December 16, 2010

Bah Humbug!

bah humbug bunting available at Bad Baby Quilts on Etsy

T'is the season --- to  pay way too much for airline tickets fa la la la la  -- isn't that how the song goes? 

Sigh...  I'm in a hum bug mood.  Booked our flights to see the families and as usual waited till the last minute and ended up paying 4x what it would normally cost any other time of year. 

I can't get into the holiday spirit.  

Maybe it's because I live in LA -- and christmas lights on palm trees just don't count?  
or maybe it's because I already spent July and August shoveling (fake) snow and decorating giant Christmas trees for "my other job" 
or maybe it's because I've been in "go" mode since the one of a kind show.  Not only am I trying to fill all my skårt orders before christmas but I've also been working at my other job -- dressing sets for SPRING catalogues, all while entertaining house guests (aka my parents).  Not complaining, all are great things, but who has time to get in the holiday spirit?

Speaking of time.  Every year in October I have great intentions of sending holiday cards. This year I have no excuse, considering I have a pile of skårt cards just begging to be addressed and sent out.  I was supposed to list them for sale on Etsy -- but that never happened either.  Alas, I haven't even made a list of who I should send to, and looks like they will not get sent. 

Do you send out holiday cards? If so, is there a protocol on dates, when is it too late? Can I still send them if I get them in the mail by friday? 

December 13, 2010

Pantone through the decades

I have been doing a lot of research on color as of late -- It's hard to figure out what color to print each design in. As I learned at the show, I didn't have enough art in red or purple. Through my research I stumbled upon this article on the Pantone website. I thought I would share. Take a read and let me know what you think the colors of the 2010's will be.

40 years of color Pantone looks back at four decades of color and
culture on the occasion of its 40th anniversary.

It reflects the influences of world events, politics, art, media, fashion and music. From the avocado and harvest gold of the '70s to the pink that echoes today's hopes for a rosier world, color punctuates our memories and scores our emotional lives.

For 40 years, Pantone, Inc. has been recognized as the global authority on color. Clients the likes of Apple, IBM, Mattel, Nike, Pottery Barn, Liz Claiborne, Whirlpool and KitchenAid rely on Pantone's color prophecies to make million-dollar product development decisions.

The Pantone Color Institute® tracks color trends and produces semiannual forecasts for fashion and home. Here, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Institute, recounts the major color trends of the last four decades, along with the cultural influences that impacted them.

Youth culture erupted in the '60s, and sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll were the (dis)order of the day. From Swinging London to Haight-Ashbury, Mod to Mondrian, and Jimi Hendrix to Janis Joplin, music and psychedelic drugs turned people onto color. Timothy Leary influenced the fashion scene as much as Mary Quant. Fashion models and photographers were becoming as important as designers, and Twiggy emerged as the face of 1966.

The recession of the 1970s brought a retreat into safe, sober earth colors, and the dreaded "A" word of both fashion and interior designers -avocado- had the American consumer in a full nelson, especially in the kitchen. African-Americans became more aware of their heritage and adopted native African patterns and colors, which were, again, earth tones. Disco was crowned king, and in the fashion world, no one was hotter than Halston, with his luxurious Ultrasuede® pantsuits and decadent Studio 54 lifestyle.

The economic upturn of the '80s heralded a return to vibrant color. Christian Lacroix and Jean-Paul Gaultier's extravagant fashion cacophonies validated flamboyant color at the highest taste level, and women flooded the workforce with glamour, sporting big Dynasty-inspired shoulders and hair.

With the advent of MTV, kids saw and mimicked what pop stars like Michael Jackson and Madonna were wearing. Following Brooke Shields's provocative commercial for Calvin Klein jeans, supermodels like Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista emerged as the seraphim of fashion. Nancy Reagan's signature red became popular, later giving way to Barbara Bush blue. Toward the end of the decade, Giorgio Armani's sophisticated neutrals provided Yuppies with a quieter alternative to all-out glitz.

Meanwhile, in the home, designers flipped the color chart for consumers who had OD'd on avocado and spice tones, and America became mad for mauve.

