A Little Feat

“If you’ll be my dixie chicken, I’ll be your Tennessee lamb, and we can walk together down in dixieland.” Originally written by Little Feat, and rediscovered through Dave Matthews and his sneaky live recordings.

Bored one night and falling deeper in love with this Spring inspired quote I decided to try my hand at a little illustration/calligraphy work. For the most part I’m quite happy with how it turned out.


The Mitten Tree

While trying to fill some space on my autumn gallery wall(I promise I will post how to hang a gallery wall super super super soon) I happened upon this print on Etsy by O’Reilly Ink. I really enjoyed the simplicity of the piece but wasn’t crazy about the colors. Plus I didn’t feel passionately about any of the tree species featured.

I decided to create a knock off print based on the design concept but featuring colors and subjects I was more into.

I selected the Sassafras tree as my study subject. If you are not aware of the amazingness of this tree it’s also lovingly called the Mitten Tree. Scientifically it’s the only deciduous tree that produces 3 different shaped leaves (at least the only one in the North East/North America).

There is also a fairy tale version “How the Sassafras Tree (or Mitten Tree) Got its Leaves” (as best remembered by yours truly)

Once upon a time there was a little old lady who had a cabin in the woods. Winter was coming so she decided to make some mittens. She finished her first mitten and realized she forgot the thumbs.

So she threw that pair out her window. The following day she tried again to make a pair of mittens this time she knitted too many thumb holes so out the window that pair went.

Finally the following day she knitted the perfect pair of mittens. Thumb holes in the right places, plenty of room for fingers.

She went to bed that night proud of her work. She woke up the next morning to find a mouse scurrying out of the cabin with her perfect mittens. Luckily she remembered how to make the proper pair and didn’t think much of the mouse, hoping the mittens would keep him warm. Winter came and went and the little old lady had warm hands all winter long. Then it was time for Spring which brought on the usual chirping birds, blooming flowers, and a remarkable new tree outside of the old lady’s cabin. A tree which was growing right outside the window she threw all her failed mittens out of. Now, what made this tree remarkable was it’s leaves reflected all the mittens she made over the last winter.

And that my friends is the story of the Mitten Tree.

So, anyway, this is a story I grew up with and a tree I always look for when out and about. This tree I decided shall be my muse. Creating the artwork is pretty easy, anyone with mild artistic talent and computer skills should be able to pull it off.

First dust off your pencils and sketch the leaf (leaves) of your choice. You could probably trace the leaf if that makes you more comfortable. Once you’re happy with your sketch grab a thin tipped Sharpie or other black inked pen. Outline the leaves and add a few veins for good measure.

Once the sketching is done and outlining is complete scan it into your computer. I used Photoshop however even Paint would do the trick. Open the scan up and use the paint bucket tool to fill in the fields with whatever color you desire. Finally find a fun free hand font and add the genus, species, and common name to the graphic. Print that sucker up slap it in a frame and admire your amazing artistic skills.

Yay cheap and easy diy artwork!

I’m a girl who’s in love with the world…

…and Brendan can’t help but follow. I’ve been slightly obsessed with Amo’s Lee especially his song “Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight”. I couldn’t figure out why I was totally head over heels for the line “I’m in love with a girl who’s in love with the world thought I can’t help but follow” until I realized it totally syncs with our relationship. See I tend to find joys in the simple subtle parts of life. Which then leads to crazy ideas like camping on a small island in the Bay of Fundy (roughly a 10 hour drive and 45 min. ferry ride from home). And poor Brendan can’t help but smile and go along with my crazy plans. Thankfully most of the time my daydream ideas manage to turn into awesome experiences.

Our vacation to Grand Manan, New Brunswick, Canada was one of the most amazing trips either of us had ever taken. We camped on the edge of a cliff face with the ocean lapping below us. We watched whales and seals swim by from our tent. And although when we arrived the entire island was encased in fog (and the camp owner said it wasn’t expected to clear until August and this was mid July) It all worked out and turned into a dream vacation.

The Bay of Fundy is known for having the biggest tide changes in the world. Thanks to this they also get amazing amounts of sea glass. We took a nice walk along the shoreline and collected some beautiful pieces. We also found what is possibly the most perfect heart shaped rock.

I kept our finds sitting for months trying to come up with the most perfect project for them. Finally the creative brain started turning and decided a shadow box was the best way to enjoy our little collection. With some sweet lyrics to round it off.

This project was seriously SO simple anyone can do it. Find a background for the frame. It can be fabric, scrap book paper, or a water color washed piece of paper (which mine was). Then add words or whatever you would like to the paper. I obviously used the Amos Lee lyrics and glued the heart rock to the paper. Then fill the frame with the sea glass and done. Hang that sucker on a wall or sit it on a shelf and remember that amazing vacation for years to come.