Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Art Post

Hello lovely birds - I hope everyone had a great holiday and took some time off from work to have fun and be with their families :)

The last week and a few days have been laughably ridiculous. Met a bunch of new friends, and some people I literally have not seen since 4th or 5th grade - how crazy! It's been great to reconnect and have some good, old school adventures.

Tonight I finished two paintings - count em, two! - for my portfolio, and therefore went downstairs and rewarded myself with homemade chocolate chip cookie dough. And I was not ashamed. Now I shall go to bed and dream sweet dreams.

"The Death of the Fish"
Personal Work // Corel Painter 12 // { Larger Version }
This image started as a doodle in my sketchbook while I was listening to Florence + the Machine's "Cosmic Love", and evolved into this! The division of the water ended up being a really good challenge for me, and I had a lot of fun with the fish ;)

"Shake Him Off"
Personal Work // Corel Painter 12 // { Larger Version }
This work is a very personal work, also inspired by a Florence song. I was about ready to go to sleep one night, and was hit with this image. I stayed up til 4am painting, hahaha... I find it amusing that I was cursing that hand as I was painting it (it took me forever to feel like it was right), and now it's my favourite part of the piece. Go figure, right?
* This work has been censored, because I believe I have some younger viewers - 
the Larger Version goes to the full work; nudity warning, please advise.

As always, thank you for reading and for your support of my work! It means a lot to me :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Special Black Friday - Cyber Monday Coupon Code!

Happy Thanksgiving, lovely birds! 
Today I am thankful for the unexpected good things - big or small - in life. 

As my way of saying thanks for all of the support, I am having a SALE for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, all mushed into one delicious taco full of saving you money and getting you great stuff for yourself and your loved ones this holiday season!

Enter coupon code (at check out)
for 15% OFF your order in
 Starting at 12:01am Friday morning & continuing until 11:59pm Monday night!

My coupon is in honour of supporting our small businesses, and giving big smiles to loved ones with handmade/local gifts, and big support to our communities and independent artisans :)

Take the pledge to Shop Small and Shop Local this holiday season! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Portfolio Works - The Whale & Self Portrait

As the deadline for my portfolio is drawing closer (drawing! hah - unintended pun!), I've been working very diligently to make sure every piece has given me a healthy challenge :)

Just wanted to take a little moment to share my latest completed pieces!

"The Whale Dream"
Commissioned Work // Corel Painter 12 // { Larger Version }

"Gold Dust in Her Eyes"
Self Portrait // Watercolour, Graphite, India Ink, Gold Leaf { Larger Version }

Thanks to everyone has left kind comments on my work-in-progress pieces, and has left me encouragement! I really appreciate the support!

{ All images in this post (c) Erin McManness 2011 }

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shop Update : Illustrative Monogram Frames

I am a bargain shopper. I confess. (But I feel like I'm really not alone these days, eh?)

I never pay full-price for anything if I can help it (I feel this is a good rule for a small business owner - unless, of course, you're supporting another small business!) So when I had a special 25% off my whole purchase (including sale items WHAT!) at my craft store, I grabbed my little sister Grace and rocked that place top to bottom. We walked in with me saying, "Now Grace, we're not going to spend a lot of money..." and then spent most of the time listening to me say, "Grace, drag me away! Grab my arm and pull me away!" She's a good sport.

But I saw these gorgeous little frames, and I couldn't resist.

I was smitten. I instantly had my idea: I love those moments, where you know exactly what you're gonna do with something, and you're so excited to start you can barely wait in line to check out (I have them a lot, hah!)

I've been diggin' on all of the monograms floating around out there... I was super-inspired to make my own. I've been neck-deep in my grad school portfolio, so as a fun refresher as I was waiting for some critique online to come back, I set down with my watercolours and just let my brush do what it wanted. Watercolour is so relaxing to work with, in my opinion, because it's so organic - and I feel like no matter what it does, it's beautiful (unless you mix all the colours into brown... gross). It's been a favourite medium of mine lately.

After the watercolour dried, I took some of my special Micron ink pens (they're fantastic - non-fading & archival!) and added some designs adapted from some doodles in my sketchbook over the washes of colour.

Once I popped them into their frames, I just had that gasp moment;
where it just looks so lovely you kind of want to squeal really loud, and show everyone and their mama how great you are. You know what I'm talking about, right? Right?

Of course you do ;)

If you'd like to see more frames, they are for sale in 
- just in time for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday! Watch for a special coupon code this week, or 
to get an instant update!

Do you have big plans for this shopping weekend? My mom has already got most of her shopping done! I can't believe it!

{ all images in this post (c) erin mcmanness 2011 }

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Artist/Shop Feature: Kari Herer, Botanical Photographer

I stumbled across a photographer awhile ago, and have been wanting to share her work with you!

