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A blog about art, folk art, unusual furniture, embroidery, web design, my flower photography, gardening, life and anything that might involve twig. I am an illustrator, graphic designer by day.

Updated: 2018-02-25T11:18:45.286-08:00


Andy Dixon


Seems like I am drawn to riotous color these days. Like these incredible paintings by Andy Dixon. Also find him on Instagram.


City Palace, Jaipur


City Palace, Jaipur The colors! The patterns! The imagery! The texture! [...]

Palau de la Musica Catalana


Palau de la Musica Catalana   via Claire Menary       [...]

The thrill of looking down


Looking down never made me so happy as these images! Sebastian Erras shoots floors! More than floors: mainly tiles, mosaics, colors and gorgeous patterns. 

On Instagram, Parisian floors, one guy - one city - one perspective 




New Cubist Tattoos by Peter Aurisch Tattoos by Expanded EyeMattia MamboLionel FahyAmanda Chanfreau[...]

Amanda Cobbett gives vegetables a hefty dose of love


From her studio in the Surrey Hills, Amanda Corbbett makes papier mâché and machine embroidered artworks inspired by nature in all it’s forms. Her website has little bird songs embedded in the pages. ;)

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="394" mozallowfullscreen="" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="700">Box of Delights - Amanda Cobbett from R&A Collaborations on Vimeo.


A new take on old designs


Les Namingha      See more at King Galleries [...]

Dessins-gravures de plantes médicinales


I love these vintage illustrations! From this collection


Tiny Cooking


I saw a segment on Tiny Kitchen Sunday Morning. It is weird, is it useful? But it is a little bit addicting.

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And of course, they are on Instagram(image)

Our amazing world


This world is an amazing place! 

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Spoon blooms


Ann Carrington's mixed media including steel, nickel and silver plated spoons. 


Magic Mosiacs


 How can little pieces of colored glass and tiles make my brain explode in joy?Emma Biggs      Tessa Hunkin[...]

Having fun


I created this stomach/brain connection but we went with the little fruit flies instead. 


Freelance folly


I don't freelance too often. I am currently working a book, designing, illustrations (with David's help), a workbook, cover art, website art. Been working on this since summer ... and we are nearing the end. It has been an enormous learning experience, mainly about what NOT to do, but every job is a learning experience. The freelance experience can be brutal on your self-esteem and psyche. I have worked for many editors that just poo-poo my work and didn't understand what I was trying to convey.

I have been fortunate to work for many more creative directors that are excellent in helping me solve for a visual problem and on the whole, love my work. I was emailing with an art director I occasionally do illustrations for. He hires me for other clients ... he is concise about what he wants, what he is going to pay, when he needs it. I love working for him. And sometimes he loves what I have done but his clients do not and refuse to pay him. This is an example for Nose Bliss. They told them they hated the illustration and this is what they used instead on their website. All I can say ... they should have gone with the illustration. ;) 

If you are going to freelance, or put your art out there ... you must be ready for criticism and lots of changes to suit the client. 


Quick Draw


I could watch each page a thousand times. Soooo cool 

Quick Draw butterflies



 And so many more ... (image)

How could I be so lucky?


