Category: Hand-lettering & Typography


2015 – A Year To Flourish

January 4th, 2015 — 10:27pm


Two thousand & fifteen has arrived, and although the New Year always comes faster than I feel prepared for, I welcome it!
This year, my personal aspirations are focused on embracing change and exploring new possibilities… pushing myself out of my comfort zone.


Change doesn’t tend to come easy but the beneficial energy and creativity that it can generate is powerful and can get you to where you want to go. I am sending everyone my brightest and most hopeful wishes for the New Year. May we reach high and flourish!

Comment » | Hand-lettering & Typography, Illustration, Uncategorized

Calligram Menu For Chez Panisse

September 30th, 2014 — 10:52pm


I have been fascinated by calligrams long before I learned that that’s what they are called. And, for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to create a menu design in this way, I finally got my chance this Bastille Day for Chez Panisse Restaurant! The main course was chicken so my strutting rooster felt quite fitting as the image. The proud rooster has, also, always felt so perfectly “French”, as he appears in all sorts of traditional French emblems and motifs.

I love the charming playfulness of this design. Thank you Alice for making one of my dreams come true!

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Bon Anniversaire Chez Panisse Café!

March 31st, 2014 — 8:04pm

The upstairs Café at Chez Panisse Restaurant is turning 34 tomorrow. Bon Anniversaire! The occasion will be celebrated with a delicious prix fixe menu. This year, I was lucky enough to be asked to design and print the special menus.
With such a wonderful French menu, I decided to draw inspiration from the sketches and illustrated notebooks of Georges Braque. Georges had the most charming handwriting and I tried my best to emulate his style while handwriting the menu, I’m very pleased with the results.
Today, as the rain poured down, I hand-painted each menu with blue and red… a perfect rainy day project. I love how the small touch of color brings the whole design to life, while also creating a French blue-white-red palette. It is so enjoyable to work on such a playful and celebratory project. I hope everyone has an exquisite evening!

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St. Valentine’s Day at Chez Panisse

February 15th, 2014 — 7:08pm


Please forgive my delayed Valentine’s Day wishes, this year I was busily working on the menu designs for Chez Panisse Restaurant! Such a dream project! I created the above menus for the Downstairs Restaurant and the menu header, below, for the Café. My designs are inspired by gorgeous old title pages, in particular, design elements from Paris – circa the late 1700′s. I hand-drew all the lettering in a mixture of styles from the same era.


Every Valentine’s Day a small bouquet of violets is traditionally given to each couple who dines in the Downstairs Restaurant at Chez Panisse, a lovely romantic offering. In keeping, I printed my artwork in a deep violet colored ink and applied a soft watercolor wash to add extra depth and warmth.
Whether you had an elaborate evening out or a cozy evening at home, I hope everyone was able to pause for a moment and appreciate the people they love. Vive Amour!

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Northern California Fall Wedding

November 30th, 2013 — 8:26pm


I just got home from a beautiful hike with a friend in Redwood Regional Park. I always love Thanksgiving weekend as it seems to be one of the rare times that life truly slows down. Being out in the woods on this crisp sunny day inspired me to share this autumnal wedding in Hopland, California. This is the same wedding that I spoke of in last month’s post – Fall Wedding Feast.
This project drew inspiration from Northern California’s natural landscape, John Muir’s botanical collection, and early American folk art. Lady’s slipper orchids were especially significant to the bride and groom, and therefore, became a main feature on their invitation (above & below).


I letterpress printed my hand-lettering and the line work of the Lady’s slipper botanical illustration. I then hand-painted each invitation with watercolor and gouache, a lot of work but it really made the imagery come to life.


Here is the invitation for the rehearsal/welcome dinner held the night before the wedding. For this invitation I looked to early American folk art, especially Pennsylvania Dutch and the paper-cut crafts of the time. The event was held in the hop barn, at Campovida, and so I thought it would be fun to have the invitation wording displayed within the silhouette shape of the barn. My hand-lettering is inspired by old Shaker alphabets and painted signs.

I silkscreen printed my illustrations in bright ‘barn red’ and letterpress printed the wording. Campovida is a working family run farm so it seemed fitting to include the farm animals in my design. I love the mixture of traditional folk art symbols, the rooster weather vane, and the firework-like stars in the sky.

The invitations were packaged in these beautiful envelopes. I printed a pressed plant image of a violet, with heart shaped leaves that draped over the front. The bride and groom found the perfect vintage postage stamps which added such autumnal color and personality to the presentation. The stunning calligraphy of the addresses was done by Adrienne Keats.
I hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving holiday, staying warm and cozy, and finding time for a little walk in the woods.

