Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sweet digital set: Asters Abuzz

Hello there, hope you enjoyed a spectacular celebration for the 4th of July—and now I’m here to wish you a Happy 5th of July! In addition to today being the birthday of the love of my life, Doug, it is ALSO the first of our new “Digi’s on the 5s” releases. Yep, we are adding even more illustrations and sentiments to feed your coloring addiction. Can you ever, EVER have enough flowers?

Let’s not even go there.

As we announced in the e-newsletter this week, we’re so tickled to introduce even more beautiful digis for you to print and color. We’ll supply a freshly remixed Marcella Hawley illustration on the 5th of each month, a brand new Instant Garden digital set on the 15th, and ANOTHER digital design on the 25th. (For all of our fabulous clear stamp lovers, you’ll still get your fix with juicy photopolymer releases every other month!)

Today, we’re sharing a set that is as sweet as a summer meadow in bloom, just brimming with honeybees. My image was inspired by this watercolor illustration I painted 20 years ago for Honey Acres, a family-run apiary in Ashippun, Wisconsin. I learned so much about bees, honey, beekeeping, and the flowers that make honeybees so happy.

When this was painted, I had just moved back from New York, where I’d been working at Martha Stewart Living magazine, to return to the cozy and creative college town of Champaign, Illinois. Having my own freelance design and illustration business for passionate, interesting, entrepreneurial clients was exactly what I wanted to do (and Martha kept me busy with art assignments for her start-up Martha by Mail catalog, which was superfun). I got a phone call one day that seemed right up my alley! The owner of Honey Acres had seen my flower catalog illustrations for Klehm Nursery, and wanted me to create a cover for their new cookbook. I drove up to visit their operation in the rolling hills of southern Wisconsin, saw the fields of clover and wildflowers that surround the apiary, and toured the honey museum they built to share the story of beekeeping. After my visit, I came up with two options for the cover. The illustration above was my favorite of the two, with a busy-as-a-bee mix of Sweet Peas, Bee Balm, Goldenrod, Thyme, Asters, and Cosmos.

Honey Acres decided to publish my alternate design, with its romantic little summertime scene, below:

I never did get a copy of the printed Honey Acres cookbook, until Doug found this one for me on eBay and surprised me with it for my birthday a few years ago. He is sweeter than all the honey in the world!!

OK, so that little show-and-tell brings us to today’s set release. I originally created this illustration to be a simplified take on my 1995 bee bouquet. I am so excited to release the artwork today with an updated design and two new sentiments, as a digital set, just for you. Asters Abuzz is available for your downloading, printing, and coloring pleasure....

Would you like to get some awesome inspiration for using this breezy bee-sy image? Check out what members of our Bloom Brigade AND Instant Gardeners teams did with Asters Abuzz!

Thank you so much for coming by to check out the latest from Power Poppy by Marcella Hawley, and I sure hope you’ll enjoy playing with this one.


CherylQuilts said...

Oh, Marcy, what fun to read more about "you" and your amazing journey to where you are now. I can only imagine what fun you had creating for Martha Stewart. I totally love the watercolor with the wooden honey tools and gorgeous flowers! And the cookbook cover is so beautiful...and what a "honey" Doug is for getting that for you...I know you must have been thrilled! He's definitely a keeper...and happy birthday, Doug!! I continue to enjoy learning more and more about you, Marcy, and love to hear more and more about your journey and learn more about flowers and nature!! And how excited are we all for more digis! Yay! Hugs to you and yours!

Stacy aka Twinshappy on SCS said...

Marcy you never stop amazing me. The water coloring is awesome and the handles mixed with the blooms is an awesome image. ;-) Bees are a hot topic as of the last year with all that is going on with them, so I have learned more about them myself. Not a honey fan unless in a recipe. Beautiful inspiration girlie, keep it up!

Pauline said...

Marcy, I love reading your story. Your two pieces of art work you shared today are stunning! beautiful watercoluring, I can see why Honey Acres wanted you to design their cover. And thank you for another gorgeous digi today. I can't wait to see what is in store for us on the 5's! You are amazing! Okay off to make a card! Enjoy you day.

Nora N. said...

WOW!! Thank you for the story. It is so interesting to learn about your creative past and how you got to where you are now. I LOVE that watercolor above. The flowers, the honey tools-so lovely. The cookbook cover is wonderful too and how sweet that your husband found it for you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us!!

laughingstamper said...

Wow, wow, wow!!!! I have seen and own dozens of your stamp designs but didn't know you were a talented painter too!!! What a wonderful honey you have!!!

Traci M said...

What a beautiful painting, Marcy!! I so enjoyed reading the history of your paintings...and as a collector of cookbooks and Tasha Tudor is my very favorite illustrator...I can see now why I'm so drawn to your stamps! Thanks for sharing your story!!

Leslie Miller said...

Oh, my gosh, look at those fantastically beautiful paintings! You never cease to amaze me, Marcy. What a thoughtful sweetheart your sweetie, Doug, is to find the book for you!