About Me

Fave 13 of 2013

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! PAPER: 1. A travel-themed wedding (for the cutest couple ever), from a luggage tag save the date to an airline ticket-sized invitation. 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. 3. My hand-painted brushstroke paper makes a stunning embellishment for invitations. (Wedding by Champagne Taste) 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) 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) 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...

Read More

“I” is for Isaac and Ironman

“I” is for Isaac and Ironman

This is a personal post, not “paper” or “paint” related…but there’s certainly “love” involved. And while it ends with some cool painting that I did and how I scored “Rad Mom” points with the kids, it’s really about an experience my son, our family, and our neighborhood went through. It wasn’t an entirely uncommon occurrence for kids or parents…but it was the first (and hopefully last) time something like this has happened to us. Ah yes, the life of a Mom of BOYS. I guess scraped knees, bumps and bruises, a plethora of holes in new jeans and shoes, and dirty fingernails are to be expected when you’re raising two rambunctious boys (and I haven’t even begun to describe the kids…lol!). Just kidding, I try to keep my fingernails clean at least. 😉 No, really…having two boys is so much fun and it keeps me on my toes. And even though I grew up with two younger sisters, I think my interests and hobbies help me relate to my boys. My self-professed geekery and affinity for comic books, Star Wars, animation, cartoons, sci-fi, action heroes, video games, etc. means that I can pretty much hold my own with most kids. I’m really just a big kid at heart, preferring a weekend at Comic-Con with my family over a spa/glam getaway any day. I like being the fun Mom: trying out cool science projects, going to museums, drawing pictures for them, face painting, planning awesome birthday parties, playing games, hiking/exploring, making up weird stories, eating interesting things, trying out new experiences, encouraging them to be different and unique. But, I’m not the daredevil or adrenaline junkie Mom. You won’t see me parachuting out of an airplane. Ever. I’m afraid of heights. I don’t drive fast. So when it comes to that aspect of being a mom of two boys, I have a lot of anxiety about letting them do things where they could get hurt. My husband is the one who oversees the sporty activities…he’s the motorcyclist, waterskier, wakeboarder, snowboarder, mountain biker, football/lacrosse player, risk taker of the family. As much as I would like to keep my babies in a protective bubble every second of the day, I know that is just not realistic. I have to remind myself that falling down, getting hurt, making mistakes are the only way for them to learn how to get up, shake it off and be more careful next time. These are the lessons that we all learn as children and a part of growth and development…right? And as much as I’m constantly yelling, “be careful” or “don’t do that” or “watch out”, there’s just no way I could be there at every waking moment to protect them or prevent them from getting hurt. That being said, it’s certainly easier said than done (to give in to not being able to control everything)…and I was in no way prepared for what happened to my six year-old last week. So, we had just returned from our family vacation visiting Nana and Papa’s in the Bay Area, and the boys couldn’t wait to get home and play with their neighborhood buddies. They had been gone for almost three weeks and missed all their friends. Plus an eight hour drive had them antsy for some outdoor time and running around. No more than a few hours after we got home (I was in the middle of making dinner and still hadn’t unpacked or started laundry), there was a frantic knock at our front door. Our neighbor Jon, visibly shaken, said “Isaac broke his arm!” Apparently, he...

Read More

Keeping Up With The Smiths!

Keeping Up With The Smiths!

See that gorgeous woman with the incredible smile? Who is she, you may ask? Besides being the only person I know who can pull of that look and make “bald” a sexy HOT fashion statement, that amazing lady is my friend, Marjeri Smith. Marjeri’s more than a pretty face…she’s a devoted wife and mother of two, a talented wedding coordinator/event planner, a lifestyle blogger, a daughter, a sister, a friend. She’s intelligent, sweet, generous, creative, optimistic and one of the kindest and most humble women I have ever met. And though she may seem sweet and gentle in that petite frame, Marjeri is one tough powerhouse. Who is she? She’s also a warrior…bravely and gracefully fighting a battle against cancer. Marjeri’s story in her own words: Every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. I happen to be one of these people.  I am a 32 year-old, healthy, active and strong woman. I am also a devoted wife and mother to two beautiful young children. My life could not have been more perfect until May 15, 2013, when I was diagnosed with an incredibly rare and aggressive disease known as T-Cell Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALK+). Lymphoma is a cancer of the blood and my particular diagnosis has only been documented in 80 total cases in the world.   As you can imagine, the news hit us all really hard, as I was only having symptoms for about two months before I was diagnosed. I began to have back and stomach pain around Easter and it progressed to me needing a double small bowel resection surgery on May 15th. Initially, my thoughts rushed to my children and how they could survive without a mother or if they would remember me if I was gone. Then I thought of my husband and how difficult life would be for him as a single parent. Luckily, we were able to biopsy my small bowel quickly enough to catch my cancer early. Although this all sounds slightly depressing, my prognosis is better than I could have ever hoped for. When I finally regained control of my emotions, I started to research my diagnosis and quickly learned that my rare and aggressive disease is curable. My oncologist is confident that I will go into full remission after 6 sessions of chemotherapy. It’s an aggressive cancer, so we have to treat it with an aggressive regimen of chemotherapy drugs for 18 weeks. We are all aware that the next few months are going to be challenging but we refuse to let this new “speed bump” slow us down! When I heard the news of Marjeri’s diagnosis and what she was going through, my heart sank. As a mother and wife, my thoughts went to her and her beautiful family and how difficult all of this would be for them. I know that she has a wonderful support system of her husband, Herbie, and their family members, and lots of great friends all over the world. Still, no one wants to see anyone they love facing cancer. But Marjeri is just so incredibly vibrant, positive and strong. Her determination and strength is awe-inspiring. Within a short time after she found out about her diagnosis, Marjeri was already planning how she could help others facing the same fight. Despite her own battle ahead with lymphoma, she was waging a war against cancer. She amazes me with her selflessness and fierceness! In Marjeri’s words… I would love for you to help me raise money for the fight against lymphoma. My preferred method would be for all of my friends...

