shows

Post One of A Kind Show

Hey lovelies! It's Thursday and sunny, warm and Spring out. Life is grand.

Back from the One of a Kind Toronto show - I love this show!

Back from the One of a Kind Toronto show - I love this show!

No but really. The reason I am writing is that I got back last week from the One of a Kind Show in Toronto and am once again so full of inspiration and ideas that I wante to share some insight with those of you looking to maybe do a trade show but not knowing if it's the right time or even worth it. When I was about to do my first show last Christmas I got some answers from fellow artists and was so grateful for the inside scoop.

There's a lot of stress when thinking about Trade Shows, we have so many questions as artists about cost vs. how much we'll sell. Is it worth it? we ask ourselves. It's a huge investment and feels like a gigantic risk that may not pay off in the end. I think it does. If you're prepared to work hard, talk lots about your work and your process, show genuine interest in other people and put together a booth that really showcases what you're offering, I think trade shows can only bring good. Just the fact of putting yourself out there to an audience that big is worth it, you'll never look at your business the same way again after an investment (money and energy) this large.

The Booth

Side view of set up (I added fresh flowers each day and rotated some greenery and plants)

Side view of set up (I added fresh flowers each day and rotated some greenery and plants)

My set up - the large furniture works as print / packaging storage in my studio between shows!

My set up - the large furniture works as print / packaging storage in my studio between shows!

I chose to start small, with the Rising Star booth option - at Christmas (the 11 day show) it cost me about $1150 or $1200 for the 3x4 space (just the space and electricity). Here are some images of my booth - since each vendor gets 2 shots at this discounted section - one at Christmas and once in Spring, I obviously wanted to be able to use it at least twice and keep one main part of it in my studio after, bringing the cost per show down lots.

This piece of furniture has 8 trays for all of my prints and a ton of storage for wrapping, bags, snacks, shoe change and other stuff. My friend Eric built it for $250 ($125 per show) and I obviously use the wooden furniture in my studio for print storage. So that was an economical way to build a custom self standing booth.

I paid about $1000 for the show this time round (or a bit more) using the same booth and next show I do will be in a 10x10 booth (way more pricey at around $4000 I believe?)

The sales of this show were almost half of the Christmas show (which I was happy about) but the contacts were much more specific and fruitful - so I would think eventually it will bring in about 75% of what the Christmas market did, even if that takes the rest of the year to roll in. If anybody has any questions about the show, feel free to ask away - a few artists answered lots of questions I had before the show at Christmas and it was so helpful.

Breaks / (Get your to work)

This time I let my mom watch my booth while I ran for breaks (she hung out with me the ENTIRE time - trooper that she is - so really knew how to sell my products). This made a huge difference as I didn't get many breaks during Christmas and lost my voice on day 7. *Sidenote: I came back from one break to my mom telling a client "Yes these are so great, my daughter makes them!" - oh my God. Who could sell your work better than your own mother, really?! Best.

Loving your clients!

Free tickets; this time instead of giving my complimentary passes to my friends and buddies (I used my staff badges for them and then made them work by giving me breaks or grabbing me coffee) I sent complimentary passes to all my best customers in Toronto. It was such a pleasure to connect in real life with all these awesome people and made the custom drawings I've been doing for them that much more special. I held two babies for whom I'd done Name Prints (before they were born) and hugged a girl I'd worked with to create the most perfect map for her famous Poker Playing boyfriend - she got to tell me the feedback that he said it was the best gift anybody had ever given him which was so great to hear.

Lighting

Get lots of it. Spend some money to get good lighting. It is THE single easiest thing you can do to make your work look awesome. Don't "save $200" by opting out of paying electricity. Your booth will look like shit and you will lose that money so fast.

Lists

The following lists helped me so much leading up to the show: 

