Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Brain on a holiday

Hi friends. I'm feeling a little uninteresting this week, but I wanted to get back to my regularly scheduled posting - even if it is just to say hello. There hasn't been much time for creativity (in the 2D sense) over the past two weeks - so I dove into my sketchbook for a little something to share with you. It is just a random doodle I found from a few years back - but it kind of describes how I am feeling these days: full of ideas and also half asleep. Hmmm, maybe this Red Velvet Cupcake I am eating will help. Or maybe I should just go to bed.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jing a Ling

Happy Christmas Pixel & Post readers! We've been doing the holiday thing for a week already now. Just thought you might like a little holiday polka from Bobby and Linda. Those outfits...wow. Looks like they got into a fight with a box of discount mauve ribbon.

Hope your holiday is a lovely one!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And the winner is....

PollyB! You'll be receiving a set of 10 Santa Beard notecards just in time for the holidays!

Thanks everyone for playing (and for signing up for my newsletter), and I look forward to announcing the January giveaway soon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Last Day!

Hi all. Just a reminder that it is the last day to join my mailing list in time for this month's giveaway of 10 Beardy Santa cards! I'll be drawing a lucky winner out of a hat tomorrow, so if you want a chance to win...sign up here! Or by clicking the link on my sidebar.

And, just to fancy up this post a bit, here is a little Monday Musical inspiration from Seattle based Fresh Espresso. Pretty much the most catchy re-sampling of the Bee Gees, ever...
now, dance!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Back in time...

If there is any one song that can bring back my childhood to me full-force it is this song by Chuck Mangione. One of my earliest memories is dancing to this in the mall as it blared over the mall muzak system, when I was about 3. It is a cheesy song to have as your childhood soundtrack...but hey, it was the '70s. What song brings back your childhood memories?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Illustration Friday: Crunchy

Here's a little something for Illustration Friday: Crunchy. A nice Dill pickle spear. Yum! For me there is only one kind of pickle: dill. I used to be a sweet pickle girl, but an unfortunate night that included too many sweet pickles and lemon meringue pie ended that love affair pretty darn quick.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pixel & Post's first giveaway!

That's right folks! I'm hostessing my first giveaway on this here bloggy blog.
All you need to do is follow this link to sign up for my monthly newsletter, and you'll be entered to win a pack of these exceedingly cute, earth friendly Santa beard notecards - perfect for a holiday thank you, or just a friendly "Ho Ho Ho".

I'm super excited about my new email newsletter. Probably more excited than I should be (nerd alert)! I have been using word of mouth, old fashioned email, and facebook to let my friends and fans know what's up with Pixel & Post for the last year or so. And, it is just getting too complicated. I figured it was time to go BIG and do an official, fancy, email newsletter with pictures and stuff!

The best thing about it is that it is easy to subscribe and unsubscribe and you can do it all with a click of a button.
And, to reward you for your friendship & fanship I'll be giving away free Pixel & Post swag on a monthly basis. Yipee!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Illustration Friday: Entangled

I'm not sure it is all the cold medicine I've taken in the past week or what, but this is how I'm answering this week's Illustration Friday challenge.

In the 5th grade I stared a sketchbook dedicated to a cast of characters I invented. One of the main characters was named Agnes. She had an impossibly huge beehive hairdo, was terribly grouchy, a nose like a hot dog, eyes like
Gene Wilder, and smoked lots of cigarettes. I was obsessed with drawing beehive hairdos - I think I still kind of am. I'm thinking of this lady as an evolution of Agnes, post nose-job and with a lot of crap entangled in her 'do.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just because...

We are all sick and grumpy at my house this week, so I don't have too much to say. There is nothing like a little vintage Welk to cheer me! A bearded lady in a blue sequined dress, that rocks out on a pink piano? Come on!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Custom Holiday Cards are ready to roll!

In the past few years I've done custom holiday and New Years cards for friends, and last year I sold some via my etsy site. There were a few issues with doing cards this way. First was the cost - they were far more expensive than I wanted them to be. And, people had to order lots of cards since I was having them professionally printed. So, this year I am trying something new to make it easier - and much more affordable for everyone.

make custom gifts at Zazzle

I created a Pixel & Post Holiday Shop on Zazzle.com where I designed 7 holiday and new year's card templates. Using Zazzle's Design Tool you can add your own photo, custom text to the front, and fully customize the inside of the card with more photos or a holiday message (long or short).

