Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Woodland Wonder

I've been fast and steadily working my way into Fall. And now that its cold both inside and out I keep wondering about all the little critters getting ready for winter; filled to the brim with busy work. So, while I snuggle up inside with two pairs of wool socks on (I'm plagued with the coldest feet in Buffalo) I thought I might take a virtual trip through the woods and see what everyone is up to...
It seems I'm not the only animal to think of layering up. Check out that Gentle Deer Man. He's got a scarf and everything! Oouuu, and it seems that the birds are already migrating south. And hey, look, those bunnies are on the run - headed for warmer weather I'm sure; flock purse and Jackrabbit Necklace. Ouch, looks like some deer met his untimely end. Did you see those Vintage Deer Antlers mounted on the wall? Yeesh. It's getting colder too. I probably should have dressed warmer like in this Plaid Flannel Bustier Top - cute right?! Talk about standing out from the boys. Maybe I should accessorize too, with a cute Brown Bear Brooch. What do you think, too much? Naw, just right. Afterall, when in Rome dress the part! Awww, look at this little leaping bunny nightlight. He jumped right over the moon! I didn't know they could jump that high. Did you? Oh, and this must be his friend Butterscotch Tweed Fox - wait. No time for introductions. I think I smell a fire. There, a cute little cabin in the woods! I wonder if anyone's home. I wonder if they have any mounted deer in there? I don't know its pretty cold out here though. Maybe I should just suck it up and go inside; Buck It Up Note Card.

Hello? Hello? Nope no one's home. Oouu, I love what they've done with the place. That knitted apple tree pillow looks so soft and cozy and I love that print, My, What A Big Heart You Have. And, that birch pendant light is just fantastic. Cabin in the woods or not I'd love to own that piece. You know, this place seems pretty authentic. They have an enchanted forest table set with maple seed pod napkins, and look, another cozy pillow. This one is a stitched applique pillow cover of an evergreen forest. I bet someone made that by hand. Sigh...this print, this one here is my favorite. I wish I had a cozy little acorn to call my very own; A Quiet Forest print. Must be a man and woman that live here because there are twig hair pins and log cuff links. I wonder if I snagged one of those hair pins if anyone would notice. Its just that my bangs won't grow out fast enough and I forgot to clip them back before I left the house and....hey, wait a minute that plaid bomber jacket looks pretty warm. That might come in handy on my walk back home-shhh! Someone's coming. Hide!

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's All About The Process

I love when writers and artists share their process. Afterall, what's that phrase? It's not where you end up but how you got there that matters. Its the journey, the discovery - that's the fun part. So, when I came across the preliminary sketches of, children's book author and illustrator, Madi's new book I'm A Little Bit Scared Of... you can imagine my excitement.

The book is amazing! I mean I adore mixed media in general, but her use of collage work in this children's book is just stunning. Here take a look and see what I mean...

Madi's use of fabric, paper, and original drawings all meld perfectly together to form a cohesive world for her characters. Speaking of, let's take a look at some of the behind the scenes work that Madi was kind enough to share on her fun website. As I browsed through, myself, I couldn't help but wonder what the weight of each page in her sketchbook must feel like; with all the layers of fabric and paper glued around and on top of her sketches. It's definitely one sketchbook that I wish I could finger through personally.

Finding Madi's website reminded me to enjoy the process. I'm always in such a rush to get the mundane things done and out of the way with that I often miss the beauty in them. So, this weekend I'm tasking all you fabulous ladies with a little challenge - try something new just to see what it feels like. If you always need music on when you clean the house, try it in silence instead; listen to the sounds of the activity at hand. Try a new food just to process the smell of it. Take the kids for a mystery ride just to enjoy getting them ready and loading up the car.

Whatever it is just be mindful of the process and enjoy the journey. Don't just rush and hurry up to get things over with so you can start the "fun" stuff. Life and everything in it is the fun stuff. Take the time to notice all the little things. Afterall, we only get this one chance, this one life to experience. So soak it up while you can and enjoy each and every moment. Besides, even if its painful or boring you're lucky to have it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Light As A Feather...

A few weeks ago I had the most elaborate dream. In it a feather pillow burst open and I was unable to run away. Instead, I stood still mesmerized by the falling feathers that were as white and as fluffy as snow. Needless to say it was one of those strange dreams that stick with you and for days afterwards I kept sketching feathers and played around with the idea of feathers mirroring snowflakes. In the end I ended up with a new screen printed card called Feather Flakes. The Fall version is in a red wine or rust colored ink reminiscent of the changing leaves and, in a few weeks, I'll be listing the Winter version in the Birdcage Cards' shop as well. It's printed in a light steely blue ink and paired with a silver envelope.

