Auntie Farewell

I've been sadly absent from my Internet communications since last week and for that I apologize. Punk Rock Flea Market was a fabulous fun whirlwind as always that left me pretty well tuckered with a well deserved day off on Sunday.

Unfortunately, that day off turned right into another whirlwind that whisked me off to the Yakima Valley for a spell to be with family due to the passing of my Aunt.

Eveline (pronounced Eveh-leeene - always have loved that name!) was an inspiration to me and her children - one of which, my cousin Suzie is now a college art professor because of her Mom's encouragement for her to pursue her dreams. Eveline herself recently pursued her own dreams of becoming a writer by publishing a number of books, including In the Pines which chronicled our family before they moved out west from Tennessee. She grew up on Tally Top Mountain and went to school in a one room school house before the family moved to the Yakima Valley to work the fruit orchards.

I'm proud of my humble heritage and it was through Eveline's book that I really came to understand what it all really meant. Stories of homesteading and moonshine, children and canning parties. I'd heard the stories over family dinners but had never really understood just how they used to live.

Tuesday was spent with family mourning her passing and celebrating her life. I'm still recovering a bit and may continue to be a little quiet for awhile. Which is okay.

I have a trip planned tomorrow evening across the water to Port Townsend for the weekend with some girlfriends that I'm quite looking forward to. Giggling is the best and that's my plan =)


Favorite Trees coming to Etsy

I just added the first of these to the shop. I picked my top 3 favorites to pull out of the Punk Rock Flea Market sale to list right away on Etsy. Only one there right now, but I'll add the other two tonight to space them out a bit.

Happy Friday everybody and maybe I'll see you at the Punk Rock Flea Market tomorrow if you're in the Seattle area!

When: Saturday, July 26th 10 AM – 6PM
Where: The Underground / L.I.H.I.
2407 1st Ave – between Battery and Wall



Excuse me while I take a little moment to do a happy dance ---
After over two years on Etsy I've finally made it on the front page and actually got to see it - thanks to Emmakat letting me know.
And thanks to longwinterfarm for curating such a lovely sprout treasury!


Unveiling of a new Series..

The Punk Rock Flea Market will be this coming Saturday and look at these new lovelies I've prepared for it:

Remember that stack of cut mats? This is what they were for.
While at the beach I started carving the linoleum block for the tree print. The tree was a drawing I did while at the beach the previous summer. It took me a few days to carve off & on between long walks, tide pool exploring and thrift store shopping. It was during one such thrift shop trip where I came across a whole shelf of Pianola paper. Also known as Player Piano paper. I have fond memories of these paper rolls from somewhere back in childhood - a vacation as a kid to a lodge that had a Pianola I think? Or perhaps my piano teacher had one in her living room. Regardless I remember being fascinated by all the little holes and trying to figure out how the piano knew which keys to play.

The second my fingers touched those long cylindrical boxes I just knew. A complete and total vision of the block print I was already working on printed over the yellowed hole ridden paper with a colored backing paper showing through.

Exquisite joy to see such a flash of insight come together so perfectly. The music paper makes each print totally unique and with all the various combinations of colored backing paper I'm certain that the print will look amazing in many homes & settings.
Voila - methinks she found herself a new series!

This first round will be offered for sale at the Punk Rock Flea Market this Saturday.

Printed in archival water based ink and mounted on acid free materials each print will be offered at an introductory Punk Rock rate including mat. So if you're in the Seattle area I highly recommend stopping by to pick one up - they won't last!


Sneak Peek

Today on the studio table...

... indeed. Those be some self-cut mats.
In the last 24 hours I taught myself how. Bout darn time.
Not a bad job either.

Artwork filling a mat near you soon...



347 updates in my Google Reader? That's just madness.

Okay. I'm officially not allowed to "go offline" again. I've missed WAY too much.

Good grief.


Back from the Oregon Coast

Hello! I'm back from my week away from everything.

This is the beach where I spent my time last week.

This is the beach house that Andy & I shared with my parents....

...And this is mostly what we did.
(Between long walks, kite-flying and tide-pool exploring)

I'm normally in that empty spot on the couch... for this photo op I must have been off water coloring or some such nonsense... or perhaps I was the girl behind the camera...

It was a lovely time as always a week spent in Yachats, OR is. Love that place.

And now it's back to the daily grind. (I'm writing this quickly before I dash off to work.)
I'm jumping right back into it all with art too because the Punk Rock Flea Market is this comping weekend. Good thing that I came back with much inspiration - a rekindled interest in block printing combined with an amazing thrift store find has equaled a brand new beauty about to be revealed for the Punk Rock Flea Market. Hooray!

Tis good to be back and I'll update with more soon! Till then, I'll leave you with this moment of bliss:


Away on Summer Vacation

Ferry boat ride
Originally uploaded by Rekoj Design

Howdy y'all! I'm about to depart on a trip to the Oregon Coast for a week of toes in sand and nose in book. (Such a lucky girl I am!)
I'm greatly looking forward to it.

However, at the last minute while I was packing my bags yesterday, I elected to leave my laptop at home. Which means as of this moment, I'm not sure I'll have much access to email & blog for the next 7 days.
And that is okay.

What I am bringing is my linoleum carving tools and my watercolors. (And some summer reading of course.) Can't wait to fill you in on my adventures and creations when I return next weekend --- till then have a fabulous week!


Rekoj Wordle

Inspired by Boho Girl's post I too believe in procrastination.

This little funsie was just what I needed this morning after 3 straight days of full on busy-ness:

I loved how the phrase "Broken Heart Marshes" popped out. That could oh so be a painting title!

Go here to make your own Wordle. I'd love to see what pops out on yours...


