Friday, May 28, 2010


This is my latest Shawl.
It is called Morlynn, and you can find the pattern on ravelry.
Here are a few more pictures of me modeling it:

As soon as I completed it I began rummaging through my stash. I really, really, needed to pick out some yarn and a project to take on my flight to Ireland (leaving in 4days!) Nothing was beckoning me to knit it though, so I began to think I might just not bring a project along.

Then a close friend of mine told me she really liked my Seaside Shawl (or Forest Canopy as it is known on ravlery). The Seaside Shawl, so named for the colors in the yarn, was the very first shawl I ever attempted to knit. It was a Christmas present for my grandma, and something I was immensely proud of.

the seaside shawl in all its glory

Then it hit me.
Why not knit my wonderful friend a Seaside shawl of her own during my flight!

I have just the yarn too. A beautiful light grey heathered alpaca in sport weight. I've been holding on to all 600+ yards of it for a few years now as it was kind of an impulse buy.
I'll be sure to show pictures of it (and the trip) when I get back!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


A few days back I was asked about a custom order.

This time it was for a custom card.
A Dodo Bird card.

I hadn't drawn any new images for my cards in a while and I thought this would be a great opportunity to get me back into card illustration mode. Of course, I immediately said yes!

This customer knew exactly what she wanted, which made it super easy for me to design the card she was envisioning. She wanted the dodo image on the front with a small, sweet, and personal message for her late son, and Fun Facts about Dodo's on the back.

And can I just say the 'Fun Facts' were really quite fun!? Things like:
- Dodo's are related to pigeon's
- Dodo's are extinct but not from human consumption, as they were not a pleasant tasting bird
- Dodo's were flightless and fearless
- Dodo's were often mistaken as 'dumb' because of their natural curiosity and sweet nature

I wrapped up the last of this order today, and I've rather fallen in love with the little Dodo illustration. I'm thinking he might need to be a permanent fixture in the shop.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Flickr Favorites - First Love

When I saw Mitsy's favorite 'Flickr Favorites' from last week, I fell in love with with the ceramics that she too adored!

It reminded me of how I got into art in the first place. I had take some painting classes in high school, always enjoyed them, but didn't think much about it beyond that. A few years later when I was in college I had to fill an art credit and I decided to take a basic ceramics class.

I fell in love.

In less than 3 months I had switched my major and worked hard to earn dual degrees in ceramics and digital media.

Even though I am not working in ceramics at the moment, (I moved on to earn degrees in illustration and graphic design) I long for the day when I can take another ceramics class, or, and this is certainly a dream, maybe even someday have a little studio of my own.

In the meantime I will be inspired by the beautiful work of others!
(Like Miss Mitsy herself!)

Want to make your own flickr favorites?
Head on over to
Mitsy's blog and sign up!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Today I reached a little milestone on Etsy:

Here's to the next 1000!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Bike (and wow, I'm short)

I wanted a cyclo-cross bike.
And by "wanted" I mean had my heart set on getting a cyclo-cross bike. stat.

I read a lot of reviews, did a lot of searching, and just knew this was the bike for me. And I had my heart and hopes all set on the Fuji Cross Comp. Even better? I could get it for half the price! (because $1300.00 is not my bike budget, unfortunately!)

I picked a day and set it aside as time to go test it at a local bike shop. They didn't have a 49cm bike in stock, but had a similar Fuji in 49cm there for me to try. I grabbed the bike and got ready to hop on!

And then I almost fell over.

At this point the bike shop employee might have thought I never rode a bike in my life, or that I was too clumsy to be riding a bike. But it was worse, much worse than that.

A 49cm bike was just way to big for me.

I couldn't even touch the ground once I managed to get on the bike. It was clearly unsafe and there was no chance of me getting that beautiful Fuji I had intended on getting. So I asked the nice employee what Cyclo-Cross bikes came any smaller than a 49cm. While he looked at his computer and talked to other employees I looked at road bikes. He came back with bad news.

They had nothing. Not a single bike that was any smaller than a 49cm. To make matters worse, he didn't know that there really were any cyclo cross bikes smaller than a 49cm.

Now what do I do?

After days of searching a neighbor (and fellow rider) suggested this Redline Brand to me after she noticed other short women, such as myself, asking around online for where they too could find a nice cyclo-cross to fit them.

This is the point in time when I told my husband we would be driving to another state (okay, it was just Delaware, and not that far away) to look at some 44cm cyclo's for me.

And you know what? The 44cm worked for me! Just barely mind you, but it worked!

