Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Red Mittens

The second batch of Christmas cards. All of mine are now in the mail...a Christmas miracle! My hand is numb! :) I really like the red mitten version I sent out today...

Red Mitten Lino Cut Cards

Red Mitten christmas card detail
These cards were printed using a lino-cut block printing method. They were designed, carved, & printed by hand and are truly a labor of love!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lino-Cut Block Print Mittens Christmas Card

Mittens Lino-Cut Christmas Cards

This is my third year making my own Christmas cards using lino-cut block printing designs. This year I opted to design some cozy knit mittens. I printed them by hand with a silvery blue metallic ink on red card stock. Here is the final product:

handmade lino cut christmas cards

Check out my previous lino-cut block print Christmas card designs:

My 2007 Christmas Cards Batch 1 (Gold Bunnies), Batch 2 (Silver Bunnies & Silver Fawn designs
My 2006 Christmas Cards Sledding Fun

Handmade Polymer Clay Christmas Ornaments

Last year I participated in a handmade Christmas ornament swap, and I really loved the ornaments I made. I was sad to give them away, so this year I decided to recreate the birds from last year. If I get some more black & red clay I will recreate my adorable penguin and & polar bear (because they were my favorite). Here is a peak at this year's polymer ornaments:

Handmade Polymer Clay Ornaments

Mistletoe Polymer Clay Ornament

Mini Red mitten polymer clay ornament

Check out my creations from last Christmas here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

D.I.Y. Eco-Friendly Newspaper Pinwheel Ornaments & Wrapping Paper

Last year my boyfriend wrapped his gifts in Newspaper. This was partly because, A) I didn't get around to wrapping his gifts for him before I left for home & B) because he thought it looked "cool". I thought it was a great idea, because when you think about it, wrapping paper is so wasteful. Recycling yesterday's newspaper & using it as wrapping paper is fantastic way of killing two birds with one stone. I happen to love wrapping my gifts and I try to make them look they popped right out of a Martha Stewart magazine (see here for an example of my wrapping :) ) The problem of course with using newspaper as gift wrap, is that by itself it isn't festive, so we made it our mission to make it festive, but professional looking. Of course, this had nothing to do with his sister's threat of wrapping his gift in "used toilet paper" if her gift was wrapped in newspaper. We set out to wrap her gift first with Saturday's issue of Newsday. To make it more festive we dug into his Mom's gift wrap closet from year's past and dug out some candy cane printed paper to embellish the gifts.

What You Need:
what you need for newspaper pinwheel gift wrapping
1) old wrapping paper
2) old newspaper
3)tape or glue
5) scissors
6) pencil

To create the pinwheels I cut a square piece of newspaper, and a square piece of the wrapping paper (keeping the squares equal sizes) and taped the two pieces together (leaving the sides I wanted to show facing outward). I cut in from each of the four corners of the square stopping short of the center. I then folded in alternating corners towards the center (stars below indicate side to be folded & taped or glued to the center) Once I had the four alternating corners secured in the center with tape I had a perfect d.i.y. newspaper pinwheel.

d.i.y. newspaper pinwheel tutorial

To complete the theme I took one long skinny strip of the old candy cane printed paper and taped it around the center of the newspaper wrapped gift and then secured the pinwheel in the center of the gift to complete my look.

d.i.y. newspaper wrapping paper with pinwheel bow

I had a good time making pin wheels so I made a few extra and took some bits of rogue ribbon from the above mentioned "gift wrapping closet".

