Sunday, December 5, 2010

cook book

The book is almost done! Easy Recipes for Difficult Dinner Guests is a collection of recipes suitable for a variety of food intolerances and allergies. Jennie and I have been working hard and we are excited to have brought our idea into reality (and fully illustrated at that!). I'm particularly proud of these little watercolors because they are light, simple and pretty, adding a bit of charm to the book.
Book cover.

Measuring Cup!

Fresh Cranberry Sorbet
Suitable for: Wheat-free, Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Shellfish-free, Fat-free, Alcohol-free, Sugar-free, Vegetarian and Vegan diets.

Tom Yum Soup
Suitable for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Alcohol-Free, and Fat-free diets.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

easy dinners

My good friend Jennie O'Hara and I have been working very hard on a little book of delicious recipes called 'Easy Dinners for Difficult Dinner Guests'. The point of the cookbook is to give people ideas of what to make when they are preparing a meal for someone with certain dietary restrictions. (We aren't saying that people with intolerances are being difficult, but rather that it can seem like a challenge to cook according to their needs.) You can find out more about Jennie (and the interesting things that she does) at her website:
We'll be selling the book, so get in touch if you are interested! Here are a few examples:
Amazing Cheesecake
Suitable for: Wheat-free, Lactose-free, Shellfish-free, Fat-free, Alcohol-free, Sugar-free, Vegetarian and Vegan.

Nepalese Daal-Bhaat Taqari
Suitable for: Wheat-free, Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Shellfish-free, Fat-free, Alcohol-free, Sugar-free, Vegetarian and Vegan.

If you live in the Manchester area, check out the Christmas craft fair where I will be selling the book along with my handmade journals, Christmas cards, ornaments, and screen-printed bags!

11 December, Nip and Tipple Bar, 197 Upper Chorlton Road, Manchester M16 0BH

Friday, November 19, 2010

manchester artists' book fair

It was a great day, I'm glad to have been a part of the Manchester Artists' Book Fair for the second year in a row. This time I had my own table and had no trouble filling up the space! I brought along handmade journals, cards, bookmarks, and screenprinted bags. It was a successful day and I had a good time chatting to people and looking at all the beautiful art in the room.

Jesse brought me lunch and helped with the stall! What a guy.

My stall. The bunting was a hit! Very much worth the time and effort it took to arrange. I'm looking forward to next year!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

café verde

I am extremely proud to post this photo of Café Verde, which has just opened its doors! It was two years ago that the owners commissioned me to design their logo and now it is displayed on the storefront. It looks amazing and I can't wait to go and see it in person this December. The menu is impressive as well as the eclectic decor. They even roast their own coffee beans!

It is located on Essex Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Stop by if you live nearby!

Their coffee beans are fair trade and organic, bought green from cooperatives and roasted daily.

Just look at all those handmade truffles!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the new tree

I've been asked to illustrate another children's book written by a friend. This is a lovely story about a girl who moves from the city to the country when her grandfather becomes too old to keep up his apple orchard alone. I've been using pencil and watercolor, which suits the style of writing and the subject matter. Delicate and simple. The author lives in Vermont and has visited apple orchards to get a better idea of how they work. There is a part of the book that explains how grafting works, which is an interesting aspect of the story. The whole things reminds me of New England -my homeland! More illustrations to come soon...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

home for a snail

A new bag design, complete with snails and whispers of home. I am so intrigued with the creatures and love to draw them, I just can't help it! This one speaks of being homeward bound. Why does a snail always have to live within its shell?

These are for sale on etsy and on my new folksy shop.

Friday, October 8, 2010

le mollusc adventure

Well, I'm very excited about a recent project I have been working on: a children's book written by Simon Colley and illustrated by me! Simon email me a little while back with a proposal that I draw pictures for a story he had written about a boy who races snails. When I read the story I was inspired by the little world of amusing characters and events which filled my mind with wonderful images. Since last summer, when I spent time at a friend's garden, I have been taken with the simple beauty of snails and their funny ways. Simon found my pen and ink drawing posted to this blog (also my profile image) and that began the collaboration!

Be sure to check out Simon's blog where he reads the stories out loud!

Below are a few of the illustrations I have done so far.

Monday, September 27, 2010

crescent moon tales

I am currently designing a logo for a lovely person, Sandy Hitchens, who is a storyteller. She wanted a design which looked like a 'goddessy-woman's profile' and a crescent moon, to be used on a business card and eventually a website. I started with pencil sketches and pretty soon I was drawing stars as well! They added more to the image, symbolizing the storytelling aspect and are also in line with the celestial theme.

Sandy picked her favorite of my sketches (the one in the upper left corner and the stars from the one next to it) and I started experimenting with color and shapes.

The ones above are more shape based designs, using blocks of color and simple color palette.

This page of designs use the shaded pencil drawing instead of the blocked shaped. I was working out how to add color. Then Sandy suggested coloring the hair...

Below is the almost final version. Sandy is very pleased with the design and the brown background. I cropped it like that to so how it could be composed on the back of a business card. Now I just need to clean up the image a bit and we're there!

I decided to try my hand a the business card to see what I could do. I am happy with this but may work a bit more on different compositions and such. The font is perfect!

I'll post again with the final logo...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


"A Little, Aloud" is being published this month! A book by the Reader Organisation, published by Chatto and Widnus (part of Random House). It will be available after the 30th of September and sold at Waterstone's (also to be displayed in the store's windows for three months). I'm very excited to have been involved in this wonderful project, illustrating the stories and poems that will be read aloud to thousands of people. The book looks amazing!

To learn more about it:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

little pictures

It's been a while!

This summer has been flying by at a remarkable rate. I've done some travelling and have more to do. (Berlin next week to visit Jesse!) Here are some small paintings I made while we were visiting friends in Rotterdam. All I could bring on the plane were the dried watercolor paints which I had prepared in a small travelling palette so I bought some acrylic paints in Rotterdam, but only blue, yellow and white! Then I found some little pieces of wood in the house and painting small still lives of green things...plants and apples.

above and below, watercolor on paper

above, acrylic and pencil on wood
above, watercolor on paper

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

bees and books

I heard a radio podcast (NPR's On Point) recently about bee farming in the US and was fascinated. I found some interesting bee websites and quickly painted a few of my favorite images. The more I learn about bees the more interesting they are, and the more noticeable, too!

I also want to share this great video of the living roof above the place where I work, Unicorn Co-op in Chorlton, Manchester, UK. The shop is an amazing organic grocery, owned and operated completely by it's members. It installed a living roof, which I find incredible and inspiring. During our breaks we can go out and sit on the deck, looking at the tiny pond, plants, and the bees!
Check out the video: Living Roof
Film made by Austin Clare, music composed by Sam Eardley.


In the spring I contributed illustrations to a charity called The Reader Organisation, which promotes reading and bringing people to together to read. Their book is called A Little, Aloud and is being published by Chatto & Windus (a Random House group) with an expected availability date of September 2010. The book is a collection of poetry and excerpts from a variety of authors. Here is a link to the organisation's website and the book's Amazon page. It has been a pleasure to work with The Reader and for such an important cause, and I look forward to seeing the book in a few months!

Here are a few of my illustrations...

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Beautiful and delicious. These are what our veg box brought us this week! They are extremely local (grown by the Dig team themselves!) and are actually the best strawberries I've ever eaten. Nothing is better for a warm summer evening dessert and I had to save these two before we ate them last night so that I could paint their portraits.
Tomatoes in a paper wrap. Straight watercolor with no pencil sketch.

Trusty Nalgene (ml vs. oz.)

Coffee components...