Definitely Work In Progress

I’ve been busy these past months with freelance design work and it seems everything else is up in the air and unfinished on my plate. It’s a bit frustrating to always have things in progress… but I suppose I simply need to hustle more. Philosophically, I thought this quote was fitting though…

Art is never finished, only abandoned.
– Leonardo da Vinci


For MATS Bootcamp I did submit a simple pattern from my drawings, digitally colored, but not sure it’s totally done.


Then there are all the drawings I’ve sketched up of characters with bright eyes… but I haven’t had a chance to color them at all.


I’ve also realized that I have a huge library of random designs that need to be used somehow, someway. Old designs from my digital scrapbooking design days, unfinished collections, the beginning of ideas, random icons here and there. I’m proud of the work I have created, but I realize that I need to package it up. Finishing seems to be the repeat critic in my head these days.

LTieu-designs LTieu-hush

I also have a library of surface patterns, but never really did anything with those design explorations. Yet again, how to finish it already? Or at least do something with them.

LTieu-patterns LTieu-random

There’s just so much random stuff. So I’ve decided that this month I need to revisit my own library of work and start hustle with an art business in mind. We have to always create new work, but it’s okay to leverage what you already have as well.

It’s not always about chasing the next big idea or hot trends. Sometimes the gems are already right there in front of you… just got to polish ‘em, huh?

Using Little Leather Embellishments

Since I’ve clarified my goals for scrapbooking, I’ve definitely realized that I want to emphasize the photo more than anything else. When you ask other people who look at your scrapbook what really counts for them… it’s usually the photo… then the journaling that helps to reveal the story. Everything else, like pretty paper and embellishments is just nice to have.


After reading the post on A Beautiful Mess about full page photo scrapbooking, I was really inspired to go for it. Oddly enough when I pulled out my photos, I noticed that I usually always take landscape orientation, so it was actually difficult to find something to crop. So I ended up with double page of half-photos instead. Still big photo impact, so I went with it.


I resisted the urge to add other things, just because, so printed out the pages with photo, lots of white space and few words. That’s all I really wanted. But of course, I still had to add a handmade touch with some sewing and little leather embellishments that I hand-cut. It’s clean and simple,  I really like it.


Slowly, but surely… I’m distilling things down to the aesthetic I really love. Definitely feels like a revival in my scrapbooking journey. Yay!

Blog Parade Link-Up: April 2014


Hello April 2014! 

This is the monthly blog parade link-up post that I started after taking Make Art That Sells with Lilla Rogers. The idea is to simply check-in every month to share the work we have been creating. Share your creative progress so that we can cheer each other on. Or write out your intentions to keep the momentum going. It all counts, because doing something is better than nothing at all.

Be sure to share the direct link to your blog post and not just your main blog url.

On social media feel free to use hashtag #bplinkup

Can’t wait to see what you have been up to!

Happy Music

Do you have go-to happy music that you turn to when you are blue? The type of songs that immediately make you feel upbeat. Playing a happy track can easily boost my mood and I desperately need help in that arena these days.


I really want to revamp my playlist and clean up my digital files… a personal project that have been triggered by a lot of deep thinking lately. My life has changed so much this past year and I’ve lost so much of myself in the process of trying to learn how to be a regular ‘ole mom (let’s not even get into how to be the best mom possible). No matter how much I try to balance things out, I feel consumed by this new role I must play. Suffice to say I feel insufficient a lot of the times.

A friend of mine suggested perhaps it’s all hormonal. That is why I feel out of sorts. I can’t be in control of everything. True dat! Today I decided to delete music from my library and keep only the happy music. I used to scour the web for up and coming indie bands because I love discovering new music. I used to have a blog specifically for music! But I’ve lost the time for that hobby and want to somehow bring music back into my daily life. I need happy music… like this…

Have any other suggestions for me?

Cut-Out Flap For Scrapbook Ephemera

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out my memory keeping style. It’s really an attempt to be more efficient, with the limited time I have. So far I’ve realized that I like the precision and clean graphic look of digital, big photos and pretty papers with some real-life details.


It still took me 3 hours of fussing around to do two simple collage pages – yes, I need help! One of the most time consuming parts is choosing photos. I take too many and need to learn to delete. Then I also just fuss around too much!


When I finally print out my page, I also like to add something real before considering it done. This especially applies with ephemera – ticket stubs and interesting tidbits I want to keep. For this page, I wanted to include the “ticket” for the family owned animal park we visited. I thought it would be cool to cut out a flap in the journaling block… simple and effective.


