I have been busy the last month or so tending to my very first garden. I have waited my whole life to have my own garden. I grew up learning about plants and tending to them with my mom, but at a nursery. My mom instilled a love for plants, gardening and the earth from a young age. I figured I should try and do the same with my children. So, I have taken on the very big task (I had no idea it was so much work) of making my very own Garden.


I thought I would share with you some of my favorite artisans from The Raleigh Handmade Market. Take a peek!


Dont get frustrated about branding and marketing your handmade business. Take a breath, be authentic, make mistakes, and keep trying.


 I have been going through some old hard drives the last few days and thought I should share some projects that i have created in the past. some of them are random illustrations, client work and even a few from college projects. It is so fun to look back and see how much you have learned, changed and evolved as a designer. It gives you a great perspective.  ED Hardy Inspired Illustration.When I worked at OneUpWeb I was asked to create an Ed Hardy inspired illustration that incorporated elements you might find in Traverse City, Michigan. Salmon, birds, cherry blossoms and water were elements we wanted to represent the beautiful location where we worked. This illustration was used on coffee mugs, tshirts and other online marketing campaigns. I definitly have changed since illustrating this.    A doodle for my stepdaughter.My stepdaughter was in her sophomore year of high school and she loved to draw on her clothes so I decided I should design something more fitting for her. I designed a doodled pair of shoes for her to flaunt at school and she loved them. I believe she wore them out. She got multiple inquiries on where she got them and I got a number of calls from her friends.   Network Traverse City LogosI created some logo options for a small networking company based in Traverse City, Michigan that helped local small businesses with their social media and connect them with other small businesses. I focused on the many areas of interest in the area and drew a lot of inspiration from the food, culture, and atmosphere of the region.     Unconventional Calendar - Tea For EverydayOh college, those were the days...days I could sleep in (if I didn't have class or a lunch date). Days when I didn't have a million things to do or kids to drop off or lunches to pack...or boogers to wipe. I miss college. I miss working on projects just for the fun of it! I should probably get back to doing that. This project was given to us to create a design on our own. We were told to take a font to showcase and create an unconventional calendar. We had to showcase the different type styles and create a unique calendar. Some of my classmates created wall hangings, lamp shades, and other fun ideas but for some reason, I wanted to try a package I created the calendar using a different flavor and type style for each month. The font I was given was Helvetica Neue. I had a great time picking out the flavors based on the connotation of the different type styles and weights. What a fun college project this was. I think I may go have a cup of tea...    Frederick Meijer Gardens BrochureHere is another throwback to college. We were given the task of marketing an event at the Frederick Meijer Gardens. My event was a showing of the plant Arborvitae...and If I think back far enough I think it was mostly used for shelter-belts and for shielding farms and driveways from unwanted wind or neighbors gazes. This was a made up project but it sure was fun. I think If I were to do it now I would photograph the actual leaves and plants instead of using a hand illustrated approach. I would do some different image making techniques to show the intricate patterns on the leaves. I still think this was one of my favorite college projects.       Family Reunion InvitationAnother college goodie! This is possibly my favorite college project. We were tasked with creating a family reunion invitation to showcase our family traditions and style. My family just so happened to be called the HAZARD family. Yes, you read it right, the Hazards. We love outdoors sports and if there was snow at Christmas time we were outside sledding or snowmobiling or skiing...or blasting someone with a snowball. We lived up to our name and I thought I should showcase our love for the outdoors and our love for the snow. I created this invite to resemble a Geschmossel which is a german ski race...anyway so I could imagine 77 of us (we have a bigger family now) all tangled up in a mad dash to the bottom of the mountain. It really sounds like a Hazard to me!       It is so weird looking back at these old projects. I can't believe I have been a designer for almost 17 years (including my education in vocational school in high school. Thanks, Mr. Jensen!) I am beginning to feel a little old. That's ok, along with getting old you learn, and that's most definitely what I have been doing. I am so blessed to have spent the last 17 years doing what I love to do. ​


My son turned 1 in December and I finally got to have his birthday celebration after a crazy winter storm passed through.


Carolina artisan craft market raleigh

  This weekend I was asked by a mighty fine chair maker to visit his booth at the Carolina artisan craft market this weekend in Raleigh. Boy am I glad I went. You wouldn't believe the amazing work I got to witness. Jewelry that I couldn't help but drool over, furniture, baskets, pottery and ceramics and so much more. I got the chance to speak with some amazing artists and even got a little inspired myself. I figured I would share with you a little bit of what I got to see. 


