Monday, December 22, 2008

Moose Portrait

This is a Christmas present portrait I did for someone of their sister's cat. His name is Moose and you can read about him at I had never been to, but it seems like a great website for cat lovers. I loved reading about Moose's fascination with snakes, rabbits, toilet paper and vacuum cleaners.

I hope Moose has a wonderful Christmas full of toilet paper rolls and wrapping paper.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Ornaments

I am excited because I actually put up my Christmas decorations the first week of December. I think that's a record. I am cheating because these photos are from last year, but it looks just the same.

This might be my only post this December. I am super busy working on illustrations for a book about snowflakes by Ken Libbrechts. I recently read his Field Guide to Snowflakes. It is a wonderful book about the different kinds of snowflakes and how they form. I highly recommend it! It actually made me wish for snow!

Stay warm and have a very happy holiday!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Closet Bathroom

So I was trying to wait until everything was done before posting our new bathroom photos, but I couldn't wait. We recently converted a very small closet into a bathroom. I guess I should say that we hired a contractor to convert it. (JD Sandipher was our contractor and you can see his website here.)

The reason I have been waiting is because I wanted to post the photos with window treatments and as you can see I did make window treatments for the window, but I am still waiting on the fabric to make a roman shade for the door. Right now the only thing between a person going to the bathroom and the outside is some fairly see-through stained glass. Currently we advise guests to avert there eyes if they happen to see someone going into the new bathroom.

So here is a before shot.

And here it is finished! (well almost anyway)

I did a lot of research into finding the world's smallest sink. We got the sink and the toilet from Signature Hardware. They have a great selection of all sorts of toilets and sinks.

I am super happy with the sink cabinet. I designed it and my husband and I built it (OK he mostly built it while I hung around wringing my hands and fretting about details). I wanted it to resemble our radiator which you can kind of see in the photo below.
I thought it wouldn't be that hard to build a little cabinet. Boy was I wrong! Every step was frought with danger. I should have blogged about it during the process because it is all a blur now. But we learned a lot from Kregging to routering (thanks Mark!). I thought I ruined it after I put the first coat of stain on it. But after changing the color a bit and polyurethaning it turned out OK.

When I get the door shade up I will post some photos about the shades. Enjoy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Climate Change Brochure

So lately I have been overwhelmed every time I hear more about global warming. I recently went to a couple of lectures about it and I always leave feeling like I want to do something but I am not sure what. So after the last talk I was complaining to my hubby that I want to help fix the problem, but how?

Well, the answer came the next day in the form of an email. It was from the City of Cincinnati and they were looking for someone to help them make a brochure about Global Climate Change and the small things we can all do to help. Can you believe that? Be careful what you ask for.

I was happy about how it turned out because this is the overall look and style that I have been gravitating towards. Lately I have been loving green, orange and blue. I think I might have to redesign my website with these colors and look.
Oh, and if you are interested in reading the suggestions you can go here to download a pdf.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cat Card

A friend of mine is totally wonderful and has three cats, plus he feeds about 10 cats outside his house, plus he has gotten almost all of them spade and neutered. Steve, you are totally awesome!

His three indoor cats go by the names "Orange", "Grey", and "White. The other day they told me they wanted to tell Steve Happy Birthday so I told them I would make a card for them.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Bird Card

This past weekend was my husband's birthday so I decided to make him a card in the folksy-birdsy style that I have been obsessed with lately. You may think that a guy might not like such a fru-fru style, but my husband studies birds and thus appreciates all my attempts at bird art.

For all those graphic designers out there reading my blog, I used both Illustrator and Photoshop. I find it easier to scan a sketch and then trace the sketch in Illustrator. Then I copy and paste the shapes into Photoshop to do the shading.

I like this little bird so much I might adapt this into our Christmas card this year. Sorry to spoil the surprise if you get one!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kitchen Paint Color

So I have been fretting over this paint color for my Dad's kitchen. I wanted his house to have a Mexican color scheme... colorful, but not too crazy. So my original color scheme was to do a deep, dark chocolate brown on the far wall, a nice burnt orange on the tv wall, and a nice muted green in the kitchen. I ended up liking all the colors, but I really didn't like how the green looked next to the cabinets. The green is a perfectly nice green next to the white door mouldings, but it just didn't work with the cabinets.

Hence this project. I did a messy photoshop job to test out some colors and I am very excited because I have a definate favorite. Here they are... (remember there is a dark brown wall behind the camera.)

The original green.

This option shows a little bit darker green.

This options shows using the same dark brown that is on the wall behind the camera.

I think this brick color is my favorite because it has that southwest feel and it pulls out that weird rose color in the cabinets.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Knit Pumpkins

This year I am a bit late in getting the Halloween decorations out. But when I was going through the closet I found something I just had to blog about. I came across my knifty knitter pumpkins.

Last fall I was blissfully wandering around Michael's getting overstimulated, as usual, when I saw something that made my heart beat faster and gave me that nervous twisty feeling in my stomach. I spied from the checkout aisle 2 beautiful knit pumpkins. Of course, I had to know how to make them and, of course, I left Michael's with several skeins of orange and brown yarn and the knifty knitter.

I know I am crazy about crafting, but I have to admit that I don't know how to knit... and I still don't. But I was able to figure out the knifty knitter and it was relatively easy. So if you love these pumpkins but don't know how to knit, don't despair..., just buy the knifty knitter and you'll be on your way to knit pumpkin bliss! (I know I sound like a commercial for knifty knitter, but I did really like it and even knitted a few winter hats to boot).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Turtle Stuffed Animal

I was going through my old emails and I came across this project and I just had to put it up. Last Christmas I somehow got it in my head that I was going to make a stuffed animal for my nephew. Don't ask me why I thought I could do this. My sewing skills are minimal and I have never made such a thing. But I thought, "How hard can it be?"

I started off by doing a little sketch.

Then I taped a bunch of pieces of paper together and drew out my pattern in "real" size.

Then I cut out my fabric and started sewing! It all sounds so easy now. It is amazing what time will do. Actually I remember ripping out many a seam and thinking, "Why am I doing this?"

It was difficult to sew the rim onto the shell because I overstuffed it a bit. I ended up hand sewing it on and cursing myself for not giving a larger seam allowance. I also puzzled over how to attached the shell to the body and I ended up sewing snaps onto the bottom of the shell.

But in the end it turned out OK. Perhaps the shell should have been a little bigger and I may have overstuffed the rim, but all in all I was pleased with my first stuffed animal toy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I am so excited for my first post! Recently I have been obsessed with embroidery design. I have been buying embroidery books, I look at embroidery on the web, I check out library books about embroidery design... you get the picture.

So a good friend of mine recently had her second baby and I thought, "OK, now or never!" So I have never embroidered before, but this is how it went.

I started off with a sketch, which I traced in Illustrator.

I used this black and white version for tracing. I would tape it and my fabric to the window and then trace my design using one of those evaporating fabric markers. I usually only traced enough for an hours worth of work, otherwise it would evaporate. The marker usually lasted about 3 hours.

I also did about a million options for the colors. Below I have shown 2 options.

The whole thing took me probably between 8 and 10 hours to embroider. I realized that I couldn't be quite as detailed as my drawing, but that was kind of freeing in a way.

I am happy with how it turned out. I should have taken a picture of the back... not so pretty, but luckily it is framed and no one will ever see that side.

I was also super excited at doing more bird embroidery. Next time there will definately be more birds!