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Set Sail

Happy New Year! Its takes me about a week (right on schedule here at January 7th….) to fully own and embrace the new year. A couple of days chocolate/carb/Christmas decoration hangover, a few days of nutrition/exercise/green juice guilt, a day of false starts in back to work mode and eventually a cheerful mosey into my emails, office and easel. So far so good.

I don’t do resolutions but I do like reflecting on the past year of what worked ,what didn’t, do more, do less. The do more list has PAINT written in big letters across it! I even enrolled in an online painting class to get myself in motion straight out of the gate. Again, so far so good.

This piece ,”Set Sail”, was inspired by taking what you have that moment and putting them together in a way that works. I’m a big believer in starting where you are or using what you have. I learned early on at an art festival that my suitcase full of art supplies that I had dragged from my house to an airport to a rental car to a brimming sold out class was….not helpful! I was so overwhelmed that I don’t even remember what I created other than it required little or nothing that i brought with me. Lesson learned. I’m guilty as the next for rushing to the art store for new paint or some fabulous new white pen (if you know, you know) but…mostly I use what I have, paint what I’ve collected or remember or am aligned with. It’s a lot easier.

My wish for 2022 is that we Set Sail on that creative vision. Small steps or big leaps but definitely some trajectory. Sometimes the smallest steps all put together over time can equal something pretty awesome.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and creative start to a brand new year.

Mindy xo

Boat Float

My plum pudding just arrived…from Amazon. No, I will not be baking. Somewhere in the toddler-walking stage of my small business growth, I let go of all things SHOULD and that includes a long list formerly written in calligraphy for Holiday To Dos. I still have lots of sweet traditions and decor that lights me up when I open it up every December but I’m noticeably happier during the holiday season when my to do list is short and sweet.

I like painting holiday things that inspire me in that moment. (Vs. planning in advance like i’m “supposed to” in the greeting card industry. I just can’t paint Christmas trees in April!!!)

I really love egg nog lattes and have no problem considering that a meal.

Putting a festive ribbon on any stuffed animal really jazzes the Christmas spirit up. (Ok, this just revealed that I might have a menagerie lying around….)

Oranges are your decorating friend. Two big bags of clementines just about anywhere looks like Martha did it herself.

Shop for goodies. You don’t have to do it yourself. Supporting bakeries is shopping local!

Send holiday cards…if the spirit strikes you. Obligatory tasks are the worst. I love receiving a chatty note after Christmas. I know the sender had more time and didn’t feel rushed.

Drive around and look at the lights. This gets me every year no matter where I am. There is something so sweet and magical about driving through a town or neighbourhood all lit up. It really is the little things.

Cook or bake the things that YOU like to make! I love making seafood chowder and it’s a family tradition so I’m all in. But I’m not great at doing the massive Christmas dinner anymore so i either ask for help or delegate dishes.

Gatherings. I think we’re all still in the less is more stage…?

I didn’t intend on this being a How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Leaving the Couch list but it struck me that I’m feeling quite relaxed and not worried about all the holiday things that haven’t been done. I’ll call it the gift of the long pandemic winter…the ability to just do what we can do and be happy about it. Hey, I’ve got a candle burning on a snowy afternoon and I’m feeling downright festive!

Wherever you are, I hope your list is short and sweet and feels just right for you. And if you haven’t tried an egg nog latte, I highly recommend it! Holiday cheer in a cup. xo

“Boat Float” 11×14″

All is Bright

The holidays have begun! I want to take a moment in this little space to thank you for reading, supporting, purchasing greeting cards or art or both. There’s a new-ish movement that has (thankfully) taken off called Small Business Saturday. It’s all about shopping small, shopping local and supporting your local artisans, retail shops or favorite online small business. I can tell you that a real life person smiles and does a happy dance of appreciation when they receive an order. I know this because I do!!!!

For this Thanksgiving weekend, I offer the usual free shipping, extra paper treats included with each order AND….this year, special bonus 3 free Holiday Postcards. (New postcards not on website yet..but I think you’ll like them..!) No code needed, I’ll know..I’m the not so secret Santa’s helper packing your order. Offer good until supplies run out…probably mid/late December. (And if they run out, I’ll find an equal replacement.)

I hope everyone has a safe and healthy holiday season.

Hugs through the blog!

Mindy xo

PS. You can find Holiday Cards, Fancy Envelopes and Calling Cards here. Original Paintings are available here (also free shipping and happy to ribbon and wrap if it’s a Christmas gift…)

All is Bright” 18×24″

Sweater Weather

I love October!!! All of it. The blue skies, crispy cooler weather, the rainbow of foliage, the start of rain, slow cooking, pumpkin spice lattes and yes, sweater weather. I was so inspired this year, I created an autumnal fancy parlor to escape to with that warm mug of cozy-ness and good book. (It was a loooooooong hot smoky summer. I might have been the first in line at Trader Joe’s the day they put out their pumpkin patch display….)

It’s getting darker earlier and I’m totally ok with that. We all have our season where we do best and this is mine.

Wishing everyone the beginning of a creative cozy hibernation. Be it books to read, art to paint or classes to take, it’s the season of cool walks and the beginning of new projects.

Sweater Weather” 20×24″ on 1.5″ gallery quality canvas, painted edges

(Several new paintings up on the website and Greeting Cards and Postcards are freshly updated!)

Happy October! xo

Anyone Home?

It’s been a few minutes (or months) since I’ve touched base here and I’ve missed it! How is it October 1st? Time has become so very strange in the last year and a half.

