Monday, September 21, 2009

Letting go is hard to do...

And so my donation to Ted E. Bear Hollow is getting ready to ship out. It's always hard to let an original piece go.

I am hoping it it is successful in bringi
ng smiles to a few young faces.

Thanks Trisha!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nate's Birthday Cake Monkey!

Nate's Birthday present, pen & ink with watercolor.

Sometime back he gave me the idea, the sketch I reposted below.


Hee, I have a suggestion but you'll hate me.

Of course I won't hate you.


Instead of a spaceship, maybe a chimp in a spacesuit doing an Atlas pose holding the cake up?

Don't you think that's a bit deep?
Not many people know who atlas was or what he was doing...

But regardless, you have a monkey in a space suit.

And so...I later drew it.

Of course it wasn't until about two weeks before his birthday that I decided painting it up would be the perfect gift for him. At least, I hope so!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

He loves me...

Ah...the uncertainty of love.

A triptych panel.

He loves me..
The tentative start of new love.

He loves me not...
The insecurities surrounding new love.

He Loves Me!
The joy when love is declared.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hop scotch under the Cherry Tree

A suggestion from Linda. I nixed it immediately but it stuck in my brain all night until the next day when I came up with a solution to make it work.

"Sky", may become "home"...but Linda swore the end word when she was growing up was sky....

I could have sworn it was "home", but I was the shy kid at recess under the tree with my nose in a book.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

He's just not that into you...

Maybe if you introduced yourself.

Maybe when the timing is right.

Maybe when you get that new shiny bike for your birthday.

He'll notice you then, right?

Looking at her in color it seems to me that she is plotting how to get his attention then feeling rejected because he doesn't know she exists.

I still need a new scanner...

Monday, April 27, 2009

A good book.

A good book.

A vivid imagination.

A grassy knoll and a tree for comfort.

Travel without the suitcase.

Not sure if in the color version I will keep the castle.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tree House and Hot Air Balloon

Wouldn't you want to go on an adventurous hot air balloon ride?

Wouldn't you want to live in a tree house on a rolling idyllic hillside?

I thought so...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Star Antlered Deer

This is the sort of deer, or gazelle, that leaps through dreams at night.

It started simply enough, one antler, but then it multiplied.

"Why not?", I thought.

The addition of the stars was another, "Why not?"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Swinging Free

Happiness is best found in the simple things.

The rush of air on your face, companionship of a good friend, a beautiful day.

Cover Confusion—When two book covers use the same base image.

Never judge a book by it's cover?

On left: The Girl in the Glass; A Novel, 2005
On right: Life is Short but Wide, 2009

Oh, mighty confusion for the customer.

Two different books, published within 3 years of each other. The one on the left came first, the one on the right I saw in my Barnes & Noble email this morning.

Two different publishers, did they hire the same designer? What about the Art Director? Did anyone notice this design faux pas or was it deliberately done to increase the new book's sales? Yes, in most cases we designers pull images from the same stock...but this much similarity in design, including the tiny text within the door panels can't be coincidence. Or can it?

Cover differences:

Text treatment.

Butterfly instead of boots.

One is cropped slightly closer to the viewer.

Higher saturation in image on right.

At any rate, I recommend reading Jeffrey Ford to anyone, The Portrait of Mrs. . Charbuque was an exquisite read. He's the author of the book on the left.

Which cover design do you prefer?

Update: Googled for more info and better written too!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Matters of the heart

I am thinking that the bear needs a vacation from tormenting situations.

However, a few love-lorn, love-torn, love-insecure sketches won't hurt...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And the Bear and Girl Saga Continues...

"He's just not that into you."

In my month long attempt to figure out what to do for the Valentine's card, I ended up continuing the bear and girl saga.

Here she is seen with the bear and a Valentine behind her back as the boy she is sweet on races past her on his bike.

The cat is either snubbing the boy with his back to him, or is interested in the bird in the tree.

It wasn't supposed to go there, but it developed as I was drawing it. Maybe the upcoming Movie Release of the same name above was stuck in my mind.

And then...

"But it's ok, cause I am."

The bear she rescued tried to console her, the cat is lounging in the tree. Perhaps he got his bird and is ready for a nap?

I couldn't leave it with an entirely unhappy ending.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'll save you!

I'll save you, Teddy!

Little girl sees a stranded teddy in the stream and valiantly goes to his rescue.

Reminds me of how when I was little I applied emotions to stuffed animals. I had separation anxiety leaving some stuffed cuties in the stores, I thought I could save all of them and make sure they had a good home.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Story of the Traveling Terrarium

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there was a girl who like to make things. In the spur of the moment she created a little terrarium to gift to her best friend.

This terrarium however, had to brave the cold 7 degree weather. So instead of waiting in the car, the terrarium decided it would be best to meet her new owner in the movie theater.

