Wednesday, April 16, 2014

facing the inevitable

There has been a dark cloud looming over our home this week.  We took Pokey to the veterinarian on Monday and the prognosis wasn't good.

Over the course of 11 years [8 of which have been documented here] our beagle --'The Beagle'--has grown from the bargain pup we purchased at a flea market to the first animal I've ever truly loved to a constant companion, foot-warmer and muse.  In recent years, he's willingly accepted a backseat to two energetic little boys, but has forever remained in the center of our hearts.

This week, as we sadly accept the fact that he will not be with us much longer, I want to take a moment to pay tribute to our Buddy Boy.  I've been looking back this morning over all the posts and drawings dedicated to Pokey and his antics.  I hope you'll do me the honor of checking them out as well here.  He's been such a character and tremendous source of inspiration over the years.

Pokey, there will never be another who can replace you.  You were with Edgar and I from the beginning and will be with us in spirit to the end.  We love you.


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Thursday, April 10, 2014

special spring collection preview sale!

This winter's bad weather has inspired us to be that much more aware of all the beauty spring has to offer. We invite you to check out a special preview of our newest collection, devoted to just that via our Etsy shop.

We also invite you to take an extra 25% OFF during our 24-hour preview sale with coupon code: THANKYOUKINDLY   Share with your buddies on FB or elsewhere? Take 30% off with coupon code: THANKYOUSUPERKINDLY

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

life's sweetest moments, recorded and preserved

Edgar's illustrated journals are, without a doubt, the best gifts he could ever give the boys and me.
I appreciate these recorded memories so, so much.







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Monday, March 31, 2014

hazelnut for him, sweet tea for her

A little snippet from a project we were working on over the weekend.  Care to guess who this charming young family chowing down on bagels is? :) Nothing is more fun than being able to draw [literally] from our everyday experiences in our professional work, including our morning ritual at Bruegger's.


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Saturday, March 29, 2014

creative freedom


I think blind-contour drawings, like this one, will always be some of my favorite to do.  I love the absolute freedom that comes from the process.  There are no expectations or mistakes, only discoveries.  It's such a liberating exercise.

This weekend we're in the midst of finishing up our new products for spring. We'd love to share some of our process with you via our Instagram accounts and Facebook page.


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Thursday, March 13, 2014

motherhood is messy.



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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

my maxie

Max at 2 years and 9 months.  Current obsessions: dinosaurs, planes, Cheetos and talking in sentences.

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Thursday, March 06, 2014

dreams of spring


More sleet tonight means more dreams of spring taking shape in our sketchbooks.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

life after winter


It's the epitome of a frigid and snowy winter day here in our cul-de-sac.  Brrrrr!!!!

Thankfully [THANKFULLY!], warmer weather is just around the corner---which means the opportunity to unplug and spend time outdoors doing the things we love.  Our latest print, Summertime in the Park, blossomed from these moments of recharge---and more specifically, our afternoon strolls with the boys and the people we pass along our way---including a woman with four barking chihuahuas!

May it serve as a reminder to you, as well, that winter does not last forever!  In the meantime, pick up your recommended dose of summer right here.




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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

when the twinterns are away, the parents will play

Max and Miles went to stay with their grandparents this past weekend so Edgar and I could spend some time in the studio emptying the reservoir of ideas that have been filling our minds as of late. Here's a little glimpse into our process.



:: trying out our favorite 'old' tools for new purposes ::


:: revisiting 'first year' with trace paper and chartpaks ::


:: inspired by the purple phlox that covers the ground in spring ::


:: painting fueled by sweet tea and some good ol' Reba McEntire classics ::


:: determined to find an answer to sad and dull sympathy cards ::


:: a new approach to an old print ::


:: how to paint a 'cardinal that isn't a cliché' study ::


:: marking-down many of our golden oldies to make room for the new products ::



:: stumbled upon a photo of the #twinterns 'triplet' in an old photo album ::

:: miss my boys...isn't it time for them to come home? :: 
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disappearing snowmen

If you read this, please don't tell my mom :)  I'm only half-joking.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

today's realization

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Thursday, February 06, 2014

will you accept this rose?

One of my guiltiest pleasures is reality television.  I was sucked in during 6th grade when my parents finally got cable and The Real World debuted.  As a certified people-watcher, reality tv is a great way to be a wallflower in the privacy of my home.

This being the case, I allow myself to take Monday nights off from work to watch The Bachelor.  No matter how formulaic the show is, I'm still hooked.  Though I have to say I'm more than a little disappointed in current bachelor Juan Pablo's behavior this week.  Good article on the double-standards of the show here.



