Monthly Archives: April 2011

Friday Favorites : Bicycle

Bicycles, bicycles, bicycles. Not so easy to learn to ride. Not so easy to draw (which is probably the reason that I weasled my way out of Illustration Friday this week. What can I say? I’m a wimp.).

Fortunately, as is often the case, there are a lot of other people more skilled than myself who were willing and able to take on the challenge. And here are some of them…

You’ll notice that I was kind of a stickler and only included illustrations of true two-wheeled bicycles. To be fair there were some pretty cool unicycle and tricycle submissions this week too. Visit IllustrationFriday.com to see them.

  • Toto’s Escape by Phil Rood : This was definitely a favorite Favorite this week. The expression on Elmira Gulch’s face is just perfect…and Toto’s too, for that matter.
  • Bicycle by Kirstin McCulloch : There’s something delightfully melancholy about the girls in this piece and that makes me love it. The detail in the door is rather eye-catching too.
  • Bird Gang Riding Away by Deniz Yegin : For whatever reason, I am a sucker for birds and these ones are just so cool.
  • Bicycle by Kristyna Litten : I’m also a sucker for cute characters and these ones fit that bill quite well.
  • Bicycle by Elli Moody : So many colors. So many patterns. So much fun!
  • Bicycle by Weef : I’m fairly certain that this bear and I share at least one physical characteristic when riding on a bike. And I’m not talking about a fish in the mouth. Heh.
  • Bicycle Bread Girl by Laura Galbraith : Once upon a time, I shared a physical characteristic with this bicycle rider as well. *sigh* How I miss my pink hair.
  • Bicycle by Fourborne : I just love the colors in this beautiful piece. Also, quite brilliant the way she used perspective to her advantage and didn’t have to draw the entire bicycle.
  • Into the Sunset by Nadine Feghaly : Another piece that is just beautiful. The way she captured the sunset is very impressive.
  • Bicycle by Karen Krings : The diminutive cyclist amongst all the white space is just brilliant! It makes a simple illustration that much more interesting.
  • Bicycle by Andi Osiek : The expression on the dog’s face is priceless, especially when compared to the look on Red Riding Hood’s face.
  • Bicycle by Shawn McCann : Who wouldn’t love a flying bicycle?
  • …like a fish needs a bicycle by Linda Silvestri : Great colors in an all-around fun illustration.
  • Hamster Powered by Auki : Hamster-driven bicycle? Yes, please!
  • Bicycle by Kinnon Elliott : …so get on out there and ride!

Now, go see more great stuff at IllustrationFriday.com!

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Portrait of the Artist as a Young Hobo

I grew up in Saginaw, MI – a town that boasts such famous former-residents as…um…my dad? Oh, and Stephen Lynch. And that guy who wrote, directed and starred in the movie ‘Street Boss‘ (so bad it’s…still not good). And the guy in ‘Street Boss’ who wears the fedora and hides under the table. Yeah, I think that’s about it.

Over the course of my life, I’ve had a lot of strange experiences (many of them in the aforementioned bustling metropolis hive of industry place). As a kid, I didn’t really recognize the absurd for what it was, especially when the absurd was a school-sponsored function.

Like Hobo Day.

Yes, you read that right. When I was a young lass of about five or six, my school declared that there would be a special day for us to dress up like those charming vagabonds who ride the rails.

My mother put together quite the spiffy hobo ensemble for me to wear to what would become one of the most memorable bizarre events of my educational career (a career that fortunately, did not lead me down the dusty tracks of hobo-ism). Some goofy knee-socks, a pair of baggy blue knickers, a green vest, and the all-important red bandana on a bindlestick and before I knew it, I looked like a miniature version of a deranged down-on-his-luck Payne Stewart.

Now, it wasn’t enough for all of us kids to show up to school in tattered, mis-matched rag bag couture. Those bindles would prove quite handy as we made our way to…wait for it…the Hobo Picnic!

