Three friends in Costa Rica

I disappeared for a little bit and that's because I was on vacation in Costa Rica! I went with two dear friends that I've grown up with to celebrate this year being the year we all turn 30. It was a very beautiful and refreshing vacation, and such a fun way to celebrate our birthdays. It feels so scary how fast time flies by, and how fast 30 comes (I'll officially turn 30 in September), but all of that seems more manageable when surrounded by friends who are on the same journey as you.

This was my first time traveling to Central America. In the past I've traveled mostly around Europe and once went to China. I really am in love with Costa Rica now though, and I would love to go back. It felt so wonderful to be surrounded by so much nature. From what we saw, Costa Rica is super environmentally-conscious. I loved being in a place that appreciates nature and understands how important it is to protect it. Random tidbit, in most places in Costa Rica, you aren't supposed to flush toilet paper down the toilet. It goes in the waste basket instead because the septic systems are so eco-friendly that they can't handle it. It's a little weird at first, but was easier to get used to than I expected. Noticing things like this in other parts of the world makes me feel a little spoiled when I think of how we live at home. It seems like most things in our country are based on convenience, not necessarily whether it is good for the environment or not.

Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

I think my favorite part of our trip were all of the animals. We were actually really lucky with how many different kinds we saw! We saw three types of monkeys (howler, spider, white-faced), lots of iguanas and lizards, a caiman, turtles, birds, macaws, frogs, two types of sloths and toucans. We also heard a group of howler monkeys a few times (the video below is from our early morning boat ride in Tortuguero), which is just so spooky and cool I think.

After a few days there it started feeling normal to see monkeys in trees and big iguanas walking around. It was like how we see squirrels and chipmunks here. 

SO much rice and beans. Delicious, but just so much.

SO much rice and beans. Delicious, but just so much.

Our trip was 10 days long, and we flew into Liberia airport from Syracuse. It was cheaper and easier to fly there, and then once we arrived we took a bus to San Jose for one night. The first main stop on our trip was Tortuguero, but because it's a secluded town surrounded by canals, you can only get to it by boat or plane. Most of the hotels there are booked as a package that includes transportation from San Jose, so that's why we headed there on our very first night after flying in. The next morning, we met our tour guide, Ana Maria, in San Jose on a big charter bus that took us and a few other people to as close as we could get to Tortuguero by roads. That was about a 3 or 4 hour journey. It dropped us off at a dock called La Pavona, which seemed to be the main crossroads for this type of journey. We then boarded a boat that took us through the windy canals to Tortuguero, which was another hour or so trip. 

Tortuguero is located on the Caribbean side, in the upper right near Nicaragua. It felt super tropical there. It was SO hot and humid too. Like the most humid I've ever felt. We almost immediately jumped in the pool after we arrived, and then I don't think my hair dried the entire time we were there. The hotel didn't have air conditioning because it would distract from hearing all of the amazing jungle sounds surrounding you. I totally get that and that part was nice. The feeling of being super sweaty, even immediately after taking a cold shower or while sleeping was uncomfortable though, but that's because I'm used to fairly cool and mild weather in Upstate NY. My blood's not used to too much heat! It was such a fascinating place to be though, so it was okay for it to be so dang hot. The rooms at Mawamba Lodge were little cabins with screens for windows (because there is no way you could survive without constant airflow), right next to the beach. You really felt immersed in the jungle there.

Tortuguero was where we saw most of the animals. We went on two safari boat rides through the jungle (one was at 5:30 in the morning!), and saw lots of monkeys and birds in the trees. Also while in Tortuguero, we saw many flocks of macaws flying overhead. That was so amazing to see. At first, when I heard loud birds flying, my first reaction was to look up and see geese flying just like at home. But in Costa Rica, you see macaws. How cool?! We also saw a couple basilisk lizards, also known as the Jesus Christ lizard because they can run on water. Our guide said we were lucky to see a couple of those, let alone one! We also saw a caiman, some turtles, some small toucans in the trees, and two two-toed sloths!

