New Year, New Goals: A welcome to 2014

Wow. I feel like I was lost for the last few months! The holidays this season, swept me up I felt like I couldn't catch up. 2014, a brand new start, and with a new year most people put forth their one big *New Year's Resolution!* ... I don't particularly like that word resolution... I do however believe in goals and boy I have a lot this year. I hope to: experiment more with my process and work...really push what I am working on. update blog posts more often. research, research, research. have set correspondence for promoting my work. attend more drawing sessions.. if not create some. have my children's book completed! manage time better, somewhere in 2013 I stopped using my planner...not cool. My planner was ALWAYS attached to me. go on more adventures, even if by myself. try out some new activities, I'd really like to test myself physically more..climb more mountains, rocks, kayak. enjoy more music outings.


Cross Country Road Trip: Part 3

20130918-113526.jpgAfter calling it an early night to start early mornings we said our goodbyes to Austin, with a coffee shop stop at Austin Java, a honey nut latte and a seven layer bar to go... The driving again commenced.


20130918-114428.jpg We were advised to keep a close eye on gas while driving through Texas and the remaining states as gas stations run scarce. Our first stop of the day we finally found our road trip totem: Peace Monkey. The perfect addition for any drive, really.

20130918-114727.jpg Along the way we saw a lot of... This.

20130918-115337.jpg And....

20130918-115514.jpg Very straight through roads but the mountains and hills were just out of this world. Not like driving north and south on I95. Glorious!



20130918-120104.jpg The clouds. The big open sky. Just beautiful.


20130918-120349.jpg A billion miles later and the next necessary gas station. In the middle of nowhere. Literally. We did our good deed of giving water and food to a homeless man.


20130918-121043.jpg Noted again, maps or google maps do not always provide the best of routes. The latter half of the drive was a bit back roady along the border and farm areas.

20130918-121400.jpg New Mexico was exciting for the opportunity to stay at a hotel. To actually shower.. And sleep in a comfortable pillow top bed for a night and a break.

20130918-121632.jpg Oh Ramada. You are too kind.



20130918-122041.jpg We popped over to Tokyo Sushi, to well... Get some "local" food and to fend off a craving.

20130918-122156.jpg I spied some lovely signage.

20130918-122253.jpg Of course I needed to capture a Wiener schnitzel!

20130918-122631.jpg Cable indulgence a well rested dreamland blur of New Mexico and onward! Checkout time was a very exceptional noon.

20130918-122823.jpg It was quite lovely to leave so refreshed for the last "bit" of the drive to San Diego. A border patrol stop.

20130918-123029.jpg And you guessed it! More driving. With one of my favorite random stops at this roadside store.

20130918-123255.jpg Oh the amazing treasures inside...



20130918-123513.jpg These perfect moccasins!

20130918-123557.jpg Funds were dwindling, I needed to focus on more important luxuries like hydration.

20130918-123719.jpg Though I did splurge on two dream catchers, one for myself and one as a gift for my friend.

20130918-124137.jpg More desert and some doodling.









20130918-124720.jpg Desert and mountains and hidden towns.


20130918-124903.jpg Arizona!



20130918-125119.jpg More doodling.

20130918-125447.jpg And driving :) it was a a very quiet stretch. Too much to take in also the realization that the vacation was almost over.












20130918-152425.jpg We even saw a few dust storm formations.


20130918-152619.jpg By this point it was around dusk, pretty exhausted and still a ways to go til San Diego.

Cross Country Road Trip: Part 2

My friend and I left New Orleans quite early in the morning, but not before a quick coffee, croissant, donut and the cheapest, largest baguette ever purchase for another long day of driving to Austin, Texas!!!! Another destination I have never visited! Most of the day was driving through the bayou on 10, playing the game "let's see if we can spot an alligator or an armadillo!" For the record, we saw none! Driving, driving, more driving, trading off driving, traffic, radiolab, shows on the iphone, driving, pandora. A quick pit stop at a cute little BBQ spot...Though I passed on BBQ (the baguette filled me up) I more so was dying of thirst, the Texas heat hits you like a brick. We arrived in Austin in the evening around 6 o'clock.

