My name is Erika. I'm in love with making art, collecting old things & chasing after my two kiddos. This blog is a peek into my happy accidents & plots of total world domination.


Newly Engaged Engaged Excitement + Giveaway #Targetwedding

Friday, January 31, 2014

Newly Engaged Engaged Excitement + Giveaway #Targetwedding

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target.

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target.

A Tiny Rocket and Target are teaming up for a $25 gift card giveaway!  Since we are fast approaching wedding season, what is the best thing about getting engaged? Um hello, its a no brainer - its doing the gift registry.  Who doesn't love walking around with a scan gun and picking out their own presents? The best thing about registering with Target is that they everything from practical things to fun things, like that fancy mixer you have always wanted or maybe that amazing new camera to snap all the new memories you plan on making or how about those matching his and hers bikes.  Target has it all.

To enter all you have to do is visit Target Wedding Registry and leave a comment here telling me which product you love the most and leaving the URL. Additional entries please see raffle copter for more details.  Good luck!

This is a sponsored post but the opinion and subject matter are my own.  Content and/or other value was provided by our partner Target.  Follow along on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #targetwedding a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Instagram Challenge for February

Since February is right around the corner, my challenge for this month is to make art everyday the month of February.! yay! Every day, on Instagram I going to do some sort of drawing or sketch.. the pretty and the ugly.  I am looking forward to seeing what happens because I really want to push myself and get out of my comfort art zone and share more of my doodles.

Doing a monthly challenge is a great way to get more miles on my sketchbook and it gives me the chance to maybe even do some experiments, use different techniques, try new mediums and explore different subject matter.  Making art everyday is a great way to hone some new skills and dust off some of those old skills.

I would love for you to follow the journey! and if you want to make art too! I would love to see it. The hashtag for the event is #atinyrocket .

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Paleo Yellow Cupcake Recipe with Valentine's Day Topper Printable

Lately, I have been totally craving yellow cake.  Yellow cake makes me think of spring and sunshine which is just around the corner.  I am always trying to figure out good healthy alternatives that don't feel like I am eating healthy and this cupcake recipe is the perfect sweet treat.  and let me tell you, if you make these cupcakes the smell factor is off the chain.  Mmm.. I can still smell the delicious whaff from the oven, trust me it's good. 

Since I made cupcakes, of course I had to make sort of fun V-day topper! I don't know what it is about making a topper, it makes the cupcake extra special and Nora sees the topper, claps her hands and starts stabbing the cupcake.  :) download here


1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
3 eggs- 
1/4 cup palm shortening or vegan shortening
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Makes 7-8 cupcakes

1/2 cup coconut butter
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 cup of sliced almonds


Cupcake:  Heat Oven to 350 degrees.  Throw in all the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour into cupcake wrappers and then it's oven time. These took about 25 minutes in my oven but if you have a hot oven- check around 22 minutes.  Take out of oven and place on a cooling rack.

Frosting: Mix it all together in either a blender or mixer- this is a really light frosting. Take a knife and smear on the top of cupcakes.  Then take sliced almonds and put them in a bowl.  Take your cupcake and dunk it in the almonds.  


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

DIY Easy Valentines Day Card Idea

This is the first Valentines Day that Nora could make something special for her dada and her new favorite activity is coloring! I wonder if she gets that from me. I can give her a few crayons and paper and it keeps her busy for at least 30-45 minutes and for an 18 month old that is completely priceless. She worked pretty hard in creating this master piece and I even let her use fancy paper- which I think she took very seriously.


  • Crayons
  • Fancy Paper- if you choose- I used water color paper for the card and then just regular printer paper for the photo.
  • Sharpie
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • a talented toddler- or any toddler will do. technically most dogs have the brain of a 2 year old- so dogs are more than welcome to participate.
  • some sort of cookie


  • Have your talented toddler color her artistic masterpiece on the water color paper.
  • Print out a photo of your toddler and then cut it out.
  • Cut your water color paper into your card size and fold in half.
  • Glue your photo onto paper
  • Take your sharpie and out line a heart on your toddler.  I took the picture of Nora holding a heart  but it's not necessary- you can just draw one in.
  • Then allow to dry and reward your toddler and yourself with that cookie you have in your supply list.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Art Love: Robert Roth

Wow! I know this paintings are surprisingly simple but the rich use of color and restraint of depth is pretty stunning. These paintings make me want to just run away and go on vacation and then sit on a beach with a large fruffy cocktail with an umbrella.  Care to join?  Robert Roth is a Ohio based painter that has a lot of fancy credentials and his work is in the private collections of AMEX, The New Yorker, and Columbia University.