We got to practice some Spanish on this trip, which I didn't expect (or at least believe I would be able to do). I studied Spanish for 5 years in high school, and then about a year in college. After that, I didn't really have many chances to practice, and eventually I moved to Germany where German became the main language I was focusing on. When I first arrived in Germany though, lots of Spanish words came out by accident. When my brain needed to find the foreign word, it would automatically switch to Spanish first. Eventually, I learned more German and I assumed it was replacing most of the Spanish I knew. I was really surprised by how much came back when we were in Costa Rica. I think it's because we had such a solid education in learning vocabulary and grammar. In high school, almost all of our Spanish classes were taught entirely in Spanish, and we were only allowed to speak and write in Spanish as well. By the end, we were at a really good conversational level I think. It must be still floating around in my brain, which makes me happy. A few German words came out by accident while we were in Costa Rica while my brain was adjusting, but a lot more Spanish came back to me. I could definitely feel that I was rusty, but the more we practiced, the more that came back. It's hard to continue practicing at home when there isn't a need for it right around me, but I would really like to try. It feels like a good life skill to work at.  

After that, the next place we visited was La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano. We stayed in a lovely hotel called Casa Luna. It was fancier than the Tortuguero cabins, and we felt particularly grateful for the air conditioning. There was a spa at the hotel, which we visited twice. The first night, I got a massage, and it's probably the best massage I might ever have because of the atmosphere. The spa is open air with a roof, so the room is facing the forest, and because it was already dark by my appointment time, the room was dimly lit with candles and the nighttime insects and animals sounds filled the room. It was kind of like what other spas try to recreate with sound machines, only everything here was authentic. I went back to get a chocolate facial another night because it was such a wonderful experience. 

While in Arenal, we spent a day at Tabacón Hot Springs Spa, which was so luxurious and relaxing. There is a hot river that runs off from the volcano, and Tabacón is a spa that was built right on it. There are little hot springs throughout the resort that you can sit in, and everything is very lush and green around you. The water is pretty hot in certain parts, but it was relaxing. There was also a cute pool bar at the bottom of the resort that you could swim up to. There were even stools right in the water so you could sit and relax without actually getting out. I felt like a mermaid. 

You could also see the volcano from most places at the spa. It was so big and beautiful.

At Tabacón Hot Springs

At Tabacón Hot Springs

The next day, we booked a full day of activities that started with a morning safari float tour down a river. We saw a opossum, another Jesus Christ Lizard, and two tayras. Our guide was so friendly and enthusiastic. Almost everyone we met on this trip was extremely kind and welcoming. It possibly helped that we were always willing to speak as much as possible in Spanish when we could (not demanding English seems to help in most foreign places actually), but everyone seemed so friendly and open anyways. 

After the safari float, we stopped at a local farm for some homemade snacks and coffee from a family that our tour guide knew. That was one of my favorite things I ate on the whole trip because it was somebody's home cooking. We had little yuca cakes, fried plantains, and fresh farmer's cheese. There was a very sweet dog hanging around too. We saw a ton of dogs while in Costa Rica in general. Some are stray, but most are not, although they all run around freely. They seem very well-behaved for not running off and away from their owners.

Yuca cakes, fried plantains, and farmer's cheese

Yuca cakes, fried plantains, and farmer's cheese

We then went to La Fortuna Waterfall, which was beautiful but a little crowded with tourists, followed by a guided hike near the volcano and through the jungle. We had an amazing view during the volcano hike. You could see Nicaragua in the distance in one direction, and Monteverde in the other direction. We were on El Silencio Trail, and it was very silent. It was actually weird at first because we were used to hearing so many insects and animals. It was a beautiful silence though because it was so peaceful. We then hiked through the jungle, and shortly after it began to rain. We packed ponchos though, and surprisingly this was the first time we had to use them on the trip. We were actually visiting Costa Rica during its rainy season, which saved a lot of money and avoided many crowds, but it was still pretty nice the entire trip. We had some rain, but it wasn't even as much as we get here in Upstate NY. Maybe we got lucky. Anyways, the jungle hike was pretty cool. It was neat to be hiking through the rain forest in the rain (This poncho was super light and kept me and all of my belongings dry the whole time). At the end of the hike, we saw a three-toed sloth sleeping in a tree, and two toucans! Both were really close to us. It was incredibly exciting to see them. Our guide had a spotting scope, so he put my camera up to the lens to get better pictures.

