Oh, Hello There

Posted on Apr 14, 2015 in Kiddo | No Comments

oh hello there | mara dawn
I wasn’t actually planning on a baby post, but as I was importing a few photos from the hospital onto my computer I just couldn’t resist editing and posting a few. Meet Orion August, born on February 12th, 2015. We finally decided on a first name only a few weeks prior to his birth. My husband loves the mythical reference, and I love the way it pairs with his brother’s name, Alder. His middle name is a family name and is the same as my grandpa’s.
oh hello there | mara dawn
This little guy was two weeks early and threw us for a bit of a surprise. Of course, I went into labor in the evening when my husband was on a very short one day business trip. It was pretty much a scene out of a movie where the husband barely makes it in time. I won’t be sharing a full birth story here, but I will say that it was quick, intense and joyful. It was also quite a relief considering that our first child’s birth was long, stressful and ended in a c-section. For any of you out there who’ve had a c-section once, don’t lose hope. Everything that happened with the first did not happen with the second. Hooray for second chances!
oh hello there | mara dawn
Ever since he’s entered the world, this guy has been easy-going and pretty much a contented little dream. I think it’s part his good nature and part that we actually have a bit of a clue as to what we’re doing this time around. Things are crazy with two kids (as evidenced by my lack of posting until now), but also crazy good.
oh hello there | mara dawn
If you’d like to see more baby spam, I tend to post more baby-related photos on my Instagram feed.

8 Month Baby Bump

Posted on Feb 5, 2015 in Kiddo | No Comments

eight month bump | mara dawn
Wearing white while severely pregnant is a pretty gutsy move for me. I think after I’d been out only about 15 minutes, my husband was already showing me where I’d gotten dirt on myself from unknowingly bumping into something. This belly is made for bumping into things and being a receptacle for food crumbs. I’m not the most coordinated person so pregnancy takes things to an even more comical level. Soon enough though, I’ll be holding a little man in my arms. I’m hoping by then I can regain some coordination. Eeeek!

Pattern Progression No. 2

Posted on Jan 29, 2015 in Pattern | One Comment

pattern progression no. 2 | mara dawn
Here’s my second pattern attempt, which I’m affectionately titling Mixed Metallic Macaroni. I’ve really been into mixed metallics lately and curved lines, so I felt compelled to mix the two. It’s serious business, this one.

If you’d like to know more about the Pattern Progression series, read my introductory post.

Pattern Progression No. 1

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 in Pattern | 6 Comments

pattern progression no. 1 | mara dawn
I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately (thanks pregnancy insomnia) and have been spending a lot of time in front of the computer trying to wrap up client projects before this baby decides to show up. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts to keep me company and have been going through the Elise Gets Crafty series. I love Elise’s upbeat, positive and creative outlook. Two of her podcasts really stood out to me recently: Making Time to Make with Emily Jeffords and Maintaining a Creative Habit with Crystal Moody. As I mentioned with my goal for 2015 I’d really like to ensure that I’m continuing to be creative despite the tiny, adorable whirlwind that’s about to hit our family. So, how to do that amid chaos? I keep coming back to that question. It (literally) keeps me up at night.

Awhile back, I got really inspired by patterns and started making a few patterns/abstract illustrations of my own. And then, life and client work just got in the way and I quit. I hadn’t thought much about it since.

After hearing about Crystal Moody’s commitment to making one drawing/painting every single day, I got to thinking, “Surely I could make one pattern a week. She makes something every. single. day.” I know in actuality amongst spit up and toddler chasing and client work, it won’t be easy. And, I know that I also just resolved not to make any big resolutions and focus on just adjusting and finding a new way. Internet, I can almost see you shaking your finger at me. Don’t worry, I’m shaking a finger at myself too.