20130908-131909.jpgWe were grateful to stay at one of our friend's Tyler's apartment and so excited to finally be there! Oh hello Schwinn at Tyler's building.

20130908-132221.jpg My first thoughts on Austin were how clean it is! So clean! I also loved seeing so many solar panels! I really wish Richmond would have more natural energy efforts. So after catching up with Tyler, we were very anxious to try some of Austin's finest food. A key staple in Austin is food trucks...everywhere!! But these food trucks are not like Richmond's food trucks that you know.... move around...which baffled Tyler's mind. Austin's food trucks are stationary. there were thrice as many if not more food trucks then Richmond. The recommended dinner choice was...Tacos! Why not?! At Torchy's

20130908-133725.jpg This place was incredibly dangerous=best tacos ever. I got the Baja shrimp, chicken fajita, and the Brush Fire=Jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapeños, mango, sour cream & cilantro. w/DIABLO SAUCE on a flour tortilla. My new favorite. It had the cutest gravel patio


20130908-134324.jpg I caught my first glimpse of many, the Grackle bird vulturing on the outdoor bus station. We drove around the downtown area and found a night spot that looked straight out of Richmond!

20130909-131558.jpg The Black Heart

20130909-132747.jpg Cheers Austin!

20130909-132838.jpg And then we ventured a little closer to the college area and found another fantastic gem, Shangri La. Another spot that seemed right out of Richmond.

20130909-133255.jpg And some art on the walls

20130909-133350.jpg Good morning Austin! Wooo! The heat was blasting early.

20130909-133601.jpg We went to brunch at a fantastic spot called the Magnolia Cafe. Greatly appreciated the sign


20130909-134145.jpg Magnolia Cafe also had awesome murals.

20130909-134350.jpg And near it!

20130909-134459.jpg Flamingos and all. Probably licked the plate of enchiladas... Best decision ever.

20130909-134525.jpg Our next activity on the itinerary was to check out the Barton Springs Pool Unfortunately, this was closed for cleaning on Thursday's.

20130909-135446.jpg But! To the left, the "free" side was open. Thank goodness. I'm fairly certain the temperature was about 106 degrees. The temperature of the spring was about 70 degrees. It took my breath away! That was one of the coolest free things to do in Austin. A little grackle bird friend.


20130909-141508.jpg Afterwards, we trolled around Congress avenue to check out some of the shops and fell so hard in love with the store Parts & Labour I would love to sell my jewelry there. I almost died walking around there attached screen print section.






20130909-142446.jpg We started to get loopy and dehydrated from the heat so we swung by Shady Grove restaurant for water and a snack.

20130909-143134.jpg And why not, pomegranate frozen sangria

20130909-143253.jpg Later, we decided to go a little out of the way to check out Lala's "The Christmas Bar" per Anthony Bourdain's recommendation.

20130909-143747.jpg Lala's was just that... A Christmas bar. Unfortunately, we were starving! No food service at Lala's but a heck of a lot of Christmas decor! Off to Stubb's instead.


20130909-144146.jpg The barbecue was lacking, though we paid for the experience and saw great gig posters of previous shows. :) Onto one of my favorite stops, the Jeremiah the innocent mural.

20130909-144448.jpg Painted by Daniel Johnston. It was such a long day. We were pooped. On the way back to our friend's apartment, we saw massive amounts of people along the Congress bridge, watching... swarms of birds?? We circled around once more, we were so confused, because clearly this was a thing. We later found out that the flock of birds were actually bats! The great free-tailed Mexican bat migration of the Congress avenue bridge occurs every year so the bats can birth. An aha! moment, that is why there are so many bat references! Below a beautiful bird mural on the side of a residence.

20130909-145837.jpg Called it an early night. The next morning we would be making a long stretch to New Mexico.

