Archive for August, 2009

Magnetic Kids!

August 31, 2009

{Re}Introducing Magnetic Kids!  We’re back!

Magnetic Kids are magnetic “paper dolls” drawn and designed by me.  This project has been on the back burner for several years due to other commitments and priorities.  But I’ve just relaunched and I’m really excited about it. So here’s a bit more about Magnetic Kids and a small goodie for my readers, as well!

Currently there are five different sets, each of which include a Kid + 3 Outfits + 1 Pet.   If you absolutely must get a kid with a different outfit or pet, let me know and we’ll talk.

It’s important to me personally to do as much as I can to produce environmentally, ethically and economically responsible products.  So I’ve kept the production close to home and I use recycled materials when possible. The magnets themselves were manufactured outside of Boston, Massachusetts.  After you order one they are  individually packaged by me, a hop and a skip over in Providence, RI.  They come wrapped up in a cute biodegradable and compost-able box made out of sugar fiber  from a company in Pennsylvania.

The hangtags are made by the wonderful MOO, Inc. also located in Rhode Island.  Soon the cello packets I use for wrapping will be recycled as well.  I find the packaging seems to be a work in progress to find the balance between being earth friendly, while pleasing to the eye, but easy for me to work with, and of course easy on the wallet.  I’m doing my best.

Through Magnetic Kids, I donate a portion of the proceeds to charitable organizations that benefit children. Currently, I find projects to fund through the wonderful, which works with public school teachers to “provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack.”  I’ve been picking projects having to do with art for the younger elementary and preschool age set.

Right now Magnetic Kids is donating money to a New York City kindergarten class for new art supplies.  They want to work on some self portraits and I’m really looking forward to helping them do just that.  You can read more about it here.

And now for the goodie:  To mark this happy occasion you can get free shipping until September 15th if you mention …and Other Such Things blog in your checkout form.  Spread the word!  Whoo hoo!

Moleskine Exchange 2

August 30, 2009

Some images from the Moleskine Exchange, week 2:

I’ve been musing about doing a portrait series of houses in my neighborhood.   The area is called The Armory because its adjacent to what used to be a huge armory built in the early 1900s, complete with ten acres of “marching grounds”– now a park.

The houses surrounding it are mostly incredible “3 family” victorians.

Anyhow I started playing around with that idea here…  ( Above you can see a bit of Nicole’s star on the left side…I should have taken pictures of the other images in the book.  Darn.)

Though I should note these houses aren’t in my neighborhood, just random ones.

“To be a country or a city mouse…”

Ah yes.  My eternal dilemma.

Mid-Month Goal Check In

August 20, 2009

Jena from Modish Biz Tips has kindly posted a reminder that it is indeed half-way through August.  Here’s what’s up with my goals:

1.  Send out new Mailers at the end of the month. 

I have the cards, but I need to   

    •buy more stamps,

    •print out labels

   •spend an hour watching something fun and slapping it all together.

2.  Start sketches for a fall mailer. 

Um, nope. I have some ideas, but nothing on paper yet.

3.  Contact 3 more agents about possibly representing me.  

I have a couple in mind and have the materials to send.  Just gotta schedule it in.

4.  Go to the beach. Its August and I haven’t been yet.  Not even once.  And now I live in the “Ocean State.”

Sort of.  We went to one of the many beautiful state parks, and while this one was gorgeous, it definitely wasn’t indicative of your typical RI beach experience, complete with waves and soft sand and clam cakes.  I’ve got such a trip planned for this weekend though. 

5.  Add a newsletter sign up page to my site and blog.  

6. Contact Thumbtack Press to see if they’re interested in carrying any of my work as prints.

7.  Send out a newsletter announcing opening of my online shop.

Sign up for my newsletter by clicking here!

8. Make a list of possible wholesale stores for Magnetic Kids. (what’s Magnetic Kids? My new{ish} project in the works!)

9. Finish Magnetic Kids wholesale line sheet.

So close!

10. Contact two blogs about my online shop. 

I really just need to bite the bullet on this.  I hate to admit it but I think I’m just a little scared.  

But I feel good at where I’m at so far.  How is everyone else doing?

Anyhow, I’m supposed to be concentrating on a pretty fun illustration project, but I’ve got friends coming for dinner tonight, and I keep getting distracted by the cooking possibilities.  Chocolate mousse…?  Watermelon Basil Salad…?  Agggh!  Gotta get my head back in the game!

Lemon Cucumbers and Wise Words

August 18, 2009

I was reading the blog over at Lilla Rogers Studio (–an amazing illustration agency, whose roster of artists is truly impressive and always inspirational, and of course I would die to be among them, but I’m getting off subject–) and I came across this post about Lisa Congdon’s  promo card.  This sentence caught my eye:

 Here’s how it works: really good artists have lots of styles and media because they have so much talent and a delicious greed to try everything. Then, over time, the styles often morph together to become one’s own distinctive style.

