Arlo is at it again, with some fantastic book picks for your kiddos’ burgeoning imaginations, in this edition of Arlo’s Book Club. If you’re gearing up for the start of school too, and are out picking up pencils, notebooks, and five thousand glue sticks, make sure that you swing by the book store or local library to check these out as well. Our theme is Back to School–but we all know that not everything worthwhile is taught in the classroom. Museums, parks, different countries and cultures, or the outside world can offer an education that is just as important as what is taught in school. Read on for more:
School’s First Day of School
by Adam Rex, with pictures by Christian Robinson
Roaring Book Press, 2016
Suggested ages: Preschool-Grade 1
We are so proud of our own Red Cap Cards artist, Christian Robinson, for this amazing (and adorable) achievement. School’s First Day of School tells the story of Frederick Douglass Elementary, a brand new elementary school who has first-day jitters about having kids attend classes inside of him. Related through conversation with his special friend, the janitor, this creative story is fabulous for any kid who is nervous about starting school, making friends, or expressing their feelings in a group.
One Thousand Things (Learn with Little Mouse Series)
by Anna Kövecses
Wide Eyed Editions, 2015
Suggested ages: Preschool-Grade 1
This little gem most likely works best for the younger set, but even as adults, we are enamored by the illustration and modern, quirky aesthetic that One Thousand Things displays. Written and illustrated by Hungarian graphic designer, Anna Kövecses, this book teaches children ways to distinguish some common terms, phrases and concepts–one thousand, to be exact.
There Is a Tribe of Kids
By Lane Smith
Roaring Brook Press, 2016
Suggested Ages: Kindergarten – 3
Winner of the Kate Greenaway award, There Is a Tribe of Kids was written and illustrated by famed illustrator of classic picture books like The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! and The Stinky Cheese Man & other Fairly Stupid Tales. It follows a child on his journey to a “tribe of kids.” On the way he learns the terminology for different groups of animals and other natural wonders, through experience and wonder. A beautiful book.
The Teacher’s Pet
by Anica Mrose Rissi, with illustration by Zachariah O’Hora
Suggested ages: 4-7 years
Zachariah O’Hora lends his bold & bright illustration style to a new story in, The Teacher’s Pet, with words by Anica Mrose Rissi. In this story, the children’s teacher, Mr. Stricter, is slightly confused about what constitutes the perfect classroom pet. Kids will feel empowered by having a narrative edge over the grown-up character in the book, and the details are laugh-out-loud. Tongue-in-cheek warning: spicy language abounds with terms like “farts” and “snot-rocket.” Love this one!
A Funny Thing Happened at the Museum
By excited to find out that another book in the series had been released. A Funny Thing Happened at the Museum picks up with another tall-tale told by extremely unreliable narrator, Henry, about his trip to the museum. The book is over-the-top with wild museum antics and parents can tell kids about certain exhibits as they read through the story. The perfect trickery: kids will learn while laughing!
Two Artist Spotlight posts within the span of three short weeks? Yes, we really are that lucky! Meet Bodil Jane: one of our newest debut artists at Red Cap Cards. Bodil lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her work fosters the same easygoing and colorful mentality that Amsterdam offers, with a dash of capriccio and fun. Read on to learn more about what inspires her (Asian supermarkets, among other things!), her creative process, and the best advice she received when she was just starting out.
In the mood for some inspiration? Check out a sampling from the portfolio of American artist, Michelle Morin. We are very excited to announce that Michelle is collaborating with Red Cap on a line of greeting cards which will be debuting in January of 2018! We fell in love with her watercolor images of a magical world of flora and fauna that few eyes are privy to. Inspired by her longtime work in the horticultural field, Michelle has cultivated a “true relationship with plants, wildlife, and their distinctive habitats.” We can definitely agree. From her beautifully written bio:
“With many years designing and maintaining gardens, Michelle has narrowed her primary focus to nature as a subject to reference. She works to convey the beauty and complexities of nature using texture, pattern, and narrative elements throughout her work, which range from elaborate watercolor and gouache compositions on paper to vast and more layered paintings on canvas. Through her travels she continues to seek out inspiration from the natural world while honing in on the unique details that define each place.”
Scroll through the images below (those wild boars!), and click over to her website for even more. Looking forward to the new year!
This week, we are sitting down and having a chat with one of the newest artists in our Red Cap Cards family: American artist, Priscilla Weidlein. Priscilla’s work is a lively celebration of hedonism, nature, and joie d’vivre, full of hypnotic scenes that are full of life and love. Her creative spirit is infectious! We just want to drink it in—and maybe grab a bite of one of her feasts as well! Read on to learn more about Priscilla, her inspiration, work process, and even a bit of advice for artists starting out.
Tell us about your life in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island is a delight. I live in Providence, which is a beautiful and lively city (though not without its dingy strip clubs). We’re twenty minutes from the ocean. The fair seasons compel me to be outdoors as much as possible, and in winter I hibernate like a chowder-plump bear. My favorite part of living here is how wholly food is celebrated—my life revolves around cooking with friends.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I like to spend the waking hour outdoors. Ideally I catch the sunrise, then run in the large park nearby; visit the birds and vermin. Then, after my signature breakfast (of egg and anchovy taco) I let the work day roll out however it will: active studio work, emails, visits to the frame shop…whatever is up, I make sure to always set time aside to sit at my drafting table. When the sun comes down, I give my brushes a wash and turn the computer off. My focus turns back to food and who I will share it with.
Did you always want to be an artist? Did you have any other aspirations?
As a young child I told my parents that I wanted to be an artist, and they responded that I already was one. Isn’t that generous? I have various entrepreneurial aspirations, all of which are in some way tied to my art practice.
What is your work process like?
