Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Snapshots From Christmas Past and a Free Download

For the past few years we haven't bothered to put up a tree. I am typically out of town for several weeks before Christmas and after Christmas we head to Little Gasparilla Island to ring in the New Year. 
All in all, it makes no sense to put up a tree for the two days that I could enjoy it. Also, if you have ever been here when I put up the tree, you know that it takes the whole evening. Not because the tree is so large or because we have so much to put on it, but because I have a story for EVERY SINGLE ORNAMENT that goes on the tree. I love this about both me, and the tree. It's a little bit like sitting through a slide show (for those of you who remember what that is). 

While I can't remember what I had for lunch, I can remember where almost every ornament and bauble on the tree came from.

For fun, I thought I would share a few of my most favorites and the story that goes with it. Oh and if you sign up for my newsletter, you get a free ornament download. It appeared in Family Circle Magazine back in the 1960's and I happened to find it in an old scrapbook that I bought.

Ok, here we go.......The upper left angel was made by me when I was a Brownie. My mom and our neighbor Jewell were the troop leaders. Jewell's daughter, Denise was my first best friend. 
The string angel was made by my grandmothers best friend, Dori Simmons, who I adored. Dori made us something every year for Christmas. When she died, my grandmother gave me all of her old ornaments while saying something like "I was going to throw these out but thought you might want them". My grandmother didn't care for old things and could never figure out why I did. I think, secretly, she was glad this once that I loved vintage things as I am sure it would have killed her to throw out Dori's ornaments. 
The glass ornament bears Dori's name. She made one for herself and one for her husband Jim. Jim ended up leaving her for a younger woman but she still had the ornament and I would put it on the tree alongside hers. 

The Gingerbread girl is store bought and was given to me by my mother. I can still remember how excited I was when I opened it. It is one of my most treasured possessions and I wire it to the tree to the point that it could withstand a hurricane. What makes it even more special is that I got the pink one and my younger sister got the blue one. When we received similar gifts there was always an issue over who got the more desired color. She usually did, but this time I was the victor. I am sure that every year when she unpacks the blue one it still stings a little.

We had two trees when I was a kid. The one in the "forbidden" living room and one in the family room. This one was referred to as the "kid's tree" and was one of those pink tinsel jobs. I think the "kids tree" was put up to keep us out of the living room. It was just my sister and I and I can't imagine what they thought we were going to do to the living room but that's how it was then. Anyway....the little red Santa's were the only ornaments we had on that tree and there were dozens of them. My mother would also string lights on the tree which you weren't supposed to do back then. Every now and then you would get a shock if you touched the tree and there happened to be a problem with the lights. 
The baby in the cradle was my first ornament and I believe it was made by Dori. 

Are you starting to understand why it takes so long to put up our tree?

The stocking and guest towels were made by my mother. My sister has the same stocking but with the snowman image. I am assuming that my mother made these while pregnant with my sister because if you look closely at my sisters stocking you can see where there was a question mark embroidered where the name would later be. She and I used to point that out to all who would listen.

These are the ornaments that my mother made for the tree one year. I posted them on my Instagram page yesterday but just had to include them here. I am so happy that I still have them. I was thrilled to find the original magazine article from Family Circle Magazine.
It's fun to see how my mom interpreted the original patterns and colors.
These are also your free download.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my memories of Christmas past. Please share your favorite Holiday memories in the comment section.
Whatever you celebrate I hope it is filled with love, happiness and that you make some wonderful memories!

Your download
While I realize that it's a little late to be making Christmas ornaments I think these would be really cute for Spring. Once you sign up you will receive a conformation email with a link to the download. It is a three page pdf and includes the directions and patterns and two pages of photos. 
The patterns are meant to be transferred to graph paper but you can simply enlarge the page to whatever size you want.
If you have a problem just email me and I will send you the pdf via email.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Handmade Goodness and Barbie's Dirty Laundry

 This past week on Instagram, I decided to do "A Week of Red". I like red and it seemed fitting for the approach of Christmas. As I started looking around the house for a variety of red things I remembered that I had my old Barbie clothes stashed away somewhere. There had to be something red in there-right? Well, I unearthed a treasure trove of memories and handmade goodness. 

I was quickly whisked back to a time when people gave handmade items as gifts and people (even kids) LIKED it. My mom made most of these but some were made by our dear neighbor and sitter, Penny Taylor. Sadly both left this world way too early but my memories of them live on through these gifts they made for me. I cherish these items that were stitched and knitted with love. The other store bought doll clothes......not so much.

