Entries in illustration (23)


Thank You

A quick note of thanks to our Park Party people...



And just like that his first year is over. Somehow our little 7 pound baby Benjamin has become a toddling, giggly Big Ben. 

To celebrate his birthday (and that we all survived the first year!) we threw a low-key party at the playground with his buddies. I drew up some invites and mailed them to his people calling them to an afternoon of cake and swing rides. 

Our neighborhood park is tucked into a quiet side street with a single picnic table nestled in the back, surrounded by ivy. The setting is already pretty enchanting, but to add some extra birthday magic I sewed a table cloth with scraps from his baby quilt, strung up some fabric garland, and, lest anyone question his age, I embroidered a birthday "one"sie.

Despite the cold and foggy San Francisco day, it was the perfect afternoon marking the milestone. Happy Birthday Benjamin Bruce.


Oh Baby 

One of my favorite San Francisco friends is pregnant! She's not finding out the gender (though we're sure it's a girl and she will surely marry Ben) so no pink bows or blue rattles for the invites (ha, not that I would ever paint pink bows or blue rattles, thank you very much). And while we don't know what this sweet baby will like, we know her mama loves giraffes.

So giraffes it was, coupled with a watercolor background, coral envelopes, big calligraphy, and 80's style white rose stamps—it was the only alternative to flag stamps that the post office had, ugh!… These were painted, printed, and placed in the mail in excited anticipation of Baby Dixson.

New to this whole motherhood bit, I'm quick to tear up when I think about the beauty, the challenge, the miracle of these tiny beings. Our Ben turns 6 months old today. How'd that happen? While we didn't rent a bounce house for a half year birthday party, we did serve up some mashed sweet potatoes and plan on taking a nice long stroll…

All grown up.


Recent Work

Though the blog has been quiet, behind the scenes has been anything but. 

Here is a quick peak at a few recent projects both big and small...

A painted and calligraphed logo:

A post by Kelli Hall for Minted's blog Julep featuring five calligraphers and our styles, check out the full post here:

Calligraphy for Lilikoi Design + Letterpress' line of cards, more details and photos to come! :

Designed and letterpressed by Lilikoi Design + Letterpress // Photo from Lilikoi's tumblr

Place cards, table name and signage for Locally Grown Weddings' stunning photoshoot at the Conservatory of Flowers:

Locally Grown Weddings Collective // Planning: Sadie Waddington // Food: Chef Stephanie // Flowers and Styling: Madeline Trait // Photography: JennaBeth Photography // Hair & Makeup Artist: Chava Nieto, Hair to Dye For // Cake: Cake Bloom // Rentals: Hartmann Studios // Specialty Linens: The Swede Life Shop // Tie: This Humble Abode // Bow Tie: DIBI ties // Dress: KT Jeans Designs // Jewelry: Betsy Barron // Veil: Simply Bridal // Invitations: JennaBeth Photography // Cuff Links: By Madeline Trait

And finally, my biggest piece of work yet...sweet Benjamin:



I so enjoyed combining my two creative passions—illustration and calligraphy—in this wedding certificate. The watercolored olive branches are a nod to the ceremony's Tuscan location and the calligraphy is in the same lettering style used on their invitations

After the big day, the certificate will become a frameable keepsake displaying signatures of the couple's nearest and dearest in attendance. Art and sentiment! 


Happy Hearts

I've always loved Valentine's Day, a surprising fact considering most of my years were spent valentine-less...and pink clashes with my hair. Something about the Hallmark holiday gets me, maybe it's the excuse to eat chocolate and heart-shaped sugar cookies or maybe it's because I love love. I think both. 

Super talented florist and designer, Madeline Trait, asked if I would whip up a few cards to accompany her bouquets and other treasures in Love & Luxe's Valentine's Day Pop-up Shop. If you're in SF swing by tomorrow between 3 and 7 (or send your sweetheart) to pick up some beautiful blooms, treats by Dulcinea Bakeshop, jewels from Love & Luxe, and a little card to profess your love...or desire for a smooch.


Birds of a Feather

I recently painted this peacock feather for a photographer to use in her logo design. There is something about these colors that I just love...the cool blues and greens, the warm mustards and moss, the romantic pinks and violets.

Isn't nature so often the best inspiration for color combinations?


Cheer up

Here, have an antioxidant...


Farm Fresh

After our friends generously shared their CSA farm box bounty with us, we were flush with carrots. I loved how charming and homely the organic CSA carrot was juxtaposed to our long, lean and mean Safeway select. 


Produce Signage


Black ink on lime A4 envelope // F&W style: abotts



It's true, I yam.

What happens when produce painting meets love note meets my sense of humor.



The facts don't lie.


Happy Day

Watercolored and calligraphed, these birthday banners were tucked into the Chocolate Stout Cake and nestled sweetly into the bouquet-happy buffet. Elegant birthday party loveliness at its best.

Below is a scan of the three flags. Pretty!



Produce Signage


You say...

...let's call the whole thing off!


Pair Shaped


Cake Stands


Library Love

I confess to an ongoing love affair with the San Francisco Public Library. The books! Oh the books. 

Endless creative, design, and craft reference complete with enough punny knitting titles to distract me from my "serious" research. (I mean really—The Joy of Sox, Tag You're Knit, Domiknitrix...) Countless cookbooks to satisfy my appetite regardless of the day's dietary musings—Meatless Monday self: Moosewood Cookbook, Meat-full Tuesday self: Ad Hoc at Home, Carb-loading Wednesday: Tartine Breads... All the latest best sellers friends are touting as must reads, currently The Happiness Project. All this to say the 3 SFPL branches within walking distance of home are among my favorite local haunts. 

The wildly talented Wendy MacNaughton illustrated The San Francisco Public Library In Its Own Words. Her drawings are beautifully matched with poignant words from "the people of the library". And while I'm sure I could have checked it out from my local branch, I recently purchased it for the Manwaring permanent collection. 

Take a look: The San Francisco Public Library In Its Own Words


Produce Signage