I start with a tidy workspace that I proceed to ravage. My paint vials (Dr. PH Martin’s) start in a neat row and end in chaos; fallen chess pieces. I listen to music (right now I’m heavy on Kamaiyah). I can work for hours without noticing time pass. Every so often my leg will fall asleep and I’ll get up, tack my work to the wall and walk away for a tea and newspaper break. The magic of fresh eyes gets me very time.
What inspires you most? In work? In life?
Light inspires me—light from the sun, light from people. I observe people and the ways they express themselves, through their physical presentation and the way they treat one another. I draw a lot of inspiration from classic cinema: the fashion, elegance and romance characteristic of bygone eras.
What is your favorite piece of work you’ve created?
I recently had a lot of fun making my Bacchanalia print—I designed it to be the invitation for a racous farm party in Vermont, but alas the party was put off, so I’ve made prints with the design instead. I enjoy its harmless irreverence. You can find the prints for sale on my site.
What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
In my early 20s I had a great mentor, a painter in New York, who told me to draw and paint every single day! And keep going! And keep going! That was my mantra starting out. I started a drawing a day series called “Dear Diary,” which led me to my first gallery show.
Favorite mediums to work in?
I love anything that allows me to achieve super-saturated color on paper. I work mostly in watercolor, for all its depth and subtlety. Right now I’m hungry to work some larger scale projects, possibly in oil. I’m attracted by the glop factor.
If you didn’t work as an artist, what would you be doing?
I’d like to host splendid, glittering dinner parties ’round the clock. To cook impossible feasts. How to monetize this?
Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
Yes! I’m soon to start work on a series of wine labels for a fantastic Italian natural wine maker! This has been a decade long dream.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming artists and illustrators?
Surround yourself with people who energize you…with people who lift you right up!
I’d like to have approximately 1,000 dogs. My qualm with the term pipe-dream is that it suggests the dream is unrealistic (I’m a Sagittarius). But here’s one I love: my friends and I dream of going in on some land together by the sea, where we can have work spaces and host summits and grow big, old gardens.
Obligatory Red Cap question: favorite drink?
Pét-nat! My heart goes to the fizzing, fermenting, lively stuff…
Today is a special double-header Shops We Love, as we pick up our series with New York City book and stationery retailer, McNally Jackson Books and its two protégé shops, Goods for the Study. All three of these fantastic shops carry our goods and we are delighted to introduce them to you.
First up, is the original, an independent bookseller, publisher, and printer: McNally Jackson Books. You could get lost in this treasure-trove of tomes, plus catch events by the hottest contemporary writers. “A place where you can read books, buy books, write books, and talk about books. And now a place where you can make books, too.” With their Espresso Book machine, you can create on-demand paperbacks for gifts, cataloguing ideas, and more. Visit, read, and have fun.
Up next are the “spin-off” shops of McNally Jackson Books: Goods for the Study (1 and 2). They have just opened a second location (yippee!) of fabulous, up-scale, sophisticated goods for the office, workspace, creative studio, and more. From cards, notebooks, paper, and beautiful necessities, we spy so many of our favorite artists and designers, and could spend hours (and a bunch of cash) in such a dreamy space. If you’re in the area, make sure to drop by one of these shops and see it for yourself.
Thank you McNally Jackson & Goods for the Study!
“The Wild Flower’s Song” by William Blake
As I wander’d the forest,
The green leaves among,
I heard a wild flower
Singing a song.
I slept in the Earth
In the silent night,
I murmur’d my fears
And I felt delight.
In the morning I went
As rosy as morn,
To seek for new joy;
But O! met with scorn.
We are especially fond of all things wild: foliage, botanicals, wildflowers, umbrage. Nothing is more beautiful than nature’s palette, and in turn, artistic depictions of it. Today, we are excited to show some love to artists of the botanical–whether they be floral designers, artists, or picture book illustrators. Look below for some of our favorites, and make sure you go for a walk outdoors soon to soak it all in.
First up, Pittsburgh’s The Farmer’s Daughter Flowers, whose Instagram is a constant source of floral inspiration. We were so inspired by their photos, that we paid homage to them in Carolyn Gavin‘s Red Cap Cards collection:
by Emily Hughes
Emily Hughes’s story about a feral girl who is taken from her “wild” life and placed into modern society is full of glorious landscapes and visual worlds that are brimming with beautiful foliage and woodsy willows. Hughes is a genius at capturing devil-may-care landscapes, and this one takes the cake.
This classic picture book tells the tale of Alice, who finds her way through travels and life experiences to her life purpose: planting beauty (via purple lupine) wherever she goes. Barbara Cooney is a master illustrator (you can see her Master’s Showcase here) and she depicts the North American tundra with colorful precision.
This stunning, modern children’s design book offers illustrations on all matter of the seasons, from firefighters to snow, to Spring Fever and torrent. The modern depictions of the natural world are fascinating! Plus, this one allows children’ imaginations to grow and connect concepts via a main theme.
This classic M.W. Brown picture book features a story that focuses on the opposite of natural growth: natural death. In the story, children witness nature’s ebb and flow, from life, to growth, to death, and to a return to the earth. The children pick flowers to place on the little dead bird’s grave, and we learn about the beautiful process of death and dying.
A Child’s Garden of Verses
by Robert Louis Stevenson with illustration by Gyo Fujisawa
Another classic, this collection of poems includes sweet stories about childhood, the outdoors, and the magic of the world. The illustrations by Gyo Fujisawa are meticulously curated, with details to rival your own garden.
Over in the Meadow
by John Longstaff with illustration by Feodor Rojankovsky
Over in the Meadow is an illustrative journey through the meadow and the homes of the animals who live there. From foxes to birds, to spiders and chipmunks, the animals and insects of the meadow rely on this botanical wonderland for their livelihood. Gorgeous illustrations by Feodor Rojankovsky detail prose by John Longstaff.