I was so inspired by finding these that I decided to post photos of things that were handmade by me on my Instagram page for the week of December 14. Check it out and feel free to follow me!

Also, I would love to hear your stories of handmade gifts that you cherish. Leave your memories in the comment section or post them on my Facebook page.

Hope you enjoy the photos!

Paula Joerling
These were all made by my mom. She was very fashionable and made most of her own clothing. The Barbie clothes were made out of leftover material scraps.  

Paula Joerling
The brocade "cape/skirt" was made by my me (I made a lot of "cape/skirts"). My mom made the red strapless dress which was coveted by my friends. Penny Taylor made the 
co-ordinating red and white dress for my Skipper doll. If memory serves, my sister and I had Christmas dresses made from the red velvet with daisy trim around the sleeves and hem.

Paula Joerling
I think it should go without saying, but the fringe vest and little polka dot crop top were two of my favorites. My sister and I also had vests exactly like this one. Yes, it's true........

This fur coat was, hands down, was the number one favorite in the whole wardrobe. The fur was trim from a muff I had as a little girl. I LOVED that thing and thought it was a pet.

Paula Joerling
 The knitted clothing needed to be cleaned and drying it on cookie racks worked great. I need to do a little damage control as a result of moths. I think, at some point, I may frame all of these and hang them in the bedroom.

Paula Joerling
 Not too long ago I purchased this knitting book on etsy. I may have to brush up on my knitting skills and make some more pant suits-ha ha ha.

Paula Joerling
Detail of one of the cardigans. I am dying here, I mean......seriously.

I can't help but wonder if gifts like these would be appreciated now. I sure hope so. Do you make and give handmade items? Do you like receiving them? Although I work in an industry geared to manufacturing my heart is still in making handmade items and I plan to get back to it in 2016.
So stay tuned..........

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Story Behind the Art-Petra Kern

Hello and welcome to the third installation of 

If you are new to my blog, The Story Behind the Art will take you on a little journey into the STORY behind a particular piece of art created by one of my talented friends from around the globe. The stories are posted on the first Wednesday of each month.

This month I am very happy to introduce you to my dear friend Petra Kern from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Petra and I met online while taking Kelly Rae Roberts "Flying Lessons" e-course. I can't remember exactly how it all happened but I think it had something to do with me being enamored with her beautiful florals. We emailed, we Skyped and finally met in person at Surtex two years ago. We became fast friends and a year later, my husband and I were on our way to Slovenia for an unforgettable visit. Please read on to discover what inspires my talented friend from across the pond.
Petra Kern
The 2 P's in Slovenia


The Story Behind the Art-Petra Kern

I have always been surrounded by nature. I live in a green country surrounded with Alps and sea and the eyes are always caught in a beauty of nature. Since I was a little girl, I love to observe the small world around me even if that means picking flowers from my mothers garden. This love stayed strong and I guess will go with me to the end. I ALWAYS find my inspiration outside and mostly surrounded with beautiful mountains - they have a great vibe for me and am drawn to their flora and fauna in every season .
Now as I work as designer I married the love for nature and it’s flora with the occasions I love working for - weddings and Christmas, which is another great love of mine. 

Petra Kern
 Me at age 2 in my mothers garden playing with tulips and probably not knowing my mum is capturing the moment as evidence.

This October - the first snow in October above my fave spot. Lots of pines, foliage and striking views - who wouldn’t go home and paint her heart out?

Petra Kern
Watercolor Delight - wedding invite for Minted
This card was inspired by the perfect chaos and layering that can always be found in nature. I wanted the invite to be gentle, yet powerful and dynamic. 

Petra Kern
Crafty Floral - photo card for Minted
I don’t see winter as a dull place to be. There are always evergreens, berries and dried flowers around us, you just have to find them. I love how this one turned out with the hint of festive gold. 

Petra Kern
Christmas Foliage for CVS
I work for a licensing studio A Fresh Bunch and this year we designed a lot of Christmas photo cards for CVS. This assignment was a little different but as always when I am in doubt I go sketching foliage and buds - they almost always landed somewhere.

If you want to see more of Petra's beautiful work just follow the links.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Paula's Favorite Things-Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway

Well hello there!
It's that time of year again so I thought I would share a few of my favorite things for gift giving.

As a bonus, I have a gift for you. 

All you have to do is subscribe to my blog and you will be entered to win my Lang "Tres Chic" Mini calendar. 
The winner will be announced on December 1.
If you are already subscribed, no worries, you are all ready entered.

Lang Tres Chic calendar
Just in case you aren't the lucky winner, you can get one HERE
I have several other calendars available for 2016 so be sure to check those out.

