Monday, December 23, 2013


In the spirit of Linus, enjoy your holidays and may all your December snowflakes taste ripe! Happy 2014 as well!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

40 days of 24

Quite an number of 40 days have passed since I started this project, but I have not given up! Here is day 24, another piece that I did for Creative Interviews. The quote is by Oscar Stern, Creative Director Art/Broadcast Producer for the Hachette Book Group. Interview can be read here. I had very little time to work on this one. Aside from a quickie thumbnail, a week earlier, I didn't start this until 10:00pm last night! Proud to say, I powered through it without a drop of coffee, but I nearly went to fire up my Verissmo, a few times! The text itself, was pretty visual, which always helps get the ball rolling. Not that you have to have anything other than straight lettering in a piece like this, but I always think it adds a nice touch, if you can. Considering my time constraints, I wanted to keep it simple color-wise, so I decided to throw it on a black background that I could quickly "grunge up" at the last minute (which ended up being around 2:00am).  I could have spent more time working on the leaves and making them more interesting, but at that hour, I was going for speed and simplicity, which for me, meant using the brush tool as opposed to the pen tool in illustrator. Always a relief to use that as opposed to the point making, handle pulling tedium of using illustrator's pen, but hey... it's what I'm used to. All things considered, I was happy with the way it turned out.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

society6 sale!

Hi there! Just a quickie to say that you can use the special promo link below and get *FREE Shipping plus $5 OFF each of my products when you order from my Society6 Store! The promotion expires December 8, 2013 at Midnight Pacific Time.
 There are lots of prints, pillows, totes, T's, cards and onesies to choose from. *Free shipping offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Throw Pillows with link

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lilla Rogers, Make Art That Sells, hometown map assignment!

I realized that I never officially posted week 4 editorial assignment from Lilla Rogers MATS class. This was a particularly challenging assignment to do in less than a week. We were to do a map of our hometown. Now I presently live in a typical New England small town, just 30 some miles west of Boston. I actually considered stretching the truth and just doing Boston, but ultimately I decided that doing a map of a city would be more overwhelming, especially since it has been done so many times already. I seriously doubt that little ol' Westborough has been the subject of an editorial map. 

The disadvantage of doing a small town is the seemingly lack of interesting subject matter, so I dove into the history books to get some material! Although he left here as a small child and his family's home is long gone, Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, was born here! Also, in the 19th century, Westborough was known for sleigh manufacturing. Outside of that, I decided to focus on the hellish traffic circle (the rotary) in the center of downtown, with no less than 7 streets converging into it. To make traffic worse, nearby there is a low railroad bridge that despite multiple warnings, tractor trailers get stuck underneath it on a weekly basis. Fun! Since it is in New England, the epicenter of the Dunkin Donut chain store magnate, there is an odd, unhealthy abundance of donut/coffee shops. I counted 9 in a town of 18,000. Seems like a pretty high ratio, but maybe the sugary caffeine rush is necessary to navigate through the downtown traffic ;)

I have always wanted to tackle a map and despite the challenge, I was thrilled that this was the assignment. My class submission is the smaller version pictured below. I wanted to submit this to the wonderful site, They Draw and Travel, so I had to expand and reformat to meet their horizontal specs. There was a lot that I did not have time to do for the class assignment, so I took the opportunity to add more buildings, people and of course, the infamous railroad bridge. There are always more details I would like to have added, but this kind of work is really an exercise in editing it down to a manageable amount of info that gives the viewer a feel for the locale, without showing every last detail. I hope I achieved that!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

happy thanksgiving!

Just a quickie for day 23 of my lettering project, but more importantly, I'd like to thank anyone who takes the time to visit my little corner of the cybersphere! Thanks for your interest and support and have a great and happy thanksgiving day! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

40 days of lettering... day 22!

