Tuesday, September 22, 2020

One of Us Has Been Drawing

When I began this post a couple of weeks ago, fall had just kicked in.

Under a brooding ashen sky, it was dim and hushed and a little clammy. Summer had fled like the flighty, precocious coward she is in these parts, taking with her even the memory of flipflops and brats sizzling on the grill. I woke up that morning and voila! Instant and enduring twilight outside the window. 

Such were days on which one must muster all of what it means to be Minnesotan and find one's own Bright Side. While I was writing, some of the children were huddled in the garage painting with the neighbors while belting out the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack. Another child was busy with a photoshoot on the front step because (a) at least it wasn't raining like the day before and (b) an overcast sky is nature's perfect diffuse lighting. The cats were snoozing and (wisely) not begging to go outside. And because no one else was indoors hogging the laptop, Mother was finally writing a blog post after what'd felt like eons. Hurrahs all around.

And now, as I finish the post, it's sunny and warm again - an encore of shorts weather - but with a bit of a bite, a passive-aggressive version of August, if you will. September in the Midwest is nothing if not volatile. 

Well, how has everyone been?

Our summer was very odd. The waterpark was closed. The museums were closed. The churches were closed. Opportunities seemed much curtailed and meetings with friends and family felt furtive and fraught. Yet - heaven be praised - Things Happened. I look back over the past months with gratitude - if not also bemusement - that summer was somehow still very much eventful. One of us had all four wisdom teeth out and made videos of themselves being loopy while under the influence. One of us rekindled a friendship with a classmate from elementary school and spent many happy days together swimming and painting kindness rocks. One of us made a new friend from an unexpected source. One of us began music lessons with a brand new instructor via Zoom. One of us was fortunate enough to take springboard diving lessons just after athletic restrictions were lifted. One of us made mochi and boba from Youtube tutorials. One of us hatched a plan to start a neighborhood music group because school band lessons have become defunct. One of us is clocking driving hours toward a license. One of us, having only ever been in the ocean, swam in a lake for the first time in her life (it was green and weird and unlikely to be repeated). And all of us finally met our newest baby cousin for the very first time in person, albeit six whole months after he was born.  

And because she has had so much time on her hands, one of us has also been drawing.

And has launched her own shop on Redbubble, at which her designs are featured on various items on a print-on-demand basis. 

I am very excited today to invite you to visit Kate at BunnyBubbles!

In case Redbubble isn't familiar to some of you (I certainly hadn't heard of it until my kids introduced me to it some months ago) here are some quick facts. As mentioned earlier, Redbubble is a marketplace for artists. Anyone (we'll call them Sellers or Artists) can create a free account, upload their original designs and select items on which they'd like their designs to be featured. Other people (we'll call them Buyers) can browse both the Seller's individual home page or the larger common pool of artwork and choose items on which these designs can be printed-on-demand. Redbubble creates those items for the Buyer and ships them, and the Seller gets a small percentage of the sale.  

Here are some of Kate's designs. Their kawaii aesthetic - the quality of adorableness and cuteness made popular in Japan and which can be applied to anything, including inanimate objects - is something that resonates strongly with her generation. Currently, she has largely food designs in her shop: breakfast items and fruit. In the future, she plans to add animals and other things.

Here's a sampling of those designs rendered on various items. 

Blueberry waffles on a Tshirt.

A face mask with strawberries

and a happy watermelon slice in a different layout.

Blueberries on zippered pouches (those little faces  are such characters!)

An avocado on a light cotton hoodie,

and watermelon on a fleece pullover.

A pineapple sticker. Incidentally, these stickers, which are waterproof, were the reason we discovered Redbubble in the first place - we were looking for ways to personalize the kids' water bottles for school and were thrilled to find all kinds of original art here that made wonderful and inexpensive stickers. Apparently, tweens and teens still love stickers!

Jam toast on home linen

Fried eggs on a shower curtain

Cherry twins on an apron.

And butterflies

on a phone case.

Each design can be found on a variety of items - as an example, here's the avocado on clothing

stationery, accessories and home items 

If you have a minute, please stop by Kate's shop. We hope you'll find something you love, perhaps for yourself or the favorite people in your life. Many of these items would be perfect for dorm rooms, kids' and grandkids' back-to-school needs, gifts for the coming holidays or simply to bring a smile to friends and family far away and much-missed. Thank you for supporting Kate!