from the jazz age to the space age

Monthly Archives: September 2012

My illustration, “Little Girl Blue,” was featured on the front page of Redbubble! This marks the 3rd time this year 😀 Thank you Redbubble!

“Little Girl Blue” was published in Lone Wolf Magazine, vol 4. available here, or as a print available in my store.


Bonjour l’Automne! It’s Fall and that means it’s time for my favorite Autumn themed fairy tale: CInderella. I’ve posted other versions here and here but this one is particularly charming. Set in the 1920s, it stars a brunette bobbed Cinderella, fabulously dumb step-sisters, an alcoholic step-mother, and a very english looking prince. Illustrated by Roberto Innocenti, it’s chock full of amusing and slightly shocking details! Check out some of the illustrations and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do~ 


Yesterday I went to the Colette Patterns Fall 2012 Launch at A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland. My husband, son, and I started off next door at James and the Giant Cupcake. Yeah, delicious cupcakes and an awesome low key atmosphere. They even had a table with paper and markers for kids to sit at. Unfortunately I ended up with blue frosting on my pants. What can I say, you can’t take me anywhere. Seriously though, if you’re in the area, check them out.

After the cupcakes, I went next door to A Verb for Keeping Warm. Their shop is lovely. I really wanted to see examples of the Colette patterns made up and I wasn’t disappointed. They were even better in person than in the pictures, as well as a little less intimidating. To expand on that- I discovered that they would also look good on my tall, small breasted pear shape and aren’t just for busty women.
It was interesting to see the fabrics chosen for varous designs. Quite a few were cotton/batiste/voile as opposed to a rayon or challis or other typical dress or blouse fabrics. I LOVE working with cottons so that was a big plus. The patterns have amazing details. Very vintage-y without being costume-y, which is important to me. I love vintage designs, but some clothing from the 40s or 50s, if done accurately, tends to make the wearer look upholstered and honestly, matronly. Beware, it’s a small step from Joan Holloway structured brilliance to looking like my Grandma’s ottoman. The Colette patterns sidestep this problem nicely by having small details like notched sleeve bands, tucks, small gathers, and clever, unobtrusive pockets without being fussy or overly cutesy. Quite a few would look perfectly at home on the set of Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom.” I fell in love with many patterns. There may be some Colette fan art from yours truly in the near future.
Despite my crippling shyness I did manage to meet Sarai & Kenn & have her sign my copy of the Colette Sewing Handbook. They were both polite and neither mentioned the blue frosting on my pants. I also ended up buying the “Anise” coat pattern. I was on the fence bc it doesn’t have bust darts and thought it would flatten me out more than I am. But, after looking at the samples I decided to take a chance. Worst case scenario- I add bust darts to the muslin.

I have something to admit: I am only a recent fan. Colette patterns are drafted for a c-cup {most patterns are drafted for a B} and I was reluctant to add another pattern alteration to the legion I already have. They also have their own sizing- I’ve written before about my loathing of vanity sizing as well as using random numbers to describe a size. My dead hobby horse is that sizing should just be measurements. Oh look, a 34″ bust, this is the one I buy. BOOM- problem solved. It is a little weird that on Colette sizing i’m a 2/4 when in tradtional sewing sizes, and my vintage clothes, I’m a 12/14. I buy a 6 or 8 in most stores (hello vanity sizing). It may seem obvious, but definitely double check your measurements for their size.

The Colette Sewing Handbook is the best modern sewing book for beginner/intermediate seamstresses I’ve read. Even better than my beloved Burdastyle {book, not magazine. The magazines are a totally different beast and are not for beginners} and Built by Wendy. The Colette book takes you through five projects of increasing difficulty. Everything is laid out in an easy to understand way and there are profuse photographs of everything. After reading through the whole thing, I started the “Licorice” dress at the end {I’m already an intermediate seamstress} and shortened it into a blouse. It’s almost finished despite me and my son Karl battling this ridiculous 2 week cold. The pattern was wonderful. First of all, the size 34″ bust fits my shoulders and arm scythe perfectly. I had to do a front & back gaping neck adjustment, move the bust darts down an inch, lengthen the sleeves & torso… and that was it. {That may seam like a lot to you, but trust me, I’ve had patterns where nothing fit correctly.} I only sewed the bust darts and omitted the waist darts bc I wanted it a little blousen. I think bc of this I didn’t have to do a small bust adjustment, which was a nice surprise. I’ll post photos when i’ve finished.

My sweet Karl at the beach.

Perusing my Colette Sewing Book {now signed!}

The Anise Coat pattern

The little book of instructions inside the pattern

a place for your notes


About 15 years ago I bought a packet of blank postcards thinking, “I’ll totally draw on these and send them to my friends!” Fast forward 15 years and I still have a pack of blank postcards.

I’m kind of a procrastinator.

Since I got married I’ve discovered that the best way for me to get anything done was to be accountable to other people. Obvious? Well not to me. So a couple weeks ago I posted on my facebook asking if anyone wanted a hand drawn postcard. The replies were a surprise to me. Most were from people I hardly know except through the internet. It was nice to discover that I had people interested in my art. So anyway, that’s what I’m working on right now and I’ll post them here when I’ve finished them!

The other project I’ve started is a paper doll poster of Suzy Bishop from Moonrise Kingdom! Look for it in November. Prints will be available in the store for purchase 😀


My 5 page spread for Lone Wolf Magazine has been published. Print and digital copies are on sale here 😀


The print issue is currently for sale! My illustration, “Chic Dreams” is in Just Pirez Magazine!

http://www.justpirez.com/shopjustpirez/


I love Fall. Love it. The air just smells better. Green and Orange, the colors of Autumn are my favorites. I was looking through the collections of some designers and Samantha Pleet’s Fall 2012 collection caught my eye. It’s wonderful. Very New England and slightly… witchy? Immediately all I wanted to do was re-read Jackson’s “The Lottery” and  Hawthorne’s “House of the Seven Gables.” I’d already been on a mid-century kick of Anne Sexton after watching the fifth season of Mad Men. Pete Campbell’s glorious summation of his and everyone else on the show’s problem- “And then he realized everything he already had was not right either. And that was why it had happened at all. And that his life with his family was some temporary bandage on a permanent wound,” rang in my head. I don’t generally like producing depressing art anymore. So instead I wanted to capture a little of the freedom and mystery of New England. Beautiful girls with witchy red heels on their sensible oxford shoes and bare legs immune to the cold… ok, obviously not me. I get cold in Southern California, but I can dream!

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At first Pete Campbell was going to make a cameo as the Man in the Blue Suit who haunts Shirley Jackson’s brilliant short story collection, “The Lottery” as the “Deamon Lover.” But the layout didn’t work. I may recycle the idea in another picture.

The man was replaced by a house inspired by Hawthorne’s “The House of the Seven Gables” as well as the houses that populate Andrew Wyeth’s paintings. This is a photo of Wyeth’s studio.

I love “The Village,” I know people hate it, but I thought it was a slow, lovely movie with exquisite color and design and subtle performances by Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrian Brody, William Hurt, and Sigourney Weaver.

The talented an amazingly beautiful Bryce Dallas Howard as the blind Ivy Walker.

The image that sparked the idea, Samantha Pleet’s Fall 2012 collection.

Seven Gables

Prints for sale in store


Cor Blok painted a series of images illustrating LOTR from 1958-1961. Inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, his simple style conveys a wealth of narrative and emotional information. Few know that Tolkien did not want LOTR illustrated but he admired Blok’s work and purchased two paintings.