Archive for October, 2008

Halloween!

October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween everybody!  Its our first Halloween in Providence and we’re gonna keep it pretty quiet.  

Aren’t these photos pretty?  They’re from our trip to Vermont last weekend.  It poured the first day, but then looked like this the rest of the time.  Amazing…

Anyhow, we’re out the door to go trick or treating with my friends kids!  Hope everyone has as much fun as we will!

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Cricket Thursday #2

October 30, 2008

Hey I’m back in the nick of time for week two of Cricket Thursdays!  I looked for a Halloween themed one and came up with this:

October 1988, volume 16, #2. Cover by Sue Truesdell.

I remember Sue Truesdell from The Golly Sisters Go West and Chicken Said Cluck.  This illustration is so funny.  All the different witch personalities and the funny cats who look terrified. The bulging, glowing eyes.  I love how you can practically hear them talking and laughing, and everywhere your eye lands there’s some other little detail you almost missed.

Isn’t this gorgeous?:

Its by Alix Berenzy and honestly I’m sure it was one I passed over.  Just a little too subtle for nine year old Gaia.  But its just lovely.  Working with the negative white space, makes it look windy and a bit chilly, but also so whispy and ethereal.  Which is a good contrast to the typical creepy/eery dark night scenes. Those witches are speed demons and they’re having a good time. 

 

Aunt Jane and the Balloony Weekend is about an aunt who turns into a balloon every Friday at 11 o’clock.  Her niece takes care of her on a weekend trip. She’s great: “Pretty soon a little girl came and sat opposite us.  She was all frills, bows, and curls, so I knew I had to be careful.  I have never gotten the hang of dealing with little girls like that.”  The illustrations by Marylin Hafner fit perfectly:

My favorite of the bunch this week is from the “Subscribe to Cricket for the Holidays” ad on the back cover:

“Attention Grownups!” reads the copy.  This must be Trina Schart Hyman. Right?  It must be. Hmmm–It looks like someone embellished the cat a bit…

I messed around with the white balance on my camera to “eh” results.   Then I played with the settings in iphoto rather than bringing everything into Photoshop.  The colors are still a bit wonky, but better than last week.  Bear with me people.  Perhaps this will be the week I actually pick up the camera’s owners’ manual.  

If you’d like to see more images from this issue, head on over to Flickr.

Cricket Thursday #1

October 23, 2008

Who else as a kid obsessively read Cricket?  

A few weeks ago, on my way out the door after visiting with my parents, my mom hefted a huge paper bag into my arms.  It weighed a ton and was full of… Cricket magazines!  

Looking through them, its crazy how many covers and specific illustrations I clearly remember. ( I felt the same way going through old National Geographics, and I must have been even younger reading those… yeah I grew up without a tv, ok?)  Some of them are so tattered and loved the binding is held together with tape.  They’re all here: Sendak, Hillary Knight, Trina Schart Hyman…  I’m remembering Cricket is what made me want to be an illustrator in the first place.  

There are also drawings I remember hating. In those days, I had very specific views on what made for a successful children’s book.  I have funny memories of sitting on the library floor, surrounded by piles of books, tossing ones aside in disgust.  

Picture Book Requirements:

1. Realistic drawings.  I was in LOVE with Trina Schart Hyman.  But no “baby stuff” for me please.  Meaning if I could hypothetically draw like it, I wasn’t interested.  

2.  More pictures than words.  Who wants a wordy picture book? I was a big fan of Stephen Kellog.  

3. Mischevious and/or bossy kids.  The naughtier the better.  Eloise, Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, In the Night Kitchen…  

4. Lots of little details.  The more detailed the better.  Hidden puzzles? fabulous.  Silly something going on in the background not related to the text.  Perfect.    I poured over Graeme Base’s Eleventh Hour

I like to believe my tastes have changed and ahem, matured. But I still think about that list sometimes when I’m drawing.  

Back to Cricket.  Cricket Thursdays!  Randomly selected from the bag: 

January 1991, volume 18, #5. Cover by Hillary Knight.

Though I remember the cover, I don’t really remember any of the stories.  “The Man Who’s Mother Was A Pirate” by Margaret Mahy is definitely my favorite of the bunch now.  Its illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain.  

“It’s for my mother,” the little man explained. “She used to be a pirate.”

“Oh, well, that’s different,” said Mr. Fat, who rather wished he were a pirate himself.  “But make sure you are back in two weeks, or I will buy a computer.”

Here are some more of my favorite images from the issue:

From Winter Wings by Mary Lee Donovan. Illustrations by Leslie Bowman.

From “Winter Wings” by Mary Lee Donovan. Illustrations by Leslie Bowman. 

Detail from “Dragon’s Breath” by Mary Catelli. Illustrations by Richard Jesse Watson.

From “The Brave Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughters” by Margaret M. Shermock. Illustrations by Victor Ambrus.

There are more images on Flickr

 

Note: I’m noticing how grey these look. Sorry about that– I guess I need to check my white balance.  I’ll figure that out for the future.

