A Year in Review – 2011

It was amazing to take some time to look back on the past year. Instead of looking back, I prefer to focus on the things I accomplished, things I am most proud of, and the good times, of course!

Art Cards

My most proud accomplishment is the weekly artist trading cards I created, focusing on something positive that happened each week. It turned into quite a collection, full of a variety of art techniques illustrating the ups and downs of life.

Graphic Design and Illustration

I am also proud of all the creative work I did in my Graphic Design and Illustration classes.

In Concept Development, I learned the importance of doing daily creative exercises.

I am most proud of the board game I designed.

We had to make our own sketchbook and fill it with ideas, inspiration, doodles and drawings. I loved this project so much that I made a few extras on my own.

I tried hard to keep the creative juices flowing after the semester ended with a Summer curriculum of creative projects.

In Advanced Computer Graphics, I had a lot of fun learning how to use Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign better.

I am proud of this logo project I designed for a mock Barista Retreat,

and the patterns to go along with that coffee art logo.

I also really loved putting together a mock-catalog layout using Roxy products. Here’s a sample of the cover:

Wilhelm-Roxy Catalog2

In Drawing for Illustration, I learned the importance of drawing regularly, which I am proud to say I’ve kept up with. I also learned how to illustrate with many different mediums.

I finished a pencil illustration around the theme of skiing, one of my favorite things to do.

I finished a pen and ink illustration of a Powder Day scene.

I finished a watercolor illustration of a trail runner.

I continued to work on expanding my drawing skills with more of these heightened drawings.

I also continued my drawing practice, working on some cool compositions inspired by everyday objects, food, and nature.

I wish I could have taken more classes in the summer and fall semesters, but sometimes destiny has other plans for us. Needless to say, I am excited (and feeling lucky) for the next semester of classes beginning in mid-January 2012.


It’s no secret that I love to sew, and I’m proud of the many projects I made this past year.

I made lots of one-of-a-kind bags, including the Artist Totes that I couldn’t keep in stock.

I put together some fun custom sketchbook kits, including reusable covers for moleskin notebooks and zippered pouches to carry drawing tools.

I made several quilts, including my turquoise quilt, a little forest quilt, a chocolate lollipop quilt, and a garden party quilt.


I was lucky to attend two rock concerts, Linkin Park and 30 Seconds to Mars!

I was proud to attend my brother’s graduation from grad school.

We were also lucky to take a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate our 10-year anniversary.

I went on a quilting retreat with 10 inspiring women.

We visited our fabulous farmers market a couple times.

I went on a spontaneous road trip to Minneapolis to visit my brother and cousin Linda.

We did a lot of hiking, especially in Fall, when we discovered some new trails.

I went on a field trip to Chicago with my fellow graphic design students to explore.

This look-back really put life into perspective for me, reminding me that I had a great year! Thank you for your continued friendship and encouragement. Here’s to a Happy New Year!

Looking Forward

Rather than setting resolutions, I am making a list of things I’m looking forward to in 2011. It’s more fun that way, and more realistic too. Why put more pressure on myself. I have the philosophy: Don’t set yourself up to fail; set yourself up to succeed! Of course, I want to keep doing a couple things I did in 2010 that worked out well (like exercising 3-4 days a week). But it’s always nice to go forward with a fresh perspective.

  • I have four classes this semester, so I am looking forward to learning more. I will be taking Drawing for Illustration, Advanced Computer Graphics, Concept Development and Digital Photography. Whew, that’s going to keep me busy!

  • I would like to do more experimenting with my bag designs. I do love to challenge myself!

  • I would really like to develop a collection for my shop that is more coordinated with the seasons. I am a very “in the moment” kind of person, so planning ahead like that could be tough. I think I’m up for it.
  • I would like to learn how to make clothes again. I haven’t made any clothing since I was a teenager, when my mom taught me how to sew.
  • I would like to offer a couple more tutorials for you.
  • I am looking forward to participating in a couple swaps throughout the year.
  • I would like to enter a couple more craft shows.

It’s always fun to imagine what the new year is going to bring us. I heard someone say recently that 2011 is the year of living dreams. It should be great fun to expand my horizons and chase a few dreams along the way!