Square One

I wanted to be the “Cool Aunt” and give the new nephew something great, something unique, that would be memorable amid all the other gifts he’d be getting. However, at the same time, I wanted to give something to the older nephew as well, so he wouldn’t feel completely left out from the fun.

The purpose of this blog is, to show off display all the designs that I’ve created- past, present and future. But what fun is a gallery if there’s no explanation of the art?  So, in addition to exhibiting my finished products, this blog is here to give you a little peek at the history or inspiration behind some of the designs.

With that in mind, it only seems right to start off this gallery-blog with the designs that were the original inspiration for everything. But first, a little back story:

This all began when my older sister was pregnant with her second baby, her oldest being nearly four years old.

Monkey, Raven and MamaIt has been my observation that new babies are sometimes a little bit trying for the older sibling. New babies get all the attention and they’re always getting presents, I can see where a previously only-child (and solo apple of everybody’s eye) could start to feel a little neglected.

So my mind began churning. I wanted to be the “Cool Aunt” and give the new nephew something great, something unique, that would be memorable amid all the other gifts he’d be getting. However, at the same time, I wanted to give something to the older nephew as well, so he wouldn’t feel completely left out of the fun. The conclusion: I would make them each a custom-designed shirt, unique to them.

From the beginning, my sister and her husband used a nickname for her son when she talked about him online: Monkey. That nickname has bled over into real life and he is known by both names. With this new one on the way, they came up with a nickname for him as well: Raven.

These nicknames seemed the perfect image for a putting on a personalized shirt, so I ran with it. And I was quite pleased with the results! Here they are:

T-shirt for Monkey
the t-shirt for Monkey
Onesie for Raven
the onesie for Raven

How it all Began…

I love using stencils; unwrapping each completed design is like unwrapping a present! With stencils, the design may be replicated, but as each item is painted by hand, each one is slightly different and is an original work of art.

I consider myself to be artistic. If I were to make up a graph, pretty much all of my talent distribution would landed solidly in the creative/artistic and musical quadrant; it’s what interests me and where my passions lie.

I’ve always got some sort of project going on, either actively or brewing in my head: musical arrangements, paintings, book illustrations, scrapbooking, etc. And while these things are fun and very satisfying to create, and they often make great gifts… I hadn’t ever found this particular skill set to be very marketable. So I have a day job.

However, lots of my friends, and a couple of my sisters, have been having babies lately. I wanted to give them gifts, but I wanted to give them something cooler than your run-of-the-mill baby clothes. Enter my new-found affection for stenciling.

It started with just one or two designs.. then it became five or six. Before long, I had more designs than I knew what to do with! It was about then that I decided that the time had for me to share my creations with the world.

Now I’m perpetually thinking up cute and fun designs that have far more personality (and are much less generic) than the “pink princess” or “sports fan” stuff that’s so prevalent out there. And, as these are clothes for kids, my aim is for the drawings to express a whimsical and playful feel to reflect the essence of childhood.

Each embellishment is an original design, conceived and drawn by me. After I’ve sketched out an idea, I simplify the drawing so it can be cut into a stencil. Once everything is fine-tuned to my satisfaction, I carefully select the colors to coordinate with the clothing and design. Finally, it’s handprinted with care by yours truly.

I love using stencils; unwrapping each completed design is like unwrapping a present! With stencils, the design may be replicated, but as each item is painted by hand, each one is slightly different and is an original work of art.