treasuring old & new

This last weekend was our church flea market, where we always seem to be able to find great treasures.  This year we really made out well though.  I left with a few nice planters, linens, baby things, and a nice buffet that will be perfect for our new dining room.  My favorite find though was an old framed Jesse Wilcox Smith print from the Mercy HS Library.  I am in LOVE with this picture, and Jesse Wilcox Smith is one of my favorite children's book illustrators to date. Did I mention that this was only $2?  Talk about a steal!

Last year I picked up this old frame. It's 2x3 feet, and I intended to use it for a painting that I have here, but I found a new purpose for it for last weekend's Hearts & Crafts show.  My dad had some old insulation panels in the garage, which worked out perfectly for a homemade cork board.  I went on a hunt that evening for some fabric and (after some fancy stapling) I was done!  Easy breezy.  It sure beats rummaging through a pile of prints on a table - you can't beat the convenience of visibility!

I've been trying to work on my branding a bit.  My blog makeover from a few weeks back has inspired me to focus on other aspects of my brand too.  I had this stamp made with my new logo, which I hope to use on some packaging or maybe even the envelopes in my cards.

Some new things for our nursery.  I'm sure (like me) that you're all wondering when this closing will be so I can finally stop talking about the mystery house.  We are still hoping for one week from today (cross your fingers!).  Will the anxiousness never end!

bunnies & books

Last week I purchased 3 patterns from Tara Murray's etsy shop, and I have to say I'm already in love with them after making up the first hat.  This is way too adorable, and includes several different sizes for newborn up through toddler age. I can't wait to make up the remaining patterns that I received: the lamb bonnet and the winter booties!

I have had the greatest time reading this book that I got out from the library a few weeks ago.  Kari Chapin put out Handmade Marketplace last year, and i've been filled with so much inspiration and encouragement already as I read my way through each chapter.  There are many things that I've already done to get my creative business off the ground, and so so much more information to absorb for marketing ideas and tax prep. Between the stories of support and tales of crafting blunders, all I can say is read this book and get making!

the joys of summer

Hello, all!  It's been an absolutely crazy few weeks, between moving back to Rochester and several recent freelance jobs.  I'm happy about the recent pace of things, and hope that this busy-ness continues for a bit! Firstly, Hearts & Crafts is rapidly approaching again!  I'll be doing my best to create some new pieces for this show (assuming I can find where my box of essential supplies and paint is hiding).  I'll have a table on the second day- so excited to be in the same show with Cecelia again.  :)  Do come visit.

The last wedding calligraphy gig that I finished was a blast!  I got to try my hand at reproducing the 'engravers' font to match the bride's Paper Source invites- something that took me 3 pens for each envelope to manage. I am really happy with the way that they turned out, though they still have that 'consistent inconsistency' to them. Seriously, how awesome are Waste Not Paper envelopes?  WAY pumped to get started on their 'night' color envelopes with my white ink for this week's etsy gig!

Finished the most adorable baby shower invitations for my cousin today, using a template found in this post on the wren handmade blog.  It was adapted slightly to fit some blue envelopes I had here.

Lastly, a look at the progression of my baby granny square blanket. My new love: gray for nurseries!

masters & milestones

Where did the time go!?  It seems like not all that long ago we were anxiously awaiting Michael's financial aid offers, and now he's a Masters Architecture graduate!  He is an amazing man and husband and deserved every bit of celebration from this last weekend.  I'm so proud of him and all the time and hard work he's put in to this program over the last 2 years!

As long as I am sharing all of the excitement of our lives, we do have another bit of news:

.....we are having a baby!  Expecting our first little blessing's arrival at the beginning of the new year- so so thrilled to be an almost mom  :)

end of the march chapter

Many of you have asked about the Small Press show from a few weeks back, so here goes!  It was held at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, which was actually an old methodist church from the early 1900s.  It really is an awesome space, as you can see from the photo below, featuring an enormous organ and stained glass picture windows.  The show itself had a nice variety of vendors, ranging from independent publishers, screen printers, book binders, zine artists, and general crafters. I shared a corner of the building with some wonderful ladies. Christine specializes in custom hand bound journals, wedding guestbooks, and reusable felt notepads at concepcioun.  We bonded over our common need for warmth and food during those long hours. Check her out!