First up is my friend, Robin Davis.
Robin has been creating her fabulous Robots for some time now and she has put together some super cute prints, mouse pads and downloads on her ETSY SHOP.
I LOVE her Giant Robot Wall Puppet Kit.
Order soon to be sure and get yours in time to put it under the tree.

Robot Art


Skeem Candles are always on my shopping list. The Mahogany Myrrh and Citrus and Olive are two of my favorite scents. White Tea and Thyme is burning in my kitchen as I type this post.
I am also a big fan of their match bottles. They look so pretty sitting out on the counter or on the mantle. They have several other scents and gifts with their signature graphics. Oh, and be sure to check out their sale section for some nice surprises.

Safety Matches Candles
If you are in need of a gift for a wine or beer lover scoot on over to
Tammy Smith Designs
Tammy has a great collection of dish towels, pillows and prints featuring her designs.
If you are lucky, there may be a dish towel with your favorite city on it.

Wine Dish towel, Beer Dish towel

If you have one of those "hard to buy" for people on your list, check out Lennie Muds etsy shop. That cat is all sorts of clever and it was difficult for me to just pick a couple of items to feature.
There are ceramic mugs, bowls, miniatures and one of a kinds with a variety of fun themes from Star Wars to Lionel Richie. 

In the name of healthy competition, my husband, Tom Haney, also has a calendar. His is self produced and features his automatons. 
If you are in need of something that will knock someone's socks off or if you don't know what an automaton is.....check out his website for available pieces.


If you are looking for a unique piece of handcrafted jewelry check out Lisa Souers shop. She collects all kinds of vintage and industrial bits and pieces and makes them into wearable art.
You may have a difficult time selecting just one piece so I suggest you get two, one for you and one as a gift. 
Industrial jewelry
I saved the best for last.........
ME! -ha ha ha
All kidding aside, I have added a SHOP page to my blog. I have a variety of banners, mini canvases and sewing hoops that I designed for my Sew Happy line with Transpac Imports. There are holiday, coastal, lodge and kitchen themes so there is plenty to choose from.

Sew HAppy Banner

Well I hope you enjoyed my gift guide. I had a lot of fun putting it together for you.
Remember to subscribe to my blog so you can be entered to win a mini calendar.
Thanks for looking and have a HAPPY and SAFE holiday. 
Cheers! Paula

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Woman Obsessed-Vintage Scrapbook Collection

If you have ever been curious about entertaining tips from the 1950's and 60's, look no further. I have no doubt that this collection of Scrapbooks would answer any question that you might have.

Vintage Scrapbook

Old Scrapbook

While I shouldn't assume that these were put together by a woman, I think, given the dates and types of magazines that the clippings came from, it's a safe assumption. Besides, the title of this post would have been something like "A Woman or Possibly a Man Obsessed- Vintage Scrapbook Collection" and that just seemed too long for a post title.

Also there may be a name somewhere in this collection that led me to believe it was a woman.

I found this load of goodness several years ago in an antique store in Indiana. It is a store that I usually try to pop into when I am in Cincinnati visiting relatives. After seeing them on several different visits over a few years I decided that I couldn't bear for them to go "unloved" any longer and they came home with me.

I am glad that they did. Going through them has been more fun that I thought it would be.

Old Scrapbook

There are recipes, crafts and decorating ideas all organized by season and holiday. Every now and then there is a fashion or make-up tip to fit a particular holiday. Priceless.....

Each time I open one of these tomes,  I can't help but to try and knit together the story of their creator. How many magazines did she get? Did she cook or make any of these crafts? Did she entertain? Or was she a shut in who entertained herself by clipping articles for a party she would never have? I prefer to imagine that it's the former rather than the latter.

Vintage Scrapbook

Due to a studio clear out, I have decided to part with the collection. I have photographed many of my favorite pages in order to revisit them from time to time. They are heavy on old recipes so if you or someone you know enjoys that sort of thing like I do then follow the link to my etsy shop.

Oh, and just for stopping by, here's a 15% off coupon code for the shop PAU1126.  It is good through November 30.
Vintage Scrapbook

Vintage Scrapbook

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Story Behind the Art-Annie Troe

Hello and welcome to the third installation of 

If you are new to my blog, The Story Behind the Art will take you on a little journey into the STORY behind a particular piece of art created by one of my talented friends from around the globe. The stories are posted on the first Wednesday of each month.

This month's guest is the talented Annie Troe. 
Annie and I connected through social media and I became an instant fan. Besides loving her work, I admire her giving spirit and sense of humor. She may be the nicest person I've never met. I think you will like her too!

