Sunday, December 28, 2014

Home for Christmas

It had been weeks since we saw the sun when it finally broke through the clouds.

My husband and I were sitting with our good friends in their well appointed hand-built log home, chatting and gazing out their huge picture window overlooking dense Winter foliage. The electricity had gone out but the massive stone fireplace was crackling with cozy heat and soft light as the long awaited sun suddenly split the sky open and illuminated the millions of brilliant snow crystals floating through the snow enrobed forest. Pure magic.

I have a very good feeling about 2015.

Here are scenes from 2014's finale:

The fields of my youth.

I spent many Summer evenings bicycling down this country road when I was growing up.

My great grandparents farm.

Excuse me for waxing dramatic, but it really was. Happy Holidays all!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Few (or More) of My Favorite Things

As I wrapped Christmas presents and continued working through my Studio JKD to-do list this weekend I found myself pausing to enjoy a few of my favorite things.

My new favorite thermos from Ikea (it has my brand colors!) filled with my year round favorite peppermint green tea. Pausing in the dining room to enjoy the festive bouquet of eucalyptus I gathered in lieu of a Christmas tree this year. A frasier fir candle burning away on the stove while I enjoyed *gasp* cleaning the kitchen thanks to Mrs. Meyers totally yummy Iowa Pine kitchen products.

And so here are a few of my favorite things that I'm currently enjoying mingled with a few things I'm hoping to enjoy in 2015.

Pay attention Santa.

Ikea KULLAR Steel vacuum flask, light blue, $7.99 : Iowa Pine Dish Soap, $3.99 : THYMES Frasier Fir Pine Needle Candle, $28.00 : Inge-Glas Antique Owl Christmas Ornament from, $17.00 : Trader Joe's Candy Cane Green Tea : Spanish Small Pyrite Cube Mineral Specimen, $79.95 : Eucalyptus! I bought a huge bouquet at a garden shop in my neighborhood but WreathsForDoors has a nice selection on Etsy starting at $12.99 : Exotic Faux Fur Blanket from Restoration Hardware, $299 - $199

Monday, December 15, 2014

Star Gazing Bird & Buck Onesies/Tees

This weekend I accomplished my brand map, no easy feat in this digital age and long overdue. It's both my roadmap and my rearview mirror as I move into 2015 and it helped me move a couple of things off of my long overdue to do list.

1. Happy the Hodag and Buddy the Bulldog Plush up on eBay. Done.

2. Books and silkscreen projects up on Etsy. Done. Sort of. I have some letterpress things that still need to go up but I'm still going to feel good about this one!

My star gazing bird and buck (from Goodnight Ranger) are up on Etsy in limited quantities, special orders welcome. SHOP NOW!

I think the sun dappled green in these shots speak to the level of my procrastination. Oh Summer, you distract me so.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pin This

I'm not sure if I mentioned in a previous post that I only recently cleaned out my old room at my parents house? It was filled with the typical high school left overs compounded with post collage storage (I went to art school so this includes mounds of art and art making materials.) I then went ahead and self published a couple of books before I actually owned any sort of long term storage space and so the room was topped off with tons of STUFF from book signings, hosting booths at fairs and festivals, parades and other marketing endeavors. And it all landed in my cabin basement in a giant heap along side (and on top of) other giant heaps of random things to be sorted out during the Winter.

And sorted it finally was.

I have so many little collections of things I'd forgotten about until I was reaquainted with them over the weekend in my basement organizing endeavor. Boxes, bags and envelopes filled with cataloged inspiration I've collected over the years for making physical mood/inspiration boards for art and mostly design projects.

One such collection turned project involves vintage postcards. In college I amassed a huge collection of postcards that I eventually chopped up and made into postcard sized collages as part of my senior project. A friend of mine was starting an adventure travel company and I used these collages on posters, t-shirts and to craft his entire identity system... the logo was an awesome stamp I created... I wonder where that is?

Here is what I did find over the weekend. Circa 1998.

