Inkwell + Alouwishus!

It's official: the marvelous Becka Schuelke of Inkwell & yours truly are the featured artists at iYo Cafe in Davis Square for the entire month of April!

Stop by the cafe any time between now and April 30th for a cup of coffee (orrrr their locally-made frozen yogurt... plus approximately one metric ton of DIY toppings... just sayin') and check out these babies on the walls! I am SO honored to have the opportunity to share a show with this über-talented lady (see more of her beautiful work here), and those amazing folks at iYo are even hosting an official "Meet the Artists" night for us this Thursday (April 10th) from 7:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.! Both Becka and I will be on-hand to meet and greet and eat more froyo than is probably reasonable; we'll also have some additional prints & pieces available for purchase that evening only, so should you find yourself in the greater Boston area, stop in and say hello!


******* UPDATE *******

We are excited to announce that 20% of all proceeds from all items sold Thursday evening will go to benefit Amirah, Inc of Boston! Amirah House is an incredible non-profit organization dedicated to providing “transformative whole-person care for survivors of commercial exploitation as we engage, educate and mobilize our communities and partners to respond to human trafficking.” Learn more about Amirah and what they do by visiting



[[A HUGE "thank you" goes out from the bottom of my heart to the incomparable Diana Galeano & Noah Downs for their gracious assistance in putting up the show, and for the many friends who selflessly lent their wooden hangers in support of the arts —may your trousers remain crease-free until we get them back to you!]]


We're pretty dang proud to have this opportunity to share our work with you, and we hope you enjoy the show just as much as we've enjoyed creating it!

Inkwell + Alouwishus! —together at last! 




Guess what: I moved to Boston! Details to come!


Alouwishus! in the Triangle

Triangle residents: looking to nab some Alouwishus! goods locally? You can pick up the punniest of the pun cards, prints, and even original paintings by visiting  This & That in Carrboro and Strays! in Southern Village. Both of these incredible purveyors feature a dazzling array of local art, hand-made goodies, and craft-pieces -- the only danger is that once inside, you may never want to leave!


Some of my originals on display at This & That!


If you should find yourself in the area, please stop by and support these wonderful shops! They have done so much to provide exposure for young start-ups like Alouwishus!. I am immensely grateful for their dedication to promoting the local art scene within our community, and their endless efforts to encourage and inspire other businesses to do the same!




Quick update:

1. My parents surprised me with a MacBook for Christmas. A MACBOOK. Holy moly, I am still in (very, very grateful) shock! What this means, of course, is that I finally have a computer of my own again, and now that all my data has been transferred to Scrumbort II (Rest in Peace, Scrumbort I, wherever you are) and all my programs and applications are properly installed, I will be buckling down on some serious business!


2. Goals for this month: draft new business plan, re-do inventory and tax spreadsheets that were lost with the stolen laptop, and MAKE. STUFF. LOTS of STUFF.


2011: so far, so good!


New stuff:

How can it already be December?? I feel like I was just starting to really get into the fall weather, and now all of a sudden, it's too cold to go outside without three layers on!

I've been working on some new pet projects for the last few weeks, and thought I'd go ahead and unveil them here. This past year, I managed to lose a TON of weight -- I chalk it up to the stellar combination of yoga, healthy eating, poverty, and stress -- and I soon realized that some of my favorite articles of clothing were now comparable to circus tents on my newly lean frame. Much of my closet was donated to charities and foster families, but there were definitely some things that I either couldn't bear to part with or else no one else would want. My solution? I chopped them up and made lovely fabric flowers out of them! Have a look:







I made this one for my incredible friend Lena, who just finished her doctorate at UNC. 



Here I am modeling it:


And here it is all done up in fancy packaging!


Well? What do you think? I'm hand-sewing all of these, and while my first attempts were not exactly stunning, I am definitely improving with each try! Do you think I should add them to the Etsy shop? Would YOU buy one?? :)




Sneak Peek!

Guess who is joining the Alouwishus! Shop this month:


This husky dude is always ready to lend an ear! 


You laughed. Don't even act like you didn't.




Back in the Saddle

After the most unbelievable series of setbacks (not least of which was the loss of my laptop and all the data contained therein!) I am back in full force and ready to take on November and all it has to offer!

My to-do list is lengthy and varied, but expect to see many, many more updates around here in the coming weeks. Two brand new cards are being prepared at the printer's even as I type this! Also, I am THRILLED to report that I won my first ever eBay auction, and any day now should be receiving my new (well... new to ME) digital camera in the mail -- the same exact model as my poor stolen one, but thank God, I was able to nab it for much, much less. Plus, the auction included a bonus high power flash AND free shipping! Thank God, indeed.

I hope the coming month will be exciting and productive for everyone!


One of those weeks...

