissors in my drawing.  And to make it even odder, after I drew them I had an appointment to get my hair cut.  During that appointment, I realized that I actually drew hair cutting shears!  By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late to do anything about it.  Oh well!

I really need your help!  My blog is new and it doesn’t have a lot of content on it yet.  But, I see daily that I have readers and I’m thrilled about that!  Several people that I know personally have tried to join my blog.  That just means that they will receive an email each time I publish a new post.  Several friends have let me know that they haven’t been getting my emails and the number of “followers” still shows four (4) at the bottom of my page.  That’s so embarrassing!  So if you’ve tried to sign up but aren’t receiving my emails (just one a week, I promise) please leave a comment and let me know.  I’d really appreciate it!   If I hear from you, I’ll email you back personally and will do everything I can to figure out why my blog is not accepting new followers.

As always, I appreciate each and every one of you who takes the time to read and comment on my drawings and stationery!

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Inky Blue Love

I’m Crushing on . . .

I’m sorry if I sound like I have a one-track mind, am a broken record or perhaps singing the same song, but right now that is absolutely true!  I am totally hung up on learning to illustrate in ballpoint pen.  It’s a whole new concept to me because I’ve never even been interested in drawing in marker or pen and ink.  I’ve always been a pencil or colored pencil kind of girl, and I consider myself pretty loyal.  But, this ink drawing has taken me by storm!

The Start of It All

It all began with my first Sketchbook Skool course at http://sketchbookskool.com.  The class I took was instructed by Andrea Joseph who began her blog back in 2006.  She started her blog because she wanted to draw and she knew her blog would give her a platform for her work and would also spur her on to draw more often.  She continued drawing in her sketchbooks and posting them online.  One day she decided to add some handwritten text to a Converse tennis shoe she had drawn.  Boom!  That sketchbook page went viral and now Andrea’s art is seen all over the world!  If you’d like to see her amazing work, check out her blog at http://andreajoseph24blogspot.com.  Prepare to be amazed!  She’s not only extremely talented but also very humble and a great teacher.

Giving it a Go

With all the new online artist friends I met during class, I decided I would try drawing in my sketchbook on a more regular basis.  I love learning something new and can’t wait to start another class one day.  So here’s to the beginning of a new sketchbook, new techniques and hours of pure, unadulterated pleasure!  If you could learn anything at all, what would you pursue?  Do you like watching online videos to learn or would you rather study from a book? Please leave me a comment and let me know!


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Class Projects from Sketchbook Skool Class

Hello friend!

I bet you thought I forgot to use my spell check based on the title!  Actually, this is the way skool is spelled in the UK where my online class is based.  My drawing class was so much fun and tomorrow is the last day (insert sad face). Here are a few of the exercises we practiced:




This one would be cute to incorporate into a teen girl or boys birthday or graduation invitation!



I think this would make adorable note cards!

Love Stationery


This one would be good to use for  Father’s Day or guys’ birthday party invitations!



This one actually made it into the online student union weekly newsletter!

I’d love to do this one for a baby girl birth announcement or even make some wall art in a girl’s bedroom, spelling out her name.



I’m ready to begin putting some of these techniques into practice!  Do you have any upcoming events that you need invitations made to suit your special day?  Please leave a comment and give me your ideas and feedback!

Happy Labor Day!