Take it away Annie!

The Story Behind the Art - Annie Troe

Wow! I just added it up and I have been a graphic designer for 27+ years! I love it, but it wasn’t my fist love. Graphic design was, all those years ago, the best fit for my creativity. ART has always been my passion! I know many of you can relate :-) I am blessed to have been licensing my art for 3 years now, looking forward to many more!

Paula Joerling

The “Flakey Friends Snowmen” images above are done entirely with a palette knife and acrylic paint. As well as the images below in this post. I do play around with the images in Photoshop as you can see in the product mock ups.

Paula Joerling

Why the heck do I use only a palette knife?! It is SO darn expressive! A palette knife challenges me to get even more creative. It forces me to solve the problem of how am I going to get my painting to look great with such a limited tool. Palette knife painting brings a unique fresh perspective to my art and to the art licensing business which I am passionate about.

How did it get inspired to paint this way? I have been listening to a radio show “Artists Helping Artists” for some time. They offer all kinds of art and business tips. Leslie Saeta (  is the host with many other wonderful co-host artists. She is a palette knife painter and I am a BIG fan of her work! One day I just gave it a try and it was love at first knife stroke.

Paula Joerling

A bit about me. A year ago I signed with Artistic Designs Group They are fantastic! Having an agency represent me and tackle the marketing/business end of selling my art leaves so much more time for my love of creating art. It doesn’t get any better than that!

If you want to learn more about me and the world of art licensing check out my blog: “Art Licensing from my seat on the bus” There are articles showing how I create art, art/legal posts, agent and artist spotlights. The “Useful Stuff” blog page is loaded with links and information.

More art on my website, I create more than just palette knife art: be sure to follow me on social media and say hello. I will follow you back :-)

Paula Joerling

You can also find me on If you happen to be on this site, check out my “2nd Thursdays” group. We get together and chat about the business of art.

Thank you Paula for the opportunity to connect with your readers!, Annie

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Husbands Danish Apprentice

One day back in April, my husband, Tom, came into my studio with a befuddled look on his face.
He said that a girl in Copenhagen just contacted him asking if she could be his apprentice. She was by trade, a furniture maker but wanted to learn the art of automata, which my husband excels at.
My response was probably something like, "What the flip?"
Paula Joerling Studio
In the studio with Tom and Laura's final creation. 
Tom and Laura (the apprentice) emailed back and forth with the details. Originally she wanted to have a three month apprenticeship but Tom was sure he could teach her everything he knew in a week. They settled on a one month stay. We decided that she could stay with us with the provision that if it wasn't working out for either party other arrangements would be made. 
While we pretty much have a revolving door of house guests, a whole month with someone we never met seemed outrageous. After all, it's always just been Tom and I.
After having her here for two weeks, we wished it was for three months. 
She was AWESOME and we adored her.  
Paula Joerling Studio
Making Danish sandwich's and Tom is delighted.
Upon hearing the news, friends and family had a variety of reactions, the most common being " What? A perfect stranger in your house? What if she's a killer?"
She wasn't, as a matter of fact, she is a vegetarian and a darn good cook as it turned out. 
She made dinner for us on several different occasions. I got into the habit of taking photos of her dinner creations and posting them to Facebook. This led to much confusion and to several people asking why I had a kitchen apprentice and where could they get one. 

She made delicious Danish style sandwiches, vegetables roasted with dark beer, pasta and garlic bread. We, in turn exposed her to southern treats like moon pies, key lime pie, turnip greens and banana pudding. She even tried a raw oyster for the first time. 
It was a match made in heaven and we still marvel at how seamlessly she slipped into our lives.
In Savannah and Laura's first raw oyster.
Although we did a lot of sightseeing and took a side trip to Savannah she did learn quite a bit and managed to complete a fully operational piece. 
At the start of her third week, I had to leave to lead a workshop in Florida. When I returned she was well on her way to her next apprenticeship in with  Kazuaki Harada in Japan.
Leaving for Japan.
We enjoyed every minute of the time she spent with us and are so glad that we decided to open our home and our lives to her. It was a great experience from beginning to end. 
I think it goes without saying that we're saving our pennies for a trip to Copenhagen .......

In Japan.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

ArtBiz Jam 3.0

Despite rain and tropical storms, this years ArtBiz Jam was loads of fun. 
It was great seeing the repeat Jammers as well as welcoming the new ones. We talked about art licensing, social media, networking and everything in between. Laura Pagley from C.R.Gibson was there and spent time with each artist looking at their portfolios. Kelly Alford, creator of the Iota Brand, had us all put together books from pages that we painted and then stitched together. 

