Binge Mode Harry Potter - The Boy Who Lived

Fellow Bingeheads, here is a new design to go with your "In Defense of Fantasy" print from 2017. This time I'm using the words of Mallory Rubin from the final Harry Potter podcast with some new Harry Potter illustrations to match. As before, please feel free to download and print this yourself or you can order it as an archival art print from my Etsy shop. The words in this print are adapted from Mallory's original dialogue from Binge Mode.

 [update: due to copyright, the words "Nimbus 2000" and "Platform" no longer appear on this print.]

Watercolor Patronus with Photoshop Magic

This week I cast my very first Patronus Charm! Well, I painted one which feels like a similar accomplishment for an artist. It took a few trial runs and a nasty exchange with my masking fluid before I realized that a muggle like me needs a little help from Photoshop. Here's a quick look at how it all came together:

Watercolor wash for background, using only Indanthrene Blue. Once the wash dried, I added some trees to the abstract landscape.

Watercolor painting of a doe using a dark grey or black – something to contrast with the paper and therefore easy to select in Photoshop. I did start this step with a pencil sketch of a doe based on a photo I found of one galloping in a Patronus-like manner.

I scanned both pieces into Photoshop. Using layers, I created one base layer with the background. I wanted to make the landscape darker without altering the colors so I duplicated the layer. With the top background layer selected, I changed the transparency to "Multiply."

On top …

Done & Dusted, Kippers & Custard - a GAVIN & STACEY fan journal

"I not gonna lie to you, it's a crackin' journal to keep your life tidy" – Nessa Jenkins // If you're a Gavin & Stacey fan like me, this is for you! This is a 36-page lined journal with some of our favorite Nessa-isms scattered throughout. It's a paperback and sized at 5" x 8." You can preview all of the pages and buy it at I painted the cover with gouache and added some finishing touches in Photoshop. I'm thinking of making a Smithy version next... "Gav-la!"

Update: I just found out that a new show with Pam and Mick is airing this spring! Can't wait to see the Shipmans again, down Essex and on Barry Island.

Jane Austen Coasters

If you follow my other site, Colouring Tudor History, you will see now that I am on a total "drink coaster" kick! My favorite printer, Printswell, has recently started this service and it is absolutely wonderful. Their color printing has always been the very best for my stationery products as they use an Indigo inkjet printer. This process ensures the rich, vibrant colors of a traditional offset printer at a digital printing price. This means that small business owners like me can play around with small print runs as opposed to enormous orders (we're talking thousands!) that offset printing requires. The reason offset printing has such high minimums is in part because to actually run the machine, which could not even fit in your average kitchen, requires lots of energy (people and electric). Anyway, more on that another time. Today I want to share my latest set - the Jane Austen collection! I drew these first in pencil and then added the color in Photoshop. The backgrou…

Watercolor warmup: Dress-up time for Bear

It was a Thursday morning that felt more like a Tuesday in the first week back from a pleasantly long winter break. The house was still dark when my husband left for his "new year, new me" routine of 6am spin class. Unable to get back to sleep, I poured myself a jumbo cup of coffee in my new Star Wars mug (won during a rousing game of Yankee Swap at my parents' house in Connecticut) and sat down at my desk to open some emails. I'm a print designer by trade so it was high time to respond to my wonderful clients after 2 weeks off. Only a couple people had sent messages and, as I scrolled through I saw that nothing was urgent. Side note: I work best under pressure so when I have a long deadline, you can pretty much catch me finally working on something about 1 day before it's due. I work quickly, which my clients and I both like about my process.

Caffeine kicking in, I felt a sudden inspiration to paint. I had 40 minutes before the boys would be awake so I filled up…

In Defense of Fantasy

This week something big happened in my little world. Someone I admire helped to share my artwork with more than 25,000 people. I suppose this particular piece is considered fan art but I never imagined what would happen when a community of my fellow Game of Thrones readers and watchers caught sight of it. With prompting by my genius husband, I originally made this for our two sons (and for us) to hang in their play room. I painted different elements from Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings and turned them into a decorative drop cap to go with deeply moving words about fantasy and the role that these stories play in our real lives. The words on my poster are from The Raven’s Scroll segment of the final Game of Thrones "Binge Mode" podcast of Season 7, and the 67th binge mode podcast for The Ringer Staff Writer, Jason Concepcion and Deputy Editor, Mallory Rubin. Below is the link to listen to the full podcast but for those who have not caught up, you can skip …

Harry Potter Theme Party

If you're planning a Harry Potter event, whether it's a theme night for adults or a child's birthday party, I've got a few things to share that will help add a magic touch. Awhile back, my husband and I worked together on a Harry Potter-themed birthday package for my now teenage nephew. My only regret was that this was a little too convincing and he seemed genuinely hopeful that he would in fact be attending Hogwart's the next school year. Although he seems to have recovered and still loves magic, perhaps this is best for a party rather than a surprise letter for a small child!

Our package included admission letters, train tickets, sorting hat cards, Bertie Bott's "Every Flavor" Beans, and two of the most amazing wands you have ever seen. Filled with Phoenix Tail Feathers, Dragon Heartstrings, and a whole lot of love from his aunt and uncle, this magical gift will truly delight! We even added extra train tickets for his wizard friends and a wand for …