The next day we took a taxi boat and then a shuttle to Monteverde. Each of the places we visited on this trip felt like a different type of climate. Tortuguero was tropical, hot and humid, Arenal was rainy and lush, Monteverde was misty and cooler, and Playa Hermosa was dry and hot. Monteverde and Tortuguero are at a tie for my favorite places we saw. Tortuguero was full of exotic, tropical things, and Monteverde was this charming little town in the cloud forest up high in steep, green mountains. I could easily go back to Costa Rica and spend my entire time in Monteverde and be content. The town is quaint and friendly, and there are many things to do in nature all around. 

I LOVED our hotel in Monteverde. We stayed at Cala Lodge, which is one of the most idyllic places I've ever stayed at I think. It was tucked away in the cloud forest, not too far away from town but enough so that all you could hear were the sounds of the forest. On our second night there, we heard howler monkeys again, and the happiest sounding chirping bird. Our hotel was a little suite, with a separate bedroom, a kitchen, and a lovely little balcony where you could watch the mist roll by. I want to go back and hang out there for weeks at a time.

The first afternoon in Monteverde, we went to a local coffee plantation to go on a tour and learn about coffee, chocolate and sugar cane production. It was super interesting, mostly because I love coffee, chocolate and sugar! Random fact- did you know that light roast coffee has more caffeine compared to dark roast? I did not know that. I assumed the opposite actually, but it's because the beans lose caffeine the longer they are roasted. Fascinating! That part of the tour smelled delicious by the way.

The next part was about cacao and chocolate production. We got to taste freshly ground cacao that our guide mixed with cane sugar and vanilla extract. It tasted soo good. Next, we learned about sugar cane and as a team got to push a stalk through a grinder machine to press out the juice, which we then tasted freshly squeezed. It was very sweet and also delicious. Apparently it's a popular street food type of drink, and is often referred to as Agua de Sapo, which literally translates to toad juice. 

Sugar cane juice straight from the stalk

Sugar cane juice straight from the stalk

Our next day in Monteverde was full of adventure at Selvatura Park, where we went zip lining through the cloud forest and walked on suspension bridges through the treetops. The zip lining was exhilarating. I rented a helmet camera to record the whole thing, which you can see below. There were 13 zip lines throughout the park, so it took about 2 hours to get through. Some went through trees, and others went way up high over the tops of the forest through the misty clouds. I also decided to try the Tarzan Swing, which is optional, but it's where you jump off a high platform and swing out into the trees. That was definitely an adrenaline rush :) 

Later that night, we went on a night hike through the nearby park, Children's Eternal Forest. We got up close and personal with a black and orange tarantula. Our guide said she was friendly, but I didn't need to get too close to believe him. We also saw a type of bioluminescent beetle that glows. It's a little different from fireflies that we know because instead of flashing, it's continuously glowing so it looks like a tiny little lantern floating in the night. 

Our tour ended up getting cut short because a bad storm started up rather quickly. There were quite a lot of storms, mostly in the afternoons and evenings while we were in Costa Rica. They didn't last too long, but there was a lot of lightning and booming thunder. I did notice that there wasn't much wind with the storms, which is very different from here. They just had heavy rain. Most locals were not at all bothered by it, probably because it's normal. Our guide on this tour though was actually a little nervous about us being in the forest with that bad of lightning, so he hurried us out pretty quickly. Even though it did get cut short, I thought it was still a very special experience to walk through the rain forest at night and see creepy little animals while a spooky storm was happening in the background. It all fit the mood perfectly :).

