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Paper Plane

Every once in a while I run across something that totally captures me.

I found one of those things today.

Hand drawn illustrations by Felicita Sala, brought to life through stop-motion animation, for the song Paper Plane by Massimo Giangrande. It’s beautiful, and detailed, and extremely well done.

Just thinking about the time invested in creating something like this makes it even more impressive.

I’m in awe. I hope you like it too…

:: Carrie ::

“Hey! What Kind of Paint Do You Use?”

Let’s talk about paint.

People frequently ask me what kind of paint I like to use, and when my response is “gouache” the next thing out of their mouth is usually, “what’s that?” Most people are familiar with acrylic, and oil, and watercolor. I guess gouache is a lesser known variety, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome!


How do you pronounce the word gouache? Well, it’s one syllable. It rhymes with squash. And wash. And…that’s all I can think of. Gouache.

The best way I can describe it is that it behaves much like watercolor, but instead of being transparent it is opaque. In other words, if I painted a red area and let it dry, I could paint on top of the red area with blue and the red would not show through. If I did the same thing with watercolor, the red would show through, and where the two colors overlapped it would probably look purple.

Make sense?


It’s not too hard to get nice clean edges between colors, and you can lay down big areas of color, and then go in later and add details. It’s also possible to mix colors and get a lot of variation.

It’s so versatile! And that’s why it’s great.

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There are two brands that I like – Windsor and Newton, and M. Graham & Co. The little 0.5 oz. tubes can be expensive, but it is WORTH IT for the quality! I can tell you, it is absolutely true that in the world of art supplies you get exactly what you pay for.


Work surface is important. Recently I have been working on illustration board, but there are other good options out there as well. I also have a few favorite brushes – a good brush is necessary. I could talk a lot about both of these things, but I think they might be conversations for another day!

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My experience with gouache is not as extensive as you may think! In the past I have painted a lot with watercolor and acrylic, and just a little bit here and there with gouache. About a year and a half ago when we decided to expand our card line to include some with hand painted illustrations gouache seemed to be the natural choice to me. Since then that’s about all I’ve been using. I’m still learning, and my painting style keeps evolving. I hope that’s always the case! That is my favorite thing about the whole artistic process – learning and making changes and seeing my work evolve and get better.

Have you ever used gouache? What is your favorite painting medium? Do you have any secrets to share?

:: Carrie ::


All the Buildings in New York

It seems like an impossible task, but James Gulliver Hancock is attempting to draw all the buildings in New York.

Hancock is an illustrator living in Brooklyn, and he admits to having somewhat of an obsessive interest in recording places and things. It’s an ongoing personal project that he knows might never be completed. I love his style, and his tenacity. There is definitely something to be said about setting huge goals like this and slowly working toward completing them. Usually some pretty amazing things come out of that process.

You can follow his progress on his blog, and you can see all of the work that he has done so far in his new book.

Introducing Our New Hand-Painted Greeting Card Collection!

We’re off to New York City this weekend where we’ll be setting up shop at the New York International Gift Fair. We are happy to let you know that we will be debuting a whole new collection of greeting cards at NYIGF! You may remember back in November I told you that I had been working hard on a big project – well here it is! We have 48 NEW cards, for all occasions, all illustrated by hand. Here are just a few of them…

We hope you can find one to suit all of your occasions. You can see the entire collection in our shop!

Artists We Admire :: Carson Ellis


I first ran across the work of artist/illustrator Carson Ellis a while back, and was immediately drawn to her style.

Ellis first became known as the artist behind the album covers for the band The Decemberists – her husband is lead singer Colin Meloy.    She eventually began illustrating children’s books, and some of her works include  Lemony Snicket’s  The Composer is Dead, and  The Mysterious Benedict Society  series by Trenton Lee Stewart.

Her latest work is called  Wildwood, a story which just happens to be written by Meloy.  Wildwood is “a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger, and magic that juxtaposes the thrill of a secret world and modern city life.”  It’s sure to be a great story coming from the imagination of Colin Meloy, who is known for his inventive and fantastic storytelling, but I’ll be just as interested in the illustrations.



:: Carrie ::