Best of all you can order as few as 1 custom card or as many as 20,000 and any odd number in between. Need 34 holiday cards? You can order just 34. Card prices start at $2.45 for one card and are cheaper by the dozen ($56.10 for the 34 cards I mentioned above - about $1.64 each). A pretty sweet deal, and you can create them at your leisure. To top it all off, I'll be donating 10% of my profit from the sales of these cards to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Most designs are offered in two sizes: a 5 x 7 folded card and a 4.25 x 5.5 folded notecard. They all include envelopes.

Zazzle is also running a special right now where you can save 10% off your order by entering the code when you check out: GIVEZAZZLE09

I ordered a few test cards from Zazzle and was very impressed with the printing quality and the speed in which I got my order. The cards are glossy on the outside and a satin on the inside (you can write easily on the inside with a pen). I typically prefer a matte finish but was impressed with the way the glossy paper looked with the designs and photo combined.

Here are a few tips about using Zazzle and the Zazzle Design tool:

1. Create a Zazzle account
It doesn't cost anything, but it allows you to save your design and come back to it later if you get interrupted. Some of my testers didn't do this and got frustrated when they could not save their design without creating an account.

2. Take your time
My test crew found the cards pretty easy to customize, but they did say it took some time to get used to the Design Tool. My advice would be to set aside some quiet time, get yourself a cup of hot cocoa, spin some Yuletide tunes and have fun. If you get stuck, Zazzle has a very thorough tutorial here.

3. Order a test card
Since you can order one card at a time, you might consider ordering 1 test card before placing a large order. It took about 3 business days to get mine in the mail. Nevertheless, Zazzle has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and claims that they will take your order back if you are not 100% satisfied.

I hope you will enjoy these cards and have fun playing around with them!

Illustration Friday: Unbalanced

I totally avoided doing anything on this topic until the last minute this week. Why? Because the theme hit too close to home. It has been a nutty past week or so - illnesses, deadlines, and just generally a feeling of too much to do. I'm forgetting things, double scheduling myself and feeling generally glazed over. So, yeah - to illustrate something about 'unbalanced' earlier in the week just made me cringe. Until I though of this...

When I lived in Holland I picked up the habit of eating delicious chocolate sprinkles on freshly toasted bead each and every morning. And these aren't just your run of the mill - bakery aisle fake chocolate sprinkles. No sir. These are actual mini pieces of chocolate bliss, staring at you first thing in the morning, melting on bread. Needless to say, when I came back to the states I had a few of these boxes of sprinkels, or "chocolate hagel" (literally chocolate HAIL) in my suitcase.

I've continued the tradition for about 17 years now. As I was enjoying my toast this morning I was thinking about how such an 'unbalanced breakfast' literally gives me a small taste of balance on mornings when my to do list is running off the page, and the clock is ticking away.

Oh, and if you want to try Hagel on your bread? You can order it here!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Illustration Friday: Blur

Here's my take on this week's Illustration Friday topic: Blur. Since I didn't want to offend your weary Friday eyes with some crazy blurred image (ouch) I fond a quote that spoke to me and hopefully you, too:

“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” - Arnold Toynbee

I couldn't agree more, Mr.Toynbee. Hanging out with my toddler for the majority of the week is a constant reminder of this. In my personal journey to combine these two elements in my day to day I feel like I have both come a long way, and can look ahead and see I still have a long way to go. But mostly, I'm very happy about where I am. I love that I get to draw things for a living! I think this illustration captures that happy feeling.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Staycation + Daycation

This past weekend my pal Jenny and I took a little Daycation (you know a vacation that happens in one day) together in our own backyard. Braving sheets of cold rain and huge gusts of wind, we ferried across the stormy seas of Puget Sound to the Kitsap Peninsula.

We drove around until the sun came out, and decided to walk around the little town of Poulsbo. We had the intention of sitting and sketching a bit but were too busy doing things like worshiping the Licorice Shrine at Marina Market, sipping local ginger beer and eating delicious, sauerkraut laiden reuben sandwiches at Tizley's Europub, and finding lovely things like an antique fox head string dispenser at the antique mall.

Because I was so distracted by the fun we were having, I left the lights on in my car and needed a jump start to get us home again (thank you AAA). While we waited for the AAA dude to come jump my car back to life, we indulged in another cup of coffee and grabbed a donut from Sluys Puolsbo Bakery, and took a few more photos before the sun went down. It was a wonderful day "away".

