Things We Have Never Experienced in Winter in Wisconsin

March 20th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink


running the air conditioning
getting a sunburn on my shoulders
planting things in the garden (peas and leeks and soon spinach)
porch-sitting with a beer
running in a tank top and shorts and still overheating
photographing magnolias (although not very well)
listening to frog songs in the marsh

Until now.

Happy summer spring, ya’ll.


December 7th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Shane & Courtney

Shane & Courtney

When my friends Shane and Courtney asked if I’d do an engagement shoot with them and their dogs at the Verona Dog Park, how could I refuse? It was fun, casual, funny, and a really nice autumn walk. And I think the shots came out pretty well, too.

Shane & Courtney

Shane & Courtney

What I did on my summer vacation

November 1st, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

The first of the canning

Well, Hello!

It’s been a little bit, huh? Since I’ve posted here.

I guess I’ve been working hard and playing hard. Lots of hours in front of the computer, and then off to see music or can tomatoes or some such, and then I seem not to want to spend any more time than I have to with my favorite technological companion, the Mac. I even had a post about rhubarb ice cream all set to go, just waiting for photos, which I never took, and then it didn’t seem so relevant anymore as spring’s rhubarb season passed on it’s merry way.

So, I feel like it’s the kind of time for a “What did you do on your summer vacation” kind of essay.

I went to visit my dad in Anacortes, WA, and took him to my favorite hipster trifecta of Seattle: Serious Pie, Stumptown Coffee and Molly Moon’s. And it was splendid. We took a ride on his motorcycle to the one wavy spot in the sound, and let the sea salty wind tickle our faces. And I only took film cameras, and haven’t even thought about developing yet.

I canned a ton of things. It was the summer of pickles and jam. This recipe for gherkins turned out awesome, and I jammed quite a few pounds of sour cherries from my friend’s tree. (She doesn’t like them. Lucky me.) And I pickled garlic scapes, dilly beans, beets, hot peppers, and sour cherries, plus made some insane killer fiery hot sauce.

I got one from the garden

The Sh*tty Barn

I grew an artichoke.

I Shitty Barned almost every week, and discovering tons of new music to obsess over. Check out Blessed Feathers and Anna Vogelzang. They are on heavy rotation around here. (Anna’s on tour right now! Could be in a city near you!)


We took a short road trip out to South Dakota and bummed planless around the Black Hills and The Badlands. It was amazing. Lots more film. And lots of digital, too, just not processed yet. I finally saw wild (mostly) bison. It was incredible. And bighorn sheep, wild burros, tons of turkeys, pheasants, and pronghorn, which I learned are not antelope, nor are they related to either deer or cows, like we thought, but are their very own thing. We camped in The Badlands for a night, and it was cold. Below freezing.

Scary spiny chestnut husks, and Kerry

Vising from the north

I spent some time with some friends from the north, and learned that chestnuts do actually grow in Wisconsin.

Garlic Harvest

We harvested our first garlic.

I shot my first engagement session. With friends. I’d like to share some favorites soon.

So, please forgive me for not being present here all summer. I’ll try to be a bit better. But I can’t guarantee it. There’s still lots of work and play to be done. See you soon, and thanks, friends.

The Experience of New Things

June 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


One of the things I like most about being a graphic designer is that I sometimes find myself in situations where I am either learning a whole bunch of stuff about something that I never would have learned about, just for some project, or I have to figure out how to get something made that I’ve never made before.

Business Card

I have been working with my hair stylist for a couple of months on some printed materials for her new business, Cuture. We did business cards, and then some postcards to mail to her clients announcing the change. Turned out she also needed to get a vinyl sign for the glass door of her studio. She had been referred to a company that makes these things, but it turned out that they were really more marketed toward people who want to put words and photos on their home walls, not businesses with logos. We couldn’t customize the sign to match the graphics that I’d designed for her, and that just wasn’t acceptable.

So I grabbed the reins. I’d never had something like this made before, so I did a bunch of research on them, and then found a few places to get quotes from. Turns out, people have these things made all the time! Go figure! So a sign printer in town quoted me out and I had them printed.

I picked it up and brought it over to install at Cuture’s studio. The sign printer gave me instructions on how to install this thing, but it was nerve-wracking. I followed everything they told me, and it didn’t seem to be sticking. Even after an hour of drying, the circumstances were the same. So I decided to leave it overnight and check on it the next day.

That’s when I had an anxiety-fueled dream about the whole thing, which involved me going over there, pulling the backing tape off, to have half the sign peel off the door, and I couldn’t fix it.

The window decal

Luckily, that was only a dream, and when I went back in reality, it had dried just fine and adhered just like it was supposed to. Big sigh of relief, though. And now the next time I have a client who needs a custom-cut vinyl sign for their window, I know from experience that it’ll need 12-24 hours to dry, but that everything will be fine, and I don’t have to have scary dreams about it again.

A Little Bit Of Building

May 9th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

Our first 4 asparagus

Dude, I am so off the ball lately. The Summer Knitcircus came out last week, and while it nearly killed me, I’m still proud of it. I think it looks good, and it has some great patterns and interviews. It’s time for me to decompress, switch gears from knitting under a quilt to reading on the porch.

