For the Grads

I was asked by our school to make illuminated manuscript-style bookmarks for those graduating from high school. Each was to be unique. Included in the design would be each student's individual interests. Let's not talk about how creative I had to be with depicting some of them in illustrated form.  I couldn't have done it without the suggestions of some really great people- you know who you are, so thank you!

     I decided to make three different designs for the boys and three for the girls. The boys would all be done with knot work and Celtic style elements, and the girls would be inspired by Gothic manuscripts. This gave me a basic template to add the interests to.
     Each bookmark was transferred from my master drawing, inked, filled in with yellow gold, gold, copper or silver ink; painted with color, inked again, filled in with metallic color, and painted with tiny details (mostly dots). As a final touch, the name of each new owner was written on the back in gothic …

An Unexpected Gift

I don't like giving people ordinary things for extraordinary events, if I can help it. For my cousin's son's baptism, I had this brilliant idea in my head to make something meaningful for the day that the kid could actually do something with (as opposed to a nice picture frame, or something to hang on the wall - not bad gifts, but not really a source of fun for baby as he gets older). I came up with the idea to make a peg doll of baby's name saint, since they seem to be all over the internet lately. But when I went to get the wooden dolls to paint, I found something even more useful and fun - a blank puzzle.
     It needs to be said that all my supplies are still packed up and in storage so I had to operate not only on an extreme time crunch ( I had 1.5 hours one night, and 2 hours another night, to design and execute the whole thing) but with very very limited resources. This puzzle isn't as polished or as detailed as I would have liked it to be, but consider…

Happy Belated Birthday, Disneyland!

In honor of Disneyland's 59th birthday the other day, I'm totally going to one up their sense of celebrating with a brief look back at the way things used to be...

Aww. Wasn't that nice? Unfortunately, just like the real celebration, there's no free cake or commemorative buttons involved, but here's to hoping that birthday number 60 will at least warrant the reappearance of one David Hasselhoff in a certain talking car.

Princess Nightgown

Because every princess should have a brocade's not enough that a princess should wear such formal fabric in the daytime. She should sleep in it, too. Not sure how long that's going to last, but she does bear a strong resemblance to Linet in the 1989 musical version of Red Riding Hood.

Recital Dress

My girl wanted a new dress to wear to her recital, and she'd been dying for a dress like Mary wears in "The Secret Garden." She picked out some fabric at Jo-ann, and I went to work. Unfortunately, she grew while this was in production, so I had to add a placket to the back so that it would button.

Colored Pencils

A look back at some of my old work with colored (and uncolored!) pencils.

 I made this back in high school. The features, hair and dress I made up, but I looked at myself in the mirror for a reference. I remember how surprised people were at school that I could do something so amazing as drawing from a mirror. But those were simpler times.

 I drew a bunch of these and hung them up in my room. I particularly liked copying pictures of less popular characters, and I will say this: the more "classic" and old school you go, the harder they are to draw correctly.

Ah, my first foray into the world of the mechanical pencil. It was all I had to draw with, and the tip broke off. But that was lucky for me, because I discovered that you can get crazy small details that are harder to get with a regular pencil. Unless you have a really good pencil sharpener, which I definitely didn't at that time. The actual size of this picture is quite small.

 A pretend advertisement I had to do for…

A Few Old Faves

One of my favorite views of one of my favorite places.

I've got nothing much to say about this one. I like the colors though. And I always loved that old car in the corner.

 "The Washerwoman", done in the style of Berthe Morisot

No, this is not Oprah or Donna Summer. It's just some girl from a Body Shop ad a long time ago, but everyone always thinks it's someone famous.