Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

I can't believe I'm saying this but the 100 Days of Pillows project is COMPLETE!!! Tomorrow will be 6 months to the day since I drew the very first one. The project would have been finished earlier had I not taken a break for Christmas and weekends, but it was the sustainable pace I needed. With that said, I'm tired lol! But it's a good tired. :)

Soon I'll write that post I promised about lessons learned through finishing this project. But for now, here's a quick recap of each of the last designs.

Ferns that picked up on the tropical theme in Days 89-90.

Day 91 - Ferns - blog

Same with these hibiscus flowers. I liked the fresh green I paired with them. And this definitely confirmed that gold is the new black. :)

Day 92 - Hibiscus - blog

Hummingbirds...because it's that time of year again.

Day 93 - Hummingbirds - blog

More birds, but this time flamingos. Since I hadn't drawn one before, it was interesting to study their features and remind myself why they stand on one leg (hint: it's easier for them that way!).

Day 94 - Flamingos - blog

We spent a long weekend in Nashville, our first time visiting the city. I came home incredibly inspired to make art. Nashville is electrified with creative energy in both musical and visual arts.

Day 95 - Guitars - blog

Latte hearts, inspired by a delicious "Always Fall Somewhere" latte in said city.

Day 96 - Latte Hearts - blog

This design was dedicated to little twin princesses in my life undergoing hand surgery and my aunt, recovering from burns on her hands she received on the job as a firefighter. Having hands to use is such a gift, if you think about it.

Day 97 - Hands & Hearts - blog

Another Nashville inspired design. I discovered Hatch Show Print there, a letterpress shop famous for designing show prints for all the greats who have performed in Nashville (and beyond). They use carved wooden (and also metal) blocks to impress their designs on paper.

Day 98 - Block Letters Home - blog

Pansies for the first day of spring.

Day 99 - Pansies - blog

And FINALLY, Day 100! I was feeling so grateful to God for helping me complete this project that I wanted to make the last one in honor of Him. Yes, for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son. For me. For you. ❤

Day 100 - For God So Loved the World - blog


After my mini-meltdown ;) at the end of Day 83, the past week and a half was hands-down my favorite of all during this project. Every pattern felt intentional, my final color choices sure (even if I struggled to get there), and I really enjoyed sitting down to draw each one.

A modern tree pattern. I'm a big fan of this color palette.

trees pattern

When I started this wildflower pattern, I intended to use the same colors found in the tree pattern. I tried and tried to make the colors work and eventually started from scratch when I realized it wasn't happening. What surprised me was the vintage appearance of the finished design, not something I intended at all. It's one of my new favorites.

Day 85 - Wildflowers pattern

We've been having beautiful spring weather in Atlanta, which inspired the flip flops on Day 86.

flip flops pattern

Naturally, a beach pattern followed.

beach pattern

Truth: this argyle pattern was inspired by caveman curling. Google "geico caveman curling" if you need a laugh and want to see the video for yourself! Also, I thought it would be helpful to include the day number with the pillow. Better late than never?

argyle pattern

I've wanted to draw fuchsias for a long time and this was finally the day. I envision this design on stationery, too.

fuchsia pattern

Finally, tropical Philodendron leaves. I think they were inspired after drawing the fuchsias, which is a tropical plant.

tropical leaves pattern

Only 10 more designs to go!


Remember the owls from Day 76? They led to four additional designs using a similar color palette, starting with this floral pattern. I added the orange-red for an extra pop of color.

I also made a discovery with this design: I prefer using a smaller ink tip for drawing details than I had been previously using. I used the smaller tip for the gold foliage and later used that same pen for the fine details on the rest of the designs.

Day 77 - Owls - Floral - blog

The 2018 winter Olympics are currently happening in Pyeongchang, South Korea and on the day of the opening ceremony, I felt inspired to draw ice skates to cheer on team USA. While I love almost all winter sports, figure skating is the most captivating to me.

Day 78 - Team USA Ice Skates - blog

Snow skis in that same vein. With these designs I realized (or remembered, rather) just how comfortable using a pencil on paper feels. Some days I go straight to my digital tablet to create more painterly designs, but this week was all about starting on paper with pencil and ink and then applying digital color.

Day 79 - Snow Skis - blog

On Day 80 I returned back to the navy and gold color palette, trying a gold background this time and drawing one of my favorite motifs - mushrooms.

Day 80 - Mushrooms - blog

It was Valentine's Day here and I needed a little pink in my artwork.

Day 81 - White Pink Roses -blog

I thought I was done with the navy/gold palette after the mushroom pattern, but it kept calling out to me. I think the snails are a little quirky just like the owls. Those two designs have become some of my favorites in the entire pillow project! Maybe it's because they're animals? I love the swans, too. There might be something to that theory.

Day 82 - Owls - Snails - blog

Lastly, the final design in the "woodland" style collection. The orange-red was the last of the colors to try on the background. Because it's so bright, I limited the other colors to just the cream and a touch of gold.

