December 11, 2008


Zip-a-dee-ay! My oh my what a wonderful day! (This song has been stuck in my head all on to find out why.)

After a long blogging hiatus, I've returned! As usual, school was to blame for my absence. I was running on about 4 hours of sleep per day, and generally too busy for anything other than work, school, and freaking out. My very last class of the fall semester is tonight. My projects are completed and all that's left is to present them. Hallelujah! *Clicks heels together in the air*

Other good news today? I'm featured in an Etsy treasury! Check out my Snow Penguin print in the lower left hand corner. A big thank-you to AceQuimby for choosing my print for her treasury.

A little while back, I was also featured in a blog. Another big thank-you to Across The Pond. Her shop is lovely, by the way. You should definitely check it out. I'm totally in love with her Czech glass button cocktail ring...and also her antique clock hand earrings. I'll post pics later if I get permission from the seller.

Anyway, I have a lot of things to talk about so you can pretty much expect me back here. That is, until spring semester starts up again, anyway...

November 04, 2008

It's November 4

What are you doing sitting around reading this blog? If you're not registered already, some states (including mine) let you register at the polls. Go vote!

be heard VOTE! Pictures, Images and Photos

(Then you can come back and read blogs. Lol)

October 23, 2008


Imagine you're hearing the theme song to Rocky.

Do any of you remember the huge business card project I did for school last spring? How all of my homework from that semester disappeared along with my teacher? That included all 300 artist business cards I collected for my final project. Originally, he said all our work would be returned to the Continuing Ed office two weeks after our class was done. Four weeks after the semester finished up, I took a day off from work to commute into the city and pick everything up. Nothing was there. Concerned, I wrote to my teacher. He wasn't even in town but promised he'd deliver it soon after he returned. Then I never heard from him again. And the work never appeared in the school office.

Fast forward to this semester. Apparently, several of my fellow students were also concerned about the disappearance of their entire semester's worth of work. One of my classmates even exchanged e-mails with the head of the Continuing Ed department about it. Still no word.

This weekend, I attended the Fort Point Open Studios. I know my teacher is involved in that, so I tried to track him down at the show. No luck.

That is...until last night. A different classmate informed me that all our work was now waiting for us in the continuing ed office. He had picked his up two weeks ago! Two of us (myself and the girl who had written to the Continuing Ed department head) raced down before class began last night and made an inquiry at the front desk. The woman was really nice and showed us to a back storage room. There was the entire semester's worth of work for our entire class neatly packaged! We enthusiastically began scooping everything up (including the projects of fellow students who were upstairs) while cheering "Woo-hoo!". This caused the continuing ed lady to exclaim, "I feel like Santa Claus!" I laughed and said, "I feel like you're Santa Claus, too!"
My Rolodex with all those beautiful artist business cards is now back in my hands. I plan on posting those long-ago promised pictures of it this weekend. Yeay!!!

October 21, 2008


...are really, really hard to do well. We're currently in the middle of a branding project for one of my classes. I've been working on a logo design due Thursday and...Oh. My. God. So many decisions to make! Logos may look deceptively simple, but I can't think of anything more difficult to accomplish than the appearance of simplicity. Wish me luck!

October 20, 2008

My life in a hamster wheel

Hamster Wheel 3D Pictures, Images and Photos
Ever feel like this? I do.
This weekend, I took a much needed break to attend the Fort Point Open Studios. Fort Point is a community of live-in studio spaces for artists. My friend Jen was one of the artists who opened their home/studio up for people to view and purchase her work. My husband and I couldn't stay very long (he had to work later that afternoon), but it was nice to stroll around and see what other artists are working on. Plus, I bought this awesome print from Jen. I love her work.
It made me really miss illustration life and creating my own paintings (in fact, I have 3 mail art pieces that have been sitting in my studio for over a week, waiting to be finished up and mailed out. Sorry MAA. I'll get on it, I promise!). School has absorbed every ounce of free time I have. In fact, spending that single day on something other than homework threw my entire weekend into turmoil. Now, I'm really far behind on the huge list of things I need to get done for classes Wed/Thurs. I somehow have to find time to do all of them in the little time I have after work. This is why having a life is absolutely not an option while I'm in school. I should've known I'd pay dearly for a second of down-time.
To compound my troubles, I have officially upgraded my old PC with clunky 100 year old design programs to a new Mac with new programs. Sounds fantastic, right? Not so much. My new Mac can't read any of the homework I previously created on my PC. That typography project I've been working on for the past 3 weeks? Yeah. I had to re-do that last night. And...come to find out, my scanner is not compatible with my new Mac. The scanner company has zero drives available for it. I have to get a new scanner. Of course, I find this out by trying to use my scanner for homework. I can always order a new one, but in the meantime what the heck am I supposed to do this week? Looks like I'll either have to head over to my mother's house or try to sneak a scan at work.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Mac. It's a beautiful piece of equipment. I just wish I'd been able to afford it this summer when I could've a) had time to figure out how to work the thing b) had time to update my scanner and other equipment and c) had not started massive projects on my PC then had to switch over. I could continue to complain about how busy/miserable I am, but I think I should wrap it up now.
Hedgehog Update:
I got so many wonderful caring e-mails on my last post regarding our beloved hedgehog's terminal I thought I should keep all of you updated on his health. Baxter has been accepting his pain medicine. Or...he did for the first couple days. The vet flavored it with honey and he was really enthusiastic about lapping it up (he even tried biting the dropper!). This Saturday was a different story. He wouldn't take any of it. His swollen foot is still awkwardly rolling under him, and he just seemed like he couldn't get comfortable on my lap. He kept poking his head out of his little sleeping bag and looking at me confusedly, then going back in to sniff and circle around like a dog trying to find a good spot to lie down. Poor baby. I think this week, we'll switch over to his winter fleece-lined sleeping bag since it's been getting cold here already. Maybe I'll buy more crickets, drip the medicine on them, and see if Baxter will accept it that way.

