So Stylish, and yet so Helpful!

HfH collar
Of Corgis and Cocktails photo of Hope for Hounds collar

Alisha of 2HoundsDesign and I have worked together for years now.  One of our projects has been the annual design of a custom collar and accessories to raise money for Hope for Hounds (an organization currently in transition).  Hope for Hounds has been a leading fundraiser for Dr. Couto’s dedicated work on cancer in dogs, with a special focus on greyhounds, for years, and you’ve seen my designs here during that time.

Anyway, recently (okay, Friday, October 25, 2013), our collar was blogged about by a dog-loving style blogger.  That’s her photo above.  She and her corgi Teemo got all dolled up for a photo shoot, and they are stylin’!  Thanks, Katherine!

stylin corgi
Katherine and Teemo, ready for the runway, or a walk in the park.


Spring Forward

Shawn in the spotlight

Shawn on Dewey Beach
This portrait has been gestating since … Oh my … April, 2008!  Kelly won a portrait by me in a raffle, way back when, and we never did pin down just who was going to get the treatment.  Kelly finally decided Shawn would take center stage, we actually chose a photo, and the first layer of paint is on the canvas.  Whew!  Look at those EARS!  The painting is 9″ x 12″, acrylic on canvas.  I’ll let you follow along as I go, as usual.  At this moment, the drawing is just about to be transferred to the canvas, which has had an underlayer of soft blue laid down already.

Nice warm graphics

While my muse has been thawing out from her winter hibernation, I’ve been doing a little this and that to prime the pump (that is what is known as a mixed metaphor).  I find graphic work easier in this state than portraiture, which is good, since it was time to design this year’s Hope for Hounds artwork.  That was fun.  After a rough start earlier in the winter, I put it aside.  When I came back to it, I started from scratch and just blew right through it.  In case you missed my last post, that design has gone live, with a very exciting raffle for the first collar to be made!  You can still buy tickets, at $10 for one, or $25 for three, so hop on over there!  We’ve got some big new ideas this year, too.  You’ll want to make sure you’re in on them!  😉

On a related design note, I also enjoyed designing a couple custom fabrics that will be exclusive to 2 Hounds Design.  It’s always fun working with my good buddy, Alisha!

In the last few weeks, I’ve had three more requests for graphics.  One was a logo that both the client and I shelved last fall, one is for a dog breed club’s national event (using a previously designed element from an unused graphic – recycling!), and one is for a custom wine label for a previous client (is that also recycling?)  All are in progress, so I can’t unveil any of them yet, so you’ll have to take my word for it for now.  I’ll show you when I can.  I’m champing at the bit to show you!

My hubby has also been availing himself of the in-house design department (that would be me) to update his logo (which I designed years ago*) and his blog’s banner.

Okay, it’s not fancy, but it works, and it’s purty.

He’s also working on a book, for which I’ll be doing illustrations.  I worked this up for a working cover image.

Looking forward: Feedback appreciated!

In a previous post, I talked about my plans for this year, and next winter specifically.  I’ve added another idea to my pile.

Last year, I created a custom greyhound art doll (aka stuffie, plushie, stuffed animal, soft sculpture, cloth portrait …) as a fundraiser.  I’ve had many requests for more, and also for the pattern.  If you were following that epic saga, you’ll know I really made it up as I went along, with a lot of trial and error, but I did end up with a pretty cool pattern.  So, what do you think about an e-book of instructions (lots of pictures, of course!), including a pattern that could be transferred by grid to whatever size you wanted?

If you like that, how about this added bit: the book would have a link to purchase a cut-and-sew fabric printed with the pattern, for the option to let me take some of the work out of it for you?

Liking this so far?  Okay, how about if I created several versions of the cut-and-sew patterned fabric for different color dogs (fawn, fawn and white, brindle, black, etc.)?  Once you have the instruction book, with the fabric link, you can buy as many of the fabric patterns as you like, of course: make a whole pack!  Use them as fundraisers!  Give as gifts to your houndie friends!  Sound like a good concept?

Considering how sewing challenged I am, I’m considering recruiting a beta-tester and proof-reader who already knows how to sew (any volunteers?  😀 )

*The leaf that brought us together!  Long story, but let’s just say I threw myself at him, artistically speaking, and the rest is history!

Keeping it fresh!

See a difference around here?
I just finished my web re-design.  Tell me what you think!  Go take a look at my website and give me some feedback, okay?

Okay, now I can work on Petey some more!

Reminder!  Make sure you’re ready to bid on the SEVEN ARTIST Pet Portrait Artist Auction starting on April 20th at 9am Pacific time!

They’re HERE! Limited Edition Holiday Cards

“Play Bough”
Limited Edition holiday card for 2011
©Xan Blackburn, 2011

With thanks to Rebecca Forrest for the concept, I had a lot of fun painting this image.  The fawn greyhound reminds me of my own Brilly, who was a handy model.  

This really is a limited edition!  I had a small number printed, and when they’re gone, that’s it.  There will only be a few of these winging through the postal service, making them a good choice for someone looking for a more unique card.
As always, Stroke of Green offers products as green as I can get them, from the printing to the packaging.  They come 10 to a package for $20, and are blank inside for your own message.
Some of you responded to my earlier question about whether they’d prefer “pretty/serious” or “funny” cards.  The consensus seems to be “both!”  Thanks for helping me narrow that down!  LOL!  Maybe I’ll have to do two cards a year, or just figure out how to do both in one card.