The next and last place we visited on our trip was Playa Hermosa Guancaste. It's a beach/small town on the northern Pacific side (we did quite a big loop on our trip) that was near Liberia airport, which we would be flying out of in a few days. It's not a very crowded place because it's fairly small, but I really love places like that. I also really liked that we picked a beach town to end our trip because it was a nice way to wind down from all the exciting adventures we had. Our hotel we stayed at was Bosque del Mar

We saw a lot of animals at this place too. There was even a family of howler monkeys that hung around the hotel daily. We went swimming in the ocean the first day we were there. The water was so warm and soothing. We went swimming the next day too, but unfortunately got stung a little by jellyfish. We later found out that because it was a little windy that day, jellyfish come in closer. We later also noticed that no locals were in the water when we were that morning (should have picked up on that!), but later in the afternoon it seemed to be okay again. Maybe it's a time of day thing too, I'm not sure. 

While there, I tried some pineapple sprinkled with salt. Have you ever tasted that combination before? Oh my goodness. The pineapple becomes intensely sweeter. It was delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

Our hotel Bosque del Mar

Our hotel Bosque del Mar

We booked our trip through a travel agency called Anywhere, which I had never heard of before we started planning our trip, and it was fantastic. I highly recommend booking a trip with them. As soon as I got home, I started looking into their other destinations to dream about where I'd like to visit next. Typically when I travel, I piece together the itineraries myself and book all of the transportation and lodging separately. It's always felt like the cheapest way to do things, especially because I love to plan trips and don't mind spending time reading lots of reviews to find the right options. I was a little weary of using a travel agency for this trip, but Anywhere made everything so simple. We basically reached out to an agent with some ideas for the type of trip we wanted to have, the places we were thinking of visiting, how many days we could go, and how much money we wanted to spend. They came back with an itinerary that we could edit as many times as necessary (which we definitely did a lot) until it was exactly what we wanted. We added a bunch of tours for each place we visited as well. We probably got a little too excited with that feature and could have done with a few less to have more days to relax, but I still wouldn't go back and change what we did at all. The activities were SO fun and so memorable. 

One thing about our trip I kept noticing and loving was that our tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They knew so much about plants, animals, the environment, and were happy to answer any questions we had. They seemed excited about the subjects way beyond just giving a tour. In Tortuguero, our guide was a biologist by day, and a guide at the hotel on the side. It was so fascinating to hear everything she shared during our tours. I felt like a sponge and was so hungry to learn everything I could while there. Our local guide during the Arenal/Jungle Hike was so knowledgable too. His name was William, and he said he's been giving tours for 25 years or so. Apparently Lonely Planet shadowed him for awhile while they were writing a Costa Rica guidebook, and he was a guide for Will Smith and his family while they visited and scouted out a filming location for his After Earth movie. 

By Fortuna waterfall

By Fortuna waterfall

For me, traveling resets a lot of things in my body. My problems and fears feel smaller, things that matter become clearer, and I feel more authentic to myself again. Traveling makes my heart feel full, like it's a medicine that has healed my body. I feel overwhelmed by how much I want to keep traveling for the rest of my life. Life is so short, but the world is so big!

Do you experience similar feelings when you travel?

I had an incredible time in Costa Rica and I hope to go back someday. The vibrant colors, the nature, the delicious food, and the people all made it unique and fascinating. The plants and flowers especially were gorgeous and sometimes bizarre looking! It kind of made me feel like I was in Jumanji :) I can't wait to incorporate these into my illustration work!