4 comments » | Hand-lettering & Typography, Process, Uncategorized, Weddings & Events

Fall Wedding Feast

October 31st, 2013 — 8:32pm


My mother just dropped off a bounty of delicious figs from her tree and it made me think of this menu that I created last year.
Renee and Chris were a lovely couple getting married at Campovida, a magical family run organic farm and vineyard in Hopland, California. The Italian inspired wedding feast was served outdoors under the stars. As the menu featured fish grilled in fig leaves, and the tables had bowls of figs for guests to enjoy, we decided it would lovely to use an old botanical illustration of figs… it also added such beautiful fall colors to the tables. I hand-lettered the menu in a style inspired by early Italian typefaces. I silkscreen printed the colors of the botanical illustration and then letterpress printed the line work and wording. Simple, yet warm and elegant, they looked fantastic all lined up at each place setting down long family style tables. Molto Bello!

1 comment » | Hand-lettering & Typography, Uncategorized, Weddings & Events

Sweetest Birth Announcement

September 28th, 2013 — 7:52pm

I’ve been wanting to share this sweet birth announcement for quite some time. I’ve known Kathryn, the client and expecting mother, for several years and was so honored when she contacted me regarding this very special project. Kathryn is the creator of Snippet & Ink, one of my most favorite wedding blogs. She has excellent taste, a great design eye, and a true appreciation of fine paper, letterpress printing, and vintage style design… I knew instantly that our collaboration would be a dream.

With her baby girl arriving in late Spring, early Summer, Kathryn wanted strawberries to be part of the design. She also wanted my hand-lettering style to be reminiscent of vintage children’s books. With such a sweet color palette we thought it would be great to tie the announcements, along with a photograph, into little bundles with red and white twine.

And what lovely bundles they were! Kathryn put the gorgeous little photos of Caroline in protective glassine envelopes.

I letterpress printed the return address, along with a sweet butterfly on the front of the envelopes. The envelopes were addressed in the perfect grass green ink by the fabulous calligrapher and artist, Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls. Maybelle’s charming style added such elegance and whimsy.

I found these beautiful seed packet stamps for the mailing, they couldn’t have been more perfect to complete the package.

I can’t believe that little Caroline is already 4 months old, where does the time go?
Thank you Kathryn for this wonderful project! Congratulations and much love.

2 comments » | Birth Announcements, Hand-lettering & Typography, Uncategorized, Weddings & Events

42 Years of Chez Panisse

August 29th, 2013 — 12:04pm


Yesterday Chez Panisse celebrated it’s 42nd birthday. I have always felt a sense of kinship with the restaurant, as I too was born in 1971. I was so pleased when I was contacted to design and print the menus for this celebratory occasion. I kept my design simple and elegant using a decorative border from the late 1700′s which I silkscreen printed in a soft moss green. I hand-calligraphed the menu wording in a graceful and delicate style and letterpress printed onto a plush fawn colored paper. When I delivered the menus in the afternoon I got to walk through the downstairs kitchen full of all the delicious sights and aromas of the feast to come. Happy birthday Chez Panisse, I look forward to growing old together.

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Vive Bastille Day! Vive Chez Panisse!

July 24th, 2013 — 7:02pm

It seems impossible that we are already deep into July, where does the time go?
Although I’m a little late, I thought I’d post another one of my Bastille Day menus designed for Chez Panisse Restaurant. I’ve created many special menus for Chez Panisse over the years and they continue to be some of my favorite projects of my career. Alice (the owner and guiding light of the restaurant) found this festive image in an old book of hers, it felt perfect for a delicious celebration of Bastille Day. My hand-lettering of the menu was inspired by beautiful old typefaces from the 1500-1700s and I found a gorgeous ream of vintage paper to print onto (the warm patina on the edges of the paper is so appealing to me!). I put on some playful French music by the Baguette Quartette and proceeded to hand-paint each French flag. Vive la France! Vive Chez Panisse!

Comment » | Hand-lettering & Typography, Process, Uncategorized, Weddings & Events

Belated Valentine

February 28th, 2013 — 6:08pm

This year, for the first time ever, I did not celebrate Valentine’s Day…. so sad!
Marc and I had caught the most horrible flu, it truly knocked us down for over a week. Neither of us had ever been so sick. Needless to say, Valentine’s Day came and went. Now that we’ve recovered I wanted to do a little something fun to mark the holiday…
always a good excuse!
Yesterday we went to Ethnic Arts to pick out our annual “Valentine” milagro, we’ve been collecting them for years and have fun displaying them on the walls of our kitchen nook (a.k.a. The Frida Room).

Here is The Frida Room, our ever-evolving shrine room to Frida Kahlo.
And here is a closeup of a wonderful saying that I hand-painted on the wall, the rough translation is “Be Fearless, Choose Love!”.
And here is today’s project, created in the Valentine spirit!
Marc and I went to Oaxaca, Mexico for Day of the Dead in 2011. While we were there we fulfilled a longtime wish of mine; to dress up, have our faces painted, and get a professional photograph taken to look like an old portrait! Our photo session was hilarious, the photographer was so fun to work with. Above is my favorite photograph that I have painted over with encaustic medium (beeswax and resin), the encaustic gives it such a perfect ghostly look.
Today, I finally hung the photograph and hand-painted our names, place and year on the wall.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, full of love, appreciation, and playfulness.

1 comment » | Hand-lettering & Typography, Process, Uncategorized

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