Kari Herer does absolutely gorgeous floral photography and prints - I found her work while browsing my favourites in Etsy, and I have fallen in love with { her shop } ! I think what I love most about her work is that she captures so much rich detail in the flowers themselves, and creates so many varying moods. As an illustrator myself, of course I'm obsessed with the merge of photos and her delicate linedrawings! I've been wanting to get a few prints for my walls, perhaps a Christmas gift to myself? These prints would make great gifts for Mom or Grandma, or would be a great accent for a new home or redecorated room!

1. Botanical Drawing No. 6012 // 2. Botanical No. 5793 // 3. Botanical No. 5811 // 4. Rabbit No. 0048

{ all images copyrighted to Kari Herer, please credit original source }

Please do go check out her work on Etsy, as well as check her out around the web! Spread independent artist love!
Website: www.kariherer.com
Blog: www.karihererblog.com

Thanks for reading, lovely birds! 
I'll be buckling down on my portfolio, especially since I got hit with inspiration like no other last night. I've got a few works I'm almost ready to show - exciting! And I am being contracted for some graphic design work over the next 3 weeks, so I'll be a busy girl!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I has the Facebooks now.

Yep, I finally broke down and made a { Facebook Page } for my jewelry!

I would be so honoured if you'd hop on over, and consider liking me! I'll be using it to let you know about sales (there's a good one coming up for Black Friday / Cyber Monday!), show new products, give you sneak peeks, and post silly vlogs! And a lot more :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Perfect Cup of Coffee & WIP Wednesday

Honestly one of the biggest motivators to get out of bed in the morning is my coffeemaker.

It's still gloomy today, so it's a great day for hot coffee and painting. I was a barista for 4 years, so I know how to make a bangin cup of coffee.

Secret for perfect strength? 

Add your water. I usually do 4 cups. For every 2 cups, put in 1 heaping tablespoon of coffee grounds. Then, add 1 extra tablespoon just for good measure. So for my 4 cups of coffee, I put in 2 scoops + the scoop for good measure. Perfect coffee everytime. Sometimes I even sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg in my grounds before brewing. Oooo, exciting!

So I'm gonna start doing this thing to keep myself accountable: 
WIP Wednesdays. (A WIP means "Work In Progress") 
So every Wednesday, I've gotta post up progress on a new work, or significant progress on a work I've already showed. Today I'm gonna cheat a little (figures), and show a piece that WAS a WIP as of last night, but is now finished! Hot dog! All I've gotta do is take the tape off, and frame it. And then take a proper photo. I apologize for the cell phone picture :(

This piece is a self-portrait, is going into my Grad School Portfolio, and was inspired by the song "Star Mile" by Joshua Radin.

Also, I just got my copy of Corel Painter 12... and holy cow. I am so in love. Like, the kind of love I would like to share with a man, where I think they're perfect and there's absolutely nothing wrong with them what-so-ever... I feel this way for a computer program. Allow me a moment just to out-art-nerd myself (I'm weird, I know...)

{ top photo via pinterest.com // bottom photo via erin mcmanness 2011 }

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thank Goodness.

I breathe a huge sigh of relief as I write this... 
my cousin was able to help me get all of my files back and hooked up onto a new hard drive, so I can transfer them to my mac. All hope is not lost!

Thanks to everyone for the thoughts, emails, and convos I received regarding the situation :)

Today I am painting new (super secret!) statement rings for the shop, and then working on more portfolio stuff. And brainstorming about doing a possible vlog ;)

It's pretty gloomy here today, a perfect day to buckle down and work, 
and I highly recommend this song. The music video is actually really sad, but this song just brings back so many calm, wonderful memories of college, when I used to sit in the guys' apartment next door to mine and we'd all drink tea, listen to good music, and study. I miss those days like crazy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


...well, it's official. Half of my grad school portfolio is lost or compromised. My deadline for submission is in 3 weeks. Please excuse me while I proceed to have a heart attack, stroke, and go off the deep end all at the same time.
Update Update: My cousin is going to try and pull out the hard drive to recover my files. Hopefully it'll work. I'm so blessed to have so many friends who offered to help :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Life Update + WIP

A small life update... my faithful old PC was hit very hard with a virus on Friday. Due to crazy amounts of stress, I took off for the early part of the weekend to hang with one of the best people I know, my lovely friend Amber. I still have some fiddling around to do, but there is a chance I may not be able to recover my files from my old computer. I'm hoping this is not the case, as most of my grad school portfolio is on there and would be lost to me just 3 weeks before the deadline after months of work.

If you would be so kind as to think a few good thoughts for my thumb-drive as it braves the hopefully-not-too-scary platform of my Safe Mode start-up to rescue my poor files, that would be amazing.

In the meantime, I leave you with a work in progress of my latest commission, [hopefully not] lost in the depths of my wounded PC.

2 hours, on 1 layer.
{ art (c) erin mcmanness 2011 }

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Coffeeshop Drawing

"I was honestly too exhausted to care anymore."
{ art (c) erin mcmanness 2011 }

I sat in a coffee shop for awhile tonight, working on this drawing. It was nice to just let my pencil do what it would without too many rules.

I think about you everyday.

Thursdays are for making friends.

Today I was greeted by an unusual guest.