  • Inventory (obviously) - how much, where will it be stored, how will it be packaged?
  • Packaging - Write down exactly how much of each kind of packaging you'll need and how they'll walk away with it (bag? tube? with stickers? tissue paper?) Do this with every product.
  • On line shop coupons (create these ahead of time to give to special customers or repeats clients)
  • Promo and treats (what will people walk away with from your booth? Stickers, cards, pins, or postcards. Anything that makes them smile is a good idea.) I kept fresh flowers and plants on my booth as I wanted to spruce up the setup a bit since last show.
  • Clothes (plan out a few outfits you can rotate to avoid panicking the morning of. I tend to wear the same thing everyday but didn't want to do that at a show like this. Last time around I had no clothes and didn't have the money to buy new stuff so I made a cross-back apron dress from this free pattern in bright red linen that my mom got on sale and added two large pockets on the front for all the stuff I needed at all times. Lifesaver. Also got tons of compliments!
  • Square Enter all your SKUs and pricing for the event ahead of time. I did mine on the train on the way down. Add taxes according to the province you're going to be in.
  • Comfort - Do you have really comfy shoes? Do you have a squishy mat to stand on? I got this one, cheap and really works. (super important if you have back / neck pain) Do you have medicine for any potential physical problems that could arise? Have a huge water bottle filled every morning. Take vitamins. 
  • Where will you keep things? Imagine going through a transaction - where will your money, pen, phone with Square app be? Aprons are a great idea. Throw a bottle of hand sanitizer in there - shake hands often but don't touch your face .
  • Notes - What will you use to track sales, take notes, attach business cards, basically empty your head everyday and night into for follow up after? I used tabs to separate my sales per day (exactly what I sold), follow ups, ideas, and new contacts.

There you go people. If you have any other questions feel free to ask - I'll share what I know.

No go eat some chocolate and go for a walk!

xo

Sandy

 

 

 

My Good Days

Hi guys,

How's Spring so far in your part of the world? I'm freezing my buns off. I'm wearing a hat in my home studio. I'm still sleeping with a hot water bottle. BUT - apparently it's on it's way and warmer days are ahead!

Just wanted to share some pages from the diary the last week. I haven't yet missed a day, though I finished my workday at 11pm last night and had a really rough evening with the kids, so I didn't colour in yesterday's, and the kids each did a panel.

This project has been interesting - it's teaching me to show up to the page, no matter what. It's also acting as a sort of gratefulness journal - even in tougher times with lots of deadlines and a husband away for work (home officially this evening!!) I see the magic in the mundane, my extraordinary luck in this life, and all the little joys in each new 24 hours.

I did lots of walking in the sunshine this week, ate some good things, kissed some great dogs, and worked my butt off. What did you do?

S.

My Good Days

Hi guys!

Back from the cottage and back to work after March Break. We had the perfect break away -  just cold enough, lots of snow, and the sun streaming down through the pines, melting the tiny little brook. I spent lots of time smashing up the remaining ice with Lennon. What is so primordially pleasing about this type of "work"? We stood around a fire outside, poking our sticks and staring out at the ice. It feels good, elemental to be connecting to the earth this way. We also had no internet or phone, which felt so good. When was the last time I had no internet or phone for 4 days? We all asked ourselves after how we could implement this sort of restricted simplicity onto ourselves once back at home. (I could just keep forgetting my phone when I go out! haha)

Now it's back to prepping for the Toronto ONE OF A KIND show which opens March 29 (and runs til April 2). I'll have lots of new product and am having a blast sprucing up my kiosk, even though it is SO COLD here and we apparently are waiting on 25cm of snow. (Sorry but that part kind of makes me happy !)

I also kept up the My Good Days journal. It's become my meditation, something I look forward to at the end of everyday. It's becoming something.... not sure what but the form is changing a bit. Take a look at the last few days below.

Happy Monday, Tigers!

Sandy

My Good Days

mygooddays_moonandsparrow

Hi lovelies,

Happy February! The sun is delicious and Montreal is enjoying a little glimpse into what is to come. The thaw. Dirt. Camping. Ahhhh.

About a month ago my hubby gifted me with two books by Lynda Barry (actually, 3 of them but I'm just referring to 2 now.) He had no idea of my longtime love of her work and my devotion to her Ernie Pook's Comeek (remember this?) and as he often does, he surprised me with something I didn't even know I needed!

The books,  What it is and Syllabus have really pushed me to keep a daily journal inspired by the ones Barry encouraged her students to keep while she taught at the University Wisconsin Madison as the Artist in Residence. The idea is to keep a simple journal, nothing fancy, using basic materials (crayons, pen, pencil) by quickly sketching and scribbling down observations from your day. I use a notebook I had lying around (one of those hardcover 8.5 x 11 mixed media ones) and markers (a fairly new medium for me.) She encourages her students to divide the page into 4 quandrants - "Saw" (list of 7-10 points), "Did" (list of 7-10 points), "Overheard" (a drawing), and "Saw" (drawing). Of course I stray from this from time to time but generally I stick to this layout and spend from 10-20 minutes on this max.

I think I'll start posting them here?

Here are some from the past weeks - I've tagged them #mygooddays , #adventuresinmyownbackyard and #smoothsailing on Instagram where I post them under @moonandsparrow - follow along if you like or start your own journal, it's easy and cathartic at the end of the day.