A delayed recap of "make art that sells"

Happy first day of fall! That means it's super late to catch you up on my Lilla Rogers "Make Art That Sells" part B e-course experience, but better late than never right? So here goes the quick recap... Week 3 was for the scrapbooking industry. More paper-related things = yay! The theme for our project was "ink bottles". We were to create a scrapbooking page of stickers, as well as patterns for coordinating sheets of paper. This seemed like a fun industry, and I definitely plan on going back through my notes to see how I can build more work and start proposing some of it to manufacturers.Katie_Vaz_BonVoyage_2B_WK3


Week 4 was for the editorial industry. We were "warned" ahead of time that this week would be intense, and it was, but in a good way. The project was to illustrate a map of the city/town you live in, and to pick out points of interest since there isn't enough time in a week to design a full town map. So I focused on the local businesses here.



Finally, Week 5's industry was party paper, so things like party plates and cups and gift wrap paper and so on. The project theme was folk art, so we were supposed to combine that with the idea of celebration and parties. I wanted to explore drawing animals some more, because I'm always intimidated to draw things with faces (I think I'm getting better though!), so I went with a folksy woodland theme. This is one of my favorite things I've created so far I think.



So, in the end, this e-course was awesome, and I plan to take the part A class within the next year. I created illustrations far beyond what I thought I was capable of, and I've already gotten new freelance projects because of it. I think I'm actually starting to turn into more of an illustrator than a designer, but I kind of like it. If anyone is reading this that is considering take Lilla's e-courses, DO IT. It is worth every single penny. Besides the crazy amount of information you learn about the industries and licensing and the awesome projects, it will feel like a wonderful support group/ therapy session. My fellow classmates were so supportive and it felt like we all cheering each other on each week. The part A and part B classes felt more intimate than the Bootcamp class, but that's because those were smaller groups so it was easier to get to know everybody. Before I signed up for the first e-course back in March, my motivation was dwindling and I was ready to throw the towel in and go be "normal" and get a "normal" 9-5 office job. It was a tough winter for some reason, and I really started to lose faith that I was going in the right direction. I felt like I was basically just wasting all my time. I am so, so, so thankful that I took a chance with that course, because it 100% recommitted me to my career goals. One of the biggest things I took away from this course is that as a creative person wanting to make a living as an illustrator, my success and my day to day life will look different from "normal" careers, but that's okay. It's not necessarily better or worse, just different. When I was feeling very down earlier this year, one of the major things that made me feel that way was comparing myself to other people I know. Comparison is the thief of joy, amiright? I'm happy with the decisions I've made to get where I am, but when I looked at how far other people are in life and at "being adults", I started feeling ashamed that I was maybe behind. I don't own a house or a fancy car and I haven't gotten married or created a small human being yet. But I do love being creative and getting to make stuff with my hands every day. I will get to all of those other fancy adult things in due time. After the Lilla Rogers  course, I realized there are plenty of people like me, and I saw a lot of examples of illustrators who do make a comfortable living doing exactly what I want to do. I needed to be exposed to a community of people who want and/or have a life like I want. And that's exactly what that course did. We are not alone!!

Because I was so happy with my progress in that course, I signed up for the Make Art That Sells Bootcamp class that took place over the summer. I missed the first two months because of the Part B class I took, but I still got 3 cool projects out of it and I can always go back and do the first two on my own.

So May's assignment was editorial industry, and the theme was a meditation article and we were to draw PEOPLE. Remember when I mentioned I strongly disliked drawing things with faces? It's an irrational fear, because after being forced to jump right in and go for it in this class, it's not as hard as I thought. In fact, I might even go as far to say it's quite fun. I need to keep at it and perfect my own personal style of drawing them, but I believe I've at least accomplished getting over my fear of it.


IMG_4068Look at that, I drew more people and even experimented with watercolor! Woo hoo!

The next month was for the wall art industry involving a nautical theme. I experimented with more here with the combination of line art and watercolor paint. I also continued to be fearless and draw more stuff with faces! I got a pretty adorable whale out of it.



