Monday, December 28, 2009

Download Now: Baker Artist Awards iPhone App

There are 49 days left to browse and vote and/or nominate yourself for the 2010 Baker Artist Awards - a celebration of Baltimore's artists. (I this first sentence is more a reminder to myself that I basically have a month to get on the site and update my pages!)

The real reason for this post today is to let you know about the cool updates to the Baker site as well as their new iPhone app. The site has been tweaked from last year - allowing users a lot more flexibility in posting their work, as well as making it easier for artists and voters to navigate the site and network. The homepage now features a section called "Favorite Artists" by Baker users as well as extremely intuitive ways to share on Facebook, Digg, Email, MySpace, Twitter, etc. And the best part of all of this? It's FREE. So, sign up and share your work or vote! Baltimore's reputation is at stake.

Friday, December 11, 2009

See you at Squidfire

Join Squidfire and 60 other talented artists and crafters for an all day shopping experience tomorrow. The Du Burns Arena in Canton will be transformed into an alternative shopping center when DIY/Indie crafters from all over the east coast descend upon Baltimore to offer you the most unique, handmade gift ideas. Hope to see you there! illegible ink is in Booth #6 (right near the entrance).
Saturday, December 12th: 11am-6pm
Du Burns Arena
1301 S Ellwood Ave

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Heap is thump, thump, thumping at my door!

It's hard to believe Holiday Heap is only three days away and I have so much left to do before the show. At least I've shortened my list somewhat... There's one more plate to carve and print, a stack of prints to watercolor and then some final touches for framing.

Here's a sneak peak of a new dino-friend rumblin' and stumblin' into the illegible ink booth!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Up a Tree" Tuesday

This new illegible ink tree squirrel print will remind you
to keep searching for that juicy nut (even on a Tuesday).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Where the wild things were

This weekend all the wild things seemed to be right at home in Baltimore! One of my favorite things about living in Charm City is that our rowhome is a half block from Patterson Park. Yesterday was a perfect example of how lucky we are with the annual BARCStoberfest and Great Halloween Lantern Parade. The Strut Your Mutt Walk is always my favorite afternoon event. Who doesn't enjoy a hot dog dachshund? And last night the Lantern Parade featured tons of Poe-inspired lanterns (along with a Natty Boh and Utz Girl), tunes from the [Bad to the] Bone Band, and a host of delicious treats.

The only thing I wished I had at the parade (other than another spinach samosa - yum!) was a fall cap. Piper & Paisley's white and black speckled hat with wooden ring might be just the thing to warm me up next time!

Monday, October 12, 2009

First Scarf of the Season

The first day of Fall may have officially been September 22nd but I think it really hit me this weekend. The leaves are turning those striking burnt orange colors so the down comforter has emerged from the cedar chest, Julia Child's Ragout de bouef tout simple was made for dinner, and I've started washing my scarves to wear to work this week. I have a few knitting projects underway so I went to Etsy this morning to see if I could find a new pair of "glittens" as inspiration.

Instead I set my sights on Nan Lawson's pen and ink drawing, Autumn Girl ($10). This sweet redhead is the perfect embodiment of the weather today here in chilly Baltimore. (Nan also has an Autumn Boy and Autumn Nerd available.)

This is a 5x7" print from an original ink drawing that was digitally painted.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Maryland SPCA's Shop-A-Paw-Looza

Taking out a couple days here and there for the day job, catching up on Tivo, football games and family/friends visiting there are really only 8 weeks left until the holiday madness of craft shows start. So, do you want the good news or bad news first?

The good news is you can get a jump start on all your holiday shopping through the Maryland SPCA's Shop-A-Paw-Looza. There are over 347 auction items available so let the bidding begin.

This 11x14" pet portrait and card set from FuzzyMug is totally sweet for you - and for the homeless pets you are helping!
Auction runs October 2 – 27, 2009 (It's totally the cat's meow!)

The bad news? Fortunately for you, it only applies to me. I only have 8 weeks to get all my new prints ready for you!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sneak Peek: NEW Baltimore-Themed Print

Last year - right around the holiday season - I carved a gnome print. (I guess you could say I've been going through a gnome phase ever since the Travelocity Gnome started his commercial debut.)

He was adorable and I loved that I could paint him in the holiday spirit or make him a master of the garden. But apparently my chillin' gnomie was not only pleasing to the eye but also delicious in my Woodley's stomach. (The sensitive stomach my vet says he has... Ugh.)

