Monday, December 17, 2007

No Peeking!

Finished cards for 2007. I'm very pleased with them. Even when there are mistakes with Gocco printing, I still like the outcome. This year, the green is not quite aligned with the other two colors but it still works. I really love that Gocco printer. I first saw it in an art class with Clayton Brothers about 3 years ago. I told my honey about it and next thing you know he had purchased one. How did he know I would love it so much? Come to think of it, he was the one who suggested we buy a nice sewing machine with some wedding money (I had never sewn anything). How did he know? I think he knows me better than me!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Favorite Traditions

This weekend I spent much of my time working on Christmas cards. First I sketched the idea and scanned it in. Then I used Illustrator to edit and separate the colors for printing on my Gocco Printer. This is the first print layer of three. I've been making holiday cards since I was a teenager, first for my parents and now for my family. There have been years here and there when I haven't done it and had to gasp! buy cards. Making cards is one of my favorite traditions of the holidays.

I saw a product display at a store yesterday that said "Inhale. Exhale. Repeat." It was a display for incense and incense accoutrements but it seemed to be implying that the shopper must be stressed and having trouble relaxing. I think we mostly create our own stress at this time of year. Self-imposed stress. Making cards is my self-imposed stress. But I really like to do it. Maybe I should start a little earlier next year though.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thanks and Pay It Forward

I have so many things I want to post, mostly knitting, but I am refraining because they are gifts and I'd like the recipients to be surprised. So instead I'm going to post some things that have been given to me (us) to say thanks. A while back I responded to a fellow blogger, Creative Kismet, and she sent me this wonderful package of fun things, simply for responding to her blog. Thanks Regina, for my first blogger gift!

Second, my mother-in-law, also known as Grandma Julie, sent this wonderful Advent Calendar for the girls this year. I have been coveting hers for years and had considered making something myself, but it's down at number 36 on the list of things to make. So, I was very excited and pleased that she made one for us.
Next, for my birthday recently, I got together with my local friends for a night of handwork (sewing, knitting, whatever...) and received these very nice handmade gifts. Gift bags for Christmas presents and a needle book. Thanks everyone!
Finally, I signed up to participate in Creative Kismet's Pay It Forward game, also a while back. Then I hesitated a bit, thinking, wait a minute, how is this going to work? No one reads my blog!! But what the heck, I'm going to try it anyway. Here's how it works...

“I will send a (small) handmade gift to the first 5 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

So, this should be fun. I have no idea what I'll make yet, but if you're out there wanting to join in some blog exchanging fun, here's your chance!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Needle Roll

I worked up this needle roll this weekend to organize my knitting needles. I am slowly getting my workspace more organized and this was just one piece of the puzzle. It is made with wool felt, sewed on the machine and then embroidered along the edges. The tie was a bit of an afterthought, which made it a little tricky to sew on. Overall the project was pretty simple. I'm not sure I would even embroider the edges next time.

Next post: a proper blog thank you and a little PIF promise.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Birthday Party

Sofia mentioned that she wanted to have a dinner party for her birthday this year. I latched onto the idea, hoping to save a little money by keeping it small. There was a total of 8 kids plus the parents, but the kids got to sit at the birthday table. I wanted to create a magical birthday atmosphere, not in a Disney princess way, but with some nice homemade decorations.Each guest got a favor box with chocolates inside. They were a little young to expect them not to eat their chocolate before dinner was served. I used some mismatch silverware I got from my grandmother, and Sofia chose her favorite colors of our cloth napkins to use.
The centerpiece was made of tissue flower arrangements and the birthday ring. Sofia helped make streamers, paper lanterns, and tissue paper cutouts to decorate the walls. It was a lot of fun for her to help. The tissue flower arrangements were an idea from here, one of my favorite crafty bloggers.
I had to recreate this after the party, since in all the excitement of the day, I forgot to take nice pictures of the table before the kids came. Sofia chose a roasted rosemary chicken, broccoli, fruit salad, and bread with butter.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Birthday Ring

Chris and I made Sofia a birthday ring for her birthday this year. There are twelve little characters made with felt, glue, acrylic paint, embroidery floss, ribbons and beads. Chris made the ring with his computer numerically controlled (CNC) router. My flickr site has more photos.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Halloween Teddy Bears

I get to post these two cuties here because I made their costumes. I don't think I'll encourage them to be the same thing again. It was hard to motivate myself to make the second costume. I guess I could have done it more like an assembly line but I was working with one pattern and I wanted to make sure I had done things right before I cut the pattern into the smaller size. They were some pretty cute teddy bears.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Monster Returns!