First I really went to meet Michael Brown, a chairmaker making his fine furniture out of Grantsboro, North Carolina. I loved meeting him. He is one of those guys you could talk to forever, a craftsman who just oozes his passion for his work. I really enjoyed talking to him about his work and his brand. His chairs are beautiful and honestly the best thing I have sat in, ever. At a design agency I worked at before we had Herman Miller Aeron chairs and these chairs beat those by a million miles. My husband came with and he even said after we left I think Michaels chair fixed my back. He has been having some back pain and claims he hasn't had any since Saturday. It was a joy meeting Michael and his wife and discussing their passion for fine woodworking and I can't wait for our next call.

What I love about Michael's work is that he custom makes his furniture and designs his chairs based on his client's height, weight and stature which truly guarantees a perfect fit. You won't find a chair like his in Staples that is guaranteed. His brand essence is awesome and we discussed updating and establishing a more professional visual identity for his business. I can't wait for our next phone call.

Check out more of his work here.


Michael Brown Chairmaker  

Michael Brown Chairmaker



Some More Artisans I loved:




Alan Daigre Designs - Natural Textures and Clean Simple Furniture


Alan Daigre has been crafting his signature rope and block chairs for more than 10 years. They are gorgeous and the block design I just adore. View more of his work .





 Alan Daigre Designs



Jake Johnson - Functional & Sculptural Ceramics

The colors and organic shapes of Jake Johnson's Ceramics are beautiful. Definitely, my style for sure and I loved his teapots. His designs have a simple midcentury feel and would fit nicely in my own home. I think I love that his work is both sculptural and functional at the same time. His color choices are fantastic as well, a good mix of neutrals and colors that pop.  Check them out for your self here



Jakes Clay Art 



Kim Thompson-Stone and Sterlingwear


I discovered a Kim Thompson and her booth of jewelry early on in the show. I loved her "Meditation on a Leaf" collection. I loved the geometric shape of the metal paired with the organic lines and character of the leaf. The Large Leaf Rectangle Necklace is my favorite. 




Minds Eye-Amazing Leather Journals


Theresa is a bookbinder who is after my own heart. Her work is so fun and intriguing. A perfect gift for the lover of illustration, design, fine papers, writing, journaling artist or traveler. I saw her work before and I just love it! I might have to pick myself up one of her journals for my design sketchbooks. I usually buy a new sketchbook every 6 months or so and these would look amazing on my shelf full of my design sketches and ideas.
You may view her work here


Minds Eye Journals



Emily Claire Designs - Awesomely Beautiful Jewelry

I couldn't help but pawn over Emily's amazing jewelry. I would have loved a piece of her jewelry as my wedding band. I am totally going to remind my husband about her work and put her website on my Christmas list. I love the organic and rough nature of her sterling work. The organic lines and shapes are so dreamy. You can view her beautiful work here



emily claire designs

Lynda Bahr Jewelry - Fun, Detailed, and Dimensional 

I had the privilege of meeting Linda and discussing her amazingly detailed work. I love how you can look at a piece of her work and see something new every time you look back at it. So incredibly detailed and full of her passion. Each piece truly is a piece of art. We talked about who had inspired us as creators and I told her of one of my childhood mentors a metalsmith named James Malone-Beach. I should probably write about him but that's for another day. Linda was a joy to talk to and her work is quite impressive.  





Christina Boy Design - Funky Fresh Midcentury Designed Furniture

 Gosh, where do I even start? I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Christina. What an inspiration! I myself have a passion for woodworking and the intrinsic qualities of wood. She creates these beautiful and detailed pieces that are just so fresh and simple. Really how can a piece of furniture be detailed and still be simple? Well, she pulls it off. I love her work and if I could take a few weeks away from work I would love to take one of her woodworking classes in Virginia. Here is another hint for my husband for Christmas...this one...this one...this.
View more here.



Christina Boy Design Furniture 

 What a weekend of adventure and what a way to include some romance in your life. I suggest going to the next Carolina Designer Craftsman Guild event and bring your spouse. Lots of things to see and talk about. I had a great time and I am looking forward to next years event.