Oh my Gourd.

This weekend I saw David Sedaris with my parents at the State Theatre in Minneapolis. He reminded me that 1) I love him and 2) I should catch up on my This American Life podcasts and 3) lots of things can be funny–even colonoscopies and dental surgery.

Oh yeah, and also, the State Theatre is really gorgeous. And old. I felt like I was back in Europe or something.

Also accomplished this weekend:

    • I cleaned my apartment–dishes and all
    • Re-watched the last two seasons of Arrested Development in preparation for its comeback in January 2013
    • Took a yoga class…ahem…a restoration yoga class, meaning I didn’t break a sweat but rather laid on the floor of a dimly lit dance studio at the Y with a group of middle aged women
    • Took a Kick-Boxing class, where I did break a sweat…and can only imagine how I’ll feel tomorrow
    • Made “adult grilled cheese,” that is grilled cheese that is made from gouda and wheat bread–not suitable for children

      mmmm…cheese

    • AND bought my mother a birthday present. Win.

While Halloween may have passed, we still have one good fall holiday left before we deck the halls, so I have decided to post some desktop patterns inspired by the season–before it’s too late.

I took these photos last fall at the arboretum and used some new (and old) patterns to spruce them up a little and add some more interest.

Comment if you like…or if you’re REALLY feeling adventurous, I have added a Pinterest button to share this post 😉

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Minnesota’s best season and new ways to be a Little Dipper mega fan

Trees lining Lake Harriet

Yellows, reds, oranges, and greens color the foliage here in Minnesota. The fall in this state is really beautiful. I like to think that the leaves are just nature giving us a little gift before hitting us with below freezing temperatures and record breaking snowfalls. Its like giving someone a compliment before asking them for a favor or promising your kid ice cream so they’ll get a shot. Just so you know, Mother Nature, thanks for the leaves, but I’m probably still gonna complain about the blizzards. And so is everyone else. So, maybe its best we enjoy the crisp autumn temperatures and try not to anticipate the winter too much. The feeling of snot freezing in your nose… the numbness of your toes as you trudge through the snow… the way your cheeks feel all prickly when you come indoors… yeah that stuff. Don’t think about that yet. Oh, you weren’t thinking about it yet? Sorry, but I had to go there. Now maybe you’ll really appreciate the fall.

My very own store -- iPhone cases and laptop skins by LIttle Dipper!!!

I started building my Society6 store this week and might I just say, it is awesome. This site allows you to upload artwork — as much as you want — and sell prints and merchandise of it, while keeping rights to your work. Its pretty sweet. So if you were ever thinking to yourself that you wanted to help feed a starving artist, here’s your chance!

And now, for some more patterns to spice up your desktop… or whatever.

Saying my last goodbyes to summer and embracing the autumn leaves

Spotted: the last vestiges of summer at the Minnesota Arboretum

Coming into season: Honeycrisp apples and all types of pumpkins and gourds

We’re at that point in the year where the weather is crisp and the leaves are starting to change and all I want to order at the coffee shop is a Pumpkin Spice Latte. It finally really feels like fall even if there are days when it still seems like summer. I visited the Arboretum with my mom this week and experienced all facets of the current season. We saw everything from blooming pink roses to bumpy orange and yellow gourds.  Along with a stroll around the grounds, we also sat in on a class of eager 1st and 2nd graders on their field trip (my mom is a volunteer at the Arboretum and brought me along with her to observe the lesson). I learned, to my surprise, that things I had always assumed were vegetables were actually fruits…and I’m not just talking about tomatoes. Peppers, corn, squash, zucchini — all fruit. Surprisingly, I think I was more shocked than the 1st graders to learn this information. Apparently, anything with seeds on the inside is a fruit, at least according to a botanist. Now, I know there are some nerds out there who will read this and think, wow Liz, I already knew that.  Well, congratulations to you, but I’m pretty sure my veggie pizza should be called fruit pizza. I’m just saying.

In other news, I revitalized my Etsy shop this week! All my browsing in finding some cool artists to interview (like Mishel of Aeropagita Prints) inspired me. I made some items last summer that I meant to sell, but never got around to setting up shop. Now that I have the time, because of my recent “fun”-employment, it seemed like a good time. Check it out if you wish! I’m hoping to add to the listed items soon. Right now, I just have some beaded bobby pins listed, but I look forward to expanding on the inventory as I continue to create.

My pattern today was inspired by the fall colors and all the changing leaves. Enjoy!

Now onto a night of Parks and Rec and Project Runway. Perfect. Plus, I just found out I can get a free refill. #happythursday

My Uptown visiting, Etsy browsing, pattern designing life.

I feel a little groggy today, but the coffee I am currently consuming seems to be helping a bit. I just got back from a trip to Specs Optical in Uptown to pick up my dad’s new frames. The frames are kind of geeky cool–a cross between Mad Men and Revenge of the Nerds–perfect for my father, a college professor. Needless to say, my mom and I played a pretty big role in helping him pick them out. There were two great things about being roped into

Now I can clean my glasses in style

this particular errand: (1) Raymond, a Specs employee who helped us out last time, let me pick out a cleaning cloth of my own after he saw me eyeing the one included with my dad’s new purchase (see left), and (2) the Lucia’s To Go chocolate eclair that was crazy delicious and a perfect companion to Dunn Bros coffee. So now, I sit at my laptop with an array of possible careers open in each one of my tabs (except for this one) preparing myself for another day of cover letter writing. Bonus: my dad is joining me today and coincidently also paid for the coffee. Can you say father-daughter bonding?

Abstract Art Print from Mishel's Etsy Shop

One of the many beautiful pieces from Aeropagita Prints

So besides all the bonding and job searching, I also have been thinking of ways to expand Little Dipper. I mean I love making designs and posting them, but let’s be honest, I’ve been doing that for a while and I feel like I should mix it up a little. I know I like what I create, but I also really love looking at what other designers have come up with. I read design blogs, browse Etsy, and “window shop” virtually almost every day to see what else is out there and to get inspiration. Yesterday, as I was looking through items on Etsy I was really struck by one designer’s shop in particular. The Aeropagita Prints shop sells an array of abstract art prints that are colorful, flirty, and dynamic. I thought to myself, I would really love to connect with this artist. And then, I realized that I could. In fact, I could even interview the artist and post it right here! Anyways, flash forward about a half an hour after my initial request and Mishel, the owner of the Aeropagita Prints shop, agreed to be interviewed. In fact, I believe her response was something to the tune of “Yes yes yes!” The plan is that I will post the interview sometime next week (hopefully!), but if you have any questions for her in the meantime, please comment on this post or email them to me! And check out her shop–everything is beautiful and pretty moderately priced (prints start at $19).

And now onto what I have been up to. You guessed it, more patterns! This time I was specifically thinking of fabric design when I conceived these pieces. They are larger files than some of the other patterns I have worked on making them optimal for printing (versus using the images solely on the web). I think they have a bit of a nautical vibe personally. Lots of variations — so enjoy! And also, so you know, while they were made with fabric in mind, they still work great for desktop backgrounds and twitter personalization! There are 2 variations, the one knot and the double knot.



These where mainly created while watching Thursday night TV, i.e. Community, Parks and Recreation, Big Bang Theory, and Project Runway. Hands down the best night of the week, you know, for someone who is living with their parents. Thanks mom!

 

A Tribute to the Triangle: 4 greeting cards and a print

I am not sure that watching over four episodes of Mad Men a day is healthy, even if Betty Draper’s outfits do continue to get more and more amazing. Therefore, I have switched my Netflix instant watching back to Ally McBeal. What the show lacks in A-line dresses, it makes up for in 90s mini skirts, pleather pants, and mom jeans.  Definitely worth the switch. At least for now. Plus, Robert Downey, Jr. is in these episodes, who is most certainly a step up from stupid Billy. So yes, parts of my life do revolve around fictional characters, its better than being addicted to meth, right? I know that may be an odd comparison, but come on, let’s keep things in perspective. Some vices are better than others, and this is mine.

