Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Celebrating gifts of Charley Harper and Cavallini

Growing up in Cincinnati, OH, the work of Charley Harper surrounded me. We lived next to Winton Woods and spent lots of time there as kids; all the park signage was designed by Charley Harper. He lived one suburb over from us. My mom worked part time at her friend's shop - they carried his work and frequently saw he and his wife Edie. As far as I knew, they were 'just' local artists. Little did I know, huh?

Anyhoo, I loved his spare style way back then, when I was too young to get how good it was (and still is). As a teen, I cursed my way through my one and only cross stitch effort, Fishful Thinking, by Edie (see below). To this day it hangs in my parent's living room, more a testament to Edie's keen design than my needle work, ha!

Anyhoo, these days I enjoy collecting any type of Charley Harper item, Christmas ornaments for sure and I was thrilled to add Brrrrrdbath to my tree (see above). I also got the book, Charles Harper's Birds and Words, a recently re-issued book of Harper's own commentary regarding the birds that he drew. It is a gem that every Harper fan should own. Not only does it have so many of his pieces, it is chock full of his humor, just delightful! And I got a Charley Coffee mug which I will use at the store. Nice haul, huh?

If you are unfamiliar with his work, check it out here. Very cool stuff, realistic yet with clean lines and a graphic design aesthetic. I adore it.

Speaking of stuff I love.....
Last night I attended a party with some arty friends. We do a gift exchange and I decided to assemble a group of my own 'favorite things' a la Oprah. Clever me had assembled a few small items that included a Cavallini Notebook, birds of course, indeed one of my favorite things. It was well received by the group then we moved to the next gift, also a Cavallini Notebook plus a tin of Postcards; the next gift was a Calendar; the next another Notebook. It was absolutely hilarious. Like minded souls I suppose.

Happy New Year everyone. Look for the Blue Moon, what an auspicious sign for 2010!!!


  1. Thanks for the intro to Charley Harper and Edie! Their work is fabulous. I had never heard of them. I visited the site and fell in love immediately with several pieces.
    Happy New Year dear one

  2. Happy 2010, Mary Beth. May the blue moon shine down on you, bringing you much luck to start this new year.

  3. love love love cavallini anything....wait, did I spell that wrong ? oh well, I still love it !

    but lately, everything I've bought has been sabrina ward harrison or anahata related now that they both have their goodies in my favorite stores.....


  4. Happy New Year Mary Beth ~ I am eagerly awaiting the publishing of your book. As one of your "stalker fans" I hope to be first in line at your book signing! :p

  5. Happy New Year to you!
    Didn't know about these and really like them. I'll be doing more research.

  6. Charley Harper!! One of my favorite artist/illustrators! I did some design work for National Park Service many years ago and it was when I discovered Charley Harper - I got a poster...oh wow! As for the blue moon, I won't be able to see it as our sky's pretty much covered with clouds so I will have to paint one with white gesso and metallic blue paint on the glass window pane. Better than no moon at all!! Anyhow, I hope you will have a happy new art making year!!! &rew


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