Since I've just printed 20 new cards last night and I'm gaga for feathers anyway this week's I Want Wednesday post is very plumage centric. So, for all you feather fanatics here's a healthy dose of colorful plumage...

Clockwise from top left: Controversial Pillow, Feather Flakes Note Card, Sweet Feather Color 03 pillow, Chartreuse Scoop Neck Tank, Bella Headband, sterling silver feather pendant necklace, Cecile watercolour and ink illustration, hand illustrated feather necklace

Monday, September 21, 2009

To Sleep To Dream...

Welcome back to the start of another working man's week. Monday mornings are always the hardest for me to get out of bed. You see I'm a dreamer -not figuratively- quite literally; I have very vivid technicolor dreams. And after a weekend of sleeping in it's always the toughest on Monday to loose those extra hours of precious dream time. So, with my head in the clouds and my body craving a warm rumpled bed to crawl back in to I think today's the day to share this charming video by Oren Lavie - Her Morning Elegance.

Shot entirely in stills this might just be the coolest video I've ever seen. I love the language of movement delivered by, red haired Israeli actress, Shir Shomron and its safe to say that I'm definitely over the moon about the t-shirt that becomes a bird and the little socks used as a school of fish! From the concept to the execution it really is picture perfect. I hope you enjoy this one. I mean really, how could you not?!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Groovy Artist Jenn Ski:

{bird cards}

I adore the far out work of illustrator Jenn Ski. Though clearly influenced by mid-century modern design, her style is distinct and completely her own. I'm looking forward to taking a trip to my local Michaels craft store this weekend to check out her A - Z Animals Scrapbooking Line. Admittedly, I'm a little obsessed with the Letter A (alligator) print shown below. Why don't you take a virtual trip to Jenn Ski's shop yourself this weekend? I'm sure you'll find more than a few pieces to get excited about!

Oouuu, and Jenn also has a vintage and a vinyl shop full of groovy finds for your home and its walls! So, be sure to stop there after lunch - you know after you rest your feet from all that walking.

{owl cards}

{Letter A (alligator) print}

Friday, September 18, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside...

Brrrr! Its so cold this morning, but one of the things I love most about Fall weather is getting to cozy up inside while the world remains chilly on the other side of the window pane. So, on this very brisk weathered Fall afternoon I'll be transferring the rest of my winter sketches onto transparencies, burning three new screens, making test prints of said screens while munching away on the yummiest golden delicious apples I've ever gotten from the market, reading this book (hopefully) with my legs curled up under a warm blanket, and trying to round up a copy of Fringe as I missed the premier last night.

And now that I've sufficiently procrastinated by sharing my play-by-play with you all I think I'd better get back to work...

Wishing you all warm and cozy weekends with a good book and a thick sweater!

{first image: doorknob curtain tie-back via Urban Outfitters}

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hand Stitched Excellence

Over the weekend I attended the opening of a new exhibition, Craft Art, at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. It showed a series of pieces by a variety of Western New York artists who work in fiber, clay, and metal. What stood out to me the most were a series of embroidered pieces; three half skirt aprons and a small table cloth with an interesting barbwire flourish. I just loved them and the idea of taking a traditional craft and experimenting with it in a modern and innovative way. So, today I thought I'd share a few more embroidery artists from the Etsy community. Hope you enjoy the collection...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Morning Movie: Performance Art With l' Orchestre d'hommes-orchestre

Good morning and happy Monday! Today is my 100th post so I thought I'd share something fun and close to my heart - performance art. l' Orchestre d'hommes-orchestre, which translates to Orchestra Conductor men, are a group of talented musical inventors who took their own creative world to the streets of Quebec this summer and performed a series of three shows all centered around an old milk truck. It was hard to decide which performance to share this morning. So, I figured I'd just start everyone off with the first of the series. You can find the second one here and the third here.

This troupe of musicians are also greatly inspired by Tom Waitts, a consummate creator and a tinkerer at heart. He is a man who sought to find unique sounds, to make music from things all around him, and to breathe life into inanimate objects. I hope someday I'll get the chance to see l' Orchestre d'hommes-orchestre play homage to the man and his great work 'cause, I gotta say, its looks like a lotta fun.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New In the Shop:

I've been very slowly releasing my fall cards in the shop. I'd love to say it's to build anticipation, but really I've been too busy with other orders to be able to turn my sketches into burned silkscreens or stamps yet. Fortunately, I was able to get two new screen prints completed last week and one of them listed in the Birdcage Cards' shop so far.

