As I mentioned last week, this year I’m making a point to spend time with my sketchbook. I picked up a new Moleskine the other day, and have been glued to it ever since! It’s amazing how some simple loose sketches can open up your imagination to a new world of ideas.

Here is a glimpse inside the beginning of my new artistic journal…

The way water brings out a rainbow of colors in my black Parker Pen ink is beautiful…

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Truth be told, it’s been a while since I’ve sat down and really just sketched. I have piles of old sketchbooks filled to the brim, but somehow that habit was lost just after college. I think I focus so much on final pieces that I lose sight of the freeing powers of letting lose in a sketch book. This year, I’m making a point to fill at least one book…

Do you keep a sketchbook?

The pen in the photo is my new Parker Pen- which is a dream to sketch with!

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Another scene from a recent snow in Boston. This was a shot I took of a vintage Chrysler on a small residential street in Beacon Hill.

The owner somehow stumbled upon my painting- the internet is a cool place, huh? Anyway, apparently it was the car Jessica Tandy drove over the ledge in the very first part of Driving Miss Daisy. It’s amazing when you discover things like this after painting something… artwork is much more interesting with a nice story behind it.

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2012, it’s been a wonderful year. One full of the best sort of challenges, and many realizations.

It’s the first year I’ve been out on my own as a full time freelance illustrator… and while it is quite the challenge, I’m happy to say it’s been working out great! Throughout this year, I’ve focused on finding my voice, and figuring out what I really want Paperfashion to be. It’s incredible how different I see it being, even from just a few months back. In the past I used to illustrate editorial shots, or images from around the web… but over the last few months I’ve put a stop to that. I want to solely focus on my original work. It may mean I don’t post everyday, but I hope to bring better quality work… and put more imagination into it!

On top of taking on my own business, I’ve fallen in love with where I live. It was never in my plans to move here… my dream was to go to New York City after college. I semi-reluctantly moved here back in the summer of 2008, excited for something new, but knowing I’d find a way to make the short move to NYC within a few months. Three years later, I was still here… but again not convinced I would stay much longer. Then there was 2011, when I took a job in Barcelona. It sounded like the adventure I’d always hoped for, and a chance to get away. As you know, after almost a year of traveling between Spain and Boston, I decided the job wasn’t for me. As soon as I got back, I moved into a new apartment, my current home, in Harvard Square. I’m not sure if it was the relief of finally being settled after a year of nonstop travel, but something clicked. I fell in love with Boston! Over the past year, I’ve been looking at where I live in a new light, and it’s been eye opening. I’m also thrilled that I finally took the time to learn to sail this summer- and I can’t wait to work on sailboat illustrations next year. Boston is such a beautifully historic city… full of inspiration everywhere I look, which as an artist, is priceless!

So with the closing of this year, let us all keep this in mind as we take on 2013…

“‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”

I want to thank each of you for following along, commenting, liking, tweeting, emailing, everything! You inspire me, and like I’ve said before, It’s a pleasure to share my imagination with you. Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

P.S. This illustration is my ode to sending more snail mail this year!

Illustration of the U.S. Post Office in December on Charles Street in Boston, MA.

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Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

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As you may know, I work out of my home in Harvard Square, so I spend quite a lot of time here. That’s why being organized and having a space I’m happy in is super important.

Recently, I worked with Valspar to pick out some fresh new wall colors. Valspar has an incredible program called the Love Your Color Guarantee, which is a steal for anyone who’s even the least bit hesitant about committing to a new wall color. Paint swatches only give you the slightest hint of how the color is actually going to look on your walls. So if that mustard yellow doesn’t look quite like you had imagined, Valspar will give you a new color of your choice to replace it. Cool, right?

When I first moved into my apartment last year, the walls were painted with some pretty intense colors… colors I probably would not have chosen myself. There was a bright yellow, a brown, and a bright baby blue room. As an illustrator, I find it pretty distracting to be in a space with such intense colors. I need something fresh and clean to think straight.

Choosing colors was quite the process. I usually know exactly what I want, but then when it gets down to the tiniest differences in shades, I get indecisive. I ended up going with Moonbeam, and Du Jour… and they turned beautifully! I love a bright neutral base wall color and adding the color with decor.

I also wanted to add the illustration element to my home, so I did a wall in my bedroom with Valspar chalkboard paint. I was a little worried about having such a dark wall color in my bedroom, but I’m ecstatic with how it turned out! I’m working on a concept for my ‘mural’, which I’ll share with you later on. Here’s a little preview of what I’m thinking… (By the way, ditch the chalk and get ChalkInk. It’s SO much more fun.)

The rooms are still far from being finished… but follow me here to see more photos of the process.

You can also see photos of my workspace here.

Post sponsored by Valspar Paint.

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Each year around the holidays, I can’t help but think back to the day I ripped through brightly colored paper to reveal my first set of watercolors. I’d been given watercolors before, but only the sort you find in a kindergarten classroom. These however, were the real deal.

Little did I know that that day would lead me to an entire career based on this tiny box of colors.