If you are asking yourself why Cyclo-Cross? Why are you so obsessed with a Cyclo-Cross? No, it is not because I race in the extreme sport, but rather because I ride on a long Rails to Trails path which is partly paved and is sometimes gravel or dirt. It's as simple as that!

But I am so happy.
I will post pictures of MY actual bike as soon as it comes in!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Animal Alphabet

I love my animal alphabet print series.
It was so much fun to draw out and color the last summer that we spent in our apartment.

And every now and again a customer will ask me about switching out an animal or reworking the colors to fit the decor of their child's bedroom/playroom etc. I am always excited about these requests because I really enjoy seeing how the prints look in new color combinations, or with the different animals in my shop.

This latest request was no objection.

I LOVE the colors requested for the "Lucas" set of letters, and Lucas' mom and dad also asked me if I could switch out a couple of the more girly animals (namely, the unicorn!) for something a bit more 'ferocious,' as they put it :)
Now, I am no good at making ferocious animals, and I tend to turn all that is mean or nasty looking into cute and adorable, but I think the Urchin came out pretty cool!

They also had me change the cow out for my 'Under the Sea-Crab' and the Sheep out for my 'Barnyard - Squirrel.' All in all I think it will look wonderful in a little boy's room, and I think I might make the Urchin a permanent feature in my shop!

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Flickr Favorites - The Perfect Project

My trip to Ireland is in two weeks.
I have many things in order, but there is one seemingly simple task I can't do. One simple little thing that should be no problem at all to figure out. What is this one little thing I can't do?

Pick out what knitting project I will bring along.

The flight over is 6+ hours and that would make for some prime knitting time! Besides what else am I going to do on the plane? Watch the same movie repeatedly?
I have poured over my Ravelry favorites, patterns, photos of knitting on flickr, and the few knitting/crochet books I have.

And nothing.
I can't pick one single project I want to bring with me.

Any suggestions?
I love lace, and shawl knitting.
I dislike sock knitting.
I am trying, but not very good at garment knitting. Yet.

I also love to crochet. (especially blankets)

I look forward to any and all suggestions.

Want to make your own flickr favorites?
Head on over to Mitsy's blog and sign up!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dresses (part II)

I love dresses.

You might remember me declaring this a time or two.
And it seems to me this late spring/early summer everyone is wearing them.

I finally decided to go a on a serious dress hunt.
This is what I came up with after a week or two of shopping around:

(and can I just say I am totally in love?)

Both Cardigan and Dress came from the Gap Outlet

Sweater is from Banana Republic Outlet and Dress is from Target

Both Sweater and Dress came from Old Navy, but are from last summer

So I guess the last dress doesn't really count as part of my 'dress hunt,' but I love it so much that I thought I'd post a little picture of it anyway. I would've taken a better picture of it but, as you can see, someone was more interested in me photographing her rather than the dress. (Isn't my Piper the cutest? I am biased, I know.)

I also have a simple black jersey knit dress coming in the mail.

Can you guess my favorite?
hint: it involves paisley and a yellow cardigan ;)

Lastly, might I recommend this amazing website, Polyvore, if you too are searching around for the perfect dress(es).
It was suggested to me in my comments by the lovely Clair, though she did warn I may get 'sucked in' by all the lovely things.

Now you are warned too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Camping III

Here is the third installment in the "Camping Trip" series!
Do you see the two newest prints?

If you guessed the bottom two you would be correct! The lake - loving brown bear, and little deer are my most recent additions to the series, and I love them so much! You can find them in shop here and here.

I have one, maybe two, more for you to see and that will be all for a while.
I have some other ideas that need tending to :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flickr Favorites - Dresses

A while back Mitsy asked all of us flickr favorite makers to do a self portrait mosiac.
Some found it challenging, others inspiring. I had a lot of fun making mine. I didn't take it to a deep, incredibly personal level, instead choosing to write about the things I love, and what makes me, me. The reason I brought this is up is because lately I've been thinking a lot of about #7 on my self portrait mosiac: I Love Dresses

7: I love dresses.
I don't actually wear many dresses, but I love them. I wish there was a store that made dresses specifically for short people so I could wear more of them. (and by short I mean someone who is 5'1")

This might seem silly to some, but I really would wear a dress 365 days a year if weather permitted. Instead I've always opted for skirts because I can make them work for my short self. This isn't to say I haven't tried on 9.1 billion dresses in the hopes that ONE might be the right length, fit me just right up top, and flatter the angles in my body I am not the happiest with. (am I asking for too much?)

