Wednesday, December 30, 2009

making illustrator brushes
It all started while making a calendar. Calendars have been a current pet project of mine as this year is wrapping up, I've been hard at work making good use of my graphic skills to make some handmade calendars...
I was trying to come up with some interesting ways to create patterns easily and surfed the web to refresh my ideas.
I found the above how-to tutorial at Bittbox.

I was inspired to create my own art brush in Illustrator and had some pretty good results. The geometric shapes were really cool to work with. When you flip the direction of the brush stroke in the brush options pallet you can get all kinds of neat results!

As I was working on a calendar, I went ahead and combined different shapes to make numbers!
I think I wont use the large numbers for each day in the calendar, but perhaps in the 'art' above each month... We'll see.
More results as the day wears on.

Is it just me or does the image in the black box look like a happy frog?

Top 10 psychology studies of 2009

Interesting insights if you have the time to read and reflect.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Brilliant Finnish inspired design

I love the bold graphic print designs of this artist! I would love to have my kitchen light up with these designs!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Festivus!

It's a Festivus Miracle!
To learn more about this little celebrated, but much adored holiday tradition.

You have disappointed me in the following ways......
(Insert sad detail about yourself here)
I for one would rather have a Festivus feast with good friends, than a dysfunctional dinner with people that don't really know me, and 'prolly don't want to see me again this year either.

HA it's Festivus for the Rest Of Us!
More on the origin of Festivus


Success! I have created my own font: madmodiste_block
(see stunning example above)
What on earth has the world done all this time without my font! For all the font-e-philes out there: TOO BAD! THIS ONE IS MINE!!!

well, I guess you could click the link below and get your own font....

Create a font from your own handwriting -

Create a font from your own handwriting -

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hand-made christmas!


To learn how to make these adorable paperback book trees. Use any size book you want, I have TONS of those dime store romance novels hanging around that are not worth re-reading. What a way to recycle! I've seen some instructions online that say to use (2) 30 page sections of a book, then gluing the 2 sides together. Why not just use 60 and stick the ends together?

The paint or glitter is optional.

Imagine if it were a song book? How cool!

All American Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Scary Santa

This has got to be one of the best scary santa photos I've seen in a while. I love the kids crying face!!! I know they are terrorized little kids, but it just cracks me up. Note how the older sibling is mocking the scared infant. Typical older kid syndrome.
Santa sits there with the look on his face like "WTF did I do to deserve this gig!"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Multimedia message

The spectacular Madeira wine that Jim's sister gave us on her last visit. It was well received by all with hearty thanks and blessings to Sandy. 

Multimedia message

Our good friends John and Maria came over yesterday evening while they were in Indiana visiting for the holidays. We had a spectacular evening with a few good bottles of wine and some from- scratch-made wings! Wishing there were more good nights like that every week.  Jim and I had a great time talking with bright, funny 'mostly grown ups'. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Rose

Now making: A cute little lapel or hat pin design!!! Made from woven plaid Wool and is cozy and fun. Can be embelished with a button or other sparkle in the middle. A few for the shop on the way in a few days!!  

Friday, December 4, 2009

The dog

Most recently, Daisy the dog destroyed said cowboy hat while we were all distracted in the basement watching Survivor. Thank goodness for shop vacs.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bracelet design

A unique bracelet design inspired from my recent trend spotting trip to Indy.
This is a really cool piece that would look funky, edgy and elegant at the same time. I'm going to play around with different pearls and stones for this one. Shown here with graphite colored glass pearls. Priced At $35.

I've been invited to place a modest selection of my work in a local craft shop. All handmade, all local artisans are there. I'm honored really, to have been invited! So, I keep a dozen or so of my nicer pieces on the counter. We'll see how it goes for the holidays.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

thanksgiving bliss

What my nephew does for thanksgiving entertainment

thanksgiving entertainment

What the boys do for thanksgiving entertainment

trend spotting for beads and jewelry

I went to the Keystone Fashion mall recently on a gathering trip and noticed a jewelry trend in most of the high end shops there. 
Lots of multiple strand necklaces with CHAINS like you wouldn't believe. 
Many darker patinas on the metals and beads. Pearls are back with abundance. I especially like the treand of using large chunky semi precious stones. Neat trip for design ideas. I recommend you go to a few shops that you normally don't frequent and see what's out there for trend watching!

Friday, November 6, 2009

10.... 9.... 8......

As you can see. Jacob worked hard on his Rocket for about the last month. We had 2 very successful launches, and one good landing.... One of the hazards of living in the country is... well, the country. The trees were our downfall for the second landing. As of right now, the rocket is still there. More on how to retrieve rockets from trees on a different post.

awkward family photos

An interesting look at those favorite family photos.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

window dressing in Crawfordsville

Best window display in town - every time

beading Madness

Well, During the last week... I've had a few days off for a mini-vacation, Personal sick days and child sick days... Not very productive on the newspaper front. But VERY productive at home at the work table. I've opened my own ETSY store front to try to sell some of my more distinctive jewelry designs! visit my store at: to see all the details and more items. Thanks for your support! We'll see how it goes from here. Word of mouth is everything. So Tell your friends!

Monday, October 19, 2009

latest edition to the Shillings Family

Meet: The Puppy!
We haven't chosen a name for our 6 week old Bloodhound/Boxer mix. But I'm sure it will be 'sniffed' out soon!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Flu? or NOT the flu?

This past week (Oct 5-10th) I thought I had the Flu. Much to my pain, suffering and embarrassment, I Did NOT! I had a Very bad Kidney infection known in the medical field as Pyelonephritis.

Some of the more common symptoms were mimicking the flu symptoms:
• chills with shaking,
• fatique
• fever higher than 102 that persists for more than 2 days.
• Chills with shaking
•Mental Changes or Confusion - This was the kicker. I was REALLY disoriented with this.. Very bizarre.
• did I mention Chills with shaking?

But even I knew that after 6 days of very high fever that It was more than just a bug.
So, off to the clinic I went. After examination and a cup filling- Tada! Antibiotics to the rescue! And boy were they big ones.
Glad to let you know that Today, about 2 weeks after onset and 1 week after med start... I'm feeling better. Almost back to normal.
So... If you THINK you have the flu... But it lasts more than 3-4 days Don't delay. Visit your Dr. Today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Multimedia message

Fascinated that the BMV in crawfordsville IN has appx 21 people waiting and all the employees are on break.