Yes, you've seen this before, but I took a better picture this time. And I'm entering him into a monster contest. This is Sofia's monster, named Murdoch. Acrylic on canvas board. 9 in. by 12 in.

The contest is Monster Mash 2007, presented by Penelope Illustration. The monster entries can be seen here at Penelope's flickr site, or here at her website.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Pen & ink and watercolor on paper, 6 in. by 9 in.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Ink on Paper. 4 in. by 4 in.

This is just a quick little sketch for this week's illustration friday, submitted at the 11th hour, literally. We've been having a little mouse problem in the kitchen this week. They've been testing to what extremes we will go to keep them out. So far, the sign on the door hasn't worked.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Originally uploaded by mscahillman
I saw the IF topic last night and decided to go for it. I needed a little motivation I guess...

Acrylic on illustration board. 8.5 in. by 10 in.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Knitted Elephant

Originally uploaded by mscahillman
I finished this elephant a while ago, but I didn't post it because it is a christmas gift. I decided that since the recipient probably won't be checking my blog (although her mother may), I would post it anyway. It's knitted with that kool-aid dyed yarn from a few posts back. The pattern came from Zoe Mellor's "knitted toys", which has a bunch of really cute stuffed toys. I'm working on the rabbit now as another gift.

Gocco Birthday Scene

Sofia's upcoming 5th birthday inspired this drawing. I scanned the original drawing, fixed a couple errant lines in Photoshop, and printed it the size I wanted for cards. It seems our printer's ink contains enough carbon to make a good gocco master. These test prints are on various handmade paper scraps that came in a set from Michael's. The higher contrast ones look better. Next I think I'll add some color layers and turn this into birthday cards and/or gift tags. Full size photos over in flickr.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Logo Work

This is the logo I did for Natalie's bookstore along with the front and back of the business card.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Breakdance Daniel

Pen and ink with watercolor on illustration board. 8 in. by 10 in. This was done for my niece as part of a "secret buddy" exchange at her theater group. Her buddy describes himself as "metro" and likes to breakdance. Apparently, he loved it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I'm a little behind in uploading projects. I made these back in May when two of my friends celebrated their 40th birthdays. Wool felt stuffed with wool and beans for stability.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Kool Aid Dyeing

My friend hosted a yarn dyeing play date and this was the result - yummy colors! This was a skein of undyed wool from Joann's. The basic recipe is, unwind ball and rewind into a big loop and tie in several places to keep from getting tangled, soak the wool in water (we used large basins outside), add vinegar, and sprinkle several packets of kool aid in the bath (do not stir to get the nice variegated dyeing), sit for a while, then rinse until water runs clear. There are many recipes out there on the internet. I have a cute knit elephant pattern that I think I will use this yarn for.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cloth Baby Shoes

We have a new baby in the family, and I couldn't resist making these shoes when I saw them. The pattern is here.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Colored Pencil and ink on watercolor paper, 7.5 in. by 10 in.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Aquarelle and pencil on watercolor paper. 7.5 in. by 10 in.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Guitar Tees

I printed these t-shirts today (the gray one is a birthday present for one of our little friends) with the print gocco. It was fun and easy - now we all have guitar t-shirts.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What Have I Been Doing??

I've been doing some toy making as well as some art. These little guys are root children and they go along with the Story of the Root Children, a traditional german story about the seasons.This is a quickie painting I did for my honey for his birthday in November.
I got together with some friends to dye silk scarves for playing. My girls got one of the rainbows pictured for Christmas and they love it!
Christmas card production this year...

A butterfly mobile for my twin niece and nephew.

...and lastly, a set of puppets for my niece to go along with a really cute story.