I find these random letters I write to myself , and think ... I don't remember writing this ... I just found this one. Written December 31, 2013.Small, daily gifts I love the most. I have many “large” gifts to be thankful for but the small ones hit the hardest, in my heart, daily. I walk out to my backyard in the wee hours of the morning and hear the hummingbird hanging out in the neighbor’s weeping willow… search out and find her (him) … I feel so grateful I have had that moment. Or when I watch a flock of noisy Pine Siskins scavenge through the yard after I had put out some suet. I feel so grateful that I had the money to buy the suet to feed the birds so we could see them and enjoy them. I watch the dogs run after a squirrel (stealing suet) and see everyone’s exuberance. … the squirrel safely on the fence and the dogs thinking they are protecting their territory … I feel a moment of joy. Nature is fun and all are safe. When I look out of my family room window and see the sun setting behind the Olympic Mountains, lighting up the Puget Sound in majestic reds … I think I can’t be luckier than I am in this moment. Then there is a winter blue light, at dusk, that is the most beautiful of all light. It makes me want to light a fire, make a hot cup of tea, pour a glass of wine and just keep looking out my window until dark has taken over. I always feel thankful.I smell early morning air, and think, “God, it can’t be better than that!” I wave at my beloved neighbors of 22 years and think, “God, it can’t get much better than this.” I wave at people at the grocery store that I have known forever and think, “I feel so lucky to have such a boring, enriched life”. Most of you know, I love my flowers from the moment they bloom until they go to seed. Watching the process makes me so thankful that I have a yard in which to discover these miracles. And I love that I can photograph them and discover all kinds of secrets. When I see my 13+ hydrangeas blooming, I think to myself, “How could I be so lucky?” The last 4 years have held many nervous moments. Not life-threatening like my sister’s breast cancer (I can happily say she is doing fine) or Heather’s brush with death before the birth of her daughter. Losing a job can be life altering, scary, but not insurmountable. I had my crying fits of fear and questioned what my life’s calling really was. I had my family in my corner behind every tearful fear and knew they were behind me, cheering me to my next goal, whatever that might be. I was thankful I had freelance work so we could keep our house and pay all our bills. But I was really thankful I had the extra time off to spend with my mom when she was really sick and we were spending every other day in ICU. I’m so glad I could be here with her when she was at her worst. I have said many times, God gives you what you need and I needed some extra time to spend with my mom. Then Matt and Bri decided to move back home to pay us rent, help us out while I was unemployed and give up their temporary, yet expensive independence. Before we all knew it, we were all expecting a grandchild. I was in shock at first, because they were so young. My husband was the most positive of all the adults in the house. He looked at me and said, “many have gotten through this and so will we”. Of course, he was right. Being much older parents than most, we might not have experienced being grandparents. But here we are, and we have had the pleasure of holding, loving, changing diapers of our own granddaughter. From two people who found each other[...]

"We do"


We had a wedding last weekend! Bri and Matt decided to have a low key, civil ceremony at the Seattle Municipal Courthouse. After 9 years together, a precious 4-year-old addition ... we got a beautiful daughter and now we are all Millers!It was a wonderful wedding event with family. And Mason had a blast. ;)My letter to Bri and Matt: "I am so thankful Matt has found someone to love, who loves him, who understands and tolerates him. I see two people who laugh and have conversations while they are cooking dinner. Who have goals and dreams and are willing to work towards them. Two people who are great parents to an extraordinary little girl. I am so thankful to welcome a wonderful, smart, giving daughter into our lives. I have always bragged that we have the best son in the world. David and I were lucky to have Matt. He changed us for the better, added so many wonderful memories. He is the best and now we can brag that we also have the best daughter. On a side note. I think it is funny that a polish boy found a polish girl in the middle of High School. Let’s call it fate"[...]

Google travel



Animated life


I have been busy at work lately. Illustrated three stories the last two weeks, two of the stories I created animated gifs. I am sure I am doing it the wrong way; they are fun, but a lot of work to get them just right. I found out you can convert an animated gif to a mp4 ezgif. I might have known that before, but it has been a long time since I converted a gif.

This one is for 'New nanoparticles make targeted, temporary gene therapy possible". My first version was very rigid and decided the more organic feel was the way to go.

Additionally I created an animations for "New guidelines take aim at chemo-related nausea". 