I Can Fly
by Ruth Krauss with illustration by Mary Blair
Another example of modern illustration comes from this classic Golden Book by Ruth Krauss, with illustration by Mary Blair. Mary Blair is a favorite of ours (see her Master’s Showcase here), and we love her bold and modern depictions of the lively outdoors. Pastel florals, vibrant meadowscapes, and colorfully simplistic arrangements make I Can Fly come alive.
Another exciting botanical wonder: Work by upcoming Red Cap Cards artist, Strange Dirt! See below:
We are in the midst of summer! We hope you are enjoying the life-giving rays and beautiful days. If you’re on the beach or sitting, sipping cocktails poolside, make sure to scroll through some of the amazing artwork that our artists are offering up on Instagram. We picked a sampling of a few great photos of work by our Red Cap artists from the past week to suit your fancy. Click the link below each photo for more, and make sure to follow us (@redcapcards). Happy browsing!
Happy Birthday, America! Don’t forget about our special sale that we have going on through midnight on the 5th of July. Use code CELEBRATE for 25% off of your online order. Have a sparkling and safe Independence Day!!
Every once in a while, we like to give love to artists who work outside of the grid of our usual medium of illustration. In the world of fine art, we admire fiber artists so much, and each of our little team has a tapestry or two hanging on our walls at home. Today, we wanted to showcase a group of fantastic artists that are keeping our inspiration heightened and our walls oh-so-touchy feely. Read more about them out below:
Judit Just is a perfect example of what happens when fiber and magic combine. Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Judit now calls Asheville, North Carolina home, where she designs and assembles her fiber tapestries. We love the bold use of color and mixed textures she uses to create her work. For more insight into her method and studio space, click over to Design*Sponge for a wonderful studio tour, where we learned that Judit’s strongest sense is touch, which contributes to her love of all things tactile, due to the fact that she wears glasses and is deaf in one ear. Check out these fantastic bursts of color:
Photos above courtesy of Judit Just.
Another artist we’ve been bookmarking lately is the amazing Lauren Williams of Boho by Lauren. Her signature style is a mix of modern and bohemian, combining a soft “flowy” tapestry with jagged lines of rigid-cut, dip-dyed fiber, and metal ribbon. Some tapestries are even dipped one strand at a time! Each tapestry conveys a different mood and each has a different story to tell. Follow her on Instagram for more!
Photos above courtesy of Boho by Lauren.
Not to be outdone by the great fiber artists of the contemporary scene, our own Red Cap Cards artists have gotten in on the game a few times. Check out these Node Rugs, designed by our own Jon Klassen and Lesley Barnes! Not only are they designed by two brilliant artists, they are handmade by Nepalese rug makers who are founder members of Fair Trade Nepal. Employees are taught literacy and skills, and in addition to fair wages their work supports a school of 260 children and an orphanage of nineteen.
Photos above courtesy of Node Rugs.
Last but not least, Maryanne Moodie‘s loom work is the most delicious looking work just short of a birthday cake. If you haven’t checked out her recent book, On the Loom, we highly recommend you check it out. Full of useful tips for creating your own fiber works of art, it’s also an exercise in stargazing, because each of her pieces are absolutely breathtaking. Follow her on Instagram for some awesome sneak peeks, and if you’re lucky enough to be anywhere near her Melbourne or Brooklyn studios, do yourself a favor and take a roving workshop to try your hand at these gorgeous art form.
Photos above courtesy of Maryanne Moodie.
Who’s in the mood for a cross-country trip to check out two fabulous art shows by two inspirational and talented artists? We are too! Pack your bags for Providence and Denver, because you won’t want to miss these.
First up, we are so proud of Red Cap Cards artist, Priscilla Weidlein, and her opening at Little Bitte, presented by World’s Fair. “But Now With Feeling” showcases watercolors by Weidlein and handblown glass by Peán Doubulyu.
We want to live inside one of these dream-like scenes. And those plants.
Click to her artist page to view Priscilla’s work for Red Cap and check out some photos from this fantastic-looking event, which happened last night, below:
Next up: this weekend is the opening reception for a special friend and upcoming Red Cap artist, Marsha Robinson (aka Strange Dirt). Marsha has been working hard on this exhibit for the last six months, and we are sure it will be such a treat to behold. Marsha’s intricate work depicting gorgeous botanicals and prismatic detailing are absolutely breathtaking.
Another major project on the horizon is Marsha’s collection release that will be happening in the 2018 New Year! Keep in touch for more news on her release. We can’t wait!
Saturday, June 24th 6pm-10pm
at Svper Ordinary
3350 Brighton Blvd. #120
Denver, CO 80216
See you there!
We are constantly cheerleading our Red Cap artists from the sidelines, and every once in a while we like to share some of the things that they are working on, besides making beautiful work for us! This week, we are excited to show you a brand, new picture book trailer, a fabulous wheelchair fashion accessory, and the coolest business card we’ve seen in a while. See below for more.
Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett are at it again, working their literary magic for children with The Wolf, The Duck, and the Mouse. We can’t wait for this one and were happy to find such a fun book trailer to go along with it. We love you, Jon!
“When a woeful mouse is swallowed by a wolf, he quickly learns he is not alone: a duck has already set up digs, and, boy, has that duck got it figured out! Turns out it’s pretty nice in there, with delicious food and elegant table settings, courtesy of the wolf’s unchecked gluttony. And there’s something even better: no more fear of being eaten by a wolf! In fact, life is pretty good, until a hunter shows up. . . . With a nod to traditional fables and a wink to the reader, the award-winning Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen offer a tale of cooperation and creative cuisine that is sure to go down easy.” – Candlewick Press
Last but not least, some design inspiration for your Thursday. Check out these business cards by Lesley Barnes for the East London Comics & Arts Festival (#ELCAF2017). Wouldn’t you love to be handed one of these? We’d keep it forever, and use it as a bookmark. Proof positive that nothing needs to be boring. Even a Thursday. Have fun!
