Wednesday, January 30, 2008

paper + glue time

decaf part two, originally uploaded by oltremare.

Pages in my art journal about my foray into a less caffeinated world.

This was a bit of an experiment. i feel like the less I think about my collages, the better they are. This entire layout was done in maybe 10-15 minutes or so, which is super short for me. I tend to agonize over placement of the tiniest things (it's the graphic designer/grid adherer in me), so I'm working on changing that. I think it's a success.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

lots to share!

1. I put some collages on my etsy shop. Here's one:

If you or anyone you know is interested, let me know. . . i'm giving free shipping for friends & family. maybe even discounts if I really love you. :)

2. Sometimes it’s just one image that gets me moving and wanting to MAKE things. The images of this little journal by emily falconbridge made me want to immediately come home from work and put together something similar. I really love patterned paper in good combinations. (link via ali edwards.)

3. I know this is totally a teenage girl song. My first thought when I heard it was, "dude i would have loved this so much when i was 17." Well it turns out that I love it just as much at 27. Funtimes.

Kate Nash, Mouthwash

4. My public library finally set up an emailing system to let you know when your books are due which is so incredibly helpful to me. I'd wager to guess that this will save me upwards of $50 a year in fines. Probably more. I kind of wish I was kidding about that. But it's all good now!

5. I really wish more of my friends had blogs. It doesn’t have to be fancy, get a tumblr people! I don’t care if you write about what you have for dinner every night, or the marginally funny things your children say, I would still read it. The great thing about blogs is that they have made my curiosity about other people’s lives totally acceptable. I’m the kind of person who WILL look into your house if you have no curtains and leave the lights on in the evenings. I don’t think it’s a weird/creepy thing, I’m just genuinely interested in the way people live, how they decorate their houses, what they’re up to. Anyway. . . friends, get blogs. Or at least update the ones you do have on a more regular basis. It would make me love you more than I already do. And friends who do have blogs. . . thank you.

Friday, January 25, 2008

fashion scrapbook-red

fashion scrapbook-red, originally uploaded by oltremare.

more evidence that I'm a big magazine nerd.

when I want to do something creative, but also sit in the living room with pointless TV on, I like to cut up fashion magazines and glue them into a book. i'm actually about halfway through my second book at this point, and I think I've only done this for maybe a year or so? it's really relaxing to me and sometimes I actually do flip through it before I go out shopping, to give me a good idea of things I am drawn to and love.

I post this today because I think this will be a good weekend to sit in front of the fireplace and cut magazines. so that's the plan.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sweet Sweet P

finally project runway is starting to get good! I was a little worried about this season.

my favorites so far are jillian and sweet p. can't stand christian. everyone else i'm kinda "eh" about. but at least it's getting better and the last few challenges have been really fun.

I think this is one of my favorite outfits of the season thus far:

sweet p's dress for the levi's challenge.

okay, also. the couture shows in paris are happening right now. surprisingly there were a lot of things I saw on fashion shows that weren't crazy and over the top, but really inspiring and exciting. like these flats from the chanel show:

I would buy all these. adorable!

Monday, January 21, 2008

oh blueprint

today the office was quiet so I took myself out for a long lunch. I picked up the latest & last copy of Blueprint and had some black bean soup at panera.

So, as I mentioned before, Blueprint is folding and I'm super sad. I did promise back then to scan some of my tearsheets and share them here. As you can see. . . I'm kind of nerdy about magazines. I don't like to save whole issues, since I already have enough things collecting dust in my house, so I go through all my mags a few times a year and tear out the pages I love. Then they go into protector sheets and into a binder. I LOVE my magazine binder. It's like my own personal world of interiors, projects, editorials & photography I love. . . mmm. I highly recommend doing this, it's given me quite a lot of pleasure.

anyway, here are a few of my favorites! all images are from blueprint.

these are from a section about organizing your entryway, i believe. the styling on this is fantastic.

editorial about the home of joelle hoverson, who owns purl soho and purl bee. it just looks so warm and inviting.

I'm kind of obsessed with that stuffed deer head.

a story about organizing a small home. i love the colors here.

I'm such a sucker for art-directed vignettes like this

that was fun! since I finally own a scanner (yay, thanks husband!) there will be a lot more sharing here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hearts & Flowers tags

Hearts & Flowers tags, originally uploaded by oltremare.

so yeah. . . I'm really doing it!

Today I put the first two items up in my etsy shop, katiepie.

More to come later this week, too; I'm in the process of mounting and framing some of my collages and doing a few more things with some patterns.

I'm excited to be taking this proactive step in my life. It feels really good to get something Out There, you know?

