The bags are of durable construction and fully lined. The bags are sturdy and quilted with an interfacing to maintain their shape. The boxy bags will hold up in your carry-on or your suit case on travel trips. Tuck one in your book-bag to keep your computer chargers, stylus, and mouse all in one place!
Awesome Retro Star Wars Comics fabric makes these a great gift for girls, boys, or adults! Also shown are the matching hair bows/ bow ties. Get a complete set for a Christmas or Birthday gift! Available online and at my upcoming craft fairs this summer!
This Thanksgiving my boyfriend and I spent the morning hiking to the Wisdom Tree on the Cahuenga Peak/ Mount Lee trails. I’ve seen the “Wisdom Tree” watch over the valley for years now and I figured it was high time we go and pay it a visit. You can see the tree perfectly on my daily route, and I’ve heard from several people that “when the time is right” you will go and visit the tree. The weather has been pretty toasty lately, but Thursday morning was nice and cool…a cold front was making its way through the area. I had the day off work, so we left pretty early on in the day.
According to legend, it’s the only tree that survived the devastating Hollywood Hills Fire in 2007. It’s over 1,000 feet in elevation, and most of that ascent is within a very short distance. I’m in decent shape and I got pretty winded on the way up!
The hike gives you an incredible view of the city. I really wish that I had taken this hike earlier…perhaps a right when I moved to the city? It’s an absolutely breathtaking view. I love, love, love Griffith Park, but this was one of my favorite outdoor adventures in LA. The main area of Griffith Park is perhaps a little more versatile and a little easier (you can drive or ride your bike many places within the park and it is right by my apartment!), but you can’t beat this view.
You can even see a little corner of the Hollywood Sign in this picture (right in front of the radio tower). Sadly, this is the closest I was able to get to the Hollywood Sign in the years I lived in LA. I’ll have to go back and visit so that I can see the sign up-close!
After the hike we, of course, had some delicious foods that I prepared for my boyfriend and some of our friends. Nothing fancy (Chicken, rice, potatoes, tofu and, of course, pie.) But we were quite hungry after our workout, so a big Thanksgiving Dinner really hit the spot.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me where I get my inspiration from. That is a hard question to answer for many artists and, many times, one illustration can be inspired by many different sources. I know some people who make work about their own experiences, others who are inspired by the programs and movies they watch, the foods they eat, and the list goes on and on. Many of my pieces are inspired by my love of animals and nature, history, food, and, well, my list goes on and on too! Today I thought I’d share my inspiration for my Retro Rocket Dog and Cat Prints.
When I was in college, my senior thesis project was inspired by vintage postage stamps and match boxes. I did a lot of research and made a series of prints featuring extremeophiles (animals and insects that can live in extremely hostile environments). My favorite extremeophile, the Waterbear, is able to survive in space! They are able to go in to a state of extreme hibernation and are able to be revived back to life by a drop of water. No kidding!
The famous Waterbear!
In researching other space-traveling animals, I found inspiration in Laika the Soviet Space Dog. She was the first animal to orbit the earth on November 3, 1957. She sadly died due to overheating of the spacecraft, but her story lives on in stamps, sculptures, books and more!
I love the idea of making a print inspired by a real animal who helped advance our knowledge of space travel and its effects on living things. I also love the design of old space crafts, so that was a no-brainer for me to design a print inspired by those. I’ve been hand-drawing retro-rockets on bags at my other job for over 3 years, making a screen print is the logical next-step!
Candy Bags make everyone smile, young and old! Every purchase comes in a hand-drawn rocket bag!
Retro-future rocket stamps!
Sputnik 2 was eye-catching, but I wanted something more flashy, so I gave my “Puppy Stardust” a different rocket inspired by retro-future illustrations of the late 50’s and 60’s. There were many designs I liked that were memorialized in stamps and postage, but my favorite rockets are the old Tin Toys that I’ve always coveted. Hoping that kids would like my design, I drew inspiration from those toys: their simple shapes and bright colors.
An assortment of retro Tin Toys.
And now you know where I got the hair-brained idea to make a Rocket Dog and Rocket Cat. I don’t know of any cats who orbited space, but as a Cat Mom of two silly cats, I thought it would be unfair to leave them out. The “Rocket Cat” design is inspired by my cat Ferdinand who, I think would make a fine AstroCat.
Howdy! It’s been a while since we last chatted. I’ve been quite busy with work and also had family visiting, so I apologize for the delay.
I’ve been working on a few fun new projects recently and I’d love to share a sneak peek of one of the newest projects I am working on! This is a new drawing that I will be printing very soon! Stay tuned for more process photos and other sneak peeks of other projects in the same “series”!
The Last day we were in Guatemala we visit the Mayan Ruins of Iximche. They are located about an hour-or-so outside of Guatemala City. Our earlier flight was canceled or delayed, so we opted to visit the ruins before heading to the airport for our evening flight. We had a wonderful time seeing the ruins. We hired a young man who is knowledgeable about the ruins. Our contact at the company who went with us to the ruins said that he believed the young man to be of Mayan decent. Our guide gave us a verbal history of the ruins. I was able to translate most of it from Spanish for my boss to better understand the history of the place.
It was a place full of memories. I took a number of photographs of the ruins, but these are my favorites.
