Monday, May 24, 2010

shadows of hope

We have had what feels like weeks of rain...hard thunder and lighting. Strong winds, horizontal rain and flooding. Wool sweater, leather boots and scarf kind of May!

Finally I see hope between the thunderstorms.

I am heading to a photo shoot in an hour. I am a bit nervous. I will be having some portraits done as well as pictures of me painting and drawing. Wish me luck. Hopefully I can look relaxed and casual. I will share the photos in a week or two.

This is it for this week. We are heading to a spa for 3 days! We are very excited to get out of town and relax. See you back here on Monday!

furniture painting

My friend Fiona paints beautiful boxes. They are "treasure" boxes. Small (sometimes larger) boxes with motifs that represent the person the box is made for. She claims she is no artist, but I disagree.

Her latest project is painting an old cabinet for herself. She wants a Transylvanian type design. She invited me over to join her in an evening of painting.

Transylvania painted furniture. (Ours won't look quite like this.)
our project: the cabinet
planning and sketching the design
top of the cabinet
one door finished
out come the paints
painting begins
We didn't get much farther than the above photo. I will update the blog when the cabinet is finished.

It was so fun to paint with someone. I love being self employed but it can get a little lonely. How refreshing to be able to collaborate and work on a fun project with a great friend! Thanks Fiona!

quick trip: vienna

Last week we made a trip to Vienna. My husband enjoyed a Kiss concert with a friend. Meanwhile, myself and a friend enjoyed a beer in a local pub. We were only there for one night and I wish I could have stayed longer. Vienna is not far from Budapest - about 2 hours by car. (Unless the highway has a large whole in it, then it is 4 hours. Yes, due to the rain and flooding in Hungary, the M1 had a huge sink whole.)

Oh yeah, while I was there I hit my favorite art store, Boesner, and stocked up on supplies!

a few photos...

How cute is this bike! I love the basket,
cute polka dot seat and that awesome bike bag.

The rain has encouraged the wild poppies to
bloom all along the side of the highway.
cute garden shop

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

big news part 2: folk life

Today I would like to introduce you to my favorite of the two collections..."folk life".

Why is it my favorite? The concept and rough sketches came to me when I was at Kis Alma back in March. A weekend spent in the Hungarian countryside living the folk life.

This was a fun collection to design and it came so quickly and naturally. Maybe because I also spent time thinking of my grandparents who live in the country. Grandpa the gardener and grandma the cook. Living the country life, the folk life.

Warm breeze. Sun on my face. Fresh laundry hanging on the line. Flowers in bloom. Bees buzzing. The call of distance birds. Resting on a gingham blanket. Eating fresh strawberries and sipping sweet tea. The country calls and I crave the folk life.

colorway: sweet dreams
colorway: summer sunset
colorway: country picnic
A few details: The fabric will launch this Friday at the International Quilt Market. Buyers will be attending, placing orders for their fabric stores and online shops. If all goes well, I will be posting where you can buy these fabrics in the next few weeks. I will keep you posted!

big news part 1: sweet tooth

I am very excited to announce my first fabric collection to be launched this Friday at the Minneapolis International Quilting Market! I have been working very hard on this project and am very happy with the results. The company who is representing me is called Anthology Fabrics and are based out of LA. I believe their philosophy and mine are a good match.
"A fabric is first judged by visual appeal, catching your eye even at a distance. Then, by touch you assess its quality. These two characteristics - superb design and exceptional quality - are our foundation." -Anthology Fabrics
Let me introduce you to the first collection called "Sweet Tooth". (If you know me, you know I always have one! )
Raspberry tarts and tangerine oranges.
Pink cherry blossoms in bloom.
Gumdrops and taffy.
Milk shakes and long weekends.
Cool green grass under foot.
Laying in fields wondering at an aqua sky.
Lollipops and giggles.
A sweet tooth satisfied.

colorway: candy shop
colorway: milk shake
colorway: rock candy
What do you think? I really would like to have feedback.
Your feedback helps me in more ways than you know!

Did you see the blog title said part 1?
Well, tomorrow I will show you collection 2, Folk Life!

Monday, May 17, 2010

finding spring in wind and rain

What a weekend. The weather has a taken a serious turn...for the worst. It has been so windy that telephone poles and huge trees have toppled over. It has rained non stop for days and the temperature has dropped to the daily highs of 50 degrees f. Where did spring go?

With all the dreariness outside, I try to create a warm, bright atmosphere inside by lighting candles, listening to some Bob Marley and looking through spring magazines...I can pretend, right?

