Like I said last time...This lull in creative output has been driving me nuts. All of the catch-up work and the never ending task of moving and setting up a new home has been cramping my style as an artist. The thing is, I'm so thankful for our dear customers (and their immense patience)...so I work on the orders with total pleasure and care for each piece. I don't at all tire of doing work for these heaven sent people (you heaven sent person...incase you're a reader/customer!) I just get stressed because the move was a bit spur of the moment and therefore it's put us way behind schedule and we're making our customers have to wait...which totally stinks. And usually we squeeze in new design sessions between waves of orders...but being backed up has put the kibosh on that.
Well, I had a design that just needed to be made tangible. We sacrificed some personal time (what's that?)...and crammed to get these totally finished in the tiny time slot we allotted ourselves.
This new piece: Keep Calm and Have A Cupcake, was inspired by a vintage poster from wartime England. The original poster read Keep Calm and Carry On and carried an image of the royal crown in place of our cupcake. During World War II the British government issued lots of posters designed to inform the public and discourage wide spread panic. Recently, I'm not sure exactly when, ( I'm sure Etsy has been the main source of it's popularity) the Keep Calm and Carry On poster has caught the eye of lots of cool aesthetes. The design is just so simple and the messageso perfect...in an ironic sort of way...the statement is just so funny because it was meant to be taken very seriously. I'm sure the king wasn't known to issue messages that were tongue-in-cheek while London was being bombarded! Well anyway, I had a burning to make an Everyday is a Holiday style tribute to this iconic image...and ours wears it's tongue-in-cheek humor proudly on it's sleeve. Designing the cupcake logo up top was fun. We love screen print style one color images and hope to incorporate them in our work more often. And to really put our personal stamp on the design we framed it in with a border of vintage recipe book clippings. Right now we're doing it in the two colors shown but we're thinking about doing one with a mocha/chocolate background. It's totally handpainted and since we're doing them made-to-order they'll take a bit more time. I'm saying they're available for a limited time because if we do a lot we might go letterblind....which is an ailment I just invented right now that's symptoms include blurry vision and a cramped wrist from handpainting too many precise letters on canvas...and yeah, it's on a 16 x 20 canvas...we wanted it on canvas because it takes it that much further away from being a sign...it's now a painting. The original and it's reproductions are just paper posters. Ours is designed to hang as-is without a frame. It's on a raised canvas and the recipe book trim wraps all the way around the edge which totally works as a frame.
So I'm psyched about this new design and since me and Aar got it out of our heads and into the world we can now toil away on our real work with less itchy feet. One more thing...super huge thanks to gals at the fabulous Cupcakes Take the Cake blog for featuring our newest painting!! I check out their blog a few times a day and was thrilled to see our very own Keep Calm up there!!! here's the link.
If anyone is interested they are now listed on Etsy. :)
Kari the Artsymama couldn't be sweeter or more thoughtful. For real, me and Aaron talk about her a lot. She is such a good friend to soooo many people. Life is tough and time is short. Finding moments for the little things is nearly impossible...little things like friendly emails, thank you notes, get well cards etc... There's only so much of yourself to spread around. Well Kari must have some type of super duper Harry Potter magic butter knife!!...because she spreads herself around plenty!! I seriously do not know how she does it! Just the other day I received a huge house warming package from her. She dropped me an email to let me know when it would be arriving. Well it got to my place a day early and Kari checked the UPS tracking and they said it was delivered to my front door, so she emailed me to make sure it arrived safely. Here's the thing, my front door entryway still has a bunch of boxes down there...Aaron's books...there's no room anywhere in our apartment for them so he plans on going through the 14! boxes and selecting his very faves to fill the bookcase which is downstairs in the entryway...he just hasn't done it yet. Anyway, Kari's box sorta blended in withall the boxes down there already. Aar was coming and going all day without noticing the new box sitting there. Finally, before bed we got Kari's email and a light bulb went off in Aar's head: "I knew one of those boxes looked out of place." he said...he ran downstairs and grabbed the gargantuan delivery.
The first thing me and Aaron did when we opened the box was laugh. Here's why...we have this very old stuffed bunny who bears the nickname "the creep". I know it's not nice to call one of my most prized pet bunnies a creep but coincidental circumstances led to hismoniker. We'd always set up different vignettes in our apartment and all the time "the creep" would end up standing behind a couple of much smaller and cuter bunnies. It looked like he was eavesdropping or something and his plastic eye just seemed to be staring...so he became "the creep". Well anyway, right on top in Kari's care package was "the creep's" identical twin sister...or his long lost wifey. Now the creep ain't so creepy anymore because he's hanging out with bunnies his own size! What else...two smaller bunnies, one aqua, one yellow. Totally love them!! And it doesn't end there. She got me a "blonde sister" to go along with a black haired porcelain doll which she sent me last year in the Sweet and Sinister swap...sidebar: Kari is hosting it again this year. I'm getting soooo excited. The blog has been so much fun...great tutorials and giveaways so far....ok, back to the package. She sent this adorable French flashcard-- le lit. So homey...perfect for our new home package. We're still a long way off from finalizing our decor but the le lit card helped me find a spot for this really awesome peeling paint shelf that we've owned for a dozen years. I made the card the focal point to the little vignette...just kept it sweet and simple and quickly constructed a little flag garland, or for you Brits, "bunting" to hang across the front. Even though it's so simple I love this tiny tableaux.
Kari also sent a vintage table cloth in my faaaaave color scheme...pink, aqua, and black...which I'll photograph once I do it justice with a good room around it. The package was just way too kind a' gesture and more than that...I'm blown away by how spot-on Kari's perception of my taste is...she really "gets me". Thanks so so so much!!! We love it all !
And yeah, that little shelf with the French bed flashcard hangs next to my bed. I've been chipping away at the decor in the bedroom...using the color palette you see here in this Flickr mosaic. We're sticking to a tight color palette of blue/green, cream, mocha, black and white...I'm not sure if I'm gonna let pink creep in there. Also, here's a pic of Carlos in his favorite late morning spot. The mussed up, yet to be made bed, right in the warmth of the sun beam. We occasionally walk in the room and smoosh him because he looks so smooshy!
The studio is coming along but still not photo ready. Two little peeks are available though. Two of my favorite little vintage dresses on sweet little chippy hangers. In the pic you can see the hall color. The pale aqua of the studio leads into the pale pink hall. The door always stays open so it's really cool to see the color change from room to room and how one enhances the other. I also took a shot of this neat little window in the studio which is high up on the wall so it doesn't require a curtain or blinds. The first time I saw it I knew what was gonna go there. I could see the tiny neighborhood of vintage Christmas houses in my mind...and what better place to hang our prized banner made by Kris Hurst! I promise to take more pics when we're organized. The last room to tackle will be the kitchen because it will be the hardest. It is totally BROWN in there now...you know what I mean...BROWN cabinets, BROWN wainscot...ick!! I can't stand to see all that naked wood grain!! So much to do!
I'll leave you with some more Flickr inspiration. Flickr is so much fun and opens your visual world wide. Also in my searches for fab stuff I've been meeting lots of Brits whose decor sense I've always coveted. The whole Cath Kidston aesthetic and the more "lived in" look of true British cottages...especially the kitchens! Anyway, more about them fabulous Brits next time...thanks for coming back again!!! xoxo, Jenny
ps. Maija, Aaron knows you meant hot as in temperature, because he's so sweaty. (see comments on previous post.)