Saturday, June 28, 2014

Can't sleep.

It's late again, and my brain won't turn off! Hopefully a lil blog update will get some thoughts off my head and I can snooze soon!

An exhausting week personally as I had to say goodbye to my best friend who moved to Peru. I won't see her for a year and it's been strange to think about! Who knows what anything will be like in a year!  That's how it goes though. We're all growing up and moving and doing things! So happy she is loving it and loving what she is doing. I can only hope I'll be that lucky too. I'm patient :) 

Anyways, because of this weird transition period I needed to get my hands busy so my brain wouldn't be working overtime! I went back to embroidering this week because it's incredibly therapeutic. Crafting words in delicate cloth with sharp needles makes you feel better every time, promise. 

I bought a bunch of handkerchiefs and decided to be punny! I have a lot of little sayings I wanna try out, so it should be fun!

I'm interested in selling them too, people seem to like what they see so far so that's encouraging. It's all for fun, but I definitely don't need a million hankies laying around my house if other people want 'em! 

This one is my favorite so far. It's for soaking up tears! A subtle reminder that you can't control everything and it's not worth all the stress and sadness! White thread on white. 

I'm working on more so once I get them finished, I'll keep updating this. Hopefully that's not too pesky and annoying.

One of my old classmates/friends saw these and wants some for her upcoming wedding. So stoked already! 

It's fun making fun things. 
Anyways, it's time to toss and turn! xoxo

Ps. I'm WAY behind in everything hip but I just found the 40 days of dating blog and I obsessively read 35 days all tonight. It's such a cool concept with such talented designers! Love their little handwritten notes and wisdom and how they got other amazing designer/illustrators to letter some of their key words. It's just very cool and honest and well executed! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Art Trades!

A couple months ago, an old high school classmate and I discussed doing an art trade. I really wanted one of his photographs of Tucson for my walls and instead of hashing out a price, we decided to trade for it. He told me some of his interests and I follow him on tumblr so even though I don't know him well, I was able to understand his aesthetic and interests at at least a basic level.

After school ended, I was able to devote some time to actually drawing. Everything I made looked terrible though. Aubrey Plaza's face is so hard to draw, I just couldn't replicate her beauty and attitude. After scrapping some ideas, I ended up watching a Steve Buscemi movie, Living in Oblivion, and I began sketching that beautiful face. 

My sketches are very primitive and not exciting, but I realized I HAD to draw those Buscemi eyes. 

The beginning stages of the portrait.

These are the end results. To the left is a portrait I did of Richie Tenenbaum (process not shown, sorry! But essentially the same.) He is way more wacky and colorful because I thought he needed to be spiced up. To the right is the finished Buscemi! I added the gold leaves because I wanted it to be kind of shrine-like. 

I also printed some Winona stickers for him because he really likes her. Everyone seems most impressed with those, but I honestly can't take much credit and I could neverrrr sell them because they aren't drawn by me (just google images that are edited.) I did draw some Winona forever heart stickers. But alas, the attention should be on the art.

Here is all the contents of the package, I wrote a silly handwritten note too explaining the art and thanking him for trading with me.

Now you might be wondering why this looks different than the computer image above. It's a wood transfer. Wood transfers are these really time consuming way to make more one of a kind prints. It's basically attaching a flipped image to wood with gel medium, waiting for it to dry for 24 hours and then peeling away the paper pulp very very slowly. 

Here is an in progress shot of the pulp peeling. It's really messy and if you're not patient, you can end up peeling off the ink that's attached. As you can see in the final piece, I opted to have it look a little bit tattered and worn. I ended up using sandpaper to distress it more around edges. 

(It is possible to get a fairly perfect wood transfer though! I made this mini portrait, only 2x3 inches!, to sell on Etsy and it turned out really nicely. Patience and luck.) 

My favorite thing is mailing packages! First off, the post office has this smell that reminds me of my childhood and really makes me giddy/excited to receive presents (haha.) Secondly, I'm addicted to washi tape and baker's twine and stickers. So so fun making things look pretty! 

He ended up really loving his package and that's always such a great feeling! I like when people like what I do and making people happy with something I created is really priceless. Can't wait to get my package from him in the mail so I can frame that photograph. It's so cool, guys! (Follow Emery and his film photography at:

Anyways, if you're interested in Buscemi or Richie Tenenbaum, I am selling mini wood portraits on my Etsy! One has already been sold, but I am in the process of making more so keep checking back! :)

This is a little print I made a while ago (last year?) when I was so stressed out and my friend was going through some hard times. Someone recently mentioned they would love it to hang in their office so I found a perfect frame and sent it off as a little appreciation gift for their support. Yah! 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Review

I just finished up this excellently illustrated graphic novel and I had to post a little something about it. Jillian Tamaki spent a year illustrating this 316 page book and I read it in... Two hours.


I always feel bad that I read graphic novels so quickly because they take so much time to create, but hey! I still loved it.

Love the navy blue hued printing and the crazy detailed illustrations. Really beautiful coming of age story. Maybe I'm a little too old for it to truly capture my full attention but still would recommend. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

What Home Looks Like

Small preview of this repetitive saguaro pattern I just finished up! As you can see in the previous post, I watercolored all the cacti and then today, I scanned, arranged and patterned them. I'm getting pretty good at making repetitive patterns and I'm so excited about it! I can make miles and miles of this! Print it on cloth or print it on paper! Make clothes, make wallpaper, make wrapping paper, cards... Everything.

Saguaros make up the landscape of where I live and where I grew up and lately I see them all over the internet. It's just kind funny because people who have never seen a real saguaro draw them so static (nothing wrong with that, I still love their interpretations of them!) But really... They're lumpy, they have weirdly placed arms (some have no arms at all! Takes 100 years before they can grow,) they have "boots" and birds nests and javelina chew on them too! They are all so unique and strange and I never really see them portrayed that way. I don't know if I did them any more justice, but this shows a range of colors and how different they can be! I can't WAIT to start making things with this pattern. Really happy and excited. (I might soften the orange background too, but right now it reminds me of the red dirt you can find here and the orange sunsets too... Hmm... We'll see!)

Edit: Now I'm drawing little thorns on the cacti in Photoshop... Everything is a work in progress!