365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 181



Summer Memories


When I was a kid, my family went on adventures every summer. My parents were really into exploring different parts of California, Nevada and Oregon, and we went camping in some really gorgeous places. I am convinced that my artistic obsession with the forest and small animals is a direct result of these experiences.

The photo above is from about 1977. I’m the girl on the left in a white shirt with the blue bandana. I was about 9 years old here. Pictured here also are my older brother (top left in red), my mom (next to him in yellow), my dad (top right in the stripes) and my younger sister (bottom right in red). The kid on the right is my brother’s friend, and everyone else belongs to the Heinitz family, close friends who lived down the street. Mr. Heinitz took the photo. I am really loving all the outfits in this photo, especially my brother’s tube socks (this is the brother who is now 6’5″ tall).

Also weird? My mom is 5 years younger in this photo that I am now (she was 39 here) and my dad was 7 years younger (he was 37 here).

Anyhow, I don’t get out into the wilds of California like I did when I was a kid. I am so grateful to my parents for exposing me to so much of it when I was growing up. Just seeing this photo makes me want to hop into a car and drive east toward Yosemite, to smell the hot air, and even to feel the light-headedness that comes with altitude change. I just don’t get out much anymore to hike or camp. I have “too much to do” on the weekends, which are filled with social plans, errands and projects around the apartment. I really admire people who leave all of that behind and get far out of town to explore and relax (my sister and brother and their families are so good at this).

I’ve been wondering a lot lately about how I can do more of that, how I can get out into the wilds more often, especially in the summer, when California is especially magical. Personal challenge: get out more this summer into nature, even if it’s not super far out of the city.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

CATEGORIES: From the Vault

365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 180



Dream Wedding Dress


As most of you know, I am getting married next June. June 1, 2013, to be exact. I’ve known since the moment I became engaged that I would not wear a traditional white wedding dress. I’ve changed my mind a bunch of times in the last six months about color and style and whether I’d have it made or buy it from a store. The other day I actually found the dress I think I am going to buy. I WISH it was the one pictured above, because this Julien David dress might be the most awesome dress I have ever laid my eyes on. I discovered it in last month’s issue of Paper Magazine, and I nearly fell over. But then I looked at the price tag ($3,650.) and said, oh wait, NO.

But, a girl can dream, right? And the one I did find and plan to purchase is a much less fancy version of this dress at a much better price. So, as we say, it’s all good.

I’ll just be staring at this one for a little bit longer.


365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 179


May she rest in peace. 1941-2012


He’s FIVE Today!!


{Wilfredo when he was 5 months old.}

You know how things like birthdays and anniversaries make you stop sometimes and say: holy crap, where did the time go? That very thing is happening to me today. Today is Wilfredo’s FIFTH birthday. I got this guy in December of 2007. It was a gorgeous day in San Francisco when I went to meet him for the first time. It was cold, sure, but I remember the sky was blue that weekend and the sun was shining brightly. I took a photo of him on my Nokia (which I sadly never saved). He looked so scared. The next day, I went back to finalize the adoption and take him home.

It is safe to say that Wilfredo has brought me some crazy amount of joy every single day since then, even on my worst days. He is pure love and everything that is good. He’s also brought joy and love and light to many other people. He is truly a small angel. I love him more than anyone will ever know.

He’s a big guy now — weighing in at exactly 11 pounds. But when I got him he was  5 months old and about 7 pounds.  Below are a few of my favorite photos of Wilfredo when he was around 6 months old. I always like to remember him like this, because this phase lasted only a few months, and he was especially cute then.

{With my niece, Mia, when she was 8}

{In his favorite spot: the back of the sofa}

{Ready to go on a his first trip!}

My hope is that Wilfredo lives a long and healthy life. He’s already got some grey on his muzzle which always makes me a teeeeeny bit sad when I look at it. It reminds me that he won’t be with me forever, that I won’t always have him at my side. I guess that’s why I feel like it’s so important to celebrate his life (or the life of anyone you love). Today I’m going to try to find him a little doggy birthday cake somewhere, although I know if he had his druthers he’d just like a little canned cat food (his current obsession). So maybe I will just give him some of that.

{Wilfredo two weeks ago in Dolores Park.}



365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 178



365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 177



It’s Happening: ONCE YEARLY SALE


About once a year I mark my original artwork for sale and, friends, now’s that time! Today and tomorrow (until midnight PST on June 26), all original artwork in my Big Cartel shop is 20% off.

Use Coupon Code HELLOSUMMER.

Act fast because this only happens once a year and the sale will be over tomorrow evening!

Questions about my shop policies? Read here.

Browse and purchase here.


365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 176


From Leonard Cohen’s Anthem.


365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 175


The letter G.


365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 174



365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 173


-Harvey Milk.




I am so happy to announce the release of an illustration project I worked on for nine months last year. You may recall earlier this week I was lamenting about how hard it is to keep secrets about my work, and this project was no exception. The book, The Pickled Pantry, includes over 70 hand painted illustrations of pickles, vegetables, fruits, pickling tools, herbs, spices and vinegars. This project was great fun. I loved working with Mary from Storey Publishing on this project. Author Andrea Chesman serves up no only mouth-watering pickling recipes, but tips, history, biographies of picklers, and fantastic stories.

One of my goals for the summer is to learn some pickling (oh, do I love fermented foods), and I’ll be starting with this book. You can get your copy here.


365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 172


It’s Gay Pride Week here in San Francisco (and in many other places in the world, including New York). My partner and I have seen seven films this past week as part of the Frameline Film Festival (with two more films to go this weekend). Many of the films have been about the courageousness of ordinary gays and lesbians in the face of horrible, senseless discrimination (in churches, in Uganda, in the southern US, for example). I have been so incredibly inspired. I love this quote by Harvey Fierstein. Whether you are gay or feel like an outsider in some other way, I think it’s one of the most important messages you can carry into the world every day.

May love (and self respect) always win.