Fave 13 of 2013

Before I run through the list of my favorite projects of 2013, I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for your support of my work. Whether you’ve chosen to work with me for your printed goods or decorative painting needs; referred Love Paper Paint to your friends, family and colleagues; or happened upon what I do through Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook…your involvement in Love Paper Paint keeps this lifelong passion of mine alive and thriving. I am encouraged and inspired by your kind comments, likes and shares…and I appreciate each and every one.

For the past 13 years that I have been doing this work – despite ever-changing trends, technological shifts, and the social media evolution (yep, when I first started my business, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest did not exist and not many people were blogging) – one thing has remained constant and is my primary focus: I design and paint…for a living. This work that I do is a huge part of my life and is (hopefully) what I’m known for. Being able to do what I love every day makes me happy and grateful. Without this blog-site, my Instagram feed or Facebook page, I would still be a professional designer and painter, just as I have been since 2000. While I am not defined by social media or reliant on it to get work as a creative, it has given my work a bit more reach and allowed me to share my projects more quickly and to a wider audience. I may not have a lot of “followers” on any particular social media outlet, but I am thankful to have ones who are engaged and active…and I appreciate the feedback and participation I get from those of you who support my work.

Like I said last year during my 2012 “fave” recap, “I know with all the online printing sites, DIY blogs, Pinterest, and Etsy…there are a lot of alternatives and options at your finger tips for everything from creating paper goods to decorative painting ideas. So I appreciate the value you place on my work when you support artisans, design professionals, and licensed contractors like me.” Again, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

And here they are, my Favorite 13 Projects for Paper and Paint of 2013. In a nutshell: orange was the new black; my black and gold obsession continues; trees were a popular, yet timeless theme; decorative painting was taken outdoors (and under a huge inflatable castle); and there were A LOT of broken bones. I’m so lucky to have had such an interesting 2013 and I’m looking forward to another wonderfully unique year of projects!  Happy New Year!


1. A travel-themed wedding (for the cutest couple ever), from a luggage tag save the date to an airline ticket-sized invitation.

Luggage Tag Save The Date

Airline Ticket Wedding Invitations

Travel Themed Table Names

Travel Themed Wedding Items

2. These custom vintage comic book invitations never get old. I created these for my son’s 3rd birthday in 2007 and still get orders/requests for them even now.

Custom Comic Book

Custom Comic Book 2

3. My hand-painted brushstroke paper makes a stunning embellishment for invitations. (Wedding by Champagne Taste)

Handpainted Brush Stroke Paper

4. Bold and bright, but stunning, orange was the hot color for many wedding ensembles this year. And this one uses my hand-painted brushstroke paper as well.  (Wedding by Champagne Taste)

Orange Ensemble

Orange Ensemble 2

5. The format was simple, but the result was as decadent as the party theme. A Marie Antoinette inspired masquerade party. (Party by Events by Design)

Marie Antoinette Themed Invitations

6. It was all about that sparkly rhinestone buckle for this ensemble. This wedding was pure gorgeousness. And I got to assist the event designer and actually worked at this wedding! (Wedding by Events by Design)

Rhinestone Buckle

Gold Plumes Wedding

7.  Elegant black lace and champagne gold rehearsal dinner items for an artist/clothing designer.

Black Lace

8. Black, gold and a beautiful brooch in a satin lined box. I loved everything about this wedding. (Wedding by Champagne Taste)

Black and Gold

9. The faux 3D rusted license plate I created turned out pretty cool for these vintage Cars-themed invitations.

Vintage Cars Invite

10. I never thought that designing a save the date for a police officer would be so fun. These were designed to look like a case file with an official “summons” or subpoena for guests to make an appearance. (Wedding by Champagne Taste)

Summons Save the Date

11. The much anticipated wedding of my dearest friends, Allison and Jeff, happened this year. I was so honored to be a part of it and couldn’t wait to design their save the dates and invitations.

Flip Card Save the Date

A&J Invitation

12. I enjoy designing holiday cards for this family every year because they give me complete creative license and the photos are by my amazing sister of Lot116 Photography. To fit the desert location of the shoot, the cards were designed to look like a worn field notes journal.

Journal Holiday Card

13. This incredibly photogenic family and my sister’s photography knocked it out of the park this year.  Every year, their family photos are amazing. But this year, I totally fell in love with this family all over again. Since they are our friends, I know what wonderful people they are, which makes designing their cards effortless…but wow all their photos were framers. Kristen let me choose the photos and there were so many great ones, that was the hardest part!  And I was totally digging the tribal patterns and vibe, which became the inspiration for graphics and colors.

Tribal Pattern Holiday Card


1. This project has as much to do with paper as it does with paint and I love the effect that was created. Using 7″ die-cut circles of various card stocks, I covered a wall with a scalloped paper treatment. It kind of looks like fish or mermaid scales. I also painted the swirls in white over a soft gray base coat. For my friend, Juju’s beauty treatment room at Beginner’s Mind, this room incorporates organic textures and elements and has a soothing, serene feel.