I had been hearing little noises all over the kitchen and living room the other day, and after a lot of searching, I just convinced myself I was going off the deep end. My life has been very strange lately, so this conclusion didn't really surprise me. But today, I sat down at my computer with my coffee to start working; I heard tiny feet scurrying. I looked down, and there was Mr. Mole, looking right up at me.

I have often noticed that I have a special relationship with animals.

They like me, and I like them. I was just telling my friend how I believe have two superpowers: 1) I can be hilariously awkward, and 2) I can befriend animals with the skill of a Disney Princess. So Mr. Mole and I have been getting acquainted as I've worked today. I get up to refill my coffee mug, he scurries under the stove. I sit back down, he comes out and looks at me and does laps around the kitchen. He is currently sitting right next to my boot, happy as a clam. I think I may name him Ned.

During the day, I usually have my ferocious dog Rufus to keep me company. He protects me from invaders, reminds me when it's time to exercise, and does the occasional filing and faxing. Today he was being a lazy bum, until he heard Ned running around the kitchen and decided to investigate.

My ferocious dog really is very intimidating. Long story short, ferocious dog is now sitting up on a chair, being very brave and whining as Ned the mole runs all around the kitchen.

Do you have silly animals that keep you company if you work from home?

Monday, November 7, 2011

More Winterbirds & a Sneak Peek...

Happy Monday, lovely birds ~ I hope everyone had a great weekend. I spent mine up in Philly, visiting my family, watching lots of football (Go Ravens!!!), and helping my dear old dad take some photos for his online business :)

This week will start my complete and total plunge into putting the finishing touches on my new portfolio for graduate school. Submitting this new portfolio will hopefully help me to receive some more scholarship aid and lessen the cost of school. Good thoughts for a diligent heart and mind over the next 3 weeks would be appreciated! My self-set deadline is Thanksgiving, and especially with daylight savings, it's creeping up on me faster than I would care to admit!

For now, the last of the Winterbird Collection is already up in my shop!
 I would love if you'd like to go check them out! They make great accessories for your wintery outfits, and even better gifts for stylish loved ones :)

1 // the Nahimana, meaning "Mystic"   2 // the Meda, meaning "Prophetess"   3 // the Chilaili, meaning "Snowbird"

Thanks for taking a look! And after I finish with my portfolio...

{ all images (c) erin mcmanness / mirilovelove 2011 }

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Whale in the Window - Work in Progress

Tonight after dinner I set down to work on a couple of commissions that are on my waiting list, after finishing some deluxe necklaces from the Winterbird Collection. Already Winterbirds are starting to go! Exciting! I'll be photographing the newest amores-for-your-collarbones tomorrow!

And now, here is a lovely work in progress of one of my commissions.
I sort of fell in love with Mr. Whale there and got carried away :) Those are the best commissions: when it's 2am and I'm like, "Awww, do I HAVE TO go to bed?!" I'm not 100% sold on the yellow/orange walls. We'll see if those change. I usually paint to my Instrumental Playlist on youtube; there's something about it, it just helps it flow. Tonight I was diggin on one of my all-time favourites: the Braveheart Theme. Hauntingly beautiful, perfect for an underwater scene with a ginormous whale suspended in the bubbles. It's my favourite movie, hollllly cow.

"You're mad, bonkers, off your head. But I'll tell you a secret:
all the best people are."
{ Alice in Wonderland }
Happy Thursday, lovely birds ~

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Inspiration & Preview - Winterbird Collection

Over the past several days and nights, I have been diligently working (aka: sculpting, carving, painting, drinking hot apple cider, and watching Food Network) on my new line, titled: 


After re-evaluating some things in my personal life, I wanted to create a line that represented 
freedom, flight, and the notion of unlimited possibilities.

The Winterbird is an elegant, romantic lady; a woman who knows how to weather the storm, take flight, and sing in the dead of winter.

All you creatives know how it is: you turn off your light, pull your covers up, snuggle in, get comfortable... and wham. You're hit with a brilliant idea. (They actually do say that laying down increases creative activity in your brain) I've learned the hard way that I just won't "remember it in the morning", so I flick my light back on, flip open to a new page in my sketchbook, and start sketching. 

The Winterbird line started this way: as a 2am sketchbook must-do. Each feather pendant in the collection is hand-carved from individually mixed colours of polymer clay. I took care to cut each feather in a unique way, and select special gems, vintage pieces, and findings for each pendant. Each feather is hand-etched, and some are hand-painted.

Over the next couple of days, I will be updating 
My Etsy Shop, { The Little Bird }
with all of the new Winterbird necklaces. This is actually only a preview - I have 9 gorgeous, unique necklaces that aren't even pictured here! Keep your eyes on my shop this week to see all of the new pieces!

(All images above are (c) Erin McManness / Mirilovelove 2011)

Lastly, I wanted to share some of my inspirations for creating the Winterbird line.
(All images below are credited to pinterest.com and their respective owners)

Thank you for reading! Happy Wednesday! 
(and don't forget to check out my shop!)

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