Sunday, December 30, 2012

Shutterfly Book

I  made this book as a thank you gift for some friends who let me stay in their house this summer.  It is a book for their grandchildren to read when they are at their house.  They have beautiful tile around their house so many of the images are of their tiles.

I made the book on Shutterfly and they now give the code for inserting into a blog so if you want to see the whole thing you can click on it below.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Gnome Joy!

I've been obsessed with peppermints and gnomes so they seemed a perfect combination for my card this year.  Wishing everyone a very happy holiday and lots of joy!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wrap it up!

As soon as I saw this ribbon at Michael's I knew it was coming home with me. I looooooooove the look of the cut-outs against the solid colored paper.  I also found a cute moose ribbon in my ribbon box and I thought the two were perfect together.  Now I am finally done wrapping and I love to sit back and look at them all in a big pile.  So take a moment to breathe and enjoy the beauty as you wrap things up this year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vintage Red & White Embroidery

I have been waiting over a year to blog about this beautiful red and white embroidery I bought at the Springfield Antique Show.  You know how it buy something and think, "I'm going to frame this!"  And then it sits in a pile for years.  But I treated myself and finally had it framed last month.  I hung it in our yellow guest room with the red and white striped bedspreads and I love it!

Check out the cute llamas and birds!

Monday, December 3, 2012


These "babushkups" have been sitting on my desk for a year waiting to be photographed.  I bought them a year ago at Sur la Table as a gift for myself and my sister-in-law.  They are the kind of thing that I love so much I'm not sure if I can use them. It reminds me of when I buy tablecloths at the flea market.  When they are stained I feel free to use the heck out of them and I get a lot of enjoyment from them.  But when they are pristine they end up stacked on a shelf  in the cupboard never to be seen.  I guess the best way to appreciate something is to use it.  I may use them as pencil holders or I  may just bite the bullet and use them as drinking glasses!  Crazy, I know.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving & Vintage Nut Prints

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I am so thankful to all my family and friends.  Thank you all for being a part of my life and supporting my blog habit.  Sharing with you and hearing your comments brings me so much joy. 

I've been saving these vintage nut prints for a Thanksgiving post.  I couldn't believe my luck when I found them at the Springfield Antique Show this September.  They remind me of my dad and the holidays because he always has a big bowl of nuts that he cracks open and eats at Christmas.

I hope your holiday season is filled with joy and nuttiness! (Vintage-nut-print nuttiness, that is!) 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Madisonville Quality-of-Life Brochure

This past week I designed this brochure for the community of Madisonville.  They are really on-the-ball and are in the process of developing a quality-of-life plan to outline their goals for the future of their neighborhood.  It was quite a group effort which is sometimes painful, but in the end all of the input produces a stronger document.

The cover drawing was by Glaserworks.  I am totally into this kind of drawing lately and it was nice to have such great imagery for the cover.  To see a larger version, click on the images.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Elephant Eraser

I bought this incredible Jonathan Adler giant elephant eraser at M. Hopple & Co. about a month ago.  As soon as I saw it I knew it was coming home with me.  I collect erasers and I have never seen one like this.  I will never dare use it,  but it sits near my monitor on my desk and brings me joy every day.  They also had giant purple squirrels and an beautiful red owl...some one may be getting one of these for Christmas!      

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rollout Invitations

The other day it dawned on me that I should post my freelance work more often on the blog.  These are two options for an invitation I did for the community of Madisonville.  I liked playing off the idea of a "rollout." The client already chose and they are printed and hopefully in the mail.  Let me know your favorite.  I will post your choice and theirs in the comments in the next few days.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Birthday G!

This was George's birthday card this year. This vintage style is everywhere right now and I love it!  Instead of going out to dinner George requested an evening of baseball watching at home. So we ate dinner by the fire and had cupcakes for dessert.  Happy Birthday G!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spring Grove Beech Tree Sketch

My friend Christina and I walked at Spring Grove Monday and we stopped and sketched at one of my favorite spots.  I decided to sketch this beech tree because I love all of its gnarly bumps and ridges.  The bare lump and the folds surrounding it reminded me of an elephant knee.  Christina sketched the incredible fall color below.  You can see her awesome sketch here.

I have been trying to loosen up my sketching and watercolor a bit and I would like to take it even farther.  I am so inspired by the sketches of Marc Taro Homes... they are amazing the way they are detailed and loose at the same time. I guess if I aspire to improve I need to practice, practice, practice.  I wouldn't even have brought my sketchbook if it hadn't been for Christina.  She is good about prodding me to sketch but I am always torn between photographing and sketching.  I suppose both are possible and they support each other, so hopefully I will be posting more sketches soon. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rusty wrenches

