Monday, March 28, 2011
My good friend's beloved dog, Snoopy, passed away this weekend. Melissa and her husband Mike saved him from a sad and lonely situation many years ago. He since enjoyed a wonderful life complete with delicious treats, plenty of play and full of love! Above, Snoopy meets his new friend, Freddie, who is now 6 years old.
He was one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met. My thoughts go out to Melissa, Mike & Freddie. I know how difficult it is to say goodbye to such a good friend.
Rest in Peace Snoopy. You will be missed. You were very much loved!!!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
What would You do? is my book idea where kids follow two dogs, Ruben and Cooper, as they make decisions day to day. A variety of situations are set up for kids to view (with a dog's point of view) then choose from a selection of possibilities. Turn the page and find out what Ruben & Cooper did. Whether they encounter a UFO, spot a bank robber, or simply choose from their favorite ice cream flavors, count on surprises ahead :D
I asked fans on my Facebook page, Artwork by Allyn, to guess what they are looking at and enjoyed reading answers like "Me", an "Ice Cream truck", "New Puppies", "My Hat!" and "Floats in the Macy's Day Parade". Below, a couple of sketches where they find themselves having to wash a boat.
This is Proud Ma Hedgehog strolling her baby through NYC's Central Park. I took advantage of my facebook page again to ask people to vote on the best shoes for her. A friend suggested she needed some stylish low pumps for walking on the cobblestones.
Red Boots were the overwhelming favorite!
Can't get enough of birds. I love 'em!
Think this unusual squirrel below may have been knocked on the head ;)
Bunnies need grooming, too.
Sharing Lakeside Bunny again, Easter is only a month away! I enjoy working in charcoal and I'm trying to do some pieces in black & white and with limited or muted color palettes as an exercise.
Painting on unprimed wood seems to be gaining in popularity, so just thought I'd try it for myself :)
A friend in need is a friend indeed!
Thanks for stopping by today! I'd love to hear your feedback, whether you have fun ideas for Ruben & Coop, have fashion tips for Ma H or simply want to share your faves or not so much comments ;D
More work @ AllynHoward.com ~ Happy almost weekend!! -A
Monday, March 14, 2011
St. Patrick's Day is on the way and here is my latest door at If I Were A Toy to celebrate! This March marks one full year of painting the toy store's door each month. I decided to share them all with you here. After painting murals in the shop and adjoining kids' hair salon, Joanna came up with the idea to change the lower section each month to suit the season or holiday. They've become much easier to paint and a bit more complex since my first one last March 2010.
This month is Hip Hip Hooray We're Rich Irish Animals!
It takes some time to feel natural painting on one side knowing it will be seen more often from the other. It always looks much smoother from the outside.
Above, painting the Valentine door, Skunk Luv Dance Party, my friend happened to walk by and take a couple photos. Kids often stop to watch and ask questions, which makes it more enjoyable for me. It's also fun to hear conversations in the shop, especially children explaining to parents or a nanny why they need a particular toy or activity/game :)
Holiday Paradise on Ice, this Christmas door was one of my favorites. I only recently started creating some distance and making the scenes more full. You may have noticed we skipped January, this was just too good for only one month ;D
Below, I like a lot, too. Thomasina blows outta Brooklyn. Gotta be tough for the poor turkeys when it dawns on them they won't be at the table, but on it!
The color looks warmer on the inside, below. Chase bank's bright sign on the street, often makes it's way into my photos.
At Halloween, I was still keeping them pretty simple.
September had to be a Back to School theme. This was the 1st time I tried to indicate space/background with some shelves, an easel and chalkboard.
I like the shot below because it leads into store with my Space Mouse painting :)
Celebrating Independence Day, Bear Family Enjoys Fireworks from their boat. I love these two blues together, think I could have gone more nuts with fireworks, but it's a sweet scene.
Below, was last year's Father's Day door. Dad rooster is impressed by the flying pig and his chicks are impressed by him! as is the other little piggie :)
Mother's Day door ~ these ducklings have a special gift and flowers for their mom!
Surprise! chickie pops out of fresh painted egg ~ Easter door :)
And finally, my first painted door ~ a Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow. It is very simple and a lone little mouse finds this big treasure.
I made a few sketches before I went to paint, but the one below is on a tiny piece of notebook paper and it holds a sentimental spot in my heart...
Happy Anniversary to Me! Happy Saint Patrick's Day to You!
Thanks for taking a look today :') -A
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
I am finally posting part two of my favorites from the 2011 New York International Gift Fair. I began this post on February 17th. I am grateful to have been busy, but still I'm sorry it took me this long to share these wonderful companies with you!
Art Thingys is a brand new company founded in the fall of 2010 by industrious industrial designer, Paul Ocepek. I was immediately struck by how fun, clever and well crafted his wall art is! Paul is also incredibly nice and easy to chat with. I learned that he not only designs and constructs each piece himself, but that he uses sustainably harvested baltic birch plywood and non-toxic water based paints. *No chemical coatings are used :)
There are plenty of great pieces to choose from for a boy or a girl's room or anywhere in the house really.
Visit artThingys.com to learn more and see much much better pictures of his work! His style of writing is as charming and humorous as his artwork, too.
