Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Les Mademoiselle

Les Mademoiselle doll $18 by Zime on etsy.
The big people in the house are sick today, with some kind of flu that leaves us feeling woozy and like we've been run over by a train. Luckily the kiddo is fine and full of energy. 

With just two days to go in NaBloPoMo, I wanted to finish on a happy note. So here are some adorable little wooden dolls from Etsy seller Zime. I love them! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Art Heros: Fiep Westendorp

There is no question that Fiep Westendorp is one of my all time favorite illustrators. Her illustrations for Annie Schmidt's Jip and Janneke books helped me learn Dutch (as did my sweet and patient host family and the group of pierced and dreadlocked squatter ladies I went to school with).

Armed with my Dutch - English dictionary, I'd sit up in my room in Holland deciphering the stories written for kiddos half my age. The drawings held my interest so intensely that I had to know what the words said.

Just last week I got a care package from Holland and it it were a bunch of Jip and Janneke paraphernalia from the wonderful HEMA store, and I was reminded of my love for Fiep all over again. Next time I visit I'm packing a suitcase full of these books to bring home. 

You can see a slew of Fiep's wonderful work at this Flickr site

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Banner Weekend

A few days ago I saw this on Facebook, and it made me smile. The Ralphie head I illustrated for Portland Center Stage's A Christmas Story, being marched through the streets of Portland by some waving, bunny-eared teens! Does it get any better than that?

Only three days left in NaBloPoMo! I think I can, I think I can....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

keeping low doesn't make no sense

This song came out the year before I lived abroad. I have distinct memories of rocking out to it on the way to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower for the first time. I still love, love, love this song. I'll probably be rocking out to it in my 90s if I'm lucky enough.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Etsy finds: 9 under $10

The day after Thanksgiving, and the biggest shopping day of the year. I'm doing my shopping from my couch this year all on Etsy. Here are 9 lovely handmade items, and each are under $10. Do you need any other reasons to visit Etsy? I think not.

From left to right:
Bookmarks: $6.00

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Art Heros: Wayne Thiebaud

As I was making pies tonight, I couldn't help but thinking of one of my favorite painters, Wayne Theibaud. I love his images of pies, cakes and other food stuff. I love the lines he makes, the colors he layers together, the thickness of the paint, and the brushstokes.

When I Googled him tonight I came across this endearing look into his work, and the artist himself, who is about as humble as, well, pie. This makes me love his work even more. I also love what he says about hope, and perseverance.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tips of the Trade #5: Managing a to-do list

Vintage Russian alarm clock $35 form Clockwork Universe on Etsy
Ah, the to-do list. Mine is currently so long it would make Santa Claus barf. My list is a brain dump, void of prioritization or categories and has everything on it from reordering supplies, to who I need to call, places I want to take my kid - and so on and so on in a lengthy disorganized jumble. 

We all have to start somewhere, but what to do after we make a list requires some savvy. Here are some tips I am finding helpful in wrangling my crazy list.

I've only recently heard of this method, but know it has some evangelical followers. If that creeps you out, sorry. I'm not one of them, but I do like this synopsis of the method and what is says about getting rid of the 'stuff' that is keeping us from even starting on a to do list.

Great two part article focusing on how to break down big to-do's.

The Good to Know Project is full of advice + inspiration from artists/illustrators/designers on creativity, business and life. This issue has 29 artists who shares about the topic of how they manage their time, and includes some of their illustrations as well!

Full of practical (and somewhat obvious) ways to manage a to-do list. But it did lead me to the Hipster PDA - the ultimate, low tech time management tool. Originally a tongue and cheek reaction to the increasing expense and complexity of PDAs back in the early 2000s and well before the iPhone (the official Hipster PDA). Even though this idea is kinda old, I still think it may be super duper practical- especially for those of us who can't get to a computer until the small people in our houses are asleep. I'm totally making one.

Hope this is helpful if you are struggling with an overwhelming to-do list like I am. Onward!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm dreaming of a ...

It is snowing at our house today, which is a huge event if you live in Seattle. Where I grew up, this would just be a regular ole winter day. But not here.

I think I must be turning into more of a Seattle girl than I thought. We stayed home, played in  the snow, busted out the Christmas music (which I normally think is horrible to listen to before about December 24) and sipped cocoa.

