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5 Little Speckled Frogs

by abby on May 30, 2013 | Comment

frog children's illustration art

May has flown by. I asked D last night where the month went and he said it was all about my brother’s wedding. The before wedding preparation and then the after glow. It’s true, but happily I also had a great month of painting!

watercolor art of frog on log

The above images are from my latest illustration. Do you remember the nursery rhyme/song 5 Little Speckled Frogs? I still do! Here’s the first stanza:

Five Little Speckled Frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating the most delicious bugs. Yum! Yum!
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Now there are Four green speckled frogs

You basically repeat the above lyrics and count down the frogs. Here are all the lyrics and here is the song.

It was one of my favorite songs to sing in pre-school. My pre-school teacher used to have a felt board with a specked log surrounded by water and 5 speckled frogs sitting on the log. As we sang the song, one by one the frogs “jumped” into the water. At age 3 this song with the visual was simply the best!

I’ll be adding a few lines of song lyrics above the frogs and selling it as digital watercolor print. It will be similar in look to my Cow Jumping Over the Moon print. I’ll be selling the prints first at my summer art festivals and then they will be available in my Etsy Shoppe.

It’s going to be a hot weekend and start of June. I wish I could jump into the nice, cool water of my art!
How will you stay cool this weekend?

Wedding Bliss

by abby on May 24, 2013 | Comment

Abby and Doug walking down aisle

As you know my brother got married last weekend! It was a wonderful weekend filled with family and friends. The rain held off and we were able to have the ceremony outside on the beautiful Spa Lawn at the mountain resort. Above is me (with a HUGE GRIN) walking down the aisle accompanied by one of my brother’s good friends.

the groom waiting his bride

I couldnt’ help but share this photo of my brother waiting—he’s just busting with joy and happiness! I think everyone who attended is still feeling the love and smiling this week. And the fun continues with the long Memorial Day weekend! Who-ooo!

My plan for the weekend—to cultivate my creativity by planting an herb garden. I’ll be hanging a vertical herb garden. After I’m all done, it should look something like this:
canvas shoe vertical garden
photo from The Curious Classroom

Cool, right?! I have a partial sunny corner of our porch where I will hang my garden. This way too that pesky groundhog won’t dine in my garden like he did last year. Ha—I win!

How are you celebrating the long weekend?

My Favorite Wedding Invitation Set

by abby on May 16, 2013 | Comment

pink script wedding stationery

I’ve been wanting to share this with you for a few months now. My brother is getting married! And it’s FINALLY happening this weekend. Eeeee!

Last fall, he and his fiance asked me to design their wedding invitation set (no pressure, right?!) Well, in case you don’t know how the design process works, but the more information you know about who you are designing for the EASIER it is to create a solution. Thankfully, I have 20+ years of knowing my brother and he has found a partner with a similar love of life and love of laughter!

champagne toast and wedding invitation

Let’s just say my brother and his fiance are light-hearted and very fun people. I wanted to express this playfulness (must run in the family, right?) in the wedding invitation set. I used a combination of handwritten script and print display type to bring a little romance and a little touch of youthfulness too. They also wanted to have Magnolias on the card. I chose to added them to the corners to frame the type.

wedding invitation cake art with description words

The couple also admired my holiday cards where I have a group of words within a silhouette (like the Dove or mitten card). They wanted this same approach on the back side of their invitation and champagne toast invite. The couple created the word list and I had a lot of fun, placing all the words together. It’s like a big puzzle!

Overall, I am very happy with the final printed invitation set and more to the point, my brother and his fiance, are thrilled with the end result. Hooray! They have graciously also said that I can use this design as a new wedding stationery template in my Etsy Shoppe. I will certainly announce when this wedding invitation set will be ready for purchase.

I was so very honored to be able to contribute to my brother’s and fiance’s special day. Now after all the work is done, I’m SO ready to enjoy the weekend and DANCE!

What are your weekend plans?