Shown above is my newest edition, Lovely Leaves. It's an original hand drawn, hand screen printed card in a lovely mustard yellow color. Printed on a heavy 100lb card stock and measuring 3 3/4" x 5 1/8" this bad boy comes in at only $3.00. I'll be adding more color options and bundled prices for this card in the next week or so, as well as a handful of more original hand drawn cards. So, be sure to stayed tuned!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Want Wednesday: Time

Lately, I just don't seem to be able to get enough done in a day. Which ultimately means there is no me time; time to relax, to play, oh, I don't know to eat a meal at the dinning room table. So this week, I'm in desperate need of time. More time to... sleep in until the filtered sunlight wakes me; to sleep in so long that I'm actually able to remember my colored dreams. Oh, God how I'd love that.

More time to walk around barefoot in the backyard and look for light reflections in soapy bubbles.

More time to sketch and draw and paint; to be creative just for me and to get dried paint stuck beneath my fingernails just for the hell of it!

More time to, not just read a new book, but to re-read old favorites left to collect dust on bookshelves in spare bedrooms.

More time to rent out a house on the East Coast before winter dashes in; a house where I will have more time to sleep in and blow bubbles and paint pictures of my colorful dreams and settle into bed at night by re-reading old favorites and...more time to breathe.

Hey, a girl can dream can't she?

{images: 1. Dave Coote furniture, bed and pillows, 2. It Begins via Richard Heeks' bubbles series, 3. 17 by HoaJan, 4. bookshelf by Monica Buck via Real Simple, 5. beach house via Anne Naumann's seasides series}

broken old blogger...

Sorry folks I've got a tiny little problem with blogger right now and can't seem to upload any of my lovely pics for this week's I Want Wednesday post. So, I'm just running a little late today and I'll keep trying throughout the afternoon to share my pretty pics.

Darn it you silly internal problem blogger! :(

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday Morning Movie: Procrastination

I think this animated short by Johnny Kelly is the bees knees. Just wait until you get the part in the beginning where the book shelves are color coordinated...sigh, isn't it pretty?! Don't you just wanna try it at home? I know I do, but my massive bookshelf is all organized by category and then alphabetically within each category. And you know what, that was a lot of work so I think I'll just put the color coordinated idea on the back burner for now - wait! Is that procrastination?

Oouuu, and if you've got some time to waste on your day off go here and check out this animated short also by Kelly based on a story about a lobster named Shelly. Its beautiful and sad, lovely and depressing all wrapped in to one.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lately Lovin': Claire Scully

I can't enough of British artist Claire Scully and her new online portfolio the quiet revolution. Based across the pond, Scully works as a freelance artist with clients like the New York Times, Random House, Penguin books, and Universal Records to name a few. Her personal work is inspired by the relationship between large metropolises and the natural world and I adore how she infuses an organic feel into her digital collages. And don't you just love that 'trunk' font above too?! I'd kill to make some wedding invites using that gorgeous font. Oouu, and I'm also wishing I had one of these lovely prints hanging in my office.

If you're interested in snatching up some of her talented work for yourself you can shop here and here. And don't forget to take some time this weekend to peruse the quiet revolution's site and blog to see more of Claire Scully's amazing work. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

{book cover for Random House}

{image for the sanctuary of wilderness gallery show}


{anything that can happen will happen}

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Want Wednesday: A Treasure Trove of Inspiration

Oh shinny and new Pictorial Webster's, let me count the ways I love thee:
1. So full of old school wonder, this awesome book contains over 1500 engravings of images from the 19th century.
2. Victorian mindset revealed; a visual history book that essentially tells the story of what was considered important, or at least a curiosity, to the 19th century citizen.
3. Alphabetically arranged images create ironic and entertaining juxtapositions. Flip through the book to find a cannon about to blow a native man and his canoe to tiny bits. If that doesn't represent a clue into the Victorian perspective then I don't know what does.
4. This beautifully restored collection houses pages and pages of creative inspiration. I know a lot of people taught themselves to draw by attempting to copy images from any book they could get their hands on. For me it was an old grubby dictionary falling apart at the seams.
So, what's that that Chronicle Books says about Pictorial Webster's? Oh yeah, here it is in a nutshell: this chunky volume is an irresistible treasure trove for art lovers, designers, and anyone with an interest in visual history. So, basically its awesome. If you're interested in picking up your own copy head over here and order one today.