Wednesday, October 31, 2012

gloom & doom

If you follow me on instagram you've probably seen my feed littered with quick (and not so quick) drawing of spooky things all month. Bill came up with the genius idea of doing one "gloomy doodle" every day during the month of October, and I quickly jumped on the band wagon. It's so fun drawing spooky icky gloomy things. I took a lot of inspiration from Silent Hill and Lars Von Trier movies and a website I found that had recipes for dark magic spells... what does that say about me?

 I have one left to do, on this the final day of October - I wonder what I'll come up with. Here are some of my favorites... Happy Halloweenie!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

unlisted #4

Another set of items occupying my mind grapes - from the edible to the legible! Previous versions: 1 / 2 / 3

the joy luck club by Amy Tan | A coworker lent me this book before I was done with my last job, and she was nice enough to let me keep it until I was done.... which didn't take too long, let me tell you. I don't know how I've never managed to pick up this classic book about mothers & daughters before, but I'm glad I finally did. Amy Tan does such an amazing job describing the many facets of family relationships, all in some gorgeous and haunting prose. "Because sometimes that is the only way to remember what is in your bones. You must peel off your skin, and that of your mother, and her mother. Until there is nothing. No scar, no skin, no flesh."

homemade vegan peppermint patties from brunch at saks | Every year, right around this time, I start dreaming about making seasonal desserts of all varieties.. it might be a little early for peppermint, but I think I need to plan making these and packaging them up in some pretty paper and handing them out after the first big snowfall like some sort of magical candy princess.

jenilee marigomen | I can't quite remember now how I came across Jeniless Marigomen's website and blog, but I am hooked. She is an amazing photographer with an eye for all sorts of everyday moments, and her journal (read: blog) is full of all sorts of images of a beautiful looking life. Definitely worth a scroll through. Pro tip: Try clicking "Everything Collage" on the right side of the page.

felicity | I think I can actually hear Katie screaming "I TOLD YOU SOOOOO" all the way from California, she of the You Must Watch Felicity variety. I started watching this show last week and am pretty desperately hooked. I know, I know what you're thinking: "uhhh, didn't Felicity give up her whole life and move to New York so she could follow a boy she had a crush on? GIRL DON'T LET A MAN RUN YOUR LIFE" but guys. I'm here to tell you that this show is so much more than that. It's sweet and it has the Pink Power Ranger and the whole look of the show is dark and cozy. I mean, there is a real tumblr dedicated to the sweaters of felicity, AND my fave Lost/Star Trek/Super 8 fella J.J. Abrams created it. Give Felicity a chance, buddies.

between a rock lamp | SECRET: The Land of Nod has some preeetttyyy baller stuff. I had previously written it off as Kid's Stuff and thus Not Worth Looking At, but oh, was I wrong. This lamp base, for one, is amazing - like a gold geode of light and prettiness. And look at these awesome wire baskets! And this sweatery moose blanket! I want to go to there!!!

jayne mansfield/lauren bacall hair | Now that I have the short hairs all I think about is what I can do with them. Braided crowns aren't quite the same, so I've turned to curling. My hair does hold a curl much better now, and I've been experimenting with going further. This jayne mansfield tutorial taught me some new things about pin curls and BRUSHING the curls out! I know, I should have known about this, but guys. Brushing curls out has changed my life. I've given it a few tries now, with a little success yesterday for the tarot show. Someday I'll really get it to look like the girl in the video, though. SOMEDAYYYY.

What about you? Got anything taking up space in your brain right now?

Monday, October 22, 2012


Hey dudes! Just a quick blog update on a REALLY COOL SHOW that I get to be a part of! I already mentioned it here, but I wanted to bring it up again: the Light Grey Art Lab's Tarot, Mystics and the Occult show is opening THIS FRIDAY. Do you live in the Twin Cities? Then you should go to this opening because it's going to be off the chainnnn. There will be tarot readings and cool people, two things I like.