The economic downturn at the end of the '80s became an opening for the dirtied colors of Seattle's "grunge" movement in the early 1990s. In the middle of the decade, the digital revolution with its promise of outrageous amounts of money was reflected in the eye-popping colors of the iMac®. Urban street styles, body piercing and tattooing became mainstream among young culture. Green, a color that became important with the environmental movement of the '60s, hit its vibrant zenith in the '90s with lime green and chartreuse.

Minimalism became a strong influence at the end of the '90s, as evidenced by Jil Sander's fashions and Calvin Klein's Zen-influenced home collections. As the dotcoms began to crumble and the Millennium Bug threatened, people were feeling the need to stop and escape. Spas boomed and designer water abounded. These influences led Pantone to pronounce Cerulean Blue, the color of sea and sky, "the Color of the Millennium."

The minimalist influence continued into the new century. Today, big ticket items have retreated into neutral or deeper colors, but it is the perfect time to bring touches of color into the home with accessories and small appliances, allowing consumers to enjoy color without spending a great deal. Yet neutral does not equal boring - all grays, beiges and taupes are not created equal, and even white has hundreds of subtle variations.

Eiseman is the author of Colors for Your Every Mood and the PANTONE Guide to Communicating Color, as well as The Color Answer Book (Capital Books), due out in the fall.

Fig. 1:
PANTONE 17-1937 Hot Pink
PANTONE 16-1362 Vermillion Orange
PANTONE 15-6437 Grass Green
PANTONE 13-0859 Lemon Chrome
PANTONE 16-4529 Cyan Blue

Fig. 2:
PANTONE 18-0430 Avocado
PANTONE 17-1544 Burnt Sienna
PANTONE 19-1116 Carafe
PANTONE 16-0948 Harvest Gold
PANTONE 18-1248 Rust

Fig. 3:
PANTONE 14-1122 Sheepskin
PANTONE 16-1431 Canyon Clay
PANTONE 14-3907 Thistle
PANTONE 19-1663 Ribbon Red
PANTONE 19-3955 Royal Blue

Fig. 4:
PANTONE 14-0105 Overcast
PANTONE 17-1118 Lead Gray
PANTONE 14-0445 Bright Chartreuse
PANTONE 13-0752 Lemon
PANTONE 16-1452 Firecracker
PANTONE 16-4725 Scuba Blue

Fig. 5:
PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean
PANTONE 12-0713 Almond Oil
PANTONE 14-4002 Wind Chime
PANTONE 16-3911 Lavender Aura
PANTONE 16-1010 Incense
PANTONE 16-6008 Seagrass

PANTONE® and other Pantone, Inc. trademarks are the property of Pantone Inc. ©

December 06, 2010

Latest Kindle commercial

Another fun time was had by all, making the latest Kindle commercial.  It still amazes me when I watch it that it took 3 full days to shoot a mere 30 seconds of footage.  

December 02, 2010

The show was a success!

The One of a Kind Show is still going on in Toronto. I had only signed up to do the first half. A part of me regrets not doing the full show, but at the time I signed up, 11 days seemed like an eternity and I just didn't know how it would go. However, I am happy to announce that my 5 days at the show were a huge success. I perhaps didn't sell as much as I would have liked. But it is the experience I gained that is priceless. It's an amazing process to have your art and livelihood judged by strangers. Lucky for me it was accepted and praised by nearly everyone who stopped into my booth.

Although I won't be buying a new computer this year, or updating my online shop (two of my goals if I had made any money at the show) Below is a list of things I did gain from exhibiting at the show.

1.Feedback -- getting instant acknowledgment for my work. Friends tell me my stuff is "nice" or "cute" but they HAVE to say that. Strangers don't have to. So when they tell you the same thing is validates everything just a little bit more.
2.Ideas --- people asked if I have any of this design or that design. Keyboard and bass to go with the guitars. Frogs, monkeys, all sorts of new Skårt for me to think about designing.
3.Custom Orders -- I offered free shipping on anything ordered at the show. A number of people took advantage of the offer to request pieces in their own color scheme or pieces of things I had sold out of, like the owls. I love custom orders because I get a chance to experiment with colors I might not normally use.
4.Contacts -- I raffled off a single dandelion print. I had everyone interested in winning the piece write their name and email on a paper. Now I have a list of contacts who I know like my work and should I come to the Spring show or have any other news to share I have a full mailing list.
5.Exposure -- I had a few bloggers come by and take photos and someone spotted my booth on Breakfast Television . So far I've come across two blogs that I have gotten top billing on (click on the pics below to read how cool I am!)