And we laughed, a lot.

The weather didn't cooperate this year but that just gave us all more studio time and no one seemed to mind that. The rain did clear up long enough so we could get a group shot on the beach.

Special THANKS to Laura and Kelly for being this years speakers.
A big THANKS to all of you for coming!
xo, Paula, Chad, Phyllis and Lori

This years awesome group!

The rain started on the ride down. Fortunately, Chad had these goofy, yellow, allegedly glare reducing glasses in the car so he could navigate us safely from Atlanta to Florida through the torrential rain. I was just happy that it was him driving and not me. 

Everyone painted large sheets of pattern then cut them into smaller pages that were then stitched into books. Everyone was hooked and said that they intended to make more of these.

For some of the pages, we wrote without lifting the pen. It created a beautiful pattern and was more difficult to get the hang of than you would think. 

Again, a big thank you to all of you who attended-
and as Mary Anne would say..........YOU HAVE BEEN JAMMED!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Story Behind the Art-Robin Davis

Welcome to the second installation of "The Story Behind the Art".

If you are new to my blog, The Story Behind the Art will take you on a little journey into the STORY behind a particular piece of art created by one of my talented friends from around the globe. The stories are posted on the first Wednesday of each month.

This months featured artist is Robin Davis and I am very happy to share her work with you. Robin and I were both licensed artists for The Lang Companies many, many moons ago. I was always in awe of her amazing work and was, therefore, a little intimidated to actually meet her. 
She and Dan DiPaolo were coming to town for the Atlanta Gift Show several years ago and I decided to have an artist meet and greet at my studio, which is just a couple of blocks from the Gift Mart. 
As luck would have it, an ice storm hit, Dan didn't make it in and Robin was coming over early. All I kept thinking was "What if we don't hit it off? and I hope this isn't one of those awkward meetings". Well it wasn't, and she has been sleeping on my sofa when it's gift show time ever since.

So, without further adieu, here is my friend, singing partner and fellow lover of wine night Robin Davis......................

The Story Behind the Art - Robin Davis

My son was born in year 2000. His arrival changed the trajectory of my career in the most amazing and creative way. Most of my life, I loved doodling, sketching and painting, gravitating towards characters. As my son grew, so did my love for drawing silly
yet sweet and kind little Monsters and Robots.

paula joerling

When Connor was into Dinosaurs, that’s what I drew, but I have to say, when he got into Robots, I was in CREATIVE HEAVEN! I think seeing me in the studio all day, also made him want to draw and paint. We sure did a lot of that together, and I have boxes of his art to prove it. I just couldn’t part with any of it. I know Mom’s out there are nodding & giggling with me on that one, LOL!

One of my favorite doodles from Connor still hangs in my studio, it’s a little robot he drew at age 3. If you look at my sketches and paintings of Robots, you can see Connor’s influence on me. Life really does show us the way…my artwork is a reflection of the wonderful world that surrounds me.

paula joerling
Paula Joerling

Anyone that knows me, would probably say "I’m just a big kid with a big heart”. I think having my son, made me feel like it was ok to be “silly” and boy can I be silly, especially around kids! So I’ve always tried to put that sweet silliness quality into my characters as I create them.

paula joerling

Over the years as my son grew, so has my career and art. At times, during my Licensing career I was working on assignments very different from my Children’s Art. I branched into Home Decor & Gift design but my heart continues to bring me back to my characters and ROBOTS. These days, I can’t stop creating them. I’m just having so much fun playing with paper and rusty metal bits and bobs, whatever I can find. Even my friends and family bring me rusty things they discover in their garages or on their travels. Who would have thought someone would get so excited to see a bucket of rusty tin and metal, but I DO, I REALLY DO! I see, eyes and noses, arms and legs when I look at the parts. I start creating the Robot in my head! 

Once I create a Robot, I photograph them. Using my computer I can then add backgrounds and text. The words I choose are always about encouragement for my son.  Words of promise, hope, support and reassurance that everything is going to be ok. That being UNIQUE and ONE of a KIND like every one of my robots is INCREDIBLE! Most importantly that “The Sky’s the limit” there’s an entire UNIVERSE out there to EXPLORE and my hopes and dreams for him, is that he explores IT ALL!

paula joerling

Children really do make my heart BIG! But maybe my Robots aren’t just for kids, maybe they are for THE KID IN ALL OF US!

paula joerling

Hugs Robin

Want to know more about Robin? Just follow the links.

Website-Robin Davis Studio

Follow her on Instagram

Check out her Blog

She has a Facebook page
Robin Tweets