Spring Greens

Flowers are actually blooming and it finally feels like spring here in New England!  Now that the weather is changing I'm craving much lighter food.  If you pick up the latest copy of Edible Rhody and flip to "last Bite" you'll see my Spring Greens piece!

Editor Genie, had some great ideas for quick and easy recipes to make with greens. ( salad, sauté and gratin)  Rather than drawing the recipes themselves, I thought it would be more fun to draw and label many of the greens.

I started researching the greens I wasn't familiar with and realized there is a wide variety of local greens available in  our little state of Rhode Island.  I also discovered I had been eating tatsoi in many salads without knowing what it was called.  Yay research!  Thank you Edible Rhody for the awesome assignment!  It was certainly uplifting to work on something light and green in the dead of winter.

Owls are not what they seem

Above my desk is a list of dream clients and jobs.  On my list are things like; art for food packaging, create my own wrapping paper, design a tattoo- checked off!  When I saw that Modcloth was announcing a print design contest and Portlandia Costume Designer Amanda Needham would be a guest judge.  I got super excited to come up with some prints...  I've really been enjoying Portlandia; the awkward humor of Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen as well as Kyle Maclachlan as mayor ; )

I came up with a few ideas for the dress, but was crossing my fingers they would pick this Twin Peaks inspired dress pattern.  Since falling in love with Twin Peaks last year I've been kicking around some ideas for a fan art piece. (Check out Design Sponge's post on set/clothing inspiration)  Here's some of my favorite Twin Peaks fan art pieces by other artists:  Love this print by Mary Kate McDevitt, Tee by Robert Farkas over at ThreadlessAmazing log lady print and pins!

Modcloth has such an awesome selection of vintage and retro inspired dresses.  I love the prints they use and knew I could get away with designing something that was really cute and illustrative. (retro+ cute+illustrative+dash of Portlandia weirdness= my wheelhouse)  If you haven't seen Twin Peaks, hopefully you'd still wear a dress with owls, trees, coffee cups and logs, right?...Surely a staple in every lady's closet.

Please give my dress some love and GO VOTE on the Modcloth website!!  If I win I get some $, the dress produced with my name in the label and I get to wear a dress with my print on it, which I could check off my dream list!

Be Mine!

Valentine's Day is coming soon, so I  thought it would be fun to illustrate my own set of  Valentine printables inspired by some vintage valentine's I saw on Pinterest.  (scroll to the bottom if you want to download a copy to share with your valentine's)

As a kid I always looked forward to Valentine's Day,  I would painstakingly stamp, glue and glitter 30 or so cards for each of my classmates! Probably because this was one of the few occasions I was allowed to break out the glitter.

Unfortunately, I don't have as much time to throw glitter around these days...  (I'm just finishing up knitting Christmas gifts) However, I still love sending out mail to my friends and family to let them know I'm thinking of them.

Isn't Valentine's about all the people you love? Your sister, parents, grandma, bff, oldest camp friend, aunt, new sister-in-law, coworker and your husfriend?

I like to think so!

I hope you'll also enjoy sending these in the mail to your favorite people.

valentines_printable_2014

Here is how to do it:

click on the link above

It will open in a new window.

Right click on the image and select "save as".

Open up the image and PRINT.

Croquetas Recipe Illo

Last, but not least...  I wanted to share one of my all time favorite custom recipes, for  Croquetas de la Abuela!  I was absolutely thrilled to illustrate Anna's Grandma's recipe for her family.

Although I speak no Spanish (I took high school French and a little Japanese post college)  I had an English translation and the Spanish version of the recipe to guide me.

I tried to find some examples of Spanish packaging and also looked at ceramics, and embroidery for pattern ideas.  Packaging in other languages is always fun to look at. Sometimes its really obvious what food you're getting and other times it's a complete mystery!  Quite a few times in Japan I thought I was getting something with cheese and really it was mayo.. yuck!

I wanted to bring a lot of bold color to this piece so it felt really festive.  I imagine frying up a bunch of croquetas to share with family at a party since they are bite size.