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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

barn quilt | free desktop background

I think we can all benefit from a little 'color therapy' during these dreary winter days.  Here's a splash to dress up your computer!  This free desktop download is inspired by the barn quilts that dot the landscape of my childhood home in Avery County, NC.  Hope you enjoy and feel free to share with your friends!


To download, click on the image above (it will open a new window).  Right click and save or simply drag the image to your desktop and install as your desktop wallpaper.

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Monday, February 03, 2014

eleanor's custom birthday invites and thank you notes

We love when custom projects center around children--and this invitation and thank you note package for 8-year-old Eleanor's birthday party is no exception!
Eleanor's mother let us have free reign with this design and, consequently, we had so much fun putting the ensemble together---starting with a portrait of Eleanor in her kitchen and finishing with a thank you note that provided just enough (but not too much) space for the birthday girl to say grazie!

We were extremely excited to see photos from the event and baker Malini Fuangvuthi's incredible cake inspired by the invitation design!  Check it out!  Makes me want to have a cake made of everything we do!




Many thanks to Eleanor and company for allowing us to take part in your big day!
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Friday, January 31, 2014

hand-lettered wedding invitations for tim and amanda

I'm excited to share this wedding invitation ensemble we designed a few months back with our friends, Tim and Amanda.  You'd be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful couple, but beyond that Tim is one of the most talented individuals I've ever met---making it a true honor to get to contribute to their special day!





Photos Courtesy of Tim Robison


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

let's keep it real

This was what was left on their plates AFTER dinner.  Yeah...

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Monday, January 13, 2014

mamaw in uppercase!

This is what its like to feel humbled.  

On New Year’s Eve my sisters and I lost our last surviving grandparent---our mother’s mother, Mamaw, nearly a year to the day that our grandfather, Pap, died.  If I were to paint you a picture of what grandparents are supposed to be like, they’d be the perfect models.  I have nothing but good memories.

A few years ago, Mamaw gave me a Singer Feather sewing machine that had been passed down in our family.  I’m not a seamstress, but I guess Mamaw felt I was creative and would appreciate it.
Little did either of us know at the time that a print would come from it that would 1) help kickstart my dream of being an 'real' illustrator and 2) would end up being featured in my favorite magazine in the days following her death. 


I don’t have the words.  

Read my original post on the print here.
Get a little preview of the current issue of Uppercase here.

[Photo Courtesy of Uppercase Magazine.]
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Thursday, January 09, 2014

a case of cold ears


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Monday, January 06, 2014

this one is for novem.


Several years ago a professor of ours---a man whose design opinion I value as much as any other---who never tooted any one's horn [including my own]---told me that while I was a talented drawer, I needed to push myself to do more with my work.  It wasn't meant as a critique, only an observation.

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I've thought back to this moment many times over the last five or so years, especially this May, when that professor, Mr. Novem Mason, ended his drawn-out battle with cancer in the art-filled home he shared with his wife, Barbara.  I've often wondered if I've really absorbed Novem's suggestion and truly pushed myself.  On the business-end, yes, I've been working day and night...but how about on the creative-end, the one that gives me the most joy?

This year I think I speak for both Edgar and I when I say this is our resolution for 2014.  We want to push ourselves to our limits, diving into creative exploration more than we've ever done in the past, giving ourselves the time and the tools necessary to make many, many messes...and the occasional successes that make up our dreams.

We dedicate this year, 2014, to Novem.


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Monday, December 09, 2013

we've got you covered!

Running behind on gifts for out-of-town friends and family? Let us face the long line at the post office for you! We're happy to ship directly to your loved ones---complete with festive packaging and a handwritten note.  Shop here.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

filled with wonder

I can hardly believe it's been three years since Edgar and I shared this happy announcement:

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We could never have predicted all the joys these two little acorns were going to bring us.

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We've been working overtime the past few weeks to prepare for the holiday season as we've taken on more jobs.  But as I sit and write today, I want to make sure that we do exactly as our cards suggest---and take time to fill our children's Christmas with wonder.  We wish you the same!


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Monday, November 11, 2013

merry and bright in avery county


aos_merryandbright_complete_small_grandehttp://store.anopensketchbook.com/collections/holiday/products/merry-and-bright

I'm really proud to share with you our newest holiday card, inspired by the many fields of Christmas Trees that dot the mountains of my hometown.  Avery County, known affectionately as 'The Fraser Fir Capital of the World,' is such a beautiful place and I will always be proud to call it home.  I hope this comes through clearly in our new card.

And here's a bit of the process behind this design.  Edgar was the one to conceptualize a field full of brightly lit trees.  Wouldn't this be amazing to see in real life? As is the case with most of our work, from this starting point we bounced the design back and forth to one another, trying a variety of media and styles before finding a final product we were really happy with.

Interested in sending these out this Christmas?  Find them in our store.

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