This weeks's creative interviews feature was with Jim Haven, chief creative officer and founder of the ad agency, Creature, based out of Seattle. This quote was a little longer than I realized at first glance. Although I really like the message, it was not something that leant itself to an obvious image, like some that I have done in the past.  It took a little more thought on my part, to try to adapt the lettering somehow to the overall theme. How do you represent failure as a form of success in contrast to compromise? The word failure itself, brought to mind the fact that it starts with the letter "F," which definitely has a negative school connotation, so I decided to highlight the first letter in regards to a report card. This opened up the possibility of adding a report card image somewhere, in this case, it ended up as a background element. I thought that placing the words as part of steps with failure at the top might reflect a general sense of progression, as a good thing, with failure making it all the way to the top. I squished part of "compromise" to connote its meaning. I would have liked to work in a figure but overall, I'm happy with how it turned out. I think I will try to incorporate more ephemera into these pieces, where I can. I think it adds a nice element to contrast with all the vector.

Monday, November 25, 2013

merry christmas!

Over the weekend, I decided at the last minute to throw together a few entries to the UK Tigerprint "Christmas icons" competition. Tigerprint is actually a UK division of Hallmark. I knew I had some material already on hand to revise slightly and submit. Reduce reuse and recycle, right? ;) Maybe I am just a slow worker, but I was surprised how long it took me to revise and reformat these pieces. Each entry was part of a larger piece from Lilla's class. The format was either 500 x 500 pixels or 500 x 700 pixels. I preferred using the square layout. I had to play around with the girl and boy elves, to make the lettering fit around and/or between those pointy little hats. I liked including pics of my gramma's 1960's plastic snowflakes as a background element. And yes, they actually are pink in real life! I decided to use the cuckoo clock icon I had since one of the suggestions was to use "non-traditional" icons. Maybe it's my German heritage, but I've always liked these and had one in my house growing up. Lastly, the little reindeer riding, lone ranger elf, seemed like a good stand alone piece. Even if you don't get the connection of "Hi Ho," hopefully it is cute enough on its own. 

This is the first time I have ever entered one of these contests and am unsure how it actually works. You can facebook "like" any individual piece, so if you are so inclined, I'd appreciate the click! You have to scroll down the entries to find them and mine are towards the bottom. Thanks!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

40 days of 21

Today's piece is a quote from Dan Shepelavy, Executive Creative Director of the Brownstein Group, from a feature over at creative interviews. This quote was a little more lengthy than what I am used to, but I took it as a personal challenge to figure out how to make it mesh! My first thought was to make it fit within the overall shape of a curvacious beer can. That actually might have worked, if it wasn't for the fact that "Kardashian" kept falling right where I was putting the beer can's "waistline," i.e. the narrowest part! Anyway, I had more success once I worked the lettering within the context of a standard can. It's an interesting quote, nonetheless and worth the read to get his take on today's advertising world.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Now on MOYO!

All of the participants in Lilla Rogers MATS course, received a lovely last gift... a six month membership in the online design directory, MOYO! It is a relatively new site, but is quickly gaining popularity in the surface design world as a great resource to find designer/illustrators. If you have a second (and it literally takes just that, I would so appreciate it if you could pop on over there to my page and click on the heart. No account signup necessary, or annoying emails will follow, but the act of liking my profile will give me more visibility on searches. Thanks so much for your time and interest!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

40 days of lettering... day 20!

I'm at the halfway point! Ok, so maybe it's been a little over 20 days to get to this point and no doubt, more than another 20 to finish up, but who's counting? ummm, I guess I am, but anyway, it feels good to have gotten this far. 

This was another piece I did for creative interviews from an interview with Daniel Bonner, Global Chief Creative Officer at Razorfish. This was a cool quote to work with in that it instantly conjured up some visuals relating to superheroes and their powers. Initially, I tried to work a cape in here, coming off "super powers," but it just got too big, complicated and generally awkward that I decided to just bag it. I messed around with the line breaks until I got an arrangement that seemed to fit well together and allowed a spot for the fist to come in. Overall, this was a quickie for me in that I finished up in under 2 hours. I was glad I kept it from being too refined and complex. One of my reasons for doing this 40 day project, was to sharpen my skills and speed up my process, so I felt that time-wise at least, this piece was a success.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lilla Rogers Make Art that Sells... party ware!!