October 14, 2008

Hedgie Hospice

We found out from our vet tonight that our beloved 3 year old hedgehog, Baxter McPrickles has bone cancer. I saw the x-rays and it was devastating. The doc gave us the animal equivalent of ibuprofen for him and sent him on home with us. There's nothing we can do about it except keep an eye on him and make sure he's comfortable.

He's been his usual hedgie self - running in his wheel and eating like a pig. The only things that tipped us off were some skin issues...and last night we noticed his left front leg was very swollen and he was limping. I was hoping it was nothing more than a minor injury and that we could put some sort of tiny cast on him for a while (maybe give him a teeny crutch? Haha). Come to find out, that's where the cancer is.

As much as I tried to keep a stiff upper lip in the vet's office, I have to admit I wasn't successful. My heart is broken.

Since Baxter is Honeydew Studio's mascot, I thought I should let you guys know. Keep my little friend in your thoughts. This is going to be rough going for a while.

October 11, 2008

Mail Artists Association

The Mail Artists Association is getting along swimmingly! We even have new mail art posted on our brand-new Flickr group. Here are some pieces that I've sent out recently. You might recognize a few of the images. I've been using my 21 Day Challenge doodles to spin off into tiny paintings. See, that challenge was good for something! (Don't worry, I'm only posting artwork that has already reached its destination. I won't ruin the surprise!) This one went to sparklerama:

This one went to AlwaysAmy:

This one went to LaMiaDesigns:
In return, sparklerama sent me this:

I thought it was rather ingenious that she sent me mail art in a cd case. She just put the mailing label on the inside, taped it shut and away it went! Inside the cd case were to little envelopes full of goodies (also pictured above). The next thing I received was this lovely fabric brooch from LaMiaDesigns:
Little did she know that one of my favorite fall outfits involves a t-shirt and jeans with a blazer over the top. I usually pin a fun brooch to the lapel of the blazer. What fun! (And perfect timing!)

And last but not least was this adorable fairy bookmark from Tamarasherbes. Now I don't have to dog-ear my Typography text book!

I'm working on three new pieces to send out this week. I wish I had more time to work on this group than I do. (Too bad I have to work full-time and am attending night classes...darn homework. Haha!) I have so many ideas. Including how I can recruit a few new members. And I still have to create an avatar for our group. Anyway, I hope everyone is having fun. And if you're not yet involved in the group (but want to be) just send me an e-mail at

As soon as we have enough newbies, I'll send out an updated member address list to our group.

October 09, 2008


Yawning Baby Hedgehog Pictures, Images and Photos
This is how I feel today. My class ran over last night. This means that (with the commute) by the time I got home, it was 11:30 at night. AaaaAaand...I still had some final bits of homework to complete and print up for tonight's class. Which means I got a grand total of about 4-5 hours of sleep last night. I got about the same amount on Tuesday night. I am exhausted. This working/school thing is going to be the end of me. The only way I even survive the drive home is by singing REALLY loudly in my car to my iPod and having a snack.
On a happier note, a couple envelopes were waiting for me when I got home yesterday. One an Etsy order I've been waiting for, and the other was a mail art piece (SO adorable - I'll make sure to post it soon). That kind of mail really does make everything better. It's the best, it really is.
I'm so glad I started up the Mail Artists group. I already have some new ideas for it. Someone suggested a blog link exchange -- which would be good. I was also thinking that after a while, we could come up with "themes" every month for our mail exchanges. Let me know if you have any other creative ideas!
That's all for now. I think I'm off to heat up my leftover coffee from this morning. Hey - desperate times call for desperate measures!

October 07, 2008

Quick Blog

Illustration from "David Goes to School" by David Shannon
Just wanted to write a quick blog since I haven't been writing very regularly as of late. Most of you already know this but for any new readers -- I have a full-time job and am working towards an additional degree in graphic design. I attend evening classes two nights a week which are an hour commute away from my house (sometimes it takes as long as 1.5 - 2 hours with traffic).

