Thursday, January 26, 2023


 Sad few days with Hexy, and his mother's passing.  Work has taken a back seat - really all of January.  The funeral was yesterday, and today felt like Monday again (it's Thursday)

As much as I told Becky and Megan - I'm happy!  I'm over the grief of last year! It all came rushing back.  So things went in a different direction this past week.

Anyway, back to work today, and made more baby steps.  Finally printed the Huggy Bunny on paper that seemed to be something I just always wanted to put off, but held up screen cleaning and forward momentum on other printing.  Worked out well, especially on the off-white construction paper.  So of course when I went back to print a second batch of extras, I screwed up the registration.  SO TYPICAL!

Went to Home Depot this morning and got wood for commission, but then did nothing with it today.

Working at a snails pace.  That seems to be January.

Monday, January 23, 2023


Today it came in strong > the January blahs!  I finished shirts for Pixies, valentines, postcards, and deadlined commission.  I looked at twitter and FB and all the rest.  I did everything my little brain knows to do to AVOID the work that I've been putting off since Christmas, and then there I was, no distractions, no easy bulky projects, just the stuff that I now HAVE to do, and just don't want to.  Ha - it's a sad and brutal moment!


The only way is THROUGH, so I made some microscopic progress forging ahead.  January is always like this.  All I want to do is play and hibernate and PUT OFF.  It's just dumb.  I should just take the whole month off and travel.  Maybe (probably) I just need to recharge and regroup.  Instead, I come into the studio and waste time doing not much, hemming and hawing about all that I have to do.


ANYWAY!!  January.  Cold today, but ok weather.  Coming off some fun days with friends, and a terrific massage with Jeff.  All is really good, my mood has been buoyant.  Just today I was struck with getting in gear.


Mad that my clings were lost / stolen over the weekend.  Hopefully can get them replaced.  Not so happy with my Rainbow dog version.  Sometimes so frustrated with my design decisions.  I only have myself to blame.  Should have done the cut-out.


Saturday, December 31, 2022

 the year in pictures

2017 year in pics
2018 year in pics

2019 year in pics

2020 year in pics

2021 year in pics

Coffee on Scott circle (wawa) summer with Hex

Dog Days 22

Flesh colored papers - Love

Hexy's Charm mobile

Arts on the Ave Nov 22 (raindate)

DOG days on 14th St August


famous KAREN tote !

2023 Wrap-Up

Time to talk about the year - all the goods and bads!

It felt a lot like 2021 - trying to get out of covid and back to our new normal.  

 Spring was sucky, grieving Jimmy, losing the house, and just general malaise.  I can’t remember many highlights - except the postcard club!  That was a really fun project to start - fun to be making postcards regularly, and to have somewhere to “put” them!  But as the year went on, I had a hard time figuring out how to expand it.  

 After my initial burst of marketing, I couldn’t (and didn’t) figure out how to get more people to subscribe.  Instagram and Facebook have become much more difficult to break through.  Post just don't go out like they did before, so many fewer people see what I post now.  And even that is just a post, a millisecond of somebodies attention, and really hard to convert that into action.  I WISH I KNEW THE SECRET recipe!!  It’s been so elusive, and discouraging.  

My posting has tapered off a lot.  For a long time I was posting daily, sometimes multiple things.  But Nov, Dec that totally tapered off.  Then “stories” seemed to get more traction than posts, and for a second “reels”.  Anyway, ALL THIS TO SAY, marketing for branddave is always an issue.

Let’s see, summer just turned to fall, which became more busy.  Ha, I really can’t think of many highlights without looking back at the blog.  

We got Covid (mild) in June, and just bettered along.  Feeling down and anxious and without much direction.  Dog days was good, we did our standard setup near 14 / R, and I made lot and lots of totes in multi colors.  That was really fun, because I felt free to be creative and just put whatever nutty design I could think of on them.  And the colors made them fun.  

Continued with my pixelated black and white prints, which I started Fall 21 for Arts on the Ave.  That has been a lot of fun, and I have gotten better at printing them in bulk (in stacks) rather the ridiculous and insane method of one-by-one (and clean screen between) method I was doing before.  Oh, also started making more dye cut stickers, which has been fun.  Rainbow dog and cat.  Stickermule proved to be stupid expensive, so when I made the leap to other companies, I was much happier.

Anyway, made a bunch of totes for dog days and sold out, then a few batches for Pixie, and 80 or so for Arts on the Avenue which also basically sold out.  Haha, huge misstep was Patsy Baloney design.  Turned out that was not at all universal, like I thought.

Shirt fabric, cut and color!!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ! ! ! ! !  !  

This is always such a problem that I can never resolve, ever since BSUR.  I can never be satisfied with the shirt colors, or the sizing.  Finally gave up on v necks for women (low design is so awkward) and just stuck with unisex shirts.  Finally, got sick of the heather combos, and tried to venture to the regular cotton shirts, with mixed results.  Tried SO HARD to get the color combo right for Dog Days, and did pretty good.  But I always look at them as a group and want brighter and happier.  It's just hard when I'm only using black ink.  

