Tuesday, July 30, 2013

An Evening Stroll with the Family

 My home, Saint Petersburg Florida, 
is a really beautiful place in the summer evenings.
I went for a walk last night with the puppy and the husband.
The sun was just setting and a storm was rolling in...  

I hereby proclaim that every bathroom shall now be called a "comfort station."

Beautiful banyan trees. Don't get too close - I hear they tickle you with their vines.  It's the truth.

Windsor says, "until next time blog buddies" in mid-pee.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

New to the shop!

Let's all welcome a new addition to the Wilo Tree Press family. Mr. sleepy owl...

Sneak peek at something coming real soon...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Front Door Obsessions

Some new door sketches.

Right now, my husband and I are into watching old episodes of Frasier while we eat dinner. And during a recent episode, Frasier gave a mailbox as a housewarming gift to a couple of his friends. He then went on to explain the importance of his gift by saying, "a mailbox is a house's handshake."  Now I don't know about you, but I think that is extremely hilarious and totally true!  

While I was in Philly this past week, I was so into walking around and just looking at the architecture. Here in sunny Florida everything is pretty modern. It's a very rare occurrence when you run into a building that's been built before 1950. So I found myself really inspired by the differences in little things: brick patterns, windows, doors. And my hometown is a perfect place to check out some doors.  I grew up in a row home, which for those of you who don't know, is pretty much a bunch of houses all stuck together like this.... 

So walking down one block I was able to see about 40 houses.  That equals 40 front doors.  After awhile I was starting to think that you can really get a sense of the person living inside just by what their door looks like - is it white or wood, is it old or new, is decorated or plain? Here are some neat doors I ran into (let me know if you see yours and I'll knock next time. You can start up an episode of Frasier and I'll tell you everything I know about Floridian architecture post 1950).

I felt a little voyeuristic taking this picture as you can see a little into this person's house but I love the structure above the front door!

Bricks can be beautiful.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Trip Back in Time

I'm so grateful to have a mom that never throws anything away. I found these beauties in my childhood bedroom closet. They are totally coming back with me to Florida....

A little further back in the closet I also found a treasure trove of old sketchbooks from high school and college. Here are few of my favorites...

My mission these next few weeks is try to figure out a way to incorporate these designs into my shop. I'm loving the simplicity and the black and white lines.  Wish me luck blog buddy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Back in the Hood

This week I've been spending some much needed time with the fam in my hometown of Philly. Here's just a little photo collage of some things I've seen. Some of these images remind me of home, some just remind me of summer in the city. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Experiments in Screen Printing

Well, I'm super excited blog buddy. My Etsy shop is growing! I've had about 13 sales, which is awesome, and my inventory total is just about to hit the 40 item mark! More importantly, I feel like I'm getting the hang of things. I can tag and title pretty well now and have been catching on about how to take pictures of my products (thanks to the hubby for introducing me to the exposure setting button).   

So leave it to me to rattle the cage when things start to settle and get comfortable. These last few days I've been experimenting with screen printing! It's been fun and challenging - mystifying and all-out frustrating. In college I majored in art education so I had to take a course in just about everything - printmaking included. But for some reason I don't remember ever being taught the process of screen printing.  And to this day it seems like a magical process to me.  One moment you have a blank screen and somehow through a certain process your image appears - wah lah! Well, looking into it, it can be a bit pricey just to experiment. But lo and behold, I went onto You Tube and found a video titled "Poor man's screen printing process" Uh - perfect!

Here's a little sneak peek at my try-outs...

I'm not sure which owlie I like better - the one with a patterned background or the one on a plain background. Which one do you like?

Stay tuned for finished products!

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Walk in the Park

Windsor is a lucky dog. He gets lots of belly rubs, delicious treats and two regular walks a day. Usually our walks involve a quick jaunt to the mailbox or a nice stroll on the path around the lake.  But every now and then, Windsy gets tired of sniffing the small ol' blades of grass. So once a week we head out to Puryear Park. I almost get nervous writing the name of the park here in my blog for fear that everyone will now want to walk their dogs there. I think it's one of the best kept secrets in our local area. Puryear park is not so much a park as a huge grassy area of about 5 soccer fields. There are also a few tennis courts, a playground and a nice pathway that leads around the entire space. It's on this pathway that we take our weekly adventure. And except for the occasional Saturday when everyone and their mother comes out to play soccer, we have the place entirely to ourselves. It. Is. Heaven. It's quiet, it's pretty and if you're a bird lover then you gotta check it out!  Unfortunately, the birds were all a little too fast this morning and I couldn't capture them in a photo but I did get a chance to snap these pictures...   

These trees are my absolute favorite. I think they're some sort of pine tree. Someday I'll have a bed made solely from the needles of these trees.

Windsor says, "Dude. Stop taking pictures and let's go. I gots grass to sniff."

Even the manhole covers in Florida are pretty.

Here's a little ramp to drop your kayak or canoe into. I always get nervous near here, picturing alligators lurking silently inches beneath the surface of the water. 

Groovy Palm Trees

Where's your favorite place to walk your dog?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Why it's ok to Work in your Dining Room

The best advice that my husband ever gave me about starting my Etsy business was to "just do it." Ok, so the motto may not be original, but it really hit home and gave me the motivation to begin.  Because blog buddies, it can be really tough to take that first step. And scary. In fact, there are a whole slew of doubts that seem to pop up in your head and hold you back from opening the doors to a shop. Like...

What if I don't have enough work? What if all of my work isn't tied under one cohesive theme? What if I'm not sure what the style or tone of my shop should be?

Sure I thought about all of these. But for me, what held me back was the lack of a "real" work space. My husband and I live in a one-bedroom apartment and other than the living room, the only available work space is the dining room.  For a long time I resisted the thought of setting up shop in there. I always felt like I needed the perfect dream studio before I could really call myself a professional and start to open up a serious shop.  But I soon realized you've got to start somewhere! Not everyone can start with their own private studio with huge work tables and tons of natural light. Oh lord, that natural light. I CRAVE natural light.  

My studio/dining room is off to the side of the main doorway and the only window faces directly opposite. If you look closely, you can see the trees outside in the reflection of the china cabinet. It's a beautiful porch but it's our only source of light for the entire apartment. So it's a bit like working in a cave (hence, the extra lamp on the table). But it's actually not a bad set up!

 In addition to my little work table, I've got a pretty fancy material/packing station.  My biggest bit of advice to any newbie is to try and get a system for yourself.  Once you've got that in place your shipping orders and even your day to day creating goes along smoothly.

So that's a little sneak peek into my studio/dining room. Hopefully, this has encouraged someone out there to get started and set up shop in their own dining room, or laundry room or pantry or broom closet - anywhere!

And p.s. If you happen to find yourself in the magazine section of your local Barnes and Noble, stay AWAY from this magazine!!!