Then finally, the theme of the last month of Bootcamp was a piece of art based on our favorite beverage. We were to illustrate something we would want on our own walls. Unlike the other projects where everybody shares their progress and gets feedback in the Facebook groups, we were supposed to keep these to ourselves until the assignment was due. This was to help us focus on entirely what makes us happy without the influence of anybody else's opinion. It was a brilliant idea, because I created a piece I am very proud of. I used typography and illustration together. I love hand lettering, and also love illustration, but hadn't figured out how to marry them both. I'm happy with how it turned out, and would like to incorporate more of this style in my Etsy shop.


photo 3 photo 4

Getting ready for the Lilla Rogers "Make Art That Sells" E-course!

Lilla Rogers School I'm going to try something new and get a little personal in this blog. I've been struggling lately with feeling like I'm in a creative rut. I'm pretty sure that this extremely long and cold winter has something to do with it, but I've turned a little grumpy and negative. I'm overdue for sunshine and inspiration for sure.

A major thing to blame I think is that I often let my work and personal life intertwine, which I know I should be better at, but it's really hard sometimes because my work is basically the biggest thing in my life now. Especially since I work for myself, doing freelance work and managing my stationery products on Etsy. I love everything about those things, and I feel like I really put my heart into them. But every so often, I start to doubt myself, my path, my abilities. It puts a damper on everything and I definitely let it get me down. I also have a serious issue with comparing myself to those around me. Particularly on Facebook. You probably know how that goes. You see your newsfeed full of baby pictures, wedding photos, big promotions, announcements about fancy houses recently purchased, and blah blah blah. Now don't get me wrong, those are all fantastic things that I want someday, and I'm actually very content with not having them right now, but it's very easy for me to feel a little behind in the game. My journey is a little different I guess, but I've chosen it to be that way, and sometimes I doubt that choice.

There are definitely moments where I feel very inspired and thankful that I'm going down this path, like hearing some good reviews from customers who have bought my cards on Etsy, or talking with people at craft fairs, or even seeing my design work in "real life" (like when it's finally printed and out in the world or on a finished website that other people will see). I feel so alive when I make things with my hands that turn into something that brings happiness to other people. Then, there are plenty of times when I'm totally ready to throw in the towel and settle down with a more "normal" 9-5 job. I've actually been trying to do that over the last few months. See, I also live at home with my mom. There were a lot of reasons why I moved home two years ago after grad school. Mostly it was because I had no idea what to do next after leaving Germany, but there were a lot of other personal, family reasons too. And then, freelance work and my Etsy shop grew into something I've been doing full-time since then. It's work, but it's one of those things that barely feels like work. I'd be happy doing this every single day, forever actually.

My goal is to grow with hand drawn lettering and illustration, to get more projects that would let me use those, and to expand my stationery line into more products and into more shops. In a wildest dream, I'd be represented by an illustration agency. Oh and also live someplace sunnier :) It's a goal I can see so clearly and dream about so easily. As of right now in my life, I'm positive about wanting that fully. The tricky part that messes things up for me is that it's still in the future. I think I work very, very hard, and yet it's still looking far away from where I am. On one hand, I could be a little less whiny because I've only been doing this for two years, which in the big picture is maybe not much time at all. But there is also a part of me that's afraid I'll never reach that goal, and perhaps I'm just wasting time. It's also my goal to make a living off of above said dream, and so far it's quite difficult to do that. Which is why I still live at home.

Anyways, back to what I mentioned before, I have been applying to some "normal" jobs. It would be pretty damn amazing to have the stability of a 9-5 schedule, in addition to an adult paycheck and health benefits. I don't want to undermine how valuable those things are, but I often feel myself wanting it mainly when I'm discouraged or ashamed at the lack of "adult" things I have compared to the rest of my peers.

So since I have been applying to more normal "design" jobs, I haven't heard much back other than that my info will be saved for future openings or freelance projects. It's primarily because this area is quite limited with creative opportunities, but it's still pretty disheartening. I do want stability and little more financial freedom, but I am still in love with my work. It's a torn feeling that makes for some good days and some tough days trying to figure out that perfect balance.