The fronts are collages while the backs are originals. The variety of vintage postcard backs were and are fascinating and beautiful, I liked that each back was unique from the other and so kept them as they were, an adventure in styles.

These are t-shirt designs. They've been sitting in a box for sixteen years, I imagine I was saving them as portfolio pieces. Now they are washed and folded in my drawer and the vintage wooden skis I used to hang them at my senior show have been transformed into coat racks and are now hanging in the cabin entryway.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tourmalinated Quartz & Glass

A weekend filled with rearranging shelves, artwork and rocks. Digging out and shooting piles of things that I've meant to throw up on eBay for awhile... a busy and somewhat fulfilling couple of days.

I have this little box filled with these little glass gems that I was going to put up for sale with some inexpensive quartz cuts we have but I don't know, these might come in handy for a blingy design project...

Check out these tourmalinated quartz cuts, so dramatic. Ugh. Now I don't want to get rid of anything.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Watercolor Fabric: Berry Bash & Mandarin Mash!

It occurred to me today, perhaps because it feels like January with all of this snow and these delightfully frigid temperatures, that I should start working on my New Year's resolutions.

High on that list, doing more watercolor painting, I do so love its potential.

(obviously I shot these a couple of weeks ago)

I took a couple of watercolor texture painting outtakes from my Eleven Odd Mushrooms project and loaded them up to Spoonflower and am very happy with the results.

Berry Bash Fabric
Mandarin Mash Fabric

I cut up one yard and made tea towels for gifts and now sort of want to just make the other yard into a hanging for my hallway... and maybe do some funky stuff to it with a needle and thread... we shall see as it would look pretty awesome as a blanket or a couple of pillows too. Until then, more tea towels!

Are we good friends? SPOILER: You might be getting some of these...

Hop on over to Spoonflower:

Berry Bash Fabric

Mandarin Mash Fabric

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Skulldag Fabric Tea Towels

Two things:

1. My Hodag Skull Fabric is now available on Spoonflower!

Hodag Skulls - Minty Blue Knockout

Hodag Skulls - Minty Blue

2. One yard makes 4 fabulous tea towels!
(An easy and inexpensive handmade Christmas present idea!)

Here is a little run down on how I made 4 tea towels from one yard of fabric ($27) for a wee under $7 each.

1.Buy your Skulldag fabric:

A. Select Linen Cotton Canvas as your fabric.

B. Select your size, I printed one yard each of 2 different designs
(this & that)

2. Trim the white border off of your yard of fabric.

3. Fold the yard in half evenly and cut along the fold crease.

4. Fold each of the two resulting pieces evenly and cut along the fold creases.

For each of the four resulting pieces:

5. Fold over and iron down a .25" on all sides.

5b. At this point you should mitre the edges, I didn't and the bulk on the corners is annoying, see how here!

6. Fold over once more and iron down another .25" on all sides and pin if you need to.

7. Sew your edges.

8. So easy! Did I even need to post all of these pictures?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Back in a Flash

This is what chaos looks like, in my world.

A pile of plush in the corner for inspection (each plush toy I sell has been inspected by hand not to mention the vigorous and pricey material testing they went through while they were being made), some website redo wire framing for the 'as I have time' overhaul my site is going through right now (mobile friendly honed content is around the corner), snippets of inspiration, a little sneak peak on the work table of an up coming post on Sunday and oh, a mile high pile of freelance graphic design over there on the desk.

I don't typically take on that much freelance, a small project here and there but I have to pay off all those wonderful plushies I just got in and so I'm working triple time.

So if you've been wondering where I've been, you're looking at it!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall Camping

A gorgeous weekend for camping in the St. Croix River Valley.

I love the light in Fall and how everything looks so warm and brilliant.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall for Mushrooms

Another great year for mushrooms at the lake.

There was a tremendous variety to be witnessed and I'm a little bummed because some of the new guys would have added some nice variety to my odd eleven. Another book perhaps...

The light was really spectacular in some of these shots, everything has been cropped for optimal mushroom viewing but I must mention that the landscape around the mushrooms ended up pretty spectacular too.