So I’ll admit, I may have gone a little overboard with the whole triangle thing, but I did have fun with it. I even switched, as you may have noticed, the background of Little Dipper to one of the triangle prints. I think it spices it up a little. Hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am. Below are four greeting cards I created using combinations of the 3 triangle prints that I previously posted. In addition, I have made a new print overlapping the 3 prints, which I used in the fourth card design (the one you probably wouldn’t want to download because it happens to be personalized to me… sorry). Nonetheless, please download them if you like them! They’re all 5 x 7 inches in size.

The newest print:

Thanks for reading! I already have the next project underway and hope to post it soon.

 

 

 

Three sides, Three ways

I got back on the metaphorical horse today, spending my afternoon at Starbucks working on job applications. After an enjoyable weekend that included helping my dad choose new glasses, getting stuffed to the brim with Indian food, and watching the Emmys, I was ready to get back to the search. It was a pretty great weekend though. I enjoyed getting back to my roots, working on that dress redo and posting it proudly to Craftster. I haven’t done that in over a year. For those of you who may not have heard of it, Craftster.org is a site where anyone can post their craft projects online. Its a fun way to share your work with other people who might actually appreciate it. I have posted to the site on and off since high school, so it felt good to visit again, knowing I had something to share.

I also resumed my design work this weekend, creating several projects to be posted over the next couple of days. These patterns were piggy-backing off of these two designs that I had posted before. I liked the ideas of putting triangles together again, but also really enjoyed working with the clean polygons that I used in the hexagon pattern.  So, I combined the two, making a range of playful patterns that work both together and independently. For the first project, I wanted to see how the patterns would look on products… like plates, and coffee mugs. All the patterns are versatile and could also be used for other things like desktop images and twitter backgrounds.

Number 1Number 2

Number 3Tahhhh dahhhh! Anyways… Picture the mugs with the pattern wrapped all the way up the edges and around it. My Photoshop kept quitting when I tried to use the vanishing point feature, so I had to improvise. I would love to know what you think!

More to come, Liz

 

 

 

Falling into Minnesota Life

This is the first time in 17 years that I have not gone “Back to School.” I realize this as I sit at Dunn Bros. Coffee, while a group of presumably 15-year-old girls oggle each others new backpacks and mourn the loss of summer. I presume them to be 15 because they look like they could drive, but one of them brought their mother, so I’m guessing none of them have turned the big 1-6 yet otherwise I’m thinking they would have left the mom at home.

The weird thing is that I thought it would feel really strange to not go back. To school, that is. But, in a lot of ways, I feel pretty grown up. A lot of years separate me from those girls drinking their blended coffee drinks with their bleached out summer hair. As Britney Spears once said, “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.” But actually. Goodness, why am I quoting Britney? I should be quoting Kant or something right? I mean I did graduate from Northwestern. Meh. Whatever. Sorry, Kanye, but Britney is the voice of our generation. Sort of. I mean I guess its a tie between Britney and Sasha Obama. Well, whatever, you decide.

Back to the fact that its September finally. Gahhh, this is such a strange time of year because it still sort of feels like summer, but the breeze is getting a little cooler and humidity has subsided. There’s something in the air that makes jeans more appealing than dresses, and its not just the temperature. Its just a matter of weeks before we’ll all be raking the lawn and baking apple pie reminiscing about family vacations and days at the beach. So as the last days of the MInnesota State Fair are upon us, I write this blog post with hope that Fall doesn’t go by too fast, because I’m not sure I’m ready for another blizzard just yet.

So, there you have it. For all of you who are going back to school, here’s a print that’s sure to get you in the mood for breaking into that spankin’ new 32 pack of Crayolas.