When my mom and I were at the Springfield Antique show we came upon a table chock full of junky junk.  And what caught my eye?... but these wonderful wrenches.  For some reason I am completely drawn to old rusty metal objects and I was immediately in love with the curvy one shown above.  I noticed how beautifully the big wrench fits right into the curve of the curvy wrench and I started arranging them as I am wont to do.  The owner of the junk noticed my interest and approached.  Although I had no intention of buying them I asked, "How much for the wrenches?"  He replied, "Three dollars."  Without hesitation I said, "I'll take them!"  And that is the story of how I became the proud owner of these gorgeous wrenches.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Heirloom Pumpkin Love

One of my absolute favorite fall activities is picking out a pumpkin.  When my mom and I were at the Springfield Antique Extravaganza I found this heirloom pumpkin that now graces my entry table.  It's hard to put into words, but something about those deep grooves and the squat shape of the pumpkin makes it insanely cute to me.  What that says about my personality I don't know, but I do know that every time I come down the stairs and see this pumpkin I am absurdly happy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Spring Grove Sketch

My friend Christina and I walked and sketched yesterday at Spring Grove Cemetery.  We ended up sketching this mausoleum that belonged to the Robinson family (click to enlarge).  Christina is an incredible illustrator and never fails to inspire me.  Sometimes I just sit and study her beautiful watercolor sketches.  You can see her sketch here.  Thanks Christina for getting me out sketching!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Datura Pod

When I was on my walk the other day I did a double take when I saw these incredible pods.  For years I have walked by this same driveway that always has angel trumpets growing at the edge, but I never noticed the pods before.

When I looked it up on Wikipedia I found a few interesting facts.  The name Datura comes from the Hindi word for "thorn apple" and I can definitely see why.  It also belongs to the classic witches weeds, along with the deadly nightshade, henbane, and mandrake (remember that from Harry Potter?) and was a well-known, essential ingredient in love potions and witches brews.  Most parts of the plant contain hallucinogenic toxins and, if ingested, will cause an unpleasant delirium and possible death.  The white flower of this plant is as big as my hand, trumpet-shaped, and quite striking and is sometimes called Moonflower.

When I read all this I picture lots of little witches alighting from their brooms on a full moon evening in October gathering these seed pods for their potions.  I just know I won't be harvesting any Datura flowers for flower arranging this fall and I hope to avoid any such love potions this Halloween!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tomato Joy

We've had a plethora of beautiful cherry tomatoes from Hazelfield Farms this year.  They looked so cute in this green pyrex bowl I had to take their picture.

Still hoping for some warm days but fall is definitely here.  I may just have to get my sunshine from these tomatoes which appear like little balls of sun.  Pure tomato joy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chicken Feeder Light

I am so excited to finally post my new chicken feeder light!  Last spring my mom and I came across this light in a booth at the Springfield Antique Extravaganza.  I liked it but I hadn't done any research about such things and I decided I could look around online.  I took the woman's card at the booth and put it in the bottomless pit that is my purse.

When I got home I did some research to try and see if I could make my own but I couldn't find any that I liked as well as the one I saw at the show.  Then I just plain got busy and forgot about it for a good four months.

Finally in August I came across the card in my purse and my birthday was coming up so I decided to splurge.  I called the number on the card hoping against hope that by some miracle the woman still had that exact light.  I guess it was my lucky day because she still had it!  Now this beauty lives in my basement thanks to a little handiwork from my hubby.

While I was downstairs today George came down and found me totally enraptured while taking photos.  His comment was, "I'm not sure I see it like you do."  I assured him that after I was done with these photos that he too would fall in love with the chicken feeder light.  I think that's why I like photography.  I want other people to see things as I see see the beautiful lines and patina in a chicken feeder light.  I'm not sure if George fell in love, but I am totally smitten.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Canaan Valley, West Virginia

My friend Christina told me about a great app for the iTouch called Autostitch and I love it! I used it recently on a trip to Canaan Valley, West Virginia.  You can take as many pictures as you want and it stitches them together.  I can't say I love the quality of the iTouch photos, but you can get some neat panoramas with it.  Unfortunately the blog is not the best place to display a panorama, but you can click on it to make it larger.

This lake was near the house we rented and we biked around it and had some great hikes up in the Dolly Sods area.  We also visited Blackwater Falls State Park to see the falls and hike out to an amazing overlook at Lindy Point.  It was really beautiful country and reminded me of my old bear project days in NC.  No bear sightings on this trip but one can always hope.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Turk's Cap Cactus

One of my favorite inhabitants of St. John's was the Turk's Cap Cactus.  This cactus is native to the West Indies and is characterized by a large cylindrical cap called a cephalium.  When I did a web search I found it described as "grotesque, unusual, and bizarre," but I personally would describe them as incredibly cute.  If it weren't for those rows of sharp spines you might want to pick it up and give it a snuggle or punt it like a football.  It is also clearly a very tenacious plant, often barely clinging to life by a withered-looking umbilical cord emerging from a dry rock bed.  If I lived in St. John I would want my whole yard filled with these pot-bellied wonders.  If this drought continues here in Cincinnati my wish may come true because cacti may be all that will grow in my yard.