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.
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!
Have you checked out Emma Magazine yet? The tagline is "If Martha was a twenty-something." The magazine is chock-full of fun DIY's, recipes, styling tips and gift ideas. They also just released their very own app!
I got in touch with them about creating something fun for the magazine and we decided on a piece about growing an avocado tree from a pit, just in time for their Summer issue!
I also chatted with their lovely intern, Alejandra, about art, food and travel. Check it out on pages 42-43!
I started growing my own little avocado pits while I was working on the piece. This one has a nice root going...
and a tiny little sprout!
Go read Emma! This issue has a great father's day gift guide, smoothie ideas, and how to sew a skirt!
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.
We are moving very soon!
As I look around the studio I realize now would be a good time to get rid of some of my inventory... and have less things to box up.
Starting today use code: MOVING in my Etsy shop to receive 20% off all orders over $15.
Have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend and check out the sale... From now till the end of June! 20% off! I'll be adding more items so keep your eyes peeled!
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.
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.
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.
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!
In honor of Valentine's Day I decided to go on a Chowda Scouting mission for something chocolate. This was also a good excuse to visit Pastiche, my absolute favorite place for dessert. Pastiche makes the best cheesecake, not too heavy or overwhelmingly sweet. The fruit tart is light and flavorful. My fiance adores the chocolate mousse cake and often goes for any of their seasonal specials. I decided to branch out and try something new... the waitress recommended the mocha dacquoise.* Mocha Dacquoise is described as "dark chocolate sponge and almond meringue filled with coffee mousse. finished with coffee buttercream and chocolate glaze."
I really enjoyed all the different flavors in each layer of the cake, it reminded me of a tiramisu. If your looking to take your honey out for dessert go to Pastiche! Or if you want to bring home a sampling of sweets check out their amazing array of cookies, cannoli, macaroons, brownies, rugelach and Valentines day specials!
Pastiche is tucked away on Federal Hill at 92 Spruce Street. (it's one over from Atwells)
Open: Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30 AM to 11 PM
Friday & Saturday, 8:30 AM to 11:30 PM Sunday, 10 AM to 10 PM
*I've been cracking myself up by saying mocha dacquoise with an over the top French accent... Now I can't say it without giggling or speaking in a fake french accent.
Yesterday was John Hancock's birthday...
and National Handwriting Day! (I love weird random holidays)
My friends at yourfonts had a coupon for a free font, so I thought it would be fun to make a cursive font!
I threw myself another curve ball by picking a dish that was tricky to illustrate. When I lived in Japan oyakodon was my go to comfort food on a cold winter day because there is nothing better than a warm bowl of rice topped with eggs, chicken, and a sweet salty broth. Oyakodon literally means mother and child (get it?? haha)
After returning to the US I looked everywhere for a satisfying oyakodon, but was mostly disappointed... Until I went to Ebisu !
Since then, Ebisu has become one of my favorite restaurants in RI. This is the food that reminds of my time in Japan! Their menu does not have sushi, but instead focuses on bowls of rice, ramen and even shabu-shabu! Traditionally, oyakodon is not made with the crispy breaded "katsu" style chicken, but I think it's even better served this way! If you go to Ebisu, look for it on the menu as Katsu Don for $9.95 .
Ebisu is located at:
38 Pontiac Ave. Providence, RI 02907 and you can reach them
@ (401) 270 7500
Of if you want to make some oyakodon at home, here's a recipe with katsu style chicken. (I haven't tried it but it's based on a Momofuku recipe, so I bet it's awesome !) And here's a faster and more traditional recipe option.
I had such a good time research craft tattoos and drawing this. Also I was incredibly flattered that someone would want my art on their body forever... huge compliment! I can't wait to see what it looks like after it's healed. Speaking of REPEAT, round two is starting up soon and the deadline for entering is tomorrow! This year I'm coming back as a guest judge and proud to be judging amongst some of the most friendly and talented ladies in the quilt world!
I had so much fun working on the knitting tags for the holidays that I decided I'd like to share a FREE calendar page each month for all of 2013!
2013 is the year of the snake! Technically the Chinese New Year doesn't start till early February, but I thought I'd get a head start... You can click on the smaller image below to download at full size!
Happy New Years!! I'm back from a long holiday break filled with food, family and friends! I thought it would be fun to start the year off with a fresh new drawing. Pomegranates are one of my favorite winter fruits to eat on a salad or as a snack. Here's a way I've recently learned to open them without getting juice everywhere....
I also made this tasty relish with pomegranates, olives and pistachios! It's delicious! Happy 2013!!
Hello dear readers! It's been far too long since I've posted a Chowda Scout piece... Rest assured, I have been eating lots of great food in the state of RI! This latest dish is from my favorite Indian restaurant; RASOI. I chose to illustrate their Vegetarian Ayurvedic Thali. A thali is a traditional Indian meal served in a platter. It's usually a balanced sampling of nutrition, flavor, texture and color!
Tuesday- Thursday Rasoi offers thali's from different regions of India. It's a fun way to try little portions of a variety of dishes. I forgot to write down exactly what was in this one... but I think it included: a saag (or spinach dish), eggplant and potato curry, mushroom& pea curry, lentil dal and a mango rice pudding that was insanely delicious... Also with some basmati rice and fresh naan!
The thali was quite a challenge; the metal platter and dishes, drawing curries, puddings and lentil dal was even harder than I thought it would be... But I wanted to try to convey the bright colors, and delicious spices used in Indian cooking. On a technical note I've also been working on adding texture and layers of translucency to my work. I struggled with this piece for awhile but I'm pretty happy with where it's at now!
Anyways, I hope this piece makes you hungry for Indian food... In addition to having weeknight specials, Rasoi also has a delicious Brunch buffet on the weekends.
This year I challenged myself to make many hand-knit gifts! I took a trip to North Hampton, MA to WEB'S, the biggest yarn store in the country! Have you been? It's amazing!
I love the whole process of knitting a gift; from selecting the pattern, choosing the yarn and then wrapping it up all pretty! I'm still trying to get a bunch of presents finished up for the holidays. So far I've completed 2 scarves, 2 sets of mitts and a hat.. Not bad right?
I've been seeing adorable free printable tags on many of my favorite websites; on Ravelry, Design Sponge, and an awesome round up of free printables on Creature Comforts! I decided to make my own for the holidays!
I really loved the idea of including the washing directions so the recipient knows exactly how to wash their gift! And it was fun to draw all the little symbols....
Some of these aren't marked. Just in case any of my family members are reading the blog : ) The tags don't line up perfectly, but they were good enough for me! You can still cut off the exterior color and they look pretty good.
Anyways, I wanted to offer them up for free for any of my knitting readers! Here's the Poinsettia tag front, back and the Geo tag front and back. So, Happy Holidays!! Also as a reminder, if you want to follow my blog via Facebook please "like" my page!