A Love For Mirrored Repeats

I've been doing more drawing for fabric recently, and I've discovered that I love freehand drawing patterns that look somewhat damask-y or rococo when using a mirrored repeat.  They're coming out in unexpected ways, and quite lovely in the previews.  It's exciting to get further into this facet of designing.

This is my Cecil design in the chocolate colorway.  I've been listening to Welcome to Night Vale and thought the oddly lovable voice of Night Vale, Cecil, was a great inspiration for making a pattern.  Since making Cecil, I've done a few more similar designs, but I haven't seen any of them printed on fabric yet.  Once I do, it depends on how they come out whether or not they will be for sale.

This one is Vena in the colorway Goldenrod.  I don't know why I named it Vena in the first place, but searching tells me that it's the name of a character in one of the classic Doctor Who (Sixth Doctor) episodes, Timelash.  I like Who well enough to call myself a Whovian, though I have seen much more RTD Who than classic.  Still, it's a lovely, elegant design that does well in repeat form, worthy of the Doctor Who-verse princess that shares its name.

To see more you can visit my Spoonflower Gallery or my portfolio website.

Slush Pile: No Answers

Only questions, no answers.

B&W Hydrangea

I set up a still life shoot the other day, with a teacup and a hydrangea.  It was during the really hot weather, and I wanted to shoot but there wasn't much outside that didn't look like it was suffering under the heat.  So, I found my favorite natural light spot and set up for a few shots.  This was one of the few I liked, the other I put up in my etsy store.

For processing I used some Black and White actions from Florabella, which has been one of the best investments I've made for photoshop.  It has a variety of great black and white actions that have a distinctly different look.  Before that, I cropped the picture in Lightroom and tweaked it to make the color bolder, so it would show more range once converted to black and white.

I really liked this end result, but I'm not sure if I will put this image up for sale or not.

Paper & Stitch

Is everyone as excited for the arrival of Baby Cambridge as I am?  I cannot wait to find out the name of the new baby!

But as lovely as that news is, I have a (much smaller) bit of news of my own.  I'm a featured shop on Paper & Stitch for the next month.  It's a really exciting opportunity for me to have my work reach a wider audience.  Today, my photo Nerdy from my series "Still Life with Nerds" is even on the front page.  I'm super excited!

I'm so glad to be part of this month's exhibition.  Head on over there and check it out, and if you've found me because of Paper & Stitch -welcome!  As always, if you want to buy a print from my etsy store, sign up for my newsletter for a discount code.

The Mount

There are so many great places to visit in Western Massachusetts and I have yet to discover a great deal of them.  Until my last trip to Lake George, I hadn't even really spent much time in the Berkshires, but I'm always inspired in the fall to get out more.  Productivity-wise, it's always my busiest time of year, because the colors and changes make for great photography, the weather is kinder than the heat of summer and spots have less vacationers.

The Mount was a place I discovered and fell in love with on my last trip to the Berkshires.  Originally a summer house built by Edith and Teddy Wharton, it's undergoing restoration into a historical site dedicated to the legacy of the author herself.  The house was designed by Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman, Jr (who also designed the second and third floors of The Breakers), incorporating some of Wharton's favorite European influences.  It's a beautiful site, and from what I saw of the restoration it's coming along very well.  Above is a picture of it from the back, taken from the grounds.

These are a few photos I took during the guided tour, which took the group through most of the house and explained the process of renovation, as well as the history of Edith Wharton and the home.  There's the option of the guided tour, which I recommend, or to go through the house and grounds on your own.  I'd really love to go back and see how much has changed since my initial visit.  If you have the chance to visit, let me know what you think of it.


Busy Busy

I notice that I like repeating words a lot of the time, to show the emphasis by repetition instead of saying 'very'.  I don't think this is grammatically correct, but it gets the point across.

I've been busy - but not working today.  Well, I might do some work, but I am not out on work business at the moment.  I have a problem tooth.  I'm 31 years old and when I was younger, I never got my wisdom teeth removed.  The common assumption with my mouth was that there was enough space, which seemed like a great boon at fifteen when all of my other friends had their teeth out.  It looked like a process, and I thought I was lucky not to have to undergo it.

Turns out, while there was space for my wisdom teeth when the top pair started coming in, it was really hard for me to clean them.  So I had the top two out in the dentists office, an extraction like any other tooth removal, pop and I'm out the door.  Getting a crown is more arduous.

But one of my bottom teeth recently came in and wow, it's too big.  While I've adjusted to the size of it, the left side of my mouth closes first and makes me feel lopsided.  I feel like I'm always biting down.  It's affecting my speech, so that I feel like I have to enunciate a great deal more to say things without lisping.

So, I'm off today, to the dentist to see what can be done.

Slush Pile: Maine Coast

Here's a link for a discount in my society6 shop.

Have a happy weekend!


One of my favorite things in life has to be fabric.  I have a huge collection of it, stashed away within the walls of my house.  I keep corresponding patterns, hoping that one day my sewing skills will get magically better and I can create gorgeous wearable art.

A while ago, the fabric store here closed.  It has since reopened in a new location, but for a few months we were sans a place to run in and get buttons, notions or for me to simply walk around and look at all the visual inspiration.  Grim times, I tell you.  Being in a fabric store immediately fills me with joy, and I nearly always wind up in florals, looking for interesting (read: brightly colored) designs.

