Monday, January 31, 2011

January Creative Outburst Grownup Gathering

We had so much fun at our first Creative Outbursts at our new From Art to Zebras studio! Our theme for this one was New Year, New You. We each did a 16"x20" mixed media canvas. Everyone chose a face or design that represented how they felt. I loved the variety and seeing how everyone felt about themselves. And I am so looking forward to our February Creative Outbursts that we will be creating cupcake collages for a sweet soiree!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Dino-Mite Party Idea!

Here is my FIRST treasury on Etsy! WooHoo! This was really fun to put together. I just love these dinosaur items for a little boy's party! I do really like the cutesy kind of dinosaurs, but the "big" boys tend to think they are too babyish. These are that perfect medium between cute and downright scary!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What to Wear Wednesday - Valentine's Kids Style

-reposted from minor impressions

Ok, I admit, I haven’t even taken down my Christmas tree yet! I know, I need to get with it because before I know it, I’m going to get a note in my daughter’s folder giving me all the fun info for her class Valentine’s Day party. It’s hard to believe it’s only a month away.

If you’re a little more prepared than I am, you still have time to plan an adorably unique photo shoot to make some cards that all of your kiddo’s friends will be excited to show off. The great thing about Valentine pictures is that they can get away with being very casual. Since these are cards that will be given to their friends, let them show their personality. You can make a simple t-shirt dressier with a tulle skirt or a little more casual with a jean skirt and leggings. Let your son show his wild side for all the girls, or how tamed and put-together he is.

This is also the perfect time to find some adorable props to add. Instead of buying real roses with the thorns, you can find a bouquet of fake roses at a craft store, and all of the other items are easily found at Wal-mart or your local grocery store. Most kids will love the opportunity to eat chocolate or lick lollipops while being photographed, and the younger kiddos will find it hard to resist squeezing a new teddy bear!


Girl Outfit & Accessories – Gap

Boy Outfit – The Children’s Place

All props can be found at Wal-Mart, but these were found on the web.

Lollipops – Melville Store

Teddy Bear – Target

Chocolates – Sees

Rose Bouquet – Wal-Mart

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January Creative Challenge!

Theme: Totally Drab to Totally Rad!

I know it sounds a bit 80s but don't let that influence you (or do, if that's your thing!). Here are the details of our first public challenge with From Art to Zebras. Above all, HAVE A BLAST!

Your challenge this month is to spend $20 or less at a thrift store and buy something super ugly, tacky or otherwise abominable and revamp it into something totally awesome. If you have something totally horrible already, first, let me say I'm sorry; second, why???; and third, go ahead and use it for the challenge. You must take pictures of the item in its original state, so we can see both the before and the after. Your purchase can be a piece of artwork, clothing, figurine, statue, platter, furniture -- whatever! You decide. You can purchase more than one item at the thrift store as long as your total is $20 or less, and your items somehow come together in the same theme of the project.


  • Craft your project during this challenge period (Jan 11 - Jan 31st 2011) only. Projects created before this timeframe will not be removed, but they will be excluded from the voting. Post before and after shots on our From Art to Zebras facebook page and tag yourself in them. If you don't have a facebook account, you can either get one, lol, or just email them to us and we will post them.
  • You can make this by yourself or as a group or family. If participating as a group, please tag all individuals. You will be responsible for working out how the prize will be divided.
  • Post your craft no later than Jan 31st.
  • Voting will happen from Feb 1-8, 2011.
  • Enter only ONE project. Your entry can have multiple components to it.


It's probably impossible to know whether your project is 100% original or made by anyone else in the past. But if your project was definitely inspired by something you've seen before, please give credit to that project.

At the end, I'll set up a poll and the first place winner will get:

(1) their project featured on blog, facebook, website and twitter!
(2) bragging rights (you'll probably do it anyway).
(3) a $75 gift certificate to use with From Art to Zebras on anything! classes, camps, events, artwork, gifts, photography, okay, you get the hint. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow, snow and more snow.

I know this isn't mush snow for a lot of you. And I grew up with much more. But for this area, not many are used to the snow and puts a scare into their hearts. The roads aren't cleared, no chains allowed, stores run out of milk, bread and snow materials, and schools and businesses close down. Just this little bit wreaks havok on our community.

Usually, if it is going to snow, it isn't here until February and March. But oh no, it had to start EARLY this year. And it keeps coming back for more! If I could curl up with my kiddos and not worry, I might welcome it more. But knowing my husband has to be out with the freaked out drivers and the fact that we own a business that makes no money when we have to close, snow is not a joyful sight.

