Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Favourite Photo on my Phone Right now. Theme Lemons

This is my favourite photo on my phone camera roll right now? Why? Because it says so much about what is left.
lemon juice, juicer, violet

Everything about the yellowness of the lemons, the orange of the juicer, the hinted at violet in the carafe and the way the morning light caught the screen left from the night before. It was a good night...
lemonade, lemon juice

And a previous print from my spoonflower shop called That 70's Lemonade Party....

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Woah... what a  week? What wait it isn't over yet? It only feels like that because it was last weekend or rather last Thursday that things really started spinning out of control... Not in a bad way just a busy way... But amongst the the madness I just decided to stop and breathe, prioritize and figure out what was a self inflicted deadline and what needed to be done.

fish bread breakfast
Snipets of the Artwork!

For the past two years I a have been asked to illustrate poems written by local poets for an annual poetry competition... It has a hard deadline, so to the top it went and everything else got shifted down one. With that deadline met (just now), I can focus on  my second deadline (May 15th), making inventory for a local shop! !

ocean, mapping, mountains, collage
snipets of the Artwork

So though the week is not over yet and I have another important deadline looming I can take a moment to breathe and work on my 'relaxation' projects... Remember The 100 Day Project? Yup well that has gone slowly the last few days but time to pick it back up. 

Weaving a new series... can you guess what I am calling it?

How do you dealing with being overwhelmed? Do you just go with the flow or run around like a chook (aka chicken) with it's head cut off?

Friday, April 29, 2016

How to find your Style: Clothing Edition

How to find your style and use what you've got: Clothing Edition

how to find your style fashion

I love clothes, always have and always will... I wanted to be a fashion designer growing up but life had other adventures for me, I travelled, went to art school (for some strange reason I thought it was more profitable to be an artist with a capital A than a designer), got married, had kids, travelled some more mixed in both  wildness  and responsibility but the one thing that has remained consistent is my love for clothes. I love texture, colour, drape and form. I am a maker of textiles, surfaces and clothes. I am always doing something with material and fibres. Even my four years of mastering ceramics, was all about surface and texture!

Clothes say so much about you... For me they convey my mood, where I am, what I'm doing, sometimes who I am with and yes personality... You can probably guess what types of things I like from the way I dress, what my house is like, what my favourite foods are, where I like to shop and what restaurants I like... These things are all style.

megan h carroll selfie jean jacket infinity scarf
Me trying and failing to show you what I am wearing right now!
You can find the infinity scarf in my etsy shop.
So how do you find your fashion style? Start with the basics.

  • What is your activity? Going to work, picking kids up from school? Date night?!
All these things in my opinion have very different clothing needs but you can often carry one over to the other. Except Date Night, I always change for Date Night (I'll explain this in a minute). My go to is black, it is basic and a throwback to my teenage goth days. A black dress, a black shirt, t-shirt.. If I am wearing a dress, what is my cover up? Pick something contrasting, that will add a pop, not sure about colour? Add texture. If it jeans, this now in my repertoire as a basic -for many years I didn't wear jeans I thought they were too mommy - but guess what I am a mum (mom) and for the  shirt I pick something flattering, it doesn't have to be loud, but it should fit.  And I always wear a belt, even if I don't need one. It says I care, remember mood, subconsciously a lot of things are implied by how we dress and for me neglecting details says I don't care... And yes I have I don't care days and you'll know it by the way I am dressed. 

  • Where are you? Indoors, outdoors? City, country? Coastal, inland, forest? 
I live next to the water in a small city or a large town that is trying really hard to grow up. More and more this is influencing the way I dress, I am adding in so much more blue into my wardrobe, indigos, turquoise, and then pops of colour- it can be very rainy and grey in the Pacifc Northwest... So adding a touch of brightness, does a lot to change my mood and for me nothing feels better than someone complimenting my clothing choice and an easy way of fishing for a compliment is add something bold.  This strategy also works very well in New York, where my west coast city (think LA) is very different than my east coast city look... When in California I am almost always bright colours but in New York, it is black on black on black and then a pop! I have a whole separate wardrobe for LA/Palm Springs. The bonus about my California wardrobe is that it works for late summer in the PNW!
Punch of colour.
  • What is your Mood? How's it going today? 
Some days I am on top of the world, and you can really see that, I may wear something a little bit more revealing, lower cut shirt, a fitted dress and nice shoes. Other times I  need a little extra boost, so I put something on that is simple and nice,  it doesn't have to be an over the top mood changer, but just by taking a little extra care gives me an attitude change. I mentioned before I was a goth teenager, well I still have those tendencies, and I can get a bit melancholy... But it doesn't mean I have to look like a slob (this wardrobe also works for NYC)... Black on black on black... But nicely.