Think I might turn this sketch I did from an old Vogue Bambini magazine into a little painting. Love that girl's attitude!

small press book fair

After having spent the last few weeks trying to gather my things for the Small Press Book Fair tomorrow, I am finding myself still finishing some pieces last minute.  I spent the better part of last weekend making a handful of coptic bound books in an attempt to fit into the environment a bit more.  I just refinished this frame with a small original calligraphy piece of another favorite Avett Brothers' song of mine.  The simplicity of the artwork really helps balance the detail in the frame, I think. Gouache on chip board.

Well, off to put some final touches on my inventory for tomorrow.  A special thanks to Danielle from one of our local town papers for writing a feature article about my participation in the show!  If you're in Buffalo, come on out.  Hope to see you there!

the 26th time around

The last two days have been majorly productive for me.  I had off from work, which I like to pretend was a birthday present from my boss.  Helping myself to a large pot of coconut chai tea, I managed to finish assembling the baby sweater I started many months ago, as well as some other miscellaneous projects.

I recently discovered the song 'bridge' by Lucy Wainwright Roche (half-sister of Rufus and Martha), which I like. I also like this surface, which is a watercolor paper textured clayboard square.

The newest hope chest addition, atop our favorite FLOR rug. I'm hoping it won't look quite so misshapen on an actual child.

Thinking about my next show in March, I decided to make a handful of items to compliment my prints and books.


a hearts&crafts memoir

The Hearts & Crafts show this weekend was a great success!  We had a lot of people come out and wander through.  The space was fun to work around at Java's, since the tables were quite tiny.  I found an old washboard with shelving in it (and a lot of character) at Goodwill last week, which worked out perfectly for some smaller items and received many compliments.

I shared a cozy corner with some really nice vendors, and swooned over many others.  Sam makes charming vintage button accessories.

I also got a truly wonderful calendar from Amy at greengirlpress.


Looking forward to a few more shows this spring, and trying to talk myself into one of Carla's "fabric cutter upper and piecer backer together-er" scarflettes like this one!

snow marks my 100th post

I am so excited that this blog has reached 100 posts!  Thanks everybody!  I spent all night anticipating 16 inches of snow this morning, and awoke to maybe 4.  At least I was prepared. These are the drawers to a desk that I salvaged from the garbage a few weeks ago, and decided to give a distressed refinishing touch.  Ill post the finished piece once I manage to get the new hardware on.

I've had a busy week so far getting prints made for the Hearts&Crafts show this weekend.  Stop in to the Gibbs St Javas in Rochester between 11-5, because I'd love to see or meet you!

progression of a snowed in day off

Today was a blessing in that I had the option of going out in the cold, or staying parked in the driveway.  Of course, I stayed in and had quite a productive day.  I had a set of birthday cards and thank you notes to finish for a custom order, which were fun to do.  Half were original watercolor illustrations, and the thank you notes were printed from a hand cut lino block.

I haven't been overly happy with the last bunch of blocks I bought.  They seem dry, and with the compressed wood on the back, don't print well. Last week I thought I'd test out one of my old illustration concepts with the Speedball Speedy-Curve blocks.  I'm already much more satisfied, just after the first 10 prints.  I plan to sell them in February at the Hearts and Crafts show at Java's on Gibbs St.  The word bubble will read "you're steamy".

adorable monday

This is a quick sketch of Cecelia's little girl.  Of course, she is even more adorable in person, with much cuter hands.

I had previously mentioned this menu, as I was working with the bride Elisa on her envelope calligraphy too, and finally finished it up this week.  This looks like such a fun reception, with delicious food to boot!

