Pro bono projects make the world go round

Every year I take on at least one pro bono design project. Last year, I was thrilled to work with the fabulous women at—a group of professional audio engineers who are encouraging and inspiring young women to consider the exciting field of audio engineering—a occupation where only 5% are women. Their site is chocked full of great information, news and profiles of women working in the field. I created their logo and provided some other fun graphics for their site.




This year, I am pleased to announce that I’ve chosen the Vashon Sheepdog Classic as my pro bono client. The Vashon Sheepdog Classic is a 4 day National level sheep herding event at Misty Isle Farms on Vashon Island and will be held this year August 22-25 . If you’ve never watched a professional sheepdog trial (think “Babe” but much larger and wilder) I really couldn’t recommend a better way to spend a summer day. Besides being such a terrific event to attend, the Vashon Sheepdog Classic gifts the proceeds from the event to island nonprofit organizations that focus on the enrichment of education and health for Vashon youth. The talented Kristine Dahms of Twist Design has been VSC’s pro bono designer, and I’m happy to continue the work she’s done so wonderfully for them. For more information on the Vashon Sheepdog Classic, visit their site or Facebook page.


HealthPoint—creating healthy communities in the Seattle area

On yet another day that the Affordable Care Act is hot in the news, one of my clients is quietly going about their business—lifting up families by providing medical and dental care to some of the most diverse and underserved populations in the Seattle area. Nonprofit HealthPoint has been increasing access to health care for over 42 years, with 17 clinics now from Bothell to Federal Way. Their commitment to improving the life of communities through affordable health care not only covers the basics we’ve all come to rely on, but expands the growing notion of “health” to include integrated natural medicine, including naturopathy, acupuncture, nutrition counseling and more.

HP_Kaleid_2smHealthPoint had their annual fundraiser “Kaleidoscope” earlier this month, and I was pleased to design the invitation and other materials promoting this worthy event. The evening included a dinner and raise-the-paddle, with author Sherman Alexie as the keynote speaker. I have been a fan of Sherman Alexie from his many interviews on our local public radio station KUOW, where his take on current events was always cutting, hilarious and honest. I expected the same from him at the fundraiser, but was not prepared for how personal and inspiring his speech would also be. In addition to comical stories about fatherhood, race and education, Alexie shared his experiences growing up with sparse access to poor medical care on the Spokane Indian Reservation and how that affected his outlook on life and his ability to trust people in power. Correcting those inequalities is what HealthPoint does everyday, making his speech terribly relevant and uplifting.

For more information about HealthPoint, visit their website:

A funny ending to the night—donors at a certain level received a signed book by Sherman Alexie… as a slave to the ferry schedule, I had to run before my book could be signed and another nice donor said she’d get mine signed and then leave it with my client. The next day, my client couldn’t wait for me to see it—apparently Alexie had been drawing pictures for most of the donors.


Vashon? Bainbridge?

Introducing one of my talented clients: Cami Lundeen

It has been difficult to dull the steady drumming of discontent coming from our political leaders lately… thankfully, my wonderful clients are louder! This fall I have been reminded daily of the many people and groups doing amazing, real and touchable work—whether it’s protecting our most vulnerable or creating uplifting music—my clients do it all. I have been to many events in the past few months, some for celebrating, some for raising money and some for both. I’m going to write about these over the next few weeks to introduce you to some of my inspirational clients.

Cami Lundeen is a singer songwriter, currently living on Vashon. She is a dynamo, with a fantastic voice and so incredibly humble, you just want to pinch yourself. Her story is an inspiring one—in a nutshell she is the mother of four amazing kids with an adoring husband, who found out she has an incurable liver disease, got inspired to finally become the writer and performer she always wanted to be, and friends and strangers who were also inspired funded the Kickstarter campaign to produce her first album. Where most people with her story would be plastering it everywhere for publicity, she didn’t even tell me about it when we first met to discuss album design. In fact, I didn’t find out until much later, from other people.

CamiLundeen2_smHer debut album is called “Run Free.” My first project with her was to design a typographic logo of sorts for “Run Free”, finding out during the process that she intended to have it tattooed on her arm. Whoa. This was a first for me, and though I like to think I have satisfied clients, this took “happy clients” to a whole new, permanent level. Luckily for both of us, she was a great communicator about what kind of look she was hoping for, and was pleased with the end product.

During the project, I designed her album cover and cd art, created stickers, t-shirts, posters and a banner. None of this could have been done so well without the wonderful photography of Marla Smith.

