30 January 2008

Quinoa Muffins

For those who enjoy the vegetarian recipes I post, you probably already know that quinoa is a grain that offers a decent amount of complete protein. A few days ago I made these quinoa muffins that are filling and great for a quick breakfast. The recipe is available here. I tweaked it a bit by adding some chopped dried apricots (walnuts would be great, too) and a teaspoon of cinnamon.

28 January 2008

Aunt Jane is Visting Soon.

Don't know what I'm talking about, you say? Check the designs in the posts below for clues about what has been running through my mind lately. Dear Aunt Jane will be appearing shortly. An English major in possession of a Gocco must be in want of some paper. And some Jane.

27 January 2008

Robert Ryan

I absolutely adore the work of Robert Ryan, also know as misterrob on Etsy. His prints are lovely and funny at once.

26 January 2008

New Wave Regency? Part 2

This wallpaper from Familjen (available on Le Souk) has been making the blog rounds lately.

It's another design that caught my eye because it seems a little Regency period, and a little modern--- like the gallery hall of a British country house, simplified. I love the idea of hanging photos are other objects, like hooks for jewelry, in the frames.

25 January 2008

New Wave Regency?

I've been greedily devouring the Jane Austen adaptations on PBS this month (can't wait for Sunday night), and it is inspiring a new line of Gocco prints that I'm still envisioning in my head.

In any case, I love this image from Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre. It feels modern but has a Regency-period style to it as well (not to mention a quirky sense of humor).

23 January 2008

Paper Menagerie and DaWanda

I am so pleased and excited to share that DaWanda and Print and Pattern are featuring some great picks right now. With each featured item purchased, shoppers get a special gift--- a card from Paper Menagerie! Please check out the international array of talent on display!

21 January 2008

A Legacy

I know I usually keep my posts apolitical, but I wanted to pause today to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I've committed my career to working in underserved, underfunded schools. Despite the fact that there are some bad days on this job (as with any), I've always felt that my work was important, that even making the commitment to do it was important. This past Friday, a student of mine looked up from his desk and stated that without Dr. King, I would not be teaching the students I teach. While I disagreed with him in terms of historical accuracy (Brown v. Board of Education was in 1954, one year before King's famous Montgomery bus boycott), I agreed with him in spirit.

However, I want to remphasize that I work in underserved, underfunded schools. And yes, these schools are predominantly African-American. King's legacy continues to be disregarded and disrespected by the way in which we fund our public schools, and in public policies such as No Child Left Behind. Until we demand parity in the way in which we fund school districts, and value all students--- all children--- on their potential rather than their race and their income, King's legacy will not be fully realized.

19 January 2008

February Sale

As the New Year progress and my big 3-0 looms, I've decided to mark the occasion by having a special sale in my Etsy shop. If you buy 3 cards you get one free! Details are in my shop announcement--- click here for more details.

Maybe I Was Just Born in the Wrong Era . . .

or maybe I just like to listen to familiar sounds as I work. Sometimes I find ideas flow best when I don't have to concentrate on anything else. In any case, I thought I would share some of my favorite older albums to listen to while I print designs. This list is by no means comprehensive (I swear I listen to more than folk and sad songs!), but the albums are standbys that I always fall back on. Some I remember from my childhood, while others are ones I discovered as my musical tastes broadened.
  1. Graceland, Paul Simon
  2. Blue, Joni Mitchell
  3. Pink Moon, Nick Drake
  4. Greatest Hits, Simon and Garfunkel
  5. Astral Weeks, Van Morrison
  6. Chelsea Girl, Nico
  7. Abbey Road, The Beatles
  8. Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys
  9. Stardust, Willie Nelson

17 January 2008

Yeah, That About Sums It Up

2007 was a great year. And I'm really looking forward to 2008--- in less than a month I'll be turning 30, and life seems to be falling into place in some really lovely ways right now.

In a word, I'm feeling pretty lucky.

Like the card? It's available in my Etsy shop.

14 January 2008

Repurposed, Reprettied Stickers Now For Sale

One of my major goals this year was to incorporate more recycled and repurposed materials into my work. I listed these stickers (made from recycled images) in my Etsy shop today.

Beatle Mania

I usually don't post Etsy treasuries, but I was so thrilled to be featured in the "Beatles Song Mania" treasury by PicturesofLily. The Beatles were a definite inspiration for my "All you need is love" valentine, and the whole idea is just so cool! Strawberry fields forever from things are better with a parrott. And love the walrus mask print from Matty8080. I am the walrus, coo coo ca choo!

12 January 2008

Vogue's Alice in Wonderland

I have loved this photo spread since it was published in Vogue in December of 2003. I had to post my three favorite images here for safekeeping.

Writer's Strike Doodles

While I am waiting for more Gocco supplies to be delivered (blast you, UPS!), I've made the resolution to pick up the pen and begin sketching. I usually use vintage illustrations in my designs, but lately I've been wanting to return to my love of drawing. I just hope the abilities I used to have in my high school years come back with practice!

Thursday night I couldn't find my sketchbook, but I did have an old book on hand that I had already torn up for prints. Bored and mourning the last new episode of 30 Rock, I produced these little doodles. I love the interplay of text and drawing.

And mainly, it was fun to do something different, with no thought of whether or not it was perfect! Here's hoping the writer's strike will help me get more creative.

