Artwork, handmade, Illustration, Typography

Today Will be a Good Day: Illustration

Hello Friday!

 

Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? I hope to go to the park and sketch in the sunshine for a while. I started out the day with a delicious iced coffee (with whipped cream and sprinkles, of course) AND an illustration.

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Today will be a good day, indeed.

 

This typographic  illustration was hand lettered with pen and ink. I used Copic Markers, Prismacolors, gold Sharpie, and chalk markers.

Artwork, design, Drawings, Freelance Work, Graphic Design, Greeting Cards, Uncategorized

Save the Dates

I was asked to design Save the Dates for digital distribution (the bride-to-be wanted to email them to friends and loved ones so that she can spend more money on the wedding invitations). After a few sketches, she approved this design and layout:

 

I created this design that features Peonies, a favorite flower of the couple.

The design was created using original floral illustrations and existing fonts.

Uncategorized

Birthday Weekend in Ellicottville

I had the extreme pleasure of spending a couple days in Ellicottville, NY. It feels like it is “up North” when it is, in fact, a Ski-Town South of Buffalo. The city is best known for the Holiday Valley Ski Resort not too far from the “downtown” area. It is a small village, but it is a lovely place to visit. My boyfriend’s grandparents have had property there for decades and he says the little town is becoming more of a destination throughout the year

Ellicottville Weekend.

They have a great brewing company in the main stretch, and I wanted to tour their facilities. They offer a tour that lasts about an hour, AND it came with some great samples of their new and seasonal beers…and a cute little engraved glass.

Ellicottville Brewing Co

The young man in charge of the tour was a wealth of information on the brewing process in general, and the specifics of EBC. It was really neat to see all of the equipment that they had…some of it was very old, others were state-of-the-art.

Ellicottville Brewing Co

One of the other great things about the tour was the upstairs/banquet area. The addition is newer (it still smells like fresh-cut wood) and is generally reserved for large parties or weddings. The guide showed us some of the large planks of wood were put together using traditional Amish building techniques without the use of metal screws or nails. The beautiful coloration on the ceiling planks is due to beetles and pests that have been causing damage to trees in the Pacific Northwest… Apparently the beetles dig into the wood and eventually die there, leaving their pigmentation in the wood.

EBC tour

After admiring the woodwork, we went on to sample some delicious beers. They had a small upstairs bar where they offered some of their signature beers and some new seasonal options. Sadly my favorite, the peach beer, is available only at the brewery. **Obligatory birthday photo. Look at my cute little EBC glass!**

The next day we woke up (sort of) early and went on a hike. There is a lot of greenery in Ellicottville, which is great. This area was not far from where we stayed. We went on a short hike here, but had plans to visit the Arboretum, so we did not go too far.

Ellicottville Weekend

There were loads of toads and other wildlife. We didn’t see any foxes, though. That would have really made my day

.Ellicottville Weekend

After our hike, we went and got coffee, a most important ingredient in my mornings.

Ellicottville Weekend

At the coffee shop, we got directions to the Arboretum. The Arboretum was lovely, although it was small. There were many different plants and birds that we saw along the way. My favorite part of the space was the Torii Gates. We have a tiny Torii Gate for the Hermit Crabs, so it made me think of the little guys.

After the Arboretum, we went to Holiday Valley.

Ellicottville Weekend

In the summer and early fall, Holiday Valley has a fun action-filled set up called “Sky High Adventure Park”. The weather was not supposed to hold up all day, so we decided to do the most fun option available. They have this awesome little roller-coaster called the “Mountain Coaster”. It is basically a tiny roller-coaster down the mountain in which you are able to control the brakes and the overall speed of the ride. It was super fun and a little scary in parts. The ride is nearly a mile in length, and my boyfriend and I were able to ride it with no other people on the track. It was so fun, and the perfect end to a lovely birthday weekend.

DIY, MonDIY

MonDIY: Make your own Craspedia bouquet Part 2

Picking up where we left off in the first part of our tutorial on how to make your one Craspedia Bouquet…

Step 3: Get your glue on.

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Use a generous amount of glue on each skewer “stem” to ensure you do not lose your flowers along the line.

This is pretty easy. One by one, take a skewer and put a generous amount of glue on the sharp end. Take the glue-covered end and place a wool felt ball on top of it.

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Putting the glue on the skewer ensures that your bouquet will last well into spring and summer.

Twist the ball a few times to ensure the glue is evenly distributed. Set aside to dry.

**If you are concerned about the glue showing once it has dried, feel free to use a glue that says “clear dry”. I have had no issues with the Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue, though. It just takes longer to dry clear than other brands.

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Just the right amount of glue.

Step 4:  Dry and arrange.

