Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New needlepoint project

A pillow for my friend's sweet daughter Harriet.
ps. the wool is my favorite colour: a yellow/limey greeny combo which i call Louis XIV green.

Little Victorian Hand

I found this little Victorian hand at the Drake General store and couldn't resist it.
There's something so charming about it - plus I have long been drawn to objects that are connected to the human body such as mannequins, hat moulds and shoe lasts.
It has a made a nice addition to my salon wall as it adds another texture to the grouping. I think wall displays should always have a nice mix of materials plus different coloured frames etc.
ps. That silver thing at the top is an antique coptic cross; a recent gift from a friend. I really like it too.


Gestalten's book on Printmaking is set for Release!


Spread from the book

Am excited to announce that the book Impressive: Printmaking, Letterpress and Graphic Design published by Gestalten is now complete. Some of my silk screens have been featured in the book. It is set for International release beginning late April in Continental Europe, early May in the UK, Asia and Australia/NZ and mid May for North America. You can also preorder online now at the Gestalten website.

Here is a publishers blurb:
Inspired by the challenge of hands-on tweaks and unpredictable results as well as the tactile qualities of different inks, papers, and binding techniques, today’s creatives are rediscovering old-fashioned printing methods and crafts. Impressive offers personal insights from designers who are using old-fashioned techniques to create cutting-edge work.

Monday, April 26, 2010

In a Nesty mood

A Home magazine is coming by in a week to photograph my space so this week I am motivated to fix it up a bit. (Understatement!) I have 7 days to finish curtains, hang more art, paint my bathroom and buy matching hand towels. yikes! I am also gonna finish the salon wall in the livingroom.

For inspiration I turned to this gorgeous Salon wall which I found on the cover and in the March issue of Elle Decor (US). It is the library of Ellen Rakieten decorated by Nate Berkus and Anne Coyle and I just love it.
I love the gutsy choice of paint (Farrow and Ball's Off Black) plus the mix of textures + periods such as the ikat pillow paired with the traditional chair. My absolute fave element in the room is the crow painting. I just love it in the white frame especially when contrasted with the big gilded mirror.

This is the kind of cozy room I would gladly tuck away in for a week with a good book.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Collage Heads

I'm experimenting with collaging photos of hair with my illustrations rather than drawing the hair.
I like the kind of goofey effect.

Needlepoint Gift

One of life's treat's Receiving a package Express Post!

Fabulous gift wrap in the spirit of Shane's 1930s Busby Berkeleyish illos

The Front (based on a Jonathon Adler design)


Received this beautiful handmade bday gift from my fellow illustrator + needlepointer friend Shane Harrison.
So lovely. Lucky me. Thanks so much Shane.

Friday, April 23, 2010

WOW: Lecture by Apartment Therapy Founder Maxwell Gillingham - Ryan

Ok for anyone in need of career inspiration or motivation I suggest you listen to this lecture pronto. It's another in the wonderful Creative Morning series organized by Tina Roth Eisenberg. (aka swiss miss)

Maxwell Gillingham Ryan discusses in depth the wonderfully circuitous career path which eventually led to launching one of the world's most successful design blogs. Pre Apt therapy he had worked as both a design assistant (gluing glitter on fruit for christmas balls )and an elementary school teacher at the Waldorf school. In 2001 he decided to merge his two passion of Design and Teaching to create his own very unique vocation - an Apartment Therapist. I really love that he merged two worlds - this is always a good recipe for creating something unique and fresh. In the talk he goes on to discuss the growth of the Apt therapy "empire' and shares many of his insights on the power of social media and the future of blogging.
Really inspirational.
ps. As a good accompaniment to this talk I recommend reading his first book Apartment Therapy. Really great - I read it in one sitting.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Grant Heaps at MADE tonight

Grant Heaps' New Installation is opening at MADE tonight.

Daydreamin': A Grant Heaps Remix
867 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Opening Reception: Thurs. April 22nd, 7-9PM

Be there or be square.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Up late working

Working on an illustration for VIV magazine.
I find the set up of a macbook connected to a Apple cinema display is the perfect set up.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jules Cafe

Great chandeliers

Love a long chalk board!

Loved these benches and cushions. Casually elegant!
Would like to try this at home in my kitchen.

My new favorite restaurant: Jules Cafe
147 Spadina Ave.

