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Thinking Spring with Collage

by abby on March 31, 2014 | Comment

photo of scraps of tissue paper and a paper collage with yellow as the dominent color
{Fun with paper}

A friend and I decided we needed some spring colors in our life. If mother nature wasn’t going to do it, then we would take paper and glue into our own hands and create some spring-inspired scenes!

We met for a morning collage session complete with home made Finnish cinnamon rolls (delicious!) and tea. What a delight it was! We both thought that this was the right way to start the day. I have to say that I was refreshed and happy after our creative morning.

Here’s my favorite piece I made:
SpringCollage-3

I think I’m going to call this piece Daffodil .

What Springy activities are you doing?

Family Treasure: Books Part 1

by abby on March 27, 2014 | Comment

photo of older hardcover books on light wood bookshelf
{my new family treasure}

Last weekend, D and I traveled to a small town east of Saratoga Springs to visit with my uncle, aunt, cousins, and my grandmother. My brother and I call her, Nana. Nana is turning 98 in May! She is an amazing lady and is my role model for combining courage, fortitude, warmth and grace.

Our trip was more than just a social visit. This year Nana decided it was time to move in with family. Part of this moving process is finding new homes for many of the items she had in her house and apartments. I was so lucky to be able to receive several family treasures.

The heaviest gift was the bookshelf Nana received herself as a gift for her 16th birthday. It was custom built by her father (my great-grandfather) to especially fit the large art books! Hooray!

photo of old and new art reference books
{The large books perfectly}

The bookshelf is beautiful and fits just right against a wall in our bedroom. The first night it was in our bedroom, I was reading in bed and I noticed that the shelf and the old books have a distinct smell. That smell kept surfacing memories of childhood visits to Nana’s apartment.

The bookshelf also came with a collection of art books (so helpful!) and early twentieth century editions of young adult books. The book designer in me freaked out a little when I discovered what she had in her shelves! I will be sharing some treasures here and then more in future postings too. There is just so much to show! Are you ready?

photo of vintage and weathered hardcover cloth bound books
(a few very special books)

The small red unassuming book at the top of the stack is a 1907 edition of the classic literary work: MOBY DICK. It’s all done with letterpress printing. Check out the title page!

photo of ornate title page design of letterpressed Moby Dick book

Did your jaw just hit the ground? Because mine did. I never saw this book growing up. It must have been stored away from prying little hands. I’m very happy to have it now.

photo of early 1900's edition of Hans Brinker
{Hans Brinker)

I also now have an early edition of HANS BRINKER published by The Goldsmith Publishing Company of Cleveland. I cannot find the publication date, but it’s also a letterpress book, in rough condition, and I would guess it’s in the same era as MOBY DICK. I also love that Nana has signed the title page too. BIG SMILE.

There’s more surprises and treasures to come! Keep an eye out next week.

Think Spring! And just maybe a little warmth will come our way.

On the art table: New Bunny Sketch

by abby on March 13, 2014 | Comment

sketch of a mother rabbit holding a sleeping baby rabbit
{new sketch}

I’m a little strange. Or maybe I’m not, just a creature of habit? In any light, I’ve noticed a cycle in my creativity. I think it prefers to hibernate during the winter months. It not all the way gone. I can keep my book design going, but the drawing has a rhythm. There are quiet times and moments of energy. When March hits my creative energy comes whirling back and all I long to do is be at my art table.

I answered the urge to draw today with this new mother and baby bunny sketch shown above. Awwww! It was inspired by the baby paper collage background I created last summer. I’ll be tweaking the collage with more paper and paint to better match the new bunny art (human foot prints aren’t really gonna work with the bunny art huh), but I think there’s potential for adorableness!

I’ll be painting the bunnies with my watercolor and colored pencil combination and attach the vignette to the paper collage. It will look something like the hot air balloon artwork I made last summer.

Hooray for the joys of pencil on paper!

Do you have rhythms in your life too?

New Margaret Wise Brown Book

by abby on March 6, 2014 | Comment

picture book by margaret wise brown illustrated by 12 award-winning illustrators
{Just published this week!}

Goodnight Songs is a collection of newly discovered lyrical poems by the legendary children’s author, Margaret Wise Brown—the author of Goodnight Moon. If that wasn’t amazing enough, each of the 12 poems is paired with a different award-winning children’s book illustrator. A few of these artists are: Jonathan Bean, Carin Berger, Melissa Sweet, Christopher Silas Neal, and Isabel Roxas. Here’s the complete list:

Goonight Songs illustrators
{Click on book’s back cover to see sample interior art}

The book’s origin has an amazing story to go with it too. Editor, Amy Gary, of Sterling Children’s Books found these poems in a trunk in Brown’s sister’s barn. They were written in the last year of Brown’s life while she was traveling France for a book tour. WOW! What a find!

Pre-schoolers and Kindergardeners will delight in the rhyming language and double-page spread illustrations. Adult readers will love the packaging and the back story that allowed this book to be created.

Goodnight Songs would make a wonderful baby shower gift too!

Thinking and Believing in Spring

by abby on March 4, 2014 | Comment

Digital modern song bird saysing thank on front of card and smaller bird saying alot on inside
{New Spring card set}

Alright folks, it might be -8 degrees outside, but moving ahead like Spring is on its way! I’m seeing bright colors and hearing the the sounds of bees and birds in the air. How? Well, I’ve created a couple of new thank you notes featuring my cute birds and delightful ladybugs and brought back my yellow honey bees.

2 ladybugs on front of card saying in speech bubbles, thank and you
{New cards are now available in the Shoppe}

Every time I look at these ladybugs, they make me giggle. It’s because when I read their quote bubbles I hear them as these really tiny high pitch voices! Do they make you giggle too?

Bee Thank You notes
{An old favorite is back}

All of these small note cards would be great for you to share you gratitude, but they would also work as birthday thank you notes for your child too. So if you are feeling like a little shopping, I urge you to check out my store for these cards and more brightly colored items.

Ahh, after creating these new spring inspired cards, I feel better already! There’s hope!

How are you coping with the never ending winter?