new & noteworthy

VW Bus Tea Towels are Here!

Hi there. How are you?

I’m well aware that my work appeals more to women than men. Most of my buyers are female and 85% my followers on Instagram are female. My work has a feminine look. I get it, embrace it, and design to appeal to my mostly feminine tribe. 

But, my newest product was made with a man in mind.

Meet Yoshi, our 1977 Volkswagen Westfalia Bus.

Meet Yoshi, our 1977 Volkswagen Westfalia Bus.

Meet Yoshi

Last fall, my husband bought a 1977 Volkswagen Westfalia. Lovingly referred to as “Yoshi”, Matt has been working hard all winter and spring to rebuild the engine and restore the interior. We’re looking forward hitting the road with Yoshi in just a couple of weeks for the Dead and Company show in Deer Creek. (I know, totally hippie. I’ve got my tie-die all ready!)

Matt thought that Yoshi would make a great tea towel design.

I was happy to oblige. I mean, how cute is that bus?? How could I not draw it?

My husband modeling my new VW Bus tea towel in front of the bus that inspired it.

My husband modeling my new VW Bus tea towel in front of the bus that inspired it.

Introducing my VW Bus Tea Towel!

Featuring a front, side, and rear view of Yoshi, this 100% cotton tea towel was printed in an olive green ink to match our bus. I’m totally thrilled with it! 

This is the first completely digital illustration I’ve ever made. I drew these all with my Apple Pencil* and iPad Pro* in the Procreate app. I am hooked on this powerful tool! You will be seeing more all digital illustration from me soon.

*These are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you. It’s an easy way to support my artistic endeavors. Thanks!

The VW Bus screen printed tea towel is sure to bring some personality and charm to your kitchen.

The VW Bus screen printed tea towel is sure to bring some personality and charm to your kitchen.

Ships free in time for Dad’s Day.

The Yoshi towel would make a great Father’s Day gift for your car lovin’ or hippie dad. Grab a Dad’s Day card, wrap up his favorite booze in the towel and you’re good to go.

Heck, anyone with a love for retro, cars, van life, hippie culture would dig this towel. I’ll certainly have a couple with me when we take Yoshi camping in the coming weeks. I’ll also lay one down on the coffee table and put snacks on top of it when we entertain this weekend.

You can shop my whole collection of tea towels right HERE. They all ship FREE in the US. ($6.00 flat rate shipping for my international friends.) 


Last thing….

If you purchase a towel, I’d love to see how you use it in your home. Send me pictures!

That’s all for now.

Ciao, Jen

My First Podcast Appearance!

Hi there. How are you?

Me. I’m so excited!

My first ever appearance on a podcast is now live!

Click to hear the interview!

Click to hear the interview!

Let me tell you how this cool opportunity came to be……

Back in February, I saw that Tara McMullin, creator of the What Works Podcast was looking for guests for her upcoming “By the Numbers” series.

As Tara states,

“Numbers give us a lot of information about what’s working and what’s not in a business.

They can tell us a pretty interesting story… if we’re willing to listen to it. Numbers might not tell us everything we need to know but they certainly help us ask better questions and point to new possibilities.

Throughout May, we’ll be featuring candid conversations with small business owners who have changed course because they paid attention to the numbers—everything from profit margin to time management to website traffic from Pinterest.”

I had a story that I knew would fit this theme.

I sent her a DM and threw my hat in the ring. A few weeks later, I was in front of my computer recording an interview with Tara over Skype.

This is a big, cool deal.

Tara is a small business rock star.

I have been following and learning from Tara McMullin for years. I can’t tell you how honored (and cool) I feel to have been a guest on her stellar What Works podcast. If you’re in the small business world, and you want real, down to earth business talk, give it a listen.

Here’s the whole episode:

In this interview we discuss:

  • What happened when one of my pins was repinned over 50,000 times—and why it created a spike in traffic but not in sales.

  • How and why I regrouped and decided to make an online drawing course.

