Category Archives: my creations

Things that I created myself

Whooooo Loves Owls? {new digital painting}

digital painting of brown owl against blue background

Our family has this thing for owls. My BF has an owl tattoo. My youngest daughter has really cute owl decals on the wall of her bedroom and multiple stuffed owls. We hang our keys on owl hooks. I own an owl t-shirt, owl earrings, and two owl necklaces. We just love them. I actually got pretty excited when this whole owl trend started, because it’s made cool owl stuff super easy to find. I’m not going to pretend that I’m suddenly too cool for owls because they’ve gotten popular. Whatever. I’m not that interested in being cool these days.

This painting was inspired by….(are you ready?)…Game of Thrones! No, really! How, you ask? Well, I got a little obsessed with the show last season. My BF had already watched season one, and got me to watch the second episode of season 2. Jumping in right there had me utterly confused, so then I had to backtrack and watch the first episode of season 2. That was enough to get me hooked, and I proceeded to plow through the entire first season showing on On Demand within a week. Seriously, it was like all I did was sleep, eat, job hunt, and watch Game on Thrones. Can I say that Tyrion Lannister is my absolute favorite? Seriously, he’s The Man. When he bitch slapped Geoffery? Yeah, that was beyond awesome.

images of owl painting in progress

Anyways, I liked the show on Facebook, and one day last week they posted an album of fan art. There were some amazingly beautiful, realistic and gorgeously detailed digital paintings in it, and I found myself remembering that I too own a Wacom Bamboo digital tablet, and that I should really use it. I used to mess with it all the time, but after catching my daughter with the digital pen in her mouth too many times, and several pursuits where I had to chase after her and it almost snapped in half, I put it away on the bookshelf out of her reach. Which is too bad, because painting in Photoshop is fun, but painting in Photoshop with a tablet is amazing.

Besides, digital painting means no supplies and mess to clean up, which is priceless when you have a toddler tearing around your house. :)

Kaleidoscope Sunrise Art {new in the shop}

white starburst art on sunrise colored background

I don’t normally post about every little thing I add to my shop, but I really like this one so I thought I would share. It’s very peaceful and calm, like a sunrise. To be totally honest, I don’t pay attention to that many sunrises, because I’m not at all a morning person. I’m more of a night owl who finds morning people completely baffling. If I had my way no one would look at me, speak to me, or try to interact with me in any way prior to 10am (which doesn’t work out too well in the worlds of jobs and motherhood). Chances are, if I’m up early enough to see the sunrise, my eyes are still barely open and all of my brainpower is concentrated on forming coherent thoughts. Think I’m exaggerating? You’ve obviously never met me.

Jewel Tone Kaleidoscope Art {and burning feet}

red, gray, and teal jewel toned kaleidoscope like circle drawing

Ahhh…..air conditioning.

Let me preface this by saying, I am NOT an air conditioning sorta girl. If I was the only one who lived in this house it would probably never get used. Artificial, cold,  recirculated air when it’s beautiful and sunny outside…yuck. No thanks. But today when I walked into the house I was rather appreciative that my BF cranked up the cold when I wasn’t looking (this happens all day long…he gets hot and turns it down, I get cold and turn it up. Repeat, repeat).

Here’s the thing. His car was leaking radiator fluid and has been at the mechanic for the last few days, so I’ve been driving him to work. Wouldn’t you know it, yesterday as I’m getting off the highway, my car overheats and dies at the light. Luckily we were able to restart and pull over into an office parking lot, and one of his friends was awesome enough to come to the rescue with engine coolant. Even after the refill though, I had to blast the heat at full strength or the car started overheating again. We’re pretty sure the fan died, and we can’t get it looked at until Monday. Fun, fun, right? After driving back in 85 degree weather wearing flip flops and scalding air blasting through the vents I’m pretty sure I have burns on my feet. And this is coming from the girl with a crazy-high tolerance for heat. People tease me that I’m part lizard.

In other news, I made the drawing above a couple of days ago. I rather like it. The original drawing is pretty big, and a lot of the details get lost in the picture above, so I included a couple of detail shots below. I would love to blow it up big and cover an entire wall.

So that’s my life lately. How’s yours?

New Items in the Shop {iphone and ipod covers for sale}

It’s been a while since I added any new products to my Etsy and Redbubble shops, so I spent the majority of my day Thursday turning some of my designs into iPhone and iPod cases. I thought I was over my iPhone envy when Instagram finally came out on Android, but I still feel that twinge of jealousy every so often when I think about how many cool customized cases are available for iPhones vs Android phones. I have a Galaxy S, and although I love the functionality of my phone, I have yet to find any cool options for customizing it.  At least, not any options that don’t cost an arm and a leg. (Dramatic sigh). Oh well.