Let it snow!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cooking Up a Plan

Thanksgiving week starts tomorrow! Tonight I am all about shopping lists and game plans - otherwise known as "How To Cook a Huge Dinner in an Easy Bake Oven" 

Our oven is ridiculous, it can barely hold a cookie sheet. Each holiday I realize how incredibly tiny it is when we have to cook more than one thing.

Someday we'll have something bigger, and brighter like this adorable Big Chill stove.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Studio Dreams

The studio we plan on building is starting to take shape in our minds, and on scraps of paper so far. We still need to figure out how big we can make it. It will be small, but how small is still in question. I've been making mood boards like the one above. 

Here's the run-down. I want a little faux fireplace with an electric heater insert (yep, I'm talking fake - maybe even with that fake crackle sound added). Ours would be styled like this working one from the wonderful Yvestown blog . I want hanging lamps - Nelson lamps would be ideal, but our budget might need to settle for a cheaper option. We plan on using recycled building materials, so a wood floor in a range of hues is a likely outcome (and also cool looking). Of course there would be tea, served in swanky cups. A huge blackboard wall sounds so fun to me, and a vintage couch for lounging. We've decided there will be a covered porch, and a porch swing. I love this modern version. And, the door should be cool too. And there will always, always be music playing

Friday, November 19, 2010

Art Heros: Maya Lin

This week I received an autographed copy of Maya Lin's book Boundaries from my in-laws who recently met her when she spoke about the Confluence Project (a multi-site artwork memorializing the Lewis and Clark expedition and the American Indian cultures that grew up along the Columbia River’s length).

Lin is probably best known for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. In 1981 she won a public design competition for the memorial the at the age of 21 and while still an undergraduate. I visited D.C. in 1996. Seeing the memorial in person was significant to me. I grew up hearing stories of so many family friends who never came back from Vietnam, and had relatives who came back completely and forever changed.  

I've been a fan of hers ever since. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Christmas Story Story

A few months back I gave you a look into my process for designing the poster for Portland Center Stage's production of Sunset Boulevard. For every poster I have designed that is a tough cookie - the universe seems to balance things out by handing me posters that come quickly and effortlessly with a lot of laughs in between. The poster for Portland Center Stage's A Christmas Story (opening this weekend) was exactly that.

My art director and I started with a brainstorm about what shouldn't be included (no leg lamp) and joked again about our desire to actually silk screen fuzzy pink flocking on the bunny suit depicted in the poster (one day, Mr. Buchino - one day). And then I got started on Ralphie.

He literally jumped out of my pencil, right onto the page. Ka-bam! There he was. PCS loved him and I went right to the computer and shortly after out came this, complete with a Red Ryder hidden in the woodgrain background.

And it was over. Easy. Done.

Then a few months ago I was sorting through some of my grandmother's old photos and found the reason why Ralphie had leaped onto the page so effortlessly. I knew him.

That's my dad on the left and his life long BFF (who I'll just call J to in case he wishes to remain anonymous). In bunny suits, circa 1957. I hadn't seen this photo in years but remembered looking at it a lot as a kid (and cracking up). My dad  looks all too comfortable in his bunny suit - my whole family (myself included) loves any and every excuse to dress up. But J on the other hand looks less than amused - the perfect Ralphie, burned into my memory bank!

PS. J grew up to become a tough, gun totin' county sheriff (with a big, kind  heart). And he never shot his eye out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Santa picks a winner!

Santa's Beard Notecard set $12 at my etsy shop

It's giveaway day, and Santa has picked a lucky winner - #67 from my newsletter subscribers: KellyM. Kelly, you'll be getting an email from me shortly, and a package of the Santa note cards delivered to your mailbox. Thanks to the rest of you who played along - and look for a newsletter coming your way tomorrow. The next giveaway will be announced December 1st and if you are on the list, you'll be in the running. 

