Showing posts from May, 2015

Be A Firecracker

Happy Friday!!

Recently, I've noticed that some of my art is taking on a FIRECRACKER effect, as I'm playing with a new technique of letting the water droplets fall diagonally to form an overlapping lattice.  

According to this handy little reference glossary, I think my designs look like crosettes:

I created these pieces below as a gift for my friend. Inspiration: *BLUESand BRIGHT !*

What do you think?

Back on the topic of firecrackers, it got me thinking:  what does it mean to BE a firecracker anyway (as an adjective, not as an explosive)?  According to Google...

ˈfī(ə)rˌkrakər/ noun noun: firecracker; plural noun: firecrackers a loud, explosive firework, typically wrapped in paper and lit with a fuse. an outstanding, exciting, or attractive person or thing.
"the book was hardly a literary firecracker" Luv that :)  Also, in support of Ryan Adams' broken rib (yowch!), here is a perfect Friday song:

"Firecracker" by Ryan Adams via YouTube
Have a wonderful…

Roll Up Your Sleeves


I wanted to share a new favorite song I heard on The Current by Meg Mac, "Roll Up Your Sleeves", because I feel like I've been doing a lot of that lately with all my little projects going on.  Plus, this song is B E A U T I F U L <3

 "Roll Up Your Sleeves" by Meg Mac via YouTube
Cheers to rolling up your sleeves, whether it's to work, fight, knead bread dough, or fish a spoon out of the kitchen sink disposal.  Everything is gonna be alright♪ ♫


What's New Wednesday [#6]

Hi ya'll!  Its been a gnarly week with a lot going on, and I haven't had much time to paint, but I'm back with the weekly recap for What's New Wednesday...:)

Here we go!

My parents visited us over the long Memorial Day weekend and we explored the Southern and Northern Black Hills -- had a blast!  Then, like true winners, we spent the rest of the time relaxing and eating leftover turtle cake [recipe from one of my favorite restaurants in Saint Paul: Cafe Latte!]  We also went to see Pitch Perfect 2, as all proper Packer fans must do!  Did anyone else notice the blonde aca-German from DSM (see the movie, know the acronym) in the preview for next week's Game of Thrones (?!).  

We also spotted some bison in Custer State Park over the weekend.  Incredible creatures.

In ART news around Olivia J Designs...

While we were showing my parents around downtown Rapid City, I finally got to check out the gift shop at The Dahl Arts Center, and was so excited to see my little greet…

Simple Pleasures [#1]

Hello!  As I'm in the process of finalizing some designs (digitally), I've swapped my paints for Photo Shop for a short while.  So, for today's post, I wanted to share something fresh: two simple pleasures . . .

1.) Visual:
A beautiful butterfly on a giant Spring lilac bush that I saw over the weekend

2.) Tasty:
A recipe for the EASIEST snack in the world: toasted cinnamon coconut chips

Happy Monday!



Today, I'm keeping it short and sweet with a quote from one of my favorite artists, Matisse: 
"Derive happiness in oneself  from a good day's work,  from illuminating the fog that surrounds us."
 --Henri Matisse

Have a great Thursday!  Enjoy  :)

What's New Wednesday [#5]

Hello there!  

To begin, I must share my new favorite song.  I stumbled upon the movie "Obvious Child" recently.  Pretty sure the name behind the movie is based on the song by Paul Simon, as there is a featured scene where the love-struck maniacs (Jenny Slate and Jake Lacy) are romping around to the heavy drum beats, and basically having the best date night EVER.  That's when I knew I had to find the song on Youtube for myself.  Jenny Slate is fantastic in this film and Jake Lacy does an epic job of playing yet another prince charming boyfriend in a sea of slimeballs.  (think Hannah Horvath's new boyfriend at the end of Girls season 4.  Yep, same dude.)

"Obvious Child" by Paul Simon via YouTube

Back to the news around Olivia J Designs...

So, I finally took the plunge and decided to work  L A R G E R.  I typically work quite small (we're talking 5 inches x 6 inches!), because I like to work on four pieces at a time in a sectioned off quadrant thing.  I actua…

Grow Where You're Planted

Hi there.  Back on the blog after a mini hiatus and a MAJOR May snow storm here in the Black Hills.  We got approximately a foot of snow last weekend....blarrrgh.

So, as a result of the snowstorm and a gloomy homesickness for the Twin Cities, I succumbed to an unexpected bout of the blues, and activities around OJD were put on hold for a few days.  Let's just say I watched way more Big Love than I should have and my consumption of homemade puppy chow sky-rocketed.  The good news is that I'm feeling much, much better now.  Back to painting and designing!  I think I just needed a time-out to calibrate.  With the exception of the daffodils (RIP), I also have a new appreciation for the plants and flowers around the yard that weren't damaged by the snow.  Beautiful little warriors. 

It got me thinking about a quote I heard often while growing up (because we moved several times):  Grow Where You're Planted.   Timely, too, because of the new Spring blooms.  I love this nugget …

What's New Wednesday [#4]

Welcome to the fourth edition of "What's New Wednesday"!  A look back at the past week of happenings around Olivia J Designs...

Some of my custom fabric designs arrived, and I'm really happy with how vibrant the colors turned out!  I also wanted to see how the designs would look on silk and faux suede, and I'm quite pleased with the results.  Take a look:

Don't Delay

Happy Monday!  

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. The weather in the Black Hills was pretty incredible on Saturday, and we had a little picnic along the Spearfish Canyon area. 
As I sat peacefully eating and gabbing near the rushing rapids, I was relaxed but an old familiar feeling of dread started to creep in.  That mental anguish I get every year when the nights stay lighter longer and I can smell lilacs in the breeze....I should be doing something else right now...laundry, meeting with that custom art framer, Spring cleaning, following up with recent art contacts, mulching...(the mental list goes on and on).  It's ironic that the beautiful weather makes me think that I can be more productive, because it's so challenging!  In Spring, my Summer schedule really starts to fill up with assorted travel plans, house guests, weddings, the like.  It almost feels like the beginning of the Winter holiday season, but with fewer gifts to wrap and no Bing Crosby.  Along with all thes…


Happy Friday, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Wes Anderson!  Last night, DJ host Jake Rudh from The Current (the best radio station of all time) featured a segment of only songs from Wes Anderson movies.  It. Was. Glorious.  Also have to give credit to Mark Mothersbaugh, the composer who creates those iconic tinkly happy tunes that give Mr. Anderson's films their special zest.

Its truly been The Season of Love for me lately, as a lot of my friends from around the world are getting engaged, planning weddings, and also contemplating getting's a lovely time.  The song "Le Temps De L'Amour" (translation: The Season of Love) by Francoise Hardy is one of my favorite love songs (it's from the movie Moonrise Kingdom, by the way) and I was thrilled to hear it last night during the Wes Anderson radio segment.  Not only did we play this song at our wedding last year, but we actually printed the lyrics in English for a little framed display thing and had tiny hand-outs…