Monday, January 30, 2012


Every once in a while I get a wild hair and I want to get tattoo.  I think most artists are intrigued by the idea of permanent art on the body. 

And then we go to Disneyland. And let me just tell ya, there are some really bad looking tattoos out there. In fact, if you want to see a lot of tattoos, Disneyland is the place to go.  People tend to display them there more than other places, like say, the grocery store or church.

The thing is, I hardly ever see tattoos that aren't a little blurry. I know there are some crisp tatts out there, especially if they are new. But you rarely see them.  And this deters me.

But I'm still fascinated by them. I love to look at them on Pintrest.  I recently found this site called Tattly. They make temporary tattoos of famous artist's work. I love this idea.

I thought for Valentine's it would be fun to turn some of my own artwork into tatts. I have a special love for vintage tattoo style so I stuck with that look.

You can buy these illustrations as a digital stamp set for $5, or you can download the full color images here and use them for free.

You can buy temporary tattoo paper that works with your ink jet printer.

Her tattoo says "Sweetheart". This is meant to be a joke. If you know anything about The Bird, you know that her tatt should probably read "Hell Raiser".

Temporary tatts are a lot of fun. Kids love them. Some adults, myself included, love them.  I'm using them for The Boy's classroom valentines.

I drew strongman arms and printed them out on card stock. I used an X-Acto knife to cut slits in the hand for the sucker. I attached the temporary tattoos on the shoulder.  You can download these Valentines here.  I left the banner blank so you can write in your child's name.

Send me pics if you do this project! I'd love to see them!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

sometimes, paying more pays off

You know how sometimes in life you buy something and you have it for years and you love it and you think to yourself, man, that was so worth the money!

I love that. Don't you?

I've been thinking for a long time that I should write a post about some of my most favorite purchases ever. But I worried that it might be boring. But then today I was thinking, wouldn't it be nice to buy more great things? Wouldn't it be nice to know what gems other people have found?

So I'm sharing. I did not get paid by these companies to blog about their products. On the contrary, I paid full price for most these items and they weren't cheap.  The good stuff hardly ever is.

1. Smartwool Socks.  These socks will run you $12-25 a pair, but they are worth every penny. I have never gotten a blister while running in Smartwool and my feet are never cold. They last a long time.

2. Amazon Prime. Amazon has a service you can buy for $79 and all items marked prime on their site ship to you free two-day mail. It's kind of hard to fork over eighty bucks up front, but for me, it's paid for itself a hundred times over. I buy almost everything through Amazon. You can even get diapers.

3. Thule Cargo Box. I love, love, love, not having our luggage in the car when we go on road trips.  It makes the travel so much easier.  We can fit so much more into the cargo box than we can in the back of the car.

4. Victorinox Swiss Army Watch.  I got my watch for Christmas when I was first married. I wore that watch for fifteen years. The Sugar Daddy bought me a new watch a few years back that I also love, but I will always pull out my Victorinox when I am doing something active. It works as well as the day I got it. It's design is timeless.

5. Frye Harness Boots.  I was lucky enough to buy my boots on sale and I got a good deal, but even if I hadn't, I would consider them worth the price. They are super durable and comfortable. I wear them a lot every winter and quite frankly, they make me feel like a bad ass.

So, what I really want to know is what your all time favorite purchases are. I'm on the hunt for fabulous finds.

Help a sister out. Leave a comment and share.

Monday, January 23, 2012

you're welcome

If you follow this blog you know that I also blog for Paper Coterie. Not only do I love their products, I love the people who run the company.

They are on a mission to help people preserve their memories. I believe in this mission. I have adopted it into my own life.

I have a special gift for my readers. If you use the code SECONDSISTER you will get a $30 credit at the Paper Coterie site.  This is enough to create many of their projects!

The code is valid for 2 weeks and expires at midnight MST on February 7. It can be used by all readers/followers.

Here's the specs:

*Valid for $30 off your purchase
*Standard shipping rates apply
*No minimum purchase
*Does not apply to gift cards
*Valid through 2/7/12
*Not limited to one time use

P.S. You're welcome. You are gunna love Paper Coterie!

love love love

Hello! Hello!