This year, I want to give that gift to someone else. It inspires me {beyond words} when I get emails from you about how my work has inspired you to pick up your paintbrush again, or even start for the first time. That is one of the best things about what I do… because along the road, there are a handful of people who have inspired me too. Those people make all the difference in the world.

This Christmas I’m giving away the same watercolor set I received years and years ago, as well as my favorite watercolor block paper, a tube of vividly bright pink Mijello Mission Gold Watercolor, and one of my 2013 calendars.

To Win:

Leave a comment here telling me what art means to you. I want to know what inspires you. Bonus points if you tweet me a drawing or painting you’ve done (but not necessary to win).

Contest closes December 31st at noon EST. Winner will be announced January 1, 2013.

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I’m still pinning my dream holiday with Calypso St. Barth… and there’s still time for you to join me. Follow Calypso and myself, and Pin inspirations for your own holiday getaways tagged with #CalypsoHoliday. Two pinners will be picked (be creative!) to receive a $200 Calypso gift card, as well as one of these original illustrations. Hurry, this contest ends Friday!  Thanks for participating everyone- great pins! The winners have been contacted. Happy Holidays!

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Things have been hectic this month, as every December tends to be! Earlier this month I visited Atlanta with Buick and then made a quick trip to NYC for an event with Stuart Weitzman. Now, I’m just soaking in every last bit of the New England holiday scene before I head back to Atlanta for a quiet holiday break. I am crossing my fingers for one last snow before I head South though…

I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit, but I promise it’s for good reason! There are a lot of changes coming this way soon, and I can’t wait to show you. I also have a lot of changes going on in my apartment at the moment. I’ll share that later this week.

Side Note: If you live in Boston and haven’t stopped by the Brattle Square Florist, you must! It’s one of my favorite shops. Just picked up these roses today.

Have you made any ornaments? I’d love to see.

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One of my favorite things to do while traveling is window shop, especially around the holidays. I love the amount of creativity that goes into holiday windows!

Exploring small towns in New England makes it even more magical with the old mom and pop shops and their classic European architecture. Throw in a fresh snowfall, and it doesn’t get much more picturesque than that!

This holiday season, I’m guest pinning over at Calypso St. Barth! I’ll be pinning dreamy holiday getaway imagery… and who doesn’t want to get away and relax this crazy time of year? I’m dreaming of a snowy log cabin up north…

Oh, and there’s a contest!

Check out our board, and repin/pin your own dream holiday getaway (be sure to tag each pin with #CalypsoHoliday). Get creative, because two lucky pinners will be picked to win one of two original illustrations by moi! You’ll also get a $200 Calypso St. Barth gift card! So what do you say, shall we getaway?

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This year I decided to get a little crafty and make my own ornaments. They make the perfect personalized gifts!

I used these ornaments. Something bothers me about the clear glass ones you find at craft stores. Oh, and I somehow always break those! These are beautiful, and sturdy.

I painted the ornament with basic acrylic paint. After that dried, I applied glitter on top with a glue pen.

The glitter completes it!

Easy, right? Check out this ‘bubbly’ one I made yesterday.

I’ll be making a few more of these in the next week… so make sure you follow along here to see what I come up with!

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The best part of December is having a million reasons to dress up, right?!

I was ecstatic when Lucky Magazine and ASOS asked me to pick out three of my favorite holiday party dresses… and then turn them into an illustration!

The first dress I chose was the Boutique by Jaeger Chloe Bow Back Dress with an open back bow detail. The perfect dress to wear to Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker (which has the most stunning new costumes this year!). Next, I chose the ASOS Midi Dress with Holographic Embellishment, because we all know I love sparkle! This one is my absolute favorite, and more than perfect for New Year’s Eve. Last, but not least, I chose the ASOS Pencil Dress In Wiggle Shape And Spot Print… which is perfect for a fancy dinner out with friends or family. If you haven’t tried the Dessert Buffet at the Four Seasons in Boston… it’s well worth the trip!

Which dress is your favorite?

Lucky for you, Lucky Magazine is hosting a sweepstakes to win $2,000 to spend at ASOS on the perfect holiday party looks to have your #bestnightever!

Post sponsored by Lucky Magazine & ASOS.

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Here we are, the last month of 2012! It’s flown by hasn’t it?

With the year coming to a close, it’s the perfect time to purchase the new 2013 calendar to ring the year in beautifully! I have a limited number, so hurry while they’re still here…

Wishing you all a happy December!

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As a little girl, I was always fascinated by paper dolls. It pains me to see so many children glued to their iPads… and not creating imaginative worlds all their own. Maybe it’s an old way of thinking, but I used to spend hours and hours creating stories and scenarios with my paper dolls… or even the most mundane things, like pebbles and sticks on a bed of moss (maybe that’s a country thing). I think much of those worlds I created as a child have stuck with me, and have allowed me to open my imagination today.

Lately I’ve been creating these paper doll marionette-style dancers (inspired by this one)… and I’m loving how they are turning out! I’m using brads to connect all the joints and make them moveable. I’ve got a few ideas of what to do with them… and I can’t wait to share it. What do you think of them, these magical creatures!?

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