Fortunately, this project does not require a long wait-time for the glue to dry. That being said, it is wise to place your flowers in a wide-mouth jar or other container where they have ample space to dry without touching each other. I used a mason jar to dry the painted skewers first, and then again when letting the glue dry on the flowers themselves.

Aren't they cute?
Aren’t they cute?

When your flowers are completely dry, please arrange them how you would like them in your favorite vase or jar. This is where cutting the skewers at the beginning will come in handy. The variance in heights really makes the bouquet extra special.

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The varied height gives a lovely effect to these flowers.

I Took photos of my bouquet in a few different vases and vessels.

What a lovely reminder that spring is on the way.
What a lovely reminder that spring is on the way.

The vase in this photograph was detailed with gold paint. I took a glass vase, masking tape, and gold paint, and painted the bottom part of the vase for a regal look.

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A mason jar and some twine. Ain’t nothing better than that.

You could even get crazy and do colorful felt balls in an empty growler like I did with this bouquet…

The blue flowers look great in this colorful growler.
The blue flowers look great in this colorful growler.

Good luck with your creations!

Artwork, Fiber Arts, Screen Printing

Feliz Dia De Los Muertos

calavera tote bagHappy “Dia De Los Muertos”, Everyone!

Today we celebrate the “Day of the Dead” with a new tote bag from Pink Toe Press! This bag was designed by Yours Truly and was hand-printed in Burbank, CA. This new bag design is currently available at Rocket Fizz Burbank and in my Etsy shop! This bag is a great tote bag for Day of the Dead, of course, but the design is great for using all year round! Bring a bag to market for your groceries or fill it with books for class. The bag itself measures 13 inches by 13 inches and is made from durable cotton canvas, so you can tote just about anything in this great Calavera Tote Bag!

Artwork, Drawings, Graphic Design, Painting, Typography

Fearless Flyer

I’m sure you know by now, but I am working as a Sign Artist at Trader Joe’s. Every so-often we have Fearless Flyers, sales specials and new-item flyers that showcase some of our awesome product. Each store decorates to let the customers know that the “Flyers have landed!” This month we’ve decided to give the flyer a “Sailor Jerry”-syle nautical tattoo theme.

Fearless Flyer Feb Process
The “Fearless Flyer” is an almost-monthly flyer sent to customers that features some of our favorite items, seasonal items, and more!

Here are some photos of works in progress:

This photograph shows the work in progress and the original sketch as well as color-blocking and color ideas. We use paint, markers, and paint markers to do signs like this. The paint markers save a lot of time because they dry so quickly!

Fearless Flyer Feb Process
Each store decorates for their Flyer differently.

This is one of my favorite signs. This sign is going to go over the wine and liquor section. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with some great wines and cheese. Several great wines and cheeses are featured this month!

Fearless Flyer Feb Process
We chose to do a theme that would also fit with some of our Valentines decorations and specials happening in the store at the same time.

This sign is probably going to go over the “Demo” area. Swallows, roses, and fun lettering make for eye-catching signs.

Fearless Flyer Feb Process
In progress.

Another swallow sign. Did you know that swallows symbolize love and loyalty? We love our loyal customers! :-)

Now here are the final pieces, hung and ready for the Flyer:

February Fearless Flyer Decorations
Hanging up and ready to go!

This sign is above our cheese and deli meats section. There are quite a few products featured from this section. Make your honey some fondue this Valentine’s Day!

February Fearless Flyer Decorations

This sign is hanging above the liquor section. Don’t forget the snacks to go with your drinks!

February Fearless Flyer Decorations

All dry and ready to be brought up to the front of the store. How exciting!

February Fearless Flyer Decorations

This sign is on the far left of our veggie cooler where our bagged veggies and fruits are kept.

February Fearless Flyer Decorations

This sign is on the far right of our veggie cooler where our bagged veggies and fruits are kept.

February Fearless Flyer Decorations
Reminding our customers that the Flyer is here and that they should pick one up before they’re gone!

This sign is a little wider than the rest and fit perfectly above the Demo section. It reminds our customers who are tasting the demo items that they are available in this month’s flyer! Yum!

I’ll be sure to post more photos as I take them. That’s all for the signs for this month’s flyer, but I will be sure to share more photos of more projects soon!

Artwork, Drawings, Greeting Cards

Calavera Dog

Calaveras, or Sugar Skulls, are a mainstay of the holiday Dia De Los Muertos. Molded from sugar, traditional Calaveras represent the sweetness of life and the sadness of death. I’ve always loved and been fascinated by this holiday ever since I was young. My Spanish teacher in primary school was raised in Mexico, and she introduced us to the holiday and its traditions.

