Category: News & Events

The Gift of Birds in Print

top on top of original illustrations used in the book

The Gift of Birds is now available in my shop!

The above photo shows one copy on a pile of the original illustrations. I took this to get some Instagram glam in my on-line presence. Probably not most people’s idea of glamorous but I really enjoy turning my writings into illustrated books!

I took a copy to the nearest Little Free Library at 35th and Spring Garden as has become my tradition when I finish a new book. I’ll keep that up until I no longer live in walking distance of a Little Free Library.

Book Making!

Here’s a video of me illustrating a book 5 years ago. I use the same illustration technique I’m going to teach in my upcoming artist book class at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. Illustrating a book is surprisingly easy if you start all the pages at once on a large sheet of paper.

When I make books for print I illustrate the pages individually but I love this technique because it teaches one how to make creative compositions, have a consistent aesthetic throughout the pages and quickly cuts through the intimidation factor.

My illustration style has developed tremendously since I started making books and I believe that this technique was critical in my development. Also, it’s really fun! I love art techniques that have an unpredictable element in them!

My next greeting card book is actually going to be a revised edition of The Gift of Birds, you’ll get to see that soon.

There’s still some spots in Artist’s Book Illuminated. Hope to see you there!

Greeting Card Books Explained

In The Slough, Greeting Card Book by Alexandra Schaefers

I picked up In the Slough from PaperJam Press yesterday, it is now available in my new WooCommerce shop under the “Books” tab. I’m really excited about making more Greeting Card Books. It seemed like a good way for me to be able to do what I love most—illustrate my own nature poems into little books—while also providing something genuinely useful to others.

These days we are rightfully tired of clutter, wary of collecting and gifting unnecessary junk and we want to reduce our negative impact on the environment. Since Greeting Card Books house heartfelt, intimate poems they can be seen and felt as a special gift while using very little extra resources than a traditional greeting card. They are presents for people we love who really don’t want more stuff. They are for people who love to give gifts but want responsible options.

These are printed on 100% recycled paper. I rode my bike to the shop to look over the proof and took the bus to pick up the finished copies. I even rode my bike to the post-office this morning to send out my first orders. I am going to try my best to keep up the alternative transportation theme so these books can have a hint of environmental stewardship added to their value.

I have a 50% off sale to celebrate the opening of my shop and the completion of my second Greeting Card Book, it runs through May 14th. I’d love to know what you think of this idea!

Painting to Save the Trees

Last weekend I got to be part of the Elisabeth Jones’ Art Center’s Painting to Save the Trees. It was very rewarding. We spent 2 days painting trees that are threatened by development. I find it so backwards that we cut beautiful trees down to make way for development when human habitat is clearly improved by access to nature. Developments that preserve notable elements of the local landscape are more unique and inspiring. What keeps this from being standard protocol besides how deeply we have buried our heads in the bottom line.

There is so much more to life than profit. We know this, we see how many of us are depressed, sick and stressed out. We now have daily reminders on the news of how being rich doesn’t make someone admirable. It’s time for each of us, in some small way, to bring more nature back into our lives: visiting the park more often, planting a native species in our yard, planting a flower in a pot on our apartment window sill, talking to our friends and neighbors about how lucky we are to have the natural features nearby that we do, paying attention to developments in our neighborhoods and commenting on them, sending messages to our representatives to let them know we prioritize nature and equal access to nature.

I have made some small efforts in my personal life to preserve and prioritize nature but I’ve always wanted to use my art to this end also and have not been able to wrap my mind around how to do that without merely making art as commentary. Painting to Save the Trees was a great way for me to get involved on a deeper level and I hope it inspires me in new directions.

I painted the oaks twice because I had extra time and I thought I might like them better in a more illustrative style, which I do!