The paper identifies the date and location, so I didn’t have to write that out. Nice, huh? Sometimes simplicity is the best, I think. Now why did it take me so long to do something so simple, right? Hopefully each time will be a bit faster moving forward. Now I wonder if I should add some stitching or other little tidbits… hmm…

Owl Girl Illustration

How long can I dwell on this little owl girl? I can’t seem to figure out how to finish her off and have been playing a lot with different color experiments. It would be the start of a beautiful series now that I’m getting really comfortable with this style of character drawing.


My little helper seems to think any marker color will do – perhaps all colors! But I’ve been learning that I like the muted, soft colors. Happy colors for sure, but not in your face. I like to think of it as quiet, happy.

Slowly but surely, I will find my way! What do you think?

A Creative Leather Postcard

I’m participating in the Do What You Love postcard swap and decided to use leather in my project, because I have so much at my disposal and always want to make use of it! The theme is CREATE, so I thought it would be great to include a motivational phrase – simple and direct.


The sentiment is printed on canvas paper (another material I have stashed up and need to use) and everything is stitched and glued together. Pretty hefty and thick! But I really love the fact that there are lots of layers and texture.


Since I’m living in Italy and need to mail my postcard to the USA, I thought it would be best to protect it in an envelope. Instead of writing on the back of the postcard, I decided to include my create fearlessly girl postcard. It goes with the theme after all!


I hope my swap partner likes it and gets a bit of creative inspiration from the mix of materials and simple message.


I had so much fun creating my postcard, just going with my creative whim while my son was napping. It’s amazing how a little bit of creativity can really brighten up your day! I’m realizing that deadlines are necessary for me to get things done… I’m such a project-based kind of person.

How have your creative DIY efforts been going lately?


For the love of paper…

There’s no doubt that the sight of pretty paper and the touch of textural fibers can light up my eyes and ignite a pitter patter of excitement in my heart.


I’ve always been a collector of cute stationery and over the years I’ve learned to let go and use said stationery as well! I enjoy sending and receiving snail mail – giving someone the joy of real paper in their hands to help express a sentiment.


Paper definitely stirs up excitement in my creative bones. A pattern here and some color there… so many options and paper goodness out there to still explore and play with.


But even beyond luxury paper goods, the good ‘ole plain white sheet of copy paper holds so many possibilities. A quick sketch? A wondrous illustration? A masterpiece origami project? Whatever you want, that blank sheet of paper can help you realize it. My favorite journals are the ones I have handmade with plain copy paper.


So here’s a digital toast for the love of paper… how lovely it is to live in a world of papery goodness! Don’t your agree? What do you love about paper?



The PaperLove Blog Hop is a celebration of all things paper! Follow the links to discover more bloggers who love paper and use it to inspire and delight. And if you want to explore a whole world of paper, and stretch your paper passion further with a host of creative projects, why not join the innovative new online course PaperLove (starts March 31). Led by book artist Rachel Hazell, PaperLove is a five week creative adventure for paper lovers. Find out more here.

Participant list

Majo Bautista / Tona Bell Louise Best Cathy Bluteau / Jennifer Bomgardner / Giova Brusa / Lindsay Buck / Beka Buckley / Joanna Caskie / Jonathan Chapman (Mr Yen) / Halle Cisco / Sarah Clare / Cathryn Clarge / Dawn Clarkson / Rhiannon Connelly Jenny D’Fuego / Molly Dhiman / Ian Dudley / Ayisatu Emore / Akmal Farid / Monika Forsberg / Claire Fritz-Domeney / Louise Gale / Chrissy Gaskell / Julie Hamilton / Emma Hawman / Rachel Hazell / Holly Helgeson / Claudine Hellmuth / Kim Henkel / Sarah Hoffman / Joanne Hus / Paula Joerling / Beth Kempton / Julie Kirk / Eos Koch / Katie LaClair / Kristy Lankford / Michelle Manolov / Doreen Marts Rosie Martinez-Dekker / Tori Mears / Maria Mederios / Lise Meijer / Debbie Miller / MaryJane Mitchell / Suzy Naidoo / Grace Noel / Hannah Nunn / Camilla Olsson / Jo Packham / Rachelle Panagarry / Monette Pangan / Melanie Paul Nicole Piar / Jen Pitta / Liz Plummer Julie Reed / Michelle Reynolds / Lisa Rivas Angee Robertson / Natalie Ryan / Aisling Ryan / Elisabet Sapena / Kyrrha Sevco / Jamie Sprague / Elizabeth Steele / Terri Stephens / Juniper Stokes / Mary Tanana / Maike Thoma / Linda Tieu Gabrielle Treanor / Tammy Tutterow / Deborah Velasquez / Jordan Vinograd Kim / Cat Whipple / Brooke Witt / Katie Wood Amelia Woodbridge