Friday, April 10, 2015

Blog and Buy Sale Celebrates Spring

Poppy Patch Pillow

The Blog and Buy Sale Spring Wish List is out - and I'm on it!

I recently discovered Blog and Buy Sale, a London-based site that showcases artists and product makers selling their craft online. Each quarter Blog and Buy Sale compiles a curated Wish List, and I'm pleased they selected three of my products - my Poppy Patch Pillow (above), Guinea Pig Print, and Pink Llama iPhone 6 Case - to be included in the Spring Wish List. It's great to be featured alongside so many talented designers!

Here's a sampling of some of the lovely items you'll find there. I did a little checking and it looks like most products can be shipped internationally:

Clare Gage Patchwork Vase

Patchwork Vase by Clare Gage. A pretty porcelain vase combining ceramics with a playful contrast of fabric textures. How great would this look on the shelf, with or without flowers?

Rich Little Things The Feather

The Feather from Rich Little Things. A hand-finished print of an original papercut design. I'm always bringing home stray feathers I find. I love how the intricacy of this print so artfully conveys their beauty.

littlebirdy designs Marble Bird's Egg Tile

Bird’s Egg Marble Tile Magnet by littlebirdy designs. What says springtime better than a tiny bird and egg? The subtlety of this little watercolor illustration on textured marble is super sweet.


Spring garden cuff by Claire Gent.  A delightful spring scene you can wear on your wrist! The hand dyed aluminum cuff features a photo-inspired silhouette design.

Now that you've had a sneak peak, hop over to Blog and Buy Sale and find your favorites. The Spring Wish List will be available to view through May 19th.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Naming a Zazzle Store

I recently opened a store on Zazzle. I'd read up a little bit on Zazzle and thought I'd done my homework before diving in. Now that I've fumbled around a bit, I thought I'd share some things I've discovered.

My first obstacle was what to name the store. My own name is difficult to remember and harder to spell. I hoped someone browsing through the marketplace might notice my username and be able to find me again by searching. After much brainstorming (and an inexplicable stubbornness about including the word 'plum,' I decided on the short and quirky name 'Some Plum.' For my username, I omitted the space between the words to get SomePlum, which automatically became my store url. The username and url can't be changed after signing up, but I was satisfied my store name, username, and url coordinated perfectly.

Unfortunately, I've since noticed that actual store names aren't always searchable on Zazzle.  Typing 'Some Plum' into the search bar only brought up a bunch of plum colored products. Just by adding a space between the two words, they become too generic. Typing my username 'SomePlum' (no space) successfully brought up my products, but what if the natural tendency is to include the space between words?

I partially solved this problem by including my store name at the end of all my product descriptions. I hoped this would amount to background noise that would be skimmed over, but still give search engines something to pick up. Now searching Some Plum turns up some of my products. If I had it to do over again, I'd choose a unique ONE WORD name that could double as both my username and store name (good examples of this are the stores Stuccoloco and Scruffshop, two stores I referred back to occasionally while setting up my shop - for the simple reason that I remembered the names and easily found them again).

So, I may not have blazed the easiest trail to my store, but it will be interesting to discover other ways to leave breadcrumbs. If you have experience with Zazzle as a buyer or seller, I'd be interested in your thoughts on the significance of store names.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Lizard's Tail by Bish Denham


Here's a cover illustration I did for a recently published book by Bish Denham. I've worked with Bish before and love reading her blog for tales of her childhood days in the Virgin Islands. Both her previous book Anansi and Company and A Lizard's Tail are infused with island flavor. While working on the illustrations for Anansi, I enjoyed becoming more familiar with the rich folklore and language of the Caribbean. The new middle grade fiction story, A Lizard's Tail, provides gorgeous imagery of the islands as a backdrop for a quick-paced adventure story. A Lizard's Tail is available here on Amazon.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Back to the Blog

It's been a while since I updated this blog regularly. I keep thinking I'd like to return to it. After a string of super-sized life upsets, I'm still not clear on how to pick it up and move on.

Like a cat that slips off the banister and hopes no one's looking, I stopped to lick wounds and try to regain composure. I took classes, thinking I'd eventually go back to work in graphic design. As I was finishing up a certificate program a year ago, I had an internship and part time tutoring job lined up. Nervous but excited about a new start, I made it through my first day of the internship. The next day, I learned I had breast cancer. So much for getting my bearings.

This past year certainly wasn't the best year, but it wasn't all bad. When I felt better, I worked on new illustrations. I had the luxury of picking and choosing only things I wanted to do. I'm learning about plans and expectations. They're fine as a map, as long as you know the moment the map is drawn, the route is already changing. Expect detours and road blocks. Flash floods. If you don't look too far ahead, there are nice surprises too…unexpected things along the way that make the trip enjoyable. Sometimes, the destination changes entirely.

So, here I am. My blog map is sketchy. No doubt, there will be side trips.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kicks Like A Girl


This is a book cover design and illustration I created for a new book by Melissa Westemeier. I just received my (signed!) copy in the mail and I'm excited to read it!

I'll tell you a little secret about the cover illustration: while doing the initial sketches, I couldn't get the phrase "kicks like a mule" out of my head. For some reason this made me think of mule style shoes - you know, the backless kind that make you walk like Peg Bundy because they're so darned hard to keep on your feet. That's how the single mule-clad foot came to be on the cover. The other shoe obviously went flying right off the page.

I'm looking forward to diving into some fun fiction. You can pick up a copy of Kicks Like a Girl on Amazon.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tales of Anansi the Spider


 A while ago I created a cover and illustrations for a collection of Anansi tales by Bish Denham. I'm excited to learn that the Kindle edition of Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Tales is now available on Amazon.

Since I've been a reader of Bish's blog for some time, I already had wonderful impressions of the beauty of the Caribbean to inspire me. I also recall being introduced to the sly spider Anansi in elementary school, and enjoyed having the chance to read a whole collection of his adventures at one time.

The book is intended for middle grade readers, but I think younger children would enjoy hearing the stories read aloud. In addition to the colorfully retold folktales, Bish's  book includes a series of clever riddles (most of which I was not clever enough to solve).


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Gluten Free Flour Recipe





What do you know. It's been over a year since I visited here. If we ignore the year in the post date, we can pretend it's been just a little over a week.

I've been experimenting with new things, like this latest illustrated recipe I submitted to They Draw and Cook (you can view it larger on their site here). I tried a lot of gluten free flour mixtures, and so far this one I came up with has the nicest taste and texture all across the board. Best of all, it's easy to make in any size batch. I thought I'd post it for anyone else who may be experimenting (and getting frustrated) with going gluten free.

I've also been experimenting with color palettes. I noticed that although I've tried many styles and mediums, I pretty much stuck with a favorite combination of colors. Time to get out of my comfort zone a little.

Mixing things up a little is good. In fact, it's been so long since I've written a blog post, it feels entirely new again! Yep, it has been that long.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Calculus Tutor




Recently I designed an icon and ads for a calculus app for the Android Market. It's an interesting challenge to design something that looks good at a variety of sizes and screen resolutions, especially knowing it'll end up on a small device. Plus, with so many apps out there to choose from, I really wanted my Calculus Genie to stand out.

For any of you math types out there, the app is a handy calculus reference - anyone studying or using calculus should go check out the Calculus Genie at Google Play.