Of course, the digestive disaster of July 09 meant when The Hexagon organized Hexchange, a Baltimore-themed portfolio exchange for emerging printmakers, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Here's a sneak peek of my edition of 55:

(Now remember, that is the plate on the press so the image is in reverse.) I'm still experimenting with the coloring. I'm leaning towards using black ink and then adding green highlights for her beehive's ribbon and maybe some ruby red lips. I guess the good news is just like the previous print, I can color the happy couple any way you like!

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Back to School" Spirit

Ok, so I'm not heading back to school but since the majority of friends are teachers or grad students, I couldn't help having some school spirit!

I've got my new Sharpie color pack (which came with the new Sharpie pen!), a recycled notebook to jot down my next print ideas and help keep track of my "to do lists," and my favorite Seattle beans (Caffe Vita) arrived in the mail earlier this week.

All I need to do is buy myself an apple and I am set for the first day on Monday, right? I guess it might be healthier to purchase an actual Red Delicious but I'm partial to paper and this modern apple letterpress print from Lulu Dee seems more my style.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Summer Plum Crumble

I think one of my favorite things to do when I get home early from work this summer (other than run around with the pups) is to check out Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) on the Food Network. I now own two of her cookbooks (Back to Basics and The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook) and am orchestrating my own little Julia & Julia experiment. Of course, I'm starting backwards... with dessert.

This week I tried her Plum Crunch recipe from Back to Basics. It was quick and easy to make and so far all my taste testers have reported back favorably. I'm thinking the plum mixture (plums, brown sugar, flour and creme de cassis) would be a perfect pie filling as well.

What dessert should I try next? I'm thinking Brownie Pudding.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

4 Little Wise Guys

A screenprinting buddy just turned me on to Mibo (; she knew I wouldn't be able to resist these "Wise Guys." These little paper owls are a perfect DIY project and all you need is a printer, paper, glue stick, ruler and scissors. For about $1.70, you can buy the print-at-home kit online and these four little guys will land as a PDF file in your inbox!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mark your Calendar - December 5, 2009!

[Insert Jaws theme song.] The Charm City Craft Mafia is thrilled to announce the 3rd Annual Holiday Heap - an Indie craft fair right here in Baltimore! Holiday Heap 2009 will take place at St. John's Church - 2640 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21218 - on Saturday, December 5th, 2009. The fair will run 10am-5pm.

The Mafia is accepting applications through midnight, OCTOBER 5th. You can find the application form HERE. There is a $10 non-refundable fee to apply, and a $65 vendor fee if accepted by the 15 person jury. Please note: your application will not be complete until you pay the $10 fee.

Applicants will be judged on craftsmanship, originality and skill. The Mafia looks for great photos, easy to navigate websites (if applicable), good price points. They try to gather a group of both local and faraway vendors that work together to create the best and most unique shopping experience. So, apply now!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Call for Printmakers - Last Call, that is!

The Hexagon Gallery is pleased to announce Hexchange, a Baltimore-themed portfolio exchange for emerging printmakers. Hexchange will be on exhibit during the month of October, in conjunction with Second Saturdays, a new initiative from the Station North Arts & Entertainment District to bring community arts and music awareness to the area. Following the exhibition, Hexchange will become a part of the permanent collections at the Hexagon Gallery and Goya Contemporary in Baltimore, as well as the International Printing Museum in Southern California. Hexchange is also receiving promotional support from the Bmore Art Blog, the Contemporary Museum and the Station North Arts & Entertainment District.

There are 50 spots in this portfolio. Register now--spots are filling up! (Hexchange is almost full! artists from Bmore (of course), Philly, NYC, Providence, Portland, Honolulu, Oakland, and more!) All artists participating in the exchange will receive a portfolio of 50 different prints.

Fee: $10 for artists in East and Central time zones, $15 for artists in Mountain and Pacific time zones. Artists outside the continental US will be given a payment estimate upon inquiry. This modest fee will cover constructing portfolio mailers, return postage, and exhibition postcards (also to be sent to each artist prior to the show). Your registration will not be complete until we have received your payment.

Print requirements:
  • Baltimore-themed, edition of 55
  • 11x15 inches
  • paper choice and bleed are up to you
  • remember to sign and number prints

***Important*** All editions must be received, with your own interleaving, by September 18th, 2009. No extensions, as this will give us just enough time to collate, construct cases, and hang the exhibition.

Questions? Contact Phuong Pham at

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Girls Night Out - Crafting Social

With Artscape coming up (and the Super Art Fight 4), I missed out on registering for an "Indian Summer Crafting Social" on July 16th at Paper Source in Annapolis. But the good news is they are offering an "Encore - Girls Night Out - Event" on Thursday, Aug 13, from 7-9:00pm.