Scalloped Paper Wall and Handpainted Swirls

2. I received a lot of requests for trees this year…a few for kids’ rooms and I painted a guest tree in lieu of a traditional guestbook for my friends’ Allison and Jeff’s wedding. Trees are a meaningful and timeless symbol of family and strength and growth. Each tree I paint holds a special place in my heart, but the tree I painted for my friend, Marjeri, as she bravely battled and WON her fight against cancer, is the most endearing to me. She was positive and so tough throughout this past year. While fighting hard and going through chemo, she managed to single-handedly raise the most funds in her chapter to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She was declared cancer-free a few weeks ago! I’m so inspired and proud of her.

Mayas Tree

Hand Painted Owls

A&J Wedding Tree

Marjeris Tree

Marjeris Tree2

3. My color crush (obsession) for the past year has been black and gold. So I love it when clients have projects where I get to utilize my love for the color scheme.

Antique Travel Trunk Makeover

Riding Hat Box

Monogrammed Cushion After

4. It’s therapeutic to paint outdoors in the San Diego sunshine. And I got a lot of chances to do that this year. I love the trend that has moved decorative painting outside. This garden wall/bench was another collaboration with my friend, award-winning landscape designer, Susanna Pagan.

Painted Stucco Outdoor Bench 2

Painted Outdoor Stucco Bench

5. Speaking of outdoor benches, this one was inspired by artwork inside of a California Mission from the late 1800s.

California Mission Inspired Bench

6. My client requested a garden mural focusing on the Tuscan countryside and I loved every minute of being outside in her impressive garden and painting this. Her garden was featured in the September 2013 issue of San Diego Home and Garden Magazine, garnering the cover shot, and I even received a mention in the article!

Garden Mural

7. I was proud to be a part of the team that put together some really cool events for the biggest annual convention draw to America’s Finest City. The company I worked for, Hadley Media, received a lot of great press for their activation of the Adult Swim Fun House during the week of San Diego Comic-Con International for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim network. Hadley Media hired me to paint, style/decorate and create props for several of the show-themed rooms in the Adult Swim Fun House, including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies, Robot Chicken, and Metalocalypse/Rockso. The Adult Swim Fun House was a huge success and received “Best in Show” from AdWeek, plus features on Entertainment Weekly, and BizBash.  Read more about the features here.

Adult Swim Aqua Teen

8. This Dallas Cowboys-themed room for a nine year-old was too much fun. And while Ryan loved it…I think his dad appreciated it more. The bed was refinished from a plain oak to a distressed dark blue, I ombré-washed an accent wall, painted the Dallas Cowboys logo star, and a trompe l’oeil jersey with their last name and Ryan’s birthday date on the footboard of the bed.

Dallas Cowboys Room

9. Inspired by her Indian wedding sari, my friend, Sarina, commissioned me to paint this canvas for her home.  Pictured next to it is the original sketch.

Sari Inspired Painting

10. This cool vignette of an “R” busting through the wall of her bedroom, was teenager Rachel’s concept…I just brought it to life and suggested the mirrored squares, which she and her mom DIYed.

Busting Through Wall

11. The most glamorous industrial building bathroom you’ll ever see…intended to feel like a beautiful jewel box in Hera Hub’s workspace for women in Carlsbad. Decor by Vanessa Lillegren. I stenciled the walls, hand-painted a faux mirror with phrases, and made the anaglypta-covered ceiling look like antique tin.

MIrror and Ombre Stencil

12.  I’ll post a finished project photo soon of this concrete bathroom floor in a dental office (also located in an industrial business park), but it was painted in December so it just made the cut for 2013.  This is hand-painted freehand (not stenciled!) onto the concrete floor and followed by metallic glazes and a protective clear coat. This entire office is stunning and looks like a coastal/Mediterranean luxury home, completed with bronze metallic faux domes and niches, chandeliers, leather chairs and deep, rich wood doors and cabinetry.

Painted Concrete Floor

13. I clearly missed my calling as a cast and body painter, special effects makeup artist, and costume designer. After my son, Isaac, broke his arm in August and I painted it to look like Ironman’s arm…the requests for cast painting started pouring in.  Who knew there was such a niche for this?   More importantly, why are so many kids breaking bones these days?!  When Isaac’s first cast was removed and it was determined that he needed a second cast, I painted it to look like a steampunk robotic arm…which became the inspiration for our family costume for Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland.  Since it was for Isaac’s birthday, and he wasn’t getting his cast removed until the next day…we decided that his cast should be part of his costume so we DIY-ed EVERYTHING to match his cast and the theme. I’ll write a full post on the DIY Steampunk costumes, but this certainly qualifies as one of my favorite projects of 2013, if not EVER!  Using old costumes, clothing and shoes we already had, some dollar store items…along with paint, hot glue gun, gaffers tape…we created a ridiculously awesome group costume and were a hit at Disneyland.

Isaac IronMan collage

Isaac IronMan 4

Isaacs Steampunk Cast

Julians Halloween Cast

Malcolms Steampunk Cast

Wes Broncos Cast

Lillys Christmas Cast

DIY Steampunk Accessories

DIY Steampunk Robot Skull Costumes

DIY Steampunk Robot Makeup

DIY Steampunk Robot Aviator Costumes

DIY Steampunk Robot Aviator Facepaint

DIY Steampunk Robot Costumes


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