Need some help getting going on that embroidery project? Check out our BRAND NEW WEBSITE (squeee) for some great embroidery tips. We also have how to's for a bunch of embroidery stitches. Funsies! Remember...sign up for our newsletter on the right and get a FREE "Picnic Pals Minis" hand embroidery pattern PDF download. Didn't have a weekend embroidery project? Now you do!
Hi all. Check out these cute little Kitty Brooches that we designed. A full tutorial on how to make them is available for free over on the Better Homes and Gardens howtosew.com blog here. Check it out and have some fun stitching!
Happy Friday all! I wanted to share with you the full collection of our new fabric line "Under the Water". It's full of sweet kelp bouquets, stars, jellies, hammerheads and narwhals. The collection is available through our Penguin & Fish spoonflower shop in all sorts of fabrics including quilting weight cotton, linen-cotton canvas, cotton silk, and my fav, organic cotton knit (to make the cutest t-shirts ever). It's also available as wallpaper and wall decals. Check it out here. I'd love to hear your ideas of what you would make out of the fabric.
The winners of our Handful-o-Floss giveaway are...Carla Hellwege and Rebecca Nash-Brown!!! Congrats! Thanks everyone for participating. For the latest news and to see all the inner happenings at Penguin & Fish, make sure to 'like' us on Facebook here.
Hi all. I wanted to share a few experiments from the past weekend. There is always more to learn and practice to become a better illustrator or artist. I decided to take the weekend and play with some techniques that are out of my wheelhouse, but that I always wanted to learn. The first is the process of "inking" an illustration and the control of line weight. And second is how to "paint" in Photoshop.
I have a few comic book friends (like brent) and whenever I see their art I'm always completely amazed at how good their inking, or outlining, skills are. Every line starts and ends perfectly, moving from thin to thick and in a controlled way. The type of control that comes from 100s of hours of practice. I rediscovered the book, The Art Of Comic-Book Inking, on my shelf and decided to give it a read and start practicing. The first pic is my attempt at practicing line weight with my old Pigma Brush Pen. My lines are so wiggly! I have a long way to go, but it was nice to see after a while my lines getting a little more controlled. But, wow, what a difficult skill. Definitely something I want to work on though. The second pic is a kitty drawing attempt after practicing a bit.
The painting in Photoshop skill was always a bit of a mystery to me. I have an ancient 4"x5" Wacom tablet (that I think is over 10 years old, like this one) where I can control pen pressure when I'm in Photoshop. Controlling pen pressure always allowed me to make thick and thin lines in Photoshop, but not mix colors on the fly. So after some interweb searching and video watching I discovered that to mix the colors together really easily, I should set my Wacom brush tool so that the opacity changes with my pen pressure (and not the line weight). What a simple concept! After that it was super easy to blend colors. Just have a color already painted, then pick another color and paint on top of the first color. By controlling the opacity you can control the new color that's mixed from the first two. I decided to test this new painting method with a drawing of a jade plant that I drew (on actual paper with an actual pencil). I took a pic of the drawing with my phone and emailed it to myself (too lazy to scan it) then brought it into Photoshop. I also uploaded a piece of tan paper for my background layer. Next I picked a color palette to work with. I chose some pinks and greens. To make all the colors of the painting mesh well together I wanted every color in the painting to be made from mixing the pinks and greens together. You can see me mixing colors in the 4th pic on the right. When I was done painting I tweaked the colors a tiny bit so that everything was a little more pink. Then for fun I uploaded the finished piece to Society6. I think I just like seeing how things look on an iphone case. :-)
So that was my weekend of experimenting. It was so exciting and fulfilling to learn a couple of new-to-me techniques. I definitely want to keep going with both. I'd love to hear about any of your experiences in learning a new technique or experimenting with a new idea. Please share!
Hi all. Happy New Year (yeah, it's 2 weeks overdue). I'm excited to get started on new projects and wrap up and share some old ones. One fun thing already, last week I got to be on a panel of artists at Light Grey Art Lab's "Resolve to MAKE 2012 workshop with Kali Ciesemier". One of the other artists on the panel was Allegra Lockstadt who I just so happened to already own a drawing by her. It was great to actually meet her in person! Allegra is an amazing Minneapolis artist and illustrator, I had to share some of her work with you. Please check out more on Allegra's website and blog.
Hi all! The Christmas holiday is almost here, yay! I'm looking forward
to a relaxing vacation of hanging out with family, drinking hot
chocolate, sitting by the fire and sewing some quilt block squares. Oh,
and for sure watching Les Miserables. So excited!
I'm also excited to share that we've made some new Kitty plush toys just
in time for gift giving. There are ten kitties available total and are
available in our shop and etsy shop. They're ready to come home and cuddle with you.
In order to receive all of your Penguin & Fish goodies in time for
Christmas, we'll automatically upgrade all domestic purchases made up
through December 19th to Priority Mail shipping at no additional cost.
Penguin & Fish will be closed from December 20th through January
3rd, so we will not be able to ship orders during that time. We will,
however, still be able to ship PDF file embroidery pattern and sewing
pattern orders. Expect PDF file orders to have up to 48 hours for
Thanks everyone for a great 2012, and all of us here at Penguin & Fish want to wish you a super holiday season!
The No Coast Craft-o-Rama is this Friday and Saturday. All you Minneapolis / St. Paul peeps, I'd love to see you there! Friday the hours are 3pm - 8pm, and on Saturday it's open from 8am - 5pm. It's located at the amazing Midtown Global Market (where they have food vendors making yums from all over the world). There are so many great vendors there. I'm sure I'm not going to have any problem getting all my Holiday shopping done all at once. Yay!
We're so excited to see all the wonderful handmade creations by the very talented designers at No Coast! No better venue than Midtown Global Market!
If you haven't been there, there are just tons of great places to eat
and neat shops. If you're going to No Coast, come hungry!
officially Cyber Week and the web is full of great holiday deals! Time
to take advantage of all the sales and start shopping for gifts! We'd
like to offer our subscribers FREE domestic shipping, now until the end
1. To receive free domestic shipping use this code: p&fCYBER in the 'message to seller' window.
2. Shipping will be REFUNDED after purchase with the use of the code 3. Enjoy the festivities, your purchases are on their way!
Hi all! Thanksgiving is nearly here! The hubs and I did all of our shopping yesterday and are ready to make a feast fit for, well, 3 people (the hubs, his brother and me). We actually had our big family Thanksgiving meal 2 weeks ago because that's when all of my family could get together. It was super fun to see everyone and we all had a fantastic time and ate up all of Mom's amazing food. Here at Penguin & Fish, we made cute name cards for the occasion and we wanted to share them with you for free! We shared them in this week's newsletter viewable here. Click the link in the newsletter to download the PDF file to your desktop or downloads folder. Print, cut, fold and presto! you'll have cute new fall decor for the big feast! And make sure to click the subscribe button in the newsletter page to be in on future freebies.
Hi all! I had to share with you our amazing purchase from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) Art Sale this past weekend. A painting by alumna Kayla Plosz. Our painting is in the top pic, hanging in our living room. Isn't it gorgeous. It's also our first large original art purchase. Yay! Check out more of Kayla's work on her website here.