Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Flowers in WInter

It's so gloomy lately, I'm craving color!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Peace on Earth


Here's my Christmas card, which I created too late to send to my friends. Ah well, there's always next year. I just love these guys!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happiest of Holidays!

I came across this old photo where I am watching my brother's glee as he discovers that Santa has granted his wish for a real space helmet, and my mother is enjoying the home-made Christmas card that I had labored over the previous day.

May your holidays be filled with the joys of family and friends and a granted wish or two!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Here!

As the weatherman said last night, it's here. Everyone has gotten a big blizzard and now we have our share, too. It looks so beautiful, like a holiday card. I had to stop shoveling to take some pics. It was overcast and snowing so the photos are on the gray side.... I decided to shovel half way through the storm, since I will never be able to manage the 20 inches we're supposed to get if I wait until the end!

The birdbath is there somewhere.

My neighbor's house seen through my old crab apple tree.

Snowy treetops over my lawn.

Sorel boots are synonymous with Minnesota. They are warm, tall and rugged (no, this is not an online dating ad) and built to last. When I moved here 19 years ago, the first thing everyone told me was, "Buy a pair of Sorels". So I did and here they are. (there's another one tagging along)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Illustration Friday - "Undone"

If you want a bed to become undone, if you yourself want to become undone, just put three monkeys to bed, in the same bed. This was an illustration that was part of a fabric design that I did several years ago. It ended up on the the cutest pajamas under the Frankie and Johnny label, sold on the website.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Illustrator Class has Ended

and I am glad and sad at the same time! I learned so much, but it was so difficult to find the time to do the homework. Here's my final project. The assignment was to create a cover for Daedalus Books, using the text you see here. I tried to use a lot of the techniques that we covered, such as gradations, clipping masks, transformations and so on. It was fun!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Illustration Friday - "Crunchy"

Nothing says "crunchy" like a bag of kettle corn! This illustration was originally created as part of a fabric design for a online company, "". They make the cutest, most cozy pajamas,
check them out here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Kind of Car

Tis the season to shop shop shop. I love drawing cars because I don't know how to draw them, so therefore they become truly imaginary creations!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Illustration Friday - "Entangled"

Thanksgiving meal is over, the kids are tucked away sleeping soundly in their beds. Or are they? Oh, well, let's have another piece of pumpkin pie and we can bounce around until midnight!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown

It's two days before Thanksgiving, and I have wild turkeys asking to come into my backyard. I was told that turkeys are very smart birds. This is not smart! They might as well just ask if they can hop into my oven. Go away you crazy birds, play hard to get, will ya?

I look out to the garden, and there are three more!

And a final glance shows me the whole gang is here. How can I eat these beautiful big guys? I'm changing the menu to macaroni and cheese. Perhaps that was their plan. Perhaps they're not as dumb as I thought!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Super Docs

They're on their way! This was an assignment for the Minnesota Medical Association , done in an action hero style, for publicity for an upcoming event next year called "Day at the Capitol". The final layout is below.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

And the Winner Is....

Minnesota Medicine Magazine Cover, July 2008


I can't resist posting this, although by the nature of the illustration, it actually belongs to my other blog: I was just notified that this cover that I did for the publication Minnesota Medicine Magazine won a Silver Award for Best Single Cover for Associations in the Minnesota Magazine & Publication Awards ceremony last week. Yee haw! Am I happy? Yes, I am happy!

P.S. The doctor's bag is painted and the physician is a compilation of various magazine and vintage photo fragments all pieced together to form one figure. The theme was an announcement of the winners of the annual writing contest for physicians, hence all those words flying out of the bag.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How I Survived My Open Studio Event-Part 2

I pulled into the parking lot, and who should I see but Heinz Brummel photographing his latest creations. Yurts. If you don't know what a yurt is, that is understandable, but if you don't know who Heinz Brummel is, where have you been? Heinz is a legend in Minneapolis for just being Heinz (too many zany stories for here) and his extraordinary contemporary jewelry is not only sought after by collectors but exhibited internationally in galleries and museums. But now Heinz is into yurts, and you should be too. You don't have to go to Mongolia to appreciate the yurt, you can go camping on the weekend or have a cozy place ready your mother-in-law's next visit. Really - with a wood stove in the center, these well-crafted portable structures are very cozy! You can find the whole story of Heinz's new passion here: And if you want to be bowled over by beautiful jewelry, step this way:

Next I spied Cathy and Steve in the Magic Bus Cafe. This is the first year that the purple bus (a 1978 ex-school bus) has joined the art festival, and what a great addition it proved to be. It was parked by the entrance to the building, and was busy the entire three days reviving weary art buyers who needed a cup of coffee or a bite to eat.

It is the brainchild of Chrissy and Cathy Lockyear, two sisters (can ya tell???) and Cathy's husband Chris, all who who share a love of cooking and catering. Their experience and enthusiasm were evident in the delicious healthy food - hot dogs with no nitrates, vegetarian & organic choices, and a menu with enticing names: "psychedelic relish", "magic chili dog" and "grateful dog" to name a few. Wouldn't this entertaining bus complete with charming hostesses be a great addition for your next family reunion? Check out their website:

Here's where Cathy treated me to a steaming hot French Roast Coffee.