I feel like I've been struggling through classes so far this year. I try really hard not to vent my complaints on here, but I am really frustrated right now with school. So, if I drop off for a while just know I'm tackling my homework...or my brain hurts. Lol.

In more positive news, the Mail Artists group I put together is up and running! Everyone received their little letter packet and is gearing up to start mailing mini art pieces to other members. This weekend I sent two pieces out, myself. If you'd like to spy on what we're up to, you can take a peek at our Flickr group. We just barely started mailing each other, so there's not a lot of work posted yet. Stay tuned!

October 06, 2008

Music and jewelry

I've talked about musician Ryan Love, in the past. This year he released a self-produced record, Life in Orbit (which is available both on his website and through iTunes). For full disclosure, he does happen to be my best friend. But honestly, I wouldn't promote him on my blog just for that reason. I'm writing about him for the same reason I've posted about fellow artists, illustrators, or Etsy sellers here before -- he's talented.

That said, I have new Ryan news that I thought was worthy of a blog-mention.

This week, he came up with an idea which I find really creative and interesting. Instead of selling the usual band t-shirts and buttons to help promote his album, he'll be releasing a jewelry line for both men and women. Each piece will be created by Ryan and will thematically match one song on the album.

He's a creative jack-of-all trades and his jewelry designs are lovely. Of course, I can speak from personal experience, since he blew me away this past week by presenting me with 3 pieces of hand-made jewelry of his own design for my birthday. I would describe the set (it was a necklace with matching earrings and bracelet) but I think it's better detailed in Ryan's own words:

"It features champagne Swarovski crystals with freshwater pearls hanging on an adjustable (and interchangeable), chocolate-satin ribbon with matching earrings and a bracelet running on a trio of silver chains."

The strands if pearls themselves run from your typical white pearl to a cafe-au-lait color. Gorgeous! This set coordinates with the 8th song on his album "I Do". His jewelry line will be released in 2009, so sign up for his mailing list to stay posted. Keep an eye out for it...I'm trying to get him to sell the line on Etsy!!! (o:

September 30, 2008

This Past Weekend...

...was my birthday weekend! It was one of those landmark b-days too. *Gulp!*

*Not my actual birthday cake.

I took Friday off of work to relax, but wound up running a crazy amount of errands instead. This included taking my hedgehog to the vet, picking up packages at FedEx, and paying a visit to the post office (to name a few).

To all my Mail Artists out there - I sent out letters to everyone interested in participating and included the addresses of everyone in our group. You should be getting them over the course of this week. If you don't get anything by next week, just send me an e-mail at

I also sold 2 items from my Etsy shop on my birthday! Woo-hoo! Goodbye Cabbee and Tap Dancing Squirrel. Enjoy your new homes!

I had to hit the post office to mail those out. Does anyone else have weird postal workers in their area? Nice. The guy who was shipping out my packages caught sight of my Honeydew Studio logo on the label and started chanting "Honeydew honeydew honeydew!" ...for the entire time I was standing there. I was like, "Er...that's right." and he kept going so I said, "If you keep that up, I'll turn back into a pumpkin." As I turned my back to walk out, I heard, "Honeydew honeydew honeydew!" Honestly, where does the post office find these people? At least he was cheery, I suppose.

I really want to make more items for the Christmas season. With school, I don't know if I'll have time to actually create anything or not but it's a hope. What should I start with? More bee ornaments for the holidays? More original illustrations? I don't know. What do you want to see?

September 22, 2008

I spoke too soon!

Wow. Just. Wow.

I posted that previous blog WAY too soon! I guess the folks who are on the Etsy forums in the evening are way more enthusiastic than the daytime forum people. My Etsy convo mail box as well as my gmail account has been bombarded. They are now full of e-mails from people wanting to participate in mail art! We gave quite the list of participants now!

I am so excited. I expect to be sending out a list of addresses to everyone who e-mailed me no later than Friday. So if you want to be a part of this, make sure you send me an e-mail or a convo before September 26!!! Then the fun part can begin. (o:

If there are any stragglers out there who are still interested in sending/receiving mail art, and would like to be added to my address list, please feel free to e-mail me at:

Still going...

I'm back from NY and exhausted. I've got a pile of homework that I clearly haven't been working on all weekend and it was back to work today after arriving home last night. Ugh. (But I had fun!)

I'm still collecting addresses from people who want to participate in mail art. Ideally, I'd like at least a dozen names on the list before I send it out to everyone. LOTS of people seem interested, but only about half of those people have contacted me to participate.


Lord knows this is the antithesis to junk mail. It's a total artist-to-artist correspondance. It only costs 42 cents to mail an envelope. Don't you want tiny fun art to arrive in your mailbox? Or is it more that you're worried you won't have any time to make some yourself and send it out?