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Illustration Friday: Skinny

At first I was a little put off by this week's Illustration Friday topic, but part of the challenge in doing an IF post is finding a way to make the topic work for you. I tried everything to avoid 'skinny' as an adjective to describe one's physical appearance. There is so much judgment about one's shape, size, weight and blah de blah blah I just didn't want to go there. I truly believe you've gotta rock what you've got, and if you do then you'll inspire others do the same. Simple as that.

In thinking about this loaded word, I kept coming back to an experience I had in 6th grade. I had an awful gym teacher who one day took the girls one by one in front of the group and gave them a full body critique - head to toe. Just writing about it makes my heart beat fast. It was horrible - like something you'd see in one of those ABC After School Specials (except she never got fired, and she still teaches gym in my hometown). And come to think of it, none of us saw anything wrong with it at the time even though there were more than a few girls in tears at the end of class. Awful.

Anyhow part of my 'critique' - among other things - was that my ankles were too skinny and that I should wear bulkier socks to cover them up. I thought the idea was totally bogus at the time, and didn't heed her messed up 'advice'. But it still got to me at some level, because for quite a few years I was sensitive about the skinny ankles that have been in my family for generations.

I thought of that teacher today as I laced up my Chucks tighter and tighter to go to my studio. I'm pretty sure some great-great-great grandmother of mine walked off a ship from Europe onto North American soil for the first time on a pair of similarly skinny ankles. So really, if it weren't for those ankles…I wouldn't be here, wearing my favorite lace ups, going to a studio to make art, writing on this blog. I feel so happy to be in a place where I can truly appreciate what I have. If that is what getting older is all about then, hallelujah - bring it on, "middle age". It is about freaking time. Next time you start giving yourself a full body critique in front of a mirror, just stop. Don't let that 6th grade gym teacher's voice win. Take a deep breath and know you're perfect just the way you are, right now.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Month in Review: October

Hi Friends. I can hardly believe it is November, can you? October is my birthday month, so it all felt very festive. Cake was eaten, amazing gifts received. Most importantly I'm thankful for and looking forward to the year ahead.

Out and About

In October we went to Portland to see the Portland Center Stage production of Ragtime. It was a beautiful, moving performance and let's just say I was glad I had a packet of Kleenex in my purse. Hello, waterworks. Wow.

I did the show graphics for this show, and it was a real honor. It is hard to put it into words, but doing design work for theatre really makes me feel proud. It is always such a powerful feeling to see a show I did the graphic for, and feel like I was a part of it in some small way. Making something artistic to help promote art is about as good as it gets in my book.

When I worked in-house at a local theater I saw on a daily basis how much work went into any performance. It is truly incredible what goes on behind the scenes. I so admire all of that work, and effort. It is a continual inspiration to me.

Here is a snippet of the show from PCS's website. Incredible stuff.

Food for Thought

Many people have asked me for the recipe of the Moss Ball I featured here a few months ago. Must be cheese ball season! Here you go:

Mix together 1 8oz package of cream cheese with 1/2 pound bleu cheese (crumbled), and 1/4 pound shredded sharp cheddar cheese. It helps if the cream cheese is softened to room temperature before mixing. Add 1 small minced onion (if desired - I left it out), 1 T Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Chill 3 to 4 hours. Roll cheese mixture into large ball, chill again (about 30 minutes), and roll in fresh, finely chopped parsley. Chill another 2 hours or until firm before serving.

Now, get your cheese on!

In My Ears

A few more songs that have been getting played a lot around my house. Some old, some new, all lovely. Have Love, Will Travel has me dancing all around the house in a style that resembles my mom's 60s dance moves with a lot of kangaroo style jumping thrown in. Hey, I didn't say it was pretty. Love the chorus in Tickle Me Pink that goes "Pray for the people inside your head / for they won't be there when you're dead / muffled out and pushed back down / pushed back through the leafy ground". For some reason this reminds me of my sketchbook, all those characters that live there and in my head. I heard My Girls on the radio and loved it. Nina Simone's Feeling Good is pretty much my anthem for the next year. Not much more I can say about Burn That Broken Bed, but….yes, please.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Girl from Ipanema

It is crazy around my house today, so I will just leave you with this little nugget of inspiration. I love this song, and this excerpt from the movie "Get Yourself a College Girl" which I will be adding to my Netflix que like, pronto, is making me love it more. The fake snowy backdrop, oversize lamps, fuzzy cardigans, ladies knitting in bathing caps? Who could ask for more?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A new print: Love in a Trash Can

For so long now I have been dying to just make prints about things that live inside my head. Before doing the freelance designer thing this is what I did, and I loved it, and people seemed to love it back.

