Posts Categorized: illustration

Design + illustration + Style + Style Sheets / Friday, 31 May 2013

Style Sheets: Iris Apfel

This is the second post in a new collaboration called, Style Sheets. The style sheets are imagined by Jessica Lynn Williams, an interior decorator in Brooklyn (and part of the reason why Kate Spade windows look so fab!), and illustrated by the wonderfully talented Michelle Christensen. Take a look at the first one, Lucille Ball, here.

I think it’s generally agreed that Iris Apfel can do no wrong. She’s called herself the world’s oldest teenager and this spunky spirit comes across in her dress and spirit. Known for her oversized glasses, chunky jewelry, and exotic threads, she’s not afraid to take chances. In the Bill Cunningham documentary, she was interviewed as saying that sometimes Bill would thank her for coming to events so that there was something interesting to shoot. I’ve written about her here, here and even (as close as I could get with the wig selection I had) dressed like her for my costume party last year. 

Fun fact: I’m pretty sure we were at the same event a few years ago. It was for Tiffany and Co. and at the time I didn’t know who she was. I tried doing some research on who the lady with the huge glasses was and I found an image online that I thought was close. Pretty sure it was Ms. Iris. Iris, if you’e reading, were you there at the Evening in Style event in October 2009? 

Another fun fact: Jessica met her on MONDAY! Gah!

text and style sheet by Jessica Williams
illustration by Michelle Christensen

DIY + illustration + Kids + Life + Projects / Monday, 25 Mar 2013

Cheer Up Mouse & book giveaway

photography by Ashley Thalman

Awhile back, even before landing back in America, I was approached by illustrator Jed Henry, to collaborate on a project for his brand new children’s book, Cheer Up Mouse. He showed me the trailer…

…and I was sold! How adorable is it? I mean a walnut playing squirrel? Too much for me. I have it on good authority that kids watch this over and over. What am I saying? I can (and did) watch it over and over. Even just for the sweet soundtrack.
illustration from Cheer Up Mouse by Jed Henry. ©Houghton Mifflin
So we got to thinking of a DIY that would best suit the book and we came up with a little play for kids complete with masks (click here for the masks), which we thought would be the perfect Spring Break activity. The book has 10 characters who each attempt to cheer little Mouse up with a sweet, well-meaning line, like so…
So, how does it work? 
Materials: 10 kids (or have a few kids take on multiple characters), Cheer Up Mouse book (available ON SALE on Amazon) for the script or win a copy–see instructions below, cardboard sets are optional, masks (click here), 3×5″ index cards
Step 1: With Cheer Up Mouse book in hand, use ten cards, 1 for each child to write down the lines. A few kids will get multiple lines. There are 18 lines total.
Step 2: Create the masks (there will be a follow-up blog post to this one showing you the step-by-step).
Step 3: Let the kids learn their lines.
Step 4: Watch the magic! 
I promise PROMISE you’ll fall in love with the characters. In fact, our Mouse for the shoot had a little “moment” when she needed some cheering up and all the kids were quick to chime in “Cheer up, Mouse!”. Presh.
illustration from Cheer Up Mouse by Jed Henry. © Houghton Mifflin.
Jed is giving away a copy of Cheer Up Mouse to one lucky reader. Wahoo!
TO ENTER: “Like” The House That Lars Built on Facebook OR “follow” on Instagram. Then leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you’ve done (please let me know!). Bonus votes if you follow on any other blogging platform. If you’ve already done so on all platforms before, share the post for entry. Contest ends one week from today, Monday April 1st.

Thank you to the wonderful wardrobe providers: 
Wunway Kids (THE cutest and hippest clothes!)
Caramel (UK, but they have a US presence too–wish they made big girl sizes)
Orfeo (also UK–beautiful stuff)
The Children’s Hour shop in Salt Lake City–the ONLY children’s store in all of Utah with cool stuff. Promise, we tried them all. The owner has impeccable taste. And they have great stuff for mamas too.
photographer: Ashley Thalman
sets: Tanei and Jed Henry
masks and styling: Brittany Watson Jepsen
photoshoot coordinator: Tanei Henry
assistants: Lindsay Barlow, Audrey Ellsworth
illustrator: Jed Henry
models: Titan, Modock. Karli, Nohea, Stella, Crew, Cole and thank you to all the terrific moms and families!

Design + illustration + Life + Products + the shop / Monday, 12 Nov 2012

dum, da da dum!!!!


It’s here! The brand new 2013 calendar is finally available in the Etsy shop. 

For the 2013 calendar, I was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s Thumbelina. Living in Copenhagen, Denmark, Andersen’s fairytales are still very prevalent and mentioned. After reading the fairy tale in the land it was written, the story took on a new life and became a bit more real. You know that I love the idea of playing with scale (everything oversized!) so Thumbelina’s thumb size was a perfect image to recreate. I became entranced by the image of the butterflies that whisked the main character, Maia, away by her white sash as she escaped her arranged marriage to the ugly mole. For the calendar, I imagined a bouquet of butterflies clumped in lovely colors.

The calendar is 11×17″ ready for a frame or pinned to a wall. It’s a beautiful giclee print on cotton paper. The colors are super lush. Wait until you see it in person! Agh! Order the Thumbelina calendar here. The first batch come in with a slight overlap of printing. those are being sold for 1/2 price and you can find them here.

AND, the Language of Flowers calendar is back by popular demand. Order it here.

Photo by Lina Ahnoff

Design + illustration + Life + Products + Shops / Monday, 14 Nov 2011

Language of flowers

I’m super stoked to announce the arrival of 3 more new items to the shop. I can’t tell the full story of how it came to be just yet, but it’s a good, juicy tale. And yes, I just pulled the juvenile “I’ve got a secret and I’m not sharing” trick and I’m not ashamed to use it.
The theme of the collection is, “Language of Flowers” and the design records a love poem written by a boy to his beloved darling in the Victorian-era secret language in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages, allowing individuals to express feelings which otherwise couldn’t be spoken socially. Starting with the left side of the wreath to the right side, each flower reveals one more part of the missing puzzle poem. Included in the poem are amaranth globes, black-eyed susans, daisies, poppies, dandelions, tulips, morning glories, roses, magnolias, laurel leaves, laurestine, forget-me-nots, honeysuckle. You can try deciphering the poem with a little help from our friends Wiki and Pedia
First in the collection is a 2012 wall calendar giclee print by our friends at Rowley Press. I can’t even begin to explain how wonderful it turned out! The colors turned out so beautiful rich on the cotton paper. 
Next up, we have kitchen accessories. I have this thing for kitchen accessories, but I hate to cook. Go figure. This oven glove above is super thick and features two different sides, one with a red poppy on one side and a yellow rise on the other. Then below, a cotton tea towel featuring a silhouette of Queen Victoria as a symbol of the times, lover of beauty, and wearer of flowers in her hair. Has there been a bigger royal proponent for beauty than Victoria? 

Lastly, I introduced it last week, but must add it again, the custom silhouette rubber stamp return addresses. I’ve received a few comments like, “wish I could order, but I move to much.” Amen! I know the feeling. SO, do not fear. Order the first one and all repeat orders with just an address change are discounted.

I’ve wanted to squeal with this exciting news for awhile, but it’s finally here. Check the individual products out on the shop.