Thursday, November 13, 2014

2014 Holiday Craft Show schedule

It's hard to believe it's that time of year already! (I probably say this to you every year, but it feels like it becomes more and more true each and every year. Are you with me?!) Next Saturday, November 22 marks my first of four holiday craft shows this year. I hope you'll make it out to one or more so I can say hello and merry to you in person. I'll have new holiday card designs, my 2015 illustrated calendarsDIY ornament kits, new print designs and more! 
Ridge Fine Art Show
Saturday, November 22
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Drayton Avenue Church
2441 Pinecrest Drive
Ferndale, MI
Crafty Supermarket
Saturday, November 29
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Music Hall Ballroom
Cincinnati, OH

Detroit Urban Craft Fair
December 6 and 7
Masonic Temple
Detroit, MI
December 13 and 14
Riverside Arts Center
Ypsilanti, MI

As has become tradition, I will also be involved in two local art center holiday shops:

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center
December 4 to 20
Birmingham, MI

212 Arts Center
December 5 to 13
Saline, MI

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2015 Illustrated Calendar

It's here! My 2015 illustrated calendar is available in the shop. This is the fifth in what's become an annual tradition. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Foraging Tote

I recently made this "foraging tote" for a friend's birthday after spending a week in the woods with her gathering sticks and stones for crafting projects. We wrapped sticks with wool thread, painted fun nature-y things on big dark rocks and laughed a lot the whole time. I came home and inspired by this project, decided this handmade carryall would be a great gift for our next outing.

I made it all up as I went along, but was originally inspired by this photo on Pinterest:

As cute as the found sticks are, I thought smoother handles would be more sensible. I found this tutorial, too, but didn't quite feel like following directions and doing things like measuring! But they're there if you want a place to start. Happy summer gathering, friends!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Sewing Party

I have been itching to share this project with you for ages now! I have been working since late winter with SVP Worldwide, makers of Singer, Viking Husqvarna and Pfaff sewing machines, on illustrations for The Sewing Party.

On November 8, 2014, The Sewing Party will be the first live, online DIY sewing and crafting event ever! Thousands of crafty DIY-ers will gather for a fun-filled day of sewing and crafting classes taught online by leading bloggers and educational experts.

I've created a logo and t-shirt design for the event and am busy, busy, busy drawing a virtual world in which the event will occur online.  I can't wait for you to see that part!! They've used some of my rough sketches in the video on the site and lots of little elements throughout.

Here's a look at the tee. Girly tees will be available, too. Stay tuned for more details and illustrations soon! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Owl and raccoon wedding invite

Another happy wedding celebration this past weekend! Congratulations to my sister-in-law, Amanda and her husband Ian. Amanda does a lot of wildlife rescue so I took the opportunity to draw a few critters for their invite.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A sweet dog-inspired wedding theme

Congratulations to Val and Brett! They were married on Saturday and this is the invite I did for them featuring their beloved dog, Ruger. Isn't he the cutest?

I created what became something of a logo for the wedding. It went on their seating chart, programs and a poster for guests to sign. Clearly, this is a couple with a good sense of humor and an amazing dog.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Vintage lunch box planter

This vintage lunch box I picked up for my craft show display wasn't making the cut, so rather than have it gather dust on my shelf any longer, I turned it into a sweet little planter this weekend. I love the glow of gold on the inside of the top lid.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Delivery by horse and carriage

I shipped off a small number of prints and greeting cards to Poppins on Mackinac Island yesterday. It's so fun knowing that they will be delivered by UPS via horse and carriage today!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

DIYpsi Indie Art Fair Summer 2014

While it seems far away now, August will be here before we know it! Toward the end of the month I will be participating in the fourth annual DIYpsi summer indie art fair. I've never done the summer show, so am excited to see you all in the heat and blazing sun. Two days of art-filled fun at the Corner Brewery — how have I resisted this long?!?

