Thursday, February 28, 2008

"You could stay here forever"

To thank all you guys who have been just totally full of enthusiasm. I went over to Drawn! today and grabbed the Coraline teaser preview... not that I'm anywhere near this level, but you all have similar taste... have you seen it yet? Read it? (Great book!) So excited I'm gonna go find a sunny corner and draw! More tomorrow. :D

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

in black and white

Love BirdLand of Cupcakes

Over here there's quite a bit of painty going on, and the ongoing project of Gocco on fabric. Happy to report in the meantime, two new black and white designs in the shop! New robots! A girl in pants! And while I'm using exclamation points: a big thank you to Faded Willow for the props! ; ) April Showers has a happy new home.
(...Those sock monkey slippers are redonk, Karen!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

taking pictures

this morning, all of the photos I needed to take came out pretty good. I'm becoming more comfortable with the photo side of Etsy. colors could have been more vibrant, but it is raining here today so there is very little light. it was fun to take more photos of shells. I grew up by the ocean, and cannot wait to get back to the beach in April!

here are the tags that came into the shop today. I'll work on some cloth with this simple image, as well as some upcoming birds. I'm leaning toward trying out more pattern these days, though I'm not sure if it's less fetching since I don't use a computer for my work.

last week ouou's Puddles and Dragons showed up here in the wonderful Skully's blog. I really love the artists that were showcased in the post, and was surprised and elated to be among them. those big, chunky crayons?! I remember those! (big smile) and can't wait to get my tree-swing on! ouou also showed up in one of my sweetest customer's Flickr album! so rockin Siben Morgen! it inspired me to get to it & put together a page on Flickr (about time) that I'm still working on... a nice thing to do at night while the Daily Show is on.

Monday, February 25, 2008


the packing has begun, and with it many photographs of small objects around the house. These feel very peaceful to me.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Happy One!


It has been a year of change and growth! You have lifted up so many hearts!

Thank you for a most amazing collaboration! You're an inspiration with the delicate, heartwarming and brilliant work that keeps emerging!

Celeste and I have some fun creative projects looking ahead into the weekend... but as for now it's just a lovely snowy and cold morning. Waking up, music on, welcoming a celebratory day of milestones and happiness.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Some Historic Things

Well, not much of an art post today... general news wrapping up the month. In most every blog I keep up with, people are begging for the snow to stop. Gray skies! Cold winds! Inches upon inches!
Sorry, guys!
Here in PA we just got the most snow we have had all winter. The most relaxing thing about it is the natural-ness of this snow. Mark off at least one more day without those conversations about the worrisome high temperatures, or that unnerving feeling of seeing buds and shoots in February. Today is just a beautiful snowy, snowy day. Tonights forecast? Ice, snow, sleet and then rain. Possibly freezing rain.
(shrug) Well, it was nice while it lasted.

The night before last we were also having freezing rain, but the clouds passed right in time to see the lunar eclipse! Thanks to Celeste for remembering, we bundled up in blankets and hats and drifted outside into the cold, dark night. The view was pretty thrilling, half the moon was red (!), all around us the snow has a glaze of sleet over it that glittered in the moonlight. The soft, crystalline hush of recent ice settling on grass. An unusually touching suburban night with at least 1 other neighbor watching from their front stoop.

New drawings and projects have slowed (preparing to stop) in light of studying for my driver's permit test. I've been hovering over my driver's manual for the last several months... easily distracted... until we started getting into all the possible options and schedules regarding the road trip out west. Finally, this week, I really had to dive in. The table is cleared of sketchbooks and projects (other than mailing) to keep me from temptation. I know I should have done this, what is it now... 14 years ago? It is super fun to have something to study, to be able to trust my (passenger) instincts on my practice tests, but not for a second has it lost the surreality of learning how to drive in the twilight of my 20's. Totally weird.

After a day of studying, we turned on the Obama & Clinton debate in Texas. Sadly, Lost won the debate in this house (but *yow!* what a better episode than last week!). Still, it was compelling enough to keep drawing me into the living room from 8-9pm, critiquing, absorbing, watching and being generally intrigued. I don't know how deflated and full of sorrow I would have been after the last era of Bush if the election were not as engaging as this one. That's probably all I'll be saying about politics in this blog for quite a while, but I'm grateful there are actual choices to be made. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

1001 Thank You's!

(picking jaw up off floor) Wow! Happy Etsyversary month ouou! You're going to Disney Land! well, not really, but thank you for the milestone!
(... my mom's in Disney Land right now... does that count?)

