Thursday, February 21, 2008

Etsy love

Hey all! Happy Thursday to you. Today you will find me working on birth announcement designs for a client...time to flex those illustration muscles! Yesterday my chainlink cards were featured on Etsy Love. Click the link to check out the post. How exciting! It's a neat website that showcases some of the blogger's favorite Etsy finds and categorizes them. It's a great blog to peruse and possibly find that gem of an item you've been looking for! Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Typography and art

Since I'm a graphic designer, I've always been in love with typography. What a true joy seeing the portraits done by Roberto de Vicq DeCumptich. He had put together a website called Bembo's Zoo. What a fun site! Each letter of the alphabet sits on your screen. As you click each letter, an animal drawing is created before your eyes using only typography/letterforms as the medium. It's fun to watch and is so inspirational. He also worked on the book Words at Play creating portraits of prominent authors in this same way. All images shown here are by the artist.
Fascinating stuff! I hope you like it too. Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Matters of the Heart (A Personal Post)

Hello! Happy belated Valentine's day...I'm pretty low key about the day, so I didn't feel like posting about it. For those who have been following along with my drama of trying to conceive: It was also the day that we met with our Reproductive Endocrinologist to find out the results of my seemingly thousands of blood tests. Most everything (the possible blood clotting disorders and things like that) came back normal (yay!) But they found one thing. I have a genetic mutation called the MTHFR C677T mutation. The genetic polymorphisms of MTHFR C677T are associated with unexplained recurrent early spontanous abortion. (early miscarriages). My RE believes that this is what has been causing my losses. A large percentage of the population has at least one mutation (inherited). I have 2 mutations since I inherited one from my Mom and one from my Dad. This is a lot more rare. This is also reminding me of Sophomore Biology class...
Anyway, apparently it is linked with risk for cardiovascular disease and blood clots in the veins. Grrrrreeeeaaaaaat. So, as I understand it, they have to check my homocysteine levels each year to make sure they aren't too high (thus causing clots and possible hardening of the arteries in the future). The mutation (if you have 2) is also possibly linked to episodes of depression (which I battle) and possibly to migraines. What do you do to help matters you ask? Well, I have to take a simple prescribed supplement with a TON of extra folic acid and vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. I will have to take it daily for the rest of my life. Now that I'm trying to have a child, I also have to take a prenatal vitamin along with it (just to give me even MORE of aforementioned vitamins). I've already been taking them daily, but I guess it wasn't nearly enough for me. These will supposedly keep the levels of homocysteine down. I guess the mutation causes my body not to process those particular vitamins properly and thus I need 4 times more than the normal person. Not having enough Folic acid can cause birth defects/problems with an early pregnancy hence the miscarriages.
Sorry for all the scientific talk, but I thought it would help for anyone else going through something similar. Overall, it's a simple fix that SUPPOSEDLY should help me keep a pregnancy with me in the future. We shall see. I'm always tired, so I'm happy that I'm taking tons of extra B12 now. It should give me my energy I always seem to lack (a nice side effect!) I'm happy that's all they found (well, that and my slight t-shape I mentioned in an earlier post) and that it's treatable. So, Valentine's Day brought us some much-awaited and prayed-for answers. That beats out chocolates any day. Despite a few obstacles, it looks like the future for a wee one is looking much more bright. And now, back to our regularly artsy posts...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Design for Mankind...

My new favorite blog to read is Design for Mankind. It features lots of great eye candy for people like me who are thirsty for visual inspiration all the time. What I like about her blog is she features lots of great artists and creators that I might not have ever seen on my own. Each is unique and interesting and always with amazing work! Her recent endeavor was to pull together an E-Zine with inspiration as the topic. It was so fun to page through it and get a peek into the inspired world of others. Another cool thing (my favorite!) she has launched is called "The Dailies" where she features a day in the life of a favorite artist/designer. It's neat to get a "behind the scenes" view of how others work (and makes me feel better about working in my jammies sometimes). Great work and congrats to her...I will continue to be an avid reader!

Monday, February 11, 2008

An apple a day...

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was fine, thanks! I relaxed...I was going to do a little work and decided "enough is enough...I deserve weekends too." It is so hard when you work for yourself...your mind is always going and you feel like you always "just can do this one thing..." and the next thing you know, you've worked the whole weekend through. It's a bad habit. So, I decided to stop and give myself my weekends back no matter what. It's important to unplug and I always forget that. I spent my free time watching tv movies and playing with the pup since it has been so snowy outside. It was nice to peruse magazines that I haven't been able to give much attention to...and nice to just lounge on the couch with hot chocolate. Now, it's back to the grind. I've got a lot of printing to do this week for weddings and for some custom stationery projects...and design for some other things I won't mention yet. The pictures shown here are of another design I did a while back and have flat printed...up for sale on my shop. This is a more modern card design/pattern using apples as the motif. It's very colorful and different.Have a great Monday everyone...I know Monday is never all that fun, but let's try to make this next hour the best it can be...or this next five minutes...whatever it takes to make the day a better one! My thought today is to smile, even if an obstacle faces me...and it will put me in a better mood even if I don't feel like it.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Illustrated birth suite

