One item on a long list of new year's to-dos ("resolutions" don't seem to ever get resolved, so perhaps "to-dos" will get done...) is to work on putting together a new professional portfolio. My current one is, well, not up to my current standards.

I designed it when I knew very little about graphics and thought that I would be going into a more architectural profession. I'd like to think that my skills have grown while working as a graphic designer for the past year and a half. Not only that, but I would like to focus my portfolio on my graphic designs and illustrations, rather than architecture and school projects.

So, first up on my New Year's To Do List:
  • Create a new professional portfolio.
Part of that to do involves me creating new work. So, I've started a new series called "Faces of the Sixties." These are the first of the series. I hope to work on more this week.



Pen and ink illustrations, digitally colored.



All calendars and holiday cards are on sale until they run out!


Lights in the Heights

Houston is really not my favorite place to live, but the Heights really is. It is the most amazing neighborhood in the city. Everyone here is so nice, and friendly, and it's the only part of Houston that has even attempted to preserve our history.

We are also one of the few neighborhoods that have frequent block parties. Lights in the Heights was by far the best one that I've been to, and I hate to say this...but it puts some of Milwaukee's festivals to shame! (gasp! I know...sorry!)

The whole area blocked off is around 3 blocks by 6 blocks. Most houses decorate with lots of lights, hence the name, and about every 10 houses was live music. You could hear everything from a not-s0-great high school garage band, to a Jewish couple singing old German songs while playing an accordion, to a bunch of retirees getting together with friends jamming out to classic rock songs. A central park was designated with a main music stage and food vendors. Most people bring a cooler on wheels and roam the street with their beer in tow.

The weather was a little odd...a light sweater provided enough warmth for a "cold Houston night."
Best part of the night: getting into a private party to dance to a super kickin' Cajun band! I lost their card so have no idea what there name, but if anyone reads this that knows, please let me know. We stopped as they started playing the Jambalaya (on the Bayou) song, which makes me proud of my swamp land roots (because Houston is a swamp) The party was sponsored by some company called "Kinetic Energy." I'm sure they get TONS of business during Lights in the Heights.
The photos aren't that great, but the night was!


photos from Austin

My friend Erika flew down for a mini vacay and we then made an even minier road trip to Austin. Seriously, how have I never been there as an adult (meaning not on a field trip?) Austin is one of the coolest cities that I've even been and I can't wait to go back!

These are photos that I took of shops on South Congress (aka. Hipster Central)


holiday craft shows: pictures and a recap

As I've mentioned a few times before, I did a whole lot of craft shows this season! Some were good, some were not so good, and one was GREAT! I learned a lot about what sells and what doesn't sell. I got some ideas for new products that may be more sellable next year or at Renegade Austin (hoping that I get accepted this year!) I learned that craft shows are BORING to work at, but are way more fun when you share a booth or have a friend to work it with you.

WHAM was by far the best show that I've ever done! That was a 3 day long market that was one of the best curated shows I've seen. There was such a good variety of types of products being sold as well as a good variety of price points.

I worked on some new displays. I got some over sized frames from a thrift store to hang my cards. Only one card could hang per clothes pin, but I think it helped catch people's attention.

My dad helped me build new stands for my cards and paper dolls. What I find the most challenging about designing an attractive booth is creating height for products that are all two dimensional. Not wanted to use store bought greeting card displays, I decided to create a stand from scrap wood found in my parent's garage. I'm so lucky to have a handy dad that is always willing to help with projects like these. I created the design, my dad cut the pieces (I think he gets nervous when I use his tools,) and then I screwed it all together. The sizing is perfect!

Look how excited Lora is to have her picture taken! This is the booth that I shared with B. Bags for the First Saturday Art Market. Sharing a booth with someone is probably the best thing that I could ever do. 1. The booth fee is split so the show is cheaper. 2. You have someone to take to when traffic gets slow and you have someone to watch your stuff for quick restroom breaks or shopping breaks. 3. You don't have to fill up an entire 10' x 10' booth. It's more difficult than it sounds.

I made new business cards and emilee rose buttons for free-bees.