Personal dressing Codes and exceptions: these are things I live by, they weren't thought out, they just became part of my style and I bet you have them too, some might be the same or they will be completely different... This is about finding your style.
  1. Date Night... I always change (always), not a makeup wearer during the day (had bad acne as a teenager) I do my makeup, and put on fancy shoes. In someplace hot (LA, Honolulu, Coastal mexico) and I have been wearing bright colours all day, I switch it out for a black dress and killer shoes (leopard print is also a neutral)... Cooler climates and my day fashion has been subdued I go for a bright clingy dress and again killer shoes! 
    leopard print high heels driftwood
  2. Exercise... All of my exercise gear is black, it's easy. Also I never wear yoga pants out unless I am doing yoga- I don't have the butt of a lithe 20 yr old anymore (never did). And if I do have to run errands after yoga which is often the case, I make sure I have something to throw over top. See my favourite black dress! Also I never wear running shoes if I am not running or hiking. Running shoes come in so many trendy colours and styles now, but they are still clunky... It also says about me, I was too lazy to change my footware and my feet are sweaty... Bring along a pair of sandals and slip them on post workout, your feet will thank you.
  3. Sweatpants (and I know this is one thing that people feel very strongly about), never wear them out of the house!!! Yup I said it. If I am too tired to slip into something nice, I am too tired to go out. 
  4. Printed shirts... I am not a walking billboard, they are not my jive... But if I do wear one it will be clever and well designed... (The night I met my husband he was wearing a black t-shirt that read "worship me" in a simple white font- true fact).
  5. PS... Have a strong sense of style and you can break your own rules without missing a beat! 
Long post and I hope by giving you a sense of how I find my style it will help you find yours. Does 
where you live and what you are doing influence what you wear? How about your Codes of dress? My grandmother's is Never leave the house without lipstick on. Do you have any silly rules?

Monday, April 25, 2016

The 100 Day Project Progress

I am already seeing improvement and progress in The 100 Day Project weavings and soon I think I am going to outgrow my little loom...
the 100 day progress  weaving detail

As you can see it is handmade and rather a simple little set up, but it has been great... Start small and grow!
100 day project progress, wall hanging, weaving
first 5 days (not in order)
Are you doing The 100 Day Project? What is your progress? What did you choose to focus on for the next 95 days? You can Check out my progress by following me on Instagram!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Air Plant Hanging Garden Tutorial in 7 Steps

Air plant and hanging gardens are all the rage! And here is a simple do it yourself that is easily made with some found objects. If you are lucky enough to live near a beach with different types of shells and driftwood I would suggest putting on your best muck boots and go beach combing for your supplies! Just beware you could come home with so many other treasures.  If you don't live near a beach do not despair- shells were my choice because that is what I had.

Home Decor air plants


3-5 shells
(found or store bought, but should have two openings)
White Glue
 Selection of Beads
*(nothing fancy, the idea is not to see them)
Drill and small Drill Bit
3-5 Air Plants
Hook to hang your Garden

