Illustration Friday : Flavor

Meet Clementine. Please note her stylishly coiffed hair
and pink sash. Clementine is not vanilla. As the three
cherries appeared on her screen, the only thought
she had was holding her glass full of apple martini straight.

Wishing you all the luck of Clementine for the New Year!


Additional Notes
1: Clementine was painted in watercolor on
calling card size 'carta a mano di amalfi' cotton rag paper,
2.75"x3.75". Each page is very special as it is handmade
in Amalfi, Italy at 'one of the oldest and most presitgious
papermaking centers in Europe.' Some more history.

2: I updated Clementine. Some more 'flavoring' was needed.
If you want to see the original for comparison, here you go!:


nice work, shoofly.

I looked up some stats on my site, and apparently someone got here
through doing a search for 'flaming shots' on google. great.

Illustration Friday : Holiday

Meet Margaret. She delivered all her presents, stayed up late
playing sudoku, and is still asleep, even though its almost noon.
Margaret likes to think that the best holidays are the days
you get to sleep in.

Update: Margaret was painted in watercolor on a hot pressed
'Aquarelle Arches' watercolor block.

please don't go, gocco.

Last Thursday was the first day I participated in Illustration Friday and I was so excited I just had to click through as many of the other submissions as I possibly could. I was the 455th person to post, so my clicks were pretty random...sometimes I clicked because I was intrigued by the name, but mostly I clicked blindly down the list to see what would come.

All was very, very exciting (I even commented on my faves!) until I came across a post on one site that said there are rumors that Riso in Japan was no longer going to make/export print gocco machines! ah! terrible news!

I spent most of the next day searching for Gocco stuff to buy. I found that most sites had sold out of the printer bodies, but accessories still seem widely available. An e.mail bounced back from a major supplier and I near freaked out, especially since I had been trying to call their number all day and no one answered. Good news: I did hear back from them later. phew. I managed to buy a fabric printer and will be crossing my fingers till it gets here. Yes, I still plan on buying a ton of supplies.

You can read more about efforts, news and how to save gocco here.

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In case you also want to stockpile gocco stuff, here are links to some US distributors of Print Gocco accessories and suppliers that I have used:
welsh products
think ink
northwood studios
dick blick


Illustration Friday : Imagine

Meet Stella. She's often contemplated about what life would be like (if her house were upside down).

Merry Christmas!


oh lila.

Beirut nightlife is all about being in the right place at the right time. The right time means the place needs to be totally packed with no room to stand and people bouncing off the walls. In DC, the closest comparison would be with Eye Bar. Lila Braun has no sign but everyone knows where it is, more like a swank 18th st lounge.

The night before my brother's engagement party, after he had met her extended family and friends from out of town, and after he had answered all their questions and had said his goodbyes for the night, we turned around and walked into Lila.

We got there at the perfect time. We had just been at place across the alley at a bar/resto called Pacifico and were the last ones to leave. Lila was absolutely packed. It took a lot of shuffling to get to the bar, but very soon after all our 'long island champagnes' (i think a slice of lemon is the only nonalchoholic part of this drink. oh, and the ice) were halfway downed, the place started to empty.

The dj was playing slow french music but we were still dancing. We were almost the only people there other than the staff, but then as we were starting to think it was time to go, Mike, the bartender, says five words: "do-you-want-some-shots?" And that is where our night really started.

Here on the right, meet our two favorite bartenders: Jad and Mike. Last time I was here Jad made the most incredible mojitos ever. Please note the lovely arrangement of mint on display. This is a shot of the second flaming shot my brother had to down: a flaming lamborghini. eck. The first one was spectacular. I think its name was 'you're screwed' and the flames were more of a fireworks extravaganza. My brother had tears in his eyes when he was done. So touching.

After 2/3 rounds of shots for everyone, and all the spectular flaming shots for my brother, the last 20 minutes were spent pleading with the bartenders to convince the bouncer to let us back in again.


knitting en route to beirut.

