Monday, March 30, 2009

Stitchy Avi

Avi of the Day

This time she's an embroidery pattern. How cute! It's so her. It's also available for sale on Etsy - at my completely silly "Happy Fun Time Embroidery Co." shoppe. So. Silly.

BTW, special thanks to certain crafty people who bought my "Celtic Creatures" pattern! You know who you are!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Fun Time! Embroidery Co.

I always have to give lofty names to my many shopfronts and selling spaces on the internet, and this one is no different. I am quite pleased to report that I put up my first embroidery pattern for sale on last night - two owl patterns in one lil package - and this morning I had already sold one!

I plan to add lots more, so hopefully people will continue to like them and buy them. If you'd like to see the total silliness of the shop, here's the link:

Owl Patterns, Etc., on Etsy

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Owl Embroidery, for Real Real!

I finished my (faux) blackwork embroidery on the owl pattern I made the other day. I think it looks really spiffy, and I'm very proud of myself! It's almost completely backstitch, which is one of my least favorites, but the fabric was so thin, or my needle too thick, that I kept popping stitches with split stitch (my fav). I used a little Holbein stitch on the tail, but that's the only place.

I'm thinking about creating more of my own patterns and putting them up for sale on It might also be cool to make cauls, patches, and other embroidered stuff for sale, too, and only embroider something when it's ordered. I keep looking for more things to embroider for myself, since I can't just do something without having a *purpose* - like making it to wear with a costume, etc. The Etsy thing might be a good outlet. :-)

This pattern is available in my Etsy shop, along with other owl-flavored gubbins.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Foxy 'Broiders!

I promise this won't turn into an embroidery blog, but I will say that embroidery is not unlike drawing, just with thread. You're basically just making little pictures - lines, fills, tone, hue. I made this pattern for my costuming partner-in-crime, who loves foxes. As you can see, the style of the fox is similiar to the owl I did yesterday. This one is a bit more "full" and complex than the owl, so I might have to add to mine a bit. Mags and I go to faire and other costumey events together, so we'll be sortof "matching" with the renegade anachronistic hand-embroidered cauls. Gotta love it :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Embroidery Madness

Last night I learned how to embroider. That's right, after reading an incredibly enlightening blog - Sublime Stitching - I got me some embroidery flosses, a hoop, and started stitching. I am shocked at how easy it is! I made a small daily and felt quite proud of myself, and now visions of amazingly embroidered everythings are running through my head.

Embroidery is quite popular for Elizabethan and Jacobean clothing, particularly blackwork. I've always loved blackwork, and now intend to decorate the collar and cuffs of my new shirt. It's mono-chromatic, and I have a not-too-complex pattern all ready to go, so I'll start on that sometime soon.

I also want to embroider a caul and a purse, and thought it would be fun to try to make my own design. My costuming partner-in-crime has assigned me The Owl as my "familiar," since I'm making the insane Barn Owl Gown for Halloween, and generally love them, so I made up this little half-Jacobean-half-modern-looking circular owl design. The caul will be worked in black, and the purse will be polychrome (fancy word for multi-colored). Is this overly complicated? Not too much...only a couple fills, and the rest just lines. Fun stuff!
The finished vector version of this pattern, along with 3 others, is available to purchase HERE on Etsy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Scrappy Avi

This day has been about scrapbooking, starting in the morning when the radio host said he would never in his life do scrapbooking because it was so boring. I thought about it a little bit and realized that scrapbooking is just design. It's the combination of elements to create an aesthetically pleasing whole. It has first, secondary, and even third reads, and works with multiple patterns and palettes.

The same basis of scrapbooking forms, and essentially IS, the foundation and technique of creating anything in the Shabby Chic or modern French Country styles, with which I worked today, for a new line of music boxes from Westland. And how much fun! After finding oodles of PS brushes and patterns, and sourcing bunches of random clipart and fabric swatches from the web, I was off and running, combining elements, shifting things around, and creating shockingly pleasing compositions. Hooray for collage! Today I was, in a sense, a professional scrapbooker.
So having finished my work stuff up, I decided to do the same for today's installment of Avi. Silly, yes, but fun! Try it!

