My Studio: Same Embroidery, More Flowers


So, I was on vaca­tion for a whole week (over a week ago at this point) and made some good progress on my cur­rent embroi­dery work. I love this activ­ity, but alas, it’s more of a reward for when I fin­ish other respon­si­bil­i­ties, so it can be a slow grind through these stitches. Do you have some­thing like this in your life?

Also, what are you work­ing on? Let me know via Twit­ter or Face­book!



Lydia Hardwick’s Abstract Ceramic Art Objects

lydia hardwick

I recently became acquainted with Lydia Hardwick’s abstract ceram­ics because of her new show up on Buy Some Damn Art. I’m lov­ing the col­ors and the sur­face design, as well as all of the ran­dom lit­tle bits that are mixed in.

In an inter­view with Kate Sin­gle­ton of BSDA, Hard­wick gives a detailed expla­na­tion of her process, which I find fascinating:

I use porce­lain because it is very white. This means that when I mix colour­ing oxides and stains into it, the colours show up well. I tend to work quickly, mak­ing a lot of pieces in one go. Some­times I squash the clay into big flat sheets, and cut out shapes to cre­ate a sort of col­lage. I also use porce­lain a lot in its liq­uid form. This is called ‘slip’. I mix news­pa­per pulp into it, which makes it look a bit like por­ridge. I then pour the sub­stance onto a sur­face and drop other small frag­ments of porce­lain into it. When this dries, I might paint stained porce­lain slip onto the sur­face. The true colours don’t emerge until the work has been fired in the kiln, so there is a lot of guess­work involved.

I would rec­om­mend read­ing the entire inter­view. It’s really inter­est­ing! And, if you’re inter­ested in pur­chas­ing any of these works, mosey on over to Buy Some Damn Art.

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Yvan Duque’s Fantastical and Illustrative Tales

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The vintage-inspired illus­tra­tions by Yvan Duque tell fan­tas­ti­cal tales of strange, larger-than-life crea­tures. We see giant squids, ghost-like fig­ures, and even a foxy lady occupy these richly-colored com­po­si­tions. They travel through dark forests, fiery lands, and houses off secluded coasts.

The lus­cious reds, blues, and greens remind me of illus­tra­tors like Mary Blair (per­sonal favorite!) and Mar­tin + Alice Provensen. Duque has nice use of dry brush paired with fine, painted details.

Wanna own some of Duque’s work? Check out their Etsy shop.

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Ann Khokhlova’s Poetic Embroidered Illustrations

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I’m blown away by all of the color and tex­ture that’s in these illus­tra­tions by Ann Khokhlova. The lus­cious appli­ca­tion of thread/yarn makes for dense com­po­si­tions that are very expres­sive. They are a sea of stitches, and I like how Khokhlova uses the chain stitch to cre­ate waves of color that sends your eye on a jour­ney as she depicts nar­ra­tive folk-inspired tales.

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Header Picture Project: Take a Ride With Melissa Chaib

melissa chaib

It’s a new month, so it’s another iter­a­tion of the Header Pic­ture Project! June’s illus­tra­tion was cre­ated by the lovely Melissa Chaib, whose work I’ve fea­tured on Brown Paper Bag before. I think she cre­ated a super fun and col­or­ful image that per­fectly cap­tures the magic of summer.

You can own a gor­geous mini 4″ x 6″ print of this work for only $8!

Here’s a short inter­view I con­ducted with Melissa about her work. Thanks, Melissa!

Name: Melissa Chaib
Loca­tion: Mex­ico
What was your dream job when you were 7 years old? I don’t remem­ber actu­ally, but I’ve always been into cre­at­ing things, as far back as I can remem­ber.
Your pro­fes­sion now: Graphic Designer & Illus­tra­tor
What’s your favorite thing to draw? Women going on adven­tures
What was the inspi­ra­tion for this piece? I think life in gen­eral was my biggest influ­ence
our jour­ney explor­ing and seek­ing answers to the many doubts that rise up in our every­day life with the curi­ous feel­ing that there is more than we have been told to believe.
How did you cre­ate your illus­tra­tion? Was it any dif­fer­ent than your reg­u­lar process? It was really excit­ing to col­lab­o­rate with a blog that I admire so much
I always want to push myself with every project and make sure I am learn­ing some­thing new along the way.