Friday, January 24, 2014


8X10 Oil on Wood Panel
Happy Friday! This is my first painting of the new year and it feels good to finally finish it.  October- December, I am usually so busy with painting from the holidays that I usually take a little bit of studio break after to let the creative energy flow. This record shop has been in Portland for a long time and some of the best neon lights.  It was pretty fun to paint but the posters and records on the walls and windows were a total challenge. 

This weekend is going to be a semi boring one- Tim and I both working on our work but I made him promise me that we would do some sort of family activity that involves hot chocolate and donuts.  It seems like once the holidays wear off- all I want to is be in my studio and make stuff. 

What are you up to this weekend?


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Drawing Basics: Paper

For an artist having a sketchbook or the right paper is an art making essential.  It's the best way to record an idea, plan a project or try a new technique and it's a great way to archive your artistic thoughts.  We previously talked about finding the perfect drawing pencil and now its time to find the right paper because there are a lot to choose from and each type of paper has a different purpose.

The recipe for making paper is pretty simple: it's wood, water, and energy. Sounds pretty simple but the simplest things are usually the most complicated- right? The main step in the paper making process that determines the type of paper is the pulping process which is the process that separates the wood fiber.  The wood pulp is then pressed into sheets creating.. yes you guessed it! paper!  The more expensive paper is generally made from rag fibers, cotton, or linen and the lower quality are part rag and chemically treated wood pulp.  The weight of the paper is determined by the thickness or sturdiness of the paper.

Now my personal favorite for my sketchbooks is a nice thick watercolor paper because I can draw on it, water color on it, glue things to it and if I love it enough I can tear it out an put into a frame and the paper is still firm.

Do you have a paper preference?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DIY:For the Love of Pug Tshirt- with printable

Nora loves her pug Winston.  They have a very special connection, he often guards her and sneaks in big sloppy kisses.  I knew I wanted to make her some sort of cheesy pug T-shirt.  Once she put on the T-shirt, she immediately hugged herself and said Hi Winston.  She wore is at mom's group and all the kids were running up to her and pointing at her belly.  It was pretty adorable! So figured why not share the Winston love- I mean he is pretty dapper and quite the pug. :)

Iron On Fabric Transfers

1.  Print out the printable onto the transfer paper- its should look like its in reverse.  Here is the pug printable.
2.  Lay out your shirt- not on an ironing board- but a hard surface.
3.  Lay out your printable onto the T-shirt and then press the hot iron firmly on the transfer- no wiggling.  Keep the iron on the one spot for like 45 seconds and then lift and move the iron to the next spot.
4. Thats it! Now you have a sharp looking T-shirt.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nora: 18 months

I can not believe Nora is 18 months. She is growing by the day and turning into quite the little person. She is the sweetest and softest little toddler and has the best laugh.  I love her.

Weight: 26 lbs- I know huge.

Size: Wearing 18 months to 2T clothing.  She has a very large, adorable and especially tickle-y toddler belly.

Eat: Favorite Foods are the classic mac and cheese, french fries, and loves salad.  I never really heard of a toddler liking salad but she gets pretty excited to eat the lettuce.  Least favorite foods are currently peas and bananas.

Sleep: Little did I know, that at 18 months it starts a sleep regression.  Tim and I were pretty strict about setting up a bed time routine and she typically goes to bed at around 7 and then wakes up around 8.  But now she lays down in her crib at bed time, cries and cries until we come into her room, and then once she knows we are in her room she laughs and lays back down- that little trickster. 

Baby Milestones: Lots of words! It surprises me how much more she understands everyday and when she pops out with a new word and even though it's not very clear- she has started scolding the dogs.  Now the pugs are trouble makers and she tells them to be quiet. lol She has mastered pointing to her nose and toes. I think my favorite thing is she starting to play pretend with her little stuffed animals and creatures and has also started coloring.  She also has learned how to drag the kitchen chairs around the kitchen to get into her favorite drawers.. like the knife and silverware drawer. 