Let me step back now, and tell you that a few years ago when I was living in Virginia a site called Spoonflower was in its infancy.  I got into the beta and did a quick sample of a cool design I made in apophysis, which is fun fractal software.  After uploading it to the Spoonflower, I got a sample that I was thinking I wanted to sew onto a black apron as a patch.  It was a funky, spark of orange and red flame on a black background, but it came out faded.  Included was a handwritten note apologizing and explaining that black backgrounds were the hardest to print and they were still perfecting it.  Though I was a little disappointed, I didn't think much of it.  I was moving and planning my wedding at the time, and that scrap of fabric got pushed into a box someplace.

Back to now:  I rediscover Spoonflower, and they are awesome.  Not only is there fabric on there, but they've expanded to include wallpaper, gift wrap and decals.  I drew a design on a piece of cardstock with watercolor medium, ink and pencil.  I uploaded it and play around with the options, deciding on a mirrored repeat.  After ordering a fat quarter, I wait for it to come in the mail.  When it does, I note what I like and what I don't and go back to it.  It's a fun process.

Rinse and repeat.  I haven't tried a black background again yet, but the grey background on one of my fabrics came out beautiful and nuanced, just like in my original design.  I think it's a fair bet to say they've fixed any problems.

So I'm still learning, but right now I'm loving Spoonflower.  I've gotten four of my designs so far, and it's been a blast working on them.  Some of them need to be reworked or tweaked a little before I think about selling them.  I'm pretty busy at the moment, so they aren't a priority, but I wanted to share them with you.

Follow me on Spoonflower


It Flies By

July is one of those months that always goes by so quickly that I can hardly recall it.  By the time it comes around, I can hardly believe that over half of the year has gone by.  It seems strange, because I've just gotten used to writing 2013 as the date, and now we've finished more of the year than we have left.

But until it is finished, I still have plenty I want to do!  Recently I've been:

Testing out cupcakes.  I think it's optimal to have the cake and frosting be a little drier so it can maintain structural integrity.  This one is from a local cupcake shop, but we also tried the grocery store kind for comparison.

Taking pictures from the car.  Some part of Boston that I think is near the Museum of Science?  It was a lovely overcast day as we drove through it on our way home.  (These top two photos were taken with my phone and edited with Pic-Tap-Go, my favorite app.  It's by the people who make the Totally Rad Actions I use for Photoshop.)

Working at my messy desk.  I've been inspired to do a lot of illustrating/drawing lately.  I find that's the case when I'm not shooting as much.

Though the year is half over, I feel like I've just begun.


Slush Pile: Winthrop

Winthrop, Massachusetts
September 2012


A Not-So Bucket List

Let me share something with you all, I've never made a bucket list.  I've never quite understood the rationale behind it, since if you aspire to do something bad enough, it prioritizes its way up the list pretty quickly.   I guess if you have specific goals that you definitely want to cross off, it's the way to go, but I never can work up enthusiasm for the concept.

But this year feels significant - and I can't quite explain why at the moment.  It's like a promise is ready to be cashed in, and I'm hoping it's for something really, really good.  Please let it be good this time - because 2010 felt the same way, and let's just say I spent more time in the hospital than I would have liked.

So I started thinking about the things I'd like to do.  I'm really happy with my overall level of busy right now, though I would like to travel more.  Other than a nebulous wish to wander the globe aimlessly taking pictures, these are the things I want to do.

1) Write a comic  - I've wanted to do this for a while, but I haven't really gotten much plot.  Lots of practice drawings and ideas, not much plot.  It would be interesting to tell a story within the confines of a graphic novel.

2) Go to an improv workshop - This isn't because at the ripe young age of 31 I've decided to shuck it all, move to Hollywood and become the next funny sidekick.  (Sidenote - if I did go into anything related to acting, it would be theatre and I would make costumes.  I can sew, but not the way I'd like to. I'd like Tim Gunn to walk past raising an approving eyebrow as I expertly tailor chiffon.  Seriously, chiffon is like freakin tissue paper.)   But I like the concept of "Yes, and" that comes from creating a scene out of thin air.  In high school theatre, I remember trying it and it was unspeakably hard for me, and I was terribly awkward at first until I got the rhythm of it.  There's also a quickness that comes from it that comes in handy in social situations.

3) Move - I'm a Midwestern girl at heart.  While I've (mostly) enjoyed my time on the East Coast, the other day I surprised myself by looking over at my husband and saying "I want to live someplace where my sister can come and visit me and drive home."  That really says it all.  She could now, but that drive home would take two days.  I'd like something a little closer.  Of course, I own a half-finished old house with boxes from my last move four years ago, but this is just a list of wants.

4) More - This is a strange thing to list, but bear with me.  I'd like to do more of what I'm already doing.  Even though I just got finished saying I like the level of busy I am now, I would like to do more drawing, editing, writing, shooting and everything else.  What can I say, I love my work.

See, I can't even get past four things on a bucket list.  Maybe I should be more  specific, but I really can't - I rebel against too many constraints, even those self induced.

Slush Pile: Morning View

Lake George, New York
Oct 2012