business, education, grandparent, studio

Creating with Chalk Markers

I have been able to learn a new medium while being part of my grand daughters growth and part of the photos.  I have be assigned the responsibility of creating her monthly boards that are included with her monthly photos.  I started out using dry chalk markers and just this week purchased a set of chalk markers by VersaMarker with a finer tip.  I have to tell you – I LOVED them!  The color is richer when they dry and I was able to get more detail.  You should try this.

I have been so thankful that my daughter has wanted me to be such a part of their lives as our first grand-baby arrived. I remember I was so thankful for my mother and she was a big part of my daughter’s life.  All I can hope is that my grandchildren want me to be around and allow me to teach them fun things.

Here are a few of the boards! It was fun to change with the holidays and seasons. The top three are with the dry chalk markers and the bottom two photos are with the liquid chalk markers. Love Love Love

business, grandparent, PhD, retirement, studio

Regenerated – REQUIRED

Two weeks in paradise every February is what this girl needs.  Sun, water, no alarms, a6398B78D-C8AC-4CBD-AD02-7887E2F12619nd no planning! Just time for my brain to rest and explore shapes, color and nature.

Now it’s studio and design time, which there is never enough, between my granddaughter and family requests my life is pretty busy.  I thought I would have so much time after retiring.  Little did I know that my daughter would loose her job and need mom more than ever. How do I balance everything?  I have so much that I want to do on my blog and designing, But, I can’t resist getting on the floor with Ava. She is growing so fast. Yesterday was her 6 month birthday. REALLY!

So…..visit my Facebook page and Etsy page in the next few weeks to see new items.   Hopefully, after I have completed listing items in my new Amazon Handmade page I can start doing some tutorials for watercolor as many of you have been asking for.

business, Cricuit, education, studio, svg designs


Things have slowed down from Christmas orders and Valentine’s Day.  I have gotten tired of the snow in Michigan so I am spending a few weeks in the wonderful southwest Florida sun. Now is my time to design and to bring fresh, and new items to you. You will see more items with embroidery as well as designs for those Cricut and hot press users. All new items will be featured here on our blog and in our product page then you will be available to purchase here and on Etsy.

We are also excited to announce that we will be selling on Amazon Handmade with all of our embroidered and heat press items.  Watch for our announcement that we are up and running. We will focus on a lot of personalizing and custom designs initially. Send us good vibes! Hoping this out sells Etsy.

So here is my question to you……..What would you like to see in my shop? Do you want to see more designs that you can purchase; do you want to see more baby gifts, or more embroidered gifts in general?  Help me out here ok?  Can wait to get your feedback.





business, grandparent, retirement

The Little Joys

This week was a bit challenging as my daughter was reorged out of her position after 12 years at a large international corporation. For the second time this year the company has eliminated hundreds of jobs in the name of reorganization while their job postings continue to increase.  Hiring new lower paying employees you ask?  What do you think?  I have owned a number of manufacturing companies and watched the equity firms come in, buy up thriving companies, only to close them because they aren’t profitable “enough” for their stockholders.

But, then I hold my granddaughter and think “SO WHAT!” We all have our health and families close to us.  My husband and I came out better on the other side of our diversities and my daughter and her husband will too.  She will get to spend some valuable time with her sweet little girl and research what she wants to do with this next stage of her adult life.

What diversities have you gone through? Have you had change in careers?  I think we all have a couple times.  Where our parents often worked for a company for 30-40 years, now our kids are being told to expect 4-6 job changes in their life time.  Thinking about everything with the half full mentality…..lives sure don’t get boring do they!

So……this week I am holding my little Ava a little closer and giving more hugs to my daughter……you do the same.

grandparent, studio

Hearts, Kisses, and Candy Wishes

The studio is full of Valentine’s day fabric and designs with hearts and candy.  I love the colors of red, white, pink and pastels, and at the same time spreading the love. Don’t you? I have created two little designs for those Cricut and Silhouette users.  I placed them on bandannas for my grand daughter. But they can also be made for your pets or even placed on clothing for your little ones – heck even for yourself to wear!