6.Wholesale -- I am currently selling in one store in Los Angeles, I would like to sell in more stores both in Canada and the US. I had a few people approach me with interest. Hopefully we can make that happen soon.
7.Unexpected Opportunities -- you never know who is browsing at the show, I had interest from someone regarding licensing my work and lots of interior designers who are always looking for new and unique pieces for their clients.
8.Camaraderie -- All the other artisans were so supportive and helpful with advice and knowledge. Even though we were all selling, there was not an ounce of competition.
Check out a few of some of the other amazing screen printers who were showcasing their wares.

9.Friendships --- Packing up and leaving felt like the end of camp. I made some new friends. (who I will be visiting in Nova Scotia btw -- ; )
*click on the images below to see more of their amazing work

10.Sharing -- One of the best things about doing the show in Toronto was getting to share the experience with my friends and my family. My mom was there from morning to night helping me load in and load out. My sister Leah helped me organize my inventory and manned the booth, taking care of the money (not my strongest suit) even my other sister came in from Ottawa for a day check out the show. Special shout outs also have to go to my friends Courtney and Rachel who helped out in the morning and evening shifts keeping me company and keeping me sane, as well as Samantha my publicist popping in to help out and tell people how great my art is. And of course Cara and my husband who couldn't make it to the show but were indispensable in helping me for the last 6 months to prepare and create. As well as to Angela for lending me the place to make my magic.  Pictures of the process can be seen in skårt shop's face book album: One of a Kind Show 2010

November 29, 2010

Skårt does greeting cards

For the show I decided to experiment with doing greeting cards. The cards are all printed on ultra thin wood with some new designs for the holidays (collaborated on with cara from Pamplemousse, invitation couture) as well as some old favorites. Keep your eye out for them coming soon to my etsy shop

November 25, 2010

The final booth result

Too tired to post much else, but here's a quick peek at how it all came together. Check out my album on facebook to see the prep for the show and more photos of the finished booth will be up soon.

November 22, 2010

Everyone needs more feathers, sequins and sparkle in their lives

I took a break from show prep this weekend to go see Pricilla, Queen of the Desert, THE MUSICAL! 

You know when the show opens with a giant disco ball dropping from the ceiling that its going to be a good time.  The costumes, the sets, the make up, each part of the show outdid the next.  I have to admit I was a little leery at first, I loved the movie.  And, although I can't say it was quite as good as the film, I definitely had a big smile on my face throughout the show.  

For those of you that know me, you now I'm a huge broadway/musical fan.  Seeing this show got me thinking of all the other musicals I've seen that were based on films.  I  thought I would share a few of the more ridiculous ones I've seen.

TOP 10 LIST of movies it's hard to believe they turned into stage show musicals - some with more success than others.  

1. Evil Dead 1 & 2 the musical - might be my all time favorite show.  Campy goodness! I've seen it three times! In both Toronto and New York (off broadway) Waiting for it to come to LA!
2. Whale Rider the musical - this review says it all!  And no the whales didn't sing (but yes there were giant whale puppets).  It was something to do one night it Auckland.
3. Kiss of the Spider Woman the musical - When it came out it didn't seem like appropriate musical material -- a man's fantasies in a prison cell?  But an amazing cast, some great songs and a few Tony's later it has become a classic.