So am I home? Yes! Am I working? You bet! Painting? Errrr….yes….but. Not nearly as much as I was and like to do. Reason? BUSY with greeting cards, lots of new products and LIFE. So much life.

What’s feeling fun and creative? Exotic animals and fancy parlors. And pumpkin spice lattes and coffee table books that I’m treating myself to now and again. I’m taking an online painting class, I’m learning a new version of Quckbooks (that is neither fun nor creative but it is real life) and most of all, I am packing orders with extra TLC.

I’m not reading much but listening to a few good books, tuning into the ever expanding podcast world and loving a good show (recent winners: Yellowstone, Mare of Eastown and White Lotus).

I’m sending lots of mail, using my Fancy Envelopes and Postcards. These have become a customer fave–fun for place settings, dinner parties, small notes or lists…

It’s not an action packed update but I’ve missed writing and wanted to say hi. HI!

Thank you for following along in these tiny snippets of life where zebras walk into parlors and snail mail is very much alive.

Mindy xo

“Anyone Home” 20×24″ acrylic on 1.5″ gallery canvas

Coffee & Croissant

Bonjour! The world is opening up. Are we ready? Je pense que oui. (I think so.) Scrolling through the news is not generally joyful these days but over the last few weeks seeing photos of Paris, Rome, New York, San Francisco and LA, it gave me goose bumps to see shop owners put out chairs for their patrons…something as simple as a morning coffee and pastry seem so hopeful.

That’s it. Just a wee check in. I’m feeling the shift…every single week feels a little better.

Happy summer, friends! Hope you treat yourself to a coffee and croissant. xo

“Coffee & Croissant” 8×10″ on cradled wood panel


In my little neck of the woods, the pandemic vibe is one foot in, one foot out. We’re ok to eat in restaurants. But apart. Ok to go to the gym. But with a mask. Hugging if you’re vaccinated…elbow bump hello if not? I’m as confused as the rest of us but one thing this time has taught me is PATIENCE. Oh my…patience. What a concept in this fast paced instant gratification world. Even Insta-Cart grocery shopping is called….INSTA!

I’m no expert in patience (all friends and family members rolling their eyes right now and vigorously nodding) but….painting and owning a small business that requires constant creative growth and output needs a big dose of patience. Recently I’ve been more focused on my greeting card development, expanding my paper goods and a variety of business changes that will ultimately be better for Carpe Diem Papers. I have not been focused on developing or changing my painting. Which is where patience comes in. When I miss it so much I’m looking over at my easel and art supplies like a homesick kid, I know it’s time to sit down again. But guess what? It’s like running 5 miles after not leaving the couch for 2 weeks. It doesn’t just bounce back. It takes coaxing and patience and a little kindness to the creative ego.

I sat down hoping thinking imaging this parlor would be some portrait of a room opus…and then I thought well that’s a little ambitious. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment. I swapped out the huge canvas and scaled down to 16×20″ Ok, that’s more manageable. I found several photos that inspired me that had large focal points instead of 100 interesting things I wanted to capture. I limited my paint palette. Easier again. I was patient with myself. Somewhere between squeezing out new paint and walking away several hours later, I felt an acceptance wash over me. I painted and that was the point. The result isn’t up to me. As Julia Cameron of “The Artist’s Way” says, “You take care of the quantity, God/Universe will take care of the quality.” Or in other words, show up. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. Try new things. Do it again. xo

“Chinoisserie Salon” 16×20″ oil on canvas


“A party without a cake is just a meeting.” Julia Child

Happy Saturday, friends! I’ve just sent a fresh batch of paintings to wonderful shop and long time friend Watson Kennedy in Seattle, WA. This recent collection is a combination of FUN (because who else is needing that right now…???), fanciful with a side of sweet treats. Once I’m traveling again, his shop (and Seattle) will be on the top of the list!!!

Hope everyone has a lovely Saturday! I had a busy week–lots of new goodies came in and I’m taking a day off (sort of) and watching the world go by from the back deck. xo

P.S. The pink cake inspiration is from my beloved bakery muse…they are simply the best!


Yay, it’s May!!!! Life and work are busy these days and I’m extremely grateful for that! And….anyone else ready for some FUN??? I have the urge to jump on a trampoline, ride in a convertible, hop on a boat or watch an action flick in a theatre with popcorn!! With people!!!

This piece was definitely FUN to paint. Until it wasn’t and then it was again. I had a lovely Vincent van Gogh quote to paint in for the last block and after several botched and messy attempts (and not so fun moments), I realized it was telling me it just wanted one big bold FUN word. I thought, I can’t paint the word FUN on a big painting. Which meant I definitely had to.

Other fun stuff in this quirky stationery world? Lots of new calling cards, postcards and a few new greeting card designs. Lucky for me, fun includes making paper goodies, finding just the right postage and popping it in the mail.

Happy weekend, friends! xoxo

“Fun” 24×30″ available at Watson Kennedy in Seattle, WA 206.617.9678

Bird in Lemon Tree

Happy Monday! Painting lots of birds and branches, butterflies and blossoms and it feels quite lovely to look outside at 6:30pm and see…daylight-ish sky! It feels literally and figuratively like spring. These flora and fauna inspired pieces are making me happy. They’re part play, color exploration, memory from my years working with vintage natural history ephemera and lots of obsession with chinoisserie wallpaper.

Just a short update today. I’ll refer to the wise words of John Muir and get back to the easel.

“Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.” John Muir

Wishing everyone a great week! xo

“Bird in Lemon Tree” 12×12″ this and new series is available at elizabethW Carmel