Once I make it past this marathon. Yeah, it’s been kicking my ass. I knew it would be a huge time commitment, and that it would be hard. And. Yeah. Those things. And more. I’m ready to be on the other side of it, to not have my weekends be chewed up by training, at least for a few weeks. I ran for 4 hours yesterday. 21 miles. it’s building me up though. I’ve been talking a lot about running lately, and getting inside my head, figuring out what my mantra is, and my motivation. Figuring out what pain is, and how to manage it. It’s amazing how different a full marathon is from a half marathon. Not to undermine 13.1 miles, that’s still a huge accomplishment. But that’s physical. This is mental. It’s scary and crazy and overwhelming and calming. And I haven’t even gotten my 26.2 yet. But I will. In three weeks. Up until last week I was scared. I’m not anymore. I’ve put my work in, and it’s going to hurt. Period. What is there to be afraid of?

Building a bench

So, another kind of building. I’ve been wanting a backyard bench for over a year. I wanted to build it last spring, but you know, things took over, as they are wont to do. And it’s not like we have time for ANYTHING right now, but we decided to tackle adding a third garden bed this spring. Since we had to get wood, we added the bench to the project as well.

There was cutting, and some cursing, and a bunch of “distressing” the wood, but Nate built it, with a tiny bit of help from me, and I love it! And there was enough wood to make a second, smaller bench too. We’re going to distress them some more, legitimately, let them weather a bit, and then whitewash them.

Sneak Peek Day

April 20th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink


So hi! What’s going on? I’m backlogged to the maxx. And my computer is running on fumes. 8 gigs of free space, I mean, and that’s not much to attempt running about 20 programs and design a giant magazine at the same time. I need to backup and clean and cull some files. And get a new computer. That would be nice, too.

WonderMike Article


Here’s a sneak peek at the summer issue, though. A few photographs and a bit of design. Although I make a mood board for every issue, I don’t always know what direction it’s really truly going to go in until I start laying out. And starting is always the hardest part for me. But once I start, I usually roll. And I’m rolling, now.


I’ve not really shot much non-KC photography in the past few weeks, so I’m trying to give a little bit of brain power and time to next week’s Words To Shoot By. The theme is habit, and I’ve got a few habits that are chomping a large hunk of my life. Also, there’s an open call for entries over there. Check it out, there’s still time to shoot! Even when you’re swamped, it might be a nice moment of respite. And an excuse to fulfill your habit.

One quiet morning

April 13th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Touch of Frost

Over the river and through the woods

One quiet morning
I drove through the fields
to visit a friend
a few towns away


with a chill in the air
the roads were sparse
the light was so nice
soft through the cloudy sky

Frost and Farm


the fields covered in a little bit of frost
making the whole world seem
draped in flimsy white gauze
I want to remember that morning forever

Business Card Sex Appeal

April 4th, 2011 § 3 comments § permalink

That title will get the dirty-minded web-bots flocking here, won’t it? Hm. Not exactly my intention with these business cards, and those bots’ll be sorely disappointed. I picked these up from the printer this week and am damn excited about them. They turned out just as sexy as I’d hoped. They are for a hairstylist, MY hairstylist, who I’ve known for over a decade, and who is striking out on her own. We didn’t have the budget for a full-on logo development for her business, but she needed some hot cards, so we decided to go in a fun all-typographic direction, and printed them in metallic silver ink on dark blue heavy stock. There are some postcards and a door graphic on the way for her as well.

Business Card

I’ve been a busy bee around here these past couple of weeks, with hardly a moment to breathe, and I’m hoping to settle into a more regular routine. I’m officially training for the a full marathon, scheduled at the end of May. It’s been a ton of running so far, 17 miles this past Saturday, and it’s only going to increase. But I did get some screen printing done, and there’s more to do, and have totally reignited the flame for it. I’d forgotten how much I love it.

St. Joseph’s Day

March 23rd, 2011 § 4 comments § permalink


Healthy Veggies

I had the opportunity to experience my first St. Joseph’s Day last weekend. I went down to Rockford with my good friend, who comes from a Sicilian descendant family, and we all went to one of the local families’ houses, where they had this giant feast. I’m not religious at all, but it was fascinating to experience the alter of offering to St. Joseph, the ritual of “feeding the saints,” and the concept of feeding anyone who wants or needs a meal with no payment. I brought home a dried fava bean for good luck, and I think so far it’s delivering.


Zammuto' Drive In

And then we went and got granitas and shopped for odd food at the italian deli and the grocery store that caters to the big ethnic population of Rockford. It’s still hard to believe that there is such a large group of diverse people there, whose families hail from all over the place. So cool.

A Beginning

March 15th, 2011 § 8 comments § permalink


Today I start a new job, and I’m crazy nervous. Mostly because I just want to rock it. It’s a small studio, part-time for now, in a groovy space with high ceilings, lots of light, and hardwood floors – a nice inspiring spot. I hope we are a good fit with each other.

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