I totally understand that. Though I was able to mail one piece out rather quickly, I've been SWAMPED with school work and have been struggling to finish up another piece. Maybe if I get into doing them regularly, it will become second nature.

Or maybe I've tapped out my resources. I've been posting on Etsy about it, but my thread gets buried in 4 seconds. I've posted on here about it, but I'm pretty sure I only have about 20 readers (oh but how I love you guys who actually visit me!) I even posted on MySpace. But that can be such a black hole.

Any suggestions where else to turn for people who might be interested? Should I resort to a "Tell your friends! Tell your grandma!" type of outreach? Haha!

September 19, 2008


I'm heading out of state for the weekend to see friends who I haven't seen in ages. I'm hoping that when I come back, I'll find that a bunch of people are really interested in exchanging mail art and have subsequently e-mailed me with their addresses. (Please? Pretty please? It's fun, I promise!)
I'm aiming for at least a dozen people on this list to start off with. I'm almost halfway there! Help me out by participating!!!

In other news, Etsy was on CNN today. Woohoo! Click on the link below th read:

September 18, 2008

Snail mail, anyone?

I'm thinking about creating a mail art list for artists and craftspeople to connect and have a fun correspondence with each other. After getting feedback from my other blog posts, and having discussions with fellow artists and Etsians, there seems to be some genuine interest in participating in something like that. Everyone loves mail, right? Especially when it's not a bill!

However, with me being in school, commuting, plus working full time -- I certainly don't have the time required to run or coordinate anything, let alone a group!

Instead, I was thinking that what I could do was collect addresses from interested parties, compile them in a big list, and send them out to everyone. That way people could choose random names off the list of people, and start mailing little fun postcards, collages, doodles, tiny paintings (or whatever) to fellow artists all over.

If you aren't sure what mail art is, please click on this link. The options for what you send are wide open since the definition of art is pretty broad. The only rule that I absolutely want to stick to is that if you receive something, you should definitely send a little piece of art back to that person in return. Participate! Really, it's only fair. You can't just sit back and get cool art in the mail without sending any in return.

What do you think? Does anyone want to participate? Maybe I should put a deadline on submitting your address so the group doesn't get out-of-control huge. What do you think? Does that sound good? I'm completely open to any suggestions. I've never tried to put together anything like this before.

If you're interested (or have any suggestions) please e-mail me at or you can just write me with your snail-mail address. Let's see where this goes!

September 17, 2008

A blog about not blogging

My brain is mush right now, which is why I'm posting so much later in the day than usual. I try really hard to avoid complaining and negativity on this blog, but since this rant is sort of art and design related....

I have my evening classes tonight and tomorrow, and am not feeling so confident in the homework projects I'm about to present. Worse yet, I don't feel like I've been getting any helpful feedback or direction so far in my classes. I'm pretty disappointed. Which might have led to the aforementioned lack of confidence.

Maybe the upcoming weeks will prove me wrong - maybe it'll be great,...maybe I'll get a lot out of it. But I'm feeling like this is going to be a lOOoooOoong semester.

Last night, I had to wrestle with giant printing fiasco (why does 11x17 seem like a reasonable presentation size to teachers??? I do not live anywhere near my school, so I can't "pop into" the computer lab.) I've tried copy stores, and that is a hot mess and a waste of money. The only other people I know who can print that large are my parents. My dad is a self-taught photographer and has a great big printer for his photos. So, last night I was up with my poor mother at my parents' house until 12:30-12:45 trying to figure out why red on the computer screen was printing up as brown on the printer. Sigh.

Eventually, my mother figured it out. Everything is all set now...except my mood. Wish me luck tonight. I'll need it (that, and a bucket of coffee!).

September 16, 2008

You Know You're an Icon When...

For one of my homework assignments this week, I decided to make the point that the Mona Lisa long ago surpassed being a mere portrait. I did this, in part, by stenciling the word "recycle" over the image. It has passed into history as an artistic icon. I'd also say it is officially in the realm of symbol and metaphor...that people all over the world use time and time again. You know how to tell if your work has reached this level?
You know your painting is more than a painting when....

Lego's has built a representation of it,

Miss Piggy...

Lisa Simpson ...

The Far Side cartoons ...

Kim Possible ...

and Madame Tussuad's have all imitated it. And that's not even the tip of the iceberg! I used probably about 100 images of interpretations, parodies, recreations, and reinventions of the Mona Lisa for my project. And there's so many more out there. It's infinite.