Well, it was the fifth and final week of MATS, that focused on party goods. I never gave this market much thought...who really thinks about disposable paper goods? But I can see the potential for fun design in this area, with all the coordinating table products that are needed, not to mention, gift wrap. 

Our assignment was to create a design for a paper plate and napkin with a Bavarian/Ukranian folkloric theme. When you look at this type of art, there are a lot of florals, which initially, made the brief kind of intimidating to me. There are many artists that specialize in floral/botanicals, but I am surely not one of them. Instead, I tried to take a more figural approach which really ended up looking a bit more storybook. I thought it might be fun to do a cottage and the animals sprang from that. I started out by using some symmetry with the squirrels and trees, but then I remembered how a lot of the little wooden german figurines that I love to collect, often are playing instruments, so I threw in the violins and mandolin. Birds are also a predominant part of this type of art, so I decided to feature a couple of woodpeckers to add some interest to the trees. The girl was a must, of course. Initially, I thought I was going to go with bright colors... kelly green, bright blue, warm red and pink, etc. much like the German pieces I was speaking of earlier, but once I made the grass pink, there was no going back and I ended up with a somewhat limited palette...always good practice for me. And hey, what's wrong with a little pink grass, right?

I must say, I really enjoyed this course. The tight deadlines, great themes and inspiration topped off with being part of a wonderful community of super artists all contribute to the creation of so much incredible artwork by my fellow classmates. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

40 days of lettering, days 18 and 19!

Almost halfway done!! This past week, I fit in 2 more quotes for creative interviews. Andrew McKechnie is the group creative director for DDB NY and Ron Lim is the creative director at ATTIK. The trophy piece was a bit tricky to try to make the type fit in the shape as well as make it look like it wrapped around it somewhat. I enjoyed including a person alongside the lettering. I think that always makes it more interesting. For the other piece, I tried to focus on the "stay the course" portion of the quote. It made me think of a somewhat nautical theme, so I used that as the focus/theme of the piece in terms of the colors and background graphics.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

week 3 of Lilla Rogers Make Art that Sells...scrapbooking

Time is flying by and we are already at the halfway point in MATS. This week concentrated on the scrapbooking market. Our brief was to design a scrapbooking page (the kind you might see in the aisles at Michael's) with a vintage camera/typewriter theme. The mini assignment (given out at the beginning of the week) was to draw those two subjects. Now I would never consider myself to be any kind of a great technical drawer, so the thought of taking my pencil to represent typewriters, in particular, was a daunting task. There are a lot of people in the course that can literally draw or paint anything with great ease...I am not one of them. Nonetheless, I liked the subject, especially the cameras, so I gave it a go. The first thing I saw were faces amongst all the buttons, bulbs and lenses, so at that point, I had my direction...vintage robot cameras, sort of! It made the project more fun. We were also told to include some lettering, which I was very happy to use to fill out the page. I also introduced the idea of using CMYK colors and registration marks. I thought they might add a nice touch as a border treatment. I drew a lot of cameras, many of which didn't make the cut, but my favorite little guy, was a quick little doodle/ mr. instamatic! Maybe it's because instamatic cameras, while not the most interesting looking cameras of all time, were the kind I used as a kid until I tried to get all fancy with a 35mm in college. Remember the film cartridges? I made a little pattern of them up near the top of the page.

It was a fun week and once again, a real pleasure to see all the different translations of the brief by the talented members of the class. Next week is one that I have been looking forward to...editorial!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

40 days of lettering... days 16 and 17!

I am back on the bandwagon (at least for a day or two) and have 2 more pieces to add to my lettering project as I ever so slowly, creep to the halfway point. 40 days was a crazy idea, and who knows how many in total it will take me to get there, but I am plugging away! In the news department, I am now represented by the nice folks over at Good Illustration. I have been poking around and looking for a rep for some time and their subspecialties of children's illustration and lettering seemed like it might make a nice fit with my work and luckily they agreed to take me on. They also sponsor a site called creative interviews, that feature weekly chats with well known creatives in the advertising and editorial fields. They asked me if I could whip up some type treatments based on quotes from the interviewees as a way to self promote, and I was happy to oblige. I really enjoyed doing the museum piece for Antonio Navas, ECD of Saatchi & Saatchi NZ. It was a nice respite from my usual sugar filled designs and the toned down color and linework gave me some "visual relief" from some of the kids stuff I have been working on lately. The Back to the Future piece from a quote from Rich Greco of the design firm, Droga5, gave me a lot more trouble, for some reason. I really wrested with the type treatment and whether or not to have the television shape or not, and even the colors themselves! In the end, I felt pretty comfortable with it and liked the retro feel to it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 2, Lilla's MATS class... baby apparel