Here's where Cathy spilled the entire cup of steaming hot French Roast Coffee.

We're almost to the door, you can see my paintings on the hallway walls....

We're in! And here is Cathy (guest artist for this year, I forgot to mention this but I thought you knew) taking one last look before we officially open. Her intricate mosaics are witty and poignant and filled with soul. I kept finding new details all weekend long, as did our visitors. Check out her website: for a closer look at an ancient art form gone contemporary.

Renee is doing some last minute arrangements here, she arrived only minutes before we did. Her business, bettyscagnetti, features one of a kind clothing and accessories, some of which are her original creations, some she refashions, and all of it has been adopted by a huge fan base that grows every year. You can see more of her playful fashions at

The three days were filled with visitors, sales and sunny days, an extraordinary combination for a November weekend! Thank you to all who came, you made it all worthwhile!

Monday, November 9, 2009

How I Survived My Open Studio Event

I was driving to my studio on Saturday morning, heading for the annual Art Attack Open Studios event, in which I was participating. I was late of course, eating my lunch because I knew I wouldn't have time once I got there, when I had the idea that it would be fun to document the event. So I took out my camera and began shooting "landmarks" along the way to the studio. I became one of those idiots that I loath, mindless jerks who text and apply mascara and search for a book in the back seat while driving their car. Only I was holding a camera in one hand, a chicken sandwich in my other hand, and the steering wheel in my third hand. (?) Hold onto your hats, I'm exiting the freeway.

I drove over the Mississipi River, which contrary to a non-resident's usual assumption, does not divide Minneapolis from St. Paul. It actually snakes around and through the town of Minneapolis. Look at this gorgeous brewery sign - it's for sale. It's been a fixture here for over 60 years, and used to light up the night skyline until its owner went bankrupt and couldn't pay the light bill. It can be yours for few 100 thousand dollars. If I had the money I'd install it in my picture window, even though it must be 10 stories high. An article about it is here.

After I crossed the river, I drove by Nye's Polonaise Room. Oh, how we all adore Nye's - it's the first place we take our visitors. It's been entertaining locals since 1949, and several years ago, Esquire magazine named it Best Bar in America. The piano bar is the domain of Sweet Lou Snider who has been filling requests with undiminished good humor for over 40 years. When asked when was she going to retire, she replied, "When I'm dead". The side room hosts The Most Dangerous Polka Band every Friday and Saturday night, and the large banquet room is always filled with every day diners as well as large parties who are recuperating from every event from weddings to funerals. Even their website is entertaining (be forewarned, it opens with music):
And the Esquire article is here: here

OK, so now I'm turning the corner to pull into the parking lot of the building, and what do I see but this classy oh so professional sign. It says, "BARGAINS GALORE".

Here's the main entrance, and I see that the place is already hopping with visitors! Yay!

Here I am. So tomorrow, Part 2, with some very interesting folks I'd like you to meet!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Art Attack

Yes, it's that time of year. My glorious studio building, filled with over 200 crazy talented artists (we're one BIG family), will be open this weekend with everyone sharing their wares with the public. It's Fall and Northrup King Complex celebrates with Art Attack!

Potters, tile makers, painters, sculptors, musicians, photographers, jewelers, print makers, and textile designers - you'll have lots of eye candy and inspiration to brighten your day, complete with lots of free parking!

I'm in Studio 350, which I share with bettyscagnetti, a unique shop of re-fashioned garments and accessories all embellished with playful finishing touches.

This year our guest artist is Cathy Young, who will be showcasing her gorgeous and well, quite frankly, mind-boggling mosaic pieces. Carefully crafted from broken tiles, pottery bits, beads and paper, these complex constructions have to be seen to be believed, and you can get a sneak preview here.

Hey, c'mon down!!!!

Friday, November 6 – 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 7 – Noon to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 8 – Noon to 5:00 p.m.

P.S. If you'd like directions, or more information about the event, visit the building's website:

Friday, October 30, 2009


Yesterday I met with Brett and Sheila Waldman of Tristan Publishing. Brett had contacted me after visiting this blog and said he thought my work might be suitable for a future project, and he invited me to submit some sample illustrations depicting exuberant youngsters. Best of all, he invited me to come visit their headquarters, which by coincidence is in my neighborhood! So I brought my sketches to their office where I was given a royal welcome, initially by the four-legged doorbell named Bugatti (a charming Shi-Poo who I think would make a perfect date for my little Suzi-Q) and then a Grand Tour of the premises.

Not only did I discover that Brett and Sheila are genuinely lovely people, their publishing house reflects this sensibility. Each book they have published has received undivided attention, resulting in unique formats but all finely crafted with lush colors and various illustration techniques. And since each book's author delivers a message of inspiration, the resulting combination is, well, just lovely!