4. Jane Eyre the musical -- if you don't believe me you can buy the CD of the broadway cast here

5. The full Monty the musical -- Was kind of cute show. However, I feel like this might have started the wave of:  "Oh hey, the movie made a lot of money, lets write some lame songs and build some over the tops sets, if you liked the movie, you will love the musical"  Yes, I'm talking to you: Legally Blonde the Musical!  
6. High Fidelity the musical - Didn't last too long on broadway, reviews were terrible, but maybe this will open a door to a whole new film turned musical genre. The Generation X musical. Breakfast club the musical? Clerks the musical? Reality bites the musical.  I would see any of those! 
7. Edward Scissorhands the musical  -- Not kidding. Saw it for my birthday a few years ago.  And well, it was more of a modern ballet than a musical per say.  One of those I think better left a movie.  
8. Hairspray the musical -- this confused me because they took a movie then turned into a musical and then turned the musical back into a movie.   I do have to admit,  I love all three versions. 

8. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels the musical - what surprises me the most about this one is not that it got made into a musical, but the fact that it's been so successful??!  A Tony? really? 

10. The Lord of the Rings, the musical - Now they've gone too far!!! I missed this one.  It premiered in Toronto but never made it to Broadway, for good reason I presume? To me if they can turn this into a musical, they can turn ANYTHING into a musical.
I think this list just proves nothing is sacred. Nothing is safe.  What's next? Spiderman the musical? Ha ha ha.


November 18, 2010

booth design

1 week till the show. I'm on my way to Toronto today. This gives me some time to make my preparations and pick up any last minute things. These are a couple of renderings to show the plan behind my booth. This is what I'm hoping it will look like. Of course currently it's all theoretical. I am hoping to have everything so well planned out so that when I go to set up on Tuesday everything has a place and the install goes smoothly.

If you are in Toronto Nov 25-29th come find me at booth N-34 and see how it turns out.

November 15, 2010

Inspiration: Sophisticated Train Travel Nursery

Boys love trains. There is no reason that your toddler's room has to be all Thomas the Train bright and cartoony. Below is some inspiration on how to add a little sophistication to your choo choo room.

Vintage antique train hook and magnetic board - this one is on etsy at Shugabee Lane
Hand-tufted train rug - currently available at
Ride on Choo Choo - by Pegperego - Of course it's been a fantasy since Silver Spoons to have an adult size version of one of these, but this one looks like it would be pretty fun for your little one too.
Customized Transit poster - pick your cities and your colors at Transit Design's Etsy Shop
Turn a vintage suitcase into a side table - learn how to DIY at Lark and Lola
Train Bedding set from Land of Nod
Choo Choo Train wall art - handmade prints on wood wall panels from Skartshop
Handmade wood pull train - a great toy when they are young and a great decoration piece as they get older. This one is from Woman Woodworker on Etsy
Other ideas to add a little sophistication: Incorporate some navy ticking fabric or wallpaper emulating the pattern found on a train engineer's cap. Add a vintage club chair reminiscent of the golden age of train travel.

November 11, 2010

Parent Magazine Contest is giving away The Aviary

Check out this contest run by Canadian Parents Magazine.  Lots of great prizes to be won including your very own work of Skårt!  Click here to enter.  Or here to check out more of the prizes.  Good Luck! 

November 08, 2010

How I spent my summer vacation...

While you were spending your summer soaking in the sun, sending the kids off to camp and drinking icy beverages I was building snow-forts, giant gingerbread men and decorating a 45' christmas tree.
The fruits of all my summer "hard labor" arrived this week in the mail. It came in the form of the Target Holiday Toy catalog. For a week this past June I spent 16 hours a day in a studio creating many of the sets and backgrounds to shoot the toys featured in the catalog. We built a life size gingerbread house, glued together giant gumdrop trees, and created an entire bedroom snow-fort out of Styrofoam and salt. When was the last time you put together a three story Barbie Dream House (btw, when did her house get so big and complicated?) or baked an Easy Bake oven cake? We had to do all that and whole more for this catalog. So before you line your bird cage or toss it in the recycle bin, take another look at it. Let me share with you a few secrets behind one of the sets we made and let you in on how much work goes into just one of those shots.

If you have the catalog you can turn to page 42 for reference. Or click HERE for a better view.

November 04, 2010

Organized Piles

Three weeks to go... 
Lots of piles and lots to do.  I'm feeling good and mostly organized and on top of thing.  As always Ace (the cat) is helping to keep me on track.

