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December 2009

Designing for a Wedding: Seahorses in a Pocket

I've recently been working on a custom seahorse-motif wedding invitation project involving illustration, design, and production of handmade pockets for the pieces.  It's been so much fun! Here is a photo of the completed wedding invitation suite with its seahorse images applied in different ways. Information about the materials I used are described below the photo. I've kept the resolution low and altered the address so as to protect the couple's privacy. All pieces tucked into the pocket except for the return address label which was applied to the back of the 5"x7" envelope. 

Colored papers used are Stardream Flame and Mars (red). The cream paper is Classic Crest Cover, Classic Cream. All papers were bought at Paper Zone here in Seattle (this west coast company is a fav!). The small Mars envelopes were ordered from The Envelope Mall.  The light-colored return address labels were printed on Stardream Opal die-cut labels (available from Envelopper Inc.) I recommend both of these online companies for their product lines and fast service. The dyed strip of paper across the hand-cut pocket is a handmade paper purchased at the University Bookstore in Seattle. 

All pieces were printed on my workhorse color laser printer, a Lexmark C522, and trimmed with my Dahle rotary trimmer. These along with my MacBookPro and Canon scanner round out my design and production team!

Gingerbread People & Houses, A Family Tradition


A couple of nights ago I finished decorating gingerbread cookies for neighbors and family members. I always reach for the same recipe, which is one I found in a Family Circle magazine in 1971, when I was still a student at the University of Washington. Our children grew up making gingerbread houses; Emily made her first one using a pattern I customized for her eager four-year-old self. Yesterday, as a 29-year-old in NYC, she made a full-size house that she'll be taking to a Christmas Day gathering. Not an hour before she called to get the old recipe, I thought, "I wonder if Eli and Emily will ever ask me for the gingerbread recipe?" Both kids are expert architects in this specialized area!

If you have a sudden urge to bake and decorate (with Christmas just two days away), I'm making available this delicious, tried-and-true recipe. It's also ideal for gingerbread hearts at Valentine's Day:

Download Gingerbread and Icing Recipes

Have fun! Oh- the recipe calls for either molasses or corn syrup. Use molasses.

Father Christmas: Morning Sketch


Brought together by the desire to practice sketching, two friends and I have gathered over tea one morning a week during these later autumn months. We've drawn objects in my greenhouse, objects placed on the table beside our teacups and muffins, scenery outside the window, and items in the interiors of our homes. Whatever presented itself, in other words. Last week I selected as my subject an endearing symbol of Yuletide in the form of a small woollen, fur-trimmed elfin doll: Father Christmas. He was perched upon a wooden box on my friend's buffet. Once back in my studio, I completed the sketch by making a frame of lettering consisting of international names for the familiar figure. Digitally colored in PhotoShop and placed before you on your monitor, he has now hopped from the buffet onto the internet. Good Yuletide Cheer to One and All!