So pleased to announce that I am officially part of the DENY DESIGNS team. Now you can get my work on all kinds of amazing home products including pillows, bedding, rugs, frames, mugs, and more.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
36 Page Full Color, Hard Back Picture Book, Ages 3-8
Little Lola longs for a life full of great big adventure, but she finds herself on the wrong side of the fence. What is a little brown dog to do? Life for Lola takes a turn when she discovers a window (or in her case, a tiny hole) into a much brighter world. Inspired by the wonderful things she thinks she sees through her view beyond the fence, she plans a great escape. But as she soon discovers, life is only bright and happy when she finds someone special to share in her adventures. Full of whimsical imagery with a modern approach, Lola’s tale will appeal to anyone with soft spot in their heart for the underdog.
Hooray! After many months of planning, writing, illustrating and editing, my first children’s book is finally printed and ready for purchase! This project is especially important to me because one of the great loves of my life happens to be the star. Little Lola, (AKA Lolabean, Lolabear, Lolita, BeanerBear, etc.) is the little brown dog that my husband and I adopted 9 years ago from a rescue organization. She was malnourished, and came to us with some serious abandonment issues. I cannot imagine how anyone could fail to love or want to properly care for Lola, but we ended up being her third home. Thankfully for us, the third time was the charm, and she has turned out to be the most loyal and loving pooch we could ever hope for. While she still gets anxious when left alone, she now has a best friend to keep her company. Handsome Hank (a book sequel in the making) joined our clan three years ago. Also a rescue, but first and foremost a ridiculously silly boxer dog, he is a constant source of entertainment for us all. For my husband and I, our dogs are family, and sadly both pups came from places where they were not treated with love and kindness. It is our goal to make sure the time spent in our care makes up for their difficult beginnings. In the years since adopting Lola and Hank, I have become more aware of issues involving animal neglect and abuse and have become active in the animal welfare cause, both locally and nationally. I feel strongly that aside from little Lola being the lovable heroine of my story, she also has a very important message of compassion to share with children and parents alike. Once the costs associated with the self publishing of this book are covered, I will be donating partial proceeds to a few of the animal rescues that are near and dear to my heart.
Support the cause by visiting some of my favorite organizations below:
I have not written a blog post in over a year. 15 months to be precise. I have been meaning to, but just keep putting it off. Why am I so techno-phobic/Amish at heart? For someone who spends most of her life parked in front of a computer, you would think that I would be blogging, face-booking, tweeting, and instagraming my face off. NOT so. Obviously, I have not truly embraced all this social networking and the self promotion opportunities that are available online, and am afraid I will never be ahead of the game in that respect. But I need to step it up and not be like my parents (who have pretty much given up learning any new skills on the computer that go beyond forwarding chain emails and Googling). I am definitely a bit sheepish about sharing. One too many Lifetime movies about online stalking/identity theft? Maybe. But I think the bigger issue is that I have ZERO social media confidence. I just can’t imagine why anyone would want to know or see what I ate for breakfast (bran flakes if you are curious… I am old), or hear my political rantings or musings on celebrity couplings (and I have plenty to say about Kim and Kanye). Not to sound judgy, because I eat that stuff up with a spoon when I see it on your newsfeed. Please, keep it coming! I just do not have the online swagger to do it myself. I will probably never be an over-sharer in my personal life, but I need to change my attitude about it in my professional life. I love what I do, and if I want to keep doing it, I need to get with the times and start peacocking a bit. So, I will start with baby steps, as I dust myself off from my year living in the Unabomber cabin. Time for me to practice what I preach and start blogging again, and maybe, if I am feeling cocky, finally set up that blasted Twitter account. Ugggh.
To start things off, I am sharing this self promo illustration I did for the children’s market. I am teaching an illustration class at a local art college (look at me sharing personal info!), and created an assignment that I decided to take on myself. The challenge was to choose a letter of the alphabet and pick at least three words that begin with that letter to inspire the work. I picked the letter “B” and obviously went above and beyond the three word minimum. Side note: Those leafy branches were a b*tch to create.
If you like what you see, please throw me a bone and follow me on Facebook, Etsy, Tumblr, Pinterest, Dribbble, etc. And maybe Twitter eventually. Or if you are an old techno-phobe like yours truly, you may choose to send me an artfully crafted letter in quill and ink. I will take the love I can get!
