Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Cabinets...

FINISHED!!! Just in time too! The delivery is tomorrow for the client with hours to spare. Wish the photos were better to do justice to the pieces. Two cabinets... Two fireboxes... One basement renovation and two illustrations finished before Christmas. WHEW! Now Santa has to get these puppies loaded on his sleigh...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Travel Themed Wedding and Candy Buffet

Custom Designed Themed Candy Buffets:

Travel Themed Wedding
Chocolate dipped Marshmellows
Blue Candy Buffet
Below are a collection of photos that show the service e are offering for wedding and special events. The couple wanted to have something special done for their wedding and gave us complete freedom to design and create this travel themed wedding along with a candy buffet done to their wedding colors of blue and silver.

The first table included 3D view finders with photos of the couple as children. Along with an Ipod slide show and Dream catchers which contained three different sets of questions and answers about the couple.

Each jar was filled with candy to match the color scheme of Blue and Silver along with handmade chocolate dipped candies at the end of the buffet.
Hand Made chocolate dipped strawberries

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

David Lesh

I am heartbroken. My friend Dave Lesh passed away last week and I have not been able to get into words how I feel until today.

I met Dave Lesh in 1990 on a website called Ispot talking about stock houses and we became friends soon after. 

It was not hard to become friends with Dave because he was the kind of guy everyone wishes their older brother to be.  To me, he was like a family member always concerned about your well being and how you were doing. We talked for hours about art, life and making decisions. We would talk about how hard it was being a father with kids in this industry. I think because we both had kids that we had this common bond. 

He would ask me how my kids were or how “ lovely wife Arlene was...” and his thoughts were genuine and his concern sincere. I would listen to him talk about Vicky, Bo, Joe and his dogs. He would talk about the lake and he would describe how much fun it was to have a boat sailing the water.

“You should come up here with the family and stay at one of the cabins” Dave would always tell me or “ You should see about getting involved with a boat company for your furniture, maybe move up here and let me see what I can do for you.”  Dave was always trying to help by thinking or suggesting ways for me to find new opportunities.  

He always had this little line on his tear sheets, “All it takes is imagination, yours and mine.” I always liked that saying because it said everything about Dave Lesh. He was always seeking collaboration in work and in friendships. 

For three years, while I worked with Dave for the Illustrator’s Partnership, we would talk almost daily on the phone. Sometimes about IPA, sometimes about our industry but mostly it was two friends talking. One time while we talked about family, Dave said he wanted to say how much he appreciated our friendship. I made light of his sentiment. Dave shouted over my comments with “ Kenny I’m trying to tell you how glad that we are friends.” I remember replying to Dave that I wish I had an older brother that cared as much as he did. 

I appreciated Dave’s friendship a great deal and that is why this hurts so much. 

Dave is the only person I would let call me Kenny. Years ago, he asked me what I like to be called, Ken, Kenny or Kenneth. 
“My God Dave don’t call me Kenny...” I replied “ my Mom calls me that and it drives me crazy.” 
“Really Kenny?” 
“Yeah, drives me nuts Dave.”
“OK Kenny”
“Yes Kenny?”
I gave up and Dave continued calling me Kenny after that.  He would call on the phone and say “Hey Kenny” in that Indiana accent that sounded more like Kenknee. I will miss that more than I can tell you.   

Dave has been on my mind, since he called to say goodbye. Dave called to say the cancer he had thought he had beaten had returned and he was home with his family. He wanted to make sure he knew how much he loved me. There was such sadness in his voice.  I could not say anything except to cry. When I hung up, I felt like I missed my chance to say more. I tried calling the next day but Dave was to ill to talk. 

Now days after Dave has passed, I sit here with his shadow looming over my thoughts. I know I am blessed to have known Dave but that does little to stop the tears. 

I was lucky to have been influenced by people of character. Brad Holland, Chris Payne and Dave were three people with the same moral center and it was no accident that they became friends. I was gifted to become their friend and learn from them. I appreciate their friendship to this