I'm enjoying looking back at them and trying harder to pay attention to the days unfolding around me - funny conversations, interactions with strangers, and the great little details in my own big life.

Happy Tuesday people. Off to pick up a sick kid at school, because... OBVIOUSLY. 

Sandy

Work from home, shows

Show tiiiime!

Hi lovely people! How are you guys? I'm running around like a chicken with it's head CUT RIGHT OFF. But in a good way. 

Marché nënë kicks off this weekend, as you've no doubt seen on line and everywhere. It's in the Mile End this year - at the new Soupesoup restaurant and La Gare co-working space next door. I'm so curious to see how it unfolds in a new location - we'd been at Infopresse for I think the last 3 years? 4 years? Head over to the website to look at all the awesome programming we have. My kids are going to stay the whole weekend I think and take advantage of all the awesome on-the-spot-adventuring.

I'm also going to get a couple nice gifts for the people I love - like myself. I want a personalized badge from Jen Hamm of PomPon for starters.

Pompon personalized badge.

Pompon personalized badge.

After the show wraps, it's off to Toronto for my very first ONE OF A KIND SHOW! Woot! Holy hell people, 2 weeks hustling and mingling. To be honest, I'm kind of excited. I can go quite a long time without talking to many people day to day, the life of a basement-dwelling artist amiright?

Please come say HELLO in Toronto!

Please come say HELLO in Toronto!

I'm in Booth C60, please come say hello and grab some goodies. I'm in the Rising Star section and will be wearing a bright vermillion cross-back apron that (ahem) I made with my mom's help. It is not perfect so just admire from an arm's length please.

Alright people - I'm going to go listen to Dan Savage's sex podcast and make, yes, more coffee. coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee......

Happy Tuesday!

Sandy

 

Turning pro with your work...

Happy Saturday guys! I'm enjoying a productively lazy Saturday, I love those kinds of days; lots of time to read, think, putter and tidy. Flo and Sylv have literally been on the couch all day watching movies under 2 blankets and a bowl of popcorn and Lenny is at his first independent hangout at a school friend's house! Gah!

So I'm finally reading Steven Pressfield's Turning Pro, a staple on the shelf of any (creative) entrepreneur. I bought it awhile back for Sylv after having been recommended by many people to read it. I'm finally am getting back around to reading non-fiction so this is the first book I grabbed. It's SO good, this guy is interesting and real and writes in a conversational tone.

Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

He talks about how at one point in every artist's / entrepreneur's life there is a moment when we must choose to "turn pro" if we want to get our real work done. Basically choose good habits to replace the bad ones that are such a part of human nature. Bad habits like surfing the net while we work, enabling notifications on our phones, constantly being distracted from the deep concentration we need to get our good work done. (We all know that giving in to constant distractions effects our work in terrible ways).

Here are some habits I have to fight constantly:

  • Doing work (blogging, taxes, sketching) in front of the tv late at night
  • Not going to bed when I'm tired 
  • Checking Facebook / Social Media too often
  • Sitting for hours in front of the computer and not exercising or stretching
  • Eating in front of my computer (usually instant Ramen noodles)
  • Letting my office get disorganized (messy is fine but when I can't find my supplies it's a bad sign)
  • Saying "yes" to my kids too often when they want to come home at lunch (something I love but that chops my tiny day into even smaller pieces)

Funny, I also happened to see this video from Marie Forleo interviewing Grace Bonney from Design Sponge  which got me thinking about lots of work stuff. If you follow Grace Bonney or Marie Forleo this is a really good one to watch!

Anyway - off to sort packaging, something I've been avoiding but am now excited (?) to do. Holiday shows are coming up people - deeeep breath.

x
S.

art, Family, Home, maps, New Work, kids, parenthood, Parenting, stories

Map of my First Paper Route

My paper route delivering the Toronto Sun as a kid

Hey guys,

Lately I've been doing a lot of writing / thinking / reflecting on my childhood and the places I grew up. I mean, I always do that anyway but I've been working on a project that requires me to really dig down into all the details of it and while it's disturbing to revisit some stuff, it's been pretty delightful remembering some of the fun(ny) things that happen when you're a kid.

My very first job was delivering newspapers. The Toronto Sun. I had about 125 houses to deliver to on Saturday morning - I would wake up at 5am to assemble the papers - my mom, such a sport, would get up with me to help fold the entertainment section and the best part - the comics -  into the outer shell. I would hurriedly read the comics before heading out the door with my cart and my dog Sooner. 