At the movie theater the terrarium snuggled in next to her new owner and friend in the conveniently placed cup holder.

After the movie, the terrarium was invited to go out to dinner at her creators and new owners favorite restaurant the Firkin.

The terrarium enjoyed the colors of the flavorful martinis made by the bartender both the creator and the owner knew back in their younger days as regulars.

As the evening wore on, the terrarium attracted many admirers!

But eventually it was time to go its new home and the terrarium said it's goodbyes and lived happily into the ever after.

The End.

Apothecary Terrarium

Today, I decided to try something different.

2 plants.

Dried moss.


2 Apothecary jars from Walmart for about $10 each.
(Unbelievable but very fragile.)



Red mushrooms from Germany.

Mmmmm....moss cake!

Hydrating the moss.

Not finished until the Inspector says so.

I am not certain of their current placement in my home. Maybe when I finish refinishing the spindle legged table, they will go there. The frog is from Germany, a gift from my Mom after she saw my delight in it.

Close ups.

Next up...sculpting a Garden Gnome.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In progress...2

Tonight's progress on Fairytales. Better known as Romance is Dead, Dear-heart.

I am not certain how dark I will go with the color from here.

The photo that started it. Taken at Castle Hirschhorn.

Antidote to possible elation: long walk, clean apartment, listen to slightly depressing music, paint with grays. Balance and level-head restored.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Creativity runs in the family...

My sister-in-law Ann Druce-Hoffman is a talented knitter.

She designed this new pattern for

Keep it up, Ann!

Interview taken from the website:

We recently interviewed Ann Druce-Hoffman, designer of the Ladies Jacquard Vest pattern, about her design process and the pattern itself.

Knit Picks: Can you describe your inspiration for the colorwork motif on the Ladies Jacquard Vest?

Ann Druce-Hoffman: I’ve always loved things with curlicue patterns—twenty years ago, I was doodling intricate spiral patterns all over my high school folders! For this vest, I looked at many examples of both historical and contemporary damask and jacquard fabric, and used Knit Picks designer Kerin Dimeler’s ideas as a starting point. Damask and jacquard motifs are everywhere right now—from fashion to home d├ęcor—so I didn’t have to look far for inspiration!

KP: When you design garments, do you have a particular person in mind who you picture wearing the garment, or is it just about the garment itself?

ADH: I definitely design with the wearer in mind. I’ve found that in knitting colorwork garments, just because you can doesn’t always mean you should! Often it takes a lot of swatching to find the right color combinations and motifs. Personally, I don’t like to knit something unless it will be used.

KP: What were the challenges or surprises you encountered when designing this particular garment?

ADH: Before designing this vest, I always steered clear of colorwork patterns that had yarn floats on the inside of the work that were more than 5 or 6 stitches. Or, I tried to catch the yarn every 5 or 6 stitches, with less than perfect results. When I began swatching my ideas for this design, I was thrilled that the long floats—up to 20 stitches, no less!—worked out fine. They “stuck” on the back just like they should. I feel like a whole new level of colorwork knitting has opened up for me!

KP: What was the best part of designing this vest?

ADH: The best part of designing it was seeing the end result! After trying and rejecting many ideas, it’s very satisfying to see the combination of garment shaping, motif design, and color selection come together successfully.

KP: Do you have any insights as to the body type that might look best in the vest?

ADH: Because the vest has an all-over motif pattern, I think that this vest can look good on all body types. Although the motif is fairly large, it has small components that contribute to the complicated overall look of the vest.

KP: Are there particular features of the way the pattern is written that you think makes it a satisfying knit?

ADH: I enjoy knitting most when it is both challenging and relaxing. I want to be able to watch TV and enjoy the repetitive, physically meditative aspects of knitting, but at the same time I want it to hold my interest and not get boring. Knitting colorwork in the round achieves this goal for me—steeks enable you to enjoy the color pattern emerging, and you can just keep knitting until you get to the top!

KP: What are your favorite things to design and why?

ADH: Not only do I love the process of knitting colorwork designs, but I love the final product. I’ve always been drawn to ethnic textiles, and I love how colorwork knitting can incorporate many different colors and patterns, but bring it all together within the confines of repeated motifs. I love the challenge of finding those colors and motifs that work well together.

KP: Do you knit with Palette in your personal projects? Do you have thoughts on Palette as a colorwork yarn?

ADH: I’m possibly Palette’s biggest fan. I love everything about it! I’ve made beautiful vests for my kids that meet their standards of comfort and also stand up to the rigors of preschool. Palette is also a great sock or hat yarn. Since Palette is inexpensive, it’s fun to be able to buy a bunch of different colors and experiment with new designs. Really, I could gush on and on.