So, I'm slowly getting back into the swing, and this is my first print! It makes me happy.

It is a bit harder to talk about what this print "means". Basically, it is based on the song by a group called The Raveonettes. I've loved this song for many years - and when I hear it, this is the image that goes through my mind. Is it a commentary on "one person's trash is another person's treasure"? Does it mean that even when things are in the dumpster you've still got love? Or is it about free and easy, down and dirty lovin'? I guess that is for you to decide.

Limited edition, 18" x 24 " Giclee print available over at my etsy shoppe!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Love the process

This past week my kiddo made her first painting, ever. It was a moment that filled me with so much pride I can't stop thinking about it. This year we joined a super cool neighborhood co-op preschool, where I'm required to be there one of the two days we go. On this day I was lucky enough to be stationed in the art room when my little one decided it was time to dip into the jars of thick, wonderfully bright tempura paints. I had to pull in the reigns of my excitement for this particular first; I stood back to let her have her own moment.

The painting is a huge and wonderful mish-mash of swirling, hot pink, yellow, and orange with thick drips oozing down the sides. I love it, and I'm pretty sure it will be going in a frame. Besides it being her first painting, it means so much more to me. It is such a pure and honest expression of doing something just for the joy of doing it.

The online class I am taking posed this question last week: Do you love the process of what you are doing? And the question couldn't have come at a better time for me. I thought about it as I watched my girl, and many of the other enthusiastic kids in the art room. How is it that we get so far away from expressing ourselves in this way? Just letting ourselves do what feels good in that moment? And more importantly, how can we get back to it?

As far as my current process goes, I love a lot about it. I sketch things in my sketchbook, draw them into the computer, work with textures, colors, and get to move things around without redoing the entire thing. I love that I can make my stuff on the couch, in my studio, in bed, or even outside. I love that I can just fold up my laptop and it is all inside. I love that with the click of a button and a little dinero, I can order 250 replications of what I made at 1 a.m., and they arrive at my doorstep a week later smelling of delicious inks and perfectly trimmed. I've worked long and hard (with many pitfalls along the way), to find a process that works for me and is also doable in the time I have to dedicate to it at this point in my life.

At the same time, I do miss making art with my hands. Working on the computer can leave me feeling pretty far removed at times. So, while I am not willing to reinvent the wheel right now, I'm going to be thinking of ways I can be more connected to my process. Whatever that means, I'll be sure to let you know.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Craft Report: Crochet Cropped Cardigan

Hi friends. I'm working on a longer post for next week, so I thought I'd give you a short craft report in the meantime. My sister in law just graduated from Bastyr University as an N.D. (Naturopathic Doctor). I wanted to make her something extra special to celebrate all her years of hard work towards such a huge goal. We are all so proud of her.

I found this wonderful (and free) pattern by Monica Brown. I liked it because it had a vintage look without being fuddy duddy. It worked up quickly in Cascade 220 Wool, and was a great first garment to attempt in crochet. I found a perfect Bakelite button for it as well. My sister in law is much smaller than I am so I was worried how it would fit - as I wasn't able to try it on during the process. But, it looks wonderful on her! I was super happy it turned out so well.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Santa's Workshop

For the first time in my life pretty much, I've started thinking about Christmas early this year. I'm working on getting my etsy shop all stocked up for the holidays, like this sweet note card that will be for sale soon. I'm placing orders, making lists, and checking things off just like Mr. Claus here (minus the beard, of course). I have many more ideas than I have time to produce - maybe I need to find some nice elves to give me a hand?

I'm trying so hard to keep up my energy and enthusiasm for this project of getting ready for the holidays online. But, somedays I just want to look away, go eat a dozen cupcakes and hibernate until spring. Maybe it is because I only can work on stuff in little 1 or 2 hour chunks before I have to walk away for a day or more. Some weeks, designing a simple greeting card can take up to three weeks to complete, and after all that time it just doesn't feel exciting anymore. Does anyone else have this issue?