Work in Progress 7.8.08

Don't worry! I haven't forgotten about our sheep friend. Working in oils allows me the excuse of puttering around between layers while I wait for the previous layer to fully "dry". Not sure if this is a good or bad thing...

Because I'm not sure I'll be able to finish this painting before I leave on vacation - which had been my goal. I might. I think he'll need one more layer of white and some dark for the eye.

I just challenged myself not to do it which means that of course I will. Among everything else I'm doing to get ready to leave for the beach for a week.
Oh my.


Weekend Crafty Project - Notecard Wrap

It took me nearly all evening but voila! A note card wrap inspired by they lovely gratitude wrap by SouleMama.

I thought it would be a great gift idea for a friend who's birthday is soon approaching. She is one of those rare gems who still writes notes and letters (shouldn't we all?) and I thought this little wrap filled with envelopes, handmade note cards and some postage would make for a perfect and fun handmade gift.

It was my very first time using bias tape (believe it or not I know) and the stuff turned out to be a bit more tricky than I initially thought. So I might end up making a second wrap if I can find the time this week. Despite the kinda wobbly edging, I'm still pretty pleased with how it turned out. Thanks SouleMama for the inspiration!

Take a walk with me

Yesterday I went on a walkabout at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.

The refuge is an area of salt and freshwater marshes that is home to a gazillion species of birds. Some of which I saw on the 5.5 mile loop trail:

I saw more than just ducks - such as herons and swallows - but it turns out that I am completely inept at using my camera and all the pictures I thought that I had shot of birds in flight somehow disappeared...
Regardless, it was a beautiful NW misty day. Don't you just love the quality of light out on yonder barns?

Many an Olympia area artist have painted those barns.
I just love the marshes themselves.

Lovely. Nothing like a nice long walk to feel recharged. The Nisqually refuge is one of my favorite places. Thanks for letting me share it with you.


Illustration Friday - Sour

"Oh sour grapes - I lost my heart"
Pen & Ink on creme paper
6" x 9"

The word prompt of "sour" brought to mind lyrics from a Joni Mitchell song. The 1974 album Court and Spark (one of my all time favorites) has a song on it called "Just Like This Train", about a broken heart. The song ends with the lyrics:
I can't find my goodness
I lost my heart
Oh sour grapes
Because I lost my heart

And that is how this illustration got her start. Once I had the sour-grape-broken-heart idea in my head I knew I wanted a broken hearted looking girl holding grapes. So to find a quick model for my gesture study I hopped on over to good ol' Google image search. Typed in the phrase "broken hearted girl" just to see what I got. And that brought me this image by photographer Joan Vincent Canto.


OCP Success Story

Happy 4th of July Everybody - please hang onto your fingers today.
So you can click on over and check out Ruffeo Heart Lil Snotty who I just found out is on Fred Flare's nominee list for the Next Big Thing.
I'm beaming with pride - way to go guys!


Approaching Shift

I'm honored and flattered by all the comments I've received on my Illustration Friday drawing for this week - thanks everyone! A little encouragement sure can go a long way. I feel like I've been fumbling around here on the Internet for SO long without a peep - trying all sorts of things to try and get my business off the ground with not much luck. And then I go and start doing stuff purely for my own enjoyment and what do you know ... things start working.

I guess, in a way I'm trying to lead into a post I've been meaning to write for a long time. A post about my personal tug o' war with the art business. I've been working on my Rekoj line drawings since... well... 2001? And then in 2003 I started painting those lines direct onto clothing through my involvement in the now disbanded Olympia Clothing Project. This picture is of one of my shirts in an old O.C.P. window display. It was an exciting time in an exciting collective - the Green Design movement was just getting started and the Oly Clothing Project was right there on the forefront. We were a group of artists who banded together to run retail space dedicated to independent designer goods - most of which featured recycled or upcycled materials. It was a hit of the Oly fashion scene and we all did pretty good until sadly, we lost our space due to a leaky roof in 2006. PaperDoll Fashion, Ruffeo Hearts Lil Snotty, Baddins and Aidan Koch all have their roots in the Olympia Clothing Project along with me. PaperDoll and Ruffeo Hearts seem to be doing pretty spectacular since they made the jump out of the O.C.P. and over to Etsy. And me... well, I've been floundering ever since.

I only have recently admitted that to myself. My line drawings on rescued clothing just hasn't done as well outside of the O.C.P. incubator. They don't carry that "Oly Hip" vibe on their own. I'm just a little to artsy perhaps. Or... more likely than anything else I just haven't been as dedicated. I've been pretty sporadic since I started on Etsy and it really has only been in the last 3 months that I've even started listing regularly. But even with that it hasn't been my clothing that I'm listing regularly. It's been the pendants. And now, Etsy is just so HUGE that even that doesn't matter anymore. My work gets buried too fast to even make a dent. I bought a couple of Etsy showcase spots though - one of them being today. We'll see what comes of that...

I guess what I'm trying to admit is that I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that all I want to do is draw. I find peace in those line drawings. I find my joy and my expression. It doesn't matter what I draw them on. And drawing on paper sure is easier than clothing that's for sure!

What does this mean as far as the future of my business? I'm still working that out.
Am I worried about it? Not really.

One thing I do know though is that I sure am excited for my next Illustration Friday assignment.
Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to comment - you really have made my day!


From the Sketchbook

Yet another piece in the "Painting in Progress" series of blog posts.
Here is the initial idea-jot-down taken from my sketchbook. Pretty darn simple the way I work through an idea huh?
I think once the piece is complete I will re-post all these steps into one big blog post. Maybe I'll put it in actual sequence. I'm really enjoying this process of cataloging my progress... sure hope you are too!