Father’s Day is a little over a week away, and we hope you remember to treat your father, father-figure, baby-daddy, or doggie-dad (I could go on and on) with as much love and attention as possible. Moms get the bulk of the adoration when it comes to National Holidays, but we have to remember our awesome dads as well: like this one, this one, this one, and of course, this one.
We’re so excited about one of our newest Father’s Day card (above) by Carolyn Gavin and all of the amazing work that our artist collaborators have given us. Check out a little collage below of some of our cards for dear-old-Dad, or click here to view the entire Father’s Day Collection. Happy Father’s Day, have a cocktail for us, Dad!
Happy June!! We had the opportunity to have a quick getaway to New York City this past week to attend the National Stationery Show (NSS). We had a great time hanging out with a few of our collaborators: Kelsey Garrity-Riley, Danielle Kroll, Kate Pugsley, Priscilla Weidlein and Emily Isabella (upcoming collection for 2018!).
It’s amazing to be in the company of such talented and inspiring women and artists. And, it’s also fun to scroll through their blogs and Instagrams to get a glimpse of some of the fresh ideas they are working on for themselves, clients, or other projects. Check out some of the work that gave us heart-eyes below, and follow them!
Our May 2017 catalog is hot off the presses and we can’t wait to share it with you. On top of the new collections by these two fabulous artists, we are also featuring new holiday cards and wrap from Kate Pugsley, Nicholas John Frith, Becca Stadtlander, and Kelsey Garrity-Riley, as well as a bestsellers section to show off our most popular picks.
Check out a few sneak peeks of the card designs, holiday wrapping sheets, and some tidbits about our new artists below. For more of our holiday goodies, new wrap designs and more, click over to the catalog on ISUU or download it directly, here.
Have fun, and welcome, Bodil and Priscilla!
About Bodil Jane: Bodil Jane (1990, Amsterdam) is an illustrator from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She graduated with honors from Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, specializing in illustration (2014). She loves to illustrate food, people, animals, fashion, interiors, plants, packages and maps. All of her illustrations include hand made elements and digital techniques. Bodil Jane is represented by Folio, an illustration agency based in central London.
‘Bodil Jane’ is a combination of a first name and a second name. Bodil doesn’t use her last name for her illustration work. Full credits are: Bodil Jane. Bodil is a Danish name and means ‘female warrior’.
A bit about Priscilla: Priscilla Weidlein is an American illustrator and designer living in Rhode Island. She creates images for brands, magazines, stationery, and private commission. Painted with watercolor, her work is a lively celebration of hedonism, nature, and joie d’vivre.
We couldn’t mention one of our new artists, Priscilla Weidlein, without showing off another one! Bodil Jane is one of our brand new collaborators and we can’t wait to introduce her designs this month. Bodil Jane’s work is sensual and wild and detailed–an absolutely beautiful addition to our collection.
A bit about the artist, from her website: Bodil Jane is an illustrator from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She loves to illustrate food, recipes, animals, fashion, interiors, plants, packages and maps. All of her illustrations include hand made elements and digital techniques. Follow her on Instagram to see her current projects and work in progress, and see below for some lovely images of her past work. How about those room images–getting excited?
We are oh-so-excited to show you a little sneak peek of one of our brand new artists, Priscilla Weidlein. With a bold, femme-fatale style, Priscilla’s work for Red Cap is something we have been looking forward to for a while and we have absolutely fallen in love with every one of her pieces. They are sexy, vibrant, and it seems that a thousand stories lay behind each image. Keep a look out here on our blog for other new artists as well!
A little bit about Priscilla: she is an artist/illustrator based in Providence, Rhode Island and works on commission doing branding and editorial work, stationery design, and an array of custom projects. We are so excited to have her as part of our little Red Cap team–keep a look out for her Artist Spotlight, hopefully coming soon! Scroll below for some awesome work by Priscilla, just to wet your palate.
We checked in with a few of our artists today to find out what fun and exciting things they’ve been working on and found a few special treats to highlight: a vibrant animation, an LA event, and a new children’s book in the works.
First up, we’ve fallen in love with this animation, entitled “Transplant” by Red Cap Cards artist, Meg Hunt and P. Murphy for Portland’s Design Week event, DRAEMS. The animation features the flower and the eye as two traditional dream elements, which come together to create a surreal and lovely story. View Meg Hunt’s designs for Red Cap, here.
Also notable this week, if you are in the LA area, don’t miss out on Red Cap artist, Jon Klassen‘s event with collaborator, Mac Barnett. They will be at The Pop Hop Books & Print for a Triangle reading and signing on Sunday, April 30th at 3pm. If you haven’t had a chance to read Triangle yet, this might be the moment you’ve been waiting for.
And a sneak peek to get you excited (we definitely are!). Check out this cover for Jon and Mac’s new collaboration which will be out this fall: The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse. That color palette!
“I may have been swallowed,” said the duck, “but I have no intention of being eaten.”
Bees are buzzing, daffodils are sprouting, and you’re hopefully planning a lovely rendezvous somewhere even warmer than where you currently reside. When you hop on a plane or ferry or train, make sure that you pack something to read for every age group. A few selections with beautiful work by Red Cap Cards artists stood out to us as books that need to go in the carry-on. Read on for more:
Red Cap Cards artist, Nicholas John Frith‘s brand new picture book, Hello, Mr. Dodo! is bright as-can-be and the perfect story for kids. The illustration is reminiscent of Bernard Waber with a modern twist and an eye-candy color palette. It tells the story of Martha, and her new friend with a taste for fried pastry –a Dodo bird– who is thought to have been extinct. It’s a sweet story (pun intended!) Also, if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Frith’s first picture book, Hector and Hummingbird, make sure to pick that one up as well!
