lighten up

dance with me web  

{click here to purchase print}

These two popped into my sketch book today, and I thought I'd give them a little bit of screen time.

These days are filled to the brim with deadlines (3 books and some editorial) as well as new products I'm working on getting into the shop (horray!).

But it seems that whenever I'm up to my eyeballs in deadlines, new characters show up in my sketchbook, begging for some attention. Kinda like my kids who would rather have tickle fights than see me working (which I try mightily to only do when they are busy, at school or asleep).

Anyways, say hello and consider this eye candy for a tuesday morning.

Have a good one!

xo

sarah

Story Behind the Art: Marionettes

MARIONETTES swatcch web I didn't get a chance to really talk about my Let's Pretend Collection that came out last spring. Mostly because I was very sick with my pregnancy, and just  little bit preoccupied:)

But I want to share with you the story behind one of the prints that I just love. This print is called Marionettes, and I wanted to create a retro inspired marionette print that felt like something reminiscent of puppets from a little bit of France & Italy but with a taste of retro book illustration with fresh color. When I went looking for inspiration online, I came across this elephant marionette that I just FELL IN LOVE WITH! He is so perfectly perfect. I just had to have him. So I bought it on the spot, and put him in my studio to get inspired.

elephant marionette(image courtesy of Oh Albatross)

I included this print into two of my pieces from Let's Pretend. The Marionettes print, but his shining moment is in my Panel Print that I love so much.

Kids and puppets just make me smile. I wish we had more of a venue for this. Puppets are the best toy. I just love the theatricality behind it, and the endless imagination, coordination and play time. Anyways, I wanted to celebrate this part of childhood, and there he is!

MAKE BELIEVE PANEL swatch

elephant marionette swatch

cover image

Then, a few months later, while I was waiting for my fabric to be printed, I was watching the BBC Persuasion with my husband (He's a good man. He tolerates my choices:) and I stopped the movie! Look! There was my Elephant! How cool is that?

This little elephant has a fabric collection AND a movie. What a guy.

persuasion still

IMG_1025-1So that's the story behind this sweet little print. He still hangs in my studio, and I just love him to bits. Maybe he'll find his way into some more art of mine!

Let's Pretend is still available, and can found in any of the stores here. 

The Story Behind the Art: Tree Lights

So much of what I create has a story. A story of how it was made, but more so, the story of why I made it. Wee Wander was such a fun collection of fabric prints to create because it was part of MY story. And I wanted to share that with you today. So gather around. I'll tell you a story:)

I lived on the West Coast until I was 6 when our family moved cross country to the East Coast where they are today. We lived first in Massachusetts and then in Maryland. As a child on the West Coast, I remember loving to climb the peach trees in the back yard, and the orange trees. I dreamed of having strong enough legs and feet to climb palm trees someday.

But when our family picked up and moved into the forests of Massachusetts, I knew I found my home. I remember having to stand in the middle of our street and look straight up into the night in order to see any sky at all. Lightning storms were simply flashes of lit up trees from my paned bedroom window. There were so many trees in my yard that we spent at least 2 hours every Saturday as a family raking. I love my trees. So much, that when my husband and I decided to buy a home in desert and rocky mountain Utah, it took us 15 months to find the right house....nestled in the trees.

When we moved to Maryland when I was 9, the trees were a little farther back from our house. The forrest began just past our property line, and I spent many summers wandering in the woods behind our house. In the hot, humid summers, we'd go outside and chase fireflies. There was so much magic in those cricket chirping, frog groaning summer nights....all lit up by lightning bugs. And when I'd finally go to bed at night, I'd look out my window at the forest across the pond, and see the trees literally all lit up from the fireflies. I can still feel the thrill of that scene. It was like fairies, and the trees would wink at me all night....I still marvel at how magical that was. Sometimes we'd sleep outside on the trampoline and I'd watch shooting stars and fireflies in the trees as I'd close my eyes.

So when I knew I wanted to design a collection of children wandering through summer days and nights, I knew I had to illustrate the fireflies in the trees. And children in the trees. That was my childhood.

The best part of debuting this collection has been hearing YOUR stories. When we were at Quilt Market, so many people would stop in the isle and gasp and say, "That was MY childhood! Oh my gosh....summer nights in Illinois were so magical...." and their stories would go on and on. It was so thrilling to see people get nostalgic for their childhood memories outdoors on those hot summer nights. 