I also successfully finished my first crocheted garment.  I used fisherman's wool and these great coconut buttons I found at the store.  Because I love this so much, I decided it's definitely one for the 'hope chest'.

new season, new projects

I thought I'd celebrate the first day of fall by sharing some projects that are active in my studio right now. Some crochet pieces that are nearing completion.

A sneak peak of this upcoming weekend's project: a very exciting large scale calligraphy opportunity!

And finally, some furniture refinishing.  This table was previously black with a copper sheet covered top.  The new cork tiled surface and bright steel blue is refreshing for a change!

good and true things

Yesterday we had our Father's Day extravaganza at my parents' house; celebrating a baby shower, a bridal shower, graduations, birthdays, and fathers. We had a blast! My brother and sister in law were thrilled to see the blanket that I made for their baby on the way. I am in love with the way it turned out, especially the colors! I can't wait to hold my little niece or nephew in it!

This is a wedding gift for my cousin Caitlin and her fiance Dave, who are getting married on Saturday! Brian Andreas' stories have a wonderful way about them, and I love the endless possibilities feeling of this one for a new couple. Watercolor and drawing ink. The calligraphy was done with a dip pen.

a few friday things

Just a quick update before work. To start, the newest addition to our apartment- a bonsai tree!

Also, I've started making address rubber stamps. Here is my first one.

This is a calligraphy piece that I finished last night for my cousin's 1st anniversary- congratulations Dan & Beth!

Tomorrow is the wedding of a few good friends of mine from RIT. I made these place-cards for the reception at Casa Larga Vineyards. I expect that it will be a beautiful and fun day!

the first mr.&mrs. of 2010!

Congratulations Emily and Nate! We had a blast at their Catholic-Jewish wedding this last weekend- what a party!  And now I can finally share the handmade part of our gift to them.

A few months back I finished this large doily, which I think suits our fellow needle-crafting friend perfectly! I hope it finds a loving place in their new home.

I'm looking forward to the many weddings and celebrations we have in june!

neck decoration

Done! Just in time for the cool front. The pattern I followed for this has little stuffed crochet centers, but I think I enjoy it the way it is. I really like that fisherman's wool yarn too. I hope it's not too itchy.

creating under the influence of candy

Had a great time with family this weekend. My brother was in from San Diego, and we got to see the first photos of my little niece or nephew from the ultrasound, which was SO exciting! And of course, there was candy and egg coloring. Seasonal favorites.

This week I have to finish my circus themed wedding calligraphy job. Here are some completed envelopes.

Hoping to get these cards into the shop for Earth Day in a few weeks. Each tree is unique- individually cut, embroidered, and stitched to the cardstock. They are A2 size.

Lastly, an update on the progress of my shawl.

sunny, with a chance of finishing projects

Last night I was one of the featured artists and had a small table set up at the WAM creative mixer at the Stillwater. I had a lot of fun, met some really great people, and had a chance to paint a square of the community painting project. Great idea, Erica!

Finished my experimental flower dress painting last week. I'm  happy with how it turned out, and it seemed to go over well last night. I'd love to get a really ornate gold frame for it. We'll see.

This is my completed ripple afghan. Small, lap size.

Today I sent Lindsey the last few files for her wedding ensemble. I am so excited to see the whole invitation assembled!  Looking forward to potentially working on the program too.

My next crochet project, this rippled shawl made with fisherman's wool. Almost finished, just need to add the flowers.

This week I have a very fun wedding envelope calligraphy job! I will be posting photos later.

rain and response cards

Today was gloomy, so I tackled the RSVP card of Lindsey's invitation suite. I really like the idea of putting the song request on there. That way it's almost guaranteed that everyone dances at least once!  Great idea!

And, a doily. I'm using this wonderful Bamboo Crochet Thread, which I love. Few more rounds until I'm finished.