The night will include creating stationery using Paper Source's new India designed rubber stamps and signature prints, with pops of bright fuchsia + much more. You will even be able to get 10% off purchases made that evening. Hurry and register now!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Super Art Fight Championship: The 4-Way Dance

Get ready for the next generation of live entertainment in Baltimore! Pairing cutting-edge artists in the art of creative combat before a blank wall of canvas, the audience is drawn in as a new masterpiece is created before their eyes. And then the WHEEL OF DEATH comes into play...

Even though I should probably stay at home for last minute printing, framing and sleep in preparation for Artscape, I clearly have the best plans lined up for Thursday, July 16th. I'll be at the Ottobar (doors open at 8pm; show starts at 9pm) to watch "The 4-Way Dance" with my Mafioso hero, Michael Bracco, taking on Garth Graham, Nick Borkowicz and Jami Noguchi.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Seattle Recap: Top 5 Eateries

I was in Seattle last week for the Americans for the Arts Convention (one of the perks of the day job) so I got visit a lot of my favorite culinary haunts as well as soon new ones. Here are the Top 5 I made sure to visit on this trip.

1. Daily Dozen Doughnut Company
93 Pike Street (Pikes Place Market); ph: 206.467.7769

A Seattle trip can't start properly without a quick walk through Pike's Place Market and a stop for coffee and fresh doughnuts. You can choose plain, cinnamon or powered sugar by the 1/2 dozen and go from there. This hot morning treat is a bargain at $3.

2. Steelhead Diner
95 Pike Street (Pike's Place Market); ph: 206.625.0129

Now Chef Kevin Davis worked with my husband so admitingly I am a little partial to his cooking - we actually celebrated our first Christmas there at his home. Because of my convention commitments, I stopped in for lunch. There is plenty of seating throughout the restaurant: at the bar, communal tables, regular tables and patio seating but the best bonus for me was no one was sitting at the kitchen bar. From my vantage point, I could see everything bubbling, frying, sauteeing and grilling away while getting to chat with Chef. I basically flew 3000 miles to get his dungeness crab cake (sweet crab with a little kick of spice) and a cup of gumbo (imagine duck, andouille and shrimp).

3. Palace Kitchen
2030 Fifth Avenue; ph: 206.448.2001

A Tom Douglas restaurant, this was one of our favorite restaurants to stop after a late night house managing at the local theatre or when my husband got off from his own place. The menu did not disappoint especially since the Copper River Salmon (served with a Meditteranian preparation) is in season right now. I couldn't resist starting off with pork cracklins' dipped in hot pepper jelly and the Palace olive poppers. Even though I was full, I managed to take a slice of the coconut cream-white chocolate pie back to my hotel room to enjoy in bed.

4. Dad Watson's
3601 Fremont Avenue N; ph: 206.632.6505

A sunny afternoon would not be complete without a walk through Fremont and Ballard - and a pint of the Ruby. This famous ale originated at the Hillsdale Pub in 1985. A barley and berry jubilee!

5. Tilth (meaning "cultivation of tilled soil, especially in respect for suitability of sowing seeds.")
1411 North 45th Street; ph: 206.633.0801

This craftsman-style bungalow in Wallingford seems more like someone's home than recently awarded James Beard winner, Maria Hines' restaurant. (The creamy and spring-like greens of the restaurant's interior feel like you've stepped into a Martha Stewart magazine spread but without having to worry about knocking over some heirloom.) While the atmosphere and service is warm and comfortable, the real show is the food. A "New American" spin on locally produced, organic foods, the staff shows off that the underlined items on the menu (and there were only 3 of them) are the only things not made in-house. For example, sea salt! I started off my evening with consuming the salty poodle. Ok, I couldn't resist, the Salty Poodle was a delicious and refreshing combination of tequila, cointreau, grapefruit juice, falernum, and of course, that sea salt rim. Next it was the Smoked Yogurt Flan (with bacon, green garlic and mustard greens) and the Wild Caught Salmon (over a bed of artichoke barigoule, chickpea cake, and nicoise olives). I was full but the desserts were so tempting I went for a trio of homemade ice creams: rhubarb, chocolate and mint julep (each served on a cookie).

Well, after finishing up this post I'm suddenly hungry again. Happy Eating!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Alternative designs for business cards

With summer shows in full swing now, I can't help but think about promo materials (banners, postcards and business cards).
While my illegible ink cards probably won't be as genius as these options, maybe I can strive for something similar for the fall!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

M'aam? Is that a dagger in your bag?