Day 83 - Owls - Acorns & Leaves -blog

Whew! The weekend is timely. I'm stretching to make these designs the best I can and I'm starting to feel it here at Day 83. The 100th design should arrive in mid-March and I have a small, irrational fear creeping in that I'll lose steam before finishing. Again, it's irrational, but also a human response when trying to accomplish something significant.

I'll just keep going, one design at a time.

Have a good one. ☺

It's hard to believe I just hit 75% complete on this project! When I first started I couldn't imagine finishing a project this size. I was committed but honestly a little afraid. When it's complete I'll probably write a post with all that I've learned in this process, but for now, I'm so thankful I made this decision. It's been good for me both personally and professionally.

Last week I made the conscious decision to slow down and be very intentional about my work. I noticed some days felt a little rushed as I tried to complete the design for that day, sometimes at the expense of quality. Because part of this project is meant to be a portfolio builder, rushing will not do! So when I'm tempted to call a pattern "done" even though I know it could use something extra, I'm allowing myself the time to really think it through. Time to draw additional motifs, change colors or try a new technique. As a result, I believe my best work is finally, FINALLY, starting to come out.

This is the companion to the floral on Day 69. I tried a new technique by applying a subtle texture I made from scratch, a trick I'm sure will get used on future designs.

The next two designs are companions. The lilies were drawn from a photo I took of a flower arrangement last year. It really pays to keep old photos around!

Snails emerged next, though I'm not positive why. Maybe the swirls on the lily pattern's background? I've also noticed I really enjoy creating with gold colors.

These swans. Maybe my favorite to date. I stepped out of my comfort zone by 1) drawing birds 2) using a somewhat complex pattern with overlapping shapes and 3) using more colors than I usually do.

Cattails - simple but elegant.

The same with the feathers. I like to create simple patterns to contrast with more complex ones, such as the swans.

Last but not least, quirky owls! I think the swans naturally led here, though I had no idea the pattern would look this way until it was finished. It was a happy surprise.

I'm eager to see the remaining designs in this project. Thank you for following along with me. :)


Warmer still. The good news is that it didn't take until Day 75 to get comfortable again, as I predicted. It seemed to happen right after my last blog post with Day 63! Creativity really does need exercise much like a muscle. If you flex it, it grows bigger. Ignore it, even for a short while, and it atrophies.

I've posted the pillows slightly out of the order I made them so you can see the pairings together. 3 total pairs are shown here plus the one at the bottom. A friend first hinted at a plaid coordinate for the mountain pattern (thank you!) and that set me on a path of creating a companion for every major design that followed.

I'm not sure when I fell away from making pattern collections. I enjoy creating patterns that stand on their own, but focusing on companions where at least the colors are similar to the main pattern helps the process flow better. I'm going to roll with it for as long as it feels right. Hint: the companion for the bottom pattern was created today for Day 70, but for now you'll have to head over to my Instagram account to see it!

Day 63 - Mountains pattern

Day 65 - Mountains - Plaid Coordinate - Purple

Day 64 - Crepe Myrtle Seed Pods Pattern

Day 66 - Crepe Myrtle Seed Pods - Companion

Day 67 - Daffodils Pattern

Day 68 - Daffodils - Companion

Day 69 - Lily Wreaths pattern

Getting warmer. I looked back at my first 50 pillow designs and realized it took about 25 designs before things started to feel really comfortable. So if history repeats itself, given my little break at Day 50, Days 75-76 should be hopping! But, hopefully it won't take as long this time. ;)

This ocean themed design began with an existing pattern that I tweaked and recolored. It has a lot of potential, but I can't say it's 100% me. I think I'd love it even more without the pink starfish and may remove them just to see what happens.

Day 56 - Under the Sea - Revised - blog

These jellyfish were in the same existing pattern that I mentioned above. I wanted to separate them out and have them swimming on their own, much like you'd see in an aquarium. I rather like this one.

Day 57 - Jellyfish Pattern - blog

A simple sunshine-y pattern drawn on a rainy day.

Day 58 - Sunshine Pattern - blog

This design came on a day when I was coming up short on what to draw. Looking through my sketchbook always helps, however, and I came across these pebbles, hand drawn in charcoal, that I hadn't used in my work yet. I set them into a repeat pattern with a neutral, tan background. I'm pleased with its natural, organic appearance.

Day 59 - Charcoal Pebbles - blog

The charcoal pebbles led to a charcoal pear (naturally!). I experimented with bright, preppy colors and think the combination of the color and semi-realistic pear gives it a hint of pop surrealism. Not exactly my style, but still fun.

Day 60 - Charcoal Pears blog

Snowmen for Day 61, inspired by snow that blanketed our house that morning. Over the holidays I was hooked on a similar color palette and went back to it for this pattern. I felt that familiar click, when the process of drawing and the finished art feels most like me.

Day 61 - Snowman Pattern - blog

Last but not least, the moon and stars, inspired by the sunshine pattern from Day 58. It wasn't intentional, but the various moon shapes have a dimensional effect to them that remind me of paper doilies.

Day 62 - Moon and Stars Pattern - blog

62% complete with this project!


Happy 2018, everyone!

