Sunday, November 27, 2011

oh tannenbaum!

I am keeping the tradition of designing a new Christmas card every year and this is the third and newest one. It was inspired by one of my favorite carols and drawn in pencil with watercolor. I was listening to Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas and it was during the Tannenbaum song when it hit me to draw the tree, and I love it! 

You can see the previous two years' cards and purchase any of them on my esty shop.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

turkey day!

For the first time in three years, Jesse and I will be in the USA for Thanksgiving and we are really happy about it. It's just not the same when you're out of the country...So this year, in the spirit of the holiday, I have made these little place cards for all of those around the dinner table. 

I am selling them on my esty shop, which has re-opened its doors. You can either purchase the  file to download and print it out yourself, or buy the printed pages which I've printed on beautiful Fabriano paper (acid-free, 100% recycled, made with wind-power in Italy). I've also added an option have all your guests' names handwritten on the cards!
above: The page, each one makes 2 place cards.

Happy Thanksgiving!

ps. I've also been working on making yoga mat bags to sell, which I'll post about as soon as I get some good photos taken. They are awesome!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

bottles, wires and coffee

Here are some new illustrations I've been working on (scanned with a new scanner!):
Bottle and a ship.

New study shows that women who drink coffee are less likely to become depressed.

Summer reading!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

the midnight ramble

Here is it! This is the cd cover I designed and illustrated for The Midnight Ramble, a rock/soul/blues band from Liverpool, UK. They commissioned me early in the summer and I was able to complete the design by the time I left England, which was July 10th. I even got to visit them in the studio during their first day of recording and was very impressed by the guys as well as their music.
Check out their website and myspace!

When they gave me their ideas about an image for the cover and it involved a lion boxing a man out at sea I must admit that I wasn't sure what to make of it, although I knew that I could do it. They were certain that they wanted my style and so I set to work and came up with a few rounds of sketches. Paul Dunbar, the lead singer, did a great job as art director for the project and told me exactly what he was looking for and gave constructive feedback. Drawing a boxing lion on two feet was by far the biggest challenge, but the whole thing was a joy to work on. The style of waves I developed has captured my imagination and I think I will continue to use it for work in the future. You can even see it in my previous post!

Above: Second round sketch of cover. A little bit closer...

Above: Earliest sketch of cover. And my, how it changed!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

water and waves

Here are some simple watercolors I made a few days ago. Jesse and I are travelling a bit before we head back to the US and currently we find ourselves in the Netherlands. He is doing a summer course at the University of Leiden and I am going between there and Rotterdam where we have friends. It's always good to be in this country, even if the weather is sadly similar to the UK!
I just finished up a CD cover for a band based in Liverpool and waves were a big part of the imagry. I've begun to really like drawing them and so they found there way into this piece. I'll be posting about the cover at some point in the future...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

coloring kits!

About a month ago I was at The Sunday Market and got talking with Diana Heredia who also had a stall there. She makes beautiful prints, cards, pillows, bags, as well as children's clothes and much more. Her business is called Léon and Coco and you can find her website here. After seeing my work she asked me if I would be interested in drawing something for her coloring kits and I was immediately interested.

My original idea was to draw a set of birds but when I did some initial sketches it turned out to be pretty boring for coloring in, not much detail and the like. Then I was reminded by some drawing I had done a couple of years ago when I was interested in bird houses and children's books. I've always loved to imagine the homes of animals and to see them in cartoons like Tom and Jerry (mice in the wall).

Here are three of the final 6 designs:

above: Bird Dwelling

above: Worm Dwelling
above: Fox Dwelling

Diana's Coloring Kit with trucks etc.

My designs are not currently available but when they are I will let eveyone know! In the mean time, check out the site and esty shop....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

denizen: third culture kids

It's June! The year is flying by at the speed of light and it's exciting. We are preparing ourselves for leaving Manchester at the end of the month, doing some travelling, then going home to Massachusetts for a few weeks, and finally moving to Los Angeles in September. I'm not looking forward to the goodbyes here, England has been a wonderful place to live for three years and the people we've become friends with will be missed...the weather on the other hand, will not be.

I've recently done some illustrations for the online magazine Denizen, which features articles by 'Third Culture Kids', and if you are like me and had never heard that term before, this is how they define it:

Formally defined, TCKs are people who have spent a portion of their formative childhood years (0-18) in a culture different than their parents’. Most TCKs will return to their parents’ home country at some point in their lives, undergoing repatriation. TCKs tend to develop their identities while living abroad, thus blending their “home” culture with the culture of the world around them. People who have attended international schools, who are children of diplomats, “military brats,” or children of missionaries are just a few examples of TCKs.

It's a interesting site full of stories and ideas. My three years in England gives me a sliver of understanding, though I myself and not a TCK. I'm very happy to be a part of it and hope to do more work for them in the future. Editorial illustration is more and more attractive to me because I love making pictures that accompany something, that speak for themselves though also compliment a piece of writing.

ps. Doing another SUNDAY MARKET at Islington Mills this weekend. The last one was great, lots of people, good music, and a relaxed Sunday atmosphere.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

the sunday market

This Sunday I'll have a stall at the weekly SUNDAY MARKET at Islington Mills, Salford. It'll be my third time doing the market and I'll be selling my handmade cards and books, original prints, screen-printed tote bags and also some very good homemade whiskey marmalade!

So, if you are in the Manchester area be sure to check it out!!

above: my hand made journals with screen-printed covers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

show at unicorn

This is a show of work, mostly prints, at Unicorn Grocery, 89 Albany Road, Chorlton, Manchester M21 0BN. (Between the olive oils and rice: it's in the hallway towards the toilets).

I am moving to Los Angeles at the end of the summer so would love to find homes for my prints and watercolors!

If you are in the area, please check it out (and then you can do your food shopping too)

x mary

Sunday, May 8, 2011


I took a bit of time today to apply watercolor to some recent sketches. It's been a goal of mine to draw more from my imagination and memory as well as try to tell a story. Sometimes the most interesting images come from an open mind, unconcerned with recording an object from life. I had a lot of fun coloring them in, it was a bit like a coloring book!

Through the next few months I'll be travelling quite a bit and in September Jesse and I will be moving to Los Angeles! It's a very exciting time and I plan to keep a sketchbook journal throughout the summer to record these funny little illustrations.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I am having a sale on my Etsy shop, two for one bags (owl and snail). Jesse and I are moving at the end of the summer and I can't take them along, so get them while they're here!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

world recipes and refugees

I'm currently doing illustrations for another recipe book although this one is being put together by Unicorn Grocery and a Manchester refugee project. The book will feature recipes from the women involved with the project who are from many different parts of the world and who are now living in and around Manchester. It's a wonderful thing to be a part of. Instead of drawing the final dishes, I've decided on just the ingredients. Here are some of the illustrations I have done so far:

When the book is done I'll post more about it. It will be for sale at Unicorn and hopefully I can sell some online as well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

etsy shop

Hope everyone is well, thawing out after a long winter. Today here in Manchester I didn't have to wear a jacket!

I've updated my etsy shop, putting up new photos of my hand screenprinted bags and designing a new banner. I gotta say that it's looking alright and I think light green is my new favorite color.