Newspaper Pinwheel Ornaments:
d.i.y. newspaper pinwheel ornament tutorial

Simply take one wide ribbon loop it and cut the ends diagonally. Tape or glue the ends together leaving a loop at the top. Tape or glue the already made newspaper pinwheel in the middle of the wide ribbon so the loop is at the top and the diagonal cut is at the bottom so it looks like a prize ribbon of sorts. Then take a skinny piece of ribbon or thread and tie it through the loop of the wide ribbon. Adjust the length for hanging on the Christmas tree, once you have the set length hide the tied portion within the wide loop of the other ribbon. If needed, secure with tape. Now you have handmade paper ornaments made exclusively from recycled materials! Hang on your tree, and go ahead, pat yourself on the back!

d.i.y. newspaper pinwheel ornament

D.I.Y. Felt Mitten Ornaments

felt mitten ornaments

This is an easy d.i.y. project that allows for a lot of creative possibilities and would be a wonderful project to do with kids! Another great thing, it is incredibly inexpensive. I had baker's string, scraps of white felt, and cotton balls so I opted to make due.

The result of course is simple but quite adorable. Had I searched for more supplies...glitter, buttons, paint, etc I could have went all out, but I opted to go with the less is more approach.
To be honest, I quite liked my simple candy-cane inspired mitten once I had it stuffed and stitched, and if I decide later down the road that I want to add something, I can add away!

The great thing about this project is that you can have fun with the various colors of felt, and add buttons, charms and other embellishments to make it personal. The bare bones as to what you need: Felt...two pieces cut in the shape of a mitten (one front & one back), baker's string or thread, sewing needle, cotton balls/stuffing, and any choice of decorations.

Stitch the two mitten shaped pieces of felt together while leaving the bottom open to stuff. Once stuffed, stitch up the bottom and tie a loop for hanging. At this point you can go crazy with decorating, or simply hang on your tree like so...

finished mitten hanging

Happy decorating! :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I caught sight of birds migrating late this afternoon as the sun was setting.
flying v
It was beautiful, but...

the sun's gettin' colder,

december sun
winter has arrived. I better head inside...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Black Bunny

she loves big bows & little bunnies...
bunny girl

prismacolor markers in moleskine sketchbook

Monday, December 1, 2008

C'est La Vie

I haven't been drawing much lately. But I really like this tee shirt I bought at J.Crew...

prisma color markers in moleskine sketchbook

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


She is a Werewolf wannabe:)
micron pens & prismacolor markers in my trusty moleskine

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crossing Madison Ave

crossing madison ave
I bought a Diana + this summer. This photo was from my first roll. I really like the dark quality this image. I am most thankful for that lady in the cross walk who chose to wear yellow pants on that day. Isn't that funny!? It is one of those things that make you love photography going back through your film. I have 5 additional rolls I have to take into the lab. I've been bad about that. It seems I am a rather lazy creative, but I am hoping they will be half as pleasing as this image has been. To view more from my first roll click here.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I've been away & dreaming-searching for inspiration. It has been awhile, but I think I'm getting there. I hope to be back posting here soon!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Braids as Balloon Strings

She seems content floating amongst the clouds, I just hope something doesn't come by and pop one of those balloons! (gasp!)

Autumn Walk In The Park

Today I wore colored tights and snapped photos of the colorful leaves...

red leaf and purple tights

My day in turn inspired me to sketch away in the trusty moleskine

which in turn lead to a new PBL blog header

Whew, I've been busy today! :)

xoxo, Melanie

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Cupcake A Day...

keeps the dentist on speed dial! :) lol Here is a new sketch from moi...

Prismacolor markers in a moleskine sketchbook

It has been a while since I posted in this space & for that I am sorry. My sketchbook has been feeling neglected! I am gearing up for fall, but I should have some new work to be posted here and in the shop very soon!

xo, Melanie

Thursday, September 4, 2008



I actually did this for Illustration Friday, but I just finished it (a bit too late! Oops!)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Red Truck

I snapped some polaroids this past weekend...I saw this red truck in the parking lot and it reminds me a bit of an old truck my grandfather used to drive. His of course wasn't as shiny or nice, but somehow that makes it better.

red truck

Actually just for fun, here is a picture of my gramps with my little brother from back in the day (I'm in the background). Obviously a cool grandpa, just look at those shades!

photo of gramps from here

Shop Gal

Girl from the header:

New drawings to come soon...