That’s a breath of fresh air to me.  I feel like I definitely have those tendencies–ooh look at that, let’s try this… but as I read the post I realized I  tend to reign in my experimenting.  Like I’m getting off topic.  Or my because style isn’t cohesive enough.  This is a good reminder that experimenting is a good thing.  And that styles are evolving creatures.  And that at some point, I guess when it’s supposed to, it will all come together.  

Coming from an animation world, where you’re supposed to be able to draw anything in whatever style they throw at you, its been particularly confusing for me to find my own one style.  I feel like I’m coming into it, but it can be a little scary.  Anyhow, thank you Ms Rogers for the encouragement.

Gift Tags

August 15, 2009

The first time I ordered promotional postcards, I ordered a lot. Not only do I have a bunch leftover, but the contact information is out of date, which means they’ve been packed away for a couple years.  

But the other day I realized they would make cute gift tags.  

So they’re in the shop.  — 20 tags for $5.  Skip on over to Other Such Things to get yours!


August 14, 2009

We’re staying in for the weekend!  And doing nothing.  Yay.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wedding Fun

August 13, 2009

This past July, on the only sunny weekend, Austin, my friend (since nursery school!) was married in her parents’ beautiful backyard overlooking the water. 

I made a few items for the event and I’m really happy with how they came out. 

Wedding programs waiting to be cut:

Printed Pablo Neruda poem read in Spanish by Austin followed by the English translation by Oliver.

Place cards made from vintage National Geographic Maps:

Can you tell I’m a little obsessed with my round-corner-punch?  

Congratulations Austin and Oliver!

Moleskine Group week 1

August 12, 2009

I’ve been doing a “Moleskine exchange group” since July and I keep forgetting to share my drawings. It’s been super fun to do– the book has 60 accordion pages, there are ten of us, so we each draw on 6 pages and then pass it on to the next person. Sort of like Exquisite Corpse. Or a chain letter?
Anyhow I started off my moleskine with this:

My (2nd?) cousin had just been born and everyone was over-the-moon thrilled. I was in Vermont with my family when she arrived.  The coyotes were howling that night.  

Hence the baby and the coyotes.  

Its been challenging to just draw.  Right on the page.  No scanning, no rearranging, no computers.  Not much planning.  Coloring with whatever I feel like.  It feels like a good stretch.  

There are more images on Flickr if you’re interested.

Monday Goodie

August 10, 2009

Are you a “Cooking Animal?”

August 7, 2009

Did anyone else read Michael Pollan’s article in the New York Times Magazine, “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch”?  

I just finished it last night (– I love that magazine so I like to make it last.)  To summarize it briefly: it details how people in our country, despite being obsessed with channels like The Food Network, are cooking less and less.  Let’s say I found it not a little depressing, but also totally the opposite of my reality.  

I am cooking more and more.  I love to cook– actually cook, not thaw or reheat (though I do those things as well.) I love farmer’s markets, my own little vegetable garden, and, once I’m actually there, I usually find more than one thing at the grocery store that I’m really excited about.  Yes, I read about food and cooking– in books and blogs– and I enjoy all the competitive cooking shows.  But I mostly find them inspiring.  They’re certainly entertaining, but they also make me want to go cook.  I recently stopped eating wheat gluten.  Yes, it can be a drag, but its also been fun learning how to bake without reaching for the regular flour.  

I am surrounded by people who love to cook.  We can talk on end about various kinds of ingredients with most of our old and new friends.  I just spent the weekend with my teenage cousins from Atlanta who both happily received cooking-related presents, of which they both put to use within hours.  (The cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the Worldand a sweet mechanical pastry bag, if you’re wondering.) Another cousin is a vegan personal chef.  My family’s idea of a good time is cooking up a storm and then sitting around a large table to enjoy it.   The majority of the children I watched as a babysitter in New York, loved to cook– and knew how!

So.  While apparently, not indicative of the nation as a whole, being excited by cooking and real food is definitely a trend in my life.  And certainly one I plan on passing down to my (eventual) children.  It cannot be a lost art– to go the way of “horseback riding,” or “…sewing or darning socks.”  Please, Mister Pollan, cheer up.  There must be others like me out there.




A funny aside: After I finished the article I flipped through it again filled with despair and sinking feelings.  Then this photo illustration by Erwin Olaf caught my eye.  

Isn’t that kitchen AMAZING?  The counter space alone still makes me faint…just needs a little cleaning.

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