Just outside the entrance to the ruins.
Before visiting the ruins, we stopped in their small museum.
They had a number of artifacts excavated from the site as well as this model.
It shows the size and scale of the city as it once stood.
Entering the ruins. You can feel the energy of the place.
Temple in the ruins. There were a number of temples in the city.
One for the sun and one for the moon… and several others.
Can you can see the burned rock at the top?
That is where the Spanish Conquistadors burned the (wooden structures of the) city to the ground.
Our guide suggested that the seed had been buried in the ruins when they were destroyed hundreds of years ago, and that the earthquake made it possible for the seed to grow. It is the only tree of its kind within over 200 miles of the ruins. He also suggested that the Mayans either brought the seed to Iximche or it was a gift from far away.
Many sacrifices were performed here. Next to this altar there was a small hole almost like a small well. Our guide said that the hole was where the “liquid offerings” were presented. Often the blood from this altar was poured down there.
Only part of the city was excavated. The man who started excavating the city passed away before further work cold be done…apparently there is not enough funding to continue. The further away you got from the entrance of the city, the more earth covered the rock. They said that over 50% remains uncovered!
Our guide said that the city was home to at least two “ruling families”. They were peaceful people and, he said, that ultimately lead to their downfall when the conquistadors came. They took them for friends and welcomed them. I’m not sure how long after, but they eventually took over the city, killed many of the residents, and burned it to the ground. Our contact at the company suggested that had the Mayans in neighboring cities not been either too proud or too stubborn, they could have easily banded together to form an alliance and defeat the Spaniards. Unfortunately that was not the case and history happened as it did.
In addition to hundreds and hundreds of hand-painted signs on businesses edifices, there was a lot of cool street art in Guatemala. I really enjoyed seeing the various murals around town. It reminded me of my time in Barcelona where street artwork is more-or-less encouraged. There was a more tasteful graffiti there than in the states, and I think that Guatemalan graffiti (at least what I saw and photographed) is more like that. These are some of my favorite paintings and murals:
The way my camera exposed this photograph is pretty cool. Although unintentional, it works well with the artwork.
This painting was on the way to Antigua. I love the colors! I like that it is a playful painting too, a bright contrast to the (sloppy) tagging to the left of the kite.
We passed this painting on the way to work every day. I almost missed the opportunity to snap a photo of it. Fortunately we got stuck in traffic on the last day and I was able to get a good photo. “Soft” had work all over town. I am not sure who the artist is/was, but they are very prolific!
This was my favorite “soft” piece, though. I really like the colors of this last photograph.
We got back from Guatemala over the weekend. Wow. What a fantastic trip!
I took TONS and TONS of photographs throughout the trip, and I would love to share some of them. This was my first time to Central America, and I had a great time. We worked hard every day that we were there, except for the last day when we got a chance to see MAYAN RUINS and Antigua. These are photographs that I think are the most worth sharing.
A week in Guatemala City through my eyes:
MOCAP: Let’s start off with the actual work. I can’t share much, but this is what *I* was doing most of the time that we were in Guatemala. Monitoring the motion capture process and making sure that all data recorded was as close to perfect as possible. If you’re not sure about how motion capture works, feel free to ask me or look it up online. It’s an awesome process and the technology we use is cutting edge.
MUSIC: Without going in to too much detail on this either, the music in the game will be made using these Mayan Flutes. We were able to hear a historian and musician play almost all of these incredible flutes. Each one has a completely unique sound, many are inspired by the actual animals that they are supposed to sound and look like. The Murciélago (or Bat) was the most interesting, mysterious, and beautiful. I wish that I had recorded a video with my camera.
All of these Mayan flutes were made by hand and are originals or replicas. Each has a different sound.
The City: Never being to Guatemala, but hearing many stories before I left, I thought that the entire Guatemala City…and likely the whole country would look like this. Although there are many people who live in poverty, there is a large middle class that lives in homes and apartments that, from what I’ve heard from the young men and women working at the studio, are not too different from where myself or my friends live in L.A.. True there is a disparity between the classes, but it was good to know that the standard of living in Guatemala City seems to be improving for many.
Residential. Visible on the drive between where we stayed and where we were working.
I thought this is what most of Guatemala would look like. On our way to Antigua.
Radio Stars: One evening after work, we were invited to be on a radio program that is very popular in Guatemala. The host Phantom, the gentleman wearing the skull mask and Darth Vader shirt, was a pretty funny guy. We were all interviewed about what we do, why we are in Guatemala, and more. There aren’t many companies doing what we were doing, so this was a first for the radio show. Our contact at the studio has been on once or twice, though, and he translated for us. We had a great time. We were instant stars.
Downtown: We spent most of our time in Guatemala City. The city is like any other metropolitan city I’ve been to. I was pretty impressed both with the architecture and the roads. There were few stop lights and very few road markings (lines, lanes, etc.) but we saw very few accidents. Here in L.A. accidents are a dime a dozen. I was amazed that we only saw two cars broken down on the road, and it looked like one had a flat. The other seemed to have engine trouble. Maybe we just missed the accidents, but I was impressed that, despite the lack of lanes and “rules” that we seem to have in the States, everyone was driving along just fine. I was terrified, though.
There were things that were the same, but different. Take stop signs for instance: