Wednesday, December 31, 2008


In the spirit of my half Spanish heritage, I've got my twelve grapes ready for tonight. When midnight strikes, you have to rapidly pop those twelve grapes - one for each chime of the clock - in your mouth. If you successfully complete the feat, twelve months of prosperity and good luck await you. Plus, you look like a squirrel with a mouth full of nuts, so it's very funny. Thank you for visiting the world of Little Star Soup this year. I appreciate the kind comments, and look forward to blogging 2009. Happy, Happy, Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Studio Holiday Card

Our studio's official Holiday Card has always been a calendar. I love New Year's. I love the clean slate, and contemplating on the year past and the year ahead. It's a free form project, so it's a lot of fun. I like picking a different theme each year, and creating 12 icons to go along with it. Past themes have been butterflies, fruit, and shoes. Stay tuned for this year's theme.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Henry VII

We had our first snowfall of the season yesterday in NY, and it was beautiful. The first one always is. With the snow falling, we decorated our Christmas tree, formally known as Henry VII. We name our trees, and they've all been Henry (just because of the street we live on). I vow this year, after January 6th, to take Henry VII to the local park where he will be made into mulch that goes into Central Park. I think it's such a sad visual, the day after Christmas, when all of the bare trees are on the sidewalk. But that's a ways from now. Right now Henry VII is all dressed up, and looking sweet. The new addition to our tree this year, is a flock of birds that decided to perch on Henry's branches. We have a wood thrush, a cardinal, a blue jay, and 9 other assorted song birds. Hopefully they know some Christmas carols.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Homework - Final Assignment

I was waiting for a sunny day to photograph my final assignment, but I fear the sun may not return to NY until May.
Our final assignment was about boxes. We talked about Joseph Cornell and his amazing boxes, and about the structure of boxes in general. Our assignment was to create a 'Box of Desires'. The audience should be able to guess what your desire is from looking at the box. Can you guess?It's not a house, although that is on my short list. It's a little art studio. A free standing room of my own. I picture it a short 5 minute commute through a flower garden in our backyard. It's also by the sea (why not? we're dreaming here). I would spend my days making art, and in the evening, close the door and leave it behind. Boxes also have an interior, and that had to be part of our desire as well. What does the inside reveal?It's a heart that reads "Where thou ART, that is home" by Emily Dickinson. I'm using Emily's words to imply a slightly different meaning. Art has always been home for me. From simple scribblings as a child, endless hours spent doing meticulous pencil drawings, to the work I do every day. Art has happened on the dining room floor, the kitchen table, and the corner studio in the living room. So if that art studio by the sea never materializes, it's ok, because "Where thou ART, that is home."

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Mural

My friends M&M are expecting a little bundle of joy on Christmas day. They asked me if I could help decorate the little ones nursery, and I jumped at the idea. They had a theme in mind, because the baby's sex will be a surprise, even to them, they wanted something unisex. M (Mommy-to-Be) requested a monkey family in the jungle. I worked up a couple of ideas, and they choose their favorite. The thing is we are a state apart, so they were taking on the actual painting of the mural. I gave them a crisp black and white line drawing that they projected on the wall. Then M (Daddy-to-Be) painted the entire mural. I think he did a wonderful job, and I know each brushstroke was painted with love. Everything is better with love as the extra ingredient.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Our assignment this week was to do a two or three dimensional collage of a famous person, or person from history. The requirement was that the person must be recognizable, and it must be someone we all know. We were told to think about recognizable visual characteristics, like Einstein's hair, and Jackie O's glasses and pearls. So I decided on Frida Kahlo, because really, is there a more recognizable visual characteristics than those eyebrows? Now that is a fashion statement.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

In getting ready for Thanksgiving I went to every grocery store in my neighborhood today. Every single one, and the only things I'm making is a pumpkin cheesecake, green bean casserole, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. But our supermarkets are small here, and I was missing ingredients at each one. Now finally, I am back home baking away, and it smells delicious in here. Hopefully those muffins will make it to their intended destination, which is my sister-in-laws table. I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I hope you do to. Here's to feeling all full, warm and fuzzy tomorrow. Happy Turkey Day.

Handmade Gifts

I made this little collage with one of my nephews in mind. It's not finished yet, and after working on so many different collage techniques in class, I actually have some new ideas for it. It looks really sweet in an Ikea Ribba frame.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Our assignment this week was to do a collage about winter. We had to use photo collage as our technique (images from magazines or books). I decided on the iconic image of the red cardinal atop a snowy branch. I tried to let myself be messy, and quick in my decision of how to cut the shapes or glue them down. Messy and quick is hard for me, but this was actually fun. I'm going to be using birds for an upcoming project, so this was good practice.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things I've done, things I haven't done

I saw this on Amy's blog. You are supposed to bold the things you have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (does playing in Central Park count? I was the egg shaker.)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (for a day when I was 9, not the same)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class (does Thai Chi count?)
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury!
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Our assignment this week was to make a collage of a memory. I decided on the memory of sailing with my Grandpop as my theme. My Grandpop loved to sail. His boat was in the Chesapeake Bay, and we took many trips on it. I loved hanging my legs over the side, and having the waves crash up on them. Later, when I was older, Grandpop let me man the rudder. The skies were blue, the sails blew open, and the smiles were wide.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Holiday Cheer

We have a new tableware set at Joann's Fabrics that would be perfect for a Holiday cocktail party.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Our assignment this week was to illustrate the nursery rhyme 'Hey Diddle Diddle' as a children's book spread, in fabric. I went a little off assignment. I used the characters from the nursery rhyme, and I used fabric, but I decided to make a mobile. I had so much fun working on this. I even learned some new stitches thanks to some great videos I found on the web. Now I'm ready to blanket stitch anything. I had a really great time working on the little characters, and the little dish and spoon really make me smile with their skinny little legs. The better to run away with.
*As soon as I find a blank wall in our apartment I'm going to take a better picture.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Holidays Underfoot

I am so excited to let you know that we are in a new product category - rugs. So far, all of our artwork has been on paper; greeting cards, gift bags, paper plates, etc. But we have now officially moved onto other surfaces, and it is very exciting. Home Comfort makes really fun throw rugs, and they have produced two of our Holiday Rugs, which will be available January 2009.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


It's never too early to start planning for the holidays, right? Well, it's a little early, but I am very excited to share this design with you.
Will you be hosting a kids holiday party? This tableware set could be perfect for you. Sweet tarts and gum drops abound while an adorable penguin hugs his favorite holiday treats, the sweeter the better.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Leaf Peepin' Trips

We recently took a couple of great leaf peepin' trips. The first was to New Paltz and the Mohonk Mountain House. This resort holds a special place in my heart, as it is where we got engaged. It was by the lily pond, on a bright sunny day. Mohonk is a perfect fall destination. The views are wonderful from any point on the grounds, and if you hike all the way up to their lookout tower, you can see 5 states.

Our second trip was to Woodstock, where we stayed at The Wild Rose Inn, and went to Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble. This was a Birthday surprise for John, that turned out not to be a surprise, but was still amazing. I think one of the best things about living in the Northeast is enjoying the four seasons, and although Spring and Fall seem much too short, they are a wonderful time of the year.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I was just tagged by the talented Miss Kate of Kate Honarvar Designs. We started our adventure in the licensing world together, and I love that we've been able to cheer each other on.

Now I have to come up with 7 things about myself that you all out there don't know about me, and then tag 7 other people.

1. My nickname in grade school was Vger.

2. I have way too much Britney Spears on my iPod, but come on, it's great for running.

3. I used to be addicted to Fritos Corn Chips (original or BBQ) and can still taste them when I look at the packaging, but I don't go near them now.

4. I can jump on a pogo stick and walk on stilts.

5. I like to make piles; paper piles, book piles, clothes piles. I am not naturally organized.

6. I used to brush my eyebrows straight up in high school (senior year specifically). I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea, and why none of my girlfriends stopped me, but my senior year portrait will forever be proof of that beauty blunder.

7. The bottoms of my feet are VERY wrinkly. I like to think that's where all of my wrinkles will end up. My feet may look 70, but my face still looks fresh ; )

Here are some inspiring artists that I'm passing the TAG to:
1. Aimee Sicuro
2. Crystal Kluge
3. Jannie Ho
4. Holli Conger
5. Ellen Crimi-Trent
6. BJ Lantz
7. Jennifer E. Morris

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Our assignment this week was "Food, glorious food." I immediately thought of one of my favorite dishes, guacamole. I love everything about guacamole, the ingredients, the smells, and the taste. Oh that taste. Guacamole, like all of cooking, is a creative mix of ingredients. Each individually is wonderful (garlic, avocado) but once combined it becomes a whole new creation. Art and cooking are so alike. The best things come out when you make interesting combinations.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Every Place Has A Story

The New York Times has a really nice video walking tour of the neighborhood we call home.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

6 Years

6 years ago today, we stood under a perfect Brooklyn blue sky, and made a promise.
Time flies by so fast...Thank you for every moment. I do. Always.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Let's get Cookin'

I've had this cookbook on my Amazon Wish List for about a year now, and I could resist no longer. It is amazing. Flipping through it quickly, I noticed that it has an entire chapter on garbanzo beans (a staple in my diet), and it has multiple recipes for cannelloni, which will probably be a hard recipe to tackle, but I'm willing to try. This cookbook is really beautiful, with a fabric cover, and it is illustrated by my favorite Spanish illustrator Javier Mariscal. Now if only I could turn my kitchen into a Spanish restaurant on Las Rambles with the soft Barcelona breeze blowing in. Everything I've ever eaten in Barcelona has been amazing, and I think the magic is truly in the air.

First Snowfall

I'm definitely not ready for snowflakes, but they are blowing into your local Lowe's stores. The snowflakes are glittered, with appliqué details on the tiny red mittens. This little flag would look sweet hanging over a snow covered lawn. Ah, if only I had a lawn.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Our first assignment for class was to collage the theme "On the Road." I decided to illustrate our weekend day trips from Brooklyn to the beach. Working on this piece made me realize I have to read 'The War of Art' again. For an artist there's nothing like trying something brand new and uncomfortable to bring on the resistance and the gremlins. I wasn't happy with how the piece was going, my hands felt too clumsy, I had a better idea, I should be doing something more serious, and on and on. Don't those gremlins ever get tired? But as I learned from 'The War of Art' the only way to battle the gremlins is to press on. You'll make a mess, you wont like it, you might hate it, and you wont be smiling, but you have to press on.