For those of you who ARE iPhone/iPod touch owners*, head on over to my Redbubble shop to check out the designs pictured above, plus a few others. If you own neither (like me…still have my regular ol’ black iPod Classic) but you like the designs, feel free to look around anyway. Most of my work is available as posters, framed prints, canvas prints, and photo prints as well.

* Cases are available for the following models:

  • iPhone 4S & 4 Deflector one-piece case.
  • iPhone 4S & 4 Capsule two-piece case.
  • iPhone 3GS & 3G Capsule two-piece case.
  • iPod Touch 4th Generation Capsule two-piece case.

Freebie {Kaleidoscope Eye Strain Desktop Wallpaper}

I was messing around this afternoon with creating patterns in Illustrator, and I thought it would be fun to offer this crazy pattern I made as a free desktop wallpaper. Just click on the image above, then click the “full size” option above the picture to download*. Enjoy!

Like this pattern? You can also buy it as an iPhone or iPod case in my Redbubble shop!

*Wallpaper is 1600 x 1200px

Android_photo_apps

My Favorite Android Photography Apps {because one is simply not enough}

Over the last few months I’ve really been loving taking digital photos with my phone. A lot of this has to do with the fact that once my old phone crapped out (at the mall while waiting in line to see Santa…don’t even get me started on how angry my daughter was that she couldn’t play Angry Birds while she waited like all the other kids) I got a new phone that takes about a thousand times better photos. When I think about the very first digital camera I ever owned that took one megapixel photos…yeah, it kind of blows my mind how far technology has come.

I love, love, LOVE my DSLR and it’s oh-so-crisp-and-lovely-lenses, but it just isn’t practical to lug around with my everywhere I go (some people are really good about this. I am not. In fact, I normally do not remember to have it with me unless I have the intention of taking photos when I leave the house.) I almost always have my phone with me (the “almost” is because while I do physically have it on me most of the time, I am horrible about making sure it’s fully charged. Trust me when I say I am the kind of person my phone company’s battery swap program was designed for). Plus, now that I have a phone with lots of memory storage, I don’t have to worry about it acting up and constantly freezing because I’ve filled it with too many photos and apps.

There are what seems like billions of photography apps out there, and I’m definitely not an expert on each and every one. Still, here are six that I use on a pretty regular basis that are worth checking out if you don’t have them already. Best yet, all of them are free!

Instagram

Unless you’ve been living at the bottom of the sea, or perhaps on the moon, you already know what Instagram is. Until roughly a month ago it was only available on iphone, but then the clouds parted, the sun shone down, and it became available on Android as well. Hallelujah! Seriously, not having Instagram was my biggest source of iphone envy (that and the fact that iphone users get the coolest selection of phone cases). The app makes it easy to follow your Twitter and Facebook friends, and allows you to take the now famous square photos and share them with your followers. Take your photo, apply one of their vintage style filters, load it up with hashtags, then share with your friends and. With a simple click of a box, you can geotag your photos and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumbler as well.

Photoshop Express

While this app does have some filters and borders, they’re nothing too exciting. I use it mostly for nut-and-bolts things like cropping, rotating, straightening, and for fine tuning things like exposure, tint, brightness and saturation. It’s touch sensitive, so you have to use a light touch or you’ll accidentally apply some very heavy-handed effects. Don’t worry though, they’re easy to undo and after a few photo editing sessions you’ll get the hang of it. The great thing about this app is that it saves your edits as a new photo file, so if you decide you hate the changes (or if you want to create several variations of the same photo) your original remains intact.

Pixlr-o-matric

Oh, filters, filters, filters. This app is freaking Filterpalooza. Waaaaay more filters than Instagram. In addition to the huge selection of filters and borders available, there’s also a big collection of lens flares, light leaks, burn, glitters and textures you can add to your photos. The app starts you off with a pretty basic selection, but then you can go through the (free) store and download any other effects that catch your eye. This is great, because you don’t end up with a bunch of effects you’re ambivalent about (I, for example, bypassed a whole bunch of fireworks and flame overlays, because I’ll probably never use them). With each photo, you can apply one filter, one border, and one effect. If you save the photo and then reopen it again, you can layer even more. Once you’re done, you can either upload it to the app’s gallery, or share it somewhere else (such as Instagram or Facebook).

Photo Grid

Ever see those photo collages people post and wonder what app they used?  This app does it. Just open the app, choose the photos you want to display (the number is flexible) then select the layout. Once your photos are filled in you can rearrange them as you like, and also change the background. There’s a large collage option, and also a small square one perfect for uploading your collage to Instagram.

FX Camera

Of all the apps I have, I probably use this one the least, just because the options are pretty limited. You have a fish eye lens effect, a Warhol style effect, a Polaroid effect, a mirror effect, and my personal favorite, a Lomo-esque toy camera effect. Nothing too fancy, but if you’re looking for something simple and easy to use, this is a good start.