This life as a mom, artist, designer for hire, cook, married lady, and friend etc., can feel so sporadic. It sometimes feels like living in a bento box (yes, another food metaphor I know - bear with me). It is full of wonderful and tasty variety, but there is never a lot of any one thing anymore - and sometimes you just want to eat a whole platter of tempura.

In the coming weeks I'll be photographing my work and put it up on etsy. I'll let you know when they are available. After that, this Santa is going to be taking herself on a well deserved holiday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Illustration Friday: Germs

I went through a phase starting in 5th grade where I thought boys were plain nasty. In 4th grade, some of my best buddies had been boys. But something switched in that year right before middle school. I think it had something to do with the very dated sex-ed filmstrip (yes I said filmstrip) we had to watch. It had a scene in it that scarred my brain, permanently. Picture a really bad 60s style outline drawing of a boy in nothing but his birthday suit, who in the space of about three seconds grew 5 times his size, sprouted copious amounts of body hair, and for lack of a better word gargantuan 'man parts'. We were mortified. In my mind at least, my once unthreatening pals suddenly had this power, through something the film called 'puberty' to erupt into freakish man sized werewolves at any minute. Something had to be done.

In my small class of about 20 or so kids, the girls were outnumbered. After the horror of the sex-ed filmstrip had settled, I found a bottle of near empty "Bianca Breath Spray" in our medicine cabinet at home and had what I thought was a brilliant idea. I rushed into my room, got out my art supplies and went to work. The next day at school I proudly unveiled my "Anti-Boy Spray" to the other 5 girls in our class. I was positive that with a little label repurposing I could ward off "Boy Germs" and that horrible, lurking thing called puberty with a simple mint scented spritz. Every time a boy would touch my desk, they'd get a blast from that near empty Bianca bottle. Approach me at recess? Spritz. Tap my best friend on the shoulder? Spritz. Ask me for a pencil? Spritz. Ask what was in my lunch? Spritz. And on and on and on.

The Anti-Boy Spray didn't make it to middle school, although there were times I wished I had it. The powers of puberty were too strong, despite my very best intentions. The Boy Germs got to me, and just a few short years later I found myself wishing I could develop a spray with the opposite powers.

Monday, October 5, 2009

All of me

Hello friends. I'm here to report a very exciting merger. Today two worlds collided as I merged my older personal blog "The Flying Pencil" with this one. If you dare, you can now read all my posts from April 2007 to present. From now on I'll be doing all of my blogging from this address.

Why the merge? Well, I'll start out by saying it is due time for a little house cleaning and getting back to basics. As you might have noticed my blogging has been suffering from a serious case of the blahs. It started happening months and months ago and I felt genuinely sad about it. At first I blamed it on Facebook - it felt like 'microblogging' was sucking the blog juice out of me like a thirsty virtual vampire. As compelling as all the status updates, pointless quizzes, and name generators are I sometimes question what all this has done to my attention span. Suddenly reading - let alone writing - a blog post felt kind of pointless. And, I really started to believe that blogging was dead.

As a tonic for my anemic online persona I enrolled in Marisa Haedike's online e-course called In The Fishbowl: Life as an Artist Online. And thank goodness I did. Marisa is a wonderfully talented artist, who has been making her living by selling her art online for a few years now. If you are not familiar with her work or her story head on over to her website Creative Thursday, pronto. She is such an inspiration, and as I get to know her better through her weekly online classes my respect for her unique knowledge just keeps growing.

Our last class dealt with creating (or improving ) your online presence. In the class Marisa urged us to be authentic in our blog writing - reassuring us that this is what people really want to hear from an artist or any creative person for that matter. Mulling over this brought up something I hadn't thought about in a long time.

One of my biggest peeves in back in art school was being required to listen to some old fart with a Ph.D. (and a fake English accent) proclaim with absolute certainty to us what all the artists were 'thinking' when they painted this or that masterpiece. This used to drive me nuts. How I wished that I could have just asked the artists themselves. I spent a lot of time doodling in my art history classes under the dusty glow of the slide projector; daydreaming up conversations with Van Gogh and the like. 15 years later, I got my wish (no, not a beer with Vincent). I now get to peek inside the lives of many of the many artists, illustrators and writers who inspire me. This whole blogosphere is a huge gift, especially for people like me who work in solitude most of the time. Through blogs we get to know something about what goes on behind the scenes in an artist's world, first hand.