I spend a lot of time watching video tutorials, trying to learn after-effects. ;0(image)

Looking up, thinking trees


How trees talk to each other | Suzanne Simard  allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">  “Crown Shyness”, A Phenomenon Where Trees Avoid Touching  Crown shyness (also canopy disengagement, canopy shyness, or intercrown spacing) is a phenomenon observed in some tree species, in which the crowns of fully stocked trees do not touch each other, forming a canopy with channel-like gaps. The phenomenon is most prevalent among trees of the same species, but also occurs between trees of different species. There exist many hypotheses as to why crown shyness is an adaptive behavior, and research suggests that it might inhibit spread of leaf-eating insect larvae.Deep in the woods of the West Pomerania region of Poland, an entire section of trees bends at sharp angles near their bases, forming an odd and entrancing phenomenon known as "The Crooked Forest." Some unusual shapes of trees here.  [...]

I wish I was braver


I know well enough I am an artist (and graphic artist). I suffer and delight in creating something almost every day of the year. I struggle daily learning new skills, keeping up with updated apps,  trying to stay "young in thought" and relevant as I age and talented coworkers have just left college with a shiny new degrees. Sometimes it is fun and wonderful, sometimes a challenge, sometimes painful, sometimes I don't want to own it and sometimes I want to shout it out to the world, "this is mine"!

I feel like a chicken because I choose a paycheck instead of exploring the life of a real artist, untethered by rules, regulations, stackholders and budgets. Set free by exploring every little corner of a creative thought or internal spark. But I have always been too cautious and poor to be that brave. Maybe in another lifetime. In the meantime, I can enjoy these little snippets of what seems like real artist enjoying their talent. To quote the song in video below ...  "Oh, if only, if only ... "

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="394" mozallowfullscreen="" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="700">Edith Rewa · Field Trip from The Design Files on Vimeo.

More on Edith Rewa here

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="394" mozallowfullscreen="" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="700">Sheridan by Ken Done from The Design Files on Vimeo.

More about Ken Done here on Design Files.

Lidiya Marinchuk


Lidiya Marinchuk is a toy maker! And I want to wear one. 


Mother Earth is glorious


Sometimes I get completely lost on Google maps exploring the world. Fractals rivers and what looks like layers in a quartz rock and little man-made watered dots in the desert.  [...]

Story of China


I have been watching The Story of China on PBS and it is fantastic. I have to watch them a couple of times to take all the information in ;) The last episode was talking about the gardens of a palace and one place caught my attention so I had to go investigate. The description was "Pavilion of Fragrant Snow and Azure Cloud". I mean really, how does THAT not stop you in your tracks? Humble Administrator's Garden had many Pavilions and honestly, I wish I could visit each one at peak season and just sit there for a day and take in the fragrances.Celestial Spring Tower: An octagonal tower with flying eves, built around a preexisting well called the celestial spring. Fragrant Sorghum Hall: A five bay hall open on four sides with hipped-gable roofline. The name comes from sorghum fields that once existed near the garden. The windows are decorated with boxwood carvings of scenes from Romance of the Western Chamber. Orchid and Snow Hall: A three bay hall internally divided by a lacquer screen engraved with a map of the garden. Orchid and snow are symbolic of ritual purity. Pavilion of the Leaning against Rainbow: An attached square pavilion with hipped gable roofline and flying eves built in front of the main entry to the central garden. This pavilion is the vantage point for a borrowed view of North Temple Pagoda.  Pavilion of Lotus: A terrace open on two sides with a hipped gable roofline and a portico on all four sides. It overlooks a lotus pond and was named for the verse by Yang Wangli, "To the horizon green lotus leaves seem to extend infinitely; under the sun reddish lotus flowers go bright scarlet." A scholar stone is mounted in the middle.  Fragrant Isle: A landboat structure, named for the smell of the lotus blossoms in Surging Wave Pond  Listening to the Sound of Rain Hall: Named for the sound of rain on banana trees. It anchors an enclosed courtyard with rockery and pond.  Peony suffruiticosa Pavilion: Also called the Embroidered Silk Pavilion, it is a square pavilion open on three sides. It is sited on top of a yellowstone rockery and forms an ideal vantage point for viewing the islands. [...]