I have a deep yearning for spring...

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Supermodel Family...

originally uploaded by smallfrynotables.

Yay!!! It's Friday! We made it through the first week of winter session classes at the studio with flying colors. Okay, maybe not flying colors, lol, but colors nonetheless. We, meaning I, have finally realized I can't get through the chaos of still having boxes stacked as tall as me in the office with who knows what looming inside.

Everyone else at From Art to Zebras has known this all along. I just say I'm a free spirit and can't stop what I' doing long enough to worry about such things. Uuuummm, yeah, I can't find anything...

So with this amazing revelation, I plan on locking myself in the studio tomorrow and going to town! I know it will be a shock to many, but I will step into reality for this short time and deal with it. I have my big girl panties on and am ready to face the music. Okay, I'm really trying to not talk myself out of it. It is supposed to snow here tonight and I'm hoping it isn't enough to do the trick. It wouldn't be hard. Until tomorrow...

BTW, the photo of my family was throw in there to distract the passerby from my pile syndrome. ;)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Someone to Cuddle

boxer watercolor 2, originally uploaded by smallfrynotables.

This cutie pie is a watercolor I did last year as a Christmas gift for my MIL. I really enjoyed painting it more than I thought I would. I have always been more drawn to painting people and never really tried animals. But I believe this experience has changed my mind! So now I think I might have to do some more this year. I know how much people love their animals (we have 4 dogs, a cat, and 2 turtles!). I'm sure I won't be at a loss for inspiration!

I joined the party at:

Handmade Gifts Link Party - At Second Street

Show and Tell Saturdays - Be Different Act Normal

Saturday Spotlight - craft eNVy

CraftOManiac Monday Link Party

Take a Look Tuesday - Sugar Bee

Power of Paint Party - Domestically Speaking

Transformation Thursday - The Shabby Chic Cottage

Look What I Made - Creations by Kara

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What to Wear Wednesday - stylish winter outerwear

-reposted from morgan dawson photography

So I’m sitting here in my office, looking at a fresh 20 inches of snow, and wondering what my client will wear to our outdoor photo shoot this Friday. I’m thinking it will definitely involve a jacket. Probably some gloves. Likely a scarf. Boots for sure. Maybe a hat...

When an outdoor shoot is scheduled for cold weather, often this happens: You arrive wearing a random coat over your favorite I’m-wearing-this-no-matter-what outfit - throw off the jacket for pics - freeze to death - throw back on the jacket to warm up - take it off and try again - shiver and try to smile - rinse, repeat. Sounds like fun, right?

And then there are those who don’t want to deal with the cold at all, and opt to wait until the weather warms up - which here, might mean April or May.

I’m not a fan of either scenario, and there’s really an easy solution - bundle up, while also looking great!

Now I know some of you are lucky enough to live in a place where a snowplow contract isn’t the best investment you make each year, but that doesn’t mean a little cold-weather outerwear isn’t necessary. And we need to blow up this notion that by bundling up, you can't look absolutely outstanding.

But what to choose? Those tips we’ve been sharing with you - layers, color, accessories - are still key ingredients when it comes to putting together stylish outerwear for photos. And here's more:

  • I suggest staying away from straight white or black and opt instead for greys, browns, beige and color, color, color! I absolutely love bright yellows, pinks, greens and blues - the more vivid the better.
  • Since jackets can be expensive, don’t feel like you need to go and buy a trendy colorful coat that you’ll only wear once - especially for kids that will grow out of it in by next year. If what you already own fits you well (not some oversized thing you wear because it “goes over everything”), then keep it - and accessorize! Adding a hat, scarf or gloves can really make a huge difference.
  • If you warm up because everyone is hiking to reach that perfect photo spot, you may want to unbutton your jacket, so make sure the outfit beneath the jacket is photo-ready by looking over some past WW posts.
  • Vests look great over chunky sweaters or hoodies, and often come in a million different colors at a decent price (think Old Navy).
  • Leggings are another way to add fun color, and look great with boots over them. They also help you extend your fall wardrobe because you can wear them under skirts or dresses.
  • You can’t go wrong with jeans, so consider dark denim a winter wardrobe staple. Consider wearing them a little different by tucking them into your boots or rolling them up to meet the top of the shoes (especially cute for younger boys).
  • Still not warm enough? Throw on some long underwear, a thermal top, and an extra pair of socks! Pretend you’re dressing to go play out in the snow - just with style :-)

Below, I’ve put together outerwear ideas for a family of six. I only included one accessory for each person, but you can definitely add more. For women, I love chunky earrings peeking under hats, or a necklace you might only see if the jacket is worn open.