Hi Mom!
Thank You Etsy!


Ahh (stretches arms) ...dragons.

I wonder if I have an image to show you of this sketch I have from back in October of aliens blowing lazily on pinwheels, going to have to look for that. I was having trouble translating fine lines of those guys onto the paper I use for finishes, so I went with a new Dragon design first. I like these guys, most definitely the Converse All Stars on boy-without-scarf.

Hooray! New Dragons in the shop!

Also, my wonderful sister gave me a tutorial last night (while watching last weeks Lost again... are we addicted or what!?) on Iron-Ons! Here's what my finished product looks like:

Pretty amazing for me to see all these designs on one sheet. I've had some failures as of late, the most disturbing was my printing on fabric attempt:
Oh no!

Obviously I've spent too much time staring at my shop lately, too. So it was really fun to bring some colorful, sweet new children's designs into the shop. Refreshing!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

(rubs eyes) ... Tuesday!?

Morning, all. Things around here have been stops and starts for the last many days as my health had gone a bit wobbly. After an amazing amount of sleep I'm feeling better, looking around my desk and thinking... "Tuesday already?"

I woke up to a lovely email from the brains behind Cuteable that I've been added to their list of cute finds! A little reminder that I need to get some new boy designs into the shop... spring, as of yet, has been all about the ladies. Thank you Cuteable! Looking good, Blue Dragon! :)

Last week I wrote that the Lovely Bird design was too big to print on anything else... and then I remembered those fantastic long envelopes I bought for Valentine's Day. She looks great on the deep red paper, but I only made about 7 of these, so I'm still deciding what to do with them. Celeste has encouraged me to get this lovely lady onto cloth for a patch...

...hopefully my next post will either be about another finished painting (thanks everyone for real encouragement of Gemini) or successful printing on fabric. (cracks knuckles) Alright Tuesday, let's get this party started!

PS- Those lovely Knitter Notes that have lived in Bamboo Village for the last several months now have a baby brother, look at that knitting otter go town! :) The otter came into ouou this morning, adorable little ears and all!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Zany Zany Love

Printy Saturday was tiring, but oh so good!
Last week I finished 2 new designs that are too big for the small Moleskines, so I was very excited when the larger size came in the mail yesterday. You never really know how a drawing will translate into another medium, even one ink to another. Also, Moleskines are an investment, so mistakes are so much more disappointing. I'm happy to report that both images came off without a hitch!

Lovely Bird came out with the look of sheen lines (that you can't quite see) in the girl's skirt and the raven wings. I was overjoyed! I won't be printing her on anything else, even the mailers are too small, but she looks just fantastic on these journals. :)

Butterfly Sky was drawn in a style that reminds me very much of the Girl Scout Handbook from the 70's I had when I was a kid. (Speaking of the 70's, have you all seen this shop that's been popping up in Treasuries and Etsy's front page? Oh goodness, I am in zany zany love!) ...I printed her joyfulness in red, showing up strong on the Moleskines and brilliant on cards. The cards are on their way, the journals are already up!

And before I forget, I got a great photograph of yesterday's painting in actual daylight. Yay!

Friday, February 15, 2008

How She Paint

Hello from Painty Friday! I'm waiting for the pizza (ahem! Friday) to warm up... just enough time to share my afternoon of painting with you! A lot of my shop is made up of pen and ink drawings, and on the blog I've been putting in some pencil sketches (weather permitting) but this is all about the sweet, sweet watercolor.

So I began at around noon with this painting that had been stretched & ready to go for... oh, I'm gonna say since about early December. This is my biggest Plexiglas (the plastic board I paint on) so today was the day to whirlwind finish to make room for the next painting!

The beginning is just a whole mess, really, laying down big swatches of color. The blue was already done when I came back to these girls, and I wanted a muted tone, so I sped pretty fast through my lights and darks.

These girls are in the circus, the idea was to get a handful of zodiac signs as circus performers. Maybe as an excuse to paint circus performers. Or stripes. And, I'm a Gemini. :) It was disorienting at first getting used to the roughness of this paper after so much pen and Gocco.