November 01, 2010

Everyday is Halloween!

I loved Halloween.  LOVED = past tense.  
I always had a costume.  It would always be an original costume, never the same thing twice.  If I didn't have a place to go to in my costume, I would throw my own party --  Hallowig 2001 is still talked about today.  If friends weren't into it I would provide clothes for them and  make them join my group theme -- Cannibal girl scouts, solid gold dancers, it was the best Holiday! 

This year, not so much.  Someone suggested I was getting old, "It's a kid's holiday", they explained.  Granted I have a lot to think about with the show getting closer and lots of work to be done, but surely that shouldn't stop me from putting it all aside for one night of fun and dress-up?!  

Then I had an epiphany: Everyday is Halloween to me!  -- okay, well not EVERY day, but I've dressed up so many times this year in outfits and costumes that I figured, why do it on a night where you are "supposed" to.  That's like going to a bar on St. Patrick's day or buying overpriced roses on Valentines.  

Over the last few months I have gathered and sewn group costumes for volleyball tournaments, and running races, I made a huge box of robot props for a friends engagement party (more to be said on that in a future post).  And, of course I got my Canadian gear on for Olympic hockey.  Not to mention also getting to "doll up" for two weddings and a Bar-Mitzvah.  

So for the first time EVER I did not put on a halloween costume, instead we turned off all the lights and watched AMC's premier of The Walking Dead on cable.  

October 25, 2010

Guest starring TONIGHT on How I Met Your Mother...

That's right, rumor is that if you pay close attention, and don't blink for even a second, you might spot some Skårt on tonight's episode of How I Met Your Mother.  So, set your DVRs, PVRs, Tivos, or just watch the show.  

October 21, 2010

warning: if you are a vegetarian do not read this blog post!

Old MacDonald had an organic, sustainable, local, free-range farm.  ee i ee i o 
-- sing it with me -- 
And on his farm he had a grass fed, hormone free cow.  ee i ee i o.

I proudly introduce my newest series called: Old MacDonald's cuts of meat.

This series features three prints of delicious animals with their tastiest cuts of meat clearly labelled.  Never too young to start training in the artistry of cooking, especially with the big bucks those celebrity chefs are making these days!  The song Old MacDonald is printed behind the pearlescent silhouettes of the animals.  I wanted to print these animals with the song to add a bit of humor but also because the whole local farming movement is gaining such momentum, it seemed appropriate. 

Of course, if you are not so sure about meat in the Nursery they also look great in the kitchen! 

The cuts of meat series is currently available only at my Etsy shop.  However,  if you like your animals on the farm and not on the plate,  you can find the "Vegan" version of the series on my website.  As always you can choose your colors to match your decor.

October 18, 2010

N34 ... BINGO!!!

I think I might have hit the jackpot.  I found out my booth location for the One of a Kind Show (Nov 25-30th).  I am right smack dab in the middle of it all.  Booth number N34.  If you come to the show and are looking for me, Skårt's booth is right next to the Christmas tree.  I'm hoping this is the tree that when you go to the show you say, "Okay, meet back in an hour in front of the big christmas tree."  This  means a whole lot of extra traffic by my booth.  It also means I better get printing so I have more stock to sell.  

For those of you not from Toronto, the One of a Kind Show is an institution every Christmas season where people go to find unique gifts to purchase directly from craftspeople and artisans. It was started in 1975 and has grown to include a spring show in Toronto as well as shows in Vancouver, Chicago and New York.   This year, over 800 artisans from across North American will set up their wares in the Direct Energy Center at Exhibition Place.  With that many vendors, you can see why it's so important to have a good booth location.  Can you imagine how long and exhausting it is for a shopper to go to 800 stores?!! According to stats I've read the show attracts over 200,000, wait let me spell that out: two hundred THOUSAND visitors!!! 

For those of you from Toronto, or planning to visit for the show. Please note that I am only exhibiting for the first half of the show.  Nov 25th to the 30th.  Also note that if you are purchasing tickets online, you can use my special discount code to receive $3.00 off regularly priced tickets.  Just enter "ADvtnq6" as the promotion code.