Loves: Ugh my phone and ipad. She claps for herself when she plays a game a beats a level. She loves any sort of writing utensil especially pens or markers. and I have already had to clean up crayon from the walls.     

Hates: Still hates the vacuum. Even the sight of it she gets pretty upset.  I didn't realize that a vaccuum was so traumatic.   

Monday, January 20, 2014

Art Love: Mike Hollingshead

Photographer Mike Hollingshead is a storm chaser.. pretty exciting don't you think? I think the words "storm chaser" sounds exhilarating doesn't it? I think it's the danger factor.  I don't know if I could actually jump into my car and just go straight into the danger zone but I do love these photos.  He clocks over 20,000 miles a year and travels all over America's heart lands. The skies are pretty incredible- I never knew clouds could do that.  His work has been featured in movies and tv- and my personal favorite was on the finale for Dexter

For More of my Art Inspiration :)! - Follow me on Pinterest 


Friday, January 17, 2014

DIY: Geometric Magnets

Wood pieces- I got these wood pieces at Micheals in a pack with squares and triangles.
Black and White Acrylic Paint
Matte Acrylic Varnish
Painter's Tape
 Paint Brush

1.  Paint all white the wood pieces and let dry.
2.  Tape off whatever you want to be left white.
3.  Paint the black on and paint away from the tape and let dry.
4.  Once dry, glue on the magnets and then you have awesome magnets.

Happy Friday! Since I made Nora a magnetic chalkboard yesterday, I thought she needed magnets to go with it.  This was a super easy project and I always think easy projects are the best projects.  This weekend the rain is supposed to let up and I was going to get some well needed art time.

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

DIY: Hanging Magnet Chalkboard

Nora has been obsessed with magnets and our fridge doesn't have a magnetic front.  We have magnets on the side of our fridge but she likes to tear down all the magnets as quickly as possible and then carefully put them back up or hide them under the stove. Her favorite letter so far is the letter H.  She is going through a complete mommy phase which I totally love but I need a little something to keep her busy and away from the stove. Stove is danger right?  I also thought it would be good to have the magnetic board over a door because then it's a little less permanent and I could easily remove it when I wanted to.  So far she loves it and the pugs have already figured out how to jump up and get the magnets in their mouth. 

A piece of wood- I went to Home Depot and got piece of scrap wood for free and they even cut it to the exact size I wanted.
Magnet Paint
Chalk Paint
1 over the door hangers- if you want to hang it over a door
Professional Gallery Picture Framing Wire- its wire that's coated in a thick plastic
Wire Cutters
Screw Driver
Picture Hanging Hooks

1.  Lightly Sand and then prime your wood- if necessary.
2. Paint 5 coats of Magnet Paint.  The instructions on the can said to do 3 but it wasn't very magnetic-y so I did a few extra coats
3.  Wait to dry and then apply chalk paint.
4.  Now you take your Picture Hanging Hooks and I screwed them in 2 inches in on either side.
5.  Then I took the gallery wire and looped it through the hook and then wrapped it around the wire.  Then you scrunch the wire down to create those perfect ringlets around the wire.
6.  Hang on your Closet Hanger.
7.  Yay! Good job :) Mission Accomplished.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Free Library Card Valentine's Day Printables

Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner I thought why not work on Nora's Valentine's Day cards. Yes, I am that mother. After much consideration for appropriate Valentine's Day cards this is the one Tim and I agreed upon.. and yes, Tim vetoed a few of the cards because he thought they were a little too grown up for a 18 month old.  I tried to explain to him that these are the years we can do whatever we want as parents because they soon start talking back and I can already see the eye rolls and the words mom you are so embarrassing.  :)  I printed these out on fancy paper to give them the extra library card vibe and viola Valentine's Day success.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Art Love: Kevin Cooley

Happy Tuesday! I stumbled across these gorgeous photos by Kevin Cooley. He is a fine arts photographer that lives and works in New York City and this series called "Controlled Burns." I think the smoke looks so velvety and beautiful- almost like a controlled chaos.  I think I could stare at these all day because it's almost like you can see different things almost like watching big fluffy clouds on a summers day.  I just adore the grouping of them all together with their big plumes of smoke. 