I then had what I like to call a "chocolate and peanut butter moment" like this:

Back when I started Pixel & Post I thought I should have a separate blog to write about my business journey. I thought I'd just keep all the business stuff on this site, and my personal stuff on the other site. The minute decided to keep these two things separate, I stopped being excited about blogging. The business blog felt like homework. I felt like I had to come up with some insight about being a
successful artist and business person. This time it was me with the fake English accent. My little Facebook updates were the only place where I was being myself online, so of course that is where I've been hanging out (and learning really important stuff like what my Garbage Pail Kid name is).

Giving myself permission to be me - all of me - here feels pretty freeing, and for the first time in a long time I feel excited about blogging again. Combining these "two great tastes that taste great together" feels pretty good. I hope you'll enjoy what I'll have to share in the coming weeks: the business stuff, the personal stuff, and all the stuff in between.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Illustration Friday: Welcome

Hi Illustration Friday, I've missed you! I was excited about this week's theme, as I recently read and was inspired by this quote:

“Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don't waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.”

Hello! Could that be any more inspiring? I'd like an alarm clock that whispered this in my ear each morning.

Instead, I'm going to print this out, frame it, and stick it on my bedside table. If you'd like one too, I've made a few available in my etsy shop. Thanks for the inspiration Illustration Friday!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summertime Rolls

This summer has been pretty hot and heavy in my neck of the woods. Record breaking heat, sun, lots of projects...I can't get e
nough! I thought it was time for a catch up post before the leaves start turning.

Out and About
This summer I did two projects for Portland Center Stage. The folks behind the scenes were dreamy to work with, the kind of client that really spoils you. I got to do two show images for their stellar season. I had a lot of fun pushing some of the techniques I've developed over the past few years. It was a really great job.Thanks, PCS!

Food for Thought

We recently went on a little beachy getaway with some dear friends, and fellow lovers of all foodstuffs. I wanted to make some delicious appetizers to munch on in the evenings. I was flipping through my vintage Betty Crocker cookbook for some inspiration when the "Moss Ball" recipe caught my eye. I love working in themes, and this recipe was fitting as we were headed towards the ocean, where real Moss Balls or Aegagropila linnaei, actually grow. So here's the Moss Ball: a homemade cheese ball made of cream cheese, blu
e cheese, sharp cheddar, pecans, and rolled into fresh parsley. Cheesy, yes? Delicious? Definitely

Off the Hook

My sweet friend and our nanny for the past year, is going off to Denmark to study for a few months. Lucky girl! I wanted to make her a practical and compact going away gift , something cozy (or hygge as the Danes would say) that she could wrap around herself when she was missing her friends and home. I searched far and wide for a pattern that was not old-ladyish, and would compress down enough to be used as a scarf. Enter the Cappuccino Lace Wrap by Etsian "Crocheteria". I was instantly drawn to the graphic stitch. It felt more modern to me than other lace patterns I'd found. As I was blocking it, I was thinking about all the things our Supernanny might see and do in Denmark. Of course my thoughts went to food and all the great Havarti that she's probably going to eat. Then I looked down at my creamy white, lacy creation, and deemed it the "The Havarti Hug Wrap".

In My Ears
I maxed out my old playlist with 72 of my favorite tunes over the last year, so it is time to start a new one. Here are a few songs I'm listening to a lot of lately. I love the sound and lyrics in Chinese Translation, by M.Ward. Plus the video is Illustrated in a really sweet style, which makes me love it even more. I heard a cover this week of "Tomorrow Never Knows" by the Helio Sequence. I really liked it, but the original is hard to beat. I remember getting Revolver for my 16th birthday. I poured over this song, and the album's cover art. "Funeral" is an older Band of Horses tune, I just love the sound of it - all those haunting "oooohs"! "Moorestown" is another Sun Kil Moon song I could just put on repeat (along with nearly every other song by these guys). Sometimes being a mom to a toddler can feel like a line from this Grand Master Flash song "It's like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder / How I keep from going under". I'm not sure what to say about "Pure Morning" except that I like it. The lyrics from Bjork's song "all is full of love" struck me when I saw a video of her live performance of the song, beautiful! The Harvey Danger cover of "Save it For Later" is getting a lot of airtime in my town this month, and I just really love the sound of it. And finally, I just had to throw in one of my old Jane's Addiction favorites - to match the title of this post.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Friday, July 24, 2009


As I write this, I am sitting in my newly rented studio space. It feels like a huge step for me as it is something I have dreamed about for so long. I've always made due with carving out spaces inside my house, so this is all feeling kind of foreign to me. Right now I feel like I am in my own teeny tiny clubhouse. This morning I moved my favorite chair out of our current home office, and a desk that was sitting in our garage. Within one hour of leaving our house I'd moved everything into my little 8 x 12 room, situated my desk in front of the huge window, cleaned the space, sat down and plugged in. It may be the fastest move-in on record, at least it feels that way right now.