Monday, August 18, 2008

SPC: Shine

"I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine."
~Emily Dickinson

See more people getting their shine on here

Monday, August 11, 2008

Black Heart

black heart II

"I'll be the one to keep you one disaster less" ~ Last Thing On Your Mind, The Lights

Friday, August 8, 2008



"She was only extemporizing, but a stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words."
~"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Diana + Dreamer

Psst I just bought a new toy...

my new toy

I've always admired the dream like images that result from Holgas & Diana's and have long considered joining the heard. When I saw this reproduction at Urban Outfitters back in April I sort of melted...I didn't pre-order it at the time, but instead I spotted it while shopping last weekend up all alone on a high shelf. I saw it as a sign that it should be mine. I took it out and about in Central Park, in and around Victory Gardens and will probably finish my roll out on the streets of NYC. I've received a number of helpful tips, and I'm sure I will receive plenty more after we see the results of my first roll (which could be disastrous or delightful and quite possibly a bit of both, but you know what that is all part of the fun!) I like the idea of being venturing out of my comfort zone. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bergdorf Blonde

I saw a girl coming out of Bergdorf Goodman with the coolest rose headband...she inspired this little sketch...

color pencil & micron pens in my moleskine sketchbook

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


micron pen & color pencils in a moleskine sketchbook


Downtown Darling

Last night I saw a girl at 57th street heading downtown on the Subway. She was wearing the prettiest dress I think I've seen all summer with the coolest looking sandals...they were black quilted (flat) sandals with a thick ankle strap that had a small pocket. Other than that she was just average. I always say a killer wardrobe is a mousy girl's best revenge! Anyways, her dress inspired this drawing...

micron pen & color pencils in a moleskine sketchbook

Monday, July 21, 2008

Chanel Girl Part II

Like her friend, this lovely lady is wearing a look from the Spring/Summer 2008 Chanel collection...

micron pen & color pencil in a moleskine sketchbook

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Soaking Up Summer Series

"if you feel discouraged that there's a lack of color here
please don't worry lover it's really bursting at the seams
for absorbing everything the spectrum's a to z"

~"a lack of color", dcfc

Soaking Up Summer Series
a series of self portraits

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Independence Day: Chanel S/S 2008

Chanel's Spring collection was all stars & stripes, so what better way to celebrate the upcoming holiday than to wear one of these fab ensembles? My girl can think of no better way...

color pencils & micron pen in a moleskine sketchbook (brand new one!)

Have a happy (& safe) 4th of July! I will be off entertaining my parents for a week while they visit NYC! :) See you soon!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

all dressed up and no where to go

"is it too late to remind you how we were?"
~"you could be happy" ~ snow patrol

color pencil & micron pen in moleskine sketchbook

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Birds in July

"She's like a little bird, she flies from a to b, to see what she can see, she's far away from me, we danced down the mall, we danced by the sea, the land of blue gold, is where we were freed July-ly-ly... where we were freed"
~"Little Birds", Goldfrapp

color pencil & micron pen in moleskine sketchbook

Monday, June 30, 2008

Subway Girl

"drinking champagne from a paper cup is never quite the same"
~ death cab for cutie

color pencil & micron pen in a moleskine sketchbook

this drawing was also inspired by one of my fellow new yorker. this time it was a girl hiding behind glamazon hair wearing skinny jeans, a bell sleeved sweater, and boots while leaving the subway station as I was entering. she was a bit too fabulous for the subway if you ask me.

Summer In The City

"when it's summer in the city & you're so long gone from the city I start to miss you, baby, sometimes"

~ "Summer In the City", Regina Spektor

micron pen & color pencil in a moleskine sketchbook

P.S. this sketch was inspired by one of my many NYC neighbors:)

Sunday, June 29, 2008


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