Truffy

Truffy was a shy cat who was born around 2003 on the streets of Toronto, who was brought to the Humane Society skin and bones, her fur matted and about one day pregnant. When I met her she was huddled in the corner of her cage facing the wall, scared to bits. I chose her because I already had a male and was told a younger female would be the best fit. Truffy was the last cat left that day who met these criteria. I would have taken any cat, but I was especially happy to adopt a black one, knowing the stigma they still face today. I have to cut myself short because it hurts to remember the good times we had, how she turned around, and also my regrets. Her name was inspired by small sweet truffles because she was just like that. One of her favorite places was by a small pond in my aunt’s garden where she lived her last year. She died yesterday and I will never forget my sweet baby.

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Tortoise & Hare: Both Win the Race

Last week my entry for Spoonflower’sdesign contest themed ‘The tortoise and the hare’ won first place! I was so happy since it’s been a while and would still like to thank anyone who gave it their vote. These are images of the printed fabric, courtesy of Spoonflower. My design “Through Hilly Woods” is available on various types of fabric, as well as gift wrap and wallpaper in my Spoonflower shop.

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4-Season Kilim Designs

Such a long time since I posted here… Partly due to my “day job”, it took a long time to recover from the loss of my beloved iMac. As monumental as it was, all the resulting technical issues took close to 1 year to unfold, and some are still being dealt with. On the upside, knowing all this on the fateful day would have only added to the dire situation.

In that spirit, I am starting to post my designs again but probably not in chronological order. I wasn’t creating a whole lot, which I missed terribly, and now with my new computer slowly set up to do what I was able to do, I’m hoping to get back into drawing from time to time.

This is my latest work, for Spoonflower’s Kilim-themed contest; a geometric design with florals, birds, butterflies and a fox. I made four colorways to evoke different seasons.

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The bottom right colorway will be included in Spoonflower’s Kilim contest as of January 25; voting ends January 31.

https://www.spoonflower.com/contests

Mountain Animals contest…against all odds

It’s been over a year since I last entered a Spoonflower surface design contest, something I used to do on a weekly basis some years ago. How times have changed!

While working on the last stages of my entry for Spoonflower’s current ‘Mountain Animals’ contest, my computer shut down unexpectedly. After some experimenting (simply plugging it into outlets caused short circuits in my whole apartment), I brought it into a repair place. While I have since recovered my hard drive allowing me access to my files, I am still awaiting a diagnosis of the issue at hand. With one thing being assured of right off the bat: that my computer can’t be fixed because Apple stops producing parts for each model after 5 years. Gotta love them.

I feel like writing an obituary. When I bought my 24″ iMac back in 2009, I was brand new to the world of digital illustration, and I was shocked at the financial investment as the price of admission. The computer that could handle large graphic files and proprietary vector and accompanying software (hello, CS4!) were only the beginning and seemed to be reserved for a higher earning segment of the population.

But I took the plunge and enjoyed almost 8 years of creative bliss with my beloved companion. It was the first computer I did not only not hate, no, I loved it because there were never any problems. I indulged in GarageBand and iMovie to create songs and matching videos – what a joy!

It was only 6 months ago after getting an older iPhone when things suddenly took a bad turn. A sequence of events prompted me to reluctantly install El Capitan, a controversial and poorly rated OS X, presumably in order to set up my iPhone. The problems were instant and became so many and bizarre that they were hard to keep track of. In the weeks leading up to my iMac’s death, they seemed to kick it up another notch. 10 years or more I could get out of it, I was told when buying it. Yes, I’m still mourning, especially considering how the prices have risen since then, and being in Germany doesn’t help it.

If you’re still with me :) I was able to finish my design on an old laptop from 2004 (which goes to show how much potential my iMac still had). It was completed between two 5am work shifts, something I want to remind myself of in order to get more into drawing again. What other priorities could one have on chronic sleep deprivation and with only a few hours each day for all tasks related to something called life?

Before I keep rambling on, my design, voteable for here until Feb. 8 around noon Eastern Standard time (18:00 Central Euro Time), if you’re so inclined:

http://www.spoonflower.com/contest_voters_temp/new?contest_id=377

Thank you for reading and possibly your condolences. :)

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Print & Pattern “Nature” Book Release

I was excited to hear that the latest book “Nature” by acclaimed Print & Pattern author and blogger Bowie Style (aka Marie Perkins) was released in the UK on Amazon today! I was fortunate to be included among the artists she approached. Marie was kind enough to send me this photo of the spread featuring some of my work. The left page shows my surface pattern designs Nordic Suzani Floral and Vintage Butterfly Garden, and the right page shows A Field Guide to Wildflowers. The publish date for the US on amazon.com is February 7.

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New Stickers & Labels

Some new stickers I added to my Etsy shop: one set features icons from my surface pattern “Summer in Sarek” (the Swedish national park), while the other is a variety of labels to be used on anything from stationary to canning jars. I have actually been using the labels when mailing out my Etsy orders and for some time have been planning to offer them for sale.

World Vegan Day

November 1 is world vegan day, which prompted this long-term vegan to get her pens out and computer on again after months of creative inactivity due to day job constraints.

Although veganism is a subject dear to my heart, I am usually a closeted vegan to avoid the stigma, hostility and fruitless discussions that sooner or later come up in mainstream society.

So much I could write here, but today I will only present my little drawing featuring some of the most consumed animal species worldwide (not shown are ducks, rabbits, turkeys, geese and goats, all part of the top 10).

I will also include a possibly not very well internationally known song that touches on the subject of animal use and abuse. I feel that sadly the video was a huge missed opportunity, but I do appreciate the message of the lyrics, which I have written down here. Perhaps some of you can relate in your own way.

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I’ve got something on my mind
Makes me sad, it makes me cry, oh no
Johnny wanna live

Just an ordinary day
An animal will pass away, oh no
Johnny wanna live

Who’s to say he gets no rights
Even not the right to life

Don’t know why it leaves you cold
Don’t know how to make it show, oh no
Johnny wanna live

Through his eyes I look inside his heart
He can feel it, me and you
Can’t defend himself ‘cause he can’t talk
And this is why I talk to you

Johnny isn’t just a name
He stands for every creature’s pain, oh no
Johnny wanna live

Go ahead try to look inside his heart
You can find your own mistakes
Try to hide them, thinking he can’t talk
But he can read them in your face

Gotta give his skin away
For coats they wear on summer days, oh no

Tell me why it leaves you cold
I swear I’m gonna make it show, oh no
Johnny wanna live
You have the right to live

Composers: Cretu/Peterson/Hirschburger