Sunday, August 14, 2016

Studio Sunday - New Stencils Coming!

Wow, I can't believe it has been a month almost since I posted last.  My studio is currently packed up again and stored in the corner of my room due to the master bathroom renovation going on, which is in my bedroom.  I've got to hang in for a few weeks until things return to normal, but I managed to stay busy with watercolor and drawing this weekend.  My Rotational Designs are covered right now and I'm diligently working on my e-book so more on that soon.

I'm excited to tell you that there are new stencils coming out that I designed for!  Can't wait and I will share as soon as they are in stock!!!  For now, here is a little artwork from this weekend.  It took me a couple of hours to draw this stem (I know, I know, slowww) but I colored it up in Illustrator today and I'm pretty happy with it.

Then onto some watercolor work.  I think there is potential, just need a lot more practice!!!

We are in for more 90's and humidity today and I will be happy when that breaks for sure.  I hope everyone is managing to stay cool!  Have a great rest of your weekend!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Studio Sunday and Rotational Design

Wow!  I can't believe I haven't posted here for a month!  It has been a little hectic and then I was away for the 4th of July.  Still, no excuse!  I am busy writing what I think will turn out to be my first E-Book on Rotational Design with Stencils!  I get more excited about this every day as I experiment with design ideas to show and teach.

This piece that I created yesterday utilizes one of my center shape stencil designs from Medallion Master Template No. 6 and includes free-form rotational design stenciling.  The designs created this way can be used as is or they can be the foundation for much more hand-drawn development.

I have so much to show you that I know will excite you and get you inspired to sink your teeth into this process.  The techniques I show you can be used in conjunction with my Medallion Master Templates, or not.  I will provide you with a list of all the tools you need to get started.  The best part is the more stencils you have to work with, the more opportunities you have to create unlimited designs.

We are going to explore line and shape and push it to the max!  Not all designs need to be circular in nature.  I will provide you with a template you can create yourself as well as easy instructions on how to create designs in other shapes.

There's going to be a whole lot of layering going on, too!  No matter whether you like watercolor, acrylic, colored pencils or other coloring tools, you can use them all with this technique.

And designs can tell stories rather than being beautiful semi-geometric in nature.  I will give you plenty of design ideas and once you get started, you won't be able to stop!

Here are a few more shots of the artwork I created for Zendoodle Workshop Magazine.  

I can't wait to share all this with you so I'm working hard to get it completed but I expect it could take another month.  I will keep you updated of the status.  Thanks as always for reading and I hope you have a magical and creative weekend.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Studio Sunday - Week 5 of Creating Collections for Home Decor and HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful Father's Day here in the northeast!!!  Tons of sunshine and a lot of reminiscing!  Happy Father's Day to all the Dads I know out there because I know it's one of the biggest, most important jobs you will ever have in your life xoxo

Finally, I'm finished and at the risk of the possibility that someone infringes on my copyrights, I'm sharing the entire body of work with you here.  This was one of the best workshops I have ever taken!  It made me disciplined and happy about creating a huge body of work that I can honestly say I am proud of.  Enjoy it but please remember, I created this artwork and I am publishing it on this blog for viewing purposes only.  None of the artwork or images posted here can be used by anyone other than myself for any reason.  None of this artwork can be used without express written permission by me, Margaret Applin, and requires a signed license agreement be in place.

Thank you - Margaret

I should have lots going on next weekend so stay tuned!  Have a fantastic Father's Day and a super creative week!!!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Studio Sunday and Week 4 of Creating Collections for Home Decor (Lilla Rogers)

Tea Towel C2016 MargaretApplin Designs

Wow!  Everything here is covered in pollen!  Today the sun is finally shining again and it feels warm and summer like outside.  I'm going to have to tear myself away from the studio and take care of things outside for a change.  I just completed week 4 of the Lilla Rogers and Margo Tantau workshop, Creating Collections for Home Decor, and I have been working every moment of every weekend creating art for products.

This week we had to create hand lettering, which was a challenge for me, but I think I pulled through ok.  Here are a couple of trinket dishes where I exhibited my fonts.  Of course, I can't just write out a word, I have to create an entire alphabet so I can use it again and again!!!
Trinket dish C2016 Margaret Applin Designs

Trinket dish C2016 Margaret Applin Designs

I love playing digitally with these fonts and here is an example of a set that I created using the Stabillo Aquarelle pencil and water and the different looks you can get with it in Photoshop and Illustrator.  I love the last version where I can layer color like in the trinket plates above.  I've got to go back and do the same thing in lower case so I have a complete set :)

Handmade Fonts C2016 Margaret Applin Designs

I hope you all are have beautiful weather and a super creative weekend!!!


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Studio Sunday, Lilla Rogers Workshop and New Tools

Hello!  Can I just tell you that I haven't ever drawn as much as I am currently in Lilla's Creating Collections for Home Decor workshop with Margo Tantau!!!  Three weeks into the five and I have a collection of imagery that I really love and can't wait to put it on products!  Here is another sneak peek.