By then it was around 2 and time to go to the gym (ahem, pizza) which was mighty fine after two hours of squinting and using my teeniest brush. With the painting done it is time to spend just as much time inking. This is my favorite part (years of reading comic books)... I went through a whole MicronPigma in this small painting and it took another 2 hours! But, then, I often go back in with paint for a wee bit more detail, too.

Just about 5 hours later and the sun is setting, so my final photograph is sort of blurry. But there it is!
I'm really happy with the result, a good segue to Printy Saturday (the Moleskines came in the mail! Shazam!) ...and the pizza was delicious!

Blue Skies

The drippy snow has passed, yesterday was very beautiful here. I had a lovely walk in the morning and was able to get some good photographs of the post-snow blue skies.

Today is painty Friday, in anticipation of printy Saturday. After hitting the drawing table pretty early this morning & beginning some revisions, maybe its time for another trip to the library too. Hmmm...

Heres another sketch, Boy Train Backpack. I hope everybody has a happy weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines

Happy Valentines Day, Loves!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lucky 900!

Hey everybody!

A day of ups and downs today, with more exciting news of press. First, upon waking up and checking the shop (a morning ritual I am seriously trying to break myself of) I received a little note from the wonderful crazycoconut saying that I had been blogged! Following the link, I was awestruck to find I've been blogged in The Portland Mercury! As in Portland, Oregon! Destination 2008! What a welcome!

How sweet that was, giving my day all sorts of momentum. It has been snowing here pretty steadily but never really accumulating, a foggy crackling drippy mess. So, needless to say I didn't leave the apartment much and don't have product photos for you. But it reminded me (what with Winter returning) to write about being blogged here, too. I'm now a happy reader of Life of a Busy Little Bee (though I'm a teeny bit jealous of that photo of snow) and her knitting loveliness! Really beautifully designed blog with a spirited author.

I finished a compliment to this design that lives in Bamboo Village Press. With that drawing done (photos soon) I was able to burn a new Gocco screen, and with Moleskines on their way hopefully it will be a printy weekend.

Everything was going so well, even some convos from some of my favorite shops, I got caught up in some caffeinated exuberance. You see, Sumo (the little beta fish who keeps Hagrid the big house plant company) sadly lost his home today. He is still in good health, transfered to a smaller vase so I could wash out his bowl. But I broke his bowl with my soapy hands, and he has been swimming back and forth in fishy confusion all evening. "Where are my rocks!? If I keep touching my nose to the glass in this fashion, will I get my big bowl back? ...Where are my rocks?" Sorry, Sum!

Other than that, I've reached 900 hearts in the shop (!) and have my 3 month EtsyVersary tomorrow... Valentine's Day! Amazing!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"An Illustrated Life"

More exciting news this week: OUOU has it's first ad space! Due to the incredible generosity of the mind behind, we got a cozy spot among some really incredible artists out there! I'm still buzzing from this!

Pikaland: An Illustrated Life
(this is based on a Japanese word, how perfect!) has been launched by the lovely crafter behind re:makeables. Inspired by such sites as Illustration Friday, Pikaland gathers together illustrated arts from all over the web and offers concise introductions to their work.

I find the choices already showcased to be really remarkable. Pikaland highlights the joy of living an illustrated life, the fun of drawing, painting, takes the focus away from sales to simply the pleasure of discovering new artists! I'm really honored to be a part of it, and excited to see what is to come!

The ad was a new thing for me in several ways. I went to college for illustration but am not in any way a graphic designer. When I first was being shown how to knit, for example, it was so frustrating not to hold
my right-hand needle like a pencil. Ooh! So frustrating! This is how I feel given a font I need to apply, rather than draw. All thumbs. Seriously.

Above you see one of the several ad spots I tried in the beginning. I ended up going around to the w
ebsites I love who have ads along their sides, and from their example... simplifying. There she is on the right---> the finished one. I'm really tickled by this, and plan on practicing a few more to get more comfortable with placing fonts.

So, those are my introductions for today. Because of the Poppytalk Handmade table there are a bunch of new designs in the shop this week! Even a Valentine that to me is just so PA inspired- lots of people in these parts have these lamp posts on their walkways in their yards. That was really fun to draw. Signing off for today, impatiently awaiting tomorrow's Lost, I hope it is warm where you are! :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Poppytalk (part 2)

Helloooo Monday morning! Around here we have had a drastic drop in temperatures, right in time for the Spring Poppytalk Handmade to go up! Yay!