  • My very simple process for filming, producing and hosting my online course.  (Shout out to Kerstin Martin and her Squarespace Classroom for helping get this course off the ground.)

  • How my online courses have impacted my business as a whole and what’s in store for the future of my business.


Find What Works on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Go listen to my interview and let me know what you think!

Ciao, Jen

Celebrating Home with State Prints

Hi there. How are you?

Celebrating your home is big in design right now. Sporting zip codes, area codes, and state shapes on t-shirts, pillow, prints, mugs, etc. is all the rage.

Personalization is big too. People enjoy having their name and place on their things.

I’m always a tad leery of hopping on design trends. By the time I’m recognizing this trend, is it too late to capitalize on it? But this trend, I really like, so I went for it.

I started with this drawing….

My Illinois state print started as this drawing in my sketchbook.

My Illinois state print started as this drawing in my sketchbook.

….And turned it into this!

Carbondale, Illinois print featuring a ballpoint drawing from my sketchbook. Click through to purchase.

Carbondale, Illinois print featuring a ballpoint drawing from my sketchbook. Click through to purchase.

Carbondale Love

Last spring, I started making state prints with my ballpoint sketchbook drawings. I started with my own state of Illinois. Using a really nifty Illustrator feature, I was able to “cut” my rectangular drawing into the shape of the state. I added a heart over my home in Carbondale and voila!

I printed and framed these cuties for a spring time market I did last year. As Carbondale is a college town, I thought it would make a good graduation gift. They went over really well, so I decided to make more states.

As it is the Bluegrass State, the Kentucky print had to be in blue.

As it is the Bluegrass State, the Kentucky print had to be in blue.

The Bluegrass State

When my Kentucky friends saw my Illinois prints, they wanted in on the fun too. Of course this one had to be blue. Fun fact: I lived in Edgewood, Kentucky (across the river from Cincinnati) for a couple of years as a child.

Here’s the drawing that served as the backdrop for my Kentucky state print.

Here’s the drawing that served as the backdrop for my Kentucky state print.

My Wisconsin state print had to be Badger red.

My Wisconsin state print had to be Badger red.

On Wisconsin

Next was Wisconsin which had to be in “Badger” red. Growing up on right on the state line, I’ve spent a lot of time in Wisconsin. We used to vacation every summer at a Wisconsin lake house, I attended University of Wisconsin-Madison for my undergrad and spent 3 summers working at a summer camp in Northern Wisconsin.

This sketchbook drawing that was the basis for the Wisconsin state print.

This sketchbook drawing that was the basis for the Wisconsin state print.

This California print marks San Diego with a heart.

This California print marks San Diego with a heart.

Cali Love

This Christmas, I made California for my brother and sister-in-law who live in San Diego. I cut the California state silhouette out of the same drawing that I used for Illinois. Why reinvent the wheel, right?

Showing some south Florida love with this new state print.

Showing some south Florida love with this new state print.

The Sunshine State

This spring I decided to add a few more states to my repertoire. It seemed logical to make Florida next as my in-laws spend half their year living in Naples, Florida and one of my good buddies is about to move to Florida.

For my Iowa State friends, I made this Iowa print with the heart over Ames.

For my Iowa State friends, I made this Iowa print with the heart over Ames.

And lastly, Iowa

Even though, Iowa borders my home state of Illinois, I have never really been there. (Weird but true.) I have a lot of friends with Iowa connections, so that’s where I went next.

A custom Wisconsin print for a Beloit College grad.

A custom Wisconsin print for a Beloit College grad.

All of these prints are customizable.

The heart can be moved to mark any location within the state. I’ve started to dabble with state color changes too.

I just made this custom Wisconsin print for a graduation gift. I swapped Badger red and a heart for Beloit College blue and a star.

All of the existing state prints are available for sale in my shop.

They make lovely graduation, wedding and housewarming gifts.

What state next?

I’ve had a lot of fun making these and they’ve been selling well, so I’ll keep going with them. What state should I tackle next? Do tell!

That’s all for now.

Ciao, Jen