When I was in Chattanooga last spring at an arts integration conference, I stopped in a store called Blue Skies and found the coolest Victorain garden stakes. (Of course, I did get in trouble with airport security when I thoughtlessly tried to bring the "daggers" with me in my carry-on.) Anyway, the beautiful stakes made it back to Baltimore and I got them out this weekend for all my new seedlings. Just in case you can't make it to Blue Skies (30 Frazier Ave, Chattanooga, TN), check out these alternatives from Etsy.

Artisan Hands: These garden stakes are cut from slabs of speckled stoneware, stamped, glazed and fired to cone 6 in oxidation. Perfect for all your favorite garden pots!

bridgman pottery: Rustic, hand made stoneware and copper markers for garden herbs.

My Mother's Garden: A set of three mushroom shaped ceramic herb markers for the garden. This set is perfect for my recently planted basil, cilantro and parsley.

EstherCoombs: All are made from up-cycled china plates which have been drawn on with ceramic ink and glued to a reused piece of wood stake chopped by hand from other peoples wooden junk.

Monkeys Always Look: Made-to-order upcycling with vintage forks, knives, and spoons.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Mabel

It's hard to believe our baby turned three today. We're celebrating tonight with a special carob and peanut butter cupcake cookie. (Champagne will be provided for the adults.)

Her "brothers" Woodley and Wyatt pitched in their allowances to get her a "bristle bone" - the packaging claims it's a dental toy a dog is guaranteed to love to chew complete with durable nylon bristles and rubber nubs to clean teeth as they chew. I can't decide whether it will be a hit or a torture device. I bought the replacement "gnawhide" cookie rings just in case.

Friday, May 1, 2009

In the studio...

I have a to-do list a mile long and it just seems to be getting longer this month! May, June and July are going to be busy months for illegible ink (and all my little helpers). Feel free to drop me and line and let me know what images you'd like to see from illegible ink. Right now I'm working a friendly dinosaur!

And be sure to come visit at the upcoming show schedule:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reno 911

My sister-in-law is getting married in just four weeks and while she has her dress and hairstyle all planned out, I am still... well... in the design stages.

It seems only appropriate to draw inspiration from the Style Network star Niecy Nash and "copy" her signature flower style.

I am totally smitten with this piece from ohmydeer! Maybe once I get a dress I can think about a commissioned flower.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Planning my patio garden!

This weekend I have a ton of things to do: my friend, Linda of Little Flower Designs will be at the Fine Furnishings and Fine Craft Show; Val of Bowerbox Press is having an open house to show off her fantastic letterpress;
Black Cherry Puppet Theater latest show feature a giant sock puppet (need I say more?);
and clearly, I cannot forget the Summit of AWESOME!

But I am also hoping to have time (maybe I won't sleep?) to work in our little backyard patio garden. I'm thinking nasturtiums for the window boxes since they will get full sun and can take a bit of a beating. Then definitely all my herbs - basil, dill, lavender - and sing with me "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme." Oh, and we just got some of those upside-down, hanging tomatoes.

All the garden thinking has me searching for some garden print inspiration. You know my Summer Garden print but I am also digging the work of Pittsburgh (by way of the west coast) artist, Noelle Griskey and Pink Bathtub Designs. Check it out!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

It's raining in Baltimore (cannot get the Counting Crows out of my head this month!) but the good news is all my herbs have survived the winter and happy, green shoots are poking out of the dirt just in time for Earth Day. In this spirit, here's what I've got going on so far today:
  • For the insider tips on going green in Baltimore - and upcycled art and design - visit Baltidome.
  • Three green restaurants that I've put on my list as must-have meals for Earth Day: Dogwood Cafe, Feast@4East and Woodberry Kitchen.
  • Come visit me on May 9th and check out my new "green" line at Squidfire's Spring Art Mart. I'll be "wo-manning" the Charm City Craft Mafia tent with Bowerbox Press, HVM Designs and Pink Kiss Pottery.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thank you, Richmond!

The Richmond Craft Mafia outdid themselves this year with their Spring Bada Bing show at Plant Zero on Sunday. (I am incredibly grateful to the boss ladies of craft for hosting illegible ink at the show.) I met some great fans - a set of sisters who I wouldn't hesitate to hire as marketing reps and a young woman who made my day by telling me my prints "made her day."

The good feelings continued into my work week back in Baltimore as I eye my latest crafty purchases:

My new "Roll with it" print from Brainstorm.
(Good news for you - they are coming to Charm City's own Squidfire Art Mart on May 9th.)

I can't wait to wear my Poppy Tank Smock in brown from our fav, Red Prairie Press.
(I am eyeing her kitchen utensils tank dress next.)

And finally, the perfect card for my sister-in-law's upcoming May wedding from Holly Camp Cards. My husband also got the wine-juggling octopus!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Night Q & A

Question: What do mushrooms (edible and not so edible), hearts, crabs (blue and some that already hit the hot water), flowering cactus and fortune cookies all have in common?