Back to the main point of this post... I am actively attempting to get out of this rut. I'm taking a chance and investing in an e-course by Lilla Rogers, who runs one of the best illustration agencies in the industry. I found out about the agency when I discovered that an illustrator I really admire is represented by them, but blew off the idea of even dreaming of getting represented someday. After feeling very down and discouraged lately, I decided rather quickly that this e-course could be something to make a big change in my happiness and in my work. Maybe it will end up being very influential towards my goals. At the least, I already feel like it's refreshed my motivation.

The course, which starts this coming Monday, will be 5 weeks filled to the brim with advice and information on getting represented and licensing my work. It's also going to be 5 weeks of intense illustration assignments. I want to be inspired and pushed outside of my comfort zone. I want to refresh my creativity and wake up those sleepy little dreams that have got to still be inside me somewhere. I plan on writing each week on this blog to keep track of my feelings and my work to share with anybody else interested in a similar path or experiencing similar ups and downs like I have. I'm really looking forward to seeing how much things can change in these 5 weeks.

Aspirations to be a better blogger

Katie Vaz Design | Hand Drawn Paper Goods I realized today that it's been almost two full months since my last post. Look at me being a bad blogger! The truth is that I always struggle with writing. I'm better at making things look pretty. I don't think I'm a bad writer, I'm just so slow to get started. So I have to get back into the swing of things now after being a little lazy the last two months.

Even though I wasn't being a cool blogger, I have been busy with work! I've had some things cooking with custom Etsy orders, making new Etsy products, and gaining more freelance work. I may also be in the process of co-writing/designing a cookbook with a fellow designer. Updates on that will come. That's a brief summary, but here are some photos to catch you up a little.


I've been printing all of my new card designs on French Paper Co. Madero Beach paper. I started incorporating it into my products a few months ago, and it's been making everything very lovely. It's got such a higher-quality texture going on.


You should also know that I recently baked a strawberry rhubarb pie. I've never baked a pie before, but oh am I going to make lots more this summer. It's one of those intimidating things I never bothered with, until I had rhubarb to use and a hankering for pie at the same time! Anyways, I'll add a pie recipe on here soon so I can share what I've learned. For now, you can admire with me how domesticated and charming this one turned out.


a week in instagrams and more spring preview

instagram1 This week flew by, but lately it's been feeling like that every single week. I've been continuing to work on my "Spring Collection" of greeting cards. I had some samples printed this week and got really excited at how well the colors + paper choice turned out. All of my paper comes from French Paper Co, and for this collection I'm trying out a different type. I try to always use recycled paper and this one has lots of nice little specks in it. I'm loving it so much that I might transition to using more of it in the rest of my products...


I just got a shipment again this week and wanted to share with you a picture of their packaging. Yes I am in love. My sister (also a designer) and I could go on and on talking about paper. The way it smells, the way it feels....and so on. But now that I've written that out, it does kind of sound weird and I know for sure it will to those who don't work with printed paper things for a living. Whatever.


I also ordered some Moleskine notebooks that I will illustrate and sell in my Etsy shop. I really enjoy lately designing things by hand without the use of a computer at all. Getting your hands dirty seems so retro. I received pretty pink nail polish in the mail too. That of course has absolutely nothing to do with my work. But it's pretty. These all arrived at the post office on the same day making for a very lovely afternoon of goodies.

This week I also had time to be a little social, which was a nice change. Unfortunately when I get really busy, my social life is usually what I cut first and I know that's not a good thing. I try to remember that getting out and seeing people is a really good break to stay sane, even when work things feel overwhelming. This week I had a nice lunch date with my mom, and there was also a surprise birthday party for one of my closest friends. Surprise parties are actually very exciting for the birthday haver as well as the birthday party throwers. It was just as fun as how it looks in the movies! I illustrated part of an E.E. Cummings poem to give as a birthday gift to my friend. She is always kind enough to accept a growing collection of my hand drawn work.