However, I started the 52 series last year for photography and never finished. Gasp. I don’t regret it. I learned a lot about photography in the process. The learning along the way was worth the failing. So, even if I fail again at finishing this year, I know I’ll learn something more about patterns and design and illustration and all those loves as I go.
pattern progression no. 1 | mara dawn
So, here’s my first attempt, pattern progression number 1 of 52. It’s been forever since I’ve made a good old fashioned potato stamp. It felt great to just play around with paper, paint and potatoes for a bit. I think I’m going to keep things loose and call designs that don’t necessarily repeat patterns. I’m already behind, so I’m going to allow myself grace to post late. Look at me, cheating already!

Update: I’ve been given a suggestion to make this into a series that others can participate in. If you’re interested in exploring print/patterns, you should definitely join in on the weekly creative challenge. It’d be great to see others participate. If you do, please send me links to what you’re doing.

7 Month Baby Bump

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 in Kiddo | No Comments

seven month bump | mara dawn
This is a look back at when my belly was a more manageable size. Look how cute and round that stomach was! Oh, memories. In other news, seven months was the month I gave up pants. I mean, I’m still (somewhat) appropriately dressed, but I’ve transitioned to a wardrobe consisting of mostly leggings and tunics. Or, I should say what used to be called a dress that now barely qualifies as a tunic, like in the image above. I’m pretty sure this dress was about to burst at the seams.
seven month bump | mara dawn
My husband caught this close-up image. I’m quickly realizing I should probably try a different pose besides looking down and to the side. I like it, but I look sad. Does anyone want to help me correct my lazy eye? If so, I might start actually looking at the camera one of these days.
seven month bump | mara dawn
See, there I go again.

For the New Year: Finding a New Normal

Posted on Jan 12, 2015 in Design | 2 Comments

New Year New Normal | Mara Dawn
Confession: Monday is one of my favorite days of the week. I know that’s probably not a popular view, so I’m sorry if you hate the day (don’t hurt me, I mourned them for many years in the past). I know that I’m incredibly lucky that I have a job where I look forward to doing the work that I do. For me, Monday is one of the days of the week that I’m able to focus almost solely on my design/creative business. It’s a day that feels like anything is possible, and I enjoy the fresh start Monday brings each week.

As I was about to write this post, I saw Katie Day say on her Instagram, “And to all my moms: maybe the thing that’s best for your kids, is finding what feeds you so that you can pour into them.” This could obviously be many things from a job to a hobby that you love, but it resonates with me and my thoughts on the year ahead.

I’ve been doing some thinking about what I’d like to accomplish in the next year for my business. I’ve thought about some specific things as far as financials and getting more organized, but it all seems difficult to plan for considering we’re about to have our current world turned completely upside down by a new tiny human. Now that I know how a having a kid can really shake up your world, I’m hesitant to get too lofty or be too tough on myself about what I need to work on with my business.

I’ve got one main goal for this year: to find a new normal that works for both my family and business. My main hope is that this new baby addition goes a little smoother the second time around and that we can ease into a schedule and rhythm that works for our family. I don’t have any idea of what exactly that looks like at this point. However, I do know that I want to make sure that I don’t lose track of myself. In the new year, I hope to simply focus on growing and investing in my design business, despite all the chaos that is surely headed our way. Hopefully, not losing focus of what I’m passionate about will, in turn, help me be a better mother and human. Here’s to many more Mondays in 2015.

In case you’re curious, the beautiful planner is designed by Julia Kostreva and is available in her shop.

6 Month Baby Bump

Posted on Dec 30, 2014 in Kiddo | No Comments

6 month baby bump | mara dawn
Doesn’t this photo look festive and nice and holiday-ish? Well, in truth I think this was actually back in November. It’s fitting for this time of year though, am I right? I think six months in my very favorite month of pregnancy. The belly is usually round enough at this point that it closer resembles an actual baby instead of a beer gut. However, it’s not so round that it’s up to your chest causing you to be out of breath by just walking down the hallway. Six months is just right.
6 month baby bump | mara dawn
I have a bit of a strange look on my face in the above photo, but I couldn’t resist posting it. This kid was too cute. We were trying to take photos of the baby bean, and Alder just kept sneaking in the photos with a mischievous smile on his face. I just love that kid.