The Artist’s Garden

as some of you may already know, cause you follow me on instagram (allendesignsstudio), i was asked to paint a violin for a charity event put on by the Vancouver Symphony & Orchestra.
i had told myself earlier this year that i wasn’t going to say “yes” to any additional charity pieces through the rest of the year. but, when the violin came up, i just couldn’t say no.
i LOVE music. and who wouldn’t want to paint on such a beautiful instrument!

symphony fundraiser violin
here she is as she came to me.

violin_charity_art
some of the progression.

violin_art_charity_3 copy
i played the flute in 6th grade and i sucked. i really wanted to be good at it.
i practiced. and practiced. a lot. (my mom may disagree, but it felt like it was A LOT)
i had no rhythm. nor patience. so i quit.

violin_art_charity
if you look closely, there’s a string missing. that would be due to my lack of stringing-an-instrument-skills!

violin_art_charity_6 copy
i was determined to paint a rose. i’ve wanted to for a long time and i just decided i was going to work at it until i got it.
roses are HARD! in the end, i’m pleased with how it turned out. happy with myself that i pushed through the good hour of frustration that it took to paint and repaint till it actually looked like a rose.

violin_art_charity_4 copy

violin_art_charity_2
i love how this turned out. it’s playful yet serious. free yet organized.
Playing it Forward auction Nov. 1st.

allen designs studio space

over the past several years our business has evolved & changed.
to the point that we have a fairly large space upstairs that doesn’t get much use.
and it has been killing me. the light is amazing up there!

allen_designs_studio_workshops
but no longer, we’re taking action!

art_studio_revamp
we’ve replaced the ugly brown carpet with salvaged shiplap. and it’s BEAUTIFUL!

art_studio_floor_allen_designs
flooring makes all the difference. (as it should since it is so crazy expensive! ugh.)

handmade_salvaged_tables
we had gorgeous tables custom-made from salvaged wood.
i’ve been scouring garage sales for random chairs… not sure how this part is going to turn out, right now it’s looking a bit disastrous. :(

art_workshops_allen_designs
now we’re down to the details. the fun stuff!

at this point i still don’t have a definitive plan for the space.
i’ve got lots of ideas swirling around in my head.
i do know, that i’m TOTALLY EXCITED about the possibilities!
so stay tuned :)

Camp Create – part 2

wow! two blog posts in a weeks time. i’m out of control!
to be completely honest, i came home from Camp Create with a new perspective on who i am.
i can tell you, and if you’ve read my blog at all you already know, i’m not the best writer. and truth be told, i’ve been super INSECURE about it!

camp create girls

i really want to let that go.
if you can’t handle my poor writing skills and bad grammar then maybe my blog isn’t for you.
and another thing you really need to know about me… i’m pretty much all about the pictures anyways!  :)

block_printing

creative_workshop_mini_pillows

above and below are samples of what the gals made in the block printing/pillow making workshop i taught.
i was beyond thrilled, they did SUCH A GREAT JOB!

stampcutting_workshop

stamp_cutting_workshop

thank you again Meg & Kimberlee for inviting me and for offering this experience to others.
i’ve come home inspired and encouraged.
and it feels good.

UPDATE: check out Meg’s blog post that has a lot more details and fun pictures!

 

 

Whatever Camp Create – part 1

i don’t know if you remember, but a few years back i went down to Newton, KS to Meg Duerksen’s  Whatever Craft Weekend? it was a blast! so, when Meg asked me if i wanted to come down and teach at her newest endeavor  Camp Create, i was ALL OVER IT!

whatever_camp_create_meg_duerksen
i mean really, who wouldn’t want to go to a place stocked so beautifully & creatively with arts & crafts supplies?


and where beds with vintage quilts like this welcomed you!

michelle_allen_chalkboard_art
like last time, i had to get my hands on her giant chalkboard!

chalkboard_art_camp_create
pretty sure this took me half the day. at some point i would love to take a hand-lettering workshop to learn tricks to make it look better and go quicker. i’m thinking i’ll give this one by mary kate mcdevitt  a go. many people have said great things about it. and she is crazy good!

holley_gerth
we had mini devotional/thought provoking times working on our “god sized dream“,  led by the lovely, wise & oh-so-kind author holley gerth.

sunflower_fields_for_days
we went to a gigantic sunflower field. it was B E A U T I F U L !!! #duh (as stephanie ackerman would say)

sunflower_field_kansas
sunflowers for days!

meg_duerksen
the sweet lady herself. her heart is so big. her intentions pure.

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many special moments. friendships made. dreams shared.

crafting_ninjas
and lots and LOTS of laughter!!! and i’m talking gut-hurting, face-cramping, eyes-watering laughter!

really, all this to say… i didn’t have much fun. ;)

 

 

July Desktop Calendar!

I’m back!!! Did you miss me?
It’s been as hectic as ever around here lately. Lots of family stuff & business stuff. All good… just lots of it!
But I did find a sliver of time to make this little beauty up for you! Hope you like it! xo-m

Wallpaper-Calendars_web_july

Click here to enjoy this month’s free desktop calendar. :)

Artful Owl Cup

Allen Designs Owl Cup
Check out one of our newest items- artful CUPS!!!
I don’t know about you but I really love drinking my tea or coffee out of unique & fun cups. It just makes everything taste better.

Available on our website & in stores soon!