Bottom line: This is a wonderful time of year for outdoor photos! It doesn't take much to turn a drab day into a thrilling memory.


Outfit Guide


Double-Cloth Colletta Coat - $208 (on sale) - J.Crew

Sequinned Jersey Scarf - $28 (on sale) - Boden


Down Shirt Jacket - $99 - Eddie Bauer

Men’s Ribbed Scarf - $34.50 - Lands End Canvas

Young Girl:

Cosy Textured Coat - $35 (on sale) - miniBoden

Olive Green Beanie Hat - $9.00 - Etsy

Young Boy:

Detachable Hood Puffer Vest - $18.99 (on sale) - Crazy 8

Avocado, Cream, Mustard & Coffee Children’s Hat - $24.00 - Etsy

Baby Girl:

Faux-Fur Trim Hooded Jacket for Baby - $17.00 (on sale) - Old Navy

Gingerbread Earflap Hat - $5.99 (on sale) - Crazy 8

Baby Boy:

Jersey Duffle Jacket - $21 (on sale) - miniBoden

Stocking Hat - $28 - Etsy

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Commissioned Digital Painting on Canvas

I had to wait a bit to post this picture because it was a Christmas present. This is one of my faves that I have done and a super fun family to work with.

It is painted, scanned, digitally painted, printed on canvas and stretched on a 16"x20" frame. I love to incooperate words into my pieces, whether it is a favorite verse, song lyrics or just a definition or quote. I think it adds something even more personal that helps define that person.

I hope they loved it as much as I did. Let me know if you would like one of your own made up!

I joined the party at:
Made by You Mondays - Skip to my Lou
Transformation Thursdays - The Shabby Chic Cottage
Craft Schooling Sunday - Creative Jewish Mom
Market Yourself Monday - Sumo's Sweet Stuff
CraftOManiac Monday Link Party
Marketplace Monday - Finding Fabulous
Anything Related Tuesday - All Thingz Related

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dino-Mite! Party Invitations

dinosaur-invite-2, originally uploaded by smallfrynotables.
I made some invitations for a little boy that is having a dinosaur birthday party at the studio soon. I had so much fun with it, that I ended up making a series of eight different invites. I wish my young man was still at an age to enjoy these...Oh well, at least I get to make them for others! I will be adding these to the online store soon as well as smallfrynotables. These would be cute for a baby shower to if you were looking for something not quite as traditional. They are all 5.5"w x 8.5"h and printed on glossy cardstock with recycled kraft paper envelopes included.

I joined the party at:
Market Yourself Monday - Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Toot Your Horn Tuesday - A Silly Little Sparrow
Frugalicious Friday - Finding Fabulous
Feature Yourself Friday - Fingerprints on the Fridge
CraftOManiac Monday Link Party
Tot Tuesday - My Delicious Ambiguity
Marketplace Monday - Finding Fabulous
Take-a-Look Tuesday - Sugar Bee

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Shared Sweetness

Today was a somewhat relaxing day for us. After a thoughtful church service this morning, our kids helped put away the Christmas stuff while I was cleaning. We decided we really needed something sweet to eat. :) Who can say no to that? So my hubby and 12yo son baked a strawberry cake (the guys of this house love their pink cake!). Then my 9yo daughter iced and decorated it. Notice I didn't mention me! With very little help from me, they made a great cake! We may have to try this more often!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011, Another Beginning...

Yay! It's another new year! A fresh start, a new beginning. It is always so exciting for me to pull out the fresh calendar and new journal. The pages so crisp and waiting for all the plans. Of course, it is just another today; it will be another yesterday; so it feels a bit odd to put so much importance on the one day.

Each day should really carry that much importance. Each day is a new beginning. As I look over my resolutions, I try to remind myself of this. I try to cut myself some slack when I'm just too tired, or really need that peanut butter cup, lol. I can start over again tomorrow.

I try to just take each day at a time instead of a whole year at a time. It is just too overwhelming for me to look at the whole year. You never know what will happen or what the next obstacle or opportunity will be. If you plan so far ahead, it is almost like you are putting yourself in a bit of a rut. Put those things that are most important there, so they stay on top, and keep the rest a bit open to allow some spontaneity into your life.

But I do love the new pages! And for a little creative outing today, I got myself a yummy new art journal. Mr. NonCreative didn't understand why I was so excited about some rumbled, jagged pages aka handmade, molded, deckled edged paper with a woven hemp cover. Whatever, I LOVE this journal and can't wait to make my first marks in it in the morning! I hope you have found something to inspire you for the new year!