Loved this fireplace display :D
Ecojot is always a must-see for me. Pretty sure I've been purchasing Carolyn Gavin's whimsical eco-friendly paper products since she and her brother, Mark started the company in 2007 :)
All products are100% post consumer recycled and the inks and glues are vegetable based. Ecojot started The Give Program last year and has partnered with The Jane Goodall Institute.
I very much enjoyed meeting this brother and sister team at last year's Stationery Show.
Click here to learn more about Ecojot's products and programs, plus read a nice interview with Carolyn .
Sisters, Vivian and Tiffany Leung are the designers and creative minds behind 9 Spot Monk. Established in 2001 with a focus on minimalist design, they blend their colorful street chic sensibility with a clean modern aesthetic. They began printing their lines using a letterpress in 2004 and never looked back!
I love these day-glow Pop-Out greeting cards! I'm also a big fan of their humorous Recession Line with lines like "I've always found you vaguely attractive" and "Dad wishes you were good at something" :D
Here are their new hot off the press 2011 color-in notebooks and clocks for kids!
I love sushi and I love coloring!! Let's eat sushi placemat is perfect for me :)
I couldn't pass up all these animal faces staring at me from the shelves!
Whoo whoooo ... time to wake up!
In the early '90s, Streamline began it's focus on junior markets and designed the "Bubble Watch". It was a huge hit! Below, a Monkey Flip-Top Bubble watch.
Whether you're looking for something cute and useful or want to indulge in pure whimsy, Streamline creates fabulous items for the home, office, school... wherever you need a pick-me-up!
These Mini First Aid Kits by Kabalab, LLC are perfection! 1st of all, can't go wrong with a bear face, 2nd- the clean design adds just the right amount of sophistication and 3rd You Are OK! Everything you need when you're out on-the-go :D
Princesses and Pirates, too!
Cupcakes and Cartwheels is a division of Two's Company. They were one of my 1st stops at the show. Their website is currently under construction, but check back with them later to see more sweet and playful items for the home.
I didn't have a chance to speak with Cupcakes & Cartwheels' reps, but I had to take photos of these water coolers saturated with color, funny tea cozy and adorable aprons for kids :)
Cat Studio was founded by husband and wife design team, Terrell and Carmel Swan. With a shared love of travel and inspired by vintage souvenir pillows of the 30s and 40s, they began hand embroidering maps. What started as a pet project quickly turned into a full fledged business! Read the full story here.
Here's a shout out to those of you who abandoned gritty NYC for sunny California :( You know who you are, Margaret. It's a really cute pillow, but lacks depth I think ;)
Ahhhhhh, Brooklyn :)
All 50 states are covered, as well as many cities, regions, resorts, national parks and countries. In addition, you can purchase glassware, dish towels, totes and trays :)
I thought these bags by Graf & Lantz were very elegant.
This LA based design studio was founded by Holger Graf and Daniel Lantz. Constructed in the US, the highest quality Merino wool felt, imported from Germany and Switzerland, is combined with other natural materials. I appreciate the mix of luxury with practicality. These are very well made with convenient pockets inside and out.
I can't take credit for this photograph above. I'm sharing it from their website. This is one lovely duffel bag! Of course, these little dog key rings caught my fancy, too!
Below is Ryan McGibben, also known as RPhonic, a West Coast DJ and product designer at Wolf Designs. He released his RPhonic branded accessories and home decor at the gift fair this year.
It was fun to round the corner and hear some music at the show! His urban inspired designs look great on bags, lap top sleeves and as wall art.
Do you love a particular album cover or covers enough to display? I do! Play and Display flip frames allow easy hanging and displaying of your favorite cover art. Designed by Art Vinyl Ltd, there is no complex assembly. Once mounted, a simple one-finger touch flips the front frame open to slide in your album :)
Visit their site for more info and see the winners of Best Art Vinyl 2010!
I've always been a fan of the Vespa design, so I was happy to receive a nice fat catalog. I had no idea they sold so many great accessories and bags, too!
My 1st Vespa Dog painting, called Dudley Scooter Dog for legal reasons, in my mind he's on a Vespa!
Lovely lighting by Artecnica :')
This is Modern Twist a San Francisco/Oakland based eco conscious company founded by Kat Nouri. These are food-grade hand silkscreened silicone placemats that can be colored and cleaned for a fresh start. Check them out on Growing Your Baby blog, too.
Modern Twist collaborates with an array of independent artists. You can see the work is all quite charming!
Cute silicone doilies :)
Crash Candles creates natural soy wax candles. Their clean and quirky designs are created by celebrated designers like Lotta Jansdotter, Binth, Zuz Design, Crash and Susan Mac Connell.
I was drawn to the playful and sophisticated designs on tableware by Ink Dish. You can read more about each artist they work with here.
Above designed by David Palmer
Alyson Fox adds a narrative touch with her designs. Above, a girl balances a book on her head as small birds swirl around:)
I've included Sukie in several posts and always enjoy seeing their designs :)
Have to wonder if Charlie Sheen carries this notebook. Winning ;)
Thanks for taking a look at my faves from the Gift Fair this year. There is always so much to see, hope I shed some light on a few artists and companies for which you may have been unaware!