Camera 360

I mentioned on Facebook the other day that I felt I was collecting an excessive amount of photo apps, so of course a friend fed into that addiction and suggested this one.  In addition to all of your manual camera controls like exposure, zoom, flash, timer, focus, etc, it also has a large selection of filters. There’s multiple retro, selective color, tilt-shift, Lomo, and sketch effects, plus more. It does most of the same things as other apps I mentioned, but the nice thing about this one is that you can take care of pretty much everything you need to do without leaving this app.

Recap

What I really like about having all these apps are the mix and match possibilities. You can choose your favorite filter from one app, your favorite border from another, and maybe layer one more from a third. It’s easy to go a little crazy, so you have to remember that the main purpose of these apps is to enhance your photos, not turn them into the equivalent of a bedazzled, glitter drenched, sequined, tie-dye shirt that my six year old would love. But sometimes, I guess that can be fun too.

Do you have any favorite photo apps? What are they?

final kaleidoscope micron pen and marker drawing

Drawing Time is Scarce {when the weather is gorgeous}

kaleidoscope drawing photo progression gridThis week the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. We get a lot of false starts to summer here in Chicago, but I think we’ve finally kicked it into window opening, backyard barbequeing, fresh caprese salad eating, flip flop rocking, neighborhood strolling, doing-anything-in-the-wold-but-sitting-in-front-of-the-computer-summery-wonderfullness. Is wonderfullness even a word? Now it is. Anyway, I apologize for the quiet around here, but other than my continuing job hunt and the new patio set we bought at Target (it is pretty sweet though) there really wasn’t too much to report.

In the midst of all the aforementioned stuff and dealing with a couple of kids as hyped up on the beautiful weather as I am, I did manage to complete a small drawing. It’s nothing spectacularly exciting, but it’s still nice. I kind of regret the color scheme I chose though. I grabbed the first caddy of markers I could find, because my garage is a mess right now and it was one of the only art supply containers I could get to without scaling a five foot stack of boxes and chairs. (If you knew how klutzy and accident prone I am you’d be nodding in agreement that it was probably a good decision). That particular art caddy did not have a very good color selection. Oh well, whatcha gonna do, right? If you follow me on Instagram you probably have already seen most of these photos documenting the progression of my drawing, but if not, check them out below. I kind of wish I’d used the same filter on all of them for better comparison, but alas, I did not.

Speaking of Instagram, I’m becoming a little obsessed with it. I’m trying to show some restraint, and remind myself that the world probably isn’t all that interesting in what I’m eating for lunch every day. Still, I’m having a blast with it, and I love checking out what other artists are up to.

Are you addicted too? Want to be friends? Catch up with me on Instagram at megandowntherabbithole.

kaleidoscope sketch in pencil

black and white kaleidoscope drawing and cup of micron pens

black and white kaleidoscope micron pen drawing process

black and white kaleidoscope micron pen drawing process photo

black and white micron pen kaleidoscope drawing in process

black and white kaleidoscope drawing in micron pen

black and white kaleidoscope micron pen drawing with wine glass

black white micron pen kaleidoscope drawing

final kaleidoscope micron pen and marker drawing

finished kaleidoscope drawing

Kaleidoscope Artwork Takes Forever {finished piece}

finished kaleidoscope drawingAfter what feels like forever and a day, I finally finished my latest picture! To this day, it still amazes me how much harder it is to do artwork with two kids running around the house. When I got laid off from my job I had these grandiose plans of how much I was going to get done on my time off. Reorganize the closets! Go through the kid’s rooms and donate old clothes to Goodwill! Plant flowers out front! Artwork! Baking!

I kind of underestimated how much a demanding toddler, errands, laundry, yard work, and of course job hunting will take out of you. When I remember all these things, it makes sense why this picture took me over a month to complete. Oh well. Working on art is kind of like my reward for getting everything else done. Some people kick back and watch tv. I kick back, turn on some music or a tv show I can just listen to, and draw.

medium closeup of kaleidoscope marker drawing

Remember how in this post I was complaining how a certain someone hijacked my micron pens and scribbled all over my drawing? You can see the damage in the next two photos. Fortunately, if you take a big step back you don’t really notice. Well, the average person won’t notice. My eyes go straight to it every time, but I’m trying to not be crazy-obsessive about that.