Sunday I found a dress while out shopping, oddly enough, for a coat for my husband and I to wear during bad weather when we're biking. (found a great one at Columbia, yay!)
It is sleeveless, and black with flowers all over it. There is a small ruffle in the front, and I only need to have my mom hem it maybe an inch or so before it is the perfect length!

This got me thinking that I really should just stop buying skirts, and hunt for some really nice fitting dresses if this is what I really want. I'll be able to wear them in the spring and fall with some tights and boots, and obviously in the summer (maybe winter if it is super mild? am I only day dreaming?).

Any suggestions on where I could look for some dresses?

Now I am off to clean out the closets of everything that has no been worn for 6months +
(the rule in our house is if you haven't worn it for 6 months or more, Good Will gets it). Of course that rule has to bend a little for the husband with his kidney transplant and all. In 6 months he has gained and lost a total of 111lbs!!
Starting weight: 160
Two days post transplant and on massive steroids: 185 (+25)
1 week post transplant, home, and off large amounts of steroids: 132 (-53)
5 months post transplant, and feeling great: 165 (+33)

Perhaps I will just raid my closet today.

Want to make your own flickr favorites?
Head on over to Mitsy's blog and sign up!

Friday, May 7, 2010

What a Secret

1. barn

For over a year my husband and I have been in search of an old barn.
Not just any old barn, but Walnut Hill (or what I thought was Pawling's Mill/Farm) in Valley Forge.

We really weren't sure what we'd see, but as Valley Forge is one of our favorite places to go we wanted to find this site, well off the beaten path. We searched online and on various trail maps through out the park, but no amount of driving around helped us to locate the barn. It was like a secret only the most knowledgeable of Valley Forger's knew.

Eventually we stopped looking.

And started biking.

We never bike the main 6 mile loop in the park because it is often quite busy. We opt instead to ride the rails to trails that run in and out of the park between our house and Philadelphia. One day my husband told me he saw a trail that ran up into the woods and he really wanted to take it just for something "fun " to do. I say "fun" because it was a bit more challenging that either of us realized at the time. (I almost flipped off my bike when my foot got caught between a large tree root and my pedal for instance)

Anyway, we were on this path, more like a deer trail, and cruising along (getting lost) when I saw a stone structure between the trees. I immediately started biking towards it because it seemed quite large. We found an even smaller trail (what really might have been a deer trail at this point) that came out of the woods, and oh my.

We found our barn.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was massive. The barn was built in 1826, with a large addition added in 1845. (so said the little sign posted on the side of the barn, with a firm warning not to jump the fence surrounding the barn itself) We both just rode around and around the barn in awe.

And then I noticed a second building.

It was the decaying ruins of the mansion, built in 1743 by Mr. Henry Pawling II. What remained of the once large estate, was crumbling columns, broken glass, and some stone. But it was beautiful. I've not been back, but when I do I will take a million pictures. For now I will share with you some that I found on Flickr:

And now it is time for me to head out on another bike ride.
I wonder if I'll make any discoveries this time? :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Camping II

I'm still busily working on the Camping Trip series.
It really has been so much fun!

I very quickly wanted to post pictures of the two latest prints in the series, "Toasty" and "Hangin' Out." And just incase you are having a hard time seeing what is 'hangin' out' in that tree, here is a close up:

(a cute little possum!)

And of course a mini picture of all 6 prints I have thus far completed:

I have two more prints in the works and my brain is mulling over other camping possibilities as well. Next up? A raccoon and brown bear getting into a little bit of trouble!

Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Camping Trip

I believe I hinted at revealing a new series yesterday.
One that involved cute animals, and some texture if I'm not mistaken?

Well, here it is:

These are the first four prints in my new "Camping Trip" series! As you might have guessed from the title, this series is dedicated to all of the fun camping has to offer . . . something I know quite well, as this was our main family vacation every year growing up.

(did I just suggest that using an outhouse is considered "fun"?)

What makes this set of prints different from any other prints in my shop is the texture applied to the background. Here is a larger view of one of the prints if you can't see it too well in the others:

I've had so much fun playing around with the textures that I'm thinking it might be a new staple for my prints from now on. What do you think?

You can expect at least 5 more prints in this series, and I will be sure to post pictures as I complete them! Now I'm off to get some lunch and perhaps a bike ride! -Speaking of bike ride, I'll have a post tomorrow on a secret place my husband and I discovered on a biking trip last week. It's amazing!


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