The great thing about designing these is that my years of art classes get used and I can remind my 80 year old dad that my money and time from classes is really being used. Can you guess which color theory and design key I used for the bandanna in the picture?  How about you leave your thoughts in the comment section below and come back tomorrow and I will tell you.  LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!


Fabric, Fabric, Fabric

How many of you get near all of the colorful fabrics in your nearest Walmart, Hobby Lobby, or other craft store and can’t resist touching and imagining what you can create with each fabric???? Yep…..that’s me!  I have been sewing since I was twelve years old, quilting and sewing my own cloths for school because we didn’t have a lot of money.  Today, after retirement, my sewing and embroidery desire has reemerged. I find my mind keeps churning and designing new things for all the children and grandchildren.  The reading pillows have been a big hit since Christmas and I thought I should create a few designs and pillows to share with you.

Pictured above are just a couple of the fabrics I picked up yesterday at Walmart.  I know there are so many different designs of fabric out there.  But I am also conscious of cost and wear ability of anything I am making. This week I will be working on designs and patterns to share with you for your projects.  Visit next week or sign up for notices when there is a new post.

Happy Sewing!

business, retirement

Goal setting for 2018 together!

Yep….goals are important to me and they should be for you.  No matter, if you are 18 or 80 you shouldn’t stop making goals. The reason for those goals are personal to each of us and important to making a difference in our lives and being part of advancing quality of life for ourselves and those around us.

We all have set goals using the SMART method and probably many other formats.  This year I decided to do something a little different. Hopefully, you are going to join me in this journey as we work together with the HARD method for goal setting and accomplishing in 2018. Visit Forbes article for more information. The article looks at goals on a professional career oriented level. If you are in your golden years that isn’t that important.  But, your life goals are very important.  How do you spend your days, motivate yourself, leave your legacy?  Yes, this goal setting is for you on a personal level.

For 2018 I am going to set my goals for both personal and professional. I just celebrated my 57th birthday and have so much to do. Don’t you feel the same way? Of course you do! You want to make a difference in your family’s lives, in your spiritual life, and in your professional or personal life.  But, if you don’t set goals you will be getting up each morning saying “What is on my to do list today? Do I have a purpose?” That is not life…..that is EXISTING!

So, join with me in setting your goals for 2018 using the HARD method as outlined in the Forbes article. Don’t overdo things.  Just set a couple goals for the personal, professional, spiritual, and/or the legacy side of your life this year. You may have other area.  Forbes article included the following in their article that will be very helpful as we move forward in developing and writing our plans out:

Question #1: Animated. “Think about where you want your career to be, and describe to me exactly what you’re doing (what kind of work you’re doing, who you’re working with, what your days look like, etc.) one year, three years, and five years from now.”

Question #2: Heartfelt. “Describe at least three reasons why you want this goal (note: the reasons can be intrinsic, personal, and/or extrinsic).”

Question #3: Difficult. “What are the three to five most important skills you’ll need to develop to achieve this goal? How will you develop those skills?”

Question #4: Required. “What do you need to have accomplished by the end of the next six months to keep on track toward achieving this goal? What about by the end of the next 90 days? The next 30 days? What’s one thing you can accomplish today?” (M. Murphy, 2017, Forbes)

You will immediately see that the HARD questions have been listed out of order.  There is a reason…..

Let’s get to work together today.  Get that planner and note pad out and start planning.  Life is to short not to have a plan!



retirement, studio

Join 2018’s Planning & Activities

Today is the start of 2018’s journey of life, retirement, business development, and most importantly being a gram! Take this journey with me and share as I share with you how my life as an administrator in higher education evolves.  Share the joys and struggles of being on the back end of 50, having an aging parent, and wanting to be all my mother was and more as a grandmother.

Part of this journey will also include trying hard to develop a home-based business, complete my PhD, and being a mother, wife and grandmother. And…also important is the passion of allow art and design a major part of this journey. Yes……….we have a lot of work to do this year don’t we?

Well…….let’s get started today…..before the NEW YEAR!