Cross Country Road Trip: Part 1

Wooo! July ended with a bang! And its literally been so crazy this August I haven't had the chance to share! I had the honor and privilege to accompany one of my best friends on a bittersweet road trip to move her across the country. End point = San Diego within a seven day time period! The 8th day for me was spent flying all day back to good old RVA. The trip started out fruitful and exciting and nervous with the first stop towards the end of South Carolina, in an extremely rural town of Fair Play. And I mean rural! no stop light rural... Predominately inhabited by a Mennonite community and also where my friend's parents live. We crushed considerable time, got a chance to start reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (an amazing story circulating around my friends, an absolute must read!) We arrived around Sevenish on Sunday evening. 20130814-140543.jpg (Where the sidewalk ends just below) This was taken off massive Lake Hartwell 20130814-140650.jpg Breakfast at the local general store, just next to the John Deere rider mower shop. 20130814-140731.jpg

20130814-140800.jpg It was crickets all night long! Or rather every single insect in the universe could be heard and thats it ...but eerily quiet if that makes sense. The calm and relaxation was great especially after a full days drive because the next stop... New Orleans!

We left South Carolina on Monday mid morning... With a Lunch pitstop in Atlanta, Georgia

20130826-135248.jpg .... Where we got lost....for about an hour off track.

20130830-123830.jpg 20130814-151240.jpg We arrived in New Orleans late night at our friend Janet's building to stay, formerly The Friendly Touch bar and soon to be The Friendly Touch Fabric Store. Though this was in renovation state it was a quite cool spot to crash. What perfect timing it was to show up to experience night life shenanigans. We walked around the French Quarter, had a man write poems for us who was from Northern Virginia and! lived in Richmond! Super fun.

20130814-151608.jpg ( I requested inspiration for my poem) 20130814-151726.jpg Popped around some local bars and Cafe du monde for my friend's late night beignet cravings.

(view from the Friendly Touch at night) 20130814-151951.jpg

(View from the Friendly Touch in the morning) 20130814-152117.jpg

20130814-152143.jpg First destination of the day Buffa's pronounced Boo-fahs...




We popped about and around local shops

20130830-122707.jpg Found this little guy...

20130830-122911.jpg And the most amazing scarf ever from Pop City


20130830-124248.jpg A sweet tooth break for my friends






20130830-124612.jpg Whatever sweet things they ate.... Apparently mind blowing!




20130830-125002.jpg We later drove around the 9th Ward where Katrina had hit. It was insane to see so many empty grass covered lots. And quite humbling to see what nature can do. But there was so much rebuilding.


20130830-125248.jpg I had tried to snap some photos of the newly built modular homes equipped with solar panels and awesome architecture shapes but I did not get the chance :( We had hoped to venture to a few cemeteries but time constraints didn't allow such (save for next time!) after walking around in the Louisiana humidity, a nap was extremely vital. A few hours later we stopped by Coop's Place for some local New Orleans eats. I had ordered the Chicken Tchoupitoulas which I still.... Cannot pronounce. Amazing! Amazing amazing amazing! Super pleased that my friends had extreme food envy, so of course I shared, I hate wasting food I am unable to finish.

20130830-130658.jpg After dinner we had to do one of the most touristy things while we were in New Orleans: the haunted ghost tour. It left out of Flabagan's Irish Pub such a great spot! It reminded me so much of Richmond... And Andy out bartender told us stories of how Nicolas Cage would come in there all the time. Our tour guide Tessy was seriously fantastic and I'd like to note our friend Janet was such a sport for coming with us on such a tourist event. The haunted tour was creepy. Really creepy. I enjoyed hearing some historical information, though I absolutely tried to fact check a considerable amount. One of the more chilling houses, where interestingly Nicolas Cage had once lived, the LaLaurie House originally owned by Delpine LaLaurie was by far the most disturbing stories of the entire route. I have linked information above if you are curious. Perfect end for our last night in New Orleans. In the morning we would hop back in the car towards our next location: Austin, Texas!

"First Friday" July edition

Super happy to sell some of my jewelry in the Backseat Gallery owned by my friend Daniel Johnson. His work is awesome!! Please do check it out!

