Showing posts from April, 2010

Crafts for your weekend - Paper Flower Baskets

After my successful crafting weekend last week, I've decided to implement a new series called "crafts for your weekend." I don't know about you but I just can't find time for crafts on a weeknight. The craft for this weekend is called "Paper Flower Baskets" and was sent to me by creative writer and blogger, Shirley Chan. Her incredibly witty and clever blog is Shirley posted this on her Facebook page last week and I begged her for photos and instructions for this adorable project. What a great idea for May Day and Mother's Day!

Supplies: 11 x 17 sheet of construction paper (or some sort of sturdy weight paper) pretty scrap paper or origami paper scissors glue thread or embroidery floss sewing needle
Click "continue reading" below for Shirley's instructions and photos. Do YOU have a craft that you would like to share on my blog? Leave a comment below and let's get in touch!

What goes into a book cover design? Meet John Gall, cover designer extraordinaire

This is a fun look into the process of book cover design. John Gall of Vintage and Anchor books makes it sound so easy! He talks about his entire creative process from reading the book and choosing the special design "nugget" from the story to picking the perfect fonts and colors. When he mentions the number of fonts that Random House (my former employer) owns, I chuckle a little. I remember we had a huge book of fonts to choose from. I loved that book! Watch until the end, and he'll show you how he breaks the "rules" of cover design.

Free printable card download: Dorothy's Ruby Slippers

Last week when Ran was out of town I wished he could click his loafers and come back home. This card was inspired by that thought, though I dressed it up a little to look more like Dorothy's ruby slippers. First, I imported my drawing into a 4bar size InDesign document. I printed it on my Epson inket and then I added some sparkle with a little Crayola glitter glue. Click here to download my layout for this card. The zipped file includes a PDF at the exact size of a 4bar card and also one with crop marks so you can print on a regular sheet and trim it down. Feel free to share the love with your friends and remind them to subscribe to my blog in their handy dandy reader of choice. Enjoy!

My butterfly notecards on

My butterfly notecards were featured today in Divine Caroline's "Found it. Loved it." enews newsletter! I love this site for the amazing community of writers and the positive, creative energy that it promotes. I look forward to opening my email in the morning and reading my daily dose of fashion and gift ideas from talented style editor, Jacinta O'Halloran. Thanks, Jacinta! 

Folksy Creations

I discovered this great e-shop called Folksy, based out of the UK. I was thinking "spring" today and these images fit right in. The artists are Caroline Nash (beetle card and ceramic herb labels), sooziebee (berry birds print), and The Linen Cat (bright felt birds).

Recycled origami hearts and a banana smoothie

Saturday morning was absolutely beautiful here in Philadelphia. I took the opportunity to work on my crafts outside in our sunny backyard. I also made a delicious banana smoothie from a recipe in my May issue of Cooking Light. In honor of Earth Day, last week the Paper Source blog shared instructions for a simple yet very pretty "recycled" gift. Click here to view and download the instructions to make your own "twig and origami heart" decorations. Here are some photos from my successful attempt at this great project. I also include a couple shots of how to cut a square out of a non-square shape. The writing is small but you can click the image to see a larger version. The banana smoothie recipe is at the end of the post. Enjoy!

Banana Breakfast Smoothie
Servings: 2 / Serving size: 1 cup
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 Tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 frozen sliced ripe large banana (mine was not frozen and it was fine)
1 cup plain Greek 2% yogur…

Happy Friday! (and an update from my studio)

I am so glad that it is finally Friday! Things have been picking up at KSH Creative ever since we got back from Italy. I've been creating birthday invitations, save the dates, and wedding shower invitations, working on new logos and posters for the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia, designing two custom blogs for two different writers, and preparing for my booth at the upcoming Trenton Avenue Arts Festival (more to come on that - my first craft show!). Below are two of my latest card designs. I printed the bridal shower invitations at home but I sent the birthday invitations to Fireball Printing. I was thrilled that they could print these digitally on linen paper. The end result was really elegant at a really affordable price. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Favorite book cover of the week

This week Fast Company announced the winners of Print Magazine's "20 Best Graphic Artists Under 30." Among an excellent selection of various media choices and graphic design styles, I found this awesome book cover design by Nicolay Saveliev. I don't actually own this book - but I want to!