Yes! We packed up our mulligan stew, slung those sticks over our shoulders, and paraded through town to a nearby park to stand around a roaring trashcan fire dine on our delicious hobo fare. And, you know, climb on the monkey bars.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Was this really a school-sponsored activity? What did the good people of Saginaw think when they saw droves of mini-hobos sauntering down the street (with the required 1 chaperone per 5 children, of course)? Didn’t Simon and Garfunkel sing about Saginaw in some song? What is mulligan stew? Where can I get an official Hobo Convention tee shirt?

And here is my reply. Yes, yes it was. Why, I do not know. Really, it’s Saginaw, so probably nothing. Yes, yes they did. The song is called ‘America’ from the album Bookends. A dubiously tasty dish made of whatever one can beg, borrow, or steal (my guess is that owning a shiv is really helpful in procuring the ingredients for this particular delicacy). Right here!

illustration : portrait of the artist as a young hobo in pen & ink + watercolor by yours truly

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It’s a Dog Eat Pancake World : A Recipe from Sir

It has been quite a while since I have shared a recipe from my 50’s throwback kitchen. Fortunately, Sir has afforded me the opportunity to share one of his favorites.

Sir has a tendency to be very particular about certain things. There is no doubt that he gets this from his (ever-so-slightly OCD) mother. In my family, there have always been two ways of doing things – our way and the wrong way. Heh.

So, when Sir requests ‘peepates’ for breakfast, there are certain protocols that must be followed. First, his chair must be pushed over to the entrance to the kitchen in order to provide prime viewing of the pancake-making activities. Second, he must have in his hands the rubber doggy potholder that usually resides on the back of the stove. What happens next varies, but almost always involves making the doggy potholder talk and/or trying to convince me that the doggy potholder is actually a scary snake. He also finds it necessary to remind Mommy of the time that she dropped the butter on the floor and had to throw it in the garbage.

Mommy drop butter. Oh, Mommy! In garbage.  *raucous laughter*

Recently, I inadvertently threw a monkey wrench into the normal pancake protocol when I neglected to return the doggy potholder safely to his perch above the stove when the pancakes were done. After pushing Sir up to the table and serving him is nice warm pancakes, I returned to the kitchen, where, within seconds, I heard ‘Doggy eat peepates!’

I turned around to find the doggy potholder sitting next to Sir’s plate with its mouth stuffed with pancake.

Sir takes great pride in the way that he makes sure his stuffed animals and other inanimate objects are well taken care of. Never are they left hungry, thirsty, or with an unchanged ‘diaper’. So, I’m sure you can imagine how happy he was with what he had done. His syrupy grin extended from ear to ear.

Sir’s Favorite Fluffy Pancakes (or Peepates)

What you need:

3/4 cup milk
2 Tbs white vinegar

1 cup flour
1 Tbs white sugar
1 Tbs dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg
2 Tbs melted butter
1 Tbs vanilla

Optional:

1/2 cup blues (also known as fresh blueberries) OR
1/2 cup chocolate chips

What to do:

Measure milk and add white vinegar. Set aside to sour. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined. Whisk egg, butter, and vanilla into milk and vinegar mixture. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until lumps are gone.

Heat a large skillet (or griddle) over medium/high heat and coat with a thin layer of non-stick cooking spray. Pour enough batter into pan to make desired size pancakes (optional: drop blueberries or chocolate chips into batter after it is in the pan). Flip pancakes when bubbles appear on the surface of the batter. Cook until golden brown  on both sides.

Makes about 3-4 servings. We like to freeze the extras and pop them in the toaster oven for a quick breakfast.

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242 of 365

Title: Mystery Flower
Date: 4.24.11
Camera: Nikon D80
Notes: When we went out in the backyard to play today, we found this white flower lying in our driveway. We have no idea where it came from. Neither we, nor our neighbors have a tree or bush with flowers like this, so it couldn’t have blown over. And our whole yard is fenced with a gate that latches from the inside, so it is highly unlikely that someone put it there. It just appeared out of nowhere.

