Getting Down to Business

Hello!

When I decided to start Summer Child Designs, I thought it would be something I’d wade into slowly and carefully. Maybe just get my feet wet and see how it feels…and go from there.

This week I think it’s safe to say I’ve dived in.

I knew this work was for ideal for me because it is something I am actively doing as much as I am thinking about it.  I enjoy the process, I love the work. It’s challenging and creative and entertaining… But I enjoy a lot of things, and can be creative in a lot of ways. So what’s the difference?

The difference is paperwork.

Let me put it this way — I had for years considered and thought about going to grad school for philosophy. But when it came to actually doing the work, taking the GRE, applying to schools. Nope, no thanks. I just never did it, even if at the time I thought it was what I was meant to do. Yet for Summer Child Designs, I’m actually doing the paperwork. I’m doing the research and making the contacts and spending afternoons reading IRS and tax forms (things I’m pretty sure they don’t teach you in art school, but totally should!). I mean, somethings don’t change — if I ever need a values statement it will probably declare my aversions to talking on the phone, as a general rule. But fortunately there is email and FAQs pages, form instructions and discussion boards. It all sounded completely overwhelming, and incredibly official, but I remain undeterred. I’m doing this legit.

Because you never know what you are capable of, when you are willing to learn and take things one step at a time. And from here…well, the water’s  fine.

-Belinda

November Things

Hello!

I’m pretty excited for November. I’m not the kind of person that likes to jump from Halloween to Christmas. I don’t have to be super into Thanksgiving to still appreciate stuffing more than is healthy. (I love bread so much I have socks that profess it.) Plus, I’m ready for hot tea, sweaters, and curling up with a good book. Mmhmmm. I’ll probably spend too many hours playing Banished, which will then inspire me to read some classic novel (like maybe finish Anne of Avonlea), and then I’ll want to buy frilly blouses on Modcloth (that I will never wear comfortably, sooo not my style!). It’s like “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” but it starts with an uneventful simulation game, and ends with poor fashion decisions… Yay November!

I’m also excited because word on the street is that y’all like Etsy. So, I’m working to make that happen for Summer Child Designs.  We’re talking a handmade extravaganza! Illustrations, linocuts, and… well, that’s it. But still! It should be pretty sweet, if I do say so myself. Keep posted for updates when that is all available– currently anticipating it being open by the end of the month!

Yay November!

-Belinda

Halloween

Hello!

Halloween as an adult is weird. Halloween on a Monday is weirder. Last year, we celebrated by camping in the freezing cold and rain. It was a lot more fun than it sounds, and definitely as creepy as expected (thank goodness I hadn’t watched The Blair Witch Project again until this year, or I would have totally bailed). But now it feels freakishly more like Summer than it does Fall, with a bit of a heatwave, so that’s definitely not helping the spirit of it!

This year I’m really giving scary movies a try. I’ve seen a few before, but none of the really classic ones. It’s amazing how campy and ridiculous most of them are now, having not been traumatized by them as a child. It’s like making an adult watch Star Wars for the first time — Yoda as a puppet is hard to take seriously. Same goes for Freddy Krueger, apparently. Not bad, just not what I expected.

I think I’ll still always prefer the magic of Halloween over the guts and gore. It’s all about the humor and whimsy. Let’s be honest, nothing beats Hocus Pocus for Halloween. Nothing! …Harry Potter, Scooby-Doo, Abbott & Costello. That’s where it’s at for me. So it makes sense then that I would make these two creatures I’m calling the “Spooky Buds.” They are silly and probably kinda lame. But I like ’em!

-Belinda

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October Feast!

Hallo!

So, I know nothing about St. Pat’s, barely pass as an Irish-ish-descendant, and still have one entire day each year dedicated to drinking beer and eating cabbage and meat. I realized it was time this October to honor my somewhat-German-roots by… drinking beer and eating cabbage and meat.

Huh…

Anyway, we hosted a small Oktoberfest! But we called it OctoberFEAST because it was as much about the food. Which, by the way, sauerbraten is delicious. Juniper berries, however, were a pain to locate in our local snooty grocery store. But worth it, for the recipe. (Best to avoid though, if you don’t want your house to smell like vinegar for a day.)