Read More

Featured!

Featured!

Considering that Love Paper Paint doesn’t advertise or self-promote (with exception to occasional posts on social media via my Facebook page or Instagram feed), it was a pleasant surprise to be featured a few times, just in the month of July!  I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to design with talented industry professionals who make the effort to mention my work and my company… and include me as part of their team during their moments in the spotlight. First up was a mention in the July 2013 issue of San Diego Home and Garden Magazine, in an article featuring my friend, Landscape Designer, Susanna Pagan of SP Gardens, and her award winning garden design from last year’s San Diego County Fair.  Her design for the San Diego Horticultural Society’s Display Garden won eight awards and the antique door I painted for her was one of my favorite projects that year. Read about the hand-painted door and SP Gardens here. Thanks, Susie! It’s an honor to have my painting included in the beautiful gardens and landscapes you create throughout San Diego. Next, was a segment on the CW6 morning news show, Wake Up San Diego, featuring my friend Jessica Gillon of Events By Design, as she discussed Summer Bridal Trends. Not only did she mention Love Paper Paint many times and showed off the menus I designed for one of her most recent gorgeous weddings, she also gave me a shout out on Events by Design’s blog. Thank you Jessica, for allowing me to be a part of your amazing team of vendors! You know I absolutely love working with you and I’m so grateful for the incredible projects, opportunities and people you have introduced me to over these many years. Then, there was San Diego Comic-Con International, July 2013. While Love Paper Paint didn’t get specific mentions for the projects I worked on for Comic-Con, 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 Comic-Con 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. It was so much fun and such a departure from the type of painting I usually do for my clients. I mean, how often does a decorative painter/muralist get to paint pretend kitchen appliances for a gigantic animated milkshake character; or fabricate “slimy squid skin”; or dingy-up a basement scene for a seven foot tall humping robot; or make a spiked nose and glittery “snow” walls for a scary rocker clown?   Thanks Patrick, Katie, John, and everyone at Hadley Media for bringing me in on a truly unique experience.   Last, but not least, I was surprised by a few features using photos of my family taken by my sister, Julie Cruz, of Lot116 Photography. The photos she captured of our families at The New Children’s Museum and The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center are used in their marketing collateral and websites, which is no surprise…since they hired her specifically for these shoots and we agreed to let our kids be “models”. But the surprise came when one of my followers on Instagram sent me...

Read More

Turning FORTY and You’re Invited…

Turning FORTY and You’re Invited…

…to my IMAGINARY party (or how I would have planned my birthday if I was indeed having a party this year). So, welcome to my virtual soirée…or a glimpse at my “dream party” mood boards. Indeed, on November 18th, I’m leaving my thirties behind and entering my FORTIES! * Gasp * Ugh * Sigh * Although I’m not exactly thrilled about the notion that I will be 40 years-old…I am so very grateful to be alive, to be healthy and strong, and to have this opportunity to enjoy everything that I’ve been blessed with in my life – an amazing husband and our two wonderful boys (these three are my whole world); a close and loving family (my sisters and our extended family are the raddest people EVER); terrific and supportive friends; my artistic passions; and the work that I love. But… I don’t FEEL 40!!! (I hope) I don’t LOOK 40!!! I don’t want to ACT 40 (if there is a “standard” for this age group)!!! If I had to give myself an age to match how I feel, (think I) look and act…I would say (er, wish) 30? Go ahead, you can tell me that too, I’ll let ya (wink-wink). No, really…PUH-LEEZ tell me that, it would be the best present ever! If I can figure out how to work 40 like some of my favorite style icons (Gwen Stefani, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Rachel Weisz, etc.), then I’ll gladly join the club…because those beautiful, intelligent, talented, awesome ladies ROCK, hard! But until then, I’m not really cool with this whole aging thing yet…and I’m trying to fight it every step of the way. My husband had his 40th birthday in August…and with my birthday just three months later, we thought it would be fun to possibly combine our birthdays and have one big party. I really, really, REALLY wanted to have a big, celebratory bash. I seriously LOVE parties…the planning and styling, color schemes and themes, over-the-top invitations (but, of course), amazing food-drinks-sweets, loud music and activities…but most importantly, seeing my friends and family having a good time. It just makes me happy to see my vision come together as I enjoy a night to remember with my favorite people. And with a milestone birthday like the BIG FOUR-O, I felt a huge celebration was in order. Earlier on in the Summer (when this party was still a possibility and we were starting to plan it), I was brainstorming party themes with my sister, Julie, who suggested that I do a “Forties” theme for our 40th Birthday Soirée. THAT WAS IT! No need to toss around other ideas. I LOVED it! Envisioning 1940’s Hollywood glamour, an elegant affair with everyone dressed to the nines and dancing cheek-to-cheek, sipping champagne while Big Band/Swing music played in the background…yeah, I could totally get into that. Especially if it meant that I would be all dolled-up and looking fabulous like a silver-screen siren, with my dapper leading man by my side. I’ve always been into the retro-vintage vibe and especially love pinup girl and Hollywood starlet style of the 1940s, as evidenced by the look I was going for in these two photos (the one on top from a company Christmas party when I was in my mid-twenties…and the one on the bottom from a “boudoir” shoot a few years ago when I was 37, photographed by the talented, Desiree Hayes). My current color crush is BLACK and GOLD, with a pop of CORAL. Lately, everything I’ve been pinning shows my obsession with this color scheme. You can check out my Pinterest board...

Read More