I'm a travel knitter because that's when I get most of my knitting done. Two weekends ago, on a roadtrip to soutwestern virginia on 81 (6 hours down, 6 hours back), I decided that I would name my knit work after the roads/connections they were made on. My next big knitting spurt was later last week on a plane trip to Beirut. With almost 8 hours on one flight, 5 on the next, and rare quiet moments here, I have had plenty of time to pull out my needles and work. But now that we're in Beirut, no road trip knitting for me since I do all the driving!

So, in these past two trips I've made out with one umbilical cord hat (started on 81, finished in Paris), two bulky hats (first one made on 81 south, second on the flight to Paris), half of a man hat (still in progress), and the beginnings of another man hat. Yes, lots of hats...I'm a travelling haberdashery.

Between the knitting, I had time to think about how similar the highways of VA and Charles De Gaulle airport are. The chaos on either makes absolutely no sense to me. They must have been designed by the same person.

I left my gocco in dc, but brought plenty of sketchbooks and am working on some ideas for when I get back. The first few days here were a lot of fun. I even got to check out an art gallery (oops...link fixed!) in downtown Beirut.

Here is a view from my apartment in Beirut:

Here is a view from my house in the mountains:

And here is a photo inside Beiteddine:

The whole country shut down Monday morning when another pro-lebanese journalist was killed by a car bomb. So sad.


One day we'll all be gocco, too.

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Meet (clockwise from top left): Sample Sale Maude, PJ File 1, Stanley, Kate, Sample Sale Chloe, Tag Sale Susie, Jackie File 2, and Tag Sale Rick.

They are all mixed media including ink, watercolor, colored pencil and wood....and all on office supplies. The sizes shown range from 1.75"x2.75" (Kate) to 3.5"x4.75" (Tag Sale Susie).

The cats below have dreams that one day (with some help from the little gocco) they will get to play tag on wrapping paper:

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swaddling my print gocco.

Two Wednesdays ago my very first Print Gocco Press arrived. There must have been a silent ring at the door because all I know is I heard a ‘hey shoofly c’mere’ from downstairs and I shuffled my way down to find the fabulous package there in front of me. So exciting. And no, I didn’t open it right away. But when I did, I swooned over each and every element in the box. So. cool.

My first project was a set of napkins and some thank you cards for my friend’s baby shower. (yes, I hosted a baby shower. yes, that was my first evite. yes, if you send me one I promise to reply). I drew the swaddled babies, stamped the words, scanned it all in, printed it, photocopied it, and then I was ready to make my first gocco print. After I printed the cards, I painted each one in with watercolors.

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It really is as easy as ‘they’ say it is. Thanks to getcrafty and the small object for posting such helpful step by step instructions. Also, thank you flickr for hosting all those fab photos of gocco printed work. Oh, and Paper Source for offering workshops.

The cd/video included in the box is quite a find. Dated and so unbelievably cheesy. Yes, I still talk about my Print Gocco all the time. Its like I got a new cat. It needs a name.

my evite testimonial.

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I never replied to evites...

That is, until I made my own.

Yes, that was the turning point for me. I had such fun picking out the design, colors and background. Oh, and the writing, too. I even managed to make it rhyme. Every time I found an rsvp I did a little dance. And the party was a lot of fun too. To all my friends that have sent me evites and I never replied: sorry.


Shoefly wha?

After Thanksgiving dinner at La Tasca (one of the few non-chinese-restaurant places open on Thanksgiving in Chinatown), sitting in an empty movie theatre after having watched ‘Walk The Line’ and the credits (yes, I’m one of those credit-watching people. ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ wins my vote), a friend said that he made 2 shoefly pies for Thanksgiving. Shoe fly? Pie? What?

The next day at an anti-Thanksgiving dinner at another friends house, I tried some shoofly pie for the first time. It was explained to me that no, its not 'shoefly' but 'shoofly'. The name made such a great image in my head. I had to have it. Especially since I had spent the previous 24 hours thinking about what an absurd name shoefly was for a pie. Crazy.