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Winners! Yay!

Well, kids, random.org has spoken and here’s what it said.

*obligatory drum roll*

Winner of the ‘izzy the dog picks a flower’ print is Vicki!

Winner of the ‘izzy the dog sings a duet’ print is Kathy!

Winner of the ‘izzy the dog in the rain print’ is Jeanie!

(Winners, please check your email for a message from hello seven about how to get your print.)

Mazel tov to all of the winners and a BIG thank you to everyone who sent good thoughts our way during the Izzy Ordeal.

So, if you didn’t win and you still really, really, really want an izzy the dog print of your very own, you can find them in my Etsy shop. Some of you will be happy to see that ‘izzy the dog sings a duet’ is now available for purchase AND (since I had some requests) ‘izzy the dog’s journey is over’ will also available as a print very soon!

Also, a portion of the proceeds from sales of these prints will benefit Dogs Finding Dogs who were instrumental in helping us bring Izzy home.

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Etsy Jewelry Sale : Clearing Out the Shop

I’m gearing up for some big changes to the Etsy shop and the first step to is to clear out some pieces that have been languishing there for a while. Most have been marked down at least 50% and some come with FREE standard shipping.

So, if you’ve had your eye on any of these pieces, now is the time to snap them up. When they’re gone, they’re gone!


blue & green glass pendant necklace : $80 $40

orange pendant necklace : $80 $40

serpentine & pearl corsage bracelet : $70 $35 SOLD

multi-colored pearl earrings : $40 $20 SOLD
(these match the bracelet above)

Also, all remaining Monster Hats in the shop will be marked down this week! Stay tuned!

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Friday Favorites : Journey

So, before I get to this week’s illustrations, I wanted to address a question recently asked of me. I was asked if I could include the actual illustrations in my Friday Favorites posts so that people wouldn’t have to click through to all fifteen blogs.

The short answer: No.

The longer answer: I wish that I could, but I would be treading into copyright issue territory and, while I’m sure most people wouldn’t mind too much (since I would be giving them proper credit and linking to the original work), there may be some who wouldn’t appreciate me using their images without their express written consent.

I apologize for the clunky and inconvenient layout of my FF posts, but for now they will have to remain this way. I hope that you’ll all forgive me and keep reading and hopefully, keep enjoying the links that I post here (and, of course, leaving nice comments for the artists).

That being said, on to this week’s favorites. I’m not feeling very wordy this week, so I’m just going with links and minimal blah-blah (feel free to thank me however you see fit – heh).

  • Guin’s New Car by Matthew Robertson : Penguin. Polar bear. Red convertible. What more could you ask for?
  • Journey by Kent Culotta : I had to include this one if only to remind myself to someday share the story of Hobo Day at my elementary school and, you know, because it’s a great illustration.
  • Journey by Hollie Hibbert : I feel much like this snail today.
  • Hedra and Ellie by Helene : This may very well be the cutest elephant I have ever seen.
  • Podróż by Katarzyna Zalewska : The colors in the hot air balloon are so well done.
  • Journey by Alison Kolesar : I am a fool for anything with birches. Reminds me of home…a place I haven’t been in a very long time.
  • Journey by Angie : I love that this piece was done using free motion sewing. As someone whose attempts at sewing a straight line end up looking very much like this, I am very impressed.
  • Journey by Amie Marie : Oh, the colors!
  • Journey on Tracks by Shirshir Naik : So simple and serene.
  • Adventures on a Rocket by Lu Azevedo : So sweet that she made this into a mural for her son. What a lucky kid!
  • Journey by Ana Carmichael : Ooo, a bird!
  • On the Road Again by Sam McCullen : So cute. I thought of doing something similar to illustrate Izzy’s journey.
  • Journey by Lisa Lorenz : Amazing color!
  • Journey by Pete Proctor : Love this polar bear.
  • Journey by Allen Helbig : Just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit…

Go see more great stuff at IllustrationFriday.com!

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