The Sketch Book

iced coffee season

It’s that time of year again. Iced coffee time! Is there anything more addicting? I don’t think so.

I was waiting in line at La Colombe this morning and I flashed back to a memory from a few years ago when I was still living in DC and visiting friends in New York for the weekend. I arrived early on Friday afternoon. The girls were still at work so I went in “the cute little coffee shop on the corner” to wait for them to get home and let me in to their apartment. I remember being so enchanted by this amazing little spot, thinking to myself, “see even the coffee shops are cuter in New York, I have to move here! There are just so many amazing little one of a kind spots here!”

I was such a naive tourist. As soon as I moved here I discovered a La Colombe every five blocks and realized that I had not found some hidden gem after all. But it still is amazing coffee. And they are nice there! Even if you just order iced coffee they treat you like a good person.

Has anyone else noticed how pointedly unpleasant most hipster barristas are around here? It seems to be a trend – the more organic and fair trade the coffee and the more artistically poured the milk design in the foam, the ruder the person is who is making it for you.

And if you DON’T ask for a latte because you are in too big of a hurry to watch them chant a sacred prayer to the gods of cafine before grinding the beans to make your espresso, they actually refuse to speak to you at all as they slap your watered down iced coffee in front of you. You say “thank you, do you have any milk for the coffee?” and they just look away, passive-aggressively sizing up the next unsuspecting victim behind you who nervously asks for just a coffee too – robbing the barrista of one more opportunity to show the world his misunderstood, broodingly beautiful, milk foam art.

Lulu & Georgia

Hello! Here’s a new project I did for home designer Lulu & Georgia (coming soon). These carpet-toting ladies are inspired by the brand-founders’ stylish grandmothers who, as you might have guessed, were named Lulu and Georgia.

The official website is launching this fall but my illustration is currently their placeholder for the site. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s up and running. I don’t know about you, but I can never get enough of new design websites – particularly anything that has to do with cool area rugs.

So cheers to Lulu & Georgia! Can’t wait to see what you have in store this fall!


This is Melissa, a recent bridal commission. Isn’t she lovely? And that train!?

And here is how it looks framed (with fabulous flowers)…

Oh I just love bridal projects. I think one reason why is because it gets me out of drawing feet! I hate drawing feet. Well… and of course I enjoy all the eternal love and fancy dresses too, but a “no footer” is definitely a plus.

and with that….

Happy weekend!

palm beach pink

Trying out mixing sumi with watercolor… does anyone know if I’m doing this right?! I’m a little frustrated that I don’t know anything about this new ink but its also exciting to see what I can figure out on my own.

Today is my Grandmother’s birthday, so I decided to try a shocking pink in honor of her. She always loved pink, and “palm beach pink” in particular – the brightest of the bright. She wasn’t your typical grandmother. Glamorous and aloof, the closest she came to baking me cookies was letting me dress up in her collection of Pucci scarves and reminding me that “you can never be too rich or too thin”… as I said, not your typical grandmother.

sumi shoe

another sumi ink sketch!

so, i’ve been at my parents house for an extended easter visit. and on every trip home i read the same book. its called “simple abundance” and it is a collection of 365 daily chapters about some small way to enjoy and rediscover the simple beauties of being a woman. it was given to my mother years ago by a wonderful, eccentric friend. it somehow wound up on my bedside table and every time i pick it up and flip to the day it is in the calendar it, almost uncannily, sheds light on exactly what i needed to hear at that moment in time. if i’m stressed about not accomplishing enough and then i open the book that day’s chapter is magically about “going easy on yourself and rejoicing in each small accomplishment” or, on the anniversary of a loved one’s death the chapter will explain how “memories only truly take form and become beautiful once we have lost someone and how we should take heart in knowing that through loss we gain powerful memories”

seriously it always works. until…..

I was all excited to flip to today’s entry and see if it would provide some life-affirming insight into this juncture in our collective existence and then turn that wisdom into a blog post.

and, of course, today’s chapter was a total throw-away. it would be. typical. experiment failed, theory disproved. it was titled “the art of fashion accessories” haha.

BUT, then i remembered i’d just sketched a sumi shoe and had been wondering what i’d write about when i posted it! and realized that the karma of the book was still at peace. it was just telling me that today was the day to share my sumi shoe with you all. what a relief.

see, always works.

go buy this book if its still in print. its by sarah ban breathnach and it will make you smile.

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