However, I recognize that not all of you live in the cities. THAT'S OKAY, you can still get in on the fun! LGAL is currently taking Tarot Deck PRE-ORDERS. That's right, a whole new deck of tarot cards with beautiful illustrations by many different artists (including this moi!). AND AND AND you can purchase individual prints (like mine!) of the card illustrations, with or without the numerals on them. It's worth checking out, friends.

I'm also showing a colored/updated version of one of the illustrations from It Will Be Known to Us, which is also for sale on the website and at the show. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

cut off

I almost forgot to show off the new haircut- so here's a before and after! Okay, so it's not as crazy different as I was originally planning on, but I got a few inches removed and the ends lightened... and now it's SO much easier to curl and play with! Get ready, I've got some hair related plans in the wings.

Do you ever want to do something TOTALLY CRAZY to your hair and chicken out at the last minute? My hair pin board is pretty tame compared to some, but I get inspiration from it all the time!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Claire Boucher (aka Grimes) is officially my girl/artist/musician crush of the year. Bryan started listening to her in the spring and I followed quickly - her girlish charm, varying hairstyles and AMAZING crazy music videos are only the tip of the iceberg. This girl has some major musical chops, every single one of her songs appeals to the witchy dance-y vibe that I love. 

AND, as long as her ears stay healthy we're going to see her in concert this coming Monday! AHH I am so excited to see her and dance my brains out. But, and here is a big issue: what will I wear?! This is not your average "wear what you want" concert in my mind, I think I need to step it up. Maybe go just a little nuts in the accessories department? Many outfits will be planned, and I'm evening taking an emergency shopping trip with Alli this weekend.  

In the meantime I present to you one cheap and one spendy outfit... for inspiration. 

dress / vest / bracelets top middle bottom / boots

p.s. I had an illustration of Grimes started as well, but I just lost my wacom tablet pen and can't do anything until I found it! Toots.

Monday, October 15, 2012

little dipper

Sometimes when I start telling one of my Minnesota friends about a story from my childhood in Michigan it dawns on me that Ann Arbor is a weird and wonderful place. Wait, didn't everyone have a planetarium in their high school? You mean your local businesses don't have "fairy doors" scattered throughout them to find? I guess I took for granted my life in this farmer's market loving, maize and blue sporting town.

Finally, after all my stories, I got to show Ann Arbor off to the boy this weekend! Along with my awesome brother and his awesome lady, we all joined forces at my parent's house during the University of Michigan's homecoming weekend.

Even though I didn't go to the U of M I do feel a particular allegiance to my hometown football team, and the ferocity with which we tailgate. A list of edible things experienced:

-One of the 2,147,483,648 combinations at Blimpy Burger, worth the 30 minute wait
-Cheese shopping at the behemoth Whole Foods
-Beers, pizzas and chacuterie, all created by the Jolly Pumpkin
-Drinks at Ashley's
-Perhaps one too many more drinks at a strange bar hidden in the basement of an office building with the best quality photobooth I've ever seen.
-Fried chicken, oatmeal nobakes, chips and more at a tailgate

We also made a quick visit to the Museum of Natural History, one of my absolute favorite childhood haunts. This place has all that a girl obsessed with dinosaurs and lizards could ask for, and it didn't disappoint my adult self. Weird triangle jellyfish (lower right), fantastic rocks, creepy possum-giving-birth display? yes yes yes, and all with a brightly colored/wood paneled Wes Anderson vibe. 

Three days of fun, and now I'm back in my other home. Minnesota, Michigan, I love you equally.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

lather rinse repeat

I completed work for a deadline early on Thursday and decided to practice something new. I learned a little bit about repeating patterns in school, but never pursued them too much after graduating. Well, now I know a little more, thanks to a combination these two tutorials. And now YOU have a new desktop or iphone wallpaper! WOO!

iphone wallpaper: big version / small version

Feel free to offer these babies up for download on your blog, but please make sure to link back to this post.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

home run


Working from home is bringing me so much closer to our darling little apartment. It may only be two rooms, but gosh darnit those are our two rooms. And everyone knows that bigger isn't always better. Here are a few little tidbits from my space, since I always seem to focus on these little things.

