sun & sedona

by rae on February 17, 2015



Just back from a warm, sunny week in Sedona and Oak Creek, AZ.

To all of you who told us that there was not enough to do there all week you were both right and wrong. Yes, if we had stayed 6 days in Sedona and shopped that would be far too many days. In my opinion most of the shops had that old time Wisconsin Dells feel to them.






But we stayed in Oak Creek 10-15 miles outside of Sedona very close to Bell Rock (3rd photo). Our week included sun, blue skies and a lot of 70 degree weather. All most appreciated as we left a gray, cold, sunless Wisconsin.

Our trip did include a little shopping in Sedona, general exploring, grilling out, John golfing, I bought cool shoes at the golf resort and a day trip to quaint Jerome, AZ.

We also sat in the hot tub at night when it was in the 30s. Had a ‘duff day’. Each person got to do whatever they wanted. For me, the introvert, it was spent sitting in the sun with my book in the back yard of the extremely comfortable home we had for the week.

Last day was spent in the Red Rocks. We hiked part of the way up Bell Rock. I meditated and chatted with my Dad who had passed away 6 years to the day. The rest of the group hiked a little further up.

So to those who thought we could not keep busy for a week, well we could have had another week to get it all done. Would have liked to visit Antelope Canyon, seen the sunset at the Airport Overlook and done yoga at a vortex.





I was extremely taken with the luminous light and the textures of everything. And the Red Rocks. My burning question is still why they are called RED rocks. It all looked far more orange to me. Or burnt orange. Sometimes sienna or burnt sienna. Thoughts as to why they are called red vs. orange, anyone?



penmanship, calligraphy & lettering

by rae on January 30, 2015

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This weekend I had serious fun attending Crystal Kluge’s modern penmanship class in St. Paul. You can see her fonts here. I also enjoyed the rare chance to talk shop with another type designer!














This is Crystal’s lettering. Oh how I love those flourishes.


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And here are my hen scratchings. But in my defense I didn’t take the class to be a bad version of Crystal but a better version of myself.

I learned a lot. Very beginning things like how to hold the pen and not to go so fast. I was easily the worst in class. Everyone else put their nib in their holder and started doing beautiful calligraphy. But then it was a talented bunch.


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I got to do a lot of thinking in class and ponder a possible 4 new alphabet fonts. I would really like to make a font that looks like my new logo. I used a folded nib to get the above lettering.

A really great class for both beginners and professionals alike. And as you can see from the first photo she has another class coming up in March. If you are in the area I think you would enjoy it.


photo 5 photo 4Since this was a lettering kind of weekend my friend Laurie, who I look the class with, gave me this oh-so beautiful real sable brush pen for my birthday. So now I have another tool that I don’t know how to use. But it makes me happy just to hold it. This is a Kuretake Japanese pen.

(Thanks again Laurie! For the fun, drinks and the PEN!)


embroidery patterns are here!

by rae on January 19, 2015



Yes, the embroidery patterns I have been talking about are now done and for sale! Of course my favorite one is the alphabet sampler.
If you think this is a bit complicated head on over to Stitch Supply Co. to get your pattern and get in on the Stitch-Along. That is were the uber stitcher Ann Sandler shows you what you need to know.



The designs are mine, often based on the illustrations I did for my doodle fonts. But the idea and end product are Ann’s. You can find her at or on Instagram: StitchSupplyCo #stitchsupplyco.


I am thinking ahead to my next pattern. Which would you like to see?

1. a set of monogram alphabets in 2 sizes with borders

2. a map of Paris

3. days of the week dishtowels

Leave a comment!


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a foggy sunday morning…

by rae on December 15, 2014



we have had days of warm weather (in the 40s) and fog. So we headed out Sunday morning to take a few pictures.

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and it is sort of a contemporary one…







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trains, type and textures

by rae on October 15, 2014






sunday we spent the day at the Illinois Railway Museum outside of Union, IL. It is between Madison and Chicago. It was a perfect Fall day and I was there with 3 generations of Ganahl men. Jackson who is 3 is train-crazy. We even got to take a 40 minute ride on an electric, passenger train. Alex who is 1 appeared to like it too, he gave Grandma a fist bump.

