new notebooks

After completing the 100 4" notebooks last week, I decided to add more notebooks to my etsy shop.  The 4" notebooks are a perfect size for carrying in your purse or back pocket.  Jot down a to-do list or some cute boy's phone number.

The 2" notebooks make great lil gifts, place cards or love notes.

All of these goodies are available in my shop.


My studio corner is in serious need of re-organization.  Here are a few containers I'd like to use for sorting my supplies and paper scraps.  

(Click on image for source.)


Last week I received an email from Karen Kimmel's art studio about a unique opportunity.  Karen is a conceptual artist who recently developed Kimmel Kids, a line of nature-inspired educational tools that encourage parents to spend time getting creative with their kids.  Karen's latest venture is a crafty weekend retreat for families called Crafting Community.

So, apparently Karen was in Oregon a few weeks ago.  She happened to pop into a shop and purchase one of my notebooks.  A Kimmel Kids associate contacted me with an offer to assist with the pen pal workshop at the crafting weekend, by contributing found paper for making envelopes and letter-writing.  I was also asked to donate my 4" notebooks to be included in totes given to each family.  Needless to say I jumped at the chance to be a part of this eco crafting event.

I spent the next few days cranking out notebook after notebook.  

 construct + stamp
 tie + tag

Yesterday I shipped the paper and notebooks to LA.  
I hope the event is a great success!

PS: 4" notebooks are available for purchase in my shop.

tiny gift

Ashley made one of my tiny notebooks into a super cute gift for a friend.  She was kind enough to share pictures of the final product.  

Visit her blog, smashed goods, to view more pictures.

interview with mary kate mcdevitt

I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Kate McDevitt last June at a craft show.  We were both vendors at the PDX Day of Craft & Shop Hop.  We passed the time chatting about crafting and selling on Etsy.
I've become a huge fan of Mary Kate's Mini Goals Chalkboards and adorable illustrations.  Her name immediately sprung to mind when I was thinking of who I wanted to interview this month.  She took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions.

Where do you draw your inspiration? 
Kind of anything really, which is why this list will be sorta long but let's see... Vintage typography and old signage, childhood, animals, peppy mew mew (my cat), parks, gardens, David Sedaris, rainy days, chalkboards, collections, globes, coffee and tea, bikes, lazy days, jeans, little boots, patterns, seeds, old photos, old tin toys, humor, interior design, vintage shops. I also look at a lot of design and art blogs. It's amazing how many there are out there!

Tell me a little bit about your process.
I do a lot of drawing and sketching and when I'm ready to start a new painting or chalkboard I look back to my sketchbook for ideas. I like to laugh at my really ridiculous sketches which weeks later sometimes spark a new idea. As much as I would love a sketchbook that is a work of art, my sketches are pretty rough and silly. I draw a lot letters for the chalkboards thinking of new ways to draw "Today." I think I have about 200 different versions all together. I also try to push myself to turn out some new work that people can use and get excited about. Sometimes I look at my shop and think it's pretty sparse but I have some new ideas, like the bookplates, that will hopefully end in a unique and charming shopping experience for rad people.

What inspired you to sell your work on Etsy?
I opened my Etsy shop in 2008 but didn't start adding until 2009. At that time I was working full time as a graphic designer and after work, I was so antsy to make something with my hands and be creative on my own terms. I was making paintings on wooden plaques and looking for new things to paint on which is a little how I started Mini Goals Chalkboards. I started giving them out as gifts but found myself making more than I knew what to do with. Realizing I had my Etsy shop I photographed them (I cringe at those photos now...), posted them and I got some good feedback! One of the first blogs I was featured on was Design*Sponge and with all the sales that came after that I pretty much had to be active on my shop which really inspired me to think of more designs.

What are some of your favorite tools and materials?
A nice sharp pencil, it's the perfect way to start an idea, you know having an eraser and all. Then I have fun with the fountain pen, slate chalkboards, wooden plaques, I would like to say silk screen since I do have hand printed items in the shop time to time but the whole process always seems to stress me out. But when I pick up a pen dip it in ink and start drawing, that is relaxing to me.

Your chalkboards were recently featured in ReadyMade Magazine. How did that come about?
When I released my Mini Goals Clockboards they were featured on several design blogs and they caught the eye of an editor at ReadyMade magazine. I was asked to send over a sample for a shoot and just over month later the issue was out! I was really surprised how quickly it happened. 

(all images are courtesy of Mary Kate McDevitt)

When you aren't creating things, what do you enjoy doing? 
I'm really trying to be better at this, doing things outside of creating. Plus, I'm now working a lot with the business side of creating, which is less fun. So, for the most part the things I do besides creating inspire my creativity! I like taking bike rides, sitting in parks, picnics, browsing the adorable shops in Portland and going to galleries. There are a lot of fantastic openings going on every week.

Can you share a few of your favorite places in Portland?
I love that I have been here for almost a year and I'm still discovering new places but my favorites so far are; Together Gallery, Land, Bagdad Theater, food carts on 12th & Hawthorne, Laurelhurst park, Flutter, Porch Light, Presents of Mind, Noun, House of Vintage, Pony Club Gallery, Sword + Fern, Hippo Hardware, Buckman Farmers Market, Ink & Peat. There is too much goodness really. 

Thanks so much, Mary Kate!

Connect with Mary Kate:

missing you

I love warm days when the fog comes rolling into the bay.
Come back sunshine!  I miss you.

pacific city

My Mom and I drove down to Pacific City to have dinner with her brother and sister. We had a decadent meal at the Riverhouse, overlooking the Nestucca River. I devoured a New York steak wrapped in bacon with sauteed baby red potatoes and chocolate mousse for dessert. Oh la la! My Mom greatly enjoyed her chinook salmon. She said it was cooked to perfection....which means it was medium rare. I highly recommend this restaurant if you are ever in Pacific City.

After dinner we drove over to the beach to see the sunset.
A lovely end to the evening.

* Edit *
I forgot to include the address. Oops.

The Riverhouse
34450 Brooten Road
Pacific City, OR 97135
Open every day 11 to 9

stationery in action

Last week I mentioned a birthday gift I made for a friend that inspired my new packets.   Her name is Shannon, but I call her dirtbike.  We met in art school in Oakland and immediately hit it off.  We bonded over our mutual love of weaving and dyeing. 
I was a couple weeks late in sending her a birthday present.  So, I made her lots of little gifts to make up for the tardiness.  She was kind enough to share pictures she shot as she opened each lil packet. 

 fresh rose petals
 I made the tiny notebook into an altered book.
I made this mini 2" notebook into a birthday card.


Thanks for sharing your pictures with me, dirtbike!  
Love you, girl.

land, sea, sky

 I shot these pictures with my old nikon n65 last winter.  I finally got around to getting the pictures developed a couple weeks ago. 

Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

new: upcycled mini packets

 I'm happy to introduce a brand new product, Upcycled Mini Packets.  

Recently I was putting together a birthday present for a friend of mine.  I made her lots of tiny gifts and packaged them in packets of all different shapes and sizes.  I had so much fun making the packets.   I decided to make some for my shop

All of these designs are available in my etsy shop.