Switched gears for Arts on the Ave and was so afraid I had way too much flesh color and tan.  But they all sold well.  Then for Xmas I made it possible to order any color on site.  That seemed to work out well.  I just want this great combo that I can never seem to find.  In the end, people buy the basics!  Navy, heather gray, tan.  Will always be a work in progress.  But had fun making the tees again, and coming up with new designs that a fun and silly.  Always nice to feel creative!!

Cards - sold a lot to shop made and pixies.  Hard to keep up.  I try to make them updated and “new” and try new designs.  SM has 24 “slots” so I'm always playing catch up with inventory.  Plus holidays.  Pixies much more fun.  She takes (and sells) almost all well.  It’s amazing.  But cards now are SO MUCH more expensive, so it always pains me to buy them.  Especially with SM, when I’m not seeing the payment come back out right.  I guess the prices will only go up.  Selling for $5 each now.  That may increase eventually.

Prints - more of the same.  Wish I had more exhibits or shows to be more creative.  I have been stuck in a production mode for too long now.  It would be nice to feel more artsy.  Commissions came in, but nothing sticks out.  Not a good year, I guess.  Feel like I have been pretty unproductive.  Made Hexy a fun “charm” mobile, and would like to do more of that in 23.  And the micros are still fun.  I have a bunch of commissions to complete still for holiday 22.  I'm actually having fun with commissions, trying to loosen up a bit and not feel so much pressure to make a likeness.  To be artistic with it.  To give it my spin.

Holiday started well, then kind of fizzled.  But I feel ok about it.  I got a lot of work in early, and so focused on that, not knowing if I could get it all done.  Things worked out, but that always prevents me from doing a lot of marketing early/mid-December, when I can grab people's attention.  

I want to mix things up next year - maybe plan to do a show, or more “base” products and not so much “creating” during the holiday.  Sidenote: JDI holiday design came out GREAT!  Was really proud of that, and shocked how easily the old dog drawings fit in.

Well, I have been ALL OVER the place with this post!  Stream of consciousness.  Hopes our 23: MORE CREATIVITY!  MORE SALES!!  MORE OPPORTUNITIES !!  MORE FOCUS !!  And less stress and worry and upset !


PS - forgot to include some stuff about arts on the ave - it was postponed to the 2nd weekend in NOV because a storm was forecasted in Oct.  The storm didn't really ring the bad weather expected, but was a blessing overall that we still were able to have the event, and got some extra time to prepare.  Was a little awkward with the timing and holiday, but luckily after the great midterm elections.  The day was perfect with weather.  Warm and sunny sandwiched right between rain friday and cold sunday.  We were SOOO lucky!  A really great day.  Sales were terrific, and did the same as year before and took a lot of after event orders.  Funny that we had nobody next to us, so we pushed the tables flat, only to be MADE to put them back after being found out by the event coordinator.  All worked out great.  Had to rent a zip car, which sucked and stressed us out getting in to, but these things are easily forgotten.  Costly - I think $150 ?


 2021 wrap up

 2020 wrap up

 2019 wrap up

2018 Wrap up

2017 Wrap up 

2016 Wrap up

2015 Wrap up

2014 Wrap up

2013 Wrap up

2012 Wrap up

2011 Wrap up

2010 Wrap up

2009 Wrap up

Friday, December 9, 2022

 dear dave

8pm friday, and listening to the sound of silence, a masterpiece.  I just love it.

Strange holiday season.  Everything just chugging along, but my urgency (and stress) is abated.  There is a weird sense of calm.  Maybe orders are way down?  I don't know.  I have LOTS to do, but it feels manageable.

Haha, we'll see.

Thinking about Jimmy today as I walked by this bush decorated with those classic bulbs we always used.  Thinking about going there in December, pre Hex even, and setting up the tree for / with her.  Our special little time together.  Ugh, it's so hard.  Always in the back of my mind as we go by these weeks, a year later.  I'm hesitant to look back and find the day she actually died.  Maybe better not to be so exact about it.  I don't know.  What a loss.  Remembering her is so bittersweet.  On so many levels I feel relieved, or free of the burden of all the worry.  Lighter, and future pointing.  And having the $ cushion, boy does that change things.  It's all so sad, and I don't want to be sad anymore.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

 dear dave

always lonely in my thoughts on Thanksgiving Eve.  The holiday ahead, and I'm here at the studio, hesitating to leave.  Busy days ahead!

Working on site, and getting things ready for hopeful orders.  Spent most of the day working on JDI, which very happily is coming together.  But takes A LOT of brainpower and energy with all the details.

Turkey tomorrow in Rockville with John and Bill.  First year without mom and dad.  very sad.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Arts on Ave

s 5

m 51

l 39

xl 20

old small tees - roughly 25-30

totes roughly 100

Monday, November 7, 2022

so much fun at pool with Emma!!



 dear dave

the dreaded H put a damper on the weekend, but think its getting better now

anxious about the weekend ahead and arts on the ave.  Praying for good weather and good sales.