Our week 2 assignment was to delve into the baby apparel market, focusing first on camping, in particular vintage camping as in retro campers, etc. I've never really focused on going into this market, even though I have done a lot of brand licensing work meant to be applied to apparel. I have never really come up with my own designs as applied to kids clothing. As with every week in Lilla's class, we get a mini assignment in the beginning of the week, in this case, camping icons. My main issue was that I came up with too many! I eventually settled on a woodland animals type camping scene, but as you can see from some of my sketches, a lot of them didn't make the cut! It's always a challenge for me to limit my colors, but is is a good exercise and contributes to a more pulled together look, I think. I may have gone over the line (10 colors) but lets just say there are a number of tints here ;). I used line work to try to hold the icons together, somewhat, without filling it up, so to speak. I could have done a whole lot more coordinates. I find that aspect of surface design the most fun, when you get to expand upon your theme. Next up is scrapbooking...stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

illustration friday... mustache

I hadn't submitted one of these in a long time, but when I saw the fun subject matter, mustaches, I knew I had an old illustration I could easily revise a bit to use! Actually, I did this for a Groundhog Day card a while back, so I removed him, changed the pose a bit, added some more textures that I thought it lacked, and here you go. Of course, you can't have a monocle, beard and mustache without a pipe! ;) Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

40 days of 15

Ok, so 40 days is a long time. Why did it have to be 40 in the first place? What's wrong with thirty, or 25? Both perfectly nice numbers ;) Despite how far out 40 seems to be at the moment, I am going to stick to my pledge and plug away until I reach that magical number. I never said it would be 40 consecutive! Technically, you could say that I am bending the rules by including this piece, but it is in the spirit of lettering, so I'm calling it number 15! I revisited my Christmas card for Lilla's class and thought it might look nice in a less busy, more pared down version. I played around with the elements from the original, eliminating many and fit it in an ogee shape. I think I like the results... it's a cleaner read even though I hated getting rid of my little pipe smoking elf!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Make Art That Sells... Christmas in October!

Well it's that time again... the Christmas decorations are out nudging the Halloween decor in Target and I have yet to rake a single leaf! This week marked the beginning of part B of Lilla Rogers Make At that Sells e-course. I took part A and learned so much and have been looking forward to the topics in the second half, the first of which was the paper market. The assignment was to come up with 2 Christmas cards, focusing on candy and vintage ornaments... two of my favorite topics :). I have always been a big collector, and vintage Christmas is a major obsession...just check out my mantle. It's all there, from old cards, to hard plastic light-ups, to vintage Japanese ceramics like Holt Howard, Napco, etc. alongside Gurley candles, putz houses, chenille angels...and keep in mind, this is just my mantle, haha. So as you can see, I only needed to look so far as my attic for inspiration on this one!

The first design I worked on was the soldier and bear. Ive always noticed there are a lot of Christmas bands decorations, so I thought that could be a fun one. My main struggle with this design was the type treatment. Since I strayed a bit from my usual style to more geometric based figures, I thought the type should reflect that. Anyway, I ended up spending way too much time on this and literally have pages of fa la la la la la la la la la's! Can't tell you how many times I had to count the number of "la's!" It's hard to make the same two letters in repeat look interesting. 
For the second piece, which is the one I ended up submitting for review, I took part of the lyrics from one of my favorite Harry Connick Jr.'s songs. This one came easier to me overall as I knew from the start how I wanted the lettering to look and that I wanted the decorations to work off and around that as the central element. I've always loved elves, so I imagined them up to all sorts of mischief on a tree interacting with the ornaments. Note that I added a pipe smoker ;) I've decided that wherever possible, I will try to incorporate a pipe as my signature. Never smoked a thing in my life, but my dad occasionally used to smoke a pipe on weekends only, so this is my nod to him. I had a lot of fun working on this and although it is extremely busy, I hope you have fun looking at it! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