From my little hideaway I look into an inner courtyard. I can see the studios across from me and above two big trees sway in the breeze. I've got a good view of the sky too, and have already spotted a few float planes overhead. I think I'll like it here.

It is hard to describe the mind-shift I experience when I walk into this room. I love that I have the choice to do my work anywhere, but this is like nothing I've had before. I took a hint from one of my heroes, Dick Proenneke and am thinking of this like my own little Twin Lakes. No internet, no phone, no email. The no internet is a biggie. Not only will it save me some hard earned money, but I am going to be very interested to see how much work and play I get done without the distraction of my email, facebook, blogs, pandora, or the like. I'm grateful for all the ways we have to connect, but they are so compelling that they sometimes pull me away from what it is I want to do, say, or make. Dis-connection is not such a bad thing; it is my own version of being "Alone in the Wilderness".

The fun stuff will have to wait a bit; the decorating and personalizing of this space. I'm currently so swamped with projects I can't even let myself stop to do that. A little delayed gratification never hurt, and will serve as good incentive to get my work done. In the meantime, I'm just going to get a feel for my space so I can make it exactly what I want. And I'm kind of enjoying the minimalist feeling of the room, feels like such a blank slate.
So, time to put my money where my mouth is and get to the business at hand.

*Thanks to my (talented) pal, M!ke for inspiring the title of this post. I think Phil Collins really, really, should have written the song as "Stu-Stu-Studio", not that other one.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

busy, busy, busy...

Things are wild here. I heard this song on the Swing Years last night and thought..."hey, that sounds like the soundtrack to my life right now." The maniacal laughter at the end really sums it up.

More soon, I promise!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Past Few Months at Pixel & Post

I'm sorry dear readers, for making you wonder where I've been all these months. It has been a hectic time for me both personally and professionally and I've been doing a little refocusing on the big question of "what I want to do right now". I've got some new direction now, and some very exciting new big ole plans, and you'll be the first to hear about them.

After a whole year of focusing on client driven work, I've realized that I really need a chance to get back to making art for the sake of just making it. For me, being freely creative is like I really important muscle that I need to exercise regularly. I've come to learn that when it atrophies, it ain't pretty. I get cranky and feel listless, my body even sends me signs that I'm not listening to myself (hello IB
S, I hear you) and I am just no fun to be around. So, instead of thinking first and foremost about how I can bring home the creative bacon I've decided to work backwards, by really defining what I want to DO and then see how I can make money doing that. Luckily I have a huge support network around me to make this all happen, and it is pretty exciting. That's about all I can say about it now, so stay tuned!

Off The Hook
My dear friend is having a baby soon. And, I have been asked to be at the b
irth. This is really exciting for me, and a real honor. I wanted to make something special for the new little bundle and I wanted to exercise my new found love of crochet. Yes, that's right I said it: cro-to-the-chet. Notice: I am officially moving to Geriatric-ville. Bust out the granny panties! I do love how fast crochet is and the number of wacky stitches you can create. Plus, as one of the World's Slowest Knitters, I needed to add to my repertoire. This blanket was crocheted in Red Heart Soft yarn (it had to be machine washable and dry-able). I found the pattern in a book I checked out at the local library.

Food For Thought
In March we traveled to Arizona, oh Arizona how I love you and miss you. I filled myself with delicious tamales from The Tama
le Store at every opportunity I was given. One of my life goals is to learn how to make tamales. I also ate some super duper delicious pulled pork tacos. Here is a recipe I plan to try to recreate them.

TV Moment
In the season finale
of SNL Will Ferrel and company brought back my favorite sketch of the Lawerence Welk Show. I can't tell you how much I love that they are helping me revisit my childhood in this way. For those of you who don't know, I was forced to watch Welk with my grandparents when ever we saw them on the weekends (which was a lot). In my head I was always wishing something like this would happen.

