Greeting Cards

Greeting Cards

One of my favorite things is to surprise someone with a very small gift of encouragement. It can be anything from a small bundle of flowers to a simple card. We all need encouragement now and then and the smallest things can make a world of difference to someone who needs a little cheering up.

So I decided to design my own little cards that can be used to send someone a little note of encouragement for any occasion. The possibilities are endless.... https://www.etsy.com/shop/KathyMayDesigns

Christmas Ornaments

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a huge advocate for animals. I love the idea of teaching every child to admire, respect and cherish animals so that they grow into future adults that would pass along the same message.... I strongly believe that it is our responsibility to always be a voice for the voiceless. So this year's Christmas ornaments include a few of my favorite animals, which I am really hoping to develop into an entirely new ornament line specifically dedicated to animals. I have added a few of my favorites to start and I will really try to add photos as I design them. Trying to be more organized this year, (we'll see if I can actually be). Wish me luck on that.Polar Bear Ornament group_400 Brown Bear Ornament group_400 And of course, you have to have a few snowmen! Snowman Ornament_grp_400_2

Raising Awareness

I recently "liked" PETA on Facebook. It is a fantastic organization and I am a huge fan of theirs. I've heard on several occasions when I mention something that I read or saw,  " PETA is so extreme.", umm... yes, they're extreme because I think it's so much easier for everyone to just not want to see what PETA knows. Because if most people were to really allow themselves to think about how most of the world treats animals, then that may require change and change is hard. I have to say, the more I read and see, the sadder I am becoming that things are very rarely improving for the well being of so many animals. I don't understand why animals seem to have no rights and so often very little respect. PETA has to fight so hard on behalf of them constantly. I guess I naively assumed that others thought the way I do. If for example, an elephant can be tortured and trained to perform on command at a circus, then obviously animals are fully capable of emotion and yet animals are captured, abused and neglected every day as though they are not alive and feel nothing? They are not "ours" to take.

I guess I could justify the humane killing of animals for human survival, but here in the US that is not the case. We do not need to hunt? And really if we were to consider this a sport, then take away the gun and invite the deer to play. I doubt they would.

For more information, join or follow PETA on Twitter or Facebook, you may be shocked at what they know. The videos that they have captured and share may make you think a lot harder about your choices as a human being and consumer. For me, my art is all about teaching children to be aware of animals and to always respect them and treat them with kindness.  No more circus paintings for me.

Sometimes I really think we as humans are earth's biggest threat.

New Studio

It's finally complete and clean enough to actually take pictures, which is totally rare because I can destroy this space in about 5 minutes. I love being next to a bright sunny window to work, what a huge difference.....

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And I have a total weakness for fresh flowers! They always seem to cheer me up no matter what is going on that day.

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I think every mom that is kind enough to grocery shop, cook meals etc....deserves to treat themselves to a few fresh flowers every week.

 

It's a Circus

I just received my original artwork back from Somerset Studios and wanted to share the close up here. I was super excited to have the opportunity to be included among so many talented artists! This one is called "Balance is Tricky".......

 

And this one is "The Juggling Act"......

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And my very favorite..."For The Love of Bears"......

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Getting Published

Thank You Stampington & Company for featuring my artwork in your beautiful March 2014 issue!!! I am thrilled to be included in this gorgeous magazine featuring amazing artwork and creative ideas!!! Soemrset Studios2

 

Be sure to check it out if you haven't yet!

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Circus Lion and Bear

More fun with polka dot paintings! I am loving the combination of gray and brown for nursery decor. It's a color combination that not only looks beautiful, but can be used for both boys and girls to create a beautiful nursery that can be enjoyed for many years to come! Plus these lightweight canvasses are completely nerf-ball proof , which is super important in my house. lionandbearart

Zoo Animals

Here's a new one that I just finished after our visit to the zoo. Each animal is so uniquely beautiful in their own way. I love creating children's art that hopefully will inspire the same feelings in children to love and respect these beautiful animals. liontigerswallartframed

Wishing you a great weekend!!!!

The Zoo

Whenever I can, I love to head to the zoo for a little animal inspiration. We recently had a gorgeous day here in Chicago so we made a quick visit before the snow hits. Be sure to do something that you love as often as you can, it feels so good to just relax and enjoy a beautiful day once in a while.

This is the Chicago skyline from Lincoln Park Zoo, beautiful!

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Marathon Weekend

We had a wonderful get a away weekend spending time with great friends, shopping, eating (too much) and watching the runners of the Chicago Marathon. I recently took my camera in for some tweaking and was able to get some great photos of the event as well as some beautiful photos from our zoo visit later in the day.

I love spending time down in the city! There is always so much to do and the people are all so friendly and helpful. Being a rooky, the learning curve can be steep at times but there is always a welcoming Chicagoan to help you out if you get completely lost as I tend to do.

Congrats to all of the Marathon heros that finished, great job!

 

Loved this quote!

 

Amazing

I had to share this video of two wonderful people that braved the rain to save this poor pregnant, abandoned dog and her unborn puppies. They restore your faith in humanity with their gentle kindness.

http://www.godvine.com/Pregnant-Dog-Her-Unborn-Puppies-are-Saved-From-Certain-Death-3757.html

Lollipop Fields

I actually just finished this one-what a beautiful day is it here in Chicago too. I hope you're having a great weekend and doing something that you really enjoy too.