I'm slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things after taking a much needed break over the holidays. I did some planning for the new year, which included hanging a white board in my office (why have I not done this sooner?), and am already enjoying checking items off my list. I have very specific things I'd like to accomplish this year and it will be an interesting one if everything comes to fruition. I've even had a completely NEW creative endeavor placed on my heart in which I'm currently dipping my toe. If the water's fine, you'll be sure to hear about it here!

I won't give a description for each pillow design featured today but you can visit my Instagram account and search on #stewardpillows if you're curious to know a little more. I will say the Peace dove, made on December 5th, was my last design for 2017 and gaining momentum again after the break has not been easy! But I know that taking daily, consistent steps and continuing to do the work will bring it back again. 😊

Day 49 - Colored Christmas Lights - blog

Day 50 - Dove Peace - blog

Day 51 - Purple Confetti Pattern

Day 52 - Vintage White Hex Tiles - blog

Day 53 - White & Gray Herringbone - blog

Day 54 - Barnacles - blog

Day 55 - Octopus - blog

After reaching the halfway point (!) of the 100 Days of Pillows project, I decided it was a good time to switch gears for the holidays. Namely, I'll be traveling and taking some rest days with family. So, the pillow project will commence again in January.


I realized recently that while I had shared my Spoonflower announcement via newsletter and social media, I had not shared it here! If you're new to Spoonflower, it's a website where you can purchase fabric by the yard, wallpaper and gift wrap with just about every artwork and pattern you can imagine. As I've been growing my pillow design portfolio, I thought Spoonflower was an excellent place to start sharing my work.

Here are samples of my designs on Spoonflower fabric! Their print quality is excellent with colors true to the artwork.

Spoonflower Fabric Samples

Currently there are 28 of my designs available on the website and that number is growing. I have to proof the designs before making them available for purchase and that happens in batches, but more are coming soon! Spoonflower even has a sister site called Roostery where you can have any of my designs sewn into home decor products like pillows and duvet covers.

If you're a sewing enthusiast or want to have something made for you, I invite you to head over to my shop and take a look around. You just might find something for your next sewing project. :)

Click HERE to get started.


After the Thanksgiving break I started up again with Christmas designs. It's funny, working with holiday motifs isn't something I can force myself to do (I've tried). But when the mood hits, it stays awhile.

Whimsical reindeer silhouettes using the same pink in the poinsettia pattern from Day 40.

Day 42 - Jumping Reindeer Silhouettes - blog

The tiny houses from Day 31, this time, decorated on a Christmas night.

Day 43 - Tiny Houses at Christmas - blog

I switched gears on Day 44 and went with butterflies. They were past illustrations that I set into a repeat and changed the color palette.

Day 44 - Butterflies - blog

Inspired by the butterflies, I illustrated my favorite insect to draw: the ladybug!

Day 45 - Ladybugs 2 -blog

On a roll with insects, I took inspiration from another past illustration, designed a pattern and used a bold color palette. I'm calling these "royal bees" in gold and purple.

Day 46 - Bees 2 - blog

By this day I was done with bugs and went back to a winter theme. Here I used a digital gouache brush to give a painterly effect to the snowy trees.

Day 47 - Winter Blues 3 - blog

Another fall or winter design in the same medium. I've wanted to paint pine cones for a long time but was never brave enough to try it. It wasn't as bad as I expected, especially when using tricks in the digital world 😉 and when you give yourself permission to NOT capture every detail. I used a less-is-more approach that I think turned out well. The pine cones were drawn from an actual cone picked up in the back yard.

Day 48 - Pine Cones - blog

I wonder what art will be made next week? Time will tell!


Another week of the pillow project is complete (yes!). It feels good to be approaching the midpoint. This week had more "what am I going to draw" moments that lasted longer than I liked, but my commitment to drawing something by the end of each day hasn't wavered.

The first design was inspired by a recent stay at Hotel Parq Central in Albuquerque, NM. The building was originally constructed in 1926 as the Santa Fe Hospital and was converted into a boutique hotel in 2010. It was fascinating to walk through its halls and wonder about the stories they could tell. Articles from the hospital are on display inside the hotel, including keys that belonged to the original rooms.

vintage keys pattern

Where there are vintage keys...there are vintage locks.

vintage lock pattern

I noticed my patterns were trending toward "tight" designs, so I intentionally went with a larger scale in this floral pattern. I wanted a simple design that made fun use of the negative space, or the empty space around the objects.

modern floral pattern

Another large scale pattern with these poinsettias. For some reason I had Christmas on my mind that day. Could it be all the Christmas commercials on TV or the decorations already in every store? Hmmmm..... ;) I adore the color palette used here. You just can't go wrong with Christmas colors.

poinsettia pattern

And lastly, I reused the cream colored poinsettias from the previous design to create a wreath. My sister-in-law commented how she could see a large "JOY" or "NOEL" on the previous pattern, so I took inspiration from that and hand lettered the word "Joy" inside the wreath. I quite like it!

poinsettia wreath illustration

Since next week is Thanksgiving, this project will be put on hold for 2-3 days. But no fear, I'll get right back into it after the holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours. ❤

~ Christina