For the older set, make sure to check out The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley with absolutely gorgeous cover art by Red Cap Cards artist, Josie Portillo. Written for the middle grade audience, this story will captivate all ages, including adults. In the novel, we meet Ada, a handicapped 10-year old, who makes her way to the English countryside to avoid the bombing of London in World War II. There are plenty of plot twists and fabulous elements about the story that we won’t spoil, but you’ll want to read this one quickly, as it’s sequel, The War I Finally Won, is due out in October of 2017! See below.
Lastly, the follow-up to Red Cap artist, Lesley Barnes‘s debut picture book, Jill & Dragon, is out now. Jill & Lion tells the story of our heroine, Jill, and her new adventure with a sad lion whose tears are blurring the pages! We love the story and the end-pages are to die for (see below)!
And don’t forget to check out the amazing work that these three artists have created especially for Red Cap. Click here to view cards by Nicholas John Frith, here for work by Josie Portillo, and here for Lesley Barnes. Happy Spring reading!
Do you love miniatures as much as I do? How about designer wallpaper? Recently, I decided to create an Easter surprise for my daughter, Alice, by refashioning a customized birdhouse we used for our wedding cards into a dollhouse she can use for her bunny family. I had to reign myself in from buying deluxe Eames miniatures (come on, she’s two) and adding on rooms to accommodate their lifestyles–good luck if you need a restroom, bunnies!–but I did decide to splurge on that wallpaper. I’ve been searching for the perfect toile for my real-life house for years, so when Danielle released her beautiful River Toile Wrap, I decided to live vicariously through those little bunnies.
Plus, I was delighted to learn about another house which was also wallpapered to perfection, using Yelena Bryksenkova’s Moth Magic Wrap, by the talented Lauren Duarte. I love this little scene Look at Blythe’s little Moth Magic Notebook! She is way cooler than us all. See below. Check out Lauren’s Instagram for some dollhouses that will give you design envy.
To create the interiors for a little house like this, you will need:
- a House! I popped the back wall off of the house and installed mini tap lights into the detachable roof because it has no windows to let light in.
- Modpodge and a glue brush (see image below). I used matte modpodge and applied under and on top of the paper to set it, and protect it from sticky fingers for years to come.
- The paper, of course. I used one sheet of Danielle Kroll’s River Toile.
- Woodgrain contact paper for the flooring.
- Dollhouse furniture. I ordered mine from Hape and painted over some of the colors with white acrylic.
- Floor and tile samples from Home Depot for the room separator. Shhh…don’t tell.
- A tiny Persian rug, because yes.
- A large metal washer and some scrap yarn to make the woven wall hanging.
See below for a few more pictures of the tiny space to get your creativity flowing, and check out all of our wrapping sheets (and your future dollhouse wallpaper?) in our shop section.
April is here, and you know what that means…yes! It’s National Letter Writing Month and we hope you are participating in the Write_On Campaign just like last year. If you need a few reasons to write, the Campaign has got some great ideas up on their website. Get the stamps on those envelopes, kids!
Plus, if you missed it, click back over to Red Cap Cards’s Designer Q&A with the Write_On campaign. Have fun, and happy writing!
There is value to a handwritten letter…but there is also value to any thoughtfully written note from a friend—sent by telegram, snail mail, or even email. Paperless Post is our favorite way to send online correspondence while easily retaining the elegance of an enveloped notation.
We’re so happy to have brand new designs by Danielle Kroll (and more!) on Paperless Post. For a couple of “coins,” you can send friends and loved ones a Red Cap card, invite, or directly into their email inbox. Click over to our friends at Paperless Post to see all of our sendable, digital designs, or click the photos below for a direct link. Thank you so much, Paperless Post!
Brand new books are blooming all around, and we are excited to present you with another edition of Arlo’s Book Club! This time around, we are looking at fresh pickings for Spring, and focusing on character. Character is perhaps the most important element in children’s storytelling. It teaches kids about the world and people around them, how to make good decisions and how to be brave and silly. We picked a few books that exemplify how creating a great character can really take the reader soaring. Take a look, and happy reading!
by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen
The newest collaboration from Mac Barnett and our own Red Cap artist, Jon Klassen, is about a mischievous little triangle and the lengths he’ll go for a laugh. We also meet his foil, a Square, who teaches kids a valuable lesson about going with the flow. Of course, we’re in love with the illustration–classic Klassen, conveying depth and expression with darker, shaded colors, plus a few pops of icy blue that refreshes the page. Pick this one up right away!
Du Iz Tak?
by Carson Ellis
We could go on and on about the merits of Du Is Tak? by Carson Ellis. The story is centered on a group of insects who live in a colorful and intricate outdoor world. The real character in this book, however, is the language. The little bugs speak no human language, and we as the reader are tasked with using the illustration to decode their speech, like a child might learn to decode ours. By the end of the story, we are fluent in their language. A brilliant, fantastical story.
Antoinette (Gaston & Friends)
by Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson
It’s finally here! The “sequel” to Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio and Red Cap Cards artist, Christian Robinson, is entitled Antoinette, and tells the story of Gaston’s future spouse and her quest to find herself. We get to see more of the city of Paris (fun!) and follow Antoinette as she finds out that everyone has a talent, and that hers is very important. We’re so glad to see these sweet faces again.
North, South, East, West
by Margaret Wise Brown with illustration by Greg Pizzoli
It’s difficult for Margaret Wise Brown to do wrong in our eyes, and we were delighted to see that her story was recently refreshed and reprinted with illustration by our pal, Greg Pizzoli. North, South, East, West tells the story of a sweet little bird who leaves the nest for adventure and then finds her way back home. This one is for anyone with a wandering soul.