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Craft-a-way Camp 2014

I am officially in full-on summertime mode. It all started with a weekend spent at Craft-a-way Camp in the Waterloo Rec Area. Organized by Amy and Ethan Cronkite of Small Craft, the weekend was jam-packed with crafty workshops, making, laughing and spending time in the greatest of outdoors. We checked our phones at the door (voluntarily) and I left my camera at home, so all of these wonderful photos are courtesy of Amy Cronkite.

 This one says it all!

 Getting to know you…

 Andy Sell, working his magic…

 Printing from plants in progress…

 Our crafting area in action…

 Some tie dyes hanging out…

 The chock-o-block schedule and a dreamy dream catcher…

 Modern dream catcher supplies…

 Camp fire singing from official camp songbooks… no joke.

My own dreamy modern dreamcatcher 

We made journals, screenprinted totes, wrapped sticks, turned old t-shirts into stunning jewelry, transferred images onto all kinds of surfaces and so much more. The whole weekend set the stage for good times this summer. and got my creative making juices flowing I can't wait for next year! 

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Inspiration: Jo Oakley

'Through her eyes'
Mixed media on canvas 176x96cm 

I saw this painting on Pinterest this morning and immediately went looking for more. I found my way to the artists's web site and discovered a whole collection of paintings one more gorgeous than the next. This is the work of London-based artist, Jo Oakley. I am fully in love and so want to be able to see these in person. Her artist statement went right through my heart. 

'The calm before the storm'

mixed media on canvas 120x100cm

'Tin table and snowdrops'
mixed media on canvas 80x80cm

'Forget me not'
mixed media on canvas 152x91cm 

'She is waiting'
Mixed media 152x91cm

'He's on his way'
Mixed media on linen

Monday, June 02, 2014

Quilts and Color in Boston

I spent last week on vacation with my family in Martha's Vineyard and Boston. I was lucky enough to run into an amazing quilt show at the Museum of Fine Arts. It was beautifully curated and hung and I thought you might enjoy a look at the few snaps I took with my phone.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Overheard at a craft show

I've been at shows the last two weekends and one of my favorite parts is the conversations I have with customers. I get so many great book recommendations and suggestions of artists and illustrators to check out, I thought it would be fun to share some of those here.

The first is Ben's Dream. I knew of Chris Van Allsburg's work, but did not know this book — nor did I know he is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. You may know his work from Polar Express or Jumanji, but this book is a true gem.

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman is another fun kids' book recommendation that I loved. I also get to have lots of discussion of the work of Shel Silverstein and Raold Dahl — two of my serious heroes! 

But I also hear about all different topics you can't even imagine. Someone told me I just had to see the George Harrison documentary. Someone else was reminded by my work of this album cover:

I also take little notes about these conversations and sometimes they make no sense to me later. For example, I wrote down, "James Fenimore Cooper's daughter." I quick Google search has not helped me with the relevance of that one.

I love having this conversations and can't wait to talk to you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Crafty Supermarket is Saturday!

I'll be back in Ohio this weekend for Crafty Supermarket in Cincinnati on Saturday, April 26 at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition to an outstanding lineup of vendors, they always have rockin' good food choices. Love me some Cincy craft show times — hope to see you there! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Maker's Mart in Toledo

I'll be in Toledo this Saturday, April 19 for the Handmade Toledo Maker's Mart in conjunction with 419 Day. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 1717 Adams Street and features over 45 artists and makers doing their thing. I hope to see you there!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Toomai of the Elephants

A few weeks ago I finished the illustration above as a custom gift for a baby nursery. The parents are big Rudyard Kipling fans and the idea was to base the art on The Jungle Book or anything by Kipling. I had never actually read the "real" Jungle Books, so seized on the opportunity.

I had not realized just how deliciously dark the stories are. I thoroughly enjoyed them, but then wondered how I would translate that into a piece for a child. I chose to focus on Toomai of the Elephants because there is a scene of the elephants dancing wildly in the night jungle that was so vivid and magical to me … and this is where it led.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Pioneer Nation says yes you can

I was trying to decide what to tell you about the Pioneer Nation conference I mentioned last week. I gained a lot of valuable insights and information, but I think the most important thing for you to know is that I went. I took a chance and I gave myself permission to more fully invest in myself as an artist and small business owner. And it felt great.