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Fall

The air is crisp, and the leaves are turning. Soon it will be leaf peeping time. Luckily the people at The Foliage Network are watching the leaves, and tracking the changes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Continuing Education

When summer's warm breeze turns cool, and the leaves start turning brown, you know it's back to school season. All of the neighborhood kids are marching back to class with new notebooks and pens in hand, and I have decided to join them. I'm taking another continuing education class at the School of Visual Arts. This time it's a collage class, and I am both exhilarated and terrified about trying something brand new, but I love being a student, so here's to another great semester.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Joy of Licensing

Licensing is the gift that keeps on giving. Instead of selling a design once, you can license it multiple times, for multiple products. The Halloween image that I showed you below was licensed as a flag, and it has also been licensed as a paper plate set. It's available for some other categories, hmm, maybe a fun popcorn tin or a ceramic candy dish?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Staying on the Halloween theme. This garden flag is blowing into Lowe's stores across the country. A friendly ghost, spider, pumpkin, and bat will greet all your neighborhood trick-or-treaters with a friendly Boo!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Halloween Happy Hour

With summer unofficially over, it's time for fall holidays. I was in a local Hallmark store the other day, and they already have their Christmas ornaments out. I think September 2 is a record even for them. Time flies by too quickly without the help of eager sale staff. We know fall and winter are on their way, but easing into the transition (for those of us who think 70 degrees is cold) would be really helpful. Of course I understand being excited about fun new product. Halloween will fall on a weekend this year, so you might be planning a Halloween Happy Hour. Our new collection features a 'Pina Ghoulada' and a 'Witchy Sour' (complete with tiny broom). They'd be perfect for a ghoulishly good time.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I love Amazon, and have been a loyal customer since 1999. I've bought way too many books (John could attest to that). So I was so excited the other day, when I found some of our paper plate collections there. When I first started working as a graphic designer, I got a thrill out of seeing my work in print for the first time. Also, when I started off in the Licensing world, I was ecstatic to see my illustrations on cards. But it has been a secret wish of mine to see my work on Amazon. It's just a little thing, but it made me do a happy dance.

Monday, August 18, 2008

We have Bees... our bedroom, in our apartment in Brooklyn. We have no idea how they are getting in. We slept in the wilderness for 6 nights on vacation, and not one critter bothered us. I took a nap the day we got home, and I got stung by a bee in my bed. I'm wondering if there is a beehive in the tree outside our bedroom window. Or maybe the tenant below us has become a secret bee keeper? Right now it is a mystery.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Zion - Day 7

On the last day of the trip, we headed out for an 18 mile bike ride through Zion. There are no cars allowed on the main road, so we only had to pull over for an occasional shuttle bus. The only other traffic we encountered were herds of wild turkeys. It was a clear road, on a perfectly sunny day, just our small group, and the beauty of Zion. The ride that morning was pretty flat, so we were able to enjoy the view without being exhausted. John spent a good part of the ride looking back for me.

At the end, we were sad that the trip was over, even if John was looking forward to a real bed. Spending time in nature does wonders to your soul. There is nothing like what mother nature created. It can all make you feel so small, and so expansive all at once. We are so happy we finally headed out to see that part of the country.

Zion - Day 6 cont...

We 'hoodood' all the way up the mountain, and everyone was still smiling. The soaring heights of Zion were breathtaking.

When we finally made it to our destination, John laid down for a well deserved rest.

Zion - Day 6

A big part of our trip was the camping. Neither John or I had ever camped before (other than backyard camping). By the end of the trip John had decided it wasn't for him (because of his back). This little tent was our traveling home for 6 nights...

Day 6 in Zion was the big hike to Angel's Landing. I have a fear of heights, that is getting worse as I get older, so I had already decided that I would not do the last (scary) part of the hike. The hike just to get to the start of Angel's Landing was stunning on its own, and quite steep.

Zion - Day 5

On day 5, it was time to pack up camp again, and head off to our final destination, Zion National Park. From the National Parks brochure: "Immutable yet ever changing, the cliffs of Zion stand resolute, a glowing presence in late day, a wild calm. Melodies of water soothe desert parched ears, streams twinkle over stone, wren song cascades from red-rock cliffs, cottonwood leaves jitter on the breeze. But when lighting flashes waterfalls erupt from dry cliffs, and floods flash down waterless canyons exploding log jams, hurling boulders, croaking wild joyousness, and dancing stone and water and time. Zion is alive with movement, a river of life always here and always changing." No wonder Zion was John's favorite. "All this is the music of waters." John Wesley Powell, 1895.

On our first day in Zion, we headed out for a hike in 'The Narrows'. The Virgin River is usually pure, but there was a flash flood warning the day we were there. The muddy hue to the water is all the sediment washing into the river.