My Dad Used to Be so Cool
by Keith Negley
A little boy is suspicious that his dad used to be cool. How do we know? We get a glimpse of a few hints: a motorcycle collecting leaves in the driveway, a drum kit hidden away in the closet, sleeve tattoos and loud music. Bursting with color and sweet-as-can-be, this story allows the reader in on a secret that little boy never does figure out: that his dad used to be “cool” but would give it all up for love. We adore this one from author/illustrator, Keith Negley.
“His art was not modern for the sake of modern. [It] could be a kind of very distilled visual language that could be understood by just about anyone, from a 2-year-old to an illiterate peasant in Russia.” – Leonard Marcus, children’s literature scholar and curator.
With Spring in the air, there is not a more perfect, classic artist to showcase than Leonard Weisgard. Known mainly for his collaborations with Margaret Wise Brown, Weisgard’s illustrated works are staples in the libraries of children’s literature enthusiasts. (Read this fantastic article about how Margaret Wise Brown and Leonard Weisgard’s collaborations revolutionized children’s literature!)
Bursting with color and fine detail, Weisgard’s work was honored with the Caldecott Medal in 1947 for The Little Island, written by Brown. The beauty in his depictions promote such a slow contemplation of the world around us. According to the article linked above, Brown actually sought out Weisgard because she felt that there “weren’t enough wildflowers in children’s books.” In 1970, Weisgard moved to Denmark the protest the Vietnam war. He died there in 2000. Look below for a (very) small sampling of his contribution to the art and literature worlds. Happy Spring!
Spring is just about to peek its lovely head out from behind the corner, but doesn’t it seem as if the winter days drag the most toward the middle of March? The blustery weather no longer sparkles, we no longer feel cozy–we just feel stuck. If you are a creative or an artist, and the days have begun to drag on, how do you find inspiration?
One too many days spent indoors can zap the creative flow and it’s difficult to navigate your work between times of making dinner or doing laundry or of staring out the window, wondering if the rain will ever stop. We’ve talked a bit about sketchbooks and how important the consistent output of work is to creating even more work, but what do you do when there’s just…nothing?
Today, in honor of sweeping the cobwebs out of our brains, we thought we would take a look back at our Artist Spotlights and find inspiration in our artists’ inspirations. Take a look below at some of their responses to the question of what inspires them. We hope it helps you find your inspiration, too:
“I’m not really conscious, but inevitably my environment inspires me, I’m sure; everything I like sticks in my head one way or another, and reflects when it is time to work. Because (I always say this but is true nonetheless) there is no inspiration without work. I’m a great believer in randomness during the creative process. I have started with pottery a short while ago, and I’m really enjoying it, so I think it will reflect in my work somehow.” – Blanca Gómez
“Nature and people. We as human beings are very small next to the powerful nature. That is what I think most of the times when I paint. Even though we are very clever and all the time learning and discovering new things, we will never be as powerful as the nature is. The beauty of the nature is also how everything there interacts somehow together.” – Anna Emilia Laitinen
“Reading is important to me, and is a big source of inspiration. I’m also inspired by some of the travels I’ve done and a lot of what I do is based on memories of experiences I’ve had and places, people, and things I’ve seen. As far as reference goes, I was looking at a lot of 1950’s children’s books when I was in college – I think a lot of the simplistic shapes of that era stuck with me.” – Josie Portillo
“Books, films, music, memories, exhibitions, clothing, interesting color palettes, images I come across on the internet–absolutely everything. There’s usually one thing that has me captivated at any given moment and I live under its spell until the next wave of inspiration. I try to keep my eyes open and carry a notebook for writing down half-formed ideas or themes to return to. My mind and my computer are visual catalogs where I file away all of the beautiful things I see, and they all appear in my work eventually, in one form or another.” – Yelena Bryksenkova
“Traveling and trying new things. I get a ton of ideas when I’m not sitting around trying to think of one. Generally I get inspiration from everyday life and I definitely look at the past stylistically. I love going to thrift shops and antique malls. You’re guaranteed to see something interesting, unique, handmade, quirky, funny, beautiful and affordable if you go to the right spot. Not to mention the funny people watching.” – Danielle Kroll
“Colour, colour combinations and patterns from all over the world.. Africa, Mexico, India, Belize, Eastern Europe… Flowers, animals, fashion, the city, the country and travel. I love to travel to new places. I think this opens up a whole world of possibilities and new creative experiences which translates into new and wonderful work. Plus, it refreshes your mind and energizes the soul.” – Carolyn Gavin
“I’m very influenced by vintage illustration from all over the world. I admire Russian avant-garde illustrators like Boris Ermelenko, the bold works of Fernand Nathan, Olle Eksell, Leonard Weisgard, Alice and Martin Provensen; Miroslav Sasek, Art Seiden, Arnold Edwin Bare and many many more. I also love old advertisements like the one from bally or old food illustrations. There is jelly everywhere and woman serve big meals to their husbands in their pink kitchens. I also love old Czechoslovakian, Polish and Russian matchbox labels and vintage travel posters, mainly from England. I could not limit my self to one artist or one direction. Each one of them has something that fascinates me. What I mainly love about those kind of illustrations is the limited color palette, the bold shapes and the beautiful printing techniques they are made with.” – Barbara Dziadosz
“Everything around me basically. I like to gather influence from anything from a bike ride around the block, to reading a children’s book to reading a science or philosophy article online. I don’t typically look at other artists or illustrators for inspiration, as doing so usually has the opposite effect, I like to pull ideas from more abstract thoughts. Even just seeing an interesting pattern, or the way the tree in the park meets the grass can lead to a new way of thinking about a drawing.” – James Gulliver Hancock
“Everything. Nature, flowers, forest, movies, songs, fashion, books, stories, colors, shapes, people, animals, antiques, museums.” – Dinara Mirtalipova
