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Today's blog post let's you see the other side of my creative life.  Here is a watercolor painting that I made this week.

I went to art school and had dreams of being a gallery artist.  Of course, life and family happened and beads took over while we made ends meet and raised our girls.  I had all but abandoned painting and drawing during those early years of parenting. When both my daughters went to school and after I had been on a steady diet of delightful picture books for 6 years, I decided I wanted to illustrate those books too!

After a few years of learning the craft and industry I've had some success in the field, but never pursued it full-time. My dream has been on the back burner since our move to Michigan.  Life was once again getting in the way.  And I got in the way. I never felt my work was good enough, I could always see the flaws.  I made a lot of great excuses of why a manuscript wasn't ready or reasons to not work on marketing my illustration. Why do we do that to ourselves?  Some days I wish for a little more naive enthusiasm - you'd be surprised how far that can take you!

But I haven't given it up and still dream of illustrating enchanting books for kids.  In fact, if I could make a birthday wish it would be to work on creating books over the next year - both illustrating and writing - both for the children's market and the bead market.  So where are my candles?  I have a wish to make!

These three wildflowers are my favorites that grow along side the roads here in my hometown.  Queen Anne's Lace, Tiger Lilies and Chicory - love, love, love them. See them up there in the painting and here they are in bead form. My love for Michigan is shining through in both art forms! 

So you are here for prizes, no? Not birthday wishes! 

Today you can win a print of my Flora and Fawn and your choice of one of these pendants!

If time and money were no object, what would you spend your days creating? Leave a comment for your chance to win! One random winner will be drawn on August 11th. 

P.S. You can still enter yesterday's drawing too! Come back tomorrow for another birthday giveaway. I will have a giveaway each day until my birthday on the 11th and then all the winners will be announced.