I was about 10 years old - a hard worker, always happy to have more customers added to my route. I had a great memory and carried my chit book around with me, able to pop by and "collect" on my way to my best friend Priscilla's house, surprising my hard-to-catch houses that were always behind in payment. My boss, Mark, really thought I was great - he even gave me a bird at one point, a budgie. He seemed so old at the time but I wonder if he wasn't actually 20.

The pay was minimal, arriving in the form of a cheque every 2 weeks - that went straight into the bank. But it was the tips that I was working for. I gathered up to $200 a month in tips, splitting my earnings with my dog.

Things were different back then - kids were free. All of us from the neighbourhood went to the school nearby - Gordon Graydon. We all played together after school, in a huge gang, staying outside til dark, when our parents would start yelling in a chorus for us to come in. We played Hide and go Tag, hiding under parked cars and hopping fences to evade those who were "it." We played hockey in the middle of the street, moving the nets only when cars passed by. 

I wonder if my kids will remember their childhoods as so free when they are older. I hope so.

History of the route

Details of my paper route

kids, parenthood, Parenting, Home, Family

My new staff

Guys! I'm pleased to announce that I have a new help staff at home, 2 part-timers who do all the little niggly things around the house. AND - they only cost about $4 a week each. Not bad right?

I have officially doled out chores for the kids, making them accountable with a chart, and reviewing the chart each Sunday around the table - "Payday". 

I'm loving having the extra hands to help. I used this chart I found over on http://www.livingwellspendingless.com to decide which chores were appropriate for each kid - I then downloaded this template from their selection of blank charts. 

The kids' weekly chores. (Have to buy smaller brooms if the sweeping is really going to happen.)

I then pay them each about $4 or $5 depending on how much they helped in the week (Flo is expected to do more at 6.5 years old than Lenny at 4 years old - but I give him more daily jobs like watering plants and feeding the fish etc). I then use the SPEND, SAVE, GIVE method of teaching them to take care of their money. (a simple way of dividing up the $ into 3 envelopes titled - yup - SPEND, SAVE & GIVE. Choose how much goes into each envelope.)
We do 50% into Save, 25% each into Give and Spend, but that might change.

Save, Spend, Give envelopes and the charts which I hang in the kitchen.

The kids can spend their Spend money on whatever they want to except for candy (which is the first thing Flo wanted to spend on, obviously) and their Save will eventually go into a bank account, then one day turn into a whole lotta money, right? and Give can be to any cause they like, probably the SPCA or the library. Anyway, I keep coming across more and more chores they can do (Clean up my office! Make my bed! Fix my bike!) (kidding) - but in all seriousness,  it's so nice to delegate extra tasks. Should have done this years ago.

**sidenote - the other day, the kids wanted me to buy them an ice cream cone. I used my usual "I didn't bring my money" excuse and then Flo said she wanted to give me her Give money. So yeah, you should probably talk about the whole GIVE envelope thing. (Though I did let Len buy me a coffee last week with a toonie he found on the ground!)

 

kids

Gearing back up...

Baie St. Paul light - sigh

Hi guys! Summer's winding down and CAN YOU BELIEVE IT - school starts in just 3 days. That's it? Yup. Here comes autumn; stews, leaves, Halloween costumes, dark.

I love Autumn.

Our summer was good - it was weird. We took a bunch of different trips out of the city which were all good - and ... weird. Those of you who know me know that sometimes my neck freezes up and I am pretty much a plank of nerves and pain for days and weeks at a time. This condition was bad for many years (6 or 7) and then it disappeared more or less for a few years, rearing it's very unwelcome head only now and again to remind me when I was working too hard, sleeping too little, or carrying my "little" guy too much.

neck traction

Well, it came back this summer and I've spent many days in excruciating pain - but why the 3 times I was away?! So hard to manage without my piles of ice packs, heat packs, ointments and stuff at home. The third and most recent time was a pretty bad one, when we were in the middle of nowhere. I had to go to an emergency room to get some good painkillers and muscle relaxants, which worked but to which I had a really bad reaction days later, again in the middle of nowhere. More hospitals. More drugs. Gah.

I need a detox.

Low tide in Charlevoix

(Or do I? No, I think I need to start swimming and stretching and laying on ice regularly like I used to. Goddam central nervous system.)

Our trailer for 5 days - so much awesome!

BUT! Guess what? We rented a huge camper trailer in Baie St. Paul at Camping du Gouffre, where we got married 9 years ago, and it was so wonderful that I didn't care that I couldn't turn my head very much or move my left arm, or feel my left hand. We had so much fun, and I spent lots of time swimming in the frigid waters with the kids, Sylv, and my wonderful mom who accompanied us on our holidays. (Ya, I've got one of those laid back moms that you can take on vacation with your husband and kids. Thanks Mom!)