10 January 2008

A New Year for New Projects

Julia at minecreations posted a list of intended craft projects for 2008.

I, too, am a fastidious keeper of lists. Unfortunately, I can never seem to keep them all in one place. They float into the ether on scraps of old envelopes, random emails to myself I late delete, Post-It notes that the dog eats . . . you get the idea.

So here are my crafty intentions for 2008 for all the world to see:
  1. Get back into sewing. I need to buy a new machine and have an eye on a Janome for my birthday. (The picture above is my grandmother's old Singer that I learned on. My later model Singer does not work well at all.)
  2. Make some clothes for myself. I really want to try the Simplicity patterns put out by Built by Wendy.
  3. Sew some cute, reusable grocery bags.
  4. Experiment with Gocco printing on wood.
  5. Experiment with a combination of Gocco printing and embroidery.
  6. Read The New Gocco Guide by Claire Russell.
  7. Learn needle felting and make little mini versions of my pups.
  8. Keep a sketchbook and draw regularly in it, rather than relying on the vision in my head.
  9. Bind another book with the method I learned from the lovely Angela Liguori.
  10. Knit up the super soft, super luxe bamboo yarn my mom bought me for Christmas!
And yeah, you know this list is bound to get longer.

09 January 2008

Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola

I have a thing for mushrooms; I like their meaty goodness more than any other meat substitute. I also really, really like cheese. The stinkier the better. Tonight I tried this relatively simple vegetarian recipe from Real Simple. It's very rich and filling. Click here for the recipe.

Blog Giveaway

As the new year progresses I want to recommit to regularly posting on my blog. I enjoy writing and reflecting, but at the end of the day, I find myself struggling to put words together on here.

That's where you come in, dear reader. Please leave a comment below answering these two questions----

First, if you are a regular reader, what keeps you coming back to my blog?

Second, what would you like to see more of on here? Works in progress? Inspirations? Designs from other artists? Make a note or two of what you'd like to see more of in the future.

I'll close the contest on Sunday and draw a name from those who leave comments--- the winner can select any card (single card only, please) they like in my Etsy shop!

07 January 2008

Poppytalk Handmade!

I'm so excited that I will again be a participant on Poppytalk Handmade, a fantastic online venue for handmade goods (the artists seen in the image above are just a portion of what's available). The theme this month is "Love Transforms," and showcases a lot of lovely items for Valentine's Day and weddings. Follow the link to check it out!

06 January 2008


I've been a huge fan of artist David Hockney for awhile, and was thrilled to catch his show at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts awhile back. I came across this online Hockneyizer, which will reconfigure digital pictures in the style of some of his work. Here's a shot of a family member's dogs, Hockneyized!

Paper and Chocolate

. . . two of my favorite things. I had fun shooting "lifestyle" shots this weekend (and eating the props after). These sweet Valentines will be featured on Poppytalk Handmade starting tomorrow! They're also available for sale in my Etsy shop.

Repurposed, Repretty

One major business goal for 2008 is to incorporate more recycled and repurposed materials into my work. As a paper and magazine junkie, I have lots of images around the house that are just too pretty to toss in the recycle bin yet. I spent last night creating these stickers (with permanent, archival adhesive) from old magazines. The heart stickers will be sent out with Etsy orders placed before Valentines Day, while the butterfly and cornflower shapes will become part of my spring line, as soon as I figure out some clever packaging.

05 January 2008

Tofu Marsala (Vegan)

Another yummy recipe tried. This one comes courtesy of Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers (I found it in Vegetarian Times awhile back) and is great on a cold January night.

4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups Marsala wine
1 cake firm tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
10 ounces moonlight or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper
one loaf crusty bread

In a pot on medium heat, cook the garlic in the oil until it just sizzles, then add bell pepper, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the Marsala and tofu and cook on high heat for 4 minutes to reduce the wine a bit. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes and cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth.

04 January 2008

All You Need Is Love

I walked down the aisle to the Canadian Brass version of The Beatles song, and I really do believe it's true. That's why it was an idea I just had to incorporate into my first line of Valentine's Day cards. These are lovely flat notes with scalloped edges, on sale now in my Etsy shop.

01 January 2008

Goodbye, Hello

It sounds cliche, but what an amazing year 2007 has been. My husband and I planned and celebrated our wedding. We lost one fantastic dog due to cancer and rescued another great pup. We're now in the midst of planning a cross-country move . . . one major resolution is to become more educated about home ownership! Time seems to go faster and faster as I get older, and this morning seems like a good time to try to take a breath and absorb some of the major, fantastic, exciting, amazing things that happened this year. (Can you tell it's been a good one?)

This year also meant a lot of progress in my creative life. I bought a Gocco and learned how to use it. A course in letterpress and bookbinding at Albertine Press kept my creative juices flowing. It's been exciting to open my new Etsy shop under my new business name, and its been doubly exciting to be part of Boston Handmade, featured on blogs, and part of online portfolios like Trunkt and Poppytalk Handmade.

2008 promises to be just as good. I have two major business goals for the New Year:
  • Incorporate more recycled and repurposed materials into my work.
  • Develop a broader line for my Etsy shop, including stickers, bookplates, and journals.
Thank you for reading my blog this year. May 2008 be a happy, healthy, and creative year for you and yours.
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