In Vermont

lucile's Kitchen

Hello from Snowy Vermont!  I'm spending the last few days of the year here, cozying up with my family and a few friends.  I just found this quote from EB White (or perhaps Robert Frost?) that describes our time nicely:

To foreigners, a Yankee is an American.
To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner.
To Northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner.
To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander.
To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.

Which we do indeed do.  In fact, that sounds like a great way to start the day tomorrow.

See you in the new year!  It's going to be a wonderful one-- I can just feel it!



You can buy the above lovely print from Lucille's Kitchen right here.


Baggu Wrapping


Do you guys know about Baggu?

Yes, their website design is impeccable, but really they are in the business of making lovely bags.  They started with nylon ones you can roll up and save for shopping, (above,) but they've expanded their line to include other bags, such as this swank backpack as featured in none other than the Sartorialist:

Anyways, they made this handy tutorial about wrapping presents with Baggu bags.  It reminds me of Japanese furoshiki wrapping, but even easier:


So simple, right? Two presents in one!

Portraits in LMNOP magazine!

They're here!   The portraits I did for the winners of the Christmas Wish contest are in the latest issue of LMNOP! portraits in LMNOP magazine!

The rest of the issue is super fun as well!

I am loving these crazy cut out hats, in particular:

Download your free issue of LMNOP right here to see the rest!

If you'd like your own custom portrait, you can get more information on my portfolio site right here.

November Goals

Fabulous weather I did pretty well on goals for last month.  I forget that I always add a bunch throughout the month, (plus other things, like um rowing in The Head of the Charles--gah!)  so keeping it simple in the beginning is the way to go.

By the way,  I'm happy to report that spots are now going fast for portraits!  If you'd like to give one for the holidays, please get in touch!

October Goals:

  1. Sign up for
  2. Work on final drawing/layout for Uppercase’s Work/Life promo book.
  3. Order postcards
  4. Address and mail them out!
  5. Cold call two companies a week to get submissions information.
  6. Work on next postcard design.
  7. Get the word out about doing portraits! (I’d love to draw YOUR portrait!  Go here for more info!)

I've been doing a lot better with promoting/marketing.  Between postcards, signing up for and Uppercase's Work/Life promo book, and doing the contest with LMNOP, I've been really putting myself out there.  I always struggle with this, so I'm proud of myself.  So far working with LMNOP has been super fun, so I'm planning to do more blog partner events/give-aways.  Still need to work on the cold calling.

November Goals:

  1. Cold call two companies a week to get submissions information.
  2. Finish addressing and mailing postcards
  3. Finish illustration for Uppercase’s Work/Life promo book.
  4. Research and then contact a few blogs about the portraits.  (I’d love to draw YOUR portrait!  Go here for more info!)
  5. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We're hosting both our families this year.

Yes.  Keeping it simple.  I think the above, plus work and all the portrait-creating will keep me busy!  Not to mention Thanksgiving and a trip to Vermont before hand to meet our new God-Baby!!

Phew.   November, you are not messing around!

Star in LMNOP's next issue (aka win a FREE portrait from ME!)

lmnop I'm excited to announce a new collaboration with the wonderful LMNOP magazine!

You "send in your child’s photo (a portrait style is best), together with their dearest (or craziest) Christmas wish in 25 words or less. We’ll select the best five entries to be illustrated by Gaia herself and they will appear in a special feature in our bumper Holiday Issue.

What’s more, the winners will receive a print of their illustrations as a Christmas gift from us!"  Head on over here to check it out and get more details!

Edit: I should add I do portraits on a regular basis as well!  Click here for more info!

October Goals

Decorating Cookies sketchHmm I haven't posted goals here in a while.  Not because I haven't been doing them, more that the lists seem to be continually in flux and I've been adjusting weekly.  However, I kind of miss having one big list to look at, so here is October-- if a little late:

  1. Sign up for
  2. Work on final drawing/layout for Uppercase's Work/Life promo book.
  3. Order postcards
  4. Address and mail them out!
  5. Cold call two companies a week to get submissions information.
  6. Work on next postcard design.
  7. Get the word out about doing portraits!  (I'd love to draw YOUR portrait!  Go here for more info!)

Above is a sketch I have--at least for now-- given up on coloring.  Man, it was a mess.  I like that kid though.

On Illustration: Borrowed Dreams I spotted the link to this list on Twitter. Its so good, its worth posting again:

• You learn to draw by drawing. • People that are better than you are just better than you because they’ve had more practice. • Draw VERBS, not nouns. – Walt Stanchfield • Turn everything you paint to greyscale (digitally). If it looks like a grey soup, you f*cked up. • If you’re not sure what good values look like, look at screen stills from B/W movies, like Citizen Kane. • You learn to draw by drawing. • 50 bad illustrations might yield one good one. You learn to draw by drawing. • Sometimes you gotta draw it 6 or 7 times. • Use sharp edges for only important things, practice hierarchy and contrast. Have a focal point. • If you’re going to give someone a jewel, don’t surround it with shiny things. – Paul Hudson • Saturate your eyes and brain with work that is better than what you can do. Then put it all away and start working. • Progress, not Perfection. • Schedule time to utterly fail. – Iain McCaig • Take reference, it’s easier that way. Don’t make stuff up if you don’t have to. If it doesn’t exist, figure out how to take a picture of it anyway. Use cardboard, clay, macaroni… doesn’t matter. • Doubt can only be removed by ACTION. – Goethe • Use the best materials you can possibly afford. You’re already fighting a battle. Don’t fight the materials. Find pencils/brushes/paper that feel good. • Does it work in greyscale? Does it work at postage-stamp size? Does it work reversed? Upside down? • Do what you love, other people will love it too. – Z

Good stuff, right?

The list, (and the gorgeous illustration!) is from the, obviously very talented, Brooklyn "illustration duo" Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon's blog, Teetering Bulb.  Thanks for posting it!


Stella!We're fostering a dog! We've been talking about adding a pup to our little family for ages now, but the prospect of finding the right one seemed a bit daunting.   But I had dogs on the brain.  (I have for years.)  We realized fostering might be the way to go.  So a couple weeks ago, when I spotted a calm, 3 year old --who was good with cats!-- needing a New England foster, we jumped!

She is adorable.


Seriously, the photos do not do her justice.  More to come...