The cozy + welcoming interior contains all my favourite elements : A huge black board, warm wood tables, white painted brick and mismatched chandeliers. Very charming.
oh and the food was good too.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Glee Madness

Yep I am Gleek and clearly somebody in marketing knows there are lots of us in the neighbourhood as Queen West was plastered with these posters this week. I find the music from this show incredibly joyful and strangely energizing! A suggestion: If you find yourself feeling droopy in the next day I recommend listening to Glee's version of "Dont stop believin" rather than reaching for the Kit Kat. A definite pick me up!

ps. This week Ryan Murphy, the creator of Glee told Rolling Stone that Lea Michele has a once-in-a-generation voice. That gave me chills - and I agree.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Back in the Studio: New Brogue Print

New Big Brogue print

A New Screen

The first pass with Ochre ink
I liked how this one looked so I left it alone.
I love when the ink comes out not perfect with lots of texture.
The image reminded me of old wooden shoe lasts as in pic below.

One of my dad's shoe lasts. :-)
Such beautiful objects. I love the patina and mix of wood and metal.

Layer one drying on my fancy drying rack (my guest bed!)

Papering the screen to cover up the parts you dont want to ink to pass through through

Inking the screen for the 2nd pass of black ink

Ta Da

My Prints Drying

This weekend I produced a whole new print: Big Brogue Shoe.
Above is the whole inky process. Partly inspired by the Tucker Martine podcast which I was listening to at the time (in which he encouraged happy accidents) I decided to leave some of the prints alone after the first pass. This print is now available in the silk screen section of my website.
Did I mention Father's Day is coming up?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Good Company: All Songs Considered

One of my favorite things to listen to when I'm screening is NPR's All Songs Considered. I especially enjoy the episodes where Bob Boilen brings in a guest DJ to play + talk about some of his favorite music. The listener gets music and a music lesson all in one! Tonight I screened while listening to Guest DJ Tucker Martine. He's a producer known for doing really atmospheric moody stuff. Recently he produced Laura Gibson's latest CD. He talked a lot about his creative process. He loves happy accidents (yay) and strongly believes that in art you always "Gotta leave in some of the mystery."

Friday, April 9, 2010

I wish I did this

By Graeme Roumieu. Very funny.

"At the End of the Day"

Today on the radio program Ontario today Rita Celli interviewed a fellow named Paul Benoit who used the phrase "At the End of the Day" 11 times in a span of 4 minutes!
Oy vey. I can't stand this phrase. I notice people use it to bulk up their sentences and try to make themselves sound smart but methinks it has the opposite effect. meow! Anyway it inspired me to create this illustration.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yum: Anna Spiro in Canadian House and Home

Anna Spiro with her signature flower arrangements and hot pink chairs

Love the roses and mix of textiles

An inspirational wall from her blog

Just cracked open the latest issue of Canadian House and Home and was happy to see Anna Spiro's house featured.
Anna writes the very popular blog Absolutely Beautiful Things. Her house is bursting with colours like the hot pink + saffron plus cluster walls of art, table scapes and a great mix of vintage treasures with modern pieces. (All my favourite things!)
Really juicy. Very inspirational.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Inspiration: Bayeux Tapestry

Love the lettering, colours and inventive stitches

Love the comical figures and the fun rendering of Haley's Comet in the right hand corner.

I absolutely love the Bayeux tapestry.
fyi It's not actually a tapestry at all but rather an embroidery stitched in wool on linen. It measures 230 foot long and was created in approx. 1070 AD. The work depicts the story of the Norman conquest of England. I love the two dimensionality and comic nature of the figures. They were very inspirational to me when developing my illustrations style. I also love how the lettering has been incorporated into the composition and the wonderful combination of inventive stitches. Despite the fact that it was produced over 1000 years ago I find it very fresh and modern looking -- and endlessly inspiring.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Embroidery with Claire Milne

Claire's great basket of embroidery floss

My shoe drawing

Claire demonstrating how to transfer a drawing onto fabric

Ta Da!

In the hoop and ready to embroider

Progress so far

Last Wednesday I spent the afternoon with my friend Claire Milne.
Claire is an illustrator and crafty gal extraordinaire with expertise in sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery. You can check out some lovely handmade items in her etsy shop here.
I have wanted to learn more about embroidery since falling in love with the Bayeux tapestry years ago. Claire taught me how to do many stitches including running stitch, chain stitch and french knots- ooh ahh - plus she demonstrated how to transfer a design onto fabric using Sarel transfer paper. I absolute love the process of embroidery --so be warned! you'll be seeing more stitchy creations in the future.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Here is my April illustration from the Workopolis Calendar which I illustrated.
Inspired by Saul Bass.