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Lots of cool signage and typography. There was something for everyone which makes this such a great place. We were there for 4 hours and walked over 3 miles and did not see everything.




Who knew? I didn’t. Lots and lots of interesting signs that we wanted to read. Maybe next time.


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As the guys were climbing on trains I slipped away to take photos of rusty stuff. As I said, something for everyone.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say: The museum was founded in 1953 by ten individuals (one of the founders was Howard Odinius from Milwaukee) who joined together to purchase Indiana Railroad interurban car 65.

Originally called the Illinois Electric Railway Museum, the name was changed to IRM in 1961 to reflect the museum’s expanding scope. The museum was initially located on the grounds of the Chicago Hardware Foundry in North Chicago, Illinois. In 1964 the museum’s entire collection was relocated to Union along the former right-of-way of the Elgin & Belvidere interurban. Two years later, operations were begun using Illinois Terminal interurban car 415, and in 1967 the first steam engine was operated. The first storage barn was erected in 1971. In 1981 a one-mile (1.6 km) streetcar loop was constructed. A 4.9-mile (7.9 km) railroad line was built during the 1980s and early 1990s.

The museum’s operations are primarily concentrated around its main campus just east of Union, Illinois. Train rides are offered on the main line as well as the streetcar loop. Electric trains are operated from April through October, and diesel and steam trains from the beginning of May through the end of September. Trolley bus operations occur the first Saturdays of June, July, September and October. IRM is one of only two railway museums in the country that operates both electric and diesel trains. It is the only museum that offers trolley bus rides.

It was pretty much a perfect day. And we were amazed that so few people were there, probably because it is late in the year. I can recommend this outing. In fact I could go back several more times. Next time I’ll take a real camera.


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by rae on September 23, 2014

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Fall is here… yes it is. And it seems time for a giveaway. Since we all know what follows Fall the giveaway is a collection of 20 Holiday Cards.

To enter go to here and LIKE or SHARE the Facebook post. Plz leave a comment so I can find you. Happy Fall!


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nautical doodles & christmas

by rae on September 16, 2014




September font specials! The new Nautical Doodles and Christmas fonts, 50% off. Yes… it is time to think Christmas. All those holiday invitations, cards and newsletters are just around the corner. Yes they are.


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a few new house things

by rae on September 11, 2014



we plan to take a  vacation next month and stay home and do condo things. Like stain the deck, wash windows, basically winterize. Also seemed like it was time to spiff up the main living area. I got this new rug at Crate and Barrel. Nice Summery thin rug for my office space.



I’ve wanted a new clock ever since we moved in. Love this one. Especially after John figured out how to stop the tick-tock sound that sounded just like dripping water. I could hear this from my desk and it got so bad one day that I taped things to the back of the clock to muffle the sound. Love this tall element. It anchors the seating area which is part of an open space. This came from the Touch of Modern website. I am pleased with several things I have gotten from them. But you wait forever and ever, shipping is really slow.


These darling salt & pepper birds are from West Elm and are even on sale! They work with my mid-Century look.

I seem to be going back to a black and white, charcoal, cream, non-color kind of house look. No purple, no lime, very little blue…. it’s all good.

Soon it is time to edit the house for Fall & Winter. I go room by room and put away things that are sitting out that should not be. Try to get as visually clean as possible because in a few short months out will come a carefully edited group of Christmas decorations. Summer rugs go away and heavier Winter ones come out. The large Norfolk pine will need to find a home indoors again. We get cozier then. And while it does feel good it is hard to watch the days get shorter and colder.


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If you don’t know about Mighty Deals you should. Amazing deals for web and graphic designers. You can sign up and get the daily deal emails.



Outside the Line has a big deal on Mighty Deals. Oodles of doodles at a fab price. For less than the price of one font you get 6. Yup, you read that right. Short time and ONLY on the Mighty Deals site. Check it out here.


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