Flo digging in the riverbank

Back at home, I looked forward to feeling rested and happy while I smiled at my children and lovingly wrote their names in marker on all of their school supplies.

Turns out even after vacation, I'm still a Totally Crabby Mom. My neck, shoulders, collarbone and armpits are all swollen and raw-nerved, I have to sleep sitting up on the couch, and I'm weaning myself off the good drugs so ... yeah. I really can't wait till the kids start school Monday and I have a teeny tiny pang pulling at the underbelly of my heart for feeling so. (Seriously, will I survive without Lenny by my side all day?)

Grape eyes at the chalet

Another highlight for me while away was the visit from my bro-in-law and his lovely little family. They foster a MIRA dog (actually the spokes dog for Mira in Chicoutimi) - an insanely beautiful 115 pound bag of fur and love. I spent lots of time with this dog and remembered the great energy I get from (giant smelly) dogs. They also brought their 3 month old Burmese Mountain dog who is a total shit disturber but so cute I actually feel the saliva pooling in my mouth when I look at her. (The first time I saw her I grabbed her and hugged her and she took my entire nose in her mouth and filled it with the prickly needles of it's baby teeth.)

Mira's Spokesdog, Velcro at the river with me after a swim

But being in the forest, full of river water hair and sand, cooking and playing with dogs with family and friends, I felt good in a way we just don't get to feel in our everyday lives. It was like a concentrated dose of the summer I missed while working alongside the kids and snapping at them every 10 minutes.

Anyway. To all of those people I have whined to these past days, I'm sorry and thank you. I love my children. Staying at home with them was an insane choice I don't regret at all. I  tear up thinking about leaving Lennon with his teacher Monday. But you know how it is...

The parallel feelings of parenting amiright?

 

 

kids

Summer awesomeness

Hey guys,

It's a balmy summer evening - the kind I love where the sky has a soft set and everything looks hazy. I got to go run errands alone on my bike after a long beautiful day in the sun with my kids and another awesome family in this pool -

The massive pool at parc Jean-Drapeau. Why don't I go there more often? I will. Starting now.

I used to not like summer. I don't usually like being hot, it makes me lazy. And I am not crazy about sunny days (I credit my Newfie heritage for this). But this year I am really enjoying it so much. My kids are older, I don't have to carry anybody, my kids like awesome places and I don't have to think about cooking... summer dinner means carrying a large bag of food around with a blanket and some spoons. 

I've realized that the recipe for my summer happiness is this;

  • enough time alone to get the work done that I need to - I do this by waking up at 5am with my hubby who has to do the same (it's kind of awesome
  • small, bite sized personal projects. Right now my favourite artist and homegirl  Erin Candela and I are illustrating secrets we have. Any medium, on wooden slates, we're gonna mail them to one another. It's fun!
  • a slower beat to everything - wear bathing suits all day, lay around drawing on the floor, lounge around the pool, hang all day at the library.
  • scrap the routine (my kids have been going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 9, it's amazing.) Routine bores me and is something I struggle with all winter. I love doing what we want when we want.
  • a biggie -- a sweet and enticing plan for my return to work come the Fall. I'll be working full-time as both kids will be in school this year - something I admit it, I daydream about and that sends energy shooting through my creative mind in weaker parenting moments - but feels like a private indulgence that's making me the awesome mom I am this summer.)
  • naps while my kids watch tv beside me on the couch - I do this almost every afternoon for a half hour and it is delicious.

Have you been staying home with the kids this summer? Do you love it? Hate it? What have you been up to?

maps, New Work, Work from home

Custom Milestone Illustration

Hey guys! How is summer unfolding? I have had a bad sore throat for a week now and am trying to keep on top of work. NOT EASY with the kids home - Somebody come rub my back! (Actually Sylv has been home mostly to help out and has just been gone since early this morning - I'm being a total baby and feeling sorry for myself. It's my right as a sick and snively mom.)

I wanted to share an awesome custom I just finished for some really special people.

50 years of marriage, 2 kids, 4 grandsons, many countries and way too many nicknames.

Ida and Roger Gilodo are the parents of my oldest friend Karen. Karen and I have known each other since we were 12 and have gone through so much together - we've also got into lots of trouble together, holding a record for detentions in high school. We once had so many after school detentions with 2 different teachers that we were double booked to the end of the school year. But I digress.) Her parents are obviously a little more together than the both of us and have held a solid marriage for FIFTY YEARS! Think about that for a few seconds people. No easy feat.

