home decor

2017 Studio Tour

Hi there. How are you?

I'm really lucky. I have a lovely, functional, and spacious home studio. Back in 2013, my very handy husband, set out to turn two basement bedrooms into a dreamy art studio. See the early renovation snaps HERE and the studio in it's final finished form for HERE.

After 3.5 years of heavy use, I thought it would be fun to again photograph my studio, to see how things have held up, and how I'm currently using the space.

The big island is the best.

As you walk into the studio, you are greeted by a 4ft x 6ft island workspace. It's a big, stand-up desk, and I love it!  It hardly ever looks this clean...It's usually a dumping ground of stuff. I spent a couple of hours cleaning everything up for these pictures, and I'm trying hard to keep it in it's current pristine space. It's so much more fun to be in here when it's all picked up and pretty.

Built in Storage

The island has some great built in storage, that's been heavily utilized. My flat file drawers are a little worse for the wear (notice a new bottom drawer and one with a missing face.) I keep all of my most necessary and most used materials on this side of the island, as it's closest to my computer and drawing table. 

 Attaching the power strip to the island was a brilliant Matt move. It gets used all of the time.

Attaching the power strip to the island was a brilliant Matt move. It gets used all of the time.

Attaching the power strip to the island was a brilliant Matt move. It gets used all of the time, especially when I'm charging a dozen iPads for work.

The Command center

I spend the majority of my time in the studio right here. The built in desk is 8.5 feet long, but often feels crowded with those two printers. (One is really just used as a scanner. Hoping to upgrade that soon!)

Over the years, I've decorated the space with interesting things I've collected. As I spend so much time here, I like to have things to look at as I work. Eventually, I'll fill all the space in on that back wall.

 My newest acquisition on the wall is this tiny watercolor that my great grandmother made for my grandmother on her birthday in 1952.

My newest acquisition on the wall is this tiny watercolor that my great grandmother made for my grandmother on her birthday in 1952.

My Newest Acquisition

My newest acquisition on the wall is a tiny watercolor that my great grandmother made for my paternal grandmother on her birthday in 1952. I never met my great-grandmother (she passed long before I was born) and I had no idea she made art. Such a treasure!

Also pictured here is a childhood portrait of my husband Matt and a dino wall hanging I made with teens at the library a while back

 I used to do the majority of my drawing here. Now it's mainly a storage area for my stupid huge pen collection.

I used to do the majority of my drawing here. Now it's mainly a storage area for my stupid huge pen collection.

The Drawing Niche of Yore

I used to spend a lot of my drawing time right here. Honestly, I do most of my drawing upstairs on the couch now, so this spot doesn't get much use. It's just been a storage area for my ridiculously large collection of pens that are tucked away in the bags, boxes and tubes seen here.

 I used to be a painter. It was my first real art love. Now, I'm too impatient for it. Maybe someday I'll go back to it.

I used to be a painter. It was my first real art love. Now, I'm too impatient for it. Maybe someday I'll go back to it.

The Painting Niche of Yore

Matt and I both used to paint and as seen here,  we each have our own easels. The paintings here are both mine, and were done about two summers ago, when I got the itch to paint again. It didn't last long, and they've been sitting there with my dried out palette ever since. Maybe, I'll go back to it again someday. Maybe.

So Much Storage!

The back half of the studio is used for storage. There is open storage for packing supplies, inventory and odds and ends that I like to have quick access to. There's also a lot of old paintings of both mine and Matt's. (His are the huge ones!) In the far back corner of the studio, we have a wall full of storage closets. Not pictured: the mess of stuff that these closets hide!

 I have a thing for chairs. Even broken ones I guess. I can't seem to get rid of these.

I have a thing for chairs. Even broken ones I guess. I can't seem to get rid of these.

My Chair Graveyard

They're both broken and honestly, I don't know why they're still sitting here. I just can't seem to part with them yet.

 Studio mascot that both frightens and delights.

Studio mascot that both frightens and delights.

Our Studio Mascot

I have no idea where this lil' devil came from. Matt hung it up on the peg board when we were setting up the studio, and it's been hanging there ever since. A young visitor to our studio told me that this looked like a devilish version of the "Elf on the Shelf."

 Kid art wall of fame.

Kid art wall of fame.

Kid Art Wall of Fame

When the young ones in my life make me art work, I've taken to hanging it on the wall here.

 Interlocking foam tile flooring is an inexpensive and comfortable solution for a studio floor.

Interlocking foam tile flooring is an inexpensive and comfortable solution for a studio floor.