The boy and I are headed to Michigan tomorrow. My other home, my beloved mitten state. It's going to be a weekend full of tailgating, food, exploring and everything that I adore about Michigan in the fall.



Speaking of homes, my portfolio also has a new home. Check it out: !!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

oh okay

guys, I know, I have a lot of work to do, deadlines to meet. I'm going to let you finish, but let me just say THE HAIRPIN POSTED OUR PIN CURL VIDEO.

So, you know, I'm pretty excited.

Back to work!

Monday, October 8, 2012

curled up

Ah, girlfriends. I am so lucky to have the BEST ladies in the world. For instance, who else would come over to my apartment during her short stint back in the twin cities and spend TWO EVENINGS IN A ROW doing my hair? Katie is a super talented illustrator, small business owner, fantastic blogger ANDDDD guys. She knows how to pin curl like a boss.

So we decided that everyone should learn how to pin curl, because you're going to look like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally, and that is a very good thing. We also made a companion video, produced by my super amazing boyfriend. A round of applause for him, everyone. Another round of applause for sloslylove, a friend of Katie's whose sweet sweet tunes are featured in the video.

On to the instructions!! you'll need...

-straight bobby pins (I like to have 2 full cards - you'll use a lot of pins)
-setting lotion / styling cream (I've heard good things about this stuff, but I usually just use a dab of this)
-hairspray (cheap is fine. I like this)
-large silk or cotton scarf / bandana

1) Begin at least 12 hours before you want curls - preferably 24. Resign yourself to the fact that you will be wearing a headscarf around town / to work / in the comfort of your own home for the day. Trust me, you look awesome.

2) Wash your hair thoroughly, using only shampoo, no conditioner. If you have time, let it air dry about 75%, if not, just use a blowdryer. You don't need it bone-dry (it's easier to set slightly damp) but the set will be tight enough that it won't have the opportunity to dry much more. 3) Work a nickel size portion of your setting lotion through your hair. Part your lovely locks down the middle. I like to set in quadrants (especially if I'm working on my own head) and tie off the rest in a pony.

4) Begin your pinning anywhere on your head - I like to start on the top, in the middle next to the part, and work out from there. Grab about a 1/2 inch square section of hair. Make it slightly smaller, about a 1/4 inch square, for super-tight curls. Pull the hair away from your head. Starting at the very end, wrap it around your forefinger, but not too tightly, since you'll need to slide it off. (If you're having trouble picturing this, place the strand on hair on top on your finger, hold the very end with your thumb, and trace a circle with your pointer.) When your finger reaches your scalp, you'll have a big ring of twisted hair around it.

5) Gently pull the ring of hair off your finger, and pin it in place with a single bobby pin (thicker and/or longer hair will need two pins, crossed into an X). Try to keep the end of the hair tucked into the pin.

6) Continue until your full head is pinned. If you have bangs, particularly it they are short or thick, consider leaving them straight - very short hair set in curls get wild quick. Like, 80s prom hair wild.

7) At this point, you now have a decent idea of how you'd look with a matted buzz cut. Mist your entire head with a lot of hairspray. Don't be shy.

8) Next, you'll tie your headscarf. (If you're a video person, check out this adorable, detailed video for good instructions - you can skip to 1:12.) Fold your scarf in half so it makes a triangle. Lean your head forward, resting the folded edge of the scarf against the nape of your neck with the point falling toward your face. Tie the ends of the scarf together over the point, right where your forehead meets your hairline (you're trying to keep all your pin curls under this scarf cover, so they're protected). Continue tying the ends, tucking the point of the scarf back into the knot, so you've got a little flat bun of scarf in the front, like the flower on Blossom's hat. Secure the scarf to your head with a few pins.