I have my BFA in illustration and have quite a few years of art history under my belt. I know all the Mona Lisa history and even some of her "secrets", and I'm still not really sure why it is so popular.
I studied for a winter in France. I went to the Louvre. There were other paintings by Da Vinci that I found much more interesting hanging right outside the door to the gallery that the Mona Lisa was in. Yet, the crowd was so thick around this small portrait that you could barely get through. I might get some backlash for this, but....though it was nice to see it in person, I wasn't super impressed. I wanted to go look at Da Vinci's ginormous painting of Saint Anne, Mary, and Jesus outside in the long gallery:

Gorgeous, right? And no one was standing in front of it except me with my sketchbook. Sigh. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the Mona Lisa. It's just that people miss out on a lot of fabulous work when they narrow their view on art history down to a couple paintings. What are your favorite (non-iconic) paintings?

September 13, 2008

Banksy and Other Anonymous Art

Whenever my husband and I travel overseas, we love taking pictures not only of the local markets and scenic bits, but of the local graffiti and ads on the street. This summer, we were in London. We were strolling around, taking a shortcut to Speaker's Corner when I spotted this piece of graffiti next to a CCTV camera:

I just thought that was brilliant. A little piece of guerrilla art can easily make my day. I halted the whole family so that I could take a picture.

Fast forward to my graphic design class last week. We had this assignment where we had to pick one word from a list, and set it with a picture so that it gave you another message than either the word or the picture could do alone. As our teacher said "1+1=3". Anyway, long story short, one of my pieces involved my word stenciled graffiti-like onto the page. The comment was made by a couple classmates that it reminded them of Banksy. I scribbled the name in my notebook to look up when I got home.

As it turns out, I'm already very familiar with his work...I am just horrible with remembering names. In fact, the aformentioned graffiti I saw in London this summer was actually a piece by Banksy. (This part I didn't know.) The pieces that I did recognize were these:

As I searched online, I continued to find more photos of Banksy pieces. I'm totally in love:

This blog could easily become the length of a thesis if I started to talk about guerrilla artists or anonymous public art. I recommend that you check out the Banksy links I posted above. There's also loads of stuff online to look at if the topic in general interests you . I don't know about you, but it inspires me.

Even a small piece of guerrilla art is still something. For example, the same night someone mentioned Banksy to me in class - I found a small anonymous typewritten note taped to the inside of a stall in the women's room at my college. It said, "What was the last thing that made you cry laughing?" Simple, but I found myself actually wondering about that. It took me out of my life for a second.

Another favorite public art project of mine is The Lemon Project - invented by Heather, a fellow Etsy seller. You can read all about on her blog. Make sure you read parts 1-3. It still makes me smile. Thoughts?

September 12, 2008

That's Disheartening

Some of you have heard some of this story already, so I apologize in advance.

In July of 2007, I was taped for an episode of HGTV's That's Clever. (National exposure for my work = very exciting, non?) I was told to e-mail them in the spring of 2008 for an air date. I did...and was provided with an episode number, but no date. I was told to contact them again in the fall.

This month, I wrote once again to the woman with whom I'd been conversing...and the e-mail bounced back to me! I've since been combing the internet trying to find out what's going on. Is the show canceled? There's absolutely no sign of it on HGTV's daily show schedule, though it's still on the website as an "active" show.

Today I had a tiny breakthrough when I found this blog by a fellow That's Clever participant*.

There's a little something you should know...I was taped for the 500 series. The 400 series is set to air in January of '09??? Assuming they'll even air the 500 series, that means I can probably expect my episode to air sometime in 2010? Oh. My. God. That's three years after the taping. Who knows if I'll even be doing the same type of projects by then? I guess exposure 3 years late is better than none at all. I really hope the show doesn't get canceled before my episode airs. I have to admit, I'm a little bummed.

*Thanks so much to Jama for posting the above linked blog, and also for answering my question so fast!

September 11, 2008

Mail Art

The image above is one of Ray Johnson's mail art pieces.

For the past year, I've been interested in ATCs (artist trading cards). I even spoke with a fellow Etsian who referred me to the ATC group that she participates in. The problem is that with school, I don't have too much time to create and trade mini works of art, as much as I'd love to.

As I mentioned a couple blogs ago, I recently saw the documentary How To Draw a Bunny which reignited my interest in mail art. Though at the time I didn't know it had a name, I used to do this my friends. I don't think I could keep up with ATCs right now, but I do think I might be able to send out the occasional mail art piece.

Much to my delight, I found a thread on the Etsy forums posted by sparklerama who had also recently seen (and been inspired by) How to Draw a Bunny. We're making plans to send each other some mail art. I'm pretty excited about the prospect.

I'm wondering if anyone out there is involved in an organized mail art group? I've been able to find ATC groups, but just started wondering about mail art. If not, I wonder if it would be possible to get some sort of mail art group together. How would that work? Would you have to send a piece to each person in the group all at once? Or do we all take turns sending one piece to a different person each time? If anyone can enlighten me, I'd be interested to hear it. (o:

September 09, 2008

Recycled Couture

I was searching the internet this weekend -- looking for images I could use in a homework assignment when I ran across these photos (above and below). As usual, I'm a bit behind the times as these creations made their debut last year - but I figured they were still worth posting.