Kari Chapin

There were inspiring words and a success story from Ohio artists Jen Adrion and Omar Noory of These Are Things, lots of laughter with Kari Chapin, crafty author of The Handmade Marketplace and interesting thoughts from Rena Tom, serial entrepreneur and founder of the co-working space, Makeshift Society in San Francisco. Lots of "go you!" "You're not alone!" type cheering.

A blurry Rena Tom with quote from Anthony Burrill

I did some big picture thinking and planning — but really it was the overall, charging ahead and saying yes!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Portland, Oregon and Sloe Gin Fizz

Hello friends! I am just back from a trip to Portland, OR for a conference for independent entrepreneurs called Pioneer Nation. The schedule of speakers and sessions was top notch and had me itching to get back in touch with all of you so could I tell you all about it … and more importantly about all the food I stuffed in my face while in this amazing food town. Are you with me?

First off, I loved this folded paper, life size station wagon and camper hanging in the terminal at PDX.

Next up, the establishing shot … oops. Should that have been first? Anyway, let's get on with the FOOD!

Within one hour of touch down, I was scarfing down a magnificent down and dirty sandwich at Bunk Downtown, just blocks from our hotel. I had the Oregon Albacore Tuna Melt. I never thought I would enjoy mustard with my tuna but here it is brilliant as paired with olive oil, balsamic, pickles and cheddar. I have to keep my energy up, right?!

That night, we hit the requisite food truck parked handily outside the conference venue. Thrive was a healthy balance to my belly bomb lunch, though, of course, being Portland, both were uber-focused on the finest local ingredients. Here I had the Japanese bowl packed with brown rice, veggies and seaweed and topped with tamari-sesame sauce and local steelhead. So good!

What you see here are the last remnants of an incredible buttery croissant filled with ham and gruyere at Pearl Bakery. Here is where my dining documentation starts to fall apart.

My traveling pal, Jessica Broome and I, were too busy talking shop and getting sh*t done to stop for snaps of the food. Okay, only partly true — sometimes I just forget.

So I'll just do a quick recap. On our second night we had dinner at Bamboo Sushi: Hands down the best sushi I've ever had anywhere — all sustainably sourced. Wow! We followed that up with Salt & Straw ice cream. Ridiculous!!! Such super intense flavors and combinations of tastes. At some point over the weekend we had deviled eggs topped with sopressata baked until slightly crisp at EVOE inside the incredible Pastaworks store.  Oh yea, and we followed that with a charcuterie platter and a bottle of wine. Don't judge!

Pok Pok. I've been reading about this place featuring Thai street food for years. Since they do not take reservations, Jessica and I were well-prepared to wait hours to get in. We lined up, put our names in and started to wander the neighborhood. 

We walked by Ava Gene, another highly recommended place ranked as the fifth best new restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit recently, and for kicks poked our heads in to see if we could get a reservation for the following night. (Our concierge had kinda laughed when we asked him the same.) Lucky stars! They had a table then and there due to a cancellation. Boom! Pok Pok would have to wait. 

We were seated at a table directly behind Andy Ricker, owner of Pok Pok, and proceeded to have a meal so packed with flavors I would never think to combine and yet simple and clean. I just kept saying, "This is why you eat out." Another round!

We returned the next night to sample Pok Pok's not-to-be missed chicken wings, papaya salad, wing beans and cocktails with drinking vinegars like no other. Do you see what I'm saying? Every meal was a winner. Winner, winner, chicken wing, wing beans, dinner.

I tried to walk off some of this gluttony by touring the beautiful and lush Japanese Gardens and surrounding gardens. The camellias, one of my personal favorites, were in their height of bloom and I could not soak in enough of the greenery.

Since many of you first came here for recipes, I hope you enjoyed this little tour and recap. I also want to tell you all about it what has been happening since I scaled back my postings here in such dramatic fashion. If there are any of you still out there, thank you! Bear with me as I get my bearings again … I will work on a longer post with many updates and my latest thoughts on being an artist and entrepreneur and how the two fit together.