20130705-191008.jpg We are currently posted up with the VACLAA (Virginia Center for Latin American Art). Now that the sun is slowly going down and we aren't melting in the concrete...there is a soft summer breeze, chill music, and wonderful hint of empanadas from the happy empanada food truck next to usAh and I met my future dog that I shall name Harvey Keitel Kelly





20130705-192450.jpg Daniel's work above!

20130705-192023.jpg lil shot of my jewelry above

Doing things differently today!

Oh hey there! Doing things a bit differently today enjoying a nice work day breakfast at the ever so scrumptious Lamplighter Coffee. Needed to pop put of my office today. I've recently been messing around with screen printing WHICH! I probably have not done since 2005-06. No not probably literally. I recently purchased a starter screen printing kit from DIY printshop and embarked on the photo emulsion process.

20130612-114956.jpg oh hey there buffalogo.After multiple print tests I've come to the conclusion that I need to redo the screen little bits were not exposed long enough. This set back is okay. And as far as not having done this in almost 10 years I'll give myself a pat on the back. I had set the project aside briefly as a move to a bigger office was vital.




20130612-115629.jpg My bigger little warehouse. So on top of that and making some fun little jewelry pieces. See below.






Screen printing has been itching the back of my brains. I wasn't quite ready to dark room proof my new office but wanted to get on a t shirt design I had been thinking about this involving a scavenger hunt around Richmond town to build some screens and try out the "positive method" of screen printing. Made some pretty impressive screens! Still got it! First drawing fluid attempt

20130612-120519.jpg Which led to this first print attempt

20130612-120604.jpg Gaaah! Literally the same issue I had with the emulsion method.. Little bits missing. I want this print to be great. So I had to strip the screen and start over. Attempt two:


20130612-120836.jpg And now I wait at the Lamplighter for the screen filler to dry. Certainly not complaining about it

Egg break.

Today I'm in the spirit of egg decoration. Hard boiled a near half dozen last night shew! And this morning the blank eggshell canvases staring at me upon opening the fridge door was enough to take a little break an have a little fun. Why not.


20130328-135528.jpgEven tried out a fancy yet sophisticated nail polish technique from Pinterest.


Circa 2008-ish

Wow! Was searching for some old notes and came across some incredibly OLD sketches and doodles. I'd say most likely from circa 2008-2009. Most of these were saviors to my boredom at a hostessing job I had which seems AGES ago!

Filling the gray days - No Bull Shit.

I am growing quite impatient to the cold days in Richmond Town. Weather is a tease here. A big sunny warm one day, cold and chilly gray the next. What's that constant saying I hear all the time? "If you don't like the weather here wait a few minutes" I don't know. Something like that..ANYWAY. Countless brothy pho bowls have been my warm hug these chilly like times... and all I need are some happy fun tunes to enhance my midday home office dance parties. (if you do not do this please give it a whirl.. it feels so damn good) One fantastic example of super happy fun tunes come from one of my favorite local bands NOBS brass band A no bullshit way of you getting up out of your swirly office chair and dancing success.

About a year and a few months ago, one the the band members and my friend Reggie Pace, had asked me if I could do a NOBS comic. Time had passed and until a couple months ago after venturing out to The Camel to see NOBS, when my lovely friend had reminded me about said comic and I kicked myself! I love opportunities for exciting personal projects and especially something really fun. I thought about campy batman comics and just all silly good fun. Since Reggie had approached me about the idea I felt it appropriate to have the first page have Reggie on it and if he liked it, make following pages of each band member fighting the evil naysayer of music lurking in Richmond. (Below)

GASHCAT - The Morning Sun

I am... Diggin on some Gashcat. I feel the need for it to be played when I wake up to swiftly and naturally kick my butt into gear after those 4.5 minutes of staring blankly before my alarm goes off. Make sense? Please view video below from the violitionist sessions. Now it sounds VERY VERY similar to Neutral Milk Hotel to which I am a big fan of. But I think the charm that sets Gashcat ever so slightly different is ... well I can't place it. Perhaps a tad faster? why not. I'll take it. On another fun note... Below. Me. No facepaint. yesterday from an all super April fun work weekend working on some layout design. (it is incredibly cold in my apartment sometimes... as I have no control over the heating functions.)