40 days of lettering... day 14

Back from my lettering hiatus, so I decided to cash in (I wish...) on the season. Being an obsessively crazy Christmas person, I don't particularly agree with this sentiment, but I always enjoyed it when my kids were little (see below and right... all costume credit goes to my talented sister, but I did make the horse and carriage ;) Anyway, I decided to take the title of the Andy Williams classic, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," and skew it halloween. I sure hope Andy's estate has good royalties, because that song has absolutely taken over the christmas radio station song track in recent years. Not sure what is up with my apparent pipe affection as of late, but one somehow found its way into this...and no I do not smoke and have never smoked one! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

took a little break from lettering

This past week, I decided to take a short break from my lettering project and work on something that I had on my to-do list. A while back, I had designed the piece below for a unicef holiday card contest. It did not make the cut, but I had since thought that I could do something more with it and possibly turn it into a pattern collection of sorts. I struggled with making the main pattern hold together, and there is perhaps more detail than what is practical to have in a bolt pattern. I added the flower pots to give it a grid and some visual stability to counter all the randomness of the windows. I generally like to come up with at least coordinates. I really liked the colors in the diamond pattern. Hopefully, all four look like they are meant to go together! 

And now...back to lettering ;)

Monday, September 30, 2013

40 days of lettering...lucky day 13!

Who says the number 13 isn't lucky? I've never been superstitious about it, but it sure lent itself to a theme for the day. Obviously (hopefully), you can see that I tried to tie in various luck symbols. I don't know much about lucky cats or their origin, but they seemed to be a natural fit with this. I tried to do a slightly looser lettering feel especially for "MAKE." I used the pencil tool here for a rougher edge. This is the kind of doodled design that is difficult to know just when to stop. I just kept adding little curly q's, etc. Hopefully I stopped in time before it got too busy! Good luck with the rest of your day!!

Looking for more interesting blogs? Check these out blog parade  A group of my fellow classmates (organized by the lovely Linda Tieu) from the Make Art that Sells course, are participating on a monthly blog hop. Part B of Lilla's course starts next week! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

40 days of lettering... day 12

Let's face it... we've all been there. If you work anywhere in a creative field, it's that sinking feeling you first get when given a new project. What the heck am I going to do?! Hopefully, once you sit down and hash it out, you eventually come up with some ideas but that inevitable first stage of nothingness never seems to go away, at least for me. Actually, back when I worked at Hasbro, I had this same quote pinned to my bulletin board. It was a panel from a G.I. Joe comic book, with "Joe" asking one of his underlings this very question. The poor private had this same dumbfounded look on his face. 

I tried to work a bit more quickly on this one and worked pretty much all using the pencil tool to give it a looser, more graphic look. I also tried to limit my colors, somewhat successfully, at least for me ;) Well, here's to an abundance of good ideas! (and at least 28 more for me...)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

40 days of lettering... day 11

Actually, I never really liked twinkies all that much anyway. I mean, if there's no chocolate involved, what's the point? But anything involving a chocolate/peanut butter combo is a winner to me, so no surprise, funny bones were a personal have, alongside ring dings of course. I actually used to skip lunch, save my lunch money, and buy this junk on my way home after school...ahhh, the good old days ;)

For this exercise, I tried to do a style reminiscent of the old double bubble tiny comic inserts... a little bit of dot gain and poor registration. I also tried to limit the colors for more of a retro feel, which is always tough for me. I like doing pieces like this and trying to make the different type elements all fit together like a puzzle.