The whole week will be a countdown, for that, and dental appt wednesday. UGH is all I can say.

Today I tried to set myself up for the week.  Freaked out about all the tan and flesh colored shirts I have.  What was I thinking?  I am never thinking.  Now, a month later, it seems all wrong.  But not fixable.  Of course.  All I ever do is second guess myself.  I guess that is better than taking orders from some idiot boss.  Keep having dreams of being back at bsur.  CANNOT believe I have almost been at branddave as long as BSUR.  Crazy.  I just wait for the next chapter.  I'm convinced it is coming.

Tomorrow is midterm elections.  Very consequential and terrifying.  Just want to disappear.

Thursday, November 3, 2022


 Another good day.  Positive momentum?  Worked on chipping away at the totes for Arts on the Ave, and finished Branches micro !!!!  It came out great, which made me super happy.

 Sorted out holiday cards, and am probably delusional about what I'm going to need.  Anyway, I'm thinking a lot less this year will be needed.  Time will tell.

Trips out to SM tomorrow, and more totes.  Now anxious about getting my screen cleaner, which I put off ordering.  Of course

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

 Pretty good day.  The buoyant mood from yesterday lasted, which feels like a miracle.  We'll see if I can go 3 days now!

Better weather really helps.  Printed the gator micro, and struggle over a branches mini, only to figure it out late in the day.  Hopefully my new plan works.  GOT IN THE EMULSION, which was on schedule.  Luckily I went with plan b, because now Blick is saying it will be in stock DEC 1.

Printed a bunch of sailboats, which came out well too!  Yay.  Spread out all my prints on paper, and really love how they all look together.  Wish I could capture in photo, but it's really hard.

Started sorting thru holiday cards and fretting about envelopes and time.  RIGHT ON SCHEDULE.  I knew I would be behind back in July.  But it's all just a mindfuck.  I'm fine.  It's only Nov 2.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022


 Feelings of well-being come and go.  it really is very weird.

New month - maybe that is it.  After some shitty weeks and days, today I felt lighter and fresher.  A new page and attitude.  Maybe because the weather was really great.  Sunny and warm.  Or maybe because I FINALLY got my screens cleaned.  Or made some progress on shitty things.  I don't know.

Anyway, things will work out.  At least for today, or right now. 


election - UGH

art on ave - UGH UGH

Thanksgiving - fun

Friday, October 28, 2022

 The blur continues.  I guess I just need to accept that I am in this place, and roll with it.  Weeks go by and I get some stuff done, but I'm really a mess: avoiding bid decisions, stalling on getting supplies, not really promoting myself or my website, and just doing the bare minimum to get by.  Holidays are a big ho-hum.  As always, I look to the future for solutions and not today.  Today, my focus is just to survive and get by.  It's a messy way to be.

Had lots of drawing inspo, only to fizzle with what to do with all of it.  Again, struggling with the end game.  OR, I get overwhelmed because there is so much I could do with it, and I can't decide where to put my energy.  This stupid Art on the Ave delay really fucked everything up.  Put me in this stall pattern, and I'm just waiting to get passed it, and fret constantly ABOUT it. 

My screens are a fucking mess, full of ink.  My ULANO orange is run out.  My screen cleaner is almost out.  My inks are sunning low.  

It's Friday and as always, all I can do is feel bad for what I haven't done, haven't accomplished, and didn't even try to do.  All the wasted time not working.  Late starts, naps, lunch with cher and barb. I'm really anti Dave, and that's the problem/

Friday, October 7, 2022

 Dear Dave,

Today I turn 54, and it's a day of reflection.  Kind of a bummer - I kind of think birthdays usually are.  Like New Year's and Christmas, you have all these expectations built up thru childhood that it should be a certain way, and there is an inevitable let down.

 First year without my parents and I feel the sting, but happily it's not that bad. 

The whole Fall -- august thru now, has been a series of let-downs and misfires.  The memorial service, Labor Day with my infected tooth and emergency root canal(s) and then the build up and cancellation of Art on the Ave.  Of course, I was happy it was rescheduled, but it just left a big emotional hole.

Anyway, I keep trying to right myself, and little effort leads to little reward.  A meeting earlier this week left me a little muddled as well.  Thought it would be one thing (and $) and it was another.  Still could be good.  I ALWAYS NEED TO STAY POSITIVE.  I don't know!

Anyway, a fun weekend planned, so that is good.  And weather is finally better.  Healthy, and Emma and hex too.  Day by day, week by week.  Take it slow.

Happy Birthday Dave !



Show me forgiveness

For having lost faith in myself

And let my own interior up

To inferior forces

The shame is endless

But if soon start forgiveness

The girl might live

Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm

Oh-oh ah-ah-ah-ah, ah-ah