Listen While You Work.

As I've previously mentioned, and this will probably not be the last, how much... I LOVE the NPR APP! I cannot contain myself, I will shout it from the rooftops or at least from my front porch. I have a playlist, set up of the most random topics or shows, ranging from 1 minute and 32 seconds to 45 minutes and 17 seconds. If you have not downloaded this fantastic app you must. While working in a home office, and the only living employee is...well Clementine the cat... I need other voices in the background and though music hits the spot just right sometimes, NPR saves the day. I cannot stress enough, if you have the capabilities to listen to your headphones at work, or in the same boat as me working at home...NPR is like a friend stopping by, and sitting in the corner contributing to your work. It reminds me when I was a wee lass in art school at VCU, first starting out I used to be so self conscious about other people around me while I work and which of course there is a time and a place. I eventually began to find solace in working or painting with others around me. Not necessarily talking the whole time, occasionally critiques were vital, but having others around and painting and doing inspiring things you could really feel it while you work. And now not everything I listen to on my NPR is inspirational worthy as it is educational... one of my most favorite shows to listen to is... Snap Judgement. The Host Glynn Washington has become my buddy that stops by my office from time to time, setting up an episode filled with individually narrated themes. I am mentally sitting on a teeny carpet square on the floor listening to storytime. Today's episode I'm catching up on is #319 Monsters.... MONSTERS! YES!! Please see below from Snap Judgement's facebook page. HA! I love this guy!

Current Darlings

Good Morning! I find myself in everyday moments overwhelmed with thoughts and ideas and projects stemming from inspirations leading back to things that have been on the back burner of my brain for quite some time. And yes! oh yes these will eventually get done, These thoughts and ideas and projects are merely goals that I just haven't finished yet... or begun... [Anywho, thank goodness for Pinterest and Evernote for seriously being my organizational charms.]

For proper inspiration searching frenzy, my typical setup allows maximal inspiration hunting, NPR/music app playing from my ipad. My larger moniter extending my laptop screen for ample space of at least a billion windows and tabs and applications[And my employee Clementine, she is usually...most likely always up in my face]

I've got NPR's first listen Thao & The Get Down Stay Down "We The Common" playing. Perfect twangy, jangly, and sweet tunes for this abnormally normal rainy-warm weather bomb January RVA weather.

Also, I'm working on a few projects simultaneously:

  • a painting series dedicated to my grandmother who passed away this month with dementia
  • the start of a comic series(hopefully ongoing if received well) for a local brass band:)
  • conceptual business cards for two different equally awesome people and their businesses
  • research and concept for a children's book I hope to self publish
  • breaking the world record of most coffee consumption in one sitting

shoo!! and with all of this going on as well as obsessing over my new blog crushes SFgirlbybay, How About Orange, and The Styling Dutchman

Desperate Measures

Had the exciting opportunity to help design the Slum Lordz album Desperate Measures for Dan Anderson ie: Damaged Andy, using Desperate Measures the movie poster for inspiration. And now for the chance to actually listen to it! Great stuff, chill, especially for my background music in the office today on this glum, rainy day.

To Listen: Bandcamp

For More info: Facebook

Happy 2013!

Hello there! Finally getting things rolling in 2013, new website, new ideas, perfecting old ideas and filling brains with inspiration every single second.

A few things I wanted to share, towards the end of 2012 I had the exciting opportunity to help my friend Jamie Rivers Gonthier, owner of Retrospect {Vintage Rentals} on a project for a fall photoshoot by Ellen Bucher Photography. I was asked to design invitations and a menu. The fall shoot can be found on The Lovely Find Website, located below!

The Lovely Find

On a side note, I find the website incredibly inspiring: beautiful vintage pieces are showcased in the most darling way. love.

**Photo from The lovely Find Beautiful Photography by Ellen Bucher