So, did I make you hungry? Go treat yourself to a ho ho/ding dong... it's on the house ;)

Monday, September 23, 2013

40 days of lettering... day 10

I may have gotten a little carried away today. I found this quote from "Alice in Wonderland" that I really liked and I instantly knew that I wanted to incorporate the cheshire cat and his wide grin in a tree alongside the type treatment. For some reason, this kind of graphic look just seemed to lend itself to a book cover, so I decided to turn it into a possible sequel to Alice's original adventure. Who wouldn't want to go back to wonderland, anyway? I then took the opportunity to add the white rabbit, since, well, I really like bunnies in general, so throwing him in the mix was a no brainer. I wasn't going to include the cat's eyes, or at least both of one point, I had a cat eye in the hole of the "A" in "mad" but there really isn't a cyclops kitty in the story, so I moved some things around and fit in the requisite two eyeballs. Besides, I really liked how the green eyes looked and popped against all the purple. 

Well, I'm officially one quarter finished with this little project! I think I may need to simplify my efforts here, but this was a fun one :D

Saturday, September 21, 2013

40 days of 9

Today, I tried to loosen it up a bit more (something I struggle with...) but trying to achieve a brushier overall look. Most people would just pick up a paint brush and a bottle of ink, but no! Not me, haha. I remain steadfast, for better or worse, in my dedication to pure vectors. Ok, so maybe it's more like I'm afraid of picking up a paintbrush, but don't tell anyone ;) I first penciled all this script, then redrew the more straightforward letters with the pen tool. The looser letters (like fairy) were essentially done using an ink brush with my trusty wireless mouse within illustrator. I then added a few highlights to help mimic actual paint a bit more. 

I stumbled upon this quote on the packaging for one of my daughter's hair accessories, and I knew I wanted to use it. Actually, the quote began with, "If I'm honest, I have to tell you..." I chose to edit it down a bit, but I have to agree with Audrey on this one.

illustration friday... together, plus day 8 of 40 days of lettering

That's right, I'm killing two birds with one stone. I hadn't done an illustration Friday topic for a couple months. When I saw this week's word, it seemed simple enough to treat it as lettering (which is often my fallback approach to these). I struggled a lot with this lettering, color-wise, treatment, etc. I'm still not sure I like it, but I was well over my self imposed time limit of an hour, so I called it done. Not sure why I ended up with another circular design, but I do like that it is a bit looser than some of the lettering I had been doing. Happy weekend!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

40 days of 7

Here's a little play off of the "Life is Good" brand. If only I could come up with something that is a hundredth as successful as that! This was once again, my not so successful attempt at a limited palette :/ Sometimes, I just can't help myself when it comes to color. I knew I wanted to end up with a circular layout, so the accordion kind of worked well for rounding up the bottom as a border of sorts. I sketched any number of kids/animals to be playing it...from squirrels to bears, bunnies, etc. but ended up with the newspaper hat wearing cat (who seems to have exceptionally long front legs). I also used some water color brushes in illustrator for a more hand drawn look. Have fun out there!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

pretty little maids pattern collection

A few days ago,  I showed you my little maids. I don't think I ever worked on a project for a longer period of time. I really started this during Lilla Rogers' class during her last week that focused on the gift market. The original assignment was to create a zippered pouch based on a current fashion trend of hyper lush, inkblot designs, as well as to incorporate imagery from something we collect. I have no shortage of collections, but I decided to focus on a Christmas theme, and used some German wooden flowers, putz houses and characters based on my German smokers. I had a lot of fun with it, which was the whole idea. I knew that I wanted to expand this into a fabric collection, using the little girl. Drawing more girls was the fun part, but I took the longest time trying to figure out what to do with them pattern-wise. Ultimately, I tried to keep it somewhat simple (something I struggle with...), letting them be the stars. In the end, it looks more scandinavian folk art looking than Christmas, but that's ok. I am glad to have this off the back burner! I still like the little elves and am considering more possibilities using them along with a house pattern with deer and flower coordinates? What can I say, I love Christmas!