My husband and I have lived in Nashville for 5.5 years and have inhabited three different homes. A really junky rental home, a very sleek and modern condo, and finally, a 1920′s bungalow that is full of both cracks and character. We bought the last one, so I think we are done moving for a while. In our time searching for the right home in the right location, we thoroughly investigated all of Nashville’s nooks and crannies. We didn’t want to move to the ‘burbs and hoped to be within walking distance to bars, restaurants, parks, etc. We also wanted to feel relatively safe and do all of this within budget. A tall order in a real estate market that seemed to be booming, unlike the rest of the country. We asked around, and friends who live “in town” always tried to sell us on their district of Nashville, raving about the great food, nightlife, and excellent hipster-watching while down-playing the crime rate. People here have a lot of pride for their neighborhood, as they well should. Nashville is chock full of great pockets, each with it’s own unique flavor. Five Points, Downtown, 12 South, Hillsboro Village, the Gulch, Edgehill Village, Music Row, the list goes on and on. We eventually settled on (and settled into) Sylvan Park. Our ‘hood may be not quite as hip as some of the hot spots in town, but it is a lot like our household. Full of dogs, beer, tacos, and often asleep by 10:00. It is a perfect fit.
This Nashville Neighborhood series features five of my favorites. Buy them individually or purchase the whole set on Etsy.
I grew up in Northern Kentucky. As a kid, whenever we went on vacation and I would tell other kids where I was from, they would ALWAYS ask the same question: “Do you wear shoes there?” I would get defensive, explaining that I wasn’t from “that” part of Kentucky, and try to prove it with my lack of a twang and by pointing to my shiny new L.A. Gears. At the time I desperately wanted to be from a state without stupid stereotypes. Oh, to be from somewhere exotic like California or New York! I would have even happily settled for our neutral neighbor to the north, Ohio. No one there was routinely questioned about their footwear or asked if their parents were related (usually the follow-up to the clever shoe quip). As an adult, I have grown to embrace my state heritage, and appreciate the music, quirky characters, culture, and stunning natural beauty. And after moving to Tennessee, I think I have come to terms with the fact that this part of the country is really now a part of me. Cue the dueling banjos.
Obviously I was feeling a little nostalgic for my Bluegrass roots when creating this poster. Get your own print here.
Recently I have had the opportunity to do a series of designs for Animal Rescue Corps, a non-profit organization that I greatly admire. In the past few years, my (now) home state of Tennessee has made news far too many times for horrendous animal hoarding situations and puppy mill busts. Thankfully, Animal Rescue Corps has been there on the front lines to rescue these animals and give them a second chance at life. My own beloved doggies are rescues, so this is a mission that is very close to my heart. Once they get the merch on their site, I will update with a link so you can help support the cause!
To quote my favorite fictional tv character, Liz Lemon, ”I want to go there”. Santa Barbara, that is. Or on any vacation locale at all where there is water, sunshine, sand and giant boat drinks. It is July, Nashville is humid, I have a sickly pallor, and am seriously jonesin’ for a vacation.
I worked on this illo several months back for a snack company that makes pepperoni chips (mmmmm). They are out of Santa Barbara and have just launched a new look. If you haven’t been to Santa B., you should add it to your list of places to see before you die. I would like to retire and eventually die there myself (when I am really ancient and in my sleep, of course). It is heaven.
Just sent out this promotional mailer to Nashville area businesses. I really hope the front is not lost on the majority who receive it (it spells out Nashville, for those of you who don’t see it right away). I figured it would be an easy read, but I never could find the dolphin in those magic eye posters, so who am I to judge?
These pieces were created for a promotional cocktail blog my rep group has put together. I had to think of a drink that would look great in illustration form, and after a trip down drunken-college-memory-lane, this little gem came to mind. With all the unseasonably warm weather we are having, this summer cocktail can be enjoyed in late winter too!
Although the origins of this drink are unknown, it roots are most likely found in the dark halls of a fraternity basement or in a Winnebago at a river camp. As the name implies, this is not a particularly sophisticated concoction. It is, however, a surprisingly delicious and refreshing cocktail that is perfect for a day out on the lake with friends. While traditionally this drink is made with bottom of the barrel ingredients, upgrades are always welcome. Well crafted beer and top shelf vodka are nice substitutes if you are feeling a little more “Yacht Club” than “Redneck Riviera”. If you are partial to a summer Shandy, you will love it’s slutty cousin, the “Hop, Skip and Go Naked”!
1 fifth vodka
1 six-pack beer
2 liters 7-Up or Ginger Ale
1 large can frozen lemonade
Orange slices, Lime slices
Mix well, add lots of ice, and serve it up Southern style in a mason jar. Garnish with orange and lime slices.
*Note: Enjoy responsibly as this drink’s refreshing nature makes it hard to sip, and far too easy to glug. And that is probably where all the hopping, skipping, and nudity come in.