Comfy Foam Flooring

The interlocking foam tile flooring has held up like a champ and is very comfy to stand on. It was a perfect, thrifty solution for our basement studio.

 A collection of things that I've somewhat artfully arranged in my studio.

A collection of things that I've somewhat artfully arranged in my studio.

A Corner Vignette

I've been slowly building this eclectic vignette over time. Some things,  like the The "scandi" style prints, old metal cabinet and scissors I've picked up at yard sales and antique stores. The circus print is Matt's and badly needs to be framed. The owl key hook came from my maternal grandma's house, and the kokopelli pin was my paternal grandmothers. (Both of my grandmas passed last summer at ages 89 and 94. I've got some serious longevity genes folks!) It feels nice to have these little reminders of my beloved grannies nearby.

And there you have it.

I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into my happy place. Until next time. 

Ciao!

A 2016 Success - Tea Towels

Hi there. How are you?

It's the week between Christmas and New Years and I'm in a contemplative mood. I'm thinking about my progress in 2016 and what I can do better in 2017.

After doing my year end accounting, I was feeling pretty blue, pretty defeated. Monetarily, 2016 was pretty pathetic for my art biz.

Then, I started thinking back at all of the new things I made this year. The new connections I've made, the wholesale accounts I've gained and the successes I've had. I DID make some progress.

Over the next few posts, I'm going to celebrate my successes in 2016 and look back at what I've made. Sound good?

First up: Tea Towels

This year, I introduced 2 new tea towel designs, both of which started as drawings in my sketchbook. Let me show you the process.

Veggies are a hit!

I introduced my veggie print tea towel at a holiday craft sale I did earlier this month. I'm happy to report that it sold like gangbusters! They went over big as gifts for mom and grandma. I've just got a handful of these left.

The origin story

In January of 2016, I took part in a 31 day drawing challenge with Creative Bug. (See all of my drawings here.)  Each day, participants were given something to draw. The Day 17 prompt was root vegetables and man did I have fun with that.

 My Day 17 drawings turned into a pattern for a tea towel.

My Day 17 drawings turned into a pattern for a tea towel.

The magic

I scanned in my drawings, and with some Photoshop and Illustrator magic, I turned them into a pattern. Then, my friends at Merchop screen printed them for me. This is my favorite tea towel design to date!

The detail

I'm so impressed with the detail in this print. Merchop has got this tea towel printing down!

My tea towels have sold so well in 2016 that I am excited to make add a few more designs to the collection in 2017.

Have a tea towel design idea for me?

I'd love to hear from you.

Leave a comment or send me an email. 

Until next time. Ciao!

You Can Never Have Too Many Throw Pillows!

Hi there. How are you?

I must admit, I have a little love affair with throw pillows. I've got quite a collection and I change them out with the seasons. They give a pop of color and personality to our neutral tan sofas.

Pillows on the couch
Pillows by Jennifer Johansson

Connections are Cool!

About a year ago, I started making my own pillows. I was working at a company here in Carbondale that produces dye-sublimated fabric graphics. I was able to take advantage of their state-of-the-art fabric printer and turn ten of my favorite illustrations into soft ultra-suede printed pillows.

Envelope Style Pillow Back

It's a "Family Affair"

This pillow-making adventure is actually a collaborative effort between me and my talented mother, Carla Mullin. She's does all of the sewing of these pillows and I couldn't have pulled this off without her!

Sewn with an envelope style back, each pillow features a different complementary fabric, many of which are vintage. I have fun hitting garage sales and thrift stores in search of vintage fabrics, tablecloths and even sheets.

Pillow product photos before and after editing

Sprucing up My Listings

Lately, I've been sprucing up my pillow listings on Etsy. By Photoshopping out the background of the photos entirely, I gave them an even brighter look and more clean look. 

On the suggestion of Etsy guru Danielle Spurge-Swavely, I also optimized my pillow images for  Etsy search and Pinterest, by adding text and making them vertical in orientation.

The Data

I haven't collected any definitive data yet to determine if the listing changes and updates I've made have positively effecting my stats. Anecdotally, it does seem like my optimized listing are getting more action and I'm really happy with the fresh look. Now let's just hope that translates to more sales!

Let's Have a Summer Sale!

I've taken 20% off all of my in-stock pillows. Yahoo! But you have to act fast. The sale price is only good until Monday, July 20th!  My pillows make lovely gifts. Yeah, I know it's July, but I've already started my holiday shopping!

That's it for now friends. Go shop! Ta-Ta!