Living in Southern California, I really enjoy visiting Olvera Street during the Dia De Los Muertos celebration. It’s something I look forward to every year. Death is a sad part of life, but I think that celebrating someone’s life is a good way to start when mourning someone’s death. This Calavera is of a dog’s skull. I was inspired of the memory of our beloved family dog who passed away not too long ago. Drawn using markers and pens, this drawing is nice and colorful. I think this would make a lovely card or tattoo design. Or both! Who knows, maybe I’ll Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos in style by getting this awesome tattoo.

Artwork, Graphic Design, Greeting Cards, Typography

Get Well Soon

Do you know someone who is sick? I find it so hard to find the “right” card for someone who isn’t feeling well. Whether they have the common cold, surgery, or something more serious, it’s hard to find a card that can speak to the recipient without being too sarcastic or overly dramatic. I designed this card to be simple, elegant, and tasteful. No matter what your friend or loved one is suffering from, this card is sure to brighten their day.

Graphic Design, Greeting Cards, New Artwork, Photography

Card for New Baby and New Parents

It’s almost Father’s Day. I was inspired to make this card by my friends who just had their first baby. Congrats to them and their little boy!

Ever the defector, I decided to make this card without the traditional blues and pinks that seem to dominate the baby card market. I was never one for pink and frills when I was young, even as a baby; I kept that in mind with the colors of this card. This card was designed so that it could work for a girl or a boy.

Uncategorized

TRIP TO GUATEMALA: TRAVELING TO THE MAYAN RUINS AND ANTIGUA

Our trip took us to the countryside of Guatemala. Traveling from Guatemala City to Antigua and the Mayan ruins, we saw many things along the way. I took hundreds of photos on the trip, many of them on the road between the city and the country. Here are a selection of my favorites.

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Despite the clouds, you could see for miles.

Driving through the countryside, this is what I thought ALL of Guatemala would be like. I was surprised how quickly the city stopped and the country began. No suburban communities, housing developments. Just city, then country.

Hotel Mayan
A sign on the side of the mountain. Way cooler than billboards!

One of the coolest things about the Guatemalan roads is their busses. Our guide told us that they are school busses that are drivable but no longer up-to-code for driving in the USA. (I guess all those smog tests really do mean something) I could tell that there were emission problems with some of the busses, but most of them seemed to be a lifeline in the countryside communities. The busses are much like the run-of-the-mill city busses in LA. They always seemed full of people when we were on the road. Often, people’s luggage was stored on the racks installed on the top of the bus. It reminded me of Romancing the Stone.

Cool Bus
This custom paint job is excellent! Is “Patzuneria” the buses’ name?

I think my favorite part about the buses is their fabulous paint jobs. Our guide said that sometimes the drivers will either paint the bus themselves or hire an artist to do the detailing.

Cool Bus
This bus means BUSiness!
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This one was my favorite. A lot of detail went into this beauty.
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A splash of color on a cloudy day!
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You can see some luggage up top.

Once we made it into smaller cities outside of Antigua, I saw the Guatemala I had been imagining. The rural areas were full of farmland and shops selling the necessities.

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I never did find out who or what “Lider” was.
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This looked like a good place to stop where you could get food AND tires for your car.
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Hospital de Los Angeles!
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A handsome building with overgrowth on part of the roof.
Lider
There’s that “Lider” fellow again…
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Dispensa Familiar: a superstore (similar to Walmart). I love their logo.
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A dentist’s office. Love the painting on the wall!
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There were dozens of churches along the road. This one was the only green one that I recall.
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“Welcome to Antigua”

Once we arrived in Antigua, our first stop was in a monestary. It was a beautiful space full of beauty and a little mystery.

A Building in Antigua
A cross. By happenstance or was it painted on?
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Ruins in downtown Antigua.
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I believe that some of the monks were buried in this area to the left.

Our guide said that this was a destination spot for tourists and locals alike. The space housed many private and semi-private areas that would be perfect for parties or even weddings. There was a beautiful garden with all manner of plants and a man who had performing parrots with him. There was a wedding in one of the private areas.

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The parrot was not to be bothered by paparazzi.
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A small glimpse of the flowers before we got caught in a torrential downpour!

As we were exploring the grounds, an incredible storm rolled through and we made our way to the covered shops. I was able to buy some fantastic coffee and some chocolates to bring home with me. My coworkers purchased some other (fancier) goods from street vendors including a jade jaguar for Paul’s wife and Toni got a blanket for her mother. Both got great deals. I wasn’t so good at haggling, but I did get some trinkets for my family back home.

Sign in Antigua
I tried to find some painted tiles like this, but to no avail…
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We had to stop here to get some home-made treats before we headed out of town.

After we purchased (more than our fair share of) treats from El Rosario, we headed on our way to see the Mayan Ruins. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to see them!

Antigua
Beautiful plants growing on the roof of this building.

And now we begin our journey to the ruins…

To the Ruins
Wonderful signage to point the way to the ruins!