It’s Finally Here!

by abby on May 13, 2013 | Comment

children's book week 2013

Wow, time is flying—but it’s finally Children’s Book Week! Hooray! I remember writing about this in cold wintery March and thinking May was a long ways away, but wow did it arrive fast.

In case you have forgotten, Children’s Book Week a nationwide celebration of reading and books that has been happening since 1919. To celebrate, libraries, book shops, and towns have special events planned ALLLL this week. You can find the listing of events by state here.

On the CBW website, they have a few great activities for kids and parents too. One of my favorites are the Story Starters. A handful of children’s authors have started a story and then invite a child to finish it. The Story Starters come as printable PDFs and some like Mo Williams are designed as a comic book where the child can draw and write the conclusion of the story. Cool, right?!

Be sure to share the joy of reading with a child or teen this week!

children's art of shooting star
{Make a Wish digital watercolor print, Size 6″ x 6″}

My Make A Wish print is now available in my Etsy Shoppe!

Courage Can Be A Quiet Voice

by abby on May 9, 2013 | Comment

be courageous

Yesterday I went to say hello & good-bye & ROCK ON to a few of my former RIT illustration students. They are graduating in 2 weeks and going out into the reaaaaal world. I spoke with these students at the annual Illustration department’s Portfolio Walk-Through where all the seniors display their illustration portfolios to the public for the first time. It’s a joyous evening filled with lots of talk of the future, but you can feel the trepidation underneath the smiles and thank yous.

I was glad that I could offer a few more words of advice to these students. They all needed one last nudge that “Yes, you can find your way”. I’ve realized in my 10 years from graduating college that everyone’s path is truly different and you cannot repeat it exactly from one person to the next. You must forge your own path, but it helps (a lot!) to know that you have supporters cheering you on your journey.

courage is a quiet voice

I also found this above quote on Pinterest and it truly hit home. There was an opportunity for me to take a full time design job recently. It was a job with great creative potential and steady income, but it also involved a 2.5 hour daily commute which would mean a drastic lifestyle change. It also would mean that I would have to place AbbyDora Design on the back burner. A small quiet voice kept saying to me, “Not yet. Not yet. You aren’t finished with this big adventure of AbbyDora Design”. Maybe it was my heart speaking out or perhaps it was my courage—a tiny, soft voice being very brave and speaking up. In the end, I followed this advice and I’ve decided to keep AbbyDora Design full steam ahead!

My choice has lit a fire in my drive and I’m pushing myself even harder to reach out to new clients and keep on painting and painting. Like my students, I am optimistic that my passion, my courage, and hard work will create additional and amazing opportunities for me. All I have to do is be brave and be myself.

Have you been brave lately?

Make A Wish Art

by abby on May 6, 2013 | Comment

father and son bunny see a shooting star

Has it been a very busy start to May for you too? Last week was so busy with books and art that I didn’t even get a chance to blog about what I was doing! Thankfully, I’m working at a much more sane pace this week and I can share with you what I’ve been creating.

I’m in my full painting mode to create lots of new artwork for the TWO ROCHESTER SUMMER ART FESTIVALS. I’ll be in one in early August and one in early September. I’ll be sharing more information on these upcoming events next month once I know booth locations and schedules.

August and September may seem a long ways away, but I’m a one woman show, so it takes lots of energy and organization to prepare and create for two weekend art festivals. Currently, I’m in the most fun part of my preparation—the creation of new paintings and new playful paper goods!

After the fantastic response I got from the Star Gazing illustration of a mother and daughter rabbit looking up into the night sky. I thought I’d create a sweet scene where a father and son can have their own night sky moment. Ta-da!

children's art of shooting star

I’m very happy the final painting. I especially adore the little astronaut teddy bear the little boy rabbit is holding. Say it with me, “Awwwww…”

This painting will be available in my Etsy Shoppe soon as a high-quality digital watercolor print. The image size is 6″x 6″ centered on an 8″ x 8″ sheet of watercolor paper. If you can’t wait, you can pre-order the Make A Wish print by sending me an email. Otherwise, I will let you all know when new prints are in my Shoppe.

Did you ever star gaze with a parent or grandparent?