Not-quite-photography Friday: Presto Warrior Design

I think it’s safe to say that when little Presto hit the ground, he immediately charmed all of blogland with one tiny whinny. So when he landed himself in an emergency clinic as a sick little foal, he gained himself a whole community of well-wishers hoping for his health and healing.

When Amanda addressed questions regarding donations to his care fund, I was more than happy to volunteer my design skills to a very worthy cause. I immediately stalked all her media of Presto and landed on a still of him frolicking in his pen. A little illustrator magic, some feedback from Amanda, and an oldies tune on repeat in my head generated the below image!

To buy a t-shirt and help offset the costs of Presto’s stay at the clinic, check out this link where you can buy Presto-related goodies through next Friday! Presto, we are so glad you are feeling better and one day I hope to hear that adorable little whinny in person!

In a Life without Horses

As I contemplate the crisp and windy weather, and the joys of staying inside (which I’m not), I start thinking about the projects I’d like to undertake were I to avoid the winter like any normal human being. Of course what I should (and might) do is paint the damn hallway, but what I would love to do is get back to one (almost) non-horsey passion- art.

I was the quintessential artsy kid growing up, trading animal-shaped erasers for drawings in kindergarten, then becoming the sketchbook toting nerd in high school. Of course, horses made up the majority of my doodles.

Pen and Ink Drawing from High School

Pen and Ink Drawing from High School

Then in college, after making the switch from Animal Science to Art & Design, I took a mandatory Painting studio as part of my degree, and found that I really loved the process. I could get completely in the zone for hours, and it was so peaceful and satisfying.

Part of a triptych

Part of a triptych

Mixed Media Painting

Mixed Media Painting

But sadly, the only thing I’ve painted since school is this rooster painting, which was meant to hang in my kitchen but now resides in one of the piles of artwork that dons every closet. Or to rephrase, the only things I’ve painted since school are one rooster painting and a shit ton of walls.

Rooster painting that I would love to truly finish one day!

Rooster painting that I would love to truly finish one day!

That is not to say that I don’t satisfy the creative calling in other ways- photography is certainly an outlet for that (see Britt Gillis Design tab), as well as the occasional t-shirt design (or logo contest 😉 ) that comes around. But there is something about a fresh canvas, or a blank sheet of paper, that tangibly physical evidence of the artist’s hand, that those outlets simply lack.

Alice in Wonderland t-shirt design

Alice in Wonderland t-shirt design

My best friend N knows how much I miss doodling/painting/being an artiste, and got me this wonderful Disney book full of original animation sketches. I love to look through it, and have been wanting to try Disneyfying Foster for a long time. But other than this random proposed project, the tools that dominate my schedule remain my saddle and reins, and not my paint brush. Maybe when I’ve had so many falls that I’m too broken to ride, I’ll pick up my palette and give it a go again.

(sort of) Photography Friday

Hi Folks!

As mentioned, I’ve been working hard on some designs, a couple that I have to share with you today. I’m still trying wrap up all of my freelance projects, but was able to knock out a couple this past weekend.

Here’s one super fun invitation, for a sweet friend who also happens to be an equestrian!


This also happens to be the greenest patch in my yard.. and it’s clover. Sad.

And the second is a t-shirt design that I do every year (for the past, I dunno, 13 years?) for a Day Camp back home- this year’s theme – Peter Pan!


I’ve got a few other things in the works, that I can’t yet reveal, but hope to make more headway on this weekend! Y’all have a great one, and keep kicking!

Moving Mountains

After putting in some serious overtime this week, I think I am finally making progress on my giant to-do list. And, husband and I had a lovely date night/night off to boot.


I had an excellent mini-lesson with best friend N, who has coached me in the past and has wonderful ways of explaining things that just stick with me. We revisited ‘belly button to pommel’, added ‘underarm to bra’ (to help my arm/elbow position), and worked on getting Foster sharp to my aids with some rather bright simple changes and crazy angled fence exercises. Lots of wisdom to remember moving forward! We also jumped 3’3″ for the first time in a while, and it’s making me wonder if I could do a Training CT in the near future.. probably not, but I’m thinking about it! I have another showjumping lesson tomorrow with Holly tomorrow, and we’ll see how it goes.

