Behind the Scenes and Inspiration of Fanciful Collections, the 2023 Calendar

Behind the Scenes and Inspiration of Fanciful Collections, the 2023 Calendar

I'm so excited to share with you the inspiration behind each month in my 2023 calendar. It's so much more than cute little illustrations. Lots of nostalgia, warm feelings, and happiness and hope. I hope you enjoy.

playful illustration of front doorsJanuary

I love a beautiful front door/entrance to a home. An entrance can give off an immediate feel and personality of the people or person that live inside. A rounded top door feels like an appreciation for old worlds or the entrance to what surely is a cozy cottage inside. A lively bright pink door just says, 'hello world, I'm friendly and I love you'!

I also specifically chose front doors for January as a way to symbolize the close of 2022 and the opening of 2023, but in a totally non cliche way. I had to of course include little Gabe trotting down the sidewalk. He used to go on long walks all around Dilworth, but these days that old man is happy with just our sidewalk.

playful illustration of house plants and a cute pink cabinetFebruary

This month is all about femininity, nurturing, and how plants breathe life into a space. I was very inspired by a local business in Charlotte, Verde Tribe and her love and care of plants. February is usually the coldest month of the year and I wanted this artwork to be warm, happy, and not overly Valentine's Day feeling. Honestly, Valentine's Day is probably my least favorite holiday. It feels like so much pressure and I'm happy married!

playful illustration of tea cupsMarch

I love all the quaint and delicate and sweet teacups. I love looking at the selection at Home Goods. My grandma gave me a teacup that was inspired by the striped one and I cherish it. It's tiny, delicate, and very sweet. Just like she was. 

playful illustration of classic carsApril

I have a huge appreciation for classic cars. Especially when I see them being driven out on the road. I would love to have a classic Mustang but I have zero clue how to care for it. I don't know why but I would feel like I need to know how to keep it because I imagine the maintenance would be quite a bit. So when I see them, I'm like, 'wow, nice job, that is incredible you can keep that running and make it look amazing. When I saw Charlotte the Figgy, a Figaro car that you can rent for events and photoshoots in Charlotte, I was like WHAT IS THAT IT'S ADORABLE! I've never seen one before but it's SO CUTE. Michele, the owner of Figgy was driving with a bouquet of beautiful flowers in the back while wearing a cool hat and scarf and it was the sweetest sight ever! I had to include a Figaro.

playful illustration of vintage phonesMay

My grandparents had the middle white phone and the teal wall phone in their old home in Salem, Ohio. I loved to play with them! Old phones are just so cool. It's amazing we all have our own phones in our pockets today. They're super amazing, but they're just not as visually pleasing. So we try to personalize them with phone cases. I'm still trying to figure out Alexa's phone charm on Schitt's Creek. "Best show ever." - Comic Book Guy. Vintage phones are so fun with their different shapes, curves, colors, and shine.

playful illustration of shells, fish, fishing hooks, and a shark tooth fossilJune

June is inspired by my findings on the beach. We spend a lot of time in North Myrtle Beach and the beach is one of my favorite places to be. Shells are so interesting and beautiful. Their colors, patterns, textures, and shapes are incredible. I also really, really love to hunt for shark teeth/fossils. They are just so cool! In total, I've found 8 so far. I love picturing what the shark might have looked like, how old is the fossil, and when I find the next one?! The tiny fish are always swimming with the tide and when they brush up on you it feels terrifying, but they're so tiny and silly. Sandpiper birds are extremely entertaining to watch. How they sprint up and down with the tide in a frantic search is entertaining. I feel like I look like a Sandpiper when I'm searching for my shark fossils!

playful illustration of summer things, charcoal grill, american flag, kiddie pool, drinks by the poolJuly

July is a complete brain dump of all my favorite things about summer. A charcoal grill is really not the cutest thing to paint, but I am so happy with how that came out. Weirdly, it's one of my favorite things I've painted. It reminds me of my dad grilling us burgers and hot dogs in the summer while we made a whirlpool in our kiddie pool. Now that I'm a "grown-up" drinks by the pool is my jam. I still love the smell of a charcoal grill! 

playful illustration of gardening supplies August

This summer was my first where I could have my own flower garden! It was SO wonderful. This month celebrates everything that comes with gardening. I love the feel of digging dirt up with my hands, saying hello and welcoming the little toads friends, and watering my flowers with the cool hose water. My grandpa and now my uncle make these bird houses and I now have one of my own. I can't wait for a family of birds to move in this spring.

playful illustration of plate wall above blue hutchSeptember

Along with teacups, I love decorative plates. I love the idea of decorating your home with them. It's another thing I love to admire at Home Goods. I have a beautiful plate collection now and some are displayed, but I have a whole bunch that I need to hang up. There's a huge wasted space above our kitchen cabinets where they'll be perfect. I'll share when I finally do that!

playful illustration of skeletons dancing and a black cat and ghostOctober

This might have been the most challenging month to paint and design. Skeletons are no joke, ya'll! I LOVE Michael Jackson's Thriller so I wanted to illustrate some of the signature dance moves from the epic music video. I'm so happy with how these guys came out! Kind of spooky, but mostly kooky!

playful illustration of vintage cameras, Pentax K1000, and Leica cameraNovember

Another nod to my grandparents, but photography is a huge part of my life. My grandma gave me the Pentax K1000 (lower right) when I was 8 and it was the greatest gift. I grew up always wanting to be a photographer. I took a photography class in college and we developed our own film and photos and it was pure magic. I loved it. My dad is an amazing videographer and the green camera was my grandpa's video camera. It's so cool. You really get gorgeous photos with film. I love how imperfect it is compared to today's absolutely perfect cameras.

playful illustration of Christmas holiday mantel with stockings, bottle brush trees, and villageDecember

My dream Christmas mantel! I have an obsession with bottle brush trees in all the colors, and little village houses, in all the colors. It reminds me of Disney movies and children's books I loved growing up. Someday I would love a fireplace. How cozy to sit in front of it while reading a really good book and enjoying a warm drink? Cozy perfection.

I hope you enjoyed reading on the inspiration for my illustrations for my 2023 calendar. It's so much more than some cute pictures. Each month can be trimmed down to fit an 8x10 frame! Which is my most favorite part.

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