My original pouch design, using photos of shaved wooden trees, 

plastic deer, a vinyl tablecloth pic for the "snow,"

German flowers, and 60's plastic snowflake decorations. 
A real mishmash!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

40 days of 6

Ok, so maybe I am a prototypical artist. No surprise, I hated math in school. Not that I did terrible at it, but I sure had to work at it and I knew that I would never work in a profession that required any sort of  mathematical mastery, so what was the point? I have an accountant friend, who understandably, loves numbers. I can respect that. But honestly, I will never get it. I guess what I really object to is the sheer amount of utmost respect it gets within our schools, at the expense of the arts. In our own town, they have implemented what they are calling curriculum "collaboration," in which core subjects are introduced and covered in non-core classrooms. The example given was that during art class, the art teacher would be touching on any artistic references to the current history curriculum. Ummmmm, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that would be called art history, not hands on art or drawing. I'm wondering if the math classes were asked to make the same sort of concessions, hmmmmmm.

Anyway, back on track and off my high artistic horse, this was a fun one to do since I managed to stay away from my usual sugary sweet style. I've been trying to do these fairly quickly, so it's far from perfect, geometrically speaking. Oh, geometrics=geometry?! Ooops, guess I should have paid a little more attention in class ;)

Monday, September 16, 2013

pretty little maids all in a row

This is a story about the best Gramma that ever was. As I've mentioned before, I grew up in a sleepy little town in north central Pennsylvania, far from Amish country, Philadelphia, Pittsburg or all of the parts of Pennsylvania one usually associates with the state. We had 5 kids and my parents were lucky enough to live right next door to my Gramma (note:  "Gramma"not "grandma"...central Pennsylvania regional term). She was everything you could ever want a gramma to be. She was fun, smart, made the best chocolate chip cookies and homemade ice cream ever, loved to read to us, made all her own dolls, put out a spectacular Christmas display that filled the entire dining room, and played a great game of dominoes (no card games for her as that was considered a form of gambling ;) I was free to go over to her house whenever I wanted. She had a little corner of her kitchen that was meant for me, filled with dolls that she had saved from the dump, reconstructed, and fully outfitted with her own handmade clothes and knitted booties. She made tables and chairs for them out of cardboard oatmeal canister containers that she painted a wonderful shade of green porch enamel. She was as thrifty as they come. When I was back at my home over the summer, I discovered some little paper dolls that she had made up in our attic. This was so typical of her. By the looks of it, she had cut them out of a magazine and pasted them on cereal box cardboard, carefully cut them out, made little stands and of course, labeled them on their backs with what country they were from. Every thing she touched, she made special. When I saw these once again, I was inspired to do my own little versions. Some are a little closer in style to the originals than others and I wouldn't say that I kept them in true international costume, but I hope she would have liked them. I also used them to put together a little pattern collection that I will show to you tomorrow.

I'm the imp to the right of Gramma
along with my sister and brother.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

40 days of 5

So, I don't know about you, but cupcakes were just about my favorite dessert or even a snack, loooong before the current cupcake craze started. Not that I am complaining about their sudden popularity. Short of Sprinkles, which still has not made it to the Boston area, my fave shops would have to be Rosie's (in Chestnut Hill) or Georgetown Cupcakes on Newbury Street in Boston. The latter can't be beat for its sheer variety, but it's hard to top the pure buttercream experience of Rosie's simple, but rich chocolate cake. Cupcakes, when done right, are the perfect ratio of cake to icing and are able to be consumed without utensils or plates! What could be more handy?! Now that I've got you hungry, what is your favorite variety and bakery?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

40 days of lettering, day 4...Keep calm!!

I keep seeing so many versions of the "keep calm and..." phrase and decided to do my own little take on it. Actually, I googled and learned that it was actually a WW2 British public safety poster series that was discovered in a British book shop back in 2000. You can learn a bit more of the history of it here... link. It has become a meme for poster and t-shirt artists ever since. 

In this series, I'm making an attempt to limit the number of colors...always tough for me to do but I think it is good practice. Besides, I simply love mid century illustration that often limits colors to 2-3 total. In retrospect, this isn't a whole lot of cool, crazy lettering...pretty simple. I'll try to up the ante on the lettering focus on my next few versions, but this was one I just had to try! Carry an and keep calm! zzzzzzzz.....