Home and Garden

  1. Collect your supplies- I found some hollowed out urchin shells at a super low tide- make sure not to collect a live animal and get as many as you can, they are quite fragile and you will lose several transporting them home... Next chances are if you are at a good beach, there is also a good supply of driftwood, get varying lengths and shapes but you are probably only going to use one. You can use the others for all of your wall hangings needs... Remember my obsession for macrame? By air plants, online or at gardening shop. Fishing line.
    air plants, sea urchin shells, driftwood
  2. Clean and reinforce your shells- if you bought them this step is probably done for you. Using a mixture of bleach and water 3 tbsp or eyeball it, to a litre or gallon of water (again eyeball it) let your shells sit for a few hours... This will bleach them out a bit and make them slightly more fragile so be super careful when handling them afterwards. If you are using snail shells or some other great find, it is still good to bleach them to clean them. Let them sit and air dry for several. Hours or even overnight! 
    sea urchin, home decor
  3. If you are using urchin shells they need to be strengthened. Using a mixture of Elmer's glue and water half and half, coat the inside and outside of your shells, and again let them dry overnight. If you want them slightly shiny and or bring out their colour give them a light spray on the outside of varnish (I prefer non yellowing matte).
  4. Next select your piece of driftwood, grab a drill and with the tiniest bit start drilling holes to thread fishing line through... I really like the floaty feeling of fishing line but kite line or a strong poly/cotton blend thread will work too! Figure out how many shells and plants you are going to use and drill that many holes... remember to space them out and think about balance. Then drill two more holes on either end of your wood.
  5. Urchin Shells have a large opening on the bottom and a  smaller one on the top, you'd have to make a pretty big knot to stop the line from pulling through so cut up a few bits of sponge or use a large beads. I used a piece of dry dense sponge, that way it is still light and breathes. Figure out the approximate length you want your shells to hang from the wood, make it a bit longer and you can adjust it when you start assembling. Tie a knot at one end thread it through your need then through your sponge, or if using a bead knot it around the bead. Pull it through both openings of the shell first the large opening then the small so that the bead or sponge is inside. Next thread the fishing line through the bottom of the driftwood and knot at top. My drill holes were still larger than the thread so I used small beads and made little stops so the thread wouldn't fall through. Repeat with all the shells you have!

    sewing needle, bead, fishing line, sponge
  6. Figure out where you want your garden to hang and how high and how much fishing line you'll need to hang cut and adjust, thread it through the top part of either end of your wood and knot again using mini beads! The ones I used or so small and inconsequential I don't mind that they can be seen. Trim any extra fishing line.
  7. Now it is time to place your plants into the hollow of the shell body. Gently mist your plants before putting them in, bunch up a few of the bottom arms of the plant and gently feed it through the large opening on the underside of the shell, those arms will hang on to the inside of the urchin. Viola your Hanging garden is ready to hang.... 
    indoor plant tutorial

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The 100 Day Project.

All of a sudden my instagram feed went crazy this morning with the hashtag #the100dayproject! So being a creative I looked into it... You first pick an action, something creative to do for 100 days- drawing, sewing, embroidery, photo etc... you get the idea.... You then start April 19th (today, or join when ever, just do it for 100 days.... Tag it #the100dayproject and finally pick a hashtag of your own to catalogue it for your own records...

the 100 day project scrappy threads weaving textiles

scrappy carp living scrappy threads textiles

I picked weaving... as it is something I have been doing everyday for the last week. I do it because it is meditative, I want a challenge and I like making stuff! My goal is to not just do the same thing all the time but to learn different techniques, and bring different textures into it... here I am bring in silver embroidery floss as an accent!!! And I love it...

I can not wait to share more with you on this project and am excited to see how it evolves. If you have an instagram account go search #the100dayproject to get all the details and inspiration! Oh and follow me @meganhcarroll_artist Cheers!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The rules to a Bohemian lifestyle are...

I wanted to talk about the rules of embracing a more bohemian lifestyle in your everyday but then I realized the Rules are, there are no Rules to having a boho existence!  So my new mantra is: Be Free, Be Bohemian ...

Be Free Be Bohemian
Be Free, Be Bohemian.

Bo|he|mi|an -
  1. 1
    a native or inhabitant of Bohemia.

  2. 2
    a person who has informal and unconventional social habits, especially an artist or writer.
    "the young bohemians with their art galleries and bars" (Google search bar definition).

  3. I am not a native of Bohemia, but I can tell you I have been there and it is an amazingly beautiful area. I clearly fit the second definition, right down to go to art galleries and eating sushi.

  4. In that theme, for the summer, I will be sharing more DIY projects to Boho your own environments! And if you are looking for more Boho inspired accessories please join me in my shop, Scrappy Carp Living... I promise macrame, long flowy scarves and tote bags to carry all your goods home from your local farmers market. 

Cheers, Megan

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Forever and an Update....

It has been Forever since I've updated my blog.... in truth it is because I just like making designs... I know everyone says you just don't exist unless you are online, but is that true? Kinda like if a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?  Well here is some of my updated work... I promise I will try to update more often...

These were simple fun exercises I did for the Spoonflower Design A Day challenge. I am also recently returned from Palm Springs so the colour palette is bright! Cheers... 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Life in the fast Lane- The Dishes can wait.

We all brag about how fast our lives are moving and how we are spinning out of control with to do list after to do list and our life in the 'fast lane'. I am calling a stop to it. Sit grab a cup of coffee, tea, espresso, wine or whatever your favourite beverage is, sit, pick up a book and read... The Dishes can wait.

read a book
Anyone who has time
to clean is not reading enough.
Download your own Bookmark to colour in!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Take your salad from boring to extraordinary!