Picture Pages
I've been drawing again! Each night when my little kiddo goes to bed I've been putting on my headphones and drawing for at least an hour. No questions, no goal, just keep the pen moving. The first few nights it was hard. I felt really rusty and unsure. But now I look forward to this time with my pens and p
aper, just getting back to what I love to do.

Can't be without
Drawing, my black pen collection, big pieces of paper, sweet iced coffee.

From my camera
Here are a few favorite shots f
rom my trip to Arizona, where it was spring in March and snowing back at my place. I couldn't get enough of it.

In My Ears
Ohhh, it has been a long long time since I have added music to my playlist. A few tunes that I have been groovin' to are: Electric Feel by MGMT, makes me feel like going out dancing, and I like the idea of 'shocking someone like an electric eel'. 'The Way I Are' has been around awhile I know, but it also makes me feel like busting out my dancing shoes. 'This Tornado Loves You' kind of sums up how my last few months have been, and I just love Neko Case's voice and the lyrics of this song. "Reptile" by The Church is a throwback from my high school days, but it still kicks. "Amsterdam" is kind of funky, but I've been missing my second home so this song reminds me of those aimless days I spent wandering the canal streets, riding trams, and eating licorice. "Blue Ridge Mountains" by Fleet Foxes is a song I could listen to over and over, I mean come on! Those voices and the harmony are amazing it is hard for me to pick a favorite song by these guys. And here is another one from Sun Kil Moon "Truckers Atlas".

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shop Talk: To Market To Market...

My hope with this installment of my blog is to (eventually) help other people trying to get their work out into the world. Problem is, I'm just beginning myself so I don't feel like I have any words of wisdom to impart quite yet. So please bear with me while I get going! In lieu of any great words of advice, I thought I'd just start out by reporting on what I'm doing.

The last month has been one of just trying to get the work done and up on Etsy. I'm always so surprised at how long this takes between chasing after my kiddo, doing a bit of freelance design, and all the daily stuff that falls in between. I have a binder full of ideas I'm just itching to dive into, but I am trying to be patient with the time I have now and work with that.

Now that I have a few things up, I really need to focus on marketing. It doesn't come naturally to me. I was the kid who would apologize to my neighbors before trying to sell them those fundraiser candy bars for youth soccer. Being a freelance designer/illustrator has helped me out a lot as a big part of my job is 'selling' a visual solution to a client. So I am trying to apply what I have learned from that experience to my own work.

One great suggestion I read about marketing on Etsy is here, written by popular Etsy seller tinaseamonster.
Tina suggests dedicating 30 minutes a day to marketing. She tried it for a month and doubled her Etsy sales. When I think about how many 30 minute blocks of time I can waste in a day on Facebook, or checking other blogs, or watching a bad TV show after the kiddo is in bed, or starting into the fridge for a piece of cake I want to magically appear, I realize I might actually have more time than I think I do in a day.

My goal was to start on Febuary 1st. I hadn't even touched my keyboard when I got an email from an editor over at Babble.com that they were going to review my Happy House Family Tree Poster on Feb.2 (you can see the mention here). Thanks to a good friend of mine who tipped them off to my shop (big thank you K), I got a little free press today. No sales just yet but I had a ton of hits on my Etsy page which was exciting to see.

So we'll see how the 30 minutes a day goes. Of course the goal is to increase my sales and visibility but I think it will also make me better and a little less scared of marketing my wares.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Illustration Friday: Clandestine

Happy New Year all! This week's topic on Illustration Friday is "clandestine". I love this word,and there were so many ideas I had when thinking about illustrating something for this topic.

I couldn't help but think of spies, and all the gadgets that spies use (ok, maybe the kind of gadgets little kid spies might use). As a kid I fancied myself a bit of a neighborhood spy. I had a notebook where I kept notes and drawings regarding the comings and goings of the rather geriatric crowd on my street. The gutsiest I ever got was peeking in the window at the neighborhood widow I code named "George Washington" due to her pure white bouffant hairdo that reminded me for some reason of our first president. Go figure. I was determined to have an eye witness account of her styling methodoligies. If I'd had a pair of these x-ray glasses I wouldn't have had to go peeping into her window.

I've also been thinking a lot about WPA posters, and old advertisements from that era. I just wanted to play around with that look a bit here. The invention of x ray specs of the novelty variety is attributed to Harold Von Braunhut, who also invented Amazing Sea Monkeys.