Get Yer Goat!

I love goats! They're so bouncy and cute. When I was a little girl my uncle's nanny goat had three babies and I wanted to take them home with me so badly. Here in Seattle you can rent goats to clear blackberry or other rampant growth in your garden which I think is awesome—definitely a win-win deal!

May is coming up fast, so I thought I'd post my desktop calendar for download. I hope you enjoy it! As always there are three sizes to choose from. Just select which one fits your monitor and click on the link to automatically download the file. And be sure to visit my friend Willi Galloway's blog Digginfood for great gardening and food tips—you can also find my calendars for download there.

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One more thing! I'm giving away two sets of my Modern Homesteading note card sets which have all 12 of my calendar illustrations, plus stickers and envelopes in a cute little drawstring bag. Just leave a comment on this post and on Friday May 13th, I will randomly select two winners and announce them here on the blog. I'll request the winner email me with their contact info so I can drop their card set in the mail. That's it! :)

Ink About It

I was asked to create an illustration for the new Art with Heart publication, 'Ink ABout It', which is a black and white, therapeutic activity book designed to meet the emotional needs of high-risk teens. It's a book that kids can use to work through their thoughts and emotions with creative self expression. Each page is designed for a specific activity and over 20 illustrators and designers participated in this pro-bono project.

The spread assigned to me was to create a page where kids can write down and keep track of goals and stuff to remember. It needed to appeal to both boys and girls and be funky, fun and engaging. I thought it would be interesting to show my process on how I created my illustration so below you'll see how it evolves from a rough sketch to a finished illustration.

Step 1: I brainstormed on imagery and sent the art director three rough sketches to choose from. She really liked this one which was also my favorite. I came up with the hand idea because I remember always writing things I didn't want to forget on my hands when I was a kid. Then I starting thinking about fortune telling imagery, palm reading and also henna (Mehndi) patterns and I thought those things would be fun to incorporate into an illustration.

 

Step 2: This is the revised sketch I sent to the art director before I started actually building the illustration. Her feedback was to not let it get too feminine since it needed to appeal to both boys and girls.

 

Step 3: This is the illustration being executed. I initially thought I would do it in Adobe Illustrator and use custom brushes to keep it from being too perfect, but I decided to just do it by hand instead. Using a light table I traced over the second sketch with Sharpie pens onto paper towels which give it a neat quality and allows the ink to bleed and have cool textures.

 

Step 4: This is the final illustration after taking it into Adobe Photshop, cleaning it up ALOT, swapping out sections I didn't like and then dropping the image into Illustrator to add the text. At one point I had a light gray background that got nixed because it would interfere with the kids' ability to color on it. (This is how it will look in the book.)

 

Step 5: Because I love color and couldn't stand to just leave it black and white I created my own colored version. It's always fun to figure out new color combinations. :)

I look forward to seeing the final book, I know it will be awesome and help a lot of kids! Be sure to check out Art with Heart's website to learn more about the great work they do!

 

More Bees Please

 


The other day I was putting a load of compost down and a sleepy bumble bee crawled out of the dirt—the first one I've seen this season, a sure sign of Spring! We always get a variety of bees in our garden thanks to all of the flowering plants, but this year we're putting up a Mason bee house to see if we get even more. Gotta support the local bee population—they need all the help we can give them. 

April is just around the corner, so I thought I'd post my desktop calendar for download. I hope you enjoy it! As always there are three sizes to choose from. Just select which one fits your monitor and click on the link to automatically download the file. And be sure to visit my friend Willi Galloway's blog Digginfood for great gardening and food tips—you can also find my calendars for download there.

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Illustrating a Poem

I was asked to create an illustration for the back page of Poetry Northwest Magazine. The section called 'Backdraft' is an image created as a visual interpretation of a poem in that issue. The poem I illustrated is titled 'Fig. 1' by Patricia Lockwood. Want to read it? Then pick up a copy of the magazine. :)

Starting Seeds

 

March is right around the corner which hopefully will bring warmer weather and bluer skies. It's a good time of year to start planning your veggie garden and get some seeds growing indoors. Then you'll have a jump on it when it's warm enough to start planting outdoors. My friend Willi Galloway will be doing a free seed-starting demonstration at Molbak's Nursery in Woodinville, WA Saturday, March 5th that will chocked full of good info.

Here's my March desktop calendar to get you inspired and thinking about your dream veggie garden. As always, there are three sizes to choose from. Just select which one fits your monitor and click on the link to automatically download the file. Happy planting!

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Cute Cupcake Toppers

When I posted my February calendar last week I promised a cupcake related giveaway—well here it is! I designed these easy to make toppers that you can download as a PDF and print to make your Valentine Day celebrating even more fun. I printed mine on plain white paper, but they would work on any light colored paper—pink or a natural colored stock would look great.

I hope you enjoy them!

Click here for the Cupcake Topper PDF

Pretty in Pink

It's nearly February so I thought I'd post the files for the new desktop calendar. On these gray, rainy winter days in Seattle, there's nothing I like more than baking up some goodies in the kitchen. I love digging through my cookbooks or favorite blogs to find a recipe that brightens my day, plus gives me an excuse to visit my neighbors with baked goods. Since everyone seems to love cupcakes and Valentine's day is coming up, I thought this little scene would be fitting and hopefully brighten your workspace.

As before, there are three sizes to choose from. Just select which one fits your monitor and click on the link to automatically download the file.

Check back next week for a follow up cupcake related giveaway! :)

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Modern Homesteading Note Cards

Hello & welcome! This is the first entry of my blog on my new web site. Let's see how this goes...

I've been getting great feedback on the note cards I made to go along with my DigginFood calendars. If you would like a set, you can find them at my Etsy shop, or just click the 'shop' link in the navigation above. People have said they really like the images and I think I will offer them as individual frameable art prints on archival paper. So please check back!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


I hope you all are having a peaceful holiday today with family and friends. Another year has flown by and 2011 is right around the corner! It's hard to believe this was the fourth year of being my own boss and running my own business. I've met some really great people and gotten to work on some fun projects over this past year. Last summer I met Willi Galloway from one of my favorite gardening/food blogs DigginFood. She asked me I was interested in partnering with her on a project we could both share on our blogs—desktop wallpapers with a calendar for each month of 2011. I happily agreed and starting thinking about themes, imagery and eventually landed on the idea of modern homesteading. It works with the things she blogs about plus I thought chickens and goats would be fun to draw.

So here is my gift to you, my loyal blog readers (hi Dad) and anyone looking to brighten their desktop with some colorful images. January starts off with little birds at the feeder which I enjoy seeing in my own backyard every day. There are three sizes to choose from—just select which one fits your monitor and click on the link to automatically download the file.
I decided to take the images I created for the desktop wallpaper and create a set of 12 notecards with envelopes and stickers. I'm really happy with how they turned out! If you would like to purchase a set which comes in a cute cotton drawstring bag, please visit my Etsy shop.

 

Happy Holidays!


I've been crafting up some winter decorations, trying to only use things from my garden and neighbors' yards rather than buying them. In case this is the last blog entry I get to for 2010, happy holidays everyone!