Last night I came home from work to find that my house had been broken into, and my precious, precious laptop and digital camera were stolen. Thankfully, no one was home when it happened; no one was hurt, and neither of our escape-artist kitties got out. Whoever it was broke a window beside the front door and let themselves in -- and it seems as though the Mac and camera were all they took. I am grateful that it wasn't worse, and honestly, it really could have been. The police came and took fingerprints, and I was able to provide them with the serial number for the computer. Please pray that it turns up -- so much of the data for Alouwishus! somehow did not back up properly (to my ultimate dismay), including inventory spreadsheets, wholesale information, and tons and tons of image files. I am trying not to think of the daunting task of starting over, should my poor laptop be gone for good.



Grand Opening!

The Alouwishus! Etsy Shop is open for business! There are only a few cards up at the moment, but more are on the way, with prints, paintings, and surprise goodies coming soon. SO EXCITED!

Have a look:   Shop Alouwishus!





FINALLY! is officially open to the public!

Holy Moly, what a long time in the making this has been! If you're here for the first time, welcome; I'm so proud and excited to be able to share my work with you! The online shop won't be open until later in the week, but for now, please feel free to look over the site and let me know what you think -- I'm especially interested in how the site looks on different browsers, since I was only able to test it with Firefox and Safari. Also, I'm taking suggestions for Frequently Asked Questions -- as you will notice when you click on "FAQ," the page is woefully bare! I blame Maggie -- here is a picture of her contributions thusfar:

Thank goodness I had her help as a divider for my notebooks! She doubles as a paperweight in a pinch, but it's hard to control which of your piles she sits on, and it's usually not the one you would have preferred. Additionally, she likes to eat paper. So... that can be problematic.

Apart from the worst paperweight imaginable, I did have outside help pulling the web design together. Thank you, thank you, thank you to my friends and family who gave feedback during the construction process -- I'm terribly grateful for all your advice and support, and I hope that new visitors will love just as much as I do!



Nearly there now...

What a productive month this has been: the site is just about ready for the full public launch! I've been putting in some extra time on the business/legal end of things, and am proud to say that I filed my first quarterly tax return for Alouwishus!, successfully and ahead of schedule! What a dutiful citizen I am turning out to be!

I also had a great first consultation with a new printing company last week -- we'll be doing test runs of the first batch of cards beginning on Tuesday. I can't wait to see how they turn out! It will be such a relief to have a reliable means of production, and even better, I'll be able to continue using 100% recycled papers and environmentally-friendly print methods. Maybe I'll even pick up some tricks of the trade while I'm there!

As for the creative portion of this business endeavor, never fear -- there are two or three new projects on the drawing boards, with a handful of others right behind them. Keep an eye out for work-in-progress updates!


Slow Going.

So, as it turns out, starting your own business actually IS a lot of work! I’ve had my hands full for the last month, trying to sort out and familiarize myself with the literal thousands of facets that will eventually make up Alouwishus! – I’ve spent hours researching artists’ rights, copyright, and trademark laws. I’ve pored over thick tomes of legalese regarding federal and state tax laws and licensing for artists. More than once, I have woken up with my cheek solidly planted on the computer keyboard. Oh yeah, and as of last week, I am officially registered as a sole-proprietorship small business owner!

Have I lost my mind? Probably. It’s as though I’m getting an entirely new education – I’ve had to learn a whole new vocabulary, and not just legalese. Creating a website and selling on Etsy require base understanding of even more jargon: web design, coding, css, figuring out what the heck bandwidth really means, anyway, web etiquette (to hotlink or not to hotlink? Is it impolite NOT to leave an image with buyer feedback?), and then, of course, I can’t forget search engine optimization, a concept that seems completely daunting to my soul, merchandise photography and image enhancement, and worldwide shipping/customs regulations. I actually spent the better part of three days examining and comparing scanner/printer combinations to purchase, cross-checking to make sure each brand had appropriate software and capacity to work with the USPS SCAN labels.

My brain is about to explode with all of the information I’ve crammed in there in such a short time period; overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to cover it! On the whole, though, I just couldn’t be more excited, or hopeful, or grateful – especially to my endlessly patient graphic designer sister, who dutifully answers the phone when I am having a panic attack at one in the morning because Adobe Illustrator just ate the web header file I agonized over all day. You mah girl, Leeky!

SO. That is what I have been up to lately! All this, and then, of course, drawing every spare second in between – then I remember why this is all worth it.  


Here goes nothing!

Well, just like with everything else I do, I got tired of waiting for someone who actually knows what they're doing, and decided to dive head-first into site construction myself. Do I have any idea what I'm doing? Of course not. I'm totally winging this, dudes. Am I excited to have ANY sort of website up and running, even if it's only a basic one? Holy cow, am I ever.

Please bear with me as I fiddle relentlessly with font sizes and image formatting. Rest assured that real content will be coming soon!