Knits

October 21, 2008

I’m totally eyeing these sweaters from Anthropologie:

Ski Lift Cardi in Beige:

 

And the Contoured Cardigan in Navy:

Emily, from  A Black Apple, has that one in a grey.  Its looks great on her, which makes it even more tempting.

They are both on sale.  And the Ski Lift one with a skirt would make a great Thanksgiving Day Dinner Outfit….

We’ll see.

Anthropologie’s shoes.  

Forget about it.  I’m not even aloud to look at them.  

Incidentally, didn’t you love the photos in their latest catalogue?

Weren’t they gorgeous?  They were shot in Iceland by my wonderful Julia!  Yay Julia… I can’t wait to see you!!

Weekend

October 20, 2008

    

My sister and I were supposed to spend the weekend in Martha’s Vineyard visiting our Aunt. Unfortunately our Aunt was feeling not so great, so, much to everyone’s disappointment, the trip was postponed.  Happily the weekend was redeemed by a trip to the farmer’s market –during which flowers were purchased, a massage, an overnight visit from my sister, then Sunday brunch with all of us, plus a friend, ending with a dinner of grilled burgers and apple bread. Then I worked until 1 am, but never mind that.

Ok, so not as great as Martha’s Vineyard, but pretty darn good.

       

Aren’t those flowers pretty?  I love the woman from the nursery who sells them. She always finds an excuse to throw in one for free– ” Those petals look a little bent,” or “You look so serious picking out flowers– have this one!”  I appreciate it.  And I am serious picking out flowers.  

My massage included cupping on the advice of the masseuse, who was concerned about the tightness of my neck and shoulders.  What do you do? she asked. In some sick way, I was glad my back was so messed up she seemed worried.  –I always feel guilty spending money on a massage. But apparently I don’t get them enough!  Which means I get to get them more!  My sister’s New Years resolution last year was to get a massage every month.  Which is such a great resolution in so many ways.  I should adopt it.  

Back to cupping. I’d never done it before.   “It might leave a slight red mark for a day or two.”  Um.  It looks like I got it on with a bottom feeder fish.  (Or, as my sister said, like someone hit me with a baseball bat.)  Then she said “…Oh some celebrity got it and then wore some backless dress to the Emmys and made a big fuss.  Who was it..?”  I was too embarrassed to say I knew exactly was she was talking about: Gwyneth Paltrow. NY film premiere.  Strapless top.  I feigned ignorance.  Anyhow, It felt great.  And its cold, so scarves should take care of it.  No problem.  

On the work front, I finished the animation project I’ve been working on!  I’ll post some stills as soon as its approved by the client!

Business-y Books

October 17, 2008

My copy of The Boss of You  just came in from the library.  I’ve only read the first couple chapters, but so far its great.  Everything seems right up my alley.  I’ve been thinking a lot about my life and defining success and having goals etc etc.  Just trying to figure things out.  Right now my problem is focusing on one thing and going for it.  Actually, that’s usually my problem.  I guess I’m in the process of figuring out how all these different interests fit together.  Anyhow.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading.  

On the recommendation of RiffeRaff I read The Martha Rules.  

Its fun (and comforting) to read about how a mogul like Martha started out.  Not that I want to run a media empire, but obviously she has a lot of gems to pass along.  Incidentally, RiffeRaff’s blog Make It, all about her starting and running her craft business of screen-printed goods, is one of my favorite and constant reads.  Loads of information about starting your own business.  Gobs.  Plus her work is just lovely.  So go check it out if you haven’t.  

Has anyone read The Anti 9-to-5 Guide?  Its next on my list…

Busy and Bikes

October 17, 2008

I’ve been swamped around here. –Trying to finish up an online animation project, visiting New York last weekend! a few weekends ago and (still) getting the place in order.
Lately, I’ve gotten to do some lettering for various jobs. Its something I haven’t done much of in the past and its been really fun.

One of those projects was for t-shirt designs for the annual Lower East Side Kids’ Art Bike Parade.
Some first drafts:

Mostly, just fooling around with the lettering placement and different bikes.

The final design:

In the end they wanted ribbon lettering to go with the “2008” ribbon.  I think it came out really cute.  It was printed in black on yellow shirts. 

The parade was a few weekends ago and from the photos it looks like it was a huge hit:

Everyone looks great in their shirts!

Working late with Ang Lee

October 13, 2008

I’ve been working way into the wee hours lately and so have been taking full advantage of hulu.com‘s selection of films to keep me going.  Even if it does take a bit longer to get something done, I figure its worth it, as I’m actually doing it.  Having a movie going on in the background allows for working through the night.  Anyhow, I stumbled across Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility last night.  Its so lovely.  I love Jane Austen.  

If you haven’t seen it in a while and like those sorts of things, you should definitely check this one out again. Besides the amazing cast and the expected wit, its just wonderfully weepy and wrenching, with the dependable happy ending.  Which one appreciates at 2 am.  

One random thing that really caught my eye was their posture. Its out of control.  

  

See? Even there as they’re sitting casually in the grass…

I also was really drooling over the millions of pleats in their simple empire waste dresses.  I love pleats…

Ok back to work! I’m off to a screening tonight in Newport, RI of We Are Wizards, so I’ve got to get stuff done.


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