Il Papiro: Hand Decorated Paper

Another paper store that I visited in Italy was called Il Papiro. I found them in Florence but they are all over Italy and, lucky for us, they have a store in New York City. It was hard to narrow down my purchase to something that I could easily carry home on the plane. In fact, I probably could have just gone to the New York store when I got home. It felt more authentic to buy them in Italy though! I picked these four: hand-marbled paper from their local studio, a traditional pattern that they have been doing for hundreds of years, a calendar motif, and a city architectural motif. The only thing left to do is figure out what to make with these pretty sheets of paper. I'm thinking hand-sewn mini notepads would be a good project. Stay tuned! Detailed photos for each of the papers are below: 
1. Hand-marbled paper (their "peacock" design)
2. Traditional pattern
3. Calendar motif
4. City architectural motif

Go to Florence for the Paper

People told me, “you must go to Florence for the paper.” I took their advice and then some. It was difficult to tear (excuse the pun) myself away from stores like Giannini & Son in the Piazza Pitti. Established in 1856, this family-run shop works with the ancient style of book binding as well as modern techniques like “marbled” paper. All of the work happens in the studio above the shop. Here are some photos of my prized purchases. The half moon card is an example of the marbled paper. I like the way they have inserted the circle of color into a cut outline of the moon. For more information and photos, visit:

An email from Paola!

At the suggestion of Ran's mom, I sent my post about Bar-Ucci to the email address on the back of the postcard. I received the most heart-felt email from Paola this morning! Here it is, first in Italian and then in the Google translated text. I can actually feel her hug. Thank you, Paola!

Cara Katie grazie a mille a te, queste sono le cose che mi danno più soddisfazione.
Ti aspetto presto al Bar- Ucci
Quando torni fatti riconoscere
buna giornata e grazie ancora un abbraccio dal piovoso Chianti Paola

Dear Katie a thousand thanks to you, these are the things that give me more satisfaction. We will soon meet again at the Bar-Ucci
When you come back, please introduce yourself
Have a buna day and thanks again a hug from rainy Chianti Paola

Bar-Ucci (di Paola Barucci)

Our 7-seater, stick shift, diesel mini van transported us back in time as we climbed up out of Florence and through the winding hills of Chianti. To clarify, it was actually Q, Ran’s step-dad, who made the transport possible. Brave man! Reaching nearly 600 meters above sea level, we could see for miles (er, kilometers). Our home base was in a small town called Castellina in Chianti. We went on day-long excursions to Siena, back to Florence, Monteriggioni, Cortona, San Gimignano, Radda, and Volpaia.
I took this postcard from a small café in Volpaia called Bar-Ucci. The best part of Italy is the people. I could say the food and wine but everything tastes so much better among the company of friendly, local Italians. We were lucky enough to have Paola (first row, centered - and now in her 40's) as our server on our visit to her café. What I love about this postcard is the simplicity of the message, conveyed in one single image: at Bar-Ucci you will experience history, a home cooked me…

Illustrated Italy

I think I am finally caught up on my sleep since we arrived home on Sunday. I am happy this week has flown by because I'm ready for the weekend again. Italy was everything I hoped it would be (and more!). I have so many thoughts to share but I haven't had time to gather them for the blog this week. Stay tuned next week for stories about marble sculpting techniques, landscape illustrations, medieval patterns, custom made paper ephemera, and more! I made sure to sketch in my art pad at least once a day. Here is drawing that I did on my first morning in Chianti. This is the unbelievable view from our villa at Il Querceto in Castellina in Chianti. If you click the image you can get a larger view. Ciao!