I included the picture of me standing on a Florida gulf beach so we can close our eyes, feel the waves moving back and forth and our toes being covered by sand. Demonstrating that if we do not keep moving we will be covered up and stuck in the sand of life.  We don’t have time to waste this gift of life given to us.

So….for our first step of filling in our planners for 2018. Let’s make a list of what is important to us…..everything…..big and little!  Include vacations, birthdays….anything and everything you deem as important for your year to be a success.

Visit back here on New Year’s Day to get your next instructions!





Welcome to the beginning!

Welcome to the first day of Eighth Avenue Design. A way to share our experiences apostnd take a journey together. Let’s begin our journey today. Let’s share our challenges, accomplishments, failures, successes, and creations. It’s my hope for Eighth Avenue Design to be a place of sharing, caring, educating, and growing with each other through all stages of our lives.  What are your interests, questions and dreams?  Let’s share each day’s beauty and challenges. . . . . . . no matter what they are…………………..



education, studio

Color Theory and Design

Color theory is used to emit a feeling or create a mood.  It might be in a painting, a room, a flower arrangement, you name it. Here are the main color theories:

Complementary – Colors used that are across from each other on the color wheel

Analogous –  Colors used that are next to each other on the color wheel

Monochromatic – Use of one color and all of its light and dark shades.

And there are many more. But these are the ones that I primarily stick with. So, which color theme did I use on my bandanna design? If you guessed analogous you are CORRECT!  I sort of threw in the mint green too. However, I primarily used purple, pink, and red, colors that are next to each other in the wheel. An analogous theme offers a feeling of serenity and calming.  The colors work well together because they all have elements of the same primary color, with this design it was red.

Color theory is really a lot of fun to play with when painting, coloring or even when you are decorating a room in  your home. I pulled up the image from this great website if you would like to study further.

Now to continue on with the designing and placement of the elements in the LOVE bandanna. There are six fundamental principles of design. They are:

  1. Balance
  2. Proximity
  3. Alignment
  4. Repetition
  5. Contrast
  6. Space. 

As with color, design principles can be touched on the surface one element at a time or go into great depths of each element. I first remember learning balance when I was learning to decorate cakes with my mom many eons ago. The instructor drilled into us how pleasing a triangular design was to the eye and utilizing an odd number of elements (or flowers as it was for decorating) would be a big help to any young designer. As I found later in college, triangular flow of elements with odd number of objects or focal points WAS a good rule of thumb.

So…..let’s go back to the bandanna.  What do you see?  The large heart and Love is the focal point of the design. That gives us TWO elements.  Then we count the hearts around the edges and we have FOUR more elements…..HMMMMMMM well I was a bad designer on this one wasn’t I.  I have 4+2=6; an equal number of elements. So where would you put another little candy heart to make this design more appealing?

I hope you have learned something about color and design with this article.  Keep learning and growing-no matter your age!

To continue more detailed understanding of design visit V6 designing


Free patterns

Crocheting Fingers

Well it was one of those weekends! It was the anniversary of my mom’s passing – 12 years and I was missing her.  So….what do I do to get out of my funk?  Crochet of course!

Really, it was something that kept my fingers moving, accomplish something that my daughter needed, and also allowed a little meditation time.  Don’t you need that too once in a while – Of course you do.

So…….my daughter has been talking about a messy bun hat for a year and hasn’t  had time to make one with her new little one.  I jumped on Pinterest and found some great free patterns.  The first one I did was pretty simple.  What I like the most of this was that it had a fold over brim.  I also found this site that many of you might enjoy! Its Naztzia.  The creator offers free patterns in knitting and crochet.  Here is the link to the pattern I used for my first hat.

The second hat I did in a variegated yarn and it did not require a pony tail elastic as the first one did. This one I found at Yarn Ballin It was named Katniss Messy Bun Hat Pattern.  The site requires that you enroll with your email.  The pattern is free and very easy to follow.

Both hats took me an evening each and they were not difficult to complete. My daughter gets one and another lucky girl will get the other to get through our Michigan winter. Have you created bun hats or pony tail hats?  Share them with us.