Check out their website here.

It's always great to meet people whose passion for their work makes the world a better place in general.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Why didn't I learn to sew? I'd like to have a new fall wardrobe, but I'd like to not spend any money. I do remember having a sewing machine at one point in my life, but the tension bobber thingie was always breaking my thread. I took it to the repair shop, and they supposedly fixed the little contraption, but when I set about using the machine again, boing!, the thread snapped. Try as I might, I couldn't reset the tension button.

Many years later, I have no sewing machine, but I still have lots of tension that I can't seem to reset. Some things never seem to change.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Back to School

I'm a school girl again. I enrolled in a community college to take another class in Illustrator, having taken one six years ago and completely forgotten everything I learned. This is not a workshop or one day seminar, no this is the real thing with real HOMEWORK and all the suffering that goes along with sitting 4 hours in a classroom every Thursday morning filled with a lot of other suffering souls, determined to better themselves or just get through it to fulfill their requirements. I'm awful at this. Everyone is so much younger with innate computer sense. These young whippersnappers don't even need to listen to the instructor lecture and demonstrate, they are completing the homework assignment and texting friends and websurfing while she speaks! Meanwhile I am still trying to figure out how to turn on the computer. I wonder if I will live through this.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Early Girl

Summer is fading fast, and my tomato plants are pooped. I had 2 big "Early Girl" plants in my little garden. I watered them, weeded them, lovingly tended them for nearly 4 months, and in return, they gave me 5 tomatoes. Five! They were rather small, hard as nails, but a brilliant MAC lipstick red and nary a blemish. They not only looked perfect, they tasted deeeeeevine!!! So when I ask myself, was it worth all the trouble when I could just drive to the farmer's market and buy tomatoes instead, the answer is, YES YES YES! Nothing in the world tastes as good as a homegrown tomato straight out of your own garden.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Day of Fall

First day of fall? Today? Wait a minute! I'm not through with summer yet! I haven't had that vacation to some far away national park, I haven't cleaned out the garage from last winter's collection of debris (well, now I won't have to, since winter is nipping at our heels), I haven't been to a picnic...I'm just not ready to say goodbye to summer yet. So I won't. The first day of fall is now officially November 1, please mark your calendars accordingly.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ivanhoe Road

I had an epiphany the other morning while driving in my car. An epiphany in a car is almost as dangerous as a spider, I nearly drove off the road. Sometimes it really IS just how you choose to look at things that determines what you see. And if that doesn't make sense to you, I'll try and illustrate it with these photos of my neighborhood.

This is a little side road, off the beaten track, near my home where I walk every morning. Even though there are homes along the way, I never see anybody in them, there are never any cars or people. It's just quiet and other-worldly, quite different from the noisy middle class neighborhood my tiny house sits in, where I hear roofs being repaired, the hum of the freeway, kids screaming and trees being cut down, lawns being mowed. You know, the usual never-ending racket of summer in the burbs.

But just a few blocks away is Ivanhoe Road, a secret escape where I can walk and feel as if I am on vacation a thousand miles away.

There are marshlands and prairie grasses flooded with sunlight, and all I hear is the silence broken only by the wind or the birds and the frogs.
OK, you get the picture. Now it's important to note here that there is a big tall fence in the background of this picture. You can't see it, it's hidden by the foliage in the background. It was ages before I even noticed it.

Here's the picture taken the day of my epiphany. I was driving along humming a tune thinking of the groceries I had just picked up and how they were probably melting when I looked out my window. OMG, there was that fence! That meant that Ivanhoe Road was right on the other side, but I couldn't see it because of all the foliage. That meant that for years I had been driving down this road to the grocery store, going past this strip mall and all the urban blight that was so annoying, and hidden on the other side of these trees was Ivanhoe Road. My Paradise Lost was right next to a mall. Only 50 feet away! What a difference 50 feet made - it was like living in a dual reality. It made me wonder about the rest of my life, and how I could look at it. Ivanhoe Road and the strip mall were almost the same, it just was a matter of sliding a little more this way or a little more that way that determined whether you were experiencing heaven or hell.

This sounds so dumb. One person's epiphany is another person's "well, yeah...". You just had to be there.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Pardon me while I interrupt the dazzling stream of posts to put this code here. It's so rude, I know. This is to connect my blog to Technorati is a search engine and blog directory. A better (and definitely longer) definition is here.

So now my blog will be easier accessed by those who are looking for illustration sites, and I can find other blogs with similar interests to link to.

If you'd like check out the indexing and search for blogs and specific subject matter, it's an amazing directory! Check it out:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Buggy over Buggies

More stationery illustrations I recently created for moms and moms-to-be (the calligraphy is by the talented Crystal Kluge), all available for purchase at Pretty Girl Designs. Check it out - there are pages and pages of cute illustrations (mostly created by owner Darcy Jerome's current illustrator, the above mentioned fabulous Crystal Kluge) that you can select for your very own customized invitations, announcements and general all-purpose happy day greeting cards!