Oodles of awesome free Photoshop Brushes HERE:

Monday, March 23, 2009


I have added a few new links to the sidebar over yonder. These are links for design more than illustration - the sweet, sweet combination of just the right elements to create that wonderfully pleasing card, picture frame, trinket box, or whatever else! I've been loving French Country and Shabby Chic design genres lately, which all ties in with scrapbooking, and somehow is vintagey at the same time. I'm also digging the "new" mod design - I'm not sure what to call's kindof indie, mod, childlike, cute, bold...soemthing like that.

Here are the links right here to click on an love:

Go and be merry!

Owl Gryphon Goodness

Owls are awesome. Lions are also awesome. Gryphons are even more awesome.

I always find it fun to think outside the mythical box when doodling beasties, and try to go at something a different way. I'm sure all combinations of bird and cat have been done before, but I like to think I'm original :-). At least they've never been done in MY style! I've been thinking a lot of about owls lately, and how cool they are, so I sketchied up this owl-gryphon-beastie. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Barn Owl Gown

I have set up a new blog to track the progress of a year-long costuming project, uninspiringly dubbed "The Barn Owl Gown." For those of you who don't know, I am an avid historical costumer in addition to being an illustrator. I don't bring my costuming stuff into this blog, to keep it focused, but occasionally you'll see sketches for dresses, or I'll post a link like I'm doing now. Anywho, for anyone interested in costumes, craziness, and FEATHERS, CLICK HERE! Or click the image...that works too :-)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patty's Avi

The other day we decided to take Avi for a little walk around the larger park surrounding the dog run. There is a large soccer field up a little incline, through a lovely meadow of tall grass and bunches of bamboo. Once up at the field, Avi raced around, full of joy, and occassionally stopped to roll in the grass. Normally I don't allow her to do this, but it seemed like she was just rolling in grass clippings, like dogs sometimes do to feel good. After a few minutes, however, I realized that the field was full of large clumps of what appeared to be unidentifyable animal dung! Before I could catch her, though, Avi whizzed by me and across the field, completely ignoring my commands, and found a particularly large, dense, gooey, green pile of whatever this stuff was, and went for the roll of her life! She came up completely coated in green slime, with chunks of it adhered to her back, and large, chartreuse smears across her shoulders, flanks, and face. Straggling bits of the offending mulch were caught in her collar, and while the pup could not have been happier, I could not have been more disgusted. She was wrapped in an old beach towel and carted home for immediate washing, shampooing, rinsing, more scrubbing, more rinsing.

We now think that the gooey, fetid pile o' green was a a composty chunk of grass clippings that the industrial lawn mower spat out. It had a strangely chemical smell (far more alarming than animal poop, since it was all over our dog's skin!), and was toxic-slime green. Avi seems to be okay, and has not sprouted any additional limbs or developed super powers as of yet, but I'll be sure to keep an eye on her ...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Get Inspired by Africa...

I found this incredible article whilst researching African tribal art, costume, and whatnot for a project at work. I will hopefully post the resulting artwork inspired by these images in the future, after the release of the new "Tusk" elephants, but in the meantime, I found this so cool that I thought to recommend it to you all! Go and be inspired by Africa...!
Here's the link again:

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Penwork a l'Shop...not the best sketch...head too big? Buns too small?'s something besides a picture of my dog!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Avi Unleashed

In an effort to chronicle Avi's behaviors, personality, and cuteness, I have revealed Avi's personal life...her joys...of chewing up my underwear...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Avi Power-Pup

Your Avi-du-jour! This is the most accurate depiction of Avi thus far. To be TOTALLY spot-on I would have to put a shred of toy carcass in her mouth. :-)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Avi of the Day - Little Patient Waiter

Avi likes to ride in the car. The problem is she is not very good at it. She stands in the front seat and looks out the windshield, but she doesn't quite have the balance down. She doesn't understand that if she just sits down, or even better, lays down, in the seat, all her problems will be solved.
While Avi likes going to and from destinations, she doesn't like waiting in the car at all. She lets loose the most pitiful and heart-rending series of puppy-cries you've ever heard, in a desperate plea to convince me to come back to the car. She stops keening when she can't see me anymore, and typically curls up and snoozes.

Upon returning, whether it's been 30 seconds or 30 minutes, I've never seen a happier dog. It's like I've been gone for the entire day. Perhaps in her little puppy brain it has seemed that long! She is a bundle of wiggles and joyful kisses. She is either truly happy to see me, or this is her attempt to get me to drive to the dog park, for that is the REAL and ONLY reason to get in the car, no?