These gowns are all made out of recycled material. The colorful dress above is created from cans and (I think) boxes. The first dress below is newspaper. The final dress is recycled jeans...which makes sense since all of these gowns were designed by Gary Harvey, who was formerly the Creative Director for Levi's.

My best friend from college and former roommate does work like this. I thought she was the only nut making ballgowns from candy wrappers. That is, until I saw these! I'll have to post some pictures of the dresses she made on another post.

In the meantime, to see more recycled couture, click here.

September 07, 2008

Featured again!

I was notified yesterday that my little panda illustration made it to a treasury created by Lancerika. Click here to check it out!!!

September 05, 2008

Year 2, Semester 1, Day 1

I had my first class of the fall semester last night. It's Graphic Design 1. So far, so good.
For some reason, I'm not as afraid of a graphic design class as I was of typography last semester. Maybe it's because my teacher for this class is exactly my age. He graduated from Mass Art the same year I graduated from RISD...which is a little weird. But since I clearly haven't made a name for myself in my own field after all these years, maybe he can help me break into his. /o:

In any case, he seemed to be speaking about design on a level I can understand. It seems like all of the principles I learned from being an illustration major can be applied in a different format to graphic design. Good design is good design, right? I'm still nervous about Intermediate Typeography next week. Something about type still makes me vaguely nervous. Guess I'm going to have to get over that, huh?

In a little aside - we all had to get new IDs last night since the college changed its logo and ID format. I got a new photo too since the last one was wretched. I have to say, the new one isn't much better. I'm pretty sure that even supermodels look like crap in their school IDs and licences, but is it really necessary for me to look like Popeye in mine?

Hahaha! Oh well. Happy Friday, everyone!

September 02, 2008

How to Draw A Bunny

My best friend lives on the opposite side of the country, but was home for a visit almost the entire month of August. For some reason we did a lot of Olympics-watching together, and filled in the gaps between events with movies he rented from Netflix.

One of these was the documentary How To Draw A Bunny. It's about the life of artist Ray Johnson. We might be a little behind the times since the documentary was released in 2002 and we're just getting around to watching it now. So, if this film is old news to you - you can just skip this entire blog. (Or at least scroll down to the end!)

Ray Johnson was a collage artist in the Pop Art movement. He hung around with the likes of Warhol, Christo, Chuck Close, etc. I won't get into details of his life since you really should see the documentary for yourself. But I will say my favorite thing about him is that he was the founding father of Mail Art - which I think is just brilliant.

When I first got to college, my best friends and I (the above mentioned pal included) would send each other the most crazy items of snail mail. I once opened a envelope and what looked like nearly 4 ounces of glitter poured out onto my floor. I received letters that had been cut up into puzzle pieces that I had to put back together in order to read. In return, I would rip funny fliers down from posts around town, photocopy photos and draw on them, or illustrate comic strips about my day and mail them off.

Of course, we were no Ray Johnson...
The documentary made me simultaneously sad and inspired. Sad because I feel like I don't have time to work on my own creative projects anymore. Not even the small ones like sending your friend a collage through the mail. In fact, e-mail has taken over any fun correspondence at all. I was inspired because Ray Johnson lived his art. It seemed like everything he did had an artistic purpose...even his death. The Mail Art thing was just one amazing piece of it.

After my best friend went back home to the West Coast, I started putting a fun little envelope together for him. I hope I can get it into the mail soon. I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with it...especially once school starts up again tomorrow, but it's certainly worth a shot. Kind of like the 21 Day Challenge I did this summer.

If you're looking for a little inspiration, I would recommend this documentary. But be forewarned - there's a lot of very brief jazz drumming interludes between interviews with artists. For no good reason. It's fun and artsy for about 25 minutes. After that, I was ready to poke out my own eyes. If you enjoy incessant jazz drumming, you'll love it! (o:

Anyway, I'm looking for recommendations for other inspirational artsy documentaries. (Just so you know, I've already seen Helvetica). (o;

August 29, 2008

Labor Day Blues

Labor Day weekend.

Having a 3 days off is normally a great thing, but this year's Labor Day weekend sort of filled me with dread. For me (and many other people, I'm sure) this weekend was the demarcation line between summer and the start of the school year.

I work in the office at a school. Technically I've been "back" to work at my normal job for the last two weeks (admin staff has to be back two weeks before the teachers return). Teachers come back this week and start meeting with parents and kids. That means my office will be thrown into utter noise and chaos all over again. And for me, this also means that the evening classes that I've been taking to work towards my graphic design degree also start again this week.


I'll be working full time plus taking two classes (and starting the long commute to school again). I took one class during spring semester, but I took two last fall semester and haven't forgotten what it was like. I had no life to speak of at all and the stress levels were enormous. Be prepared to hear about it a lot on this blog, since it consumes my life once I'm in the middle of it.