In other news, I'm happy to report that my flu bug seems to have only been of the 24 hour variety. I slept so much in the past few days, and had some really, really interesting dreams. There was one about me having an epiphany that I should just stop doing my hair and only wear wigs ( I looked so much better this way) another where I was on a beach that completely filled with oversized playground equipment, and a really great one about eating a giant falafel sandwich.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Heads will roll

So...I've caught the flu. Lucky for me I just got my long-awaited copy of The Tudors Season 3 dvd. As I've mentioned before, when I get sick I enjoy watching anything concerning England or Ireland - the accents, the tea drinking, the scenery - it's like chicken soup for my eyeballs or something. Anyhow, watching The Tudors always makes me think of this song - there is so much beheading going on in that show - it's like chop-chop-chop-sex scene-war-chop-chop-chop. I'm not a huge fan of the original video for this song - so you'll just have to stare at that stupid still picture while you imagine Henry VIII dancing till he's dead.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Santa Notecard giveaway- still time to enter!

I'm extending my November giveaway sign up until Wednesday November 17th. Get your name in the running by signing up for my mailing list and e-news over there on the right. Or if you don't feel like scrolling just click here. The lucky winner will be getting a set of my eco-friendly Santa beard notes delivered to their mail box. Yippee!

For those of you not on the mailing list - I send out an e-newsletter about once every three months. It is a great way to be the first to know about new products, and get behind the scenes info about Pixel & Post. The next one will be sent out this Thursday - so get on board! I've got a few sneak peeks to share.

In other news, I'm having a hard time re-entering post vacation life. It could be that the weather here is cold, gray and feels perpetually like 4 pm. Coffee to the rescue.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


We just returned from a lovely four day getaway to the beach. No internets (thank you blogger scheduled posts for keeping my blog rolling along) no computers. Just good friends, good food and lots of relaxation. The amazing beach house we rented has this cool collection of old buoys hanging under the deck - I love the textures and colors.

There were lots of firsts - my kiddo's first time roasting marshmallows over a fire, and her first hike. We also enjoyed two amazing meals at the Beach Store Cafe. And I ate possibly the most delicious grass fed organic burger in my entire life. Holy cow (literally).

Naps were enjoyed, lots of hot beverages consumed, dominoes played. It was pretty much prefect. Tomorrow it is back to reality, but I am still basking in a bit of post-vacation bliss.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Art Heros: Aliki Brandenberg

Last week I got a surprise birthday gift from a friend. It is an Ex Libris Anonymous art journal made from a picture book illustrated by The Artist Aliki. The book, titled "All Kinds of Neighbors" is adorable and I love the drawing style. I looked for more information on this lady illustrator and found a collection of her drawings on this flickr site dedicated to vintage illustration.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tips of the Trade #4: Getting Help

Self Help Soup  $24 by Aimee Sicuro at Weather Girl Shop on Etsy

I'm ramping up for a session with a local creative business consultant next week. In my never-ending search for great marketing advice for creatives, I'm beyond excited to have to opportunity to meet with an actual person. Girl needs some help, and I can't wait to begin.

These resources also exist online. Last week I came across this great website, Blacksberg Belle. An online creative consultation team aimed at making creative people's dreams come true, and helping creative folks with the (seemingly less than) creative task of marketing. Check out their super helpful articles, some even include free printable worksheets. 

Another resource for giving your creativity a kick start? On-line e-courses - which are popping up everywhere. These are perfect for honing in on your creative goals. Some of my favorites have included:

And a whole directory of creative e-courses

And- how awesome are the paintings and prints at Weather Girl Shop? Love!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Don't Try To Be Original

I love everything Paul Rand says in this piece. Plus the animations of his work are pretty darn great as well.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sketchbook Strangers

I've been in a creative slump all week - everything that is coming out of my pen looks like a group of scraggly strangers staring back at me. Like these characters, who appeared out of nowhere. Who are they?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Meowy Christmas!

Meowy Christmas Holiday Notecard Set $12 available in my shop

Hi Folks, I'm happy to announce a new holiday card set available in my shop -  "Meowy Christmas". Puurrr-fect for cat lovers and feline friends - and also 100% hypoallergenic if kitties make you sneeze! 11 festive kitties on the front, and a blank back for you to write a holiday message.

This set of 10 cards will also put a little more green into your holly-days as they are professionally printed in the US of A on 100 % recycled card stock (100 pound) using soy based inks, and include 100% recycled white envelopes. The set comes delivered to you in a biodegradable plastic sleeve.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Zip it

Munchmoney in Green $15 by Munchmoney on Etsy

So this NaBloPoMo thing is kicking my butt, and I'm only 8 days in. I'm questioning if it is really helpful to post here daily - or am I just filing space? Who knows. But tonight I have nothing much to say. So instead I'll give you this adorable little coin purse available on Etsy at the Munchmoney shop. This little guy gets it - when you don't have anything to say, better to  just zip it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I've always loved Tomie DePaola. After a weekend of struggling to make something, anything that looked like anything - I needed to hear exactly what Tomie said in this video.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Orange Baron

Yesterday I got a copy of this clipping in the mail from my dad. I hadn't seen it in ages. 