I just got home from Alt Design Summit. I feel so inspired!  I will be sharing some of the fabulous people I met and things I learned over the next week.

I also wanted to tell you about Margie's Spark online class she is doing for Valentines, called Love Love Love. She will show you how to make some of her whimiscal Valentine projects.

You can sign up here! It starts today!

Rhonna is also crafting it up over on her blog. Check it out!

Monday, January 16, 2012

the farfar project

I've started a little project that I am enjoying immensely.

I stumbled across a cash of old portraits taken of Swedish men in the early 1900's. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I have become fascinated by these men and the lives they lived.  I love the character etched into their faces. I love the lines and creases and angles of their cheeks.

All these men were laborers of varying sorts.  They must have worked hard during their life. I stole them from their dark back drop and have given them joyful surroundings. I think it changes how you see them.  I think it allows their countenance to transcend their position.

As I have worked on each portrait, I have created a sort of one-sided relationship with each man. They may not be the people I imagine them to be at all, but I will never know. It's neither here nor there.

I am currently half way through this project. There are twelve portraits. I have finished the first six that are below. I have given their name and occupation.

 I'm not sure what I will do with them once the project is complete. I'm not even sure why I feel so driven to complete it. It's been a little like escaping into a really good book. The characters follow you throughout your day and you can't wait to find time to pick up the book again to see what will happen next.

In Sweden there are two words for grandfather: Your mothers father is called "Morfar" Your father's father is called "Farfar".

Lars Erik Pettersson: Miner

Anders Wedin: Postman

Carl Bohlin: Carpenter

Karl Oskar Lööw: Crofter

Ollas Per Persson: Yeoman

Oskar Almgren: Blacksmith

Monday, January 09, 2012

the obligation

photo taken by my dad

I was born of goodly parents.  Salt of the Earth types.

Hard working people.  They love God, each other and their nation.  

They are extremely predictable, never risk takers or booty shakers, but they are happy, and they taught me how to find happiness in my own life.

The blessing of such parents has a magnitude weighty enough to set a person firmly on the right path.

My mother taught me how to be a good mother. She has a knack for finding joy in life's small moments. She laughs at herself often and she's easy to please. She used the same wooden spoon to cook delicious hot meals and spank our bottoms.

My father has many interests and hobbies.  He works hard at his job and harder at his hobbies.  He's an aerospace engineer, runner, mountain biker, back country skier, photographer, kayak maker and at one point he was a world renown pigeon raiser. He also has a fierce streak of OCD and ADD.


With each passing year, I see the traits of my parents in myself.  Some I'm happy about. Some I'm not. 

But there's this:

Because they have lived honorable lives, and done the things which are right in the sight of God, there is an unspoken obligation.

It says that I am obligated to carry on the good name. I have no excuses. I've been taught.  This obligation is a weight on my shoulders and the ground that I stand on all at the same time.  It's strange. I hate having to live up to someone else's standard, but I firmly believe freedom is found in knowing who you are and where you came from.

I was born of goodly parents and I pray everyday that I can be one too. 

It isn't easy.

Friday, January 06, 2012

tangerine tango

1. Delicious, 2. orange and aqua, 3. pixie tangerine and fennel pots de creme, 4. Dana Knit Fingerless Gloves - Pure Cashmere, 5. Bird pouch closeup, 6. a tank full of gold 

Do you follow color trends? 

I do.

I eagerly await the announcement from Pantone to see what the color of the year will be.  Experts in all fields of design report on what the hot colors are for the coming year and Pantone makes the official announcement.

This year it is Tangerine Tango. A delightful reddish orange. 

Which makes me happy. Because, you know, it's a happy color. And I think the world could use a little more happiness these days.

And free stuff. More free stuff would be nice.

Here's a free wallpaper for you to download if Tangerine Tango makes you happy like it does me.

I had to get a little Bellflower dot in there. It's one of my favorite color combos.

Tangerine Tango Pantone color 17-1463
Bellflower Pantone color 18-3628

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

new set of photoshop brushes for the new year

I have a new set of photoshop brushes for sale. They were inspired by my recent trip to Sedona and they happily coincide with the current Native love trend sweeping the design world.

You can find them for sale with my other brushes under the brushes tab at the top of the page!