The real magic is taking a feeling, putting it in print, and watching someone else share that same feeling in their own way.

I just feel honored.

xo

Sarah

PS: LightningBugs or Fireflies? It's a hot debate.

Message to the Mamas.

So, I hit rock bottom the other day, and I needed to illustrate it. Can you relate?

I'm trying some new art. And I want to know what you think. Could you use some art for YOU? I think you've earned it.

I'm constantly making art for these awesome kids of ours. But sometimes us Mama's (rockstar Mama's at that!) need some inspiration too.

Prettier Dishes. Forget about the tidy kitchen. No more need to apologize when guests come.

To purchase before your mother-in-law comes over, click here.

Now, go be a Mom.

Love ya,

Sarah

PDF Olympic Valentines

It's that time of year, where I get to figure out what I'm going to design for my kids for valentines. And this year, with THREE kids who have parties...and multiple parties....I'm keeping it simple but still super special.

Valentines Day is during the Winter Olympics...not something that has ever happened since my kids have had a school valentines party....and it will be the only one in their elementary school career! So, I decided to create something just for the occasion.

A super easy project....4 cards per print out, a chocolate gold coin that you can tape onto the back of the flat card, or attach to some ribbon for a fashionable goal medal!

A sure WIN this year. Feel free to download, and share the olympic love!

Happy Valentines Day!

xoxoxoxo (extra hugs and kisses:) Sarah

Do you have a room to show?

Here at Sarah Jane Studios, we LOVE getting inspired by children's spaces. I'm still finishing putting together my own kid's spaces (it takes forever it seems to get it "just" right!) and so we love it when you show us your magical rooms.

Are you designing a space or redesigning a space and are willing to make it photo worthy and blog about it? We are interested in working with Mama's who have well designed spaces in mind. Shoot us a little "hello" and we'd love to work with you and contribute to your little one's room!

Here are some recent shots of Finn's room that his mom emailed me just this week.

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 10.16.23 PM

{Print Shown: Take Me For a Walk}

I just love how this room works together. I especially love seeing boy rooms!

Check out more of his amazing room here. 

And if you are wanting to work with us, again, please send us a message! We are looking forward to showing off more creative spaces!

xo

Sarah Jane

365 Sketches

The interesting thing about drawing is that it requires a lot of what I don't seem to have a lot of right now:

1. Two hands. You only need to draw with one, but the other hand steadies your paper. Something I'd never thought of before I had children.

2. A pencil. Preferably one that doesn't get stolen from the child you are sitting with.

3. Creativity. Well, yes folks. It takes a wandering mind to go places that create magic. The places where I can put feelings onto paper. My mind wanders plenty....but lately it's because I'm drifting off to sleep while making pancakes. Not exactly productive.

4. Time. As much as I like to draw stick figures, I just don't get a thrill out of it. Sketching something doesn't take hours, but it does take longer than 2 minutes...and if I had that in my day I'd take a shower instead:)

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But, all that being said, I don't feel human without putting to paper how I feel about my children, childhood and what I see in my head. It's amazing that with all the sleep deprivation right now (yes he's almost 6 months and yes he's still making a zombie out of me!) There are still hints of life in my right brain. It's not where I want it to be, and that's OK because baby making is #1 on my list of my best creations. But I've decided to try and sketch as much as I can. Make myself even. It's like exercise (which I'm lousy at)...it requires blocking out bits of time and making it happen. At least with 4 kids at home. 

And with being in the middle of creative deadlines right now, sketching keeps my brain from thinking there isn't anything in there. When you are only getting 4-5 hours of sleep in 2-3 intervals, there really isn't much in there:) It helps me realize that maybe I actually do think about more than just what I'm making (or not making) for dinner.

So, 365 Drawings...I'm ready for you. It might take me 3 years, but I'm determined to put pencil to paper more. It's my magic time.

PS: You can keep up with my INSTAGRAM drawings here.

Coastal Living

coastal living blog

I was browsing through Instagram the other night, and someone I follow posted about this feature in Coastal Living Magazine featuring my Nautical Map Fabric! Funny how we hear through the grapevine now-a-days.

I snatched up an issue, and I love this feature!

And while I honestly wish I was showing you this issue because that was really me on the front cover and living coastal, I thought this feature was pretty swell!

Did you know that I have oversized prints of my Nautical map? I love it. It's in my sons' bedroom now, and it's a favorite of mine. 

Thanks Coastal Living!