Sample Newsletter

hello, fellow rooster!

as the new year settles in, i always begin to reflect on the past and dream on the future. one of my favorite ways to do this is to sit down with a hot-cuppa-something and write out my dreams and goals for the next year. i then keep it by my work area all year and check things off as i accomplish them. it helps keep me on task and motivated all year!

and because i believe in BIG GOALS and the power of professing them, i've included a special spot for your one BIG goal for 2015. write it down and amazing things will happen. i promise!

to download the 15 goals for 2015 printable, click on the image below and print the PDF. enjoy!

i've been exploring the world of using textures in illustrator and am having so much fun with them! this speckle and gridded leaf print are just a few of the patterns i've created with a little added texture to them. i love the roughed up - vintage feel it gives them. i hope you do, too!

to download: click on the image above to download bespeckle. inside the zip file, you'll find 4 repeating tiling squares, and a 5 page printable pdf with instructions for use.

patterns are for personal use only, which means you can print them, frame them, make cards from them, use them on your blog, social media sites, use them as wrapping paper, etc! if you'd like information on getting a commercial license for professional use of these patterns, click here.

this week has been a bit of a challenge for me. getting back into the swing of things is always a little hard after taking such a long break! our temperatures are at a record low, i'm attempting to get in shape at the gym (wha?!) and am working furiously to meet a project's deadline. 

that said, this quote has meant a lot to me this week! i've been following my favorite philosophy of doing small bits on a project at a time and before i know it, things are getting done. they really do seem impossible when i look at the big picture, but bit by bit they get accomplished. and that feels good! i hope this quote will help you somehow this month in working towards your own goals and accomplishments. here's to a beautiful, successful year!

to download: click on the coordinating image below. right click and select ‘save as desktop background’ or download to your phone and set as background. now, be inspired!


i've been playing with planters, terrariums, domes and jars this week and have had so much fun filling them with my own creations! below is an example of how you can take one of these containers and really bring it to life. you could fill the first two to either make them look like vases with flowers coming out of them, or like terrariums with an entire eco-system living inside.  i hope you'll have fun playing around with all the possibilities!

to download: click here to download plant domes & terrariums. inside the .zip file you'll find each illustration as a .png on a transparent background and the editable .eps file you can edit in adobe illustrator or photoshop.

*illustrations are for personal use only, which means you may use them on your personal blog, social media sites, logos, greeting cards, invitations, stationary, business cards, on store signage, on print materials, etc! if you'd like to use them professional, please purchase a commercial license for them, here.

mushroom-walnut meatballs with garlic mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy - this dish is so yummy! i've been craving comfort food lately, and this dish definitely fit the bill. the flavor and texture of the meatballs are perfect and the entire dish is hearty and warming. perfect for chilly nights! i adapted it from a recipe in gluten free vegan comfort food, and i am so happy with the results. *note: if making this gluten free, be sure to use GF soy sauce or tamari sauce.

to download the recipe: click on the image below and print the PDF.

the first time i used elderberry syrup at the onset of cold symptoms, i was blown away at the results. there was an instant and very noticeable complete turn around! since then, i have used elderberry syrup each time i've started to feel that yucky-oh-no-what's-happening feeling and have delightfully felt better every time. i've got my entire family using it and we have all had the same results: feeling better and getting over symptoms much quicker than usual!

taking elderberry syrup on a regular basis can also help combat seasonal colds and the flu, especially during winter. that said, buying elderberry syrup at the health food store can add up quickly.

these tiny elderberries pack a huge punch: they are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron, Potassium, Beta-carotene, Calcium, Phosphorus, Bioflavonoids and Antioxidants.

here's my favorite recipe for making elderberry syrup at home!


2/3 cups dried black elderberries
2 tbs fresh ginger root
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp cloves
3.5 cups water
1 cup local raw honey*

*feel free to use another natural sweetener like maple syrup or agave syrup if you prefer. also, remember not to give honey to children under age 1.

1) add all of the ingredients (except for the honey!) into a medium sized saucepan. bring to a boil and let simmer 30-45 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by about half.

2) strain the berry mixture, mashing the berries into the sieve to extract all the juice.

3) add the honey (or other natural sweetener) to the juice and mix well.

4) place in a glass jar and keep refrigerated.

for preventive care, adults take 1 tbs daily and children 1 tsp daily. if sick, up this dose to 1 tbs per hour for adults and 1 tsp per hour for children.

if you've never tried it before, i think you'll really love it. plus, it tastes delicious!

photo by God's beautiful earth.

for this tutorial, i'm sharing with you about the somewhat recently added variable width tool. it makes organically changing the widths of your strokes to look more painterly or hand drawn easy and fun! this is also a great tool to use if you don't have a wacom tablet. use it as a subtle effect or more drastically to create real depth. plus, learn how to save your own path profiles!

video length: 5:12

to view: click here and view using password 'WIDTHCHANGE'


a must-have tool
a visual guide to calligraphy pens
a 30 minute curry