I loved doing this because I kept thinking of their lovely home, and how this would look on the walls. I loved learning things about them I hadn't previously known, including more nicknames than even I have given people. (For Karen alone I have Kraner, Krane, Kraniac, Kraner Retainer, Retainer, Retain, Kranium Glidodo and Kranium.)

I would love to do more of these types of illustrations! I've listed this in the shop here, and like all of my custom work we will collaborate on a main idea, a couple of sketches and palette before I present you with an image. The whole process takes about 2 weeks (give or take) and for this image we printed it in Toronto to skip all the shipping delays. A large 16 x 16 Giclee print cost only about $17 and they picked it up right before the party.

Hope you guys are having a good day - I've been up since 3am (I had to eat popsicles on the couch and watch Grace and Frankie then decided to work once my throat was finally numb.) I AM STARTING TO FEEL DELIRIOUS.

Happy Monday,

Sandy

 

 

My name is Sandy, which is short for Sandra, but I've been called Sandhawk, Sanders, Snoopdawg (don't ask) and, by my family, Gandhi.
I have been making things for as long as I can remember. Drawing and writing is the easiest way for me to connect to the people and creatures around me.
And I think you should know, I am one of those really infuriating people who wake up in a great mood. I'm sorry!

Click here to read bio.

** MY ENDLESS SILLY DAYS
ON INSTAGRAM **

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kids, parenthood, art

1, 2, 3 i love you

Flo's note for me.

While going through some papers in my office, cleaning up stacks and stacks of drawings and ripped envelopes (have I mentioned that my office has become a veritable post office / disaster site?). I found, among other amazing treasures, this sweet note that Flo left me one day not so long ago. 

I don't know when Flo and I started doing something we call "1, 2, 3 i love you" - a silent and efficient way to communicate this message with 3 little squeezes of the hand. It's delicious to have this secret between us when we're out and about.

Flo left this note for me in the morning a couple of months ago while she was at school and the pure shot of happiness it gave me upon finding it was a good reminder to leave more thoughtful notes for my kids (and hubby, why not? I used to do that all the time). Love feels good, people. Let's remember how simple that can be.

And actually Lenny has started doing this too  - in his own hilarious way, looking at me straight in the eyes, squeezing my hand three times, saying seriously, "I. Love. You". 

Hope your Tuesday is as sweet. Go write your kid a note and hide it under their pillow.

Sandy

kids, New Work, Work from home

New Work / Off to the Woods !

Hey there! It's a sunny cold Friday and I'm getting ready to pack out first thing in the morning to go camping here! Have you guys tried out the Tente Huttopia camping in the Québec National Parks? They are the best.

Tente Huttopia

Like camping without the schlepping. They are so super comfy and well equipped. Can't wait to wake up in the forest Sunday morning :)

Have been working on lots of awesome new projects, big and small. Banged out a fast poster for a friend's show that I'm going to miss - we have a wedding that day - but it's going to be great, a reading involving music and performance. Here's the first poster I sketched out (I limit myself to one colour, India Ink, and a brush when doing posters).

First attempt

Nicky thought she might want something more urban. Whaaaa?! Who wouldn't want a drawing of a bear eating them while they read from their new book? She thought it might be nice to show little imagery - and something about the iconic Cheval Blanc stage and setup. Have you been there? It's such a great venue. It's where I did the super-dorky move of "accidentally walking by" (stalking, with much forethought) my now hubby one night when I really wanted to hang out with him but was too shy to just ask him out. AAaaaanyway. So I came up with this:

Go see this if you can! It's going to be weird and wonderful.

I kind of love when a client rejects a sketch that I really like - I alway think "hmmm wonder what I'll come up with" - I still like the hungry bear idea better but I'm turning that into a print for a good friend so I'm glad I have it.

Also did some funny customs lately - there are some Dads I can't show yet - but here's a cute one I did for a 40th birthday - we printed it as a large card that everybody signed for the surprise party and then a modified version for a wall print.

40th birthday card for a friend and neighbour

40th birthday card for a friend and neighbour

Have an awesome day, people! I have Lenny home with me today, a clown after my own heart. Fridays are good.

Lenny.

Talk soon,

Sandy

maps

Storytelling through custom maps

Tell your own unique story through a custom map..

Hey everybody! It's Sunday morning; cloudy and cool, perfect summer weather (not being sarcastic - Cloudy Days are my fave).