Here's a similar recipe I found for Ham Croquettes !  I'd like to try making them at home next tim we have a bunch of people over to eat them.  Valentine's Day is fast approaching,  Tomorrow is the last day to order a Custom Recipe Illustration for your honey, in time for Valentine's Day!

Chili Recipe Illustration

Happy Friday!  Here's  another Custom Recipe I wanted to share!  I was thrilled when Kristi contacted me to do this chili and pickle recipe for her husband.

She had some great ideas for details to include, such as the red LeCreuset.

I had a lot of fun working with this palette and coming up with simple geometric patterns that would give it a Tex-Mex feel.

There still time to fit in custom orders for Valentines... So shoot me an email if you want me to illustrate your favorite recipe for someone you love.  Hope you cook something delicious this weekend!

So Long 2013!

2013 has been an exciting one for me:

-I worked with new and fantastic clients!  Including some of my favorite publications, companies and artists!

- I took the Lila Rogers class, which gave me some new skills and motivation to license my artwork.

-I moved into our new place, one where we have a small backyard and can paint the walls. Woo hoo!

-I got married to my favorite person surrounded by our awesome family and friends.  All of the hard wedding planning was worth it because the day came together even better than I had hoped : )

- We traveled to Prague, Vienna, Salzburg and Zurich on our honeymoon!

I'm starting off 2014 feeling empowered and inspired!  Hope you are too : )

 

2014- Year of the Lumberjack!

 

Here it is my 2014 Lumberjack tea towel calendar!!  As soon as I got my fabric in the mail I threw it in the wash and stitched it right up.

If you also have a huge crush on lumberjacks, this towel might be for you...

Here's some close ups of the animals; goats wearing hats (inspired by the Sound of Music puppets!), gitty hedgehogs, sneaky raccoons and guitar playing birds.

Seriously can you tell how much fun I had working on this?

This may be my favorite tea towel calendar yet!

Check it out in my Etsy shop!

Happy Friday and have an awesome weekend!

 

Lumberjack

Happy Friday!  I just finished up my new tea towel calendar for 2014.  The last two years they've sold really well, so I'll have the 2014 one up in my Etsy shop as soon as I can.  This year I took inspiration from...

Lumberjacks and decorative elements on vintage Soviet postcards!

I found some really great reference for both on pinterest!

Here's a little sneak peek of my lumberjacks.

 I can't wait to receive my proof back from Spoonflower!

If you want to see the calendar early you can go vote for my calendar in the 2014 Tea Towel Calendar at Spoonflower. 

Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search

My submission for the Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search!  The assignment involved creating a journal for Paperchase with a vintage playground theme.

At first I was a little stumped by the theme... and then I thought about the kind of journal I would want to buy and characters I would enjoy drawing.  Whats more fun then a bunch of monkeys jumping rope? I worked on this piece during the recent heat wave, which also inspired my decision to draw ice cream...  The layout was loosely based on vintage circus posters and type.  Tomorrow the top 50 will be announced... fingers crossed!

Children's Book Week

 Week three of Lilla's Class was all about the children's book market.  I was an artsy kid and a huge reader growing up.  (Quentin Blake, who illustrated many of Roald Dahl's books was one of my favorite illustrators and Roald Dahl is still probably one of my favorite authors)  Once I got to college I had no interest in pursuing children's book work.  It just seemed like there were so many other exciting options... why stick to children's book.

 Anyways, I was sort of dreading this assignment.  Here's a link to the Snail and the Rose Tree, it's a pretty dark story.  I decided that since I wasn't worried about creating an actual portfolio piece it would be a good opportunity to experiment with my technique.

I work so much on the computer now, that I rarely get to use watercolors, pencils and collage anymore. (and I really miss that!) I've been trying to find a way to incorporate these materials and textures into my digital work, but only tentatively.  I made it my personal goal to do that this week and I'm feeling pretty excited about the results.  No, its not perfect, but it's a first step in the right direction!  I also had a BLAST with all the hand lettering!!  I'd definitely like to do more hand lettered work.

Lilla Roger's Class

I wanted to share some work I've been doing in Lilla Roger's  Make Art That Sells class.  Lilla Roger's is one of the top illustration agents and represents some of my favorite artists, so I jumped at the chance to push my work and get some helpful advice from her!