Friday, January 18, 2008


more giraffes. . . a page from my sketchbook. and there are plenty more where this came from. a few weekends ago I went to the library and just sat at a desk with a stack of animal reference books and drew for a few hours. I sometimes forget how much I like drawing. it really puts you in a totally different mindframe.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


So, yes, the Giraffe is my newest animal obsession. Not exactly sure where this one came from. I think because they are interesting to draw.

Some background here: in one of the library books I checked out about giraffes, there was a small appendix containing a LONG list of names the giraffe has been known by. Favorites include: garsantes, giraphus, griffle, hirable, orafflus, siraf, and zirnapha. Needless to say, I have become focused on "griffle" and that's basically what I call giraffes now. Griffle! It just seems to fit.

An unrelated and slightly more serious note. Lately I have realized (or, if you're feeling fruity, "the universe has shown to me") that the best way for me to make art is to do what comes most naturally to me. Big epiphany, huh? I've probably read that in about a thousand blogs and artist-type self-help books. But for some reason in the past few weeks it's just clicked, big time. I can look back and see that whenever I have pursued something with my whole heart and not a lot of brainy anxiety, the results have been succesful and well-received. Alien Robots is a prime example; it's something that just kind of came to me, and I did it because I enjoyed it, and the outcome was way better than I would have expected.

I've spent so much time in the past few years consciously trying to develop a style, or following someone else's style. Well, no wonder I was frustrated with my artwork! It's a classic square peg/round hole-type situation. Now it just feels super FUN and FREEING and I can't wait to come home after work every night and draw griffles or make my collages or whatever.

So, in conclusion, YAY. Also file under: why didn't they teach me this kind of thing in my four years of design school? :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Girly Valentine

girly valentine, originally uploaded by oltremare.

More pattern fun! Definitely feeling valentine-y these days.

I have big plans this weekend for making a TON of stuff. Just this morning I finally jumped on the Etsy wagon. So! There will be more news about that soon. Excitement!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ring Them Bells

i haven't been listening to a lot of NEW music lately, which is a little unusual for me. there's always something new to be obsessed with. . . just not this week though.

Instead, it's been ALL Sufjan, all the time. LOVE him so much. There's just something about his music that feels like it's made just for me and my particular taste.

photo via moderate mike at flickr.

I also rediscovered Camera Obscura this week. It was so warm the past few days I needed some springy music.
Isn't this adorable?

Monday, January 7, 2008

idea tidal wave

oh man. i feel like there's a sparkler lit up in my creative brain right now. So many things that I am STOKED about.

a few art journal pages from this weekend.

flickr page

flickr page

I'm not exactly sure where this one came from, but in the past two days I have become fascinated by pattern. It's actually kind of driving me crazy (in a good way!) since it's EVERYwhere and I'm so into it! My flickr favorites are filling with patterns, and. . . I'm gung-ho on making my own. Here are some of the first ones I've knocked out, and the list for more to make is rapidly expanding. I dreamt about pattern last night, actually dreamt the color scheme of the arrow pattern below.

I'm so excited about the possibilities for these. I think it would be way cool to turn them into tea towels, or to use as scrapbook paper, or as part of a curtain panel. . . . so many ideas.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


new books from amazon. like christmas morning in the mail box! the art of personal imagery by corey moortgat and fingerprint: the art of using handmade elements in graphic design. both awesome.

keri smith. her point of view is unique and challenging. also, she is one of the few bloggers that I admire not because she makes me want to be like her, but that she makes me want to be like ME. the best thing possible. (photo from keri's flickr site here)

a clean and organized house. i am not an organized person, to say the least. the past year it has been a labor of love trying to get my thoughts and habits maintained in any kind of ordered way. but now that I'm on that road, it's great. nice to be able to find the wooden spoon in the kitchen tool drawer, you know? rather than digging around in a bunch of haphazard spatulas and cheese graters.

these little red orange earrings from target. i've worn these every single day since buying them, and they magically seem to go with everything I own. red orange! i think it's going to be the new color obsession.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2007, in photos

Last night, as I was falling asleep around 11:40 (yes, lame, but I'm 100% fine with that) i told my husband that 2007 has been one of the best years of my life. It really has been.

the evidence:

rome. my heart explodes in love for rome

friendship. lea, renae, valerie and I at the baha'i temple.

my beautiful garden.

boston. and my newfound love for baseball.

being the star mascot at my company's national conference (what a bizarre yet wonderful experience!)

visiting my grandpa's farm in iowa with the whole family.

almost too much to name. It's hard to condense all the good things, great and small, about this year into a few photographs and a couple paragraphs.

happy new year, friends. here's to another one that's even better.