For More Dazzling Art Inspiration- Follow me on Pinterest 


Monday, January 13, 2014

Drawing Basics: Pencils

Every artist has their own special drawing utensils or weaponry :). Going into the art supply store it's pretty overwhelming with all of the choices of what you can draw with- because you can draw with practically anything.  Here are a few tips on how to discover the best drawing pencils for you.

Pencils are made of graphite and clay.  The numbers written on the side of the pencil is a European scale for H being the hardest and B is the softest and blackest.  The harder the pencil is the more clay the pencil has in it which it why it draws more gray. There are about 20 degrees on the scale and if you have a 9H pencil the hardest pencil and the most gray and if you use a 9B it is the softest with the most amount of black. If you use a #2 yellow pencil the European code is HB and the American scale is the #2.

Typically if you want to start drawing the best range is usually to stay in is the B's and the hardest pencil would be a 4H because going with a harder pencil can leave dents in the paper.  For my drawings I like the yellow #2 and a 2B or 4B.

Have you been drawing lately?


Friday, January 10, 2014

Post Partum Work Out Essentials

I don't really like to talk about working out or even exercising because guess what? I don't like it. I don't like to exercise.. Hate to sweat.. I don't like being out breath and I what I hate most of all? Running. Yep, running.  Last year I had a secret resolution and that it was to find my fitness.  This time last year I had a 6 month old and I still had a lot of baby weight to lose and I was miserable.  I just felt awful.  I know labor is a big thing but I really didn't think it would be that hard to lose the baby weight or even bounce back to my original self.. and boy was I totally wrong.  I blame watching too many episodes of 16 and Pregnant because those girls after having their babies look like they never were even pregnant.  I decided to join a mommy work out group that I could bring my daughter with me and I started going at least 3 times a week. Now I can't even believe it's been a year but I've lost all of the baby weight plus an extra 15 lbs under my original pre pregnancy weight and I even made some new friends. 

I am pretty proud of myself that I stuck with it for a whole year because I feel like I am in the best health of my life and guess what I had a baby.  I never thought I would be someone that actually went to work out on a regular basis and I am still working on liking exercise and giving myself teeny tiny more fitness goals.. like running a 5k.  Here is my favorite gear post baby.

1. Nike Frees and they are hands down my favorite shoe to run in- they are so incredibly light it's almost like you aren't even wearing shoes.
2/3/4 Of course you need a super cute outfit to work out in.  I noticed that when I actually got real work out cloths that I work out harder and better.
5. Before I had Nora I did a lot of research on the best type of stroller.  I really wanted a jogger and the Bob is expensive but it's worth every penny- its the best to run with, it glides on the ground and it's not very bumpy.
6. JJ Cole Bundle Me stroller sleeves are amazing- I can't believe someone thought of these because it is pure genius- its like a little sleeping bag for the stroller that you can just tuck your baby/toddler inside- perfect for rainy or cold weather.
7. Now a water bottle is essential and I discovered they make water bottles now that keep your ice in the bottle for as long as 24 hours. Amazing right?
8/9  Our favorite treats, that I can easily pack in the stroller and I don't know how I could survive with out them.

Happy Friday! Have an amazing weekend! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

DIY: Shoe Box Cardboard Notebook

Nora (Eleanor) is at that 18 month age that she just loves pens, pencils, markers, crayons, and chalk.. pretty much any type of drawing or writing utensils.  She has already starting drawing on the walls, fireplace, floors and even the pugs... Winston has a couple of big black Sharpie marks on him and she has been trying to feed him chalk.  I hope chalk isn't too dangerous.. it is Ikea chalk after all. :)

Shoe Box- I used a fancy Converse Shoe Box
Paper- I used graph paper
X-Acto Knife.
Needle with a big eye.
Bakers Twine or you can use Embroidery Thread
Hole Punch
Peanut Butter Cups