I have a little transparency problem going on here but it will be fixed!  Do theses look like Holly Hocks? LOL  Once I have finalized the complete collection look book, I promise to share (at least part of it) :)  I am finally stretching myself and trying out new (for me) styles of creating imagery and loving Illustrator.  I'm playing with my sketches and spot color like below.

Still a lot of experimentation going on LOL  Anyway, it's huge fun and I would love to create a brand new portfolio with this as a jumping off point.


When Barbara and I were at the National Stationary Show in NYC, we found these:

I can't wait to try this and will be excited about how it might also add to my sketches.  Additionally, I just received this:

I've got a plan......

Stay tuned and have yourself a wonderful weekend!!!


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Studio Sunday and Zendoodle Workshop Issue 3

First things first.  Happy Memorial Day!  I'm giving thanks to all service men and women who have and still are serving our country in the name of FREEDOM!!!!  Thank you and be safe. XOXOXO

Funny story...I stopped by Barnes & Noble on the way home Friday after work and found this!!!!!

I must have missed the notification email!!!!  It's here!!  My first published article since 2014??  I'm super excited about this issue because it is jam packed with big names such as Alisa Burke, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Christine Adolph (which means that I'm super happy to be along side them in this issue)!!!  Unfortunately, the artwork that I loved the most was not included so I am showing you NOW RIGHT HERE!!!

This was taken from my cellphone but you get the idea.  When I receive the artwork back I will provide more close ups.  I want to just take a minute to talk about what the article is about.  


What is it?  I define Rotational Design as a COOL, OUTSIDE-THE-BOX technique to create layer upon layer of medallion designs UNIQUE to only YOU!  I have much more information for you but I'm short on time at the moment.  I promise a video if you promise to help it go VIRAL!!!!  Just kidding!  I promise a video UNCONDITIONALLY!!!!

Lets create mini stencils and use them to build amazing medallions!!!  THIS IS WAY BETTER THAN SPIROGRAPH!!!!  Anyway, read the article!  Don't worry if it doesn't make sense, I will explain everything step by step with much more!  You don't need my Medallion Master Template stencils to get started, but you may find you would like to have them around.  Take a look at the 7 stencil designs only at!  Stay tuned for a video release date!

I have a quick but really special story to tell you about this magazine.  While at Barnes & Noble realizing the issue was on the stand, I almost knocked over the woman standing next to me in my flurry of excitement!  This woman, Cheryl Riello, and I started a brief conversation about the magazine and my article.  What a sweetheart!!!  She and I had our own little celebration moment which I am so grateful for.  After exchanging emails, Cheryl actually asked me to personally sign the issue!  Thanks Cheryl!!!  You have no idea how much that meant to me :)  I feel like a little Rock Star!

Enough about my stuff, Cheryl is an artist herself and I was floored when I visited her blog and realized the incredible art dolls that she has made!!!!!  Please check out Cheryl's blog HERE and if you are a lover of art dolls, you will not be disappointed!!!!  I think she is Sculpty Queen!!!!  I love meeting other like-minded artists in person.  We meet soooo many artists on-line and I have great ones but sharing your artistic thoughts and ideas with those people in person is priceless.

I'm leaving you here with a tiny art peek at the workshop I'm taking, Creating Collections for Home Decor with Lilla Rogers and Margo Tantau.  This week's assignment was to create designs for fabric (you know I was all over that!)

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and try to grab some creative time for yourself!


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Studio Sunday and Lilla Rogers Workshop

Well, I bit the bullet and decided to take the MATS Creating Collections for Home Decor since it was the last time it was being run in 2016.  I've had the art licensing bug now for a while and really want to up my game.  I can't share everything but here is some of the artwork I created this weekend.

I've got to get designing again for more than one reason and this workshop will make drawing a habit and the knowledge I gain from the workshop about creating home decor products using different substrates will be priceless.

The studio isn't quite together yet, but with my desk and computer set up, I'm good to go for the time being.  One thing I am loving is forcing myself to use my big WACOM tablet.  (Thanks again, John Wren, for passing this on to me!)  I intend on using it every time I design until I get really good at it.  The goal will be to ditch the scanning of hand-drawn imagery and do it directly into the computer!  We'll see how that goes LOL

Promise to share more next week!!  I hope everyone is having a wonderfully creative weekend!!!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Studio Sunday - Quick Trip to NYC

I am slowly unpacking and organizing my new studio space!  Sorry to be away for so long :(  I'm running away with Barb from for a couple of days to attend the National Stationary Show at the Javitz Convention Center (which happens to be exactly where Surtex is)!  I'm missing that whole scene and feel like I'm ready to starting designing again.  We will see.  I promise to have new content next Sunday.  Until then, enjoy a few fun past designs!!!