So I just worked on such a fun and amazingly special piece that I wanted to share with you - I was recently contacted by the *super awesome* girlfriend of a long-lost friend from high school - this had been a really good friend (who I'd lost touch with about... 20 years ago? How and why does that happen?) and we were even roomies after High School sharing an apartment in Vancouver's West End ( near the beach for $700 - WHAAA?! ) until I returned East. Anyway.
 
What his lady, Erin, wanted to do was to create a map of their regular spots and first few dates as a gift for their anniversary. Romantic right? She is an amazing storyteller and so well organized so it was a real pleasure to create this map (below) together with Erin, making sure it told their story just right. We decided to call it "Our Vancouver" and I even drew them in as old folks reflecting on their first date. 

Custom map for lovers!

Isn't this the best!?
 

Erin had the brilliant idea of collaborating on a google map ( have you guys played with My Maps yet? It's soo fun ) to create pins and stories for each place. Awesome!


Coincidentally, while working on this I also got a super fun gig doing a similar map (of Melbourne - a city I haven't even been to ) for wedding stationery and decor. I love this new direction my map-making has taken me in and would love to do some more. Drop me a line at hello@moonandsparrow.com if you would like to learn more about having a custom map made to tell a story or illustrate a time or place that is special to you.

I feel very inspired to really improve my gift giving for my future anniversaries, got that Sylv?!

Sandy


 

PS - you can follow me on Instagram (@ SandraDumais) or Facebook !

parenthood, kids, Work from home

Movin' on up

My littlest just turned 4 over the weekend.  Four - it's like the age in my head when things start to get so much easier. Leading up to this birthday, I'd done lots of nostalgic thinking but also excited dreaming about what the fall will bring. As of September, both my kids will be in school, and I will have my days to myself. That sounds selfish but I mean it in a literal way - like as in, my days will be managed according to my own needs, mostly. This is huge.

Lenny in his bonnet with vanilla-rhubarb ice cream, how I usually spend my afternoons.

Lenny in his bonnet with vanilla-rhubarb ice cream, how I usually spend my afternoons.

I'd been thinking about this birthday lots, leading up to it. It seems crazy to me that already I am finished with babies - life is so much easier now and we sleep all night.

I have this really romantic idea of what my days will look like once these two are in school - hope I'm not being delusional. I know I'll miss having Lenny at my sides, and that feeling of really being needed all the time - I see that disappearing with my oldest already.

Which is why I'm trying to work up the courage to ask my landlord if we can get a dog - something small and full of love (Cocker Spaniel?) - I know he hates dogs (!?) and is generally against pets, but he did buy his 7 year old daughter a Bearded Dragon which is waaaay grosser than a dog.

Anyway, I got up at 5am so that I could write, trim some prints, and draw a hilarious portrait of somebody.

Back to work.

Happy Thursday folks,

Sandy

 

MOTHER'S DAY PRINTS HERE!!

Oh guys I'm so happy with how these turned out. They are so sweet and bright.

I made these prints as a gift for any Mom - something that says "I understand the messy beauty of motherhood", "thank you for feeling it all" and "I recognize your complexity" - all while saluting the colourful awesome fun that is motherhood. UNICORNS! SUNSHINE! TEARS OF ALL KINDS! MUSCLES, JOY AND MESSES, it's all there. You can order them through this site or over on Etsy, your choice!

Anatomy of a Mother's Heart - Moon and Sparrow Mother's Day 2016 12 x 16

Poppy Red - detail of *beeeeautiful* paper!

Each and every print comes with a laminated, honorary membership card to the KICK-ASS MOM club. These are meant to be kept in Mom's wallet and looked at every single day. YOU ARE DOING GREAT, LADIES! Am already drawing the ANATOMY OF A DAD HEART - would you guys want one of those for the dads in your life?

Pineapple Party

So I just wanted to share some images of how one little print can be used across different materials and products. This repeat pattern I created with pineapples on turquoise was sold exclusively to Supayana (go see her shop right now please) to use for fabric. She used this design on a beautiful thick poly spandex to make adult leggings (me, rocking them below) and also on a soft jersey for little tiny dresses. The original image was done using watercolours and digital messing about. 

tights_moonandsparrow.jpg

Teeny tiny dress!

I wouldn't have thought of such a large print for small clothing but I think it works even better than it would have small, right?

And lastly, a mug my supplier sent me to apologize for a mix up. How beautiful! (No, these are not available in the shop - I can't get into the mug business.)

Pineapple on beautifully finished ceramic mug. Yum!

This has definitely got me excited to do more patterns in a similar style - it's my favourite way to work (loose gouache and watercolour drawings) and it looks so good on many surfaces right?

