File this one under “procrastiworking” on a Friday afternoon. I have a lot of sketches in this realm, loosely grouped under the idea of a love economy, inspired by #thefutureisfemale and #metoo, Time’s person of the year, and the general movement of strong, able, contributing women coming together for good. While I don’t always feel strong, able or like a contributor, knowing there is steam behind an idea sure helps in not feeling alone and wanting to rise to the challenge. This little ditty was small so it got stuck on a stamp. More to come…what do you think?
Each year I spend a few relaxing advent Sundays making Danish christmas crafts, from clove studded oranges to woven heart decorations. One of my favorites is a 3D Danish Christmas star, also known as a Froebel Star. It is classically done in white, but also available in various colors.
Be warned this activity seems to be a love/hate proposition – either you love it and quickly learn to weave stars with ease, or you hate it and end up with several crumpled piles of paper that look like knock-off Frank Gehry brainstorming models. Disclaimer aside, if you’d like to learn to make one, then proceed…
What you need:
• a bunch of precisely cut strips of paper, in the US termed Moravian star strips (4 strips per star)
• 15 minutes +/- your level of craftiness
• nimble fingers and patience of steel
How to do it:
Written instructions would probably rival Anna Karenina in length, so I’ll provide a few visuals. First off, a diagram. For translation services contact Google or email me for a one-on-one tutorial (limited spots available).
If you need a play by play, my intrepid crafting friend Christa made this video. She can probably outcraft 90% of the population and does so every year with a series of braided paper hearts. If you don’t believe me, JUST YOU TRY to make a star in under 5 minutes.
There are various sizes from 6″ across to less than 1″ (you might need tweezers for that version), but the most common is about 2″ from tip to tip. Perfect for scattering about on any surface that needs some holiday cheer.
Last year I checked off a designer to-do by creating an enamel pin for a Design Week Portland event called Pin That Shit. After the show, the extra pins I had ordered were given out to people as both business cards and old fashioned goodwill. As with many side projects created Just for Fun®, people took to it – from Sparkle Daddy Aaron Rayburn to an employee at New Season’s who engaged my 3-year old daughter in a discussion about art while he checked our groceries. Love Birds for everyone!
After a Moo Card blog post including my Love Bird was published, future client Amy Renshaw reached out to me about designing a series of pins for her organization Code-Art. Code-Art encourages girls to explore coding through art, and puts on workshops to give girls the opportunity to learn coding within their own interest areas. HIGH FIVE Amy. The first of many pins I designed for Code-Art was a donor pin to gift to supporters of her organization. Inspired by projects made in Code-Art workshops, it is a modern twist on the classic brooch portrait. We used Moo Cards again to create the pin backer with matching spot gloss accents. SO SHINY.
The theme of being a pioneer, present in many of my side projects, drew me to this organization and especially reading the stories of early female coders who led the way in the field, such as Margaret Hamilton and Ada, Countess of Lovelace who is often recognized as the first computer programmer. Margaret was instrumental in the code for putting a man on the moon. GO MARGARET! Reading their stories and seeing the photos (below Margaret stands next to a stack of code used in the Apollo mission) makes me both proud and frustrated at the pace of the representation of women in so many roles of society.
Amongst many other things, these stories made me want to support Amy and Code-Art’s mission to the umpteenth degree. And if you’d also like to support or donate to CodeArt find more information here. As a registered nonprofit 501(c)(3) all donations are tax deductible.
Tis the season for holiday cards and charcuterie. Following up on last year’s meat wreath, this year my client Olympia Provisions went for a more pyramid shaped meat art for their annual card – a stack of charcuterie bedecked with a merry star. Meaty Christmas!
On another holiday note, Olympia Provisions is hosting their second annual charcuterie box building party. Get your tickets here if you want to fill your own box or basket with meats galore and either take it home or send it to a lucky recipient.
MORE Deals! Deals! Deals!
Enter METTERULES as a promo code for 10% off online at Olympia Provisions.
As a part-time Dane, I love a good advent calendar as part of my Christmas celebrations (read how Danes do xmas here). So when I got the opportunity to design and illustrate the annual advent of mini-preserves and jellies for Bonne Maman, I signed up faster than a sweet tooth gets a cavity. After a brainstorming round with several ideas presented, the concept of a wreath shape of 24 tiny Bonne Maman jars fit the bill by communicating “advent calendar” and being a simple holiday visual that was good for both distance viewing and close-up inspection.
This project was fun for a few reasons, only of them being drawing teeny tiny jam jars (actually preserves, but I like the sound of jam better). The project was contracted through R/West, a Portland-founded ad agency whose creative director happened to give me my first real design job. Back in the mid-2000’s I worked with Elizabeth Morrow McKenzie when she ran her own studio, and she gave me my first introduction to packaging, hand crafted lettering and so many other firsts that are invaluable when getting started in your career (and especially important if you didn’t go to art or design school like myself).
The project was a quicky, the kind of “blink twice and it’s over” gig. But when all is said and done time always flies for me when I’m lettering Frenchy numerals or drawing muffins. Built primarily for sale in Costco, the box opens up to reveal the 24 doors that house miniature jars for each day leading up to Christmas. The box is wrapped in a sleeve that is more minimal than the inner packaging and contains all the fine print and nutritional information. Presented in stacks of large cardboard trays, the primary visuals needed to be Christmasy from a distance.
I was going to put a bunch of FOR SALE links so everyone could buy this for their mom/cousin/sister/co-worker but the advent calendar was so popular it SOLD OUT. Sorry, nothing available at Amazon, Costco, World Market…anywhere. Instead, here are a few extra illustration excerpts from the project…and yes, I did hand-letter every single label individually in tiny Bonne Maman script.
Client: Bonne Maman Agency: R/West Creative Director: Elizabeth Morrow McKenzie Brand Manager: Annatova Goodman Designer & Illustrator: Mette Hornung Rankin/Bureau of Betterment Designer: Anna Naef
Last week WeMake held their annual WeMake Celebrates design conference and the theme was experiments. One of the break activities available was making marbled paper, so I did. I can’t decide if my results are vibrant and uplifting or kind of what interpretive art about global warming looks like.
Tofurky has a new product out – DIY crumbles – for making your own all-vegan burgers, breakfast sausage, chorizo, meatloaf, tacos and more. In the initial advertising effort for it I lettered the headline below for Creative Director Gary Huck to use in this ad.
This style of icon was partially developed in the early stages of a branding project. A cleaner more geometric style was chosen, but I liked the imperfect, soft nature of these. So I did a quick study to build out a set of six, just for fun.