Lightening up January... We should all eat salad but they can be kinda boring, one way to take them to extraordinary is with dressing. My husband and I have a go to dressing that he borrowed from a Buddhist retreat in San Francisco that turns out was borrowed from an artists retreat center on the British Columbian coast (my home territory) named for the institution Hollyhock dressing  that we renamed Crack Dressing that I now refer to as NOOCH* dressing because of its main ingredient nutritional yeast. We use it mostly on salads but it can be a good Buddha bowl dressing, or tossed on roasted veggies as a side.

If you make this dressing you won't go back.


*Nooch is a term I learnt from the Thug Kitchen's cook book, the recipe isn't in there but it should be. Some people hate the word.... But I love it!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Good Morning Monday Musings... Rest In Peace David Bowie.

I am pretty sure we have all heard the news today (just in case I put off posting)... This is my Good Morning Musing... My husband let me sleep in knowing what I was about to wake up to. As a young girl growing up in the 80's and 90's David Bowie had a huge impact on me. 

david bowie hello major tom ziggy stardust
The Stars Look Different... Today

I am sure it will come as no surprise but Labyrinth is my all time favorite movie. David Bowie gave all of us the permission to be our weird selves. With heavy heart Rest in Peace David Bowie.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Back to the grind? A simple Meal Cooks itself.

It's  back to the January grind and in keeping with my goals of creating more time for myself to practice my trade, this is a fast meal for weeknights that requires little time to prep. It cooks itself and is slurped up by my family every time it is made. Make an extra batch to reheat or use for Eggplant Parmesan!

weeknight marinara sauce, spagetti
Easy weeknight Tomato Sauce
How Simple is that?

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year Has Begun: a Perspective on Resolutions

With the New Year beginning it is time to check in once more and see where I was a year ago and where I want to be a year from now. I don't feel like my resolutions are in fact the life altering go from zero to a hundred type but more like am I on track?... What can I do better? ... How has what I've done fit into my goals and are my goals still the same... What can I do to move forward

Warning! This shit is going to get personal.
I want to be a Surface Pattern Designer and Illustrator...

The Next few Images are chronological order to give you some idea of where I came from!

One of the very first handmade Repeats I ever made, uploaded to Ai
and loosely put together. Late 2013
Original on vellum (Still a favourite drawing surface).
What have I done this past year to make that happen? I have developed mad Illustrator Skills- I never believed that I could learn such a complex thing. For 2016 I want to make it part of my daily routine... Practice Practice Practice. My family has been priority number one and often I use that as a distraction to not practice, so developing my skills has been a tad slow and I have not seen the results I always want. So in 2016- make more time for myself. Yes kids that means more chores!

Figured out how to clean it up early 2014
And turn it into a repeat!
By 2015 it was a matter of practice!

Early 2015

Spring 2015

October 2015
Style is another area I felt that was lacking- I have a personal style but had not had an illustrative style- I have always been here there and everywhere picking up on on different mediums, trying new techniques, in truth my drawing style has always been more lifelike renderings... I have had in the past wanted perfection- I have a personal mantra: If you can do it right then don't do it at all. Meaning don't do a job half assed (for me it is all about craftsmanship) but somewhere I started using it as a cop out to not do things I was not good at and I was limiting myself to only doing what I knew. So this year I started playing around which led to doodling and letting go. And it turns out I was still doing the best job I could do but it was different. Through experimentation I discovered I do have a natural drawing style that feels somewhere between a doodle and accurate representation, that is both slightly quirky and realistic. It also reflects my interests in food, drink, travel, minimalism and abundance. In 2016 I want to see that grow and turn into a solid body of work that I can call my signature style.

Turns out I love black and white!
I also love color but that is for another post.
In 2015 I said I want to be a Surface Pattern Illustrator, this year I am declaring this is who I am. I need to present that to the world. By honing my in on my strengths, skills and developing my style. My outward goal for 2016 it build my brand, sell myself and get a gigs... Personally I want to pay for a house cleaner and buy a Shasta camper, but hey I will take doing what I love, feeling fulfilled and contributing to my family, being a positive role model and good example as a job well done.

PS... I added the images after I wrote the post and I can see that I have had a slightly similar aesthetic all along!