A Happy Accident

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Click image for info

I love my work. It rarely feels like work, because it’s something my heart is tightly wrapped around. Every day is different, and some days don’t always end the way they began.

Case in point: I have a workflow I use on my images, and every now and then, a happy accident takes place that makes me sit back and grin.

It happened again last week, when I was creating new pillow designs for my Decorative Throw Pillows section on Etsy. (Etsy is a humongous marketplace of housewares, art, vintage items, handmade wares and more.  It thrived even through the worst times of the recession.) So, I decided I’d work on a line of new floral print pillows, and opened up several garden images I’d captured with my trusty Canon 5D SLR. I wanted to create a soft, classic floral look, and decided to paint them with my Wacom Intuos tablet, an art stylus, and Photoshop brushes.

Click image for info

Click image for info

I also tried one other little step, which was an accident waiting to happen–like driving too fast on an icy road and ending up in a skid. Fortunately, I regained control of the “wheel” and sat here and grinned.  This was exactly what I had envisioned from the start!

My “happy accident” has evolved into a new line of artistic pillows, “Reconstructed Flowers”. They’re pretty, one-of-a-kind, colorful, and timeless.

Sometimes the best-laid plans fail for over-thinking, and every now and then, a happy accident can lead down an entirely different path. This time it saved me time, and allowed me to see that my usual workflow might be too rigid. I’m more open now to possibilities and less inclined to stick with what I’ve always done before. And isn’t that the fun of art–exploring new ways to do old tricks?

What about you–have you experienced a happy accident lately?


Childlike Wonder


“Nature herself makes the wise man rich.” – Cicero, Roman author, orator, & politician (106 BC – 43 BC)

In years past, I’d be flocking to our local nursery about now to buy flowers and veggies for our summer garden. Not this year, though. A friend gifted us with a greenhouse she no longer needed. We set it up in a sunny spot, covered it in special plastic, and were fortunate to be on the receiving end of used wood planks from a neighbor who had torn down a backyard shed. The wood made perfect shelving! For the first time in my adult life, I was able to plant seeds and watch them spring to life within just a few days in that balmy environment. I now have containers of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and flowers that didn’t come from a plant nursery. I’m in gardening heaven!

There’s something of the miraculous in every little planter in that greenhouse. First a tiny green leaf emerges…unfurls itself like a newborn unfolding its arms for the first time. I shouldn’t be surprised, not really, because I know that’s how God planned his world; yet each new starter plant thrills me like I’ve never seen the process before.

And you know what? I hope I never lose that sense of childlike wonder.