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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween friends! Hope you get all the treats.

Ava Gardner photo found here

Friday, October 26, 2012

Process: Peony & Dots Pattern

Here's the final of a project I mentioned yesterday, a peony print for the project 101 Florals. Like the rest of the females on the internet, peonies are one of my favorite flowers.

I always really love seeing process posts of other artists, so I thought I'd start documenting my process a little more. First, I do a lot of research online and collect reference images. Then I do a preliminary sketch, translating the object into my own visual language of drawing:

After I work out the initial sketch (and usually thumbnail out a tiny composition sketch at the top of this sketch), I'll lay tracing paper over it and refine the sketch until I'm happy with it (this one below is the second revision sketch):

Then I'll take this sketch and transfer it onto bristol board with transfer paper, and start painting from there. Sometimes I'll use a lightbox instead, depending on the piece. Transfer paper leaves a blue or grey mark that can be hard to cover up, depending on what medium you use. I used gouache, which is an opaque medium, for this piece so I didn't worry about it.

Sidenote: often before painting, I'll scan this refined sketch and do a quick photoshop color comp (which will save you a TON of time and expensive paint) but for this piece, I had a pretty straightforward idea of what I wanted to do with color so I skipped it.

I painted the gold dots and peony pattern on two separate boards, then scanned and combined them in Photoshop. After I got a design I was happy with, I used this method for making a repeat pattern.

Feel free to use this pattern for personal use, such as your desktop wallpaper or twitter background. Download the repeatable version:

Large here.
Small here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Holiday 2012

I've been busy working on a bunch of new stuff behind the scenes lately, which is why there hasn't been much new work to share lately. I've been putting up lots of sneak peeks on my Instagram though, so make sure to follow for some fun and color in your day.

A lot of it is putting together a soft launch of my paper goods line, the beginning of a big dream of mine. I'll share them individually as things come together, so check in often!

The whole line will debut at an upcoming craft fair here in LA in December, but products will be slowly launching online early as they come together. For example, this weekend I will be shooting two new products that are ready to go up in the shop on Monday morning! So exciting! Hope you love it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Part of Me

Last night I watched Katy Perry's Part of Me and it was so good. Have you seen it? I was excited about it when it came out, but never got a moment to catch it until yesterday.

It's really inspiring to follow someone's journey and hear about all the struggles and deep dark low moments that are part of chasing a dream; and even after making that dream a reality, there's the challenge of keeping everything else afloat too.

Anyway, if you need an inspiring, feel-good kind of film, definitely check it out. Let me know if you have any other recommendations for inspiring, feel-good films!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Autumn In The Country

This past weekend Ryan & I headed out with our friend Allison to Riley's Farm in Oak Glen. There was apple picking, pumpkin patching, candle making, and bbqing, just to name a few activities. And because this is southern California, there were also still strawberry and raspberry picking, and marigold fields for flower picking.

We stopped at the Hawk's Head Public House for lunch, which was like stepping back into colonial New Hampshire - complete with historical singing and metal steins filled with cider. We brought back a bag full of apples and five pound pie that will do for breakfast for the rest of the week.

If you're in the LA area and itching for some real fall activities, I'd definitely recommend a visit out to Oak Glen!

Riley's Farm
12261 S. Oak Glen Road
Oak Glen, California 92399

Monday, October 22, 2012

10 Nights of Halloween Films

I love Halloween and all things a little creepy, but I'm also kind of a chicken when it comes to horror films - which can be challenging because my fiance loves them. The spooky-themed films below hit the sweet spot for us - just Halloween enough but not too scary to keep me up all night, jumping at every little noise.

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
2. Hocus Pocus
3. The Frighteners
4. Coraline
5. Halloween
6. The Craft
7. Sleepy Hallow
8. Mad Monster Party
9. It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
10. The Addams Family

Wouldn't it be great to have a movie marathon watching a film a night for the ten nights leading up to Halloween? What movies do you watch every Halloween?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Maybe the Best Hasn't Happened Yet

I've been busy this week planning, sketching, illustrating, and producing collection of paper goods for launch this holiday season. It's been a big huge fat dream of mine to have my own line of products, so I'm just starting. Going to just put one foot in front of the other and hope you love it.

With that said, I have to thank everyone so much for the immense support of my Bad Girls Throughout History postcards. Your purchases, kind words, emails, blog posts have all meant the world to me, and given me the push to make the next leap.

And finally, a musical gift from me to you this weekend: I have been listening to Tristan Prettyman's new album Cedar + Gold non-stop. If you are a lover of sad songs, like I am, then you will love Cedar + Gold. It's the perfect bittersweet album, the kind for when you want to wrap yourself up in nostalgia of past heartbreaks. My favorite song is Never Say Never.

Spotify users, you can listen to it here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Style Section: Sunday Rose

Soft, lovely, fierce inky liner, and a rose on her head; Gemma Ward by Paolo Roversi for Vogue Italia, December 2005.

Friday, October 12, 2012

What I Wore For The First Day Of Real Fall

Yesterday was the first day of cooler weather and rain here in LA! So it was time to break out the sweater, scarves, tights, and boots for, honestly, my only fall outfit.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Around The Web

I've been pretty happy to be making new connections around the web, and here are some new illustrated contributions I've done:

My favorite outfit right now at Ruche.

A monthly 4 Ways/Seasonal Food column over at Freutcake.

And if you found me via those posts, then welcome! I hope you take a seat, subscribe to the blog, and stay awhile.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kindness is Not a Weakness

This was advice my senior class English teacher gave on our last day of high school. I can't really remember what else he said, but this one really stuck with me.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Banana Berry Bread

Happy Monday! This is one of my favorite banana bread recipes - so much so that I have the recipe I had found in college still taped into a recipe notebook I keep, despite the water spots and blurred ink.

It's pretty healthy in that it doesn't have butter or oil, and uses just one egg. Oh, and that I got it out of Self magazine. See? Picture of health. It's kind of a perfect bread to keep in your breakfast arsenal for these cooling fall days with a hot (!) coffee.

Banana Berry Bread

Serves 8

Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 large really ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup almond milk
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen berries

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8" loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.

2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the middle.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together bananas, milk, egg, and vanilla extract. Fold in berries once mixed.

4. Pour wet batter into the well of the dry ingredients. Fold together until combined.

5. Pour batter into pan and bake for 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

6. Let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Style Section: Holly & Paul

Happy October! I'm so happy it's finally cooling off here in LA, so I'll be deep into flea markets again on Sunday mornings. Hopefully I'll find some Halloween costume inspiration.

What are you gonna be for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall To Do

Well, I didn't do so great on the Summer To Do List. But luckily it's the start of a new season, so let's call it a blank slate and focus on the fall!

1. Carve pumpkins & decorate the house for Halloween
2. Bake some pumpkin goods, like mini donuts and pumpkin cheesecake
3. Have a Harry Potter themed cocktails & movie night
4. Go apple picking
5. Redesign blog
6. Ride the carousel at Griffith Park
7. Spend my birthday weekend in Vegas
8. Visit Disneyland during Halloweentime
9. Have a fun Halloween movie night (with faves like Hocus Pocus and Mad Monster Party)
10. Make an awesome Halloween costume

What's on your fall to-do list?

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Monogram Project!

I'm excited to share an idea I've been cooking up for the last couple weeks - The Monogram Project. For 50 clams, you can order your own custom hand-painted monogram! Perfect for a baby room, kid's room, studio space, wedding gift, the possibilities are endless...just about everybody loves a monogram, no?

You can pair em up for first and last initials, or for couples as a gift. Check em out for yourself here, and let me know what you think!
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