Sunday, July 31, 2011

in the drawing room


My favorite part of do(odl)ing The Stew Book was writing about the people who were in it. I like knowing what makes creative people tick, and I enjoy even more putting those thoughts and details on paper.

So I'm going to keep rolling with it! For the next few months I'm going to host a weekly series here called "In the Drawing Room", in which you'll meet (or get to know better) some creative folks I find fascinating. They won't be traditional interviews, but doodled ones, with the kind of little details you'd find out in casual conversation over a drink or a cup of coffee. Hence the name "drawing room", which is the old fashioned term for the room in someone's home where people gather and get to know each other. To boot, the drawing room truly IS the drawing room in my house! It's the first place you walk into when you enter the front door. It used to be a living room until I realized we never used it as a living room, so I moved in and declared it my art studio.

I'll post the features on Tuesdays, just as I did with List it Tuesday. Hope I can stick it out a little longer this time ;) My first guinea pig will be in my drawing room this Tuesday -- someone who has influenced my creative style immensely. I hope you'll join us and help take care of that cake on the sofa while you're here!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

letter me happy

letter me happy entrance




letter me happy haru







i spent a fun (but sweaty) morning downtown scouting out letterforms wrought by hand -- it probably goes without saying that i have a super soft spot for them, except when they wind up on the walls of my house. thank you all loads for the great feedback on the stew book -- that one won't be in the shop but i'm hard at work on two others, which will be!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

the stew book




















The Stew Book is finished! Fresh off the Artsyville press (my whiny but trusty printer), this started as a small recipe booklet from my creative retreat last fall in Minnesota with Rachel, Liv, Carissa, Jen, Susie, Kolleen, Lori (and our much missed Chrissy and Valentina). The more I got into it, the more I kept adding until it wound up being a full-blown memoir of the weekend. (Never mind that it took me nine months to do it, longer than it took Susie to have her baby.) This was a personal challenge for me, as I've always wanted to hand letter a book from start to finish. Now that know that I can hold a thought and take the pen beyond one page, I have plans for more. But for now I'd just like to say thank you to those ladies who fed me creatively for those four wonderful days last October -- and I'm sorry it took so damn doodle long!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011



Either the calendar lies or I've slacked off here for a week and a half. What's the excuse now? Normally I'd blame it on #1 but this time it's a tad of #2 and a lot of #5. I've tackled my first doodled tome, a mini book/zine/whatever you want to call it, hand lettered from start to finish. Whenever I get fully absorbed in something I get obsessed to the point that everything else falls by the wayside. Even the kids are giving me forlorn looks and fixing their own Special K. Hoping to get back here soon to share my humble little production from the Artsyville press, but for now I must wrestle with the printing and binding (the parts that always elude me) and rig the garden hose to the side of my doodledesk. Even A/C isn't enough to stave off this bitchin' 100+ heat.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

made on mass

I had heard rumors for months that an Etsy-inspired store was coming to my neighborhood, and then I had the excellent fortune to bump into my friend Robin at the post office today. She said: "Have you heard? It's open!" And off I went. It's called Made, at 737 Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence, and was started by Etsy seller Jennifer (littlerory) when she realized that her favorites list had gotten so big that it was time to make a brick and mortar shop out of it. Everything is handmade -- a mixture of items from Etsy sellers (I recognized a few shops such as Uncommon and Tinder & Bloom) and local artisans.















Jennifer and Matt, the owners, are pure delights and let me wander around with my camera to my heart's content, and didn't even call me on the carpet when I jabbered their ears off 15 minutes past closing (I forgot it was Sunday and didn't realize my transgression until I got home). What an awesome and much needed addition to downtown Lawrence -- their store gives a whole new meaning to the Etsy concept "shop local."♥

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

i've found my marbles





It's already six weeks into summer here so I thought I'd best get moving on my mini road trip plans around the Kansas countryside. I love passing through tiny towns, driving on rinky dink bumpity roads, making up stories and songs about the abandoned houses and bits of civilization I see, wondering what I'll find next. Eastern Kansas took me by surprise when we first moved here because I expected it to be flatter than a pancake, but it's not. It's hilly, rolly, full of crags and dips and lush greens. Just perfect for a country drive.

Our first stop on the mini road trip tour: the Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs. Who knew I'd find all of my marbles only 20 miles east of home! It's a darling little place packed from floor to ceiling with marbles big and small of every color, as well as lots of marble games throughout the store to keep the kids from ever wanting to leave. The open stock is machine made -- so they're reasonably priced -- and the pricier artisan-made pieces are absolutely stunning. They offer marble making demonstrations throughout the day so you can watch in amazement as the glass shards fly and blaze and fuse into circular magic. My 5 year old chose to disrupt the demo (despite the warning sign that they charge $5 for whining) so I (quite annoyed) departed early with my little offender to spare the rest of the audience. The well-behaving big girl got to choose 9 beautiful pieces for her own before we left, but the younger one, it goes without saying, lost her marbles.

I took two wrong turns on the way out of town and ended up wedged in between a couple of farms before winding my way back to the state highway, through the corn and back to Lawrence. Mini road trip #1 complete, and a hard lesson learned for the small child. My gas tank was on E, so it was almost a hard lesson for the mother, too.

Next on the list? I'm thinking historic Leavenworth -- also home of the famous maximum security federal prison. Surely my daughter wouldn't be tempted to act up there.