9) Carry on your merry way for 12-24 hours.

10) When you're ready for curls, untie the scarf and begin to remove the pins, one curl at a time - I usually go from the bottom up. Pay attention to how these look when unfurled - you may want to gentle separate some of the tangly, rope like twists. You can always go back when your full head is free and pull a few pieces apart for more volume. For a more fro-like look, separate every curl. This will make your hair nice and frizzy. If you're looking for softer curls, you can gently brush or pick your hair - you'll get some knots, but you'll end up with a very old-hollywood wave. At the end, I like to stick my fingers in right next to my scalp and wiggle to get a little lift at the root.

a) final product b) head scarf buddies! c) this is what my (very stubborn) hair looked like at the end of the night... and it was super wavy and gorgeous the next day!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

the write stuff

These days have been occupied with one of three things: working on a big project (secrets!), updating this very blog, and creating a brand new website. The website bit comes with the fun assignment of giving myself a new header... which means HAND LETTERING. Hand lettering is maayyybeee one of my favorite things. I pretty much went to town on this project, above are a few of the options.

Sadly you'll have to wait to see my website, as I'm running into a few technical hiccups. Actually my website doesn't work at all right now, which is a little terrifying because the cure seems to just be to wait. How awful is that?

In the meantime I decided to do a round up of some fun, hand drawn looking fonts. Paying for a font might seem a little painful with sites like and fontsquirrel, but guys. Lets real talk for a second here: do you want a font for your blog? For an etsy shop? I like free fonts just as much as the next person, but most of the time they will not deliver the gorgeous little details that a paying font will. You'll get a full set of glyphs (ever go to write a % or a & in a free font and all you get is a little square? yep, that's fun), you'll get better kerning and letting, heck you might even get more than one version of a letter or even a few dingbats thrown in. And all for $20-$60! Considering you are buying someone's art to use on your own product legally, that's not a bad deal.

Okay, getting off my soap box, and ON to my font box! Look at these bad boys, don't you want to take one home today?

Belluccia - starts at $29 | Trithart (oh hey, self promotion!) - starts at $24.99 | Verner - $26.25 | Sverige - $59 | Cerise - $68.40 | Coronette - starts at $29 | Emma Script (how perfect is that?) - starting at $39

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

year of the snake

When it comes to fate I only choose to believe when it is convenient. Like how over the weekend I happened to find myself at a giant circus themed dance night to celebrate the birthday of a friend - there were clowns (ick), people on stilts (more ick) and... SNAKES. Ahhhhh snakes, my childhood love. I wanted to study reptiles for the longest time, until I found out that drawing was a little more easy.

Anyway, the very next day I got a text from my brother introducing me to the newest member of his household. Severus is 4 months old, and EVERSO darling. So I drew him, because why not?

BONUS: here's some of the elements, before I scanned them in... plus something from a planned future piece:

Monday, October 1, 2012


sunday {shirt: j crew, belt: vintage, jeans: urban, shoes: target} monday {cardigan: vintage, tunic: isabel marant, belt: vintage, boots: dsw}

Guys, I finished my first week of freelance! I took an outfit photo every day that week, which was hard because (1) I get burned out on trying to make a good face and not look totally redonk and (2) I'm lazy. But I did it! Here are my outfits everyday from 9.23.12 to 9.29.12

tuesday {dress: anthropologie, belt: vintage, moccasins: minnetonka moccasins} wednesday {shirt: thirfted, skirt: swapped from Erin, boots: dsw}

thursday {sweater: vintage, jeans: omg jeans, boots: thrifted} friday {jacket: swapped from Maggie, scarf: vintage, dress: thrifted, moccasins: minnetonka}


saturday {shirt: j crew, necklace: h & m, jeans: forever 21, moccasins: minnetonka}