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Fields of Lollipops

I have been super busy lately trying to get the new studio set up and organized, which is incredibly difficult for me because I am constantly distracted by so many ideas for new paintings. I will post pictures as soon as it's complete, promise. If nothing else it is a great motivator for me to finish it in a somewhat organized manner, (hopefully soon). In the meantime, here's a new piece that I have been working on lately. studio9.21.13_edited-1

I am totally obsessed with lollipops. Crazy I know, but  I actually think their colors are beautiful for children's art. I have been focusing on creating inspirational work that can apply to all children, whether they are a boy or girl. Especially if you're doing a first nursery, what a great idea to design it in a way that can be used forever and does not need to be redone with each future child that you may want to have.

Studio makeover

Well it's official, my college graduate has moved out. It took awhile for me to accept this because I really, really want a do over, but nope life changes, kids grow up, college and then they head out on their own as adults. Really? But, weren't you just going off to kindergarten?

I know this is what it's all about so ......after his room has sat empty for the past 8 months or so, (sort of a shrine to my son), who I thought just might change his mind and come back but no such luck (which really isn't normal or healthy anyway), I have decided to move my painting studio into his former room after decades of painting in the basement.

I am super excited to have my own space, above ground and with windows. I can't even tell you!!!! We are just starting the transformation, so check back in to see the changes that we're making to the place! Oh and also lots of new artwork in the works!!!

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"Ye Harm None"

We were driving back from dropping my daughter off at college for her senior year, (so excited I can barely believe it), and I saw this adorable little blue and white Mini Cooper humming down the interstate. You know the cute ones, that have sort of a British look to them? Just adorable! But, what struck me even more was the bumper sticker on the back- "Ye Harm None." I love that saying! Wouldn't it be awesome if we could all think that way? Kind of makes you stop and think doesn't it? The Magical Balloon Ride

 

Animals

From the time I was a very young child I have always been crazy about animals. I went through so many stages as a child with small pets of all kinds. I had a goldfish in a bowl, that led eventually to the small aquarium which led to the enormous aquarium that kept my guinea pig company while it would aimlessly roll around our kitchen floor driving our dog crazy, all of the while living in a small house with 4 kids and a couple tolerant parents. I was also known to occasionally bring home any injured animal that I found for my mom to save during our lunch hour. She would often times spend our quick 45 minute lunch hour racing to a local wildlife haven to help try to save it. Sometimes we were successful and sometimes not, but we always tried.

Back then and even today, I still feel the same way about animals. They are so beautiful and vulnerable. When my children were young, they also loved animals, so I was sure to include them in our family. There is nothing like the love of a family pet to cheer up a hurting child or to teach them to love and respect animals. Pretty priceless lesson to me.

Our newest dog's name is Caleb and we have grown to absolutely love this guy! He just turned 2 and has brought our family so much joy that I can't imagine having not had him. He is still a bit of a work in progress, but loving him more by the day. Best part is he stays off the furniture. Oh wait?

Memorial Day

Every Memorial Day for as long as I can remember has been spent attending parades and cook outs with family and friends. Paying tribute to our brave and dedicated troops that unselfishly risk all that they are to protect us and our personal freedoms that we so often take for granted. But this year feels very different to me. Just this past month a high school classmate of mine lost her son in the war in Afghanistan. Her son had only just been deployed a few months ago and I know she was wrought with worry and concern from the time he left. Then just a few weeks ago, she received the call that he had been injured by flying shrapnel and as soon as he was stable, was going to be airlifted to Germany for medical care. It was only a matter of a week and we received the news that he had passed away.

Her son, Sam, was the same age as my son, 22 years old. My heart just breaks for her and her family. I cannot even imagine the heartbreak and loss that this family will endure for the rest of their lives. I cannot even imagine losing my child or any other child to war.

These selfless brave souls are mothers, daughters and sisters and fathers, brothers and sons who are all loved. I am praying today especially for the end of this war and all wars around the world and that someday the world will truly exist in peace with mutual respect for all of our differences.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvtQzZmdX-E

Bust a Move

I have been doing a lot of reading lately about the power that our own thoughts possess. Kind of along the lines of that famous quote by Thomas Edison- "If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." So often we find ourselves filled with doubts for whatever reason, whether it's our emotions, academic capabilities, athletic capabilities, job, etc. and I think this self doubt can really exhaust us when really all we need to do is dig in full steam ahead and give things our all. This is rarely easy and requires focus, discipline and usually some really hard work and sacrifice.

Whenever you're feeling doubtful, scared or maybe even a little down, try to squeeze something into your day that brings you pure joy. You know, something you really, really love. It could be 1/2 hour reading your favorite book before bed, going for a walk, gardening or even listening to your favorite music? I think we all need to give ourselves a little bit of joy here and there. Life is short so go for it!

Have a great weekend!!!!

Grow A Little

Hope you're having a great weekend and enjoying this beautiful spring like weather! I know I am loving seeing all of the spring bulbs in bloom, fresh air and the sun shining! With all of the budding flowers, I just felt like I had to paint a few flowers today to go with the theme of the day.

I also love the idea that no matter what age we are, whether things are great in our lives or we are going through some "not so great" times, we can all learn from our experiences and change for the better. I am not saying this is always easy, in fact it's probably easier to not change at all. But if becoming a better person in whatever form you see fit is on your list of goals, we all have the potential for that each day. Forgive yourself for any errors that you have made along the way, (we are all only human), and start tomorrow working on those changes that you would like to make. One day at a time and little by little, great things are possible.

Sale Event

I am so excited to have been invited to be a member of the Etsy Baby Team! There are so many beautiful and unique baby items to purchase for your own baby or as gifts. I just love handmade one of a kind things and this group of very talented artisans have so much to choose from. From 3/16/12 through 3/31/12 Free Shipping from the entire group on Etsy, just enter coupon code ETSYBABYSTORK and shop to your heart's content. You can access my shop on the upper right of this site or at http://www.etsy.com/shop/KathyMayDesigns.

Thanks for visiting!

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