It was so fun doing all of these shows and really made me think about how I could really focus more time and energy to emilee rose. But I'm glad they are over and I can get a little break. I've heard that January through March shows are usually a bust, so I may be taking a break until Renegade in Austin. But who knows what lies ahead...


handmade holiday gifts: infused vodka

I really tried to make most of my holiday gifts this year and wanted to make something that could be used (i.e. not something that people would say "this is SO GREAT!" and then either throw it away or stash it in a junk drawer.)

After Christmas, I'll post my "main" project this season, but I want to make sure that I don't spoil the surprise.

I made infused vodkas for my bosses this year and I think they turned out pretty well. This gift takes a few days to make, so start now and you'll be golden for getting it done before Christmas! There are plenty of recipes on-line if you google "infused vodka recipe" but I just kind of winged it. Basically, you put your thing to be infused in an air tight jar with vodka, shake it a few times a day, and strain once complete. I made a habanero vodka (perfect for Bloody Marys) and a mandarin vodka.
Recipe for infused vodkas:
1. Choose a decent vodka (I used Smirnoff...don't use the cheap stuff just because it's disgusting and the super nice stuff may be a waste if your infusion goes wrong.)
2. Measure the amount of vodka for your container (mine found at The Container Store.) and then add a little bit that will be absorbed into the fruit.
3. I used one whole habanaro, seeded and cut into 4 pieces. And I used 1 small can of drained mandarin oranges.
4. Pour the vodka and the item being infused into an air tight container. Cover, give the container a shake to mix up the Vodka and fruit and then store in a dry cool place (I stuck mine in the pantry.)
5. Both of my infusions only took 2 and a half days. Shake a few times a day and you can taste a bit as you go. Some infusions may take a week or more, so check with other sites for infusion times.
6. Once infusion is complete, strain the fruit and pour into final container.


holiday decor around the house

Above: My grandpa's camera that took all of my mother's photos growing up. Santa and donkey from Black Scottie Treasures.

This holiday season has been absolutely CRAZY!!! I had been doing craft shows almost every weekend and somehow had booked up all other weekends until today. Today I feel free! Work the past couple of weeks have been an absolute nightmare. I'd love to vent about it, but this is really not the place. Just know that I had to stay late a few times last week, didn't get any real sleep as a result of stress and I definitely broke out in tears 3 times.

But 6 days from today is Christmas, which really is the best time of the year. And I finally have a fabulous place to decorate. After a stress filled day at work and leaving the bustling shops, coming home to a peaceful holiday home really makes everything better.

Top of my IKEA shelves, I put faux glittered "snow" and arranged my vintage cameras and new figurines from Black Scottie Treasures.
It's a little difficult to see with my super awesome camera, but I made these little cone trees based on Daniel Thompson's tutorial. Hers are super stinkin' cute, but I decided to go with all white trees. Each fabric has a different texture, so that are really great in person.


holiday cards and fresh new photos!

It is now the middle of Thanksgiving which, in my opinion, is prime holiday card buying. We are getting busy at work with lots of orders! And that made me realize that it's time to restock the shop with my cards! Greeting cards are available in boxed sets of six. I'm going to try to take new photos (more about this below) and list individual cards as well sometime next week.

There are also some personalized holiday photo cards. (Thanks Heather, Tracie and Sarah for letting me "borrow" your photos!) You can personalize each set with your family's photograph and order matching return address stickers if you wish.

So, the above photos, are...well...terrible. I know! My lighting at home sucks. I've never had the patience to create a light box, so I set up two desk lamps and have at it. Then, the lighting is SO bad that when I try to correct it digitally it turns in to pixelated mush.

This week, I needed a new picture of my calendar for my work to blog about (my calendars are available in the shop!) We have a great lighting system that I think worked wonders. I still had quite a bit of editing to do, but am really pleased with how the photos turned out.

I've also been noticing photos a lot on etsy and have noticed that most of the front page images are clean, bright, and crisp. I'm hoping that these photos do the trick.

Ideally, I would like to reshoot all of the photographs in my shop, but that might be a task left to next year. I'm thinking that an at-home light box is needed as well as a new camera. But again, that new camera is not really in my immediate future.


quilting madness

This past weekend, I made a trip to the International Quilting Festival with some of my lady friends. It was about 10 million times larger than I had anticipated and extremely overwhelming! Allthough many people were snapping pics of the quilts on display, the signs telling me not to made me scared that I would get in trouble by the quilting police! So, sadly I don't have any of the quilts to share with you, but I did snap a few while shopping around over 1,000 booths of quilting fabrics, notions, and goodies! Next year, I would like to have some projects in mind, so that I can snatch up all of the super unique and awesome fabrics.


happy friday! heartthrob edition.

