Sunday, March 15, 2009

anniversary sale

Wow, I can't believe it's been two years already since I first launched Cecily Ink! That's sure worthy of a celebration, don't you think?

Yes, you read it correctly: through the end of the month, I'm offering 50% off everything in stock! Just fill your basket with at least $50 worth of product, enter the coupon code "take50" during check-out, and voilĂ  – watch as 50% of your total magically disappears!
(not valid with any other offers/coupons)

Just my little way of saying thank-you to all our Cecily Ink fans out there. Enjoy!

NOTE: Due to popular demand, I've extended the sale through Mother's Day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

more trash to treasure

Last Saturday while I was scouring the Portland Antique Expo for inspiration, I fell in love with this little plastic elephant. Don't know why, but I simply had to have him – he just made my heart sing!

At another booth I picked up a small orphaned dresser drawer, complete with a mission-style drawer pull – a perfect shadow box for my new little baby elephant! That evening I was in the zone and by 2 am (yes, A.M.!) I finished this piece that literally makes me smile every time I look at it:

Since I last shared photos of my art, I've created a few other pieces as well. This one has elements dangling from fishing line and jingles like a chime when I walk around the house with it:

And this little darling was inspired by a piece my former co-worker Bev Soasey created years ago for a friend of hers:

I love old illustrations and photographs and use them as often as I can. These next two pieces also make great use of old photo album pages, another one of my faves – they create a beautiful frame for the image and allow plenty of "white space" even after adding a few embellishments.

Right now I'm working on a shrine of sorts. It's getting close to being done, just need to figure out a few last details and then add wings – intrigued yet? Yes, I promise I will show pictures when it's done. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

random bits

As I was surfing the Net while watching TV these last few days, several things caught my eye and I thought I'd share them with you. Although they may seem a bit random, they all served as visual inspiration to me.

F L I C K R - F U N
Over the years I've built up a paper file filled with various images ripped from the many magazines and catalogs that hit my mail box. Whenever I need to come up with a fresh color palette and need a bit of help, I flip through those pages for inspiration. Now I can simply go here, click on one or a few colors, and voila – a visual library of images in those exact colors pops up. I love doing the single-color searches. The results are pretty enough to frame as art!

P O S T E R - F U N
I came across the Poster List where you can buy some very fun posters, all at very reasonable prices:

D E S I G N - P O L I C E
As a graphic designer, I've often been tempted to play logo cop or to issue a bad type ticket. Thankfully, I discovered the Design Police, whose mission is to "bring bad design to justice." Now we can all let our fellow citizens know when they've committed a design faux pas with these print-it-yourself stickers:

Monday, March 2, 2009

picture perfect?

Raise your hand if you like your driver's license photo. How about your passport photo? Yeah, didn't think so. But it could be worse: you could be trying to renew your Dutch passport and have to subject yourself to the Dutch government's idea of an acceptable passport photo.

Case in point: I thought I'd pop into Kinko's to get my picture taken before my appointment with the Dutch Consulate next week. Hah, wish life were so easy! After intently studying a four-page (!) document describing the do's and don'ts of passport photography, it quickly became apparent that the blue-shirted fellow with the instamatic wasn't going to cut it. I needed to bring in some heavier guns if I was to avoid being in violation of Dutch passport code umpteen-thousand-and-six.

Think I'm joking? Well, let's play a little game, shall we? See if you can guess what's wrong with the 15 photos below. I've listed the answers under the photos so if you don't want to cheat, don't scroll down too far.

1 - black and white (okay, that one's easy)
2 - optical distortion (how would you know, maybe she's just got high cheek bones?!)
3 - unnatural representation (huh?! is it because he looks like a Smurf?)
4 - visible support (it's a baby, for cryin' out loud!)
5 - reflection (the lesson here: don't forget to powder your nose!)
6 - background not uniformly lit (words escape me...)
7 - more than one background color (sorry, no mall portraits, folks)
8 - merging background colors (see above)
9 - insufficient background contrast
10 - insufficient background contrast
11 - face not entirely visible
12 - eyes not entirely visible
13 - eyeglasses reflection (this was the downfall of Mr. Blueshirt)
14 - eyeglasses shadow
15 - not centered in frame (missed it by that much!)

I don't have a visual aid for it, but the one that gets me the most is this one: under no circumstances may you have your mouth open. What?! I can't show off my pearly whites and say cheeeeze? How un-American! Oh, wait, I'm renewing my Dutch passport...

To be fair, although "applicants may not smile broadly or open their mouths," they did add that this "does not mean that they have to look surly or sullen." After all, we Dutchies are a merry people, full of joy and zest!

Well, the kind and expert folks at Ritz Camera downtown Portland did an excellent job of following all the rules and regulations – I hope! Guess I'll find out in a few weeks...

I know you're all dying to see my final passport photo, so here it is: (don't laugh, it's worse than my driver's license picture!)

Hope they don't notice that sheen on the tip of my nose!

feel-good art sale

Everyone knows I simply love to shop. There's nothing like the thrill of the hunt, finding that special something that you never knew you needed but, once found, you know you simply can't live without...

Okay, so that's pretty darn superficial, but what if you could shop AND help out kids at the same time?

It's happening this weekend and I can't wait to see what kind of treasures I'll snap up among 150+ artists all under one roof! Just think: 30% of everything I spend will go directly to help the school and its amazing arts program!

Yes, Cecily Ink will be there, proudly donating 30% of all sales. Plus, the first 20 shoppers who buy something from my table will get a free 2009 desk calendar! Shopping for a cause AND free stuff - does it get any better?!

Buckman Elementary • 320 SE 16th Ave • Portland • more details here

Sunday, March 1, 2009

march wallpaper

Here we are, another rainy, dreary day of typical Oregon weather... Good news is it's March 1, so that means a new desktop wallpaper from Cecily Ink is waiting for you here – and as always, it's totally free!