My own contribution to the festivities was limited. My husband did most of the cooking and work. I’m a terrible hostess. I rented Eurotrip for entertainment. I didn’t even remember that the whole movie is about them trying to get to Germany, that was just luck. I also made german-chocolate cake, which is apparently not German. Who knew??

Well, my friends, apparently…

I also made this nifty little graphic:

octoberfeast-for-blog

And then failed to show it to anyone or use it! I thought, “hey, I could totally create a design for the get-together, treat it like a classy little dinner party, it would be so cute and ‘pinterest-y’!” And then I didn’t do any of it, because I was too busy cleaning house like a mad-woman on a rampage. Who has time for cute party decor, really?! I bought a trio of tiny decorative squashes on the juniper berry hunt and that was going above-and-beyond, for me. (Let’s just be honest, this isn’t going to be that kind of blog.)

But I’d say the Fest was a success, all the same!

October is the best!

-Belinda

The Prologue Collection

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Hello again!

Today I’m so excited to announce my first big project. The above is a surface pattern collection, which I designed in the last month. It’s 6 patterns, with two different color-varieties of each, for a total of 12 prints. What started out as a side project to simply learn to use Illustrator, has turned into a source of excitement and enthusiasm for a whole new type of design for me. If you know me personally, you already know I’m not a “go-getter” by any means. I’m more of a “sit on the couch and ask the Xbox to feed me nachos” person. But I’ve had so much fun learning, and creating, that I haven’t wanted to stop. It’s been awesome (and exhausting)!

Anyway, the above slideshow has all the patterns available to preview. I didn’t really have like a single objective for this collection– no unified theme, alas. There is a single color palette involved that I think helps make it feel more like a collection versus a pile of random stuff. But mostly I just wanted to have fun with it, since it is my first attempt at surface pattern design. Not every pattern I made so far was included, so I’ll definitely be sharing additional collections in the future.

Should you like what you see, I’m also excited to announce that I’ve opened an online shop to offer these patterns on various goods (e.g., coffee mugs, throw pillows, tote bags, art prints, etc.). Even better? Right now there is a sale! Consider it a grand opening event! Visit Society6.com/SummerChildDesigns to check it out.

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**The sale is good through October 9th (11:59 pm PST). I do not control the sale, so I can’t extend it if you miss out, and the link above is the only way to access the sale.**

-Belinda

P.S. – for a bit more backstory… it was CreativeLive.com’s Design Surface Patterns from Scratch course that has taught me everything I now know about pattern design. The instructor, Bonnie Christine, is an inspiration. So I would be remiss if I didn’t mention her awesomeness… after all, I didn’t even know what surface pattern design was just a month ago. A month!!

P.S.S.- I’m going to go take a nap now.

Hello and Welcome!

I’m Belinda Schlueter-Sauls, and welcome to Summer Child Designs. I’m impressed you found my little corner of the internet, and I hope you enjoy it.

There is an About section, if you haven’t already seen it. To expand on it, briefly: I’m a twenty-something artist, writer, and pseudo-philosopher (or “philosophaster”). I’m super-happily married and we have one spoiled & evil cat, Yardley. I have a part-time job as a production artist for a wine shop, and spend the other half of my day working on projects for Summer Child Designs.

A quick list of some favorite things that may somehow explain my personality: Banished (video game), Settlers of Catan (board game), the barbarian Poppy (my former Dungeons & Dragons character), Playing House (TV show), Freaks & Geeks (TV show), David Hume (philosopher), Courtney Barnett (musician), Talking Heads (band), Anne of Green Gables (book), Speaker for the Dead (book), Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones (movies), cream ale (beer) and coffee (coffee!).

So that’s me.

As for Summer Child Designs… It’s really a dream come true to be able to identify as an artist. I keep picturing an awkward nine year old version of myself, frizzy-haired like Hermione with colored pencils instead of a wand, learning that she will one day become an artist. She’s jumping for joy and grinning like a maniac; she can’t believe it’s true. And neither can I. But somehow (i.e., with the support of my husband, family, and friends), it’s happening. Summer Child Designs is the expression of my influences and aspirations. It’s demonstrated in: illustrations, stories, linocut prints, photographs, color palettes, discussions of ethical theories, surface pattern designs, graphic tees, and geekery. It is authentic and true to me. All of it…

…and I can’t wait to share it with you!

-Belinda