Each week is focused on a different market and the first week was bolt fabric design.  We started the week off drawing mushrooms and vintage casseroles.  It was both intimidating and inspiring to see the level of talent among the group!  Throughout the course its been really fun to see the variety in medium everyone uses and how differently everyone interprets the same subject matter.  

Here's my final print, inspired by one of my favorite dishes; Springtime Soba with Miso Sauce. 

Since this is a market I'm really interested in I had a lot of fun working on this piece and also getting a fresh perspective from Lilla about what will be popular with quilters and crafters.

Here's my coordinating prints

I tried to use some new colors, ones I typically wouldn't use and really layer the images in  my main pattern so it would feel very dense.  Of course I still ended up with lots of greens and acid yellow...

Week two was Home Decor.  This was a market I hadn't previously thought about selling my work in.  Once I started looking at the examples I got really excited about creating work for plates, sheets, and kitchen goods.

Our assignment this week was to sketch pods, succulents and unusual flowers, which was right up my alley!  Above are some of my inked drawings.  We then used the drawings to create mock up plates!

Here's a Bee plate, its in progress but I wanted to share it anyways!  I'm sort of obsessed with fat bees and honeycomb pattern right now.

Here's my more finished plate, which I submitted for the assignment.  Despite the fact that we are in the middle of moving to our new place, I've been feeling really invigorated by this class and the assignments we are getting.  I'll share my work from week three soon!

All kinds of exciting things happening this month!  I'm relieved that weather seems to be staying warm and sunny.  Nothing puts me in a better mood or makes me want to be outside more.

For June I really wanted to draw some cicadas... I've always thought they were so fascinating in a prehistoric giant bug kinda way.  Here's a great 7 min video about the cicadas... You can hear their mating call in the background and some great footage of them swarming!

Click on the mini cal if you want to download it for your desktop!  Just as a reminder... the Etsy Sale is still going strong.

PVD Lady Summer Guide

I was thrilled to be able to team up with the lovely ladies of Providence Lady Project.  The Providence Lady Project is all about connecting, inspiring and showcasing awesome women in Providence.  I've met some really fun and creative ladies at their previous events and I became a member of the group this year!  Just in time for Summer they've put together a guide  here- "featuring over 40 local, female owned businesses and tips from members on making it the best summer in Rhode Island!"

So... heres my contribution to the guide, a map of my favorite places to eat during the Summer!  Big thanks to the PVD Lady team and especially to Sarah for putting everything together.

So if you find yourselves in Rhode Island this summer here are some places to check out and look through the guide for other fun Summer ideas.  

 

May Calendar

Happy May Day!  The weather has been absolutely beautiful this week and I've loved walking around the neighborhood seeing all of the flowers in full bloom!

 

Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers, I love the bright colors they come in and their strange shape.  Good luck to all those showing their work this upcoming week at Surtex and the Quilt Market in Portland.  I can't wait to see what all my favorite artists and designers have been up to!  Below is the May Cal.

Click on it to download and save as a fresh wallpaper for May.

April Calendar

A few days late... but here's this month's Calendar!  Inspired by all the beautiful photos I've been seeing of cherry blossoms in Kyoto... Here's one of the best places to view the cherry blossoms, Kiyomizudera.  

Here's an old image of Kiyomizudera from 1909 and not much has changed.  Kiyomizudera is probably the most famous Buddhist temple in Kyoto and has a fantastic view of the city!  Someday I will make it back to Japan just to see the cherry blossoms!

 Growing up in DC I loved seeing the cherry blossoms transform our street every year.  My birthday is in April so it always feels like an extra present!  Here's my dad, me and Ernie enjoying the blossoms.

Click on the small calendar to download it and use it as a wallpaper.

March Calendar

Yay for March!  I'm happy to be that much closer to spring and some warm sunny weather.  I'm so sick of the dreary New England rainy, snowy cold winter.. ughhh.  This month I went with bright patterned hot air balloons!  Is there anything more vibrant or uplifting?

Click on the smaller calendar to download it for free!