Sunday, May 30, 2010

The only thing better than a good book...

Do you agree with me that the only thing better than a good book is a good friend?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Twelve Days fabric

Last week was Quilt Market... and the unveiling of new fabric collections.

My Twelve Days of Christmas, one of two new groups of fabric I designed, showed up nicely in the Clothworks Textiles booth. (Click here for Clothworks Textiles, where you can open a catalog or see my two fabric collections which will be arriving in stores in June and July, and even find a store near you.)

Sometimes it's just so much fun to see your images on a product that it makes you want to turn cartwheels. That's how I feel about this collection. 

Something tells me I'll be spending a wee bit o' time at the sewing machine soon. 
Isn't this fun?

And there's more! A wonderful company called Demdaco, one of my favorite licensing partners will be releasing a Twelve Days collection of giftware in January... lots of Christmas goodness coming to stores for Christmas 2011. Hooray!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

In the studio

Is there a place you love so much you can't help grinning when you walk in the door?

For me it's my own little studio in the garden.

Come peek inside! It's such a happy place.

Penny dozes on the cheerful rug and my creative mess can stay where it is, with the door closed at the end of the day and nobody to criticize.

Look at the slouchy old chair, filled with down and oh so cosy... the type case crammed to overflowing with delicious fonts of lead and wood type! 

Want a closer look? I always do... and then I end up fingering the letters and spelling out words I love...

marshmallow, butterfly, foxglove, chandelier...

And it would not be me if there were not cut paper!

In my studio even the curtains are made of snips of this and that...

From this window I can see the deck that leads to the kitchen. Just right for a late night snack!

Good thing I stopped on the way up to pick some rhubarb for crisps this afternoon.

Perfect for a snack, and I love pairing grandma's plates with Crate & Barrel's square lime dishes.

And best of all is sharing it with a friend... and in this case I'm tickled pink because guess who is waiting to eat it with me? Annie, the sweetest assistant anyone ever had. Smartest, too. 

Now you know what's up in the studio. It's crazy busy, pleasantly messy and happy right down to the scraps waiting to be swept up in the corners.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Be it ever so humble

... there truly is no place like home.

I have been enjoying the simple pleasures of fresh lettuces from our own garden, eggs gathered from our friendly yellow hens, and restfulness of my own pillow.

Just down the road the horse is joyful in his brilliant golden field...

and even though they are only weeds, what a cheerful sight they are.

Weeds can be gorgeous, too, can't they?

Returning from yesterday's walk, I was greeted with that happy annual sight:
the heirloom Colette roses are in bloom!

What joy!

I couldn't resist them, and had to capture their freshness on a full sheet of watercolor paper. 
Decadence for a Sunday afternoon.

First I drizzled petals all over the paper, then did a simple pencil sketch...

And in the evening, when the rest of the household slumbered, I splashed!

What joy to be able to paint something and pin it up in the dining room for a fresh touch.

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like your own home made home.

What have you made lately to grace your home? I would love to hear from you!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Feeling the love...

Sometimes you feel a glow that just hangs on a while.

The Louie awards are like the Emmys of the stationery industry. I loved being at Chelsea Pier for the gala award evening... and then to win a Louie again was frosting on a very wonderful cake!

I can't share the news of upcoming products from the show yet but there was plenty, and so much of it almost too good to be true. 

No wonder I love my job. How can this really be the life of the extraordinarily ordinary me? It seems like a dream...

After the show closed, Annie and I had a few hours to wander the City. 

And wander we did!

I adore the Central Park Zoo, with its arched sculptures and the Delacorte Clock.

Every square inch of Central Park holds a delight and an inspiration.

After a blissful stroll, we headed down Madison Avenue, where I freely confess to drooling over the window displays and sighing at the delights in Barney's. I am dying to paint with a technique inspired by a canvas I saw at the top of their third floor stairway. Oooh-la-la! Their windows are amazing.

Truly there is no place like home but New York always leaves me with a special glow. 
Sighing with delight over the sights and sounds, the memories of wonderful challenges faced and savored.

I'll share the news of exciting new products soon...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Whirlwind in New York

Do you ever feel time has been compressed and you're living on fast forward?

I have lived at least a month this past week. At least.

I'll share a few juicy bits about the Surtex design show in New York City over the next few days.

There's nothing like an empty booth and an Everest-sized pile of materials to give a girl that "wow!" feeling. Too bad you can't see the oh-so-big stack of stuff in the aisle, but trust me, it was there.

Here is a not-so-flattering shot of my booth. I actually loved how it felt... rather too cluttery but it felt so much like my studio that I was comfy as a clam in its shell. 

This is another view of the booth.

I loved the freedom of a paper-covered desk that allowed me to actually letter right there! Loved the ink stand with my biz cards and goodies scattered everywhere, just like at home in the studio...

And oh! what fun to hug old friends and meet new ones I will treasure...

Have you visited the blog of gifted design guru Eddie Ross? It's the ultimate in delicious eye candy. Eddie and Jaithan stopped by for play with paper and ink. What fun they are!

After the fun Eddie snapped pics to preserve the memories.

My friend,  talented artist Jane Shasky was right next door to share a few chocolates and flowers...

and my wonderful mentee and cherished friend Caroline Simas made me so proud and happy.

And then there were the Louie awards. The Louies are like the Emmy awards of the greeting card industry & I was delighted to win last year.

This year was even better, with a win for the card I designed for Sunrise Greetings, part of an Asian collection featuring koi. What fun! The card doesn't show up well here but the excitement does...

Do I sound a bit breathless? I am!

I'll share more tomorrow about this week's adventures of a small town girl in the City...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Chaos in the studio

Every spring I tell myself I'll be more organized.

This year I have decided to give up that impossible promise and just go with the flow.

Did you notice the hiatus in posts? If you saw the chaos in the studio you would know why!

Getting ready for a New York show, writing some magazine articles, keeping up with deadlines and trying to lead a balanced life has left me hopeless when it comes to neatness. And many other things have been let go as well. The house looks almost as bedraggled and wild as the work space.

I am surrendering to the joy & freedom of a messy but very fertile studio!

Did I ever mention that I'm not much of a shopper?

Well, that does not apply when it comes to art supplies. I went to Letters of Joy, a calligraphy conference last week and acted like a true shopaholic! Above is an antique French inkstand I had to have. It even looks elegant on my paint-drizzled work table, waiting to be packed for the trip to New York, and less humble surroundings...

One of my favorite buys was this collection of German pearlescent paints, which has me swooning.
What dense, rich metallics! And they flow from the nibs like magic.

I was working on Christmas ornaments for ClothPaperScissors magazine here and oh, what fun. You will have to wait until their holiday issue if you want to see more because I am sworn to secrecy. But there's a glimpse at the beginning of the project which has been pure bliss. Truly~ pure bliss!

I probably won't post much until I get home from New York but then I will have so much arty goodness to share that I'll probably bore you silly with a zillion photos. Meantime here is a tell-all photo of the hurricane-like disaster I'm working in today.

Looks awful but it's better than a double root canal. That happens Wednesday. Shudder.

I'd better forget that and dip back into the ink pots!