“I don’t know….I get asked this a lot and there’s no answer really. I think, as a rule, creative people are greedy, we consume books and music and film in high volumes and that contributes to our work, of course it does. But its hard to pinpoint, at any given moment, where an influence has come from as its merged with all the other stuff going on in your head. So a drawing might come from a song I’ve heard, something by Withered Hand or Karen Dalton perhaps, but it also comes from the mood I was in when I woke up that morning, the weather, who I’ve been speaking to. Rarely do my ‘favourite things’ crop up in my work. […] Its just a feeling you get when you see something that ‘gets to you.’ That irrepressible urge to make things. Its important not to disregard anything you encounter, its all good stuff. The greedier you are with things the more you’ll have to go on.” – Lizzy Stewart
“I’ve been asked this question a lot, and it’s hard to answer honestly. My environment has always been really important, including experiences of new places. Work and life are so intertwined that I can’t really pick out specific inspirations. Taking the time to observe what’s around me helps me stay conscious of what I’m thinking and feeling, and I think that influences my work.” – Kate Pugsley
“Everywhere. Experiences. Dreams of yesterdays past. Books. Nature. And, in the last year, Pinterest!” – Nicholas John Frith
“Epic question! So many things inspire me. Children’s book illustration and graphic art from the 50s-60s, nature, simplicity, cities, children’s art, animation, fine art, music, I could keep going.” – Christian Robinson
“I love objects–things with stories, collecting things, arranging things, discovering things. The natural world is hugely influential. I always go back and draw from memories of experiences and places. I love looking to current interior design and fashion–even if they don’t show up directly in my work. I feel very blessed to have family and friends who inspire me creatively. My brother has been staying with us for the past few months while he works on his studio apartment–he does the most amazing woodworking. Lately it has been especially inspiring to spend so much time talking over new projects and creative plans with him and my husband.” – Kelsey Garrity Riley
“Looking at everything, especially shapes and colours. Good food. Films and music. All the girl characters I’ve been obsessed with since I was little. Starting with Pippi Longstocking (in the amazing picture book illustrations by Ingrid Vang Nyman), later Anne of Green Gables, Harriet the Spy, Margot Tenenbaum, Lisbeth Salander and so many more.” – Anke Weckmann
We hope you enjoyed your International Women’s Day! Whether or not you took the day off in honor of #adaywithoutawoman, or you simply celebrated your fellow and/or favorite females, we felt the love yesterday. In honor of the International Women’s Day, we wanted to present some beautiful work by some of our favorite female artists–Red Cap Cards artists! See below for work some beautiful work they created and make sure to visit their websites, linked via our artists page. We love and respect you all. The future is female!
Pop the cork! We’ve got a fun treat for your weekend: come celebrate our brand new collection created by Danielle Kroll, this Saturday night at The Social Type! Join us for an inspirational gathering to connect, sip a bit of bubbly, and tip our hats to Danielle.
Meet us at The Social Type (bring your spending shoes, because this place is fantastic!)
2522 W Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, California
6-9pm — come early, stay late!
We can’t wait to see you. Pencil this into your paper (or digital) calendar, put on something cute and we’ll see you there, cocktail in hand!
It’s finally time for another Artist Spotlight, and we are so thrilled! We are pleased to introduce Danielle Kroll to our Red Cap Cards family. A Brooklyn-based artist and designer, Danielle brings a feminine chicness with a hint of play to the Red Cap roster. Debuting with eighteen new cards and six new wrapping sheet styles, Danielle and her gorgeous new designs makes us want to grab a cocktail and relax under the nearest cabana with a copy of Franny and Zooey.
We had a chance to chat with Danielle a bit about her creative process, what inspires here, and more. See below for her interview and fantastic photos of her studio and more.
What does a typical day for you look like?
Usually I take advantage of my flexible schedule and get some chores done in the morning. If I have time, I’ll make myself a nice big breakfast. My studio is a 20 minute walk through Greenpoint and I try to get there by 12. Some days I just want to get right to painting but if I have emails or urgent deadlines, that will have to wait until later. If I finish up all my client work then I can work on something for myself. It’s like my treat for having a productive work day.
Did you always want to be an artist? Did you have any other aspirations?
I’ve always known I wanted to do something creative. I thought I wanted to be an interior designer because I loved playing The Sims so much. I started painting in the 5th grade when I won private acrylic lessons with a local artist. I went to art school and then worked as a graphic designer. I got bored though so I started painting again on the side. I started getting client work after posting my paintings on a blog for a little while. Illustration, it turns out, was kind of like my missing link between design and painting.
Tell us about your other work–ceramics, textiles?
Ceramics is a happy place because I don’t take on commissioned work in that medium. Which also means that I don’t get to work with clay that much since it never takes priority. I still feel like I’ve only tapped the surface with that. As for textiles, I’ve been drawn to them for as long as I can remember. Some of my first memories are of patterns in my grandparent’s houses. Sometimes I weave those memories into my work. I started doodling patterns in my sketchbooks one day then started painting more complex textiles once I learned how repeats work. I really can’t control what my mind wants to be working on which is why I move around between mediums. If I have an idea I will obsess over it until I start working on it.
What is your creative process like?
It depends on what I’m working on. I’m always drawing in my sketchbooks and those most likely will turn into a textile. For my personal projects I think I’m most creative when I’m not thinking about it too much. Sometimes I could sit around for hours (or days) just thinking about ideas before actually starting anything. Then when I have something in mind I’ll have it done that same day. When I’m painting, I work with gouache and sometimes add in paper collage. Then I scan my paintings into Photoshop and do some cleaning up. I actually really like the computer part because by then the hardest parts are over and I can just zone out and listen to audiobooks, podcasts or watch cartoons.
What inspires you most?
Traveling and trying new things. I get a ton of ideas when I’m not sitting around trying to think of one. Generally I get inspiration from everyday life and I definitely look at the past stylistically. I love going to thrift shops and antique malls. You’re guaranteed to see something interesting, unique, handmade, quirky, funny, beautiful and affordable if you go to the right spot. Not to mention the funny people watching.