It's fun to see somebody with such a great eye for fashion take a wacky pattern like this and make adult AND kid clothing. I also used this on business card, by the way. So there!

and finally, here it is on one side of my business card.

My husband is watching THE WALKING DEAD in the room next to me and it is so gross sounding I have to go see what is happening. Night!

Sandy

Mother's Day Screen Prints orders open! Anatomy of a Mother's Heart !

Guys! I'm sooooo totally excited to announce that My beautiful Mother's Day prints are ready for pre-order! I don't have the actual prints in my hands until April 13th so I am taking pre-orders for anybody who wants to be one of the first to get their mitts on these. ** to pre-order, head over to the Moon and Sparrow Etsy Shop and use coupon code ILOVEMOM to get your 10% discount! As always, you can use coupon code INMONTREAL to avoid shipping costs and pick up at one of my centrally located retailers.

These prints are 12x16, large and bright - available in Teal, Warm Grey, Hot Pink and Poppy. Each print is signed and -- THE BEST PART -- each and every print comes with a tiny paper bag that is sewn shut. Inside, there is a gentle reminder for the Mom to put in her wallet and read when needed. There are lots of different reminders, so there's no way to know which one you'll get until Mom opens it!

These are printed using water based inks, rich and beautiful Felt paper and they will be shipped in a sturdy shipping tube. You can also contact me to come pick them up if you're in town - either from my place in Rosemont or from one of my centrally located retailers.

I can't WAIT to get my hands on these!! So pretty. I'm totally hanging the teal one or maybe the poppy one in my bedroom as a reminder that yes, it is okay to laugh and cry hysterically at the same time, as an AWESOME MOM.

Happy Wednesday guys!

Sandy

maps, parenthood, kids, sleep, springtime, embroidery

Drawings in the Night...

Do you guys ever get insomnia? I have never been a huge sleeper (meaning I like to get about 6 or 7 hours of sleep a day, plus a little 30 minute nap in the afternoon). Since having kids though, I go through weeks at a time of insomnia. I get up at 3am and just can't get back to sleep. Things I googled before getting out of bed finally at 3:45 -- embroidered illustration (gasp! I must try!),

Embroidered illustration by Jillian Tamaki - the best.

Embroidered illustration by Jillian Tamaki - the best.

Tai Chi videos - I love this quick 8-minute video, you guys should try it. Especially great for us who are often hunched over their desks for long periods of time.

and then I combed through images of Wild Garden on , just to give me a bit of hope, as it's been pretty chilly here still. LOVED these -

Love these colours!

Love these colours!

and these!

So that's what I googled at 3am instead of sleeping like a normal person. Know what is awesome though? I have a vey flexible schedule so just like that I rearranged my day, and went downstairs to print and trim a large order for a beautiful new galerie / boutique in the Old Port that I'll deliver today.  I am working on a map of the Old Port so I can go and have a good look at a few buildings and streets I want to draw, so it worked out well! Anyway, this new retailer is a gorgeous galerie / boutique featuring work from all over Québec - it's called L'Empreinte Coop. They have a dated website but so worth popping in - Check them out!

Ok - I'll leave you with with drawing I did a couple of weeks ago. I was feeling nostalgic and sad about my kids growing up. I really truly do enjoy them at this age - yes despite the fits, the chaos and the mess of it all, young children fill me with energy and purpose. I drew this map
(I think it was in the middle of the night, couldn't sleep, etc) - A Map to Motherhood.

A Map of Motherhood

Happy Thursday to you! It's rainy and beautiful and the most perfect kind of weather.

xo
Sandy

 

Mother's Day Portraits...

Hi everybody! It's time to order your Mother's Day custom portraits if you want to get your hands on one! You can order here in my Etsy Shop or get in touch at sandradumais(at)moonandsparrow(dot)com . 

Remember my awesome Father's Day blitz last June? Lots of the moms ordering the Dad prints said they really wanted one of themselves (hint hint). Here were some examples from the Awesome Dads-

As you can see, these are very highly customized - put as much fun in there as you can fit! We work together to create the perfect image to tell the story of YOUR special person - or Mom!

These cost $110 including the print, and can be completed in about a week (depending on details, and if you include kids in the image - at $15 more)...With shows lined up at the beginning of May, I've got to have these guys done a week or two early this time round.

Here is one I did for myself FROM myself - I really overplayed my awesomeness a bit in the way I imagine that my kids and husband would if they were to order this for me, you know?

I also have some pretty prints coming to the shop that will be SCREENPRINTED in beautiful vibrant colours for your special Mom. Those will be in the shop in about a week and I can't wait!

xo

Sandy