After working for months on her album, Cami had a so-very-Vashon launch party on a warm summer evening at a place called “The Coop” amongst fans, family and friends. Included in her party were the stickers and other swag, plus very special tattoos so we could all be daring rockers, at least for the night.


For more information about Cami Lundeen, visit her website: And my post wouldn’t be complete without including Cami’s video for “Run Free”—I promise it will change your day!



“What’s in My Dresser?”

It was a welcome surprise to receive my latest illustrated book in the mail from the wonderful folks at Star Bright Books, “What’s in My Dresser” written by Kathleen Rizzi. Perfect for those “I can do it!” toddlers, it’s a fun combination of rhyming, colors and my pet peeve favorite… lift-the-flaps with a purpose! The book is also available in a Spanish/English version. You can order it from Star Bright Books, and it’s also available on Amazon.

What's in My Dresser?

Love the Library

We took some time out today to visit our little Vashon Library (in the King County Library System)—our regular library building is under construction so the temporary site is on the shoebox side of tiny. So, how surprised were we when we spotted one of my illustrated books toward the entrance—”Real-Size Baby Animals” by DK! Hopefully an island child will be taking that home soon and having some great summer reading fun.


Dance! Vashon’s “Cinderella” scenic fun

Summer is officially here because our DVD of Dance! Vashon’s “Cinderella” arrived yesterday—perfectly timed to fill the few days of school’s-out-tv-bender extravaganza for our girls. In my last post, I gave a sneak peek of the drops for Cinderella. In addition to painting drops for the shows, we also have a great crew of volunteers that paint the stage flats in the theater. This year, we created the Prince’s ballroom on the flats, which included stairs and a balcony, built by terrific set designer and construction lead volunteer Jim Westcott. Painting in the theater is a huge job, and we have to make it happen in a short time span–usually about 15 hours. Theater painting time is a whirlwind, and can get a little stressful, but when those incredibly hard working kids are on stage and shine so brightly in the environment that we’ve built for them, (with amazing costumes and make-up—another fabulous army of volunteers) it’s absolutely worth it. Thanks Dance! Vashon for allowing me to volunteer in such a great production every year!

The painting crew working on the ballroom. I love how the kids jump in to help.

The ballroom finished. (Our set designer Jim was also the King, and got to sit in his own balcony!)

Cinderella’s kitchen drop in action—aren’t the costumes amazing?

Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother in the garden





Smells like old house paint—must be spring!

For the last few years I have been a lucky volunteer set painter with Dance! Vashon. Every spring I get off my computer loving keister, pick up a real live paint brush and help paint whatever fantastical land the dancers are headed for. Dance! Vashon has done “Snow White”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Aladdin”, “Wizard of Oz” and many more — and this year they are performing “Cinderella”. We just finished Cinderella’s drops — her kitchen (dreary) and the garden (“Bibbidy Bobbity Boo!”). I took a few pictures from start to finish. Special thanks to my mom, Judi, and my extra special kid helpers Mira and Lucy — the drops could not have been done without you all. I also had amazing help from fellow dance parent Gretchen, and my girls. We start painting flats in the theater on Saturday — wish us luck!

First, lay out last year’s drops from “Wizard of Oz”…

… then the worst part — painting over the old drops. We are thrifty here!

Mira and Lucy working on the first base coats of color on the garden.

My mom working on the first layers of color on the kitchen.

Sneak peek at the final kitchen.

Sneak peek at the final garden.

Personalizing a message

The last two days have been good for a certain red viral profile picture on FB. What’s fascinating about the whole thing is how quickly it went from being an “I agree!” icon to “I agree, and I’m a (fill in the blank)er/ie with photo editing software.” Some timely, some just bust out funny. Have a favorite?


Starts like this …


then …

and then …

then (art majors rejoice) …

from a soccer friend …

then this …

then the kicker … (my favorite)


Update—Of course there are more! Here are some others friends have sent my way … of course the Peeps had to make an appearance.

Sixty Second Film Festival

You know those times in your life when where you live is exactly where you are supposed to be? Vashon Island right now is that place for me. I knew it was true, from the bottom of my heart, when I watched this promo this morning for the upcoming “Sixty Second Film Festival” here on Vashon and my stomach did little flips. See my little island, in all its quirky glory, and maybe submit your own film?


Tailoring your message—National Geographic style

As a designer, I am always trying to help my clients reach their target audience with efficiency and consistency. This ad for National Geographic made me laugh out loud, and is a hilarious way of reminding us about reaching people in their own “language” whatever that may be. OMG!