Hello everyone! After meeting some major design and print deadlines, I took yesterday off to recoup (after working through 2 weekends in a row). Today I will do a small bit of work...but I will also be sure to have some relaxing time too! The other day I mentioned some freehand illustration work I did from memory to create some child-like drawings with a sea theme. After drawing several sea creatures, my client chose a starfish and a seahorse to star in her projects. Her friend threw her a baby shower and wanted the invitation to relate to the birth announcement (which was already being designed). But she didn't want to TOTALLY make it the same, so we changed up the colors. Overall, they related together but still felt different enough. I took the seahorse and put him on the baby's stationery...with a rope-pull tugging the baby's name...much like an airplane pulling a sign across the sky. In the end, we were all pleased. These were not letterpressed...they were traditionally flat printed and ended up being quite affordable which is always a good thing! I hope you all have a great weekend! I'll be back Monday with a new notecard design!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Illustration love

Hi! I can't believe it's Thursday already. I don't understand where the time goes. Anyhoo, today I was thinking about illustration. I used to draw all the time (studied it in college even!) and I just don't make time to do it anymore. Not too long ago, I had a project for a birth announcement, baby shower invite, and baby stationery project that had an ocean theme where the client wanted it to feel babyish and whimsical. So, I drew little sea-life characters from memory (no visual aids) and was really happy with how they came out (they have a childlike quality to them). (I'll take pictures and show you tomorrow)I noticed that I have a very particular style when I draw from memory like's neat to see it come to life. I was perusing Anthropologie a few weeks ago and saw this book. It is HUGE and has a slipcover and everything. I sat in the store and paged through for quite a while...lost in the colors and forms. You may recognize some of Charley Harper's work from childhood science/biology books. He had a huge career and did so many things. He passed away last year and left the world to enjoy his huge breadth of colorful and whimsical illustrations of creatures great and small.

Well I just LOVE this book and plan to save up and own it myself. His work is so inspirational for reminds me that illustration comes in many shapes and styles. Harper's work is so clever and creative. To have your own unique style and look is a way to truly forge your own artistic path in the world-thus adding your own value and mark on things. (All images shown are Charley Harper's illustrations as shown in the book "Charley Harper, An Illustrated Life" by Todd Oldham)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Chained up

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday! It's still pouring rain and I'm still busy with design and wedding printing. In my spare time (a few months ago) I designed a new card...I have finally printed it: this time it's flat printed but still on the Crane's Lettra cotton letterpress paper. I love how soft, thick, and luxurious it is. These cards are in a popular color scheme and I was able to print on the envelope (front and back) to add more interest. They are for sale here...
If you'd like a set of your own if there aren't any left in the shop, please email me at megan [at] I will be sure to get them made and post them in the shop for your purchase. I can even change the colors for you if you want.
Thanks for looking!! I'll be back tomorrow with another inspiration bit...

Here's the write-up on them from the shop:

Set of 6 stylish folded thank you notes. Flat printed in a golden yellow and a robin's egg blue on ultra soft and thick Crane's Lettra 100% cotton paper (110#). Blank on the inside. Designed and printed by me, this chain link pattern makes for a stylish and simple statement. They feel luxurious!
No boring envelopes with these cards! Comes with a set of 6 matching cotton envelopes with a blue chain pattern printed on the back flap, as well as the message "Kindly deliver to:" printed on the front.

Card dimensions: 3.5" high x 4.874" wide (4-bar size)

These are packaged in a stylish envelope and shipped in a stiff cardboard mailer to protect them.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Hi everyone! What a rainy day today. Perfect for settling in and getting things done around here. Just printing up a storm and designing just as much! I got my new printer installed and settled last week. I'm calling it my BMW of toy. I've spent a fair amount of time playing around with it to see what it can do. And I'm does so much more than my old printer... I can finally print thick sheets of paper (even cardboard) and not have any problems. It is a professional ink jet, so there's a lot more I can now offer my clients in terms of flat printing for small runs when letterpress is out of budget. I can even do flat printed customized notecards and envelopes on the paper stock I like (it never fit through my old printer) and the ink is lightfast and fade-proof. Who knew one day I'd be so obsessed with something like an ink jet printer.
On another note, I realized that there are so many things I look to that inspire me and I realize that I never share! I decided that it's time to start documenting the things that I enjoy looking at and that inspire me. Today I show you the website of New England artist M J Blanchette.
Her paintings are such a joy to look at for me...I love her blocks of color and light. I love her focus on the colors of the sky and land. They remind me of Edward Hopper in terms of use of light and color.If I had good painting skills (they aren't terrible, but aren't the best either) I'd want to paint like this. She really captures the season and the time of day. I can practically smell the grass by the beach and feel the breeze through the car windows. Ms. Blanchette freezes a moment in time and manages to make it look like a memory...the subtle nuances you remember for a certain time. I encourage you to browse her website and look at her gorgeous work and see for yourself. I love how she put the general focus on the sky or on the land...not often symmetrical. I notice that is how I tend to take my landscape photographs... Now, to try and own one of her paintings for myself! (all photos from MJ Blanchette's website...paintings by MJ Blanchette)