Ignoring my crap position, I think Foster could do Training here.. maybe...

Ignoring my crap position, Foster thinks he could do training here.. maybe…

Outside the realm of horses, I have multiple freelance projects I’m working on and hope to dedicate this weekend to wrapping some of them up. Should have some fun designs to share with you next week!

Remember to thank our soldiers, past and present, and have a great Memorial weekend y’all!

You mean I do something besides horses?

In the world of horses…
Our show this weekend has sneaked up on us but I feel relatively confident. Foster has jumped almost all of the fences on the XC course, and it will be my job to give him a confident ride and hopefully come home double clean. While it would be nice to bring home a ribbon, our division is one of the biggest I’ve seen at a schooling show (two classes of ~12 each in Beginner Novice!) so I’m going to try not to worry about that.

Otherwise I have been preoccupying myself with several design projects for friends. I’ve been working hard after hours to build my portfolio and experiment a bit in the design department. Here’s what I’ve been working on:

Cori Spade Designs
I met Cori via her boyfriend, one of my good college buddies from State. It turns out she is a sweetheart, and a wonderfully talented fashion designer that even showed a collection on the runway at New York Fashion Week! This project was really fun as fashion is an industry I have never designed for and I got to practice some new techniques for her site. Design and coding from top to bottom by me! Go check it out at !


Cori Spade Designs homepage

Wedding Invitations
This has been a project for a sweet coworker of mine who is going to have a b-e-a-utiful wedding in a few weeks. I can’t wait to see how her elegant gold theme is going to work out. I’m also working on several other elements for this wedding so there will be more photos to come!


Invitation and RSVP card

Harry Potter Engagement Invitations
My best friend is getting married next fall and to celebrate, we are going to have the most amazing Harry Potter themed party you will have ever seen! I can’t share any of the details yet except for the invitations I designed, which were delivered -by owl- this past week, but hold on to your sorting hats, it’s going to be a doozy!


Harry Potter Invite

That’s it for now! Like I said I will have more updates on these designs (and party) but that will come next month. In the meantime, we have our fingers crossed for this weekend and will be sure to do a recap next week! Wish us luck! 🙂

The new camera

As I mentioned last week, I finally bought a new camera. My old camera was a Nikon D40, and my first DSLR. It took me through my concentration in Photography at the School of Design and has traveled with me all over the world in the 3 years since, amassing over 25,000 shutter clicks in the process.

Camera with a passport: Capri, Italy in 2008 and Loch Ness, Scotland 2013

Camera with a passport:
Capri, Italy in 2008 and Loch Ness, Scotland 2013

Now, I feel like I’ve taken the most beautimous photos ever some pretty great shots with this camera. All of my portfolio photos came from this camera, and everything I’ve taken at work. It is still functioning perfectly. However, there are a couple features I was starting to miss. One was that the D40 can take up to 3 frames per second. In horsey terms, that means if you hand your camera over to someone and ask them to shoot you jumping you might get a take-off, mid-air, and landing shot. If their timing is good. Likewise, when I was at Rolex, there were a couple really epic moments where I would have loved to get 6 shots off as fast as possible, but my D40 just couldn’t keep up. 3 frames per second just isn’t cutting it anymore.

The other thing I was missing was a video mode. Now, I used to not need this, what with iPhones being so handy and what not, and I used to own a Flip (which I think was destroyed by good ol’ North Carolina humidity). But again, especially in the horsey world, there are times when having a nice HD quality video is really helpful.

My Flip’s Last Video

So I’ve been perusing for a new camera, one that can take at least 6 frames per second, with video mode, that won’t break the bank. Enter the Nikon D7000! It may have taken me several ebay attempts to get one, but it’s minnne!

Oh happy day!

Oh happy day!

I am hoping to take it out to the barn or practice with some action shots of Drake to see what I can do… but I’m so excited! Definitely expect more photos soon!