Speaking of school - my teacher from last semester never returned our projects this spite of me showing up in person to the school and then e-mailing him. Can you believe it??? I had something like 300-plus artist business cards that I collected for my final project and several other good pieces. I hope I run into him in the halls this semester. )o:<

Anyway, I have two days before the hammer falls and I start classes again. My goal is to be entirely organized by then. Since I started earlier this summer, I'm already well on my way there. I even accomplished my goal of painting the living room and dining room this weekend. Woo-hoo!

Anyone else have a crazy year that's about to start up post-Labor Day?

August 28, 2008

Children's books from around the world

Ok, so maybe not around the whole world. Let's say...maybe...two countries.

I love children's books. I mean, it's obvious, right? I'm a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and I'm sure you've all seen my work by now. If not, just look to the right and click on my Etsy shop there.

Anyway, the only things keeping me from buying a ridiculous pile of illustrated children's books and dragging them home are 1) I have no room. I already have bookshelves stuffed with my "grown-up" literature and 2) I have no kids. I suppose #2 doesn't matter that much, but it's nice to have an excuse to be lurking in the children's book section. Just wait until my niece or nephew is born in the spring. With an aunt like me, that kid better like to read!

I've visited about 8 European countries now. I love buying books and music from places I visit. But up until this past trip, it never occurred to me to buy children's literature while I was traveling. I found it difficult to forget about children's books in England however, especially when there's Paddington Bear memorabilia everywhere you go. I saw some stuffed Paddington bears at the Tower of London. Seriously. Beheading, the Crowned Jewels, and Paddington Bear.

I know you can buy Paddington books in the States, but I caved and bought one in London (probably for twice the price). How could I resist clutching a newly-purchased Paddington bear book under my arm - especially when I'd just been standing in Paddington Station?
The next book I bought was in Norway. Luckily for me, they had an edition printed in English (that's what the British flag in the corner of the book means). I probably would've bought a copy even if it was in Norwegian.
Norway (and most of Scandinavia, actually) loves their trolls. And really, fairy tales felt intrinsic to the Norwegian landscape. There were all these evergreen trees and little mustard-colored houses springing up on rocky shores. I believed there just might be trolls in the mountains. Or a witch in the woods who lived in a house made of gingerbread and candy.

I'm now wondering what great little children's books I missed in Italy, France, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, etc...

Anyone else hoard children's books? What are your favorites?

August 27, 2008

The Museum of Bad Art

I spend a lot of time on here talking about really wonderful artists, illustrators, and craftspeople. Sometimes, to better define a thing, you must take a look at its opposite. And by this, I mean bad art. Ahem. Take, for example:

Acrylic on canvas by Sarah Irani, 1995
Donated by the artist

"The flesh tones bring to mind the top shelf liqueurs of a border bistro. With an astonishing emphasis on facial bone structure, the artist flirts with caricature and captures features of Mamma's face which remind us of a Presidential candidate. The upright marionettish pose of the babe hints that the early bond between mother and child is as formal as it is familiar. Good old fashioned parental respect is at the center of this celebration of color and contour." -MOBA

Both the painting and the review above are from The Museum of Bad Art.

Yes. Oh yes, The Museum of Bad Art (otherwise known as MOBA) is a real place. It's located in the basement of the Dedham Community Theater in Dedham, MA. I've been dying to go for years, but still haven't made the trip. If you live nowhere near MA, you can visit them online. There are samples of the collection, information about the museum, and even an online shop. You can even buy their Museum of Bad Art coffee table book which (you better believe) is going on my Christmas list this year.

Often times, what is "good art" can be totally subjective. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and all of that. You might ask - by those standards, how can one can even define bad art? I have a handy tool for you. The Museum of Bad Art's submission guidelines are a good start. They read as follows:

All submitted work must be original works of art (no reproductions). The pieces that we look for would never hang in a museum or commercial gallery, yet they have some quality that draws you to them -- or perhaps grabs you by the throat and won't let go. As a rule we do not accept:

•Works painted on velvet
•Any of the well known kitschy motifs (dogs playing cards, big eyed kids and all that) unless they break new ground in a startling way.

Much of the works in the museum have been found on the side of the road next to trash bins, discovered in flea markets, inherited with a house, or donated directly by the proud bad artists themselves. The museum reviews and "critiques" each work almost like a classical museum would. The only difference being the outcome is hilarious.

If you get offended at people poking fun at well-intentioned (albeit completely unskilled) art, I suggest you don't visit the site. However, for those a bit more lighthearted, go take a peek. You wind up kind of loving each painting for it's badness. I know it always gives me a smile. Enjoy!

August 26, 2008

Hi, my name is Honeydew...

...and I'm an Etsy addict.

It's no secret that I tend to buy more things from Etsy than I sell. It feels like the ratio is 10:1 most of the time, and that especially goes for this month! I've been on a handmade-item shopping spree, no doubt. Most of it is valid (I had a baby shower gifts to buy! etc) But some of it was simply my own "must-haves". I figured I share my purchases with you today.

