my darling dancer

Ballet2014.4.jpg
Ballet2014.2.jpg
Ballet2014.jpg
Ballet2014.3.jpg

If there was any doubt before, I believe this post makes it official that there is nothing cuter in the whole wide world than a little girl in a leotard. Well, perhaps two little girls. (Soon, Elsa!)

Leotard cuteness through the years... if you can handle it:

Ballet Class, Oh my! (2012)
My Prima Ballerina (2012)
Baby Gymnast, Part Deux (2011)
Baby Gymnast (2011) (So little!)

Elsa & Clare

ElsaCropsmall.jpg

I always question whether to post these little experiments in watercolor or gouache because I have so little experience with the mediums. But hey, what's a blog for if not to document the process?

I enjoyed the drawing stage a lot. I really love drawing with graphite and should do it more, but because I'm not really comfortable with watercolors yet, that stage was kind of stressful. I pretty much felt like I was messing up my drawing the whole time. Ha! I still kind of think that looking at it now. I'm hoping to continue making these little paintings and getting comfortable with watercolors.

ElsaDrawing.jpg
ElsaWatercolorSquare.jpg

What I absolutely do love about this little painting is that it's of my sweet Elsa and her doll Clare, who used to be Fiona's doll, but has been adopted by Elsa with big sister's permission. :)

Happy Monday, friends! May your week be gloriously ordinary.

Love & Joy

IMG_6106.JPG

Just like our holiday card mailing list, the blog is getting our holiday wishes a little late, too. The holidays were really great this year, but I have to admit the amount of House Love work I had to get done did cast a tiny shadow on some of the festivities. I hope that next year I'm able to manage my workflow a bit better! I am finally catching my breath and hoping to take a week or two off after finishing up some orders this weekend.

This year, we continued many of the family traditions we've established over the years, including little gifts of homemade peppermint bark for teachers, friends and family. This year, we included a bar of Sweet Mint Soap made locally by Biggs & Featherbelle, too. And for the very first time since having Fiona, we have an official family holiday card! So sweet, right?

IMG_6065.JPG
IMG_6081.JPG
IMG_6193.JPG

I printed out Phoebe's illustrated gift tags from the Taproot Blog and used Whole foods bags as wrapping paper for many of our gifts. They turned out so cute! The kids had a lot of fun distributing our cards and little gifts to friends and neighbors.

IMG_6099.JPG
IMG_6127.JPG

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays! Here's to 2014.

I Love You, Baltimore (Bride!)

HouseLoveBaltimoreBride.JPG

The past several months have been an exciting time for House Love in Baltimore. First, my house portraits were included in Baltimore City Paper's Gift Guide, then they appeared in Baltimore Magazine's Holiday Card and Ad, then the season culminated with a full page in Baltimore Bride's Aisle Style section.

When Bride's Editor, Janelle Diamond, asked me to send over some examples of Baltimore rowhouses to be included in the next issue, I was so excited. I pictured one of my house portraits alongside other gift ideas and couldn't wait to see the final layout. When I finally did see the magazine months later, I couldn't believe it. A whole page?! Are you kidding me?! I am still amazed by how positively House Love has been received. It is incredibly special to see my name and illustrations recognized in my local magazines and papers.

Thanks so much to Janelle and everyone over at Baltimore Bride. Being included in your beautiful magazine is truly an honor.

P.S. I know the blog has been House Love heavy lately, but that has been such a big part of what's been happening around here the last several months. I hope I'm not driving everyone crazy. Now that the holidays are over, I expect to be back to regular posting. I have lots of family Christmas pictures to share!

A House Love Holiday at Baltimore Magazine!

BaltMagHouseLove.JPG

I am so excited to share this recent project I did with Baltimore Magazine. I worked with the lovely ladies there to create illustrations of local houses from three different Baltimore neighborhoods–Federal Hill, Towson, and Roland Park–for their holiday card and greeting page in the December issue. I love the concept and the final product turned out beautifully.

BaltMagHouseLove3.JPG

House Love was born out of a love for my own city's architecture, so a project like this couldn't be more perfect for me. It was also pretty cool to see my illustrations on a full page in my hometown magazine! Thanks so much to the folks over there!

BaltMagHouseLove2.JPG

And now I better get back to the gazillion houses I have to finish before the 15th... December around here is, um, interesting.

Two, I Love You So

ElsaTwo3.JPG

Sweet Elsa, my baby, turned two last weekend. I love two. There is nothing like the experience of watching a human being unfold before your eyes. At two, that unfolding seems to ramp up. Every moment reveals something new. Oh, so this is what you're like! I find myself thinking daily, hourly even.

What are you like, Elsa? Well, you are very silly. You make the craziest, most exaggerated expressions, sending your family into hysterical laughter many times every day. You know how funny you are. When you smile, your mouth takes up your entire face. It is the best. We have long and complex conversations. You can be very serious when you are explaining something, furrowing your brow and responding with a clipped, "yup" when I show that I understand. You love to help. You are the first to jump up and sweep or put toys away, singing our clean up song while you work. Tick tock goes the clock, what does it have to say? 

I often watch while you play quietly and am so comforted by what I see: Your dollhouse Mama is so tender with her dollhouse baby, you love to carry your baby dolls around (up, up) and make them their favorite meal of cookies and grapes, you even take your stuffed animals for long walks around the house. To see this beautiful world expressed through your play fills up my heart and reminds me that this life we share is deeply good, and full of so much love.

Happy birthday, Elsa. You make us all so happy. We love you.

ElsaTwo5.JPG
ElsaTwo2.JPG
ElsaTwo.JPG
ElsaTwo6.JPG
ElsaTwo7.JPG