Friday Quote

Happy Friday! Welcome to my new Friday theme – quote posters – to send you into the weekend with inspiration.

Blossom by Blossom


This quote is a good reminder that progress is made one step at a time.

Enjoy your weekend.


 Photo by me at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Font used: Lucida Bright

Community Maps

I love to illustrate maps. That’s no secret. I love the meticulous details of getting the street grid laid down, and then adding color and drawing icons to tell the story.

I’m lucky that I get to illustrate maps for my current job. These two community maps are some of my favorites because they are chock–full of fun icons that tell a story. They are a good way to show possible tenants what there is to do in the neighborhood surrounding an apartment complex, things like where is the nearest cafe or grocery store or brew pub or bike trails.

Tribeca Community Map

West End Community Map

These maps are a little more simple, showing the overall property and building footprints. They are a good way to navigate to the property and within the multi-building complex.

Map Briarwood

Map Yahara Landing

I also did a map for guests to use to navigate the food stations at an open house. This one was the size of a palm card or rack card at 8.5″ wide x 4″ high, which made it easy to carry under a plate full of food.

Illustrating maps is one of those activities where I lose track of time when immersed in it. I’m addicted, so I’m lucky I get to do these for work and for fun.

I’m looking forward to doing more maps as a freelance commission. Let me know if you’re interested in having a map done, whether it’s of your own neighborhood, your city or your bucket list of travel destinations. You can see more of my illustrated maps by clicking here.


Signs of Spring

I have seen a few signs of Spring lately: crocus blooming, daffodils and narcissus standing tall, buds and blossoms starting to open on trees, a late snow storm, and a high school musical of Shrek with my niece Abby as one of the stars.

spring is daffodils

spring is buds

spring is blossoms

abby as the dragon

my niece Abby as the Dragon – she rocked the most awesome solo!

abby as the dragon

abby as the dragon

my niece Abby as the Dragon – she’s the star in the purple dress

abby as the dragon

Spring is my favorite season. It’s exciting to see the world (in the Northern Hemisphere) warm up and come back to life , so I look forward to seeing more signs of Spring. What signs of Spring have you seen?


Happy Weekend

Yay, it’s the weekend! Time to reflect on things that made me happy this past week, and share a new weekend postcard featuring one of my recent photos.

Crocus Postcard

Here are five highlights from my week:

  • We had a great time celebrating my husband’s birthday and visiting the zoo.
  • We finally had our first warm sunny day which gave us a chance to play in the dirt (i.e. Spring cleaning in our gardens). I was excited to find some crocus bulbs blooming.
  • Spring weather has finally arrived – I haven’t had to wear socks or a coat all week.
  • We’ve been catching up on our Oscar movie-watching lately. Last week we watched The Wolf of Wall Street – what a crazy story full of debauchery! (We’ve also seen American Hustle, Gravity, and Blue Jasmine.)
  • I hit the road with my mom for a weekend visit to see my sister and her family.

Enjoy your weekend!


Receiving any snail mail is a good thing. I’ve added some great treasures to my collection lately.

I received another letter from my Paris Letters subscription, which talked about the flowers starting to bloom in spring in Paris. I always feel like I’m right there seeing, hearing and smelling the sights alongside Janice as she writes and illustrates her letters.

Paris Letters February March April

I also have this beautiful collection of watercolor postcards from my friend Cindy, with whom I started exchanging postcards this year. She realized how difficult it is to find postcards these days, so she prints her own using photos and the Waterlogue appWatercolor postcards from Cindy

For my monthly subscription of paper goods from OliveBox, I received this box of treasures in March, which included Samantha Hahn‘s new book of watercolor illustrations of women characters in fiction, one of her prints and a lovely watercolor notecard from Monica Lee. (Click here to see what I got for January and December, and here to see the February box.)

Olive Box for March


I was especially thrilled to receive anything done by THE Samantha Hahn, a famous illustrator and designer, whom we studied in design school. Each portrait is painted so beautifully, and the quote is hand written to match the mood of the character and her scene.

Samantha Hahn's illustrated book

Samantha Hahn's illustrated book

Samantha Hahn's illustrated book

Samantha Hahn's illustrated book

So wonderful to receive a variety of fabulous art in the snail mail to add to my growing collection. Happy letter writing!



This past weekend we went to the zoo for the first time in a few years. There were huge crowds of people, so it was a bit challenging to navigate around the zoo exhibits, but it was still fun. Some of the animals were still inside since our weather is just starting to warm little by little.

The jaguar was very attentive to the zookeepers across the way who were cleaning the cheetah exhibit.

jaguar close-up



The snow leopard was snoozing in the warm sun.




The elephants were just hanging out.



These little golden lion tamarins were so adorable and curious.



This cute little monkey lived with his family of eight.



The peacocks are always wandering around the grounds.



This meerkat posed for me ;)


It was a great chance to experiment with my new telephoto lens so I could practice taking super close-up pictures.


TGIF! Weekend Postcard tools A few highlights from the week:

  • I received great news of more freelance illustration projects coming my way, perhaps a new collection of licensed art each month.
  • I illustrated a new map that I really love and entered into a design contest. (did you vote yet?!)
  • We had a great visit with my dad last weekend. We spent the day at his upholstery shop, helping him with a new computer set-up.
  • All of our snow has finally melted, and our brown matted grass is slowly starting to perk up.
  • We finished our taxes.

Birthdays are always better when they land on a Friday. Happy Birthday to my husband Dave! Dave at Cabo Wabo The first thing I remember about meeting him was his great laugh! He does love making people laugh. Dave also loves Las Vegas, donuts, cats, Coke, pizza, carbs, movies, video games, Journey, Rush, 80s music, taking things apart to figure out how they work, science, space, chocolate chip cookies, the beach, and so much more. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, he’s obsessed with napkins too. Everyone has their quirks. I do admire him for his individuality, confidence and convictions. I count my lucky stars everyday we’re together.

We’re going to a swanky place for dinner to celebrate, and then we’re going to the Zoo this weekend for some adventure. Happy Friday to you. Enjoy your weekend!



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