I tried out dif­fer­ent ideas and lay­outs, cre­ated a mood board with image ref­er­ences and colours.
Which place would you go to on this block? I think I’d get my nails done. Me too, and then I could seri­ously go for a huge choco­late cake across the street. Yup.

Guest Post: Hana Kim Introduces Us to Vanessa Ramirez

Another guest post! This time, from Hana Kim of Supah­cute, who is intro­duc­ing us to the work of Vanessa Ramirez. Hana is a Cura­tor of Cute & Expe­d­i­tor of Awe­some Projects. She is the founder/editor of, an arts blog inspired by cute cul­ture and the cute aes­thetic. You can find her on Insta­gramTwit­ter , and Face­book. Take it away, Hana!


Mon­sters Galore by Vanessa Ramirez

Vanessa Ramirez

Vanessa Ramirez is a Ser­ial Doo­dler and self taught Sculp­tor. A love of odd toys and resin fig­ures led her to reignite a pas­sion for draw­ing and new found pas­sion for sculpting.

Her work tends to bounce between styles both cre­at­ing soul­ful crea­tures that weave their own sto­ries as you fol­low them suf­fer­ing through life and a dis­tinct illus­tra­tion style that uses lines and line weight to build form.

You can see Vanessa’s newest work in the upcom­ing group exhi­bi­tion Sum­mer­land Movie Club A Trib­ute to Our Favorite Sum­mer Movies. Curated by Hana Kim of, Sum­mer­land Movie Club opens at Leanna Lin’s Won­der­land on July 12, 2014.

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Thanks, Hana!

Guest Post: Daniel Fishel Introduces Us to Dasha Tolstikova

Since I’m on vaca­tion this week, I have a cou­ple of guest blog­gers fill­ing in for me! Today the won­der­ful Daniel Fishel is shar­ing the work of Dasha Tol­stikova with us. Daniel is an illus­tra­tor and hand let­terer who paints things for mag­a­zines, book cov­ers and other things. He has a cat named Avo­cado who answers work emails for him sometimes.

So, with­out fur­ther ado, here’s Daniel!

 Dasha Tolstikova

Dasha Tol­stikova is an illus­tra­tor based out of Brook­lyn, NY. After receiv­ing her MFA from School of Visual Arts, she has been keep­ing things steady by work­ing with folks such as the NY Times, Wall Street Jour­nal, and the New Yorker. She’s been pretty pre­oc­cu­pied lately with cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful Children’s books. She also has a reg­u­larly updated blog called “A Foxes Diary” where she illus­trates the thoughts and feel­ings of a foxes day to day life. I can also per­son­ally say that not only is Dasha’s work inspir­ing but she is also one of the kind­est peo­ple I know.

 Dasha Tolstikova

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Thanks, Daniel!

Nicole Gastonguay Crochets Everyday Objects and Makes Them Totally Adorable

nicole gastonguay

It’s a fact that goo­gly eyes make every­thing bet­ter. So, when those things are cro­cheted ver­sions of the real objects? Infi­nitely cooler. Nicole Gas­tonguay is graphic designer and fiber artist who repli­cates every­day things using yarn. Polaroids, pick­les, and even boom boxes are impres­sively pro­duced in a happy and engag­ing way thanks to their large eyes and sweet smile (or even frown).

Gastonguay’s sub­ject mat­ter and the color choice in yarn make her work feel vin­tage, as if you’d find it in an antique mall. It has an air of nos­tal­gia about it.

(Via Art is a Way)

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