Took me a while to find my shop, I was scrolling and scrolling looking for those thick black lines to no avail... forgetting that I too had a soft pink piece in the showcase. Look see in the upper left? I had some time to re-shoot the new tags (third times the charm?) this weekend. The key, I have found, to any patience at all with taking photos (during winter ...outside...) for Etsy is to do it in small batches. I was finally happy with different backgrounds on those.

Anyway, if you have time, go check it out! There are a lot of fantastic artists to be found! Here is a link to my "table", but the above link will bring you to the entire Spring Market! Some of my favorites are decoylab, b green design, and beehive kitchenware! I'm still exploring... many of these are new to me. It would be fun to know what pieces you like among the artists, too. :)

Thank you Poppytalk! And Bamboo Village Press for trailblazing! Have fun everyone!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Reviews, Absolutlely

Not only are reviews fun, but I'm so crazy about these two reviews I get to speak in absolutes, and that is always the most fun thing ever. In the whole world.

First, let's ring in Black History month with a standing ovation for Kadir Nelson's We are the Ship. Now, don't get all dismissive once you find out this is a children's book... it really is well worth the scribbled note put in your pocket, so that next time you visit the bookstore (or library... wink!) you track this gem down.

I noticed this book in it's arrival on the bookshelf and was drawn to it by the stunning blues Nelson uses for his skies. Upon opening the book, there was no denying how Nelson's illustrations immerse you in this Vermeer-lit world of powerful and iconic paintings. We are the Ship tells the story of Negro League Baseball pioneers with immaculate writing and Nelson's best illustrations (from the expressions on these faces to the vantage points he takes) yet. We are the Ship is the most moving non-fiction children's book I have seen in ages, you taste the dust, feel the strong bright sunlight, hear the crowd around you. Though I am obviously head-over-heels for Kadir Nelson's incredible illustrations, his first venture into authorship is
straightforward and compelling.

The book has had great reviews, Kadir Nelson himself was interviewed (here) on NPR. Looking through these online shots of the book is really pale in comparison to the moving experience of holding this book in your hands. I absolutely recommend it, this is a book that stays with you.

They've started talking about Black History Month on Etsy today, too, and for those interested there was a post about a blog (here) started by Etsy artists of color. Stay tuned to the Storque (Etsy's online magazine) for more news and articles about Black History Month and community news!

* * *
On a totally different note, if you like disturbing character driven movies as I do you need to drop everything and run to the hills to go see There Will be Blood... right now!

I don't want to give away anything so I'll settle for lauding the profound directing prowess of Paul Thomas Anderson, and the astounding performances of Daniel Day-Lewis, Dillon Freasier, and Paul Dano. Right from the beginning and the acoustic whine that permeates the set-up (reminiscent of the same tone that brings us into the isolation and surrealism of The Shining) we are brought into this seamless cinematic epic.

The movie is long, be prepared, but if you are watching for the beauty of a scene as much as the depth of character, you'll be very much on the edge of your seat the whole time. From those claustrophobic close-ups to the menacing over-the-shoulder shots, the omnipresent Devil flavor of evil to the tender and human moments between father and son, There Will be Blood leaves no emotion unturned, thrills without a second of cheep Hollywood "thriller".

I'm happy to absolutely say this is (absolutely in my opinion) one of the top 5 movies that has come out in my lifetime. It's wonderful that we just happen to be watching Joseph Campbell's Power of Myth , a little more flavor to the archetypal/ mythological story.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Poppytalk (part 1)

Think Spring!

So, what's my good new you ask? It looks like the little OUniverse will be up in next week's NEW Poppytalk Handmade! (jumps in the air, clicking heels) Yes!

I've had my nose to the grindstone for galoshes, bunnies, greenery, birds and butterflies for the Spring themed poppytalk... tomorrow is my deadline and I'm still getting my ducks in a row. I'll keep you updated as I'll be bringing in new items, as mentioned, next week also. My initial poppytalk showcase will probably shuffle around a bit as the Gocco chuggah-chuggas away. But... fun!

Winter has still got it's grip in my shop, but we are all friends of cocoa and scarves, snowflakes and tea. That's just fine with me... and also the wonderful new thisiskate, who put together the fun treasury you see above. Thisiskate is a new shop, and has already been in a couple treasuries as well as the front page!!! Go Kate! I was so happy to see those Afternoon Cocoa Gocco cards have a second life, and among such fantastic shops as reiter8 and Matty8080! Wow!