What is your most successful piece in your opinion?
Yikes tough call! I think my most popular piece was the Ladies at the Beach print. Which I love as well. One of my all time favorite paintings I did was of two lost swans swimming in the ocean on an old book page. Very romantic.
What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
I think it’s probably, don’t listen to other people’s advice. What’s right for one person is most certainly not going to work for everyone. When you’re excited about a big idea and ask someone’s advice, chances are they’re going to tell you something like, “wow that’s a lot of work. Or woah that’s crazy.” And it’s easy to feel discouraged. I still ask people’s advice, I just try not to factor it into my decision making process.
Favorite mediums to work in?
I feel most confident when painting because I’ve been doing it for so long. I think ceramics is the most rewarding (when everything goes right). Since I don’t have too much time in ceramics I always try something funky when I go in there. Occasionally it works out!
Tell us about Beech Hall.
I started Beech Hall with two of my buddies from Tyler School or Art. We all branched out in slightly different concentrations so we thought it would be a fun project to make a brand together. Our first collection was inspired by Ancient Egypt and had homewares, jewelry, ceramics, paintings and other random goods. Our second collection was inspired by the feeling of a retro island vacation and we called it Cabana. It’s been fun to just experiment and to fully develop a product concept. We see it more as an opportunity to explore artistically rather than a business.
Who are your role models in terms of art or otherwise?
The first artist I really looked up to is Mary Blair. I remember seeing an exhibit of her paintings at the perfect time; right after I quit my job and started a long hike in California. I really connected to her. Seeing the original artwork that stylistically inspired my favorite childhood movies made me giddy.
If you didn’t work as an artist, what would you be doing?
Maybe I’d be an antique buyer. I’m really good at that!
Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
I do have some fun ideas in the works but they’re not ready to be shared yet.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming artists and illustrators?
Do as much experimenting as you can. Sometimes I’ll start on an idea and I’ll think it’s going to be the best thing in the world. Then a few hours in, I’ll take a step back and it’s hideous. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s easy to get discouraged but we all make ugly stuff every now and then. Just remember to dispose of it.
Obligatory Red Cap question: favorite drink?
My go-to order is a Vodka Soda. I’m Polish so vodka is my family’s liquor of choice. For my fancy cocktail I’d go with a Moscow Mule. I love the fresh gingery taste. So refreshing!
Thank you so much, Danielle! See more of Danielle’s designs for Red Cap cards, here.
All photos courtesy Danielle Kroll unless otherwise noted.
We hope you’re getting ready to hunker down with your honey tonight–and by all means, a “honey” may represent your spouse, partner, child, pet, or really just a huge box of Junior Mints. Whatever works. We love you oh-so-much at Red Cap Cards. Have fun, eat some candies, and enjoy the love that is within your grasp. Here’s a few visual treats to get you started…
Happy Valentine’s Day!
They say the eyes are the window to the soul. We say they are the window to the story. Part of our jobs as art curators is finding personality and perspective in our artists’ characters. A huge chunk of that personality and perspective is found in the character’s gaze. The intricacies with which artists are able to convey emotion and intent through slight subtlety in their character’s features is fascinating!
Part of what makes a successful picture book is a 50/50 partnership between words and illustration. Words tell half of the story, while the illustration tells the other half. Sometimes, these halves conflict in their truths…and that’s when things get really exciting! When you start to focus on these tiny details in a picture book’s illustration, it’s amazing what layers you can find.
It’s no secret that we are huge Jon Klassen fans. Celebrated author, illustrator and Caldecott award winner (not to mention Red Cap Cards artist), Jon is a master at creating tension and story arcs with very subtle details in his art work. Look below for some fascinating examples from several of his books.
This is Not My Hat
by Jon Klassen
This one tells the story of a tiny, mischievous fish who has stolen a hat (quite stupidly) from a much bigger fish. He is sly and aware of his surroundings until he gets a little bit too comfortable. We love the facial expressions on both fish (and a few other characters) as the story emerges, showing complex emotions in a battle of wits.
“He probably won’t know it was me who took it.”
I Want My Hat Back
by Jon Klassen
In this story, a much-too-trusting bear goes on the hunt for his missing hat, until he ultimately finds it, much to the dismay of the thief. The range of emotion in this one is perfect! Trust to deception, realization, intent, surprise, and ultimately, satisfaction. The illustration is able to stand completely alone in its story.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Words by Mac Barnett, illustration by Jon Klassen
This one is magical and has new layers that are discoverable with each reading. Sam and Dave do simply that–they dig a hole. Their trusty dog is there to attempt to steer them in the right direction, but ultimately, they wrap up the day’s work and head home…or do they? The very subtle inconsistencies in the two home settings create a story within a story. The look between the cat and the dog tells us there’s more to this narrative that we are invited to put together on our own after the book is closed.
We Found a Hat
by Jon Klassen
Jon’s newest addition to the “hat” trilogy tells the story of two turtles in a desert who have found a hat. Who will claim the hat? They both like it, and it looks good on them both. The internal struggle of one of the turtles is hidden from the text, but is given away in the eyes of the character illustration. See the images below:
How many characters are completely recognizable by their eyes? We wanted to touch on Jon’s characters to get you on the lookout–who are your favorite characters with stories told through their expressions? We will be back with some more illustrative techniques for telling a complete story through illustration. Keep your eyes peeled!
-Andie Powers for Red Cap Cards
Who is attending the NY NOW Show in New York City next week? We’ll be there!
From February 5th-8th, Red Cap Cards will be represented by Crow & Canary in the general gift section in the company of some fine lines of stationery, gifts, and housewares. Visit us on the first floor of Davits in Booth No. 7614!
Stop by to check out our new collection of valentines, and allow Danielle Kroll to make a proper introduction with her stunning new collection of cards and gift wrap. We can’t wait to see you there.