An Illustrated History


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Cat Lady Confessions

The time has come to make a few very important introductions. As you can see in my “About” section, this is a blog about making things and paying attention… and a good portion of my life involves paying attention to cats. I love ALL the cats, of course, but especially these two:

Gilbert. Mustachioed, six-year-old Tuxedo cat extraordinaire. Enjoys perching, kneading his front paws, and gazing at me mournfully every time I leave the house.

I like eating things I’m not supposed to and then throwing up noisily!

Emily. Four-year-old calico. Fancies herself to be an excellent hunter (of laser pointers and unreachable birds outside). An expert in basking, sunning, and soliciting tummy rubs/meals with ear-splitting, croaking, screeching yowls.

You’ll rub my tummy if you know what’s good for you.

These two certainly up the adorable in my life, are hilarious and endlessly surprising, and bring me a lot of joy. They also drive me crazy, like any self-respecting cats, but that’s part of the deal. You’ve got to clean up some cat barf if you want to enjoy some cat snuggles.

Halloween 2012, a bit more subdued. Halloween 2011, full-on cat lady.

I know you’re digging my (elastic waist, high-water) jeans. DIY, if you can believe it– I know those iron-on cat patches look professionally done. The whole outfit is thrift-store/Dollar Tree, and you can bet that I’ve worn that wooden cat necklace in real life. (Three more things I’d TOTALLY wear: these Charlotte Olympia flats, this scarf, and these rings. See my board on Pinterest for more.)

Stay tuned for more cat-themed posts! Including illustrations, I hope. And feel free to leave me some links in the comments– the internet is an endless treasure trove of cat magic, and I’m sure I haven’t seen it all yet.


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Yes To…

(a pop of red, and a tiny plane; self-portrait!; a back-lit leaf; more bare branches)

…enjoying blue skies and luscious light (even if it slows down my usually rigorous walking pace). My neighborhood was so pretty and golden yesterday afternoon. The trees are becoming more and more bare, and I’m getting more creative about layering my work-out gear.

I also spent some time with my sketchbook last night, and came up with this optimistic little spread:

(photo cropped and enhanced with some Instagram magic– love how the paper’s texture becomes so apparent)

(scanned version with crisp lines and truer colors)

When it comes to translating my hand-drawn art into a digital format, I love having options; my scanner provides the most faithful images (that is, if I wrestle my bulging/wrinkly sketchbook into the right position), but I’ve found that I also like taking photos with my iPhone. The photos definitely add some personality, and document my drawings’ tactile qualities. You get more of a sense of the materials– the toothiness of my sketchbook’s pages, the crinkles that occur with collages and wet media– and can see traces of the process of making.

The inspiration for this image came from a model’s pose in a J Crew catalog (Fall 2008!) that I’ve hoarded. The silhouette/cut of the clothes is pulled from that photograph, but the color/design elements are from my own imagination. 🙂


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Admiration, Illustrated: Creatures of the Wind

Inspired by this spread in Vogue‘s November 2012 issue, I decided to record my adoration of this Creatures of the Wind ensemble (also pictured here). I did some tinkering around, color-wise, but the idea is there– a full skirt embellished with Swarovski elements, that sleek vest, and those cheeky oxfords…

Can’t you just imagine those shoes with a pair of slouchy, rolled-up jeans and a quirky little sweater like this J Crew treasure? Sigh.