Answer: They will all be available this Sunday at the illegible ink table at Plant Zero in Richmond. Snap them up and send them as a card or frame one for yourself. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An incredible, edible egg

To celebrate several weeks of new prints, I took a break and settled down on the couch tonight with a sweet treat of dark chocolate and walnut cream. Elsie Oppel (my co-worker's mother-in-law) has been making dark chocolate cream eggs for her family and friends forever. She lovingly lays trays of them out during the holidays and everyone races over to pick out their Easter favorites.

I can only hope to be lucky enough to get a peanut butter cream next year. Yum!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Got refund?

Being the responsible person I am, the first thing I would tell you to do with that refund is make an extra payment towards your mortgage, car or home loan... and the second thing I would tell you to do is come down to Richmond this weekend for Spring Bada Bing and visit me at Table 60. (To sweeten the deal, if you do come visit me and mention this blog, you'll get a FREE cookie print with $10 purchase.)

But what you could also do with that extra money is head to Sotto Sopra for Dollar Pasta Night. For $1.00 you can choose from spaghetti alla Bolognese, rigatoni with eggplant and mozzarella, and penne with salmon and pernod. Of course, there is a catch but it is worth it. The restaurant is asking diners to make a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and/or Our Daily Bread to qualify for the pasta deal.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Poppytalk Handmade's "Green Pop"

Poppytalk Handmade is a monthly online street market curated by Poppytalk to showcase, buy and sell handmade goods of emerging design talent from around the world. This month celebrates the warm weather and springtime sunshine with eco-friendly items.

Mark your calendar for May 11 - June 12/09 - Paper Pops! A papergoods and affordable art market! This popular market (from the response last year) is lined up at the same time as the National Stationery Show in NYC, showcases the latest in independent papergoods designers as well as artists. Submission deadline is April 25th.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy April Fool's Day!

I'm not fooling around in the studio this month!

This new print for Barbara is entitled, "Love grows where music lives." The commissioned piece includes a bright tigerlily cradling a "CD" of springtime flowers.

Not only has this new piece got me experimenting with new waterbased inks, but I'm also planning my spring garden. Seeds are sprouting on the windowsill!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Aloha Baltimore!

I've been busy in the studio during the last week making NEW illegible ink prints!

I created this original print for Corey - he had asked for a colorful beach scene with plenty of palm leaves, surf and sand. I hope the print adds a warm feeling to his place!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Plaza Artist Materials & Pyramid Atlantic Artist-In-Residence Program

Plaza Artist Materials and Pyramid Atlantic are proud to offer a one-month residency in May 2009 for an artist from the Greater Metropolitan DC Area with an interest in printmaking, papermaking and book arts. The Plaza/Pyramid Atlantic Artist Residency is a unique opportunity for an artist to develop a multi-disciplinary arts approach by engaging in the mediums of papermaking, printmaking and bookmaking in the dynamic studios at Pyramid Atlantic.

Click here for more information. Applications must be received by April 6, 2009. Good luck!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spring is in the Air!

Baltimore schools had a snow day earlier this week but March's "in like a lion, out like a lamb" mentality could never be more true with the weather forecasters telling us to brace ourselves for 70 degrees this weekend.

Springtime may be in the air, but it's also in the mail - at least in my case. I created these seafoam green and pink wedding invitations for my sister-in-law. Each invitation includes a hand-printed seashell linocut.

Don't you just want to rush out and buy your tickets to Florida? (I've already picked out my bathing suit and flip flops.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Deadlines Approaching!

Hello Baltimore and Beyond! Get your crafts crafted and your websites updated - the spring craft shows are racing in like a lion!

Apply now for the 2009 Spring Bada-bing. The deadline is this Friday - March 6th!

The Art Star Craft Bazaar is an annual juried arts & crafts retail show in Philadelphia, PA. Artists & crafters who create handmade, original work (in all mediums) are welcome! The deadline is April 1st.

The Renegade Craft Fair is a unique, DIY event showcasing over 300 artists and crafters throughout the year in four US cities (Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles & San Francisco). The deadline for Brooklyn's Renegade Craft Fair is March 27th.

Artscape 2009
The largest FREE public arts festival in America, features 150+ artists, craftspeople and fashion designers and visual art exhibits! The DIY @ Artscape section continues to support the emerging DIY trend by creating an entire section of the site dedicated to hip and talented new wave crafters. This is a separate area with a separate application. The deadline for the DIY @ Artscape section is March 31st. Apply here!

Good luck!
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