My slew of recent Etsy purchases started off innocently enough. My sister and brother-in-law are already planning out their giant Halloween bash. Halloween is my most favorite holiday. There's no pressure to buy anyone gifts, you get to dress up funny, and there's excessive amounts of candy involved. Really, what's there not to love? Their party theme this year is "'80s Prom". Since you can never be too prepared, I've already found (and nabbed) my ensemble - all thanks to Etsy Vintage. Take a look at this purple dress from Iron Horse Vintage and tell me it doesn't take you back to the days of big hair and Pretty In Pink:
I am going to rock that dress. Eat your heart out, Molly Ringwald. If anyone has a suggestion for '80s outfits for my husband, please send me a link or leave me a comment! As a funny aside - I actually saw this exact dress in an '80s flashback moment during the movie Bam Bam and Celeste. I had just received the dress in the mail, and it was sitting on the couch next to me during the movie. Freaky!

Moving on...

The next Etsy purchase was entirely necessary. I had a baby shower to attend this past Saturday. I'm friends with both the mommy and daddy-to-be. They have decided not to find out what the sex of the baby is until the day Baby M actually arrives in this world. This lead me on a quest for unisex onesies. Daddy-to-be is the lead singer in a local cover perfect is this little onesie from Fun 2 Wear 2 ? Entirely appropriate and way too cute:

I also found this onesie in Fun 2 Wear 2's shop. It cracked me up, so of course I had to buy it too:This month I've been on a mission to have my house absolutely perfect before I start night classes again on September 4. I don't want the stress of working full time, homework, school, and my commute to be added to the stress of an unorganized, unfinished home. This has meant fixing things we've been putting off fixing, patching things that need patching, painting things that need painting, and generally a whole lotta extreme cleaning. (I got down with a toothbrush to clean, folks. I honestly did.) Anyway, one of the things I'm doing is painting and decorating my living room. We had plans to do this when we moved in three years ago. It just never happened. I was browsing through Etsy for decor items I could add to the soon-to-be-newly-painted walls when I came across this gorgeousness from Copper Leaf Studios:

They are even more lovely in person, let me tell you! I can't wait to hang them. I just need to get the walls finished first.

And last but not least, there's the much-needed purchases I made for Baxter McPrickles, my hedgehog. It was Baxter's birthday this month on the 20th. He turned 3 years old. The poor little guy has not been having an easy time, however. Even though we are very attentive hedgie parents, he somehow managed to get his first (and hopefully only) case of mites. I suspect it may have been from when we left on vacation, and he stayed with a friend who has two little dogs. Either that or they came in from outside since we sometimes leave the door open near his cage when it's warm. In any case, his skin is flaking off and (much to my absolute horror) his quills have been falling out. He has an appointment with the vet today, which I'm sure he won't be happy about. I'm going to toss out many of the items from his cage, including the felt blanket he likes to sleep underneath. Instead, I bought him two new sleeping bags from ellencho. He won't get to use them until he is all medicated and healing, but they've arrived and are waiting for him. Here's the winter sleeping bag:

And here's the summer one. (I picked the pattern purely because I knew my husband would love it, and it would get a laugh.)
Ellen is the only person I've been able to find who makes these. Our breeder gave us a critter sleeping bag when she sent baby Baxter home with us, but that one has been loved to bits. I was so happy to find Ellen's shop on Etsy. There's nothing a hedgehog loves more than snuggling under cozy layers in his house. Happy birthday, Baxter!

Hopefully that'll be the end of my crazy Etsy shopping for a least until Christmas! (o;

July 25, 2008

Sketches: Denmark


Remember me?

I know I've fallen off the face of this blog, but I have really good reasons, I swear! Since I got back home from my adventures in Europe, I've been working two jobs all summer. Then, my best friend came home from across the country and is visiting all month. In addition to that, everyone I know suddenly decided to get married and/or produce a baby. This has left me with exactly zero free personal time. My weekends are booked with things that end in "shower" (baby or bridal, take your pick) in addition to the weddings. The hubby and I have also been trying to fix up the house before I start my evening classes again on September 4th. (That alone is kind of making me freak out.) The cherry on the top? I sprained my ankle last week.

Now that I have my excuses and stories out of the way, I'm just going to finish posting the sketches I promised to post a month ago. Sorry.

This will (mostly) conclude the sketches from my travel sketchbook. All of the following were created while touring Hamlet's Castle, Elsinore, in Denmark: This was a sketch of a recreation of the Queen's wedding gown. She was only 14 or so when she got married.

Don't worry, my sister took a photo of the above painting without flash. Though, I'm afraid I can't say the same for some of the other tourists.

I have a few more sketches to post, but this blog has been waiting long enough. I'll get through the rest of my stories and sketches in forthcoming posts.'ve you been? (o;