That would be yours truly with my entry for my grade school's pumpkin carving contest. My dad and I brainstormed and brainstormed until we came up with the idea for "The Orange Baron". It was kind of a last minute inspiration if I remember correctly - we worked all weekend and late into the night. It was a stretch for my dad, as he hates the color orange. The paint was hardly dry by the time it was due at school. And there was tape. Lots and lots of tape.

I was so proud of it. The Orange Baron was huge - and I remember my heart swelling with pride as my dad carried it into the school. In a dramatic fashion he lifted it high above his head (and that is high - he's 6' 6") and proudly marched it / flew it through the throngs of kids in the hall.  

When I found out the paper was coming to photograph me with it I remember blushing just a bit harder than when I met Donnie Osmond in person - and that's saying something.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Favorite Things Friday : Rain

Limited Edition print by Matte Stephens 

April Rain Song

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

 - Langston Hughes 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Art Heros: Saul Steinberg


We recently did a huge reorganization / purge of our home office when I moved my headquarters back home. I was so happy when I rediscovered my book on Saul Steinberg and sat down with it over a cup of tea last weekend. I fell in love all over again with his confident yet friendly line work and ever present sense of humor. So inspiring! 

And I love this quote about him "The idea of disguise is central to Steinberg’s art. In the world as he saw it, everyone wears a mask, whether real or metaphorical. People invent personas through clothing, hairstyles, furniture, and posture; cities define themselves by their architecture, nations by their icons."

If you want to see more of his work there is a great collection of his covers for the New Yorker here. Check out the Saul Steinberg Foundation for other images. 

And now I'm off to make some lines of my own. Maybe in the bath....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Etsy Wall Wednesday #11: Signs

Milk Farm  $20  8" x 10"
{ Metallic Print by Roadside Photographs on etsy}

Large Wooden Ampersand  $125  33" x 28"
{ by Hindsvik }

 Gold Leaf Letter 'e'  $95  9" x 9"

Kitschy Wooden Sign  $9  16" x 5.5"

Wall Wednesday time again, folks! With the exception of that lovely "Milk Farm" print, I'm breaking out of the picture frame to show you some fave three dimensional items I found while searching for 'signs' on Etsy (also - can I just say,  if I see one more "Keep Calm..." type sign I think I am going to seriously lose it). 

The letter 'e' comes from a now defunct bank in my small hometown. That sign is etched in my memory. The unique 70s letterforms were hand carved by our local sign-maker and layered with gold leaf (how fitting for a bank). Pretty cool to see them on Etsy. 

And while that last sign probably has some of my former women's studies professors keeling over in their university offices, I'm sorry ladies ... I just kind of love it. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tips of the Trade #3: Focus and Momentum

What to Focus on...Happy Print by marc johns on etsy
Yesterday I had the idea that I'd join November's NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) - an online challenge to post to your blog every day for a month. Will I make it? I sure hope so. This blog needs a workout. 

So without further ado, here are this week's Tips of the Trade: Regaining momentum and staying focused (ahem).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Santa returns! ( a giveaway)

I know, I know. It is only the day after Halloween and I'm skipping right on over to Christmas. I just wanted to let you know that the Santa Beard notecards are back again this year in my shop! Perfect for a holiday thank you, or just a friendly "Ho Ho Ho". 

To celebrate Mr. Claus' return to my shop, I'll be giving away a set of these cards to one lucky subscriber to my newsletter on November 15, 2010. Get your name on the list HERE!

This set of cards will also put a little more green into your holly-days. How? They are printed on 100 % recycled card stock using soy based inks, and include 100% recycled white envelopes. The set comes delivered to you in a biodegradable plastic sleeve. Printed
Professionally in Los Angeles, Califor-i-a. Saint Nick himself couldn't ask for anything more!

I'll be stocking up my shop with more holiday goodness in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Thanks and Happy November, readers!