1.  Unfold your shoe box or make it flat. The Converse shoe box was easy to unfold and they detach on the inside to make flat.
2.  I used the very bottom of the shoe box with the shoe print.  The crease lines on the bottom of the box- I used as my guide to cut with my X-Acto knife.
3.  Once you have your bottom of your shoe box- it should be a rectangle.  Cut that in half with your X-Acto knife.
4.  Take your ruler and place it on the edge of the short side and poke a little hole at every half inch. like shown in image 3.  Do that to both cardboard pieces.
5.  Measure half inch dots on your paper but mark it with a pencil, then hole punch, like in image 4.
6.  Cut your paper to fit inside it's little notebook home.
7. Thread your needle and knot the end of the thread.  Line up the cardboard and paper to how you want it to look when your finished.  Start in the inside back cardboard and thread out and loop it around.  Then thread through all the holes in that line- so you will have two loops- when your need comes around for that second loop on the inside of the card board go to the next loop like in image 4.
8.  Once you have reached the other end knot it off.  Then draw a fancy letter or not so fancy letter on the front.
9.  Wrap the spine with the duct tape and that's it!
10.  Enjoy a hearty helping of peanut butter cups, which I indulged with Trader Joes Dark Chocolate ones and they were positively yummy.

The best thing about making a little notebook like this that it fits perfectly in a purse or diaper bag for Nora's art sessions in the stroller.  Nora is also loving anything that is non baby because she is a grand old age of 18 months- so this was the perfect little notebook for her.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Art Love: Oleg Oprisco

Oleg Oprisco is a Kiev, Ukraine based surrealist photographer.  I love how he uses such a soft and muted pallet with a posed portrait while playing with perspective. It's pretty amazing how he takes you into some sort of dreamy world. Oleg starting working in a photo lab as a teenager and then started shooting weddings, and gradually he found himself in commercial photography. He has been working on this current series since 2009.        

For more awesome art inspiration, follow me on Pinterest

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Goals for 2014

Well I thought I should write down my goals for the year because then they will actually happen right? 

1.  Run my first 5k- eek there I said it.  
2.  Read a new book a month.  Now before I had a baby this would have been an easy goal because I love to read but now having my daughter I have been listening to books on tape but I miss reading and seeing the words.
3.  Quit Television.. Now I don't mean completely quit television.. I am going on a 60 day fast from watching tv because I love it sooo much and I love reality television.. Judge Judy.. Real Housewives you will be missed.  I'm two days in and I've only thought about watching television about thirty times.
4.  Share my ugly art work.. I do a lot of drawing and painting that I don't share because I think it's bad and this year I want to just make it and show it.  I had this goal last year and didn't do it, but I know I should.
5.  Re-learn how to sew. I used to sew some of my own clothes in high school  and recently dug out my old sewing machine but I want to make some stuff :) not sure exactly what but I want to make something..

Monday, January 6, 2014

Welcome 2014!

Happy New Years! We are in 2014 and I am officially back from vacation and let me tell you it felt pretty great to unplug.. it also helps that there wasn't much access to internet.  We went out to the coast and stayed with my parents and both my sisters came out too. The weather was terrific and it's clamming season which during clamming season we all put on our big rubber boots, grab a clamming gun and then put in a little elbow grease and dig out those clams. We took lots of long walks on the beach, drank lots of wine, ate our weight in fresh sea salt french bread pastrami and cheese sandwiches and home-made potato chips and of course my sisters and I stayed up late watching scary movies. It was the best, especially when during a scary movie my sisters kids put a sheet over their heads and ran into the room scaring the crap out of us. 

One thing I love most about the new year is that feeling of a fresh start and that special something in the air of new.  I've started making loads of lists and have some art projects on the horizon but am starting a few new ventures.   This past year has been crazy because I am a mother to now 18 month old and I can't believe how much she has grown and how sweet she is. I have never experienced someone needing me so much, and I love it so much. I love hearing her call me mama and her hugs and her giggles are my favorites. I keep thinking to myself I need to remember all of these moments because before I know it she will be a teen ager and she will no longer give me hugs willingly and she probably won't laugh at all my dumb jokes.  I hope for this year especially with my daughter that the time doesn't pass to quickly- so I can remember the simple memories.. like the ones we share an ice cream cone or when she sits in my lap while I fold laundry or when she leans in close and honks my nose. 

Happy New Years! May your year be filled with lots of luck (where preparation meets opportunity) and imagination (the action of forming new ideas, images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses).    

Oh and PS- My blog got a little make over during the holidays with a new snazzy banner, buttons and I even updated the about me page. whew! I'm glad I worked on my vacation :).  Cheers and Happy Monday!

© Erika Lee Sears