Yay! It's Friday!

I've recently been watching a lot of Freaks and Geeks and have been reminded of an old Hollywood crush.I thought I would share some other heartthrobs to help get through your Friday.

Jake Ryan from 16 Candles

A timeless classic...

Trip Fontaine from The Virgin Suisides

Definitely not the nice guy, but he'll still melt your heart (and then leave you in the morning.)

Daniel Desario from Freaks and Geeks

Kinda makes me want to relive 1980, or just live in 1980. What a dream.

Do you have any timeless Hollywood crushes?


halloweeney (a bit late) and other ramblings

It has taken me some time to realize that it is now NOVEMBER (seriously, where did the time go?)

This year, I wanted to decorate my house for Halloween and the Fall season, though, getting ready for upcoming shows have forced me to put other craft projects on hold. Christmas is just around the corner and my previous tennant left me a 6' faux tree for me to decorate. Hooray!

Rather than decorating, I had to work on my Halloween costume. I went as Don Draper's lover from Mad Men. Even though Don has a new lady almost every week, most people thought that I was Faye or Peggy. It didn't really matter either way, but I think I did a good job looking like I was at least from that era. My mom helped me with the hair. I (surprisingly) didn't take any photos but was able to grab some from other people's albums on facebook.

Starting the weekend of October 23rd (my first show...pics are coming soon, I promise!) I have had something to do every single weekend and it will continue that way until the middle of December.

Here's how it goes:

This weekend: First Saturday Art Market show and attempting to fix my car with my dad. (I cannot put gas in my car, which is SORT OF a problem....I'm hoping it's just a clogged hose. I'm SO thankful to have a handy dad that can teach me these things!)

Next weekend: My bestie, Erika is coming to visit (I am SOOOO excited about this!)

The next weekend: the WHAM show

The weekend after that: I guess I have that weekend off! But will be getting an oil change and my car inspected at the last possible second before my tags expire.

The next weekend after that: show at Sew Crafty.

And that takes me into December with just a few weeks to complete my holiday gifts, cards (if I get to them this year, I've been totally slacking in that department!) and holiday decorating. Not only is my schedule jam packed in the evenings and weekends, we are getting busy with holiday cards at work! It's really great and is totally putting me in the holiday spirit.

This time of the year is always super crazy, but really fun! Bring it on!


emilee rose Calendar Giveaway- Winner!

Thanks to everyone that participated! The feedback was better than anticipated.

The winner is ROXY! I'll be contacting you on which calendar you want.

Thanks again! In case you were not a winner, check out the shop, to get your very own emilee rose calendar!


Don't forget! A Fair to Remember is tomorrow!

A Fair to Remember
Saturday, October 23rd
10 am to 3 pm
FREE to the public

Bethany Christian Church
3223 Westheimer Road


Another show added

I just added another craft show to my list of shows this fall. (This is the LAST one! Otherwise, I might go a little nutzo.)

I'll be sharing a booth with the lovely Lora of b. bags! She made this adorable clutch that I bought myself.

First Saturday Art Market in the Heights
548 West 19th Street

Saturday, November 6th
11 am to 6 pm


2011 Calendar Giveaway!

As promised (or suggested) I am giving away one of my 2011 emilee rose calendars!

The Emilee Paper Doll Calendar
Look familiar? This is the same calendar as last year, but with an updated calendar. In case you didn't get one last year, you have another chance.

The Olivia Paper Doll Calendar
Same format as Emilee's, but this calendar has all new outfits! I'm loving October's cat costume!

Mini Desk Calendar
I'm really excited about this little dude! This calendar features all new emilee rose illustrations and comes packaged in a floppy disk case. When I say "mini" I mean it--it's only 2.5" x 2.75", perfect size for a stocking stuffer.

Rules for the giveaway!
Leave a comment by Friday, October 22nd to enter with which calendar you would love to win. Winner will be chosen at random and will be announced on the blog the following Monday.

Want more ways to enter?

Just make sure to leave another comment for each extra thing.