Saturday I sat around in my cozy clothes and worked on a new inspiration board. Can you see the spring influence mixed with "warming" colors. Not pure pastels but soft tones. There is no pure white, but a warming cream. Think vintage, antique and the fuzzy sweater I am wearing:)

A little Bob Marley always makes me feel good and warm. When I lived in Seattle and the rain would be too much, I put on some Bob Marley and let the music warm me from the inside out. Enjoy and be warm.

Come back tomorrow....I am going to share my BIG news!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

sumi brush and silk paints on paper - my new love

Two productive days....gotta love them!

Do you remember last week when I showed the photos of a painting and the final artwork that was finished in the computer? Well, the day after that post the artwork sold! I was so excited! My rep called and said everyone that saw that print loved it. He wanted to know if I could work on a few more in the same feeling. So, today I painted and created 4 more pieces of art from the below paintings.
I am really enjoying working with a sumi brush and silk paints on paper. It feels like silk painting but the paper absorbs the paint so quickly that there is no bleeding. I love it! And the computer allows me to change color and experiment with transparencies and gradients. Keep your fingers crossed that I sell the other 4!

I had to post this you see some inspiration? I love this dress! So beautiful.

Carey Mulligan from the Oscars

Thursday, May 6, 2010


booth #126
May 16-18

You may also come into the studio before the show for previews and early purchasing.
Contact to schedule an appointment.

Group Four Design Studio
240 West 35th Street, Suit 1001
New York, New York 10001

So, what do I do?

It recently dawned on me that I do a lousy job of explaining what I do for a living. Here in Budapest I have been designing and selling notebooks and cards. I sell them at local shops and craft shows. It is not a huge money maker but it serves two purposes. First, It allows me to get feedback about my designs directly from the customer. Second, it is good adverting for my work. (I recently worked on a logo, plate designs and now personal stationery.) Most people think the selling of notebooks and cards is my main business. It is not.

So, what do I do?

There are three areas to my business.

1. The first area I have been focusing on this year is building my portfolio with
Group Four Design Studio. Group Four is a leading full-service, surface design resource. Based in New York they serve all aspects of the fashion market as well as the gift and paper goods industries worldwide.

Promotional card for Group Four Design Studio
Companies like Nickelodeon, Pottery Barn, Hallmark, and the GAP (just to name a few) visit studios like Group Four to buy artwork. When they buy this artwork they buy the rights to this work. They are allowed to change it, recolor it, manipulate it however they see fit-they own it. This artwork may end up on kids clothing, greeting cards, wrapping paper or even wall paper. This is an area of my business that I am constantly working on. The more I can create the more I can sell.

2. The second area of my business is licensing. Licensing is very different from selling artwork through a studio. When I license artwork, I sell the rights for a specific pattern to be produced on a specific product, usually for a specific amount of time. Typically, I receive royalties based on how much of a product is produced.

For instance, I have licensed work with Ipop Clicks (magnets). Ipop owns the license for magnets. I can sell the same design to be produced on fabric or wrapping paper. I am not allowed to sell the design to another magnet manufacture. Is this making sense? Below is an example.

Silk Pillows with my designs

Magnets for Ipop Clicks
Notice the designs on the magnets are the same as the pillows.
(Can you keep a secret? I have a big licensed project launching this month...fabric...shhh...more to come very soon.)

3. And finally, the third area to my business is freelance work. This piece is great because it is ever changing and I get to meet and work with great people. I love to collaborate with others and freelance allows me to do just that! Freelance has also allowed me to design logos, packaging, labels, personalized stationery, plates, even bedding!

"Wish you were here" bedding for Sin In Linen
"Night Shade Vine" bedding for Sin in Linen
packaging for bath products: Catherine Vineyard Cottageslogo design: Once Upon a Tutu
So what do you think? Do you have a better understanding of what I do or are you more confused:) ? Do you feel like people understand your job and what you do?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

finding inspiration in the strangest places

You sometimes find inspiration in the most
unsuspecting places...pork packaging.
Who would have thought to put flowers on sausage packaging?
Where is the weirdest place you have found inspiration?

PS. The sausage was really good!

Monday, May 3, 2010

painting + computer = finished print

Remember last week I shared with you my day of painting? Well, I thought I would share a before and after of one of the paintings that has been scanned and manipulated.

I was inspired by tulips. If you think about all the phases of a tulips life, the bloom offers many different shapes. There is the tight closed shape to the half open bloom to the full bloom with the petals ready to fall off.
Original Painting
I scanned in the tulips and did some recoloring and some overlapping. The tulips were transformed into an imaginary flower by adding colored centers - I thought it would give the floral a fresh look and add some interest by adding a range of shapes.

Finished artwork.

I have removed the photo of the artwork as it has been purchased by a client.
This means it will eventually be printed on clothing.

What do you think? Can you tell this came from the tulip painting?

This print was created for Group Four Designs.
For more info click here.