I’ve been trying lately to do a better job of documenting the process of making art. This time, I actually did a pretty good job remembering to take photos along the way. If you’re interested, you can see the progression of this picture here, here, here.

finished kaleidoscope drawing with markers

The Mind is its Own Place {illustrated quote}

illustrated John Milton quote on sunset backgroundI came across this quote yesterday morning, and it’s been bouncing around my head ever since. Life really is as wonderful or horrible as you make it out to be in your mind. Such things are especially important to remember on a day that your toddler somehow gets her hands on one of your micron pens and scribbles all over the drawing you’ve been painstakingly coloring for the last couple of weeks. Not that anyone in this house would be stupid enough to leave her micron pens and aforementioned drawing unattended. Sigh.

I’m probably making it out to be worse than it is, and I’m hoping that once it’s all colored that will hide most of the scribbles, but from now on that scribble is going to be all I see every time I look at it.

Oh well. I guess we can look toward Heaven and call it our first ever Mommy-daughter collaboration.

Saturday Morning Sketchbook Flashback {v2}

black micron pen abstract drawingYou’re going to have to forgive me that it’s actually morning and not afternoon. I had to mow the lawn this morning. The dandelions are slowly encroaching on my yard and are preparing to consume us all. Or something like that. But seriously…yard work sucks, doesn’t it? But I digress…

I went through about a two year period where almost everything I drew was abstract designs in black micron pen. I was obsessed. I got this really nice hardcover leather sketchbook for Christmas one year, and almost a quarter of it is filled with black geometric designs and really intricate patterns. I remember one occasion when I brought it in from a car to show someone at a party (yeah, I know how dorky this sounds but my boyfriend of the time totally put me on the spot. “Hey…you should see Megan’s drawings! Go get your sketchbook out of the car!”) and someone asked me to draw something for them. Something that was (gasp!) IN COLOR and (bigger gasp!) NOT ABSTRACT! I felt like I’d tainted my book. Silly, I know.

Anyway, I went to Colorado to visit one of my favorite friends, and decided to take my sketchbook along to entertain myself on the plane. In fact, it was the only form of entertainment I had, since I didn’t have the foresight to charge my ipod and the battery died about ten minutes after we got the go ahead to turn on electronic. The flight ended up being incredibly bumpy, but after going through the in-flight magazines more times than I could stomach (it’s times like this I curse being a fast reader) I decided that I’d rather have a jagged-y lined sketch than read Sky Mall again.

So…here you go. My lovely turbulence drawing. Started seconds after the announcement that we were flying over the Black Hills of South Dakota….

black abstract micon pen drawing

black abstract micron pen drawing detail

black abstract micron pen drawing

Weekly Update {and some drawing progress}

detail photo of kaleidoscope marker drawing

Yikes…just realized that I haven’t posted anything in a week. Bad, bad, bad! Life has been pretty busy, but in a good way. My daughter was on spring break from school, so there was a lot of running around with the kids, which translates to NOT a lot of time to spend in front of the computer.

Tattoo update! I got some more work done last Monday and now it’s about 80-85% done. Unless we come up with some more cool stuff to add, which is always possible. We have to finish coloring some of the background and finish the sky area (all over my shoulder which was kind of painful and I’m not really looking forward to) then it’s done! You can see it in the picture below. Also…do you know how tricky it is to take a picture of your own arm with a cell phone? Of the approximately twenty I took, this is the only one I’m ever moderately happy with.

my almost finished tattoo

Not the best photos ever...but YOU try taking a good picture of your own arm!

We’re going to make great old people someday. Me and the BF spent the other night smoking cigars, drinking dirty martinis, and playing Bacci ball with some friends (which apparently I’m pretty good at). And you know what? It was awesome.

Newly obsessed with…Game of Thrones. Anyone else loving this show? I needed something to fill the void of The Walking Dead and American Horror Story. It’s very unusual for me to get SUPER excited about a show, but this one’s got me hooked. My BF made me watch the last episode of season 1 and the first episode of season 2 a few weeks ago and I loved it, which meant I had to start watching the entire first season on OnDemand to get a grasp on who all the characters were in relation to each other. And I felt like I was cheating because I already knew how the season ended. Anyway…yeah. Game of Thrones. Also, we decided that you could make a drinking game out of it. Every time someone gets beheaded…take a drink.

Instagram for Android is finally here, which I downloaded the day it came out (along with a billion other people). I’m the first to admit that I had quite intense Instagram envy of all you iphone users, and Android phone didn’t have anything even remotely as cool. If you want to follow me, my user name is megandowntherabbithole.

New site coming soon! Yup…I started working on a site redesign for megandowntherabbithole. I’m hoping to have it up by the end of this month if all goes well.

Amidst all this other madness, I did manage to squeeze in some more coloring on my drawing. It’s getting there! I actually had to make a trip to the art supply store to pick up some markers for the background work, but now that I’ve done that, I think it’s in the home stretch!

kaleidoscope marker drawing

detail photo of kaleidoscope marker drawing

detail shot of kaleidoscope marker drawing

How are things in your world?