Kari and Chris Invites

Kari’s wedding invitations were such a pleasure to work on.  She wanted an illustrated, screen printed invite that would reflect her and Chris’ personalities and interests.  She told me a bit about herself and her fiancé, and then I got to dream up whatever I wanted!  Here is one of the initial sketches I sent her, the one she liked the best.  You can see how it became the final illustration.

The added challenge of working with one color only made it that much more fun and I’m quite pleased with the results.  I really like the look of the wildflowers, and I’m going to make some more patterned work in that style.

Even more fun was the fact that I got to hand-deliver the screen printed invites to Kari in Durham when I was there visiting a friend.  I loved getting to meet her and watch her open the package of invites.  I’m excited for her to marry Chris this weekend and start their new life together!

I screen printed the invites on kraft paper, and Kari stuffed them in kraft paper envelopes.   It was a laid-back look that suites the day they have planned.

I took the pictures of the invitations on the deck of the cottage, which, as I have mentioned, is a dome-home.  It’s completely awesome to be living here this summer!  I want it to get a little warmer, though, because the water is frigid, and I haven’t ventured farther into the lake than an exploratory slap at the water.

Later that day, I watched a huge storm roll down the lake.  The sudden violence of the wind and rain was stunning, and awesome to watch from the warmth of the living room.


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Filed under Invitations, Paper Goods, Weddings

Hello, Skaneateles.

At the beginning of April Eric and I started talking seriously about him accepting a job in Syracuse, NY with StartFast.  It was Master’s week and I was about to start a 70-hour work week of all-nighters, and something in us just snapped.  “What the heck,” we said, staring excitedly at each other. “Let’s just do it.”

A mere five weeks later, after a frenzy of packing and goodbyes and sketchy u-hauls, we pulled in next to Eric’s parent’s cottage on Lake Skaneateles, our home for the rest of the summer.

Eric is working long hours (and loving it!) as programs coordinator for Startfast, a start-up accelerator program in Syracuse, which is about 40 minutes from the cottage.  I am making art and working a couple days a week at Wide Awake Bakery in Trumansburg, which is the opposite direction from Eric’s work, just past Ithaca.  I’m learning about baking bread in a beautiful wood-burning oven from two crazy/awesome guys, working with local flours from Farmer Ground, and even making some cookies and dessert-type stuff to sell along with the bread.  It feels great to jump in to life in the Fingerlakes so quickly and easily.  My main hurdle now is to develop a schedule for my “drawing days” to make sure I’m as productive as possible.

I’m completely blown away by the beauty that I encounter every day, whether it’s waking up to the shimmering lake, driving through rolling hills of green farm land, or packing up loaves of crackling bread, fresh from the oven.  I CANNOT WAIT for firefly season to start!  They are incredible here.

Oh and also, Eric came home the other night with a moped!  It runs well, but it’s covered in rust.  He found it for really cheap on Craigslist; a good summer project for us.

More updates about the darling little towns that dot the roads around the lakes to come!


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Aurora + William Sage Green Wedding Invitations

Aurora was my first bride from abroad!  She was so easy to work with, even though we live on different continents.  She gave me such lovely details about her wedding vision that I was able to design these sage green, art-deco informed wedding invitations that we both love.

I’m just starting to recover from the INSANITY last week.  Not only was it Master’s Golf Tournament week here in Augusta, it marked the beginning of a lot of changes for our little family of two.  More details to come on that front.

I didn’t have the energy to think or move after baking at the restaurant  11pm-8am every night…but it was pretty fulfilling to stock the dessert case every day and come back that night to find it empty.   We even had a famous golfer come eat at the restaurant.  I think it was Greg Norman (the “Shark”)(?).  He signed a bunch of menus for people.  When they told me about it, I was like, “…Who?  Is he famous?”  For living in a golf crazed town, I know nothing about golf.  I would like to keep it that way, too.

I knew it was time for a day off when, on my 6th night in a row working that craziness, I looked down and realized I was wearing two different shoes.

I designed a monogram that I printed on the backs of all the envelopes, and I really like how it pulls the whole invitation suite together.

Probably the most time consuming part of the whole process was mixing the ink color exactly right.  The ink always looks a lot lighter in the jar than it comes out on the paper, especially after it dries.  So I’d mix ink, print the image, rinse out the screen, wait for the ink to dry, compare it to the photoshop file I sent Aurora, sigh in frustration,  mix more ink, make sure the screen was dry and print again.   Usually I don’t have an exact color I’m trying to match,  I just fiddle with the color until I think it looks good.  I tried using interior house paint for awhile for this reason, because I could just pick out a precise color from a sample paper and have the hardware store mix it, but the paint always ended up drying (permanently) in my screen.  I’ve heard of mixing floetrol or other substances with the ouse paint to keep it from drying in the screen, but I haven’t been able to find it locally.  If any readers out there have experience with this, I’d love some advice.

Anyway, it was worth it, I’m happy with the results!

The RSVP card featured a little illustration of a serene cow and a peaceful fish.  I guess they don’t realize they’re going to be eaten by ravenous wedding guests.

I always have fun when hand-lettering takes center stage.  Thanks Aurora, for letting me be a part of your wedding celebration!


Filed under Invitations, Paper Goods, Weddings

New Batch of Bookplates

We’re in Blacksburg, VA for the weekend for Leah’s surprise birthday party.   I gave her the amazing cookbook Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce, and a whole slew of bookplates.   It’s a great excuse to bake delicious pastries and  breakfast items all in the name of good health- the recipes all use different whole grains like buckwheat, spelt, amaranth, oats and whole wheat.

These are some of the new bookplates I’ve added to my etsy shop.  They give any book a touch of class.  They’d be a great gift to give kids or adults along with a favorite book.

Personally, I won’t let any of my books out of the house without one.

For a town of Blacksburg’s size, it has a FANTASTIC food scene, and tons of options for local and exotic foods.  Really, for a town of any size, the choices are impressive.  This morning Leah and I made a delicious tour of the town that included,

Oasis, where I got several varieties of thai curry pastes, palm sugar, lemongrass and cherry lambic beer (to use with my new ice cream book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home!)

Annie Kay’s, soooo many whole food options, and grind your own peanut butter.

The Chocolate Spike, absolutely one of my favorite stops.  I always get the dark chocolate ginger bark and the aztec gold truffles.  Really, one of the best chocolate shops I’ve ever been to.

Farmer’s Market, not quite hopping this time of year, but we got some delicious homemade chai tea.  Can’t wait for April for the market to get in full swing.

Bollo’s, pretty much my favorite coffee shop. Home of delicious muffins and scones, and the famous Oat Fudge Bar.

We didn’t make it to Gillie’s this morning, but it is also a favorite.

…and Tractor Supply Co, where I was THISCLOSE to buy a little chick for $2.49.  Not sure why I hesitated, but it’s probably best I did considering that our little house is in our landlord’s back yard and he might not appreciated the sudden appearance of a chicken coop next to his motorcycle shed.  Someday, someday soon I will have a little flock of chickens, and a goat and a rabbit and a whole menagerie of functional pets.

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Filed under Books, Paper Goods

Whale Submarine!

Check out this never-before-seen glimpse of the inner workings of whales and the men who man them!

Ok so you’ve seen this before, but I’m here to tell you that the screen printed version is now available for purchase in my etsy shop!

Each whale is so large it had to be printed in three sections with three different screens.  The paper measures 26″x40.”  The whales took over my kitchen table and then the whole living room!

I’ll compile a few ways people display it in another post, but it fits in a 27″x40″ poster frame which you can get for pretty cheap.  The top and bottom deckled edge of the paper show a little bit if you go this route.  I really like the way mine looks, cut out and mounted on foam core.  If you don’t want to frame it or cut it out, you can use clips to hang it on the wall like above.  I’m also planning on printing some more sometime with wavy blue lines around them like the whale men in the calendar (January).

I really loved drawing this cutaway, and I plan to do more like it in the future.  I want to make more and more complicated drawings of scenarios and people and places that no one has ever seen in real life.    I imagined what these whale men would do and think, shut up inside the whale like sailors on a submarine.  A few thoughts:  The captain is a little overwhelmed; he’s very capable but this is his first captain gig and he’s a bit afraid of the rest of the men.  So he stows away in his office a lot.  The crew is furious that they are being served squid for the 100th consecutive day, and the cook (who does the best he can) is pretty hot-headed himself.  The one guy that likes squid is trying not to draw attention to himself while still enjoying his meal.  A famous composer/conductor was talked into coming on this voyage and has whipped these sailors into shape- they now make the most beautiful whale sounds in the sea.

I hope these prints find a home somewhere where people stand around thinking and talking about the stories that they see in the whale.


Filed under Paper Goods, poster

Family Photos

There’s this hilarious photograph of my father, uncle and grandfather taken when dad was 13 or so.  He’s smiling, small and blond, and the other two are massive and severe.

Also dad’s shirt is a comic strip.  So good.

The photograph inspired this little doodle awhile ago.

My father is not pictured in the doodle.


Here’s a Christmas card I found last year while helping my Grandma clean out her basement.

My grandpa was so awesome looking!  Here he is, looking awesome again!

And here he is as a child in a cornfield in Sweden.

We all loved him very much.


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Lake House Sign and Lizard Friends.

My desk is next to the window in the living room.  It’s probably the place in the house that gets the most light, and I like to sit there  in the sun with a cup of tea during the afternoon.  Plus, I have company there- two lizard friends that like to bask in the sun as much as I do.

They’ve hung out around the window for several months now.  I actually just realized the other day that there are two, not one, when I moved the curtain to take a picture and found another behind it.

I googled “little lizards”, and I think they’re called Anoles.  I like them very much.  Is it odd that bugs in my house freak me out, but I’m perfectly happy to sip tea next to two little lizards?  I guess they eat bugs, which is nice of them.

I assume they know how to get out if they wanted to….right?  I mean, how did they get in?  I’ve been imagining this cushy indoor life they’ve lucked upon, but maybe they’re sitting on the windowsill mourning their freedom!

My mother-in-law kindly sent a photograph of the finished sign in her house, so I’ll show it off to you.

I’m pleased with it.  I like the fur and the peaceful look on the fox’s face.  Next summer when we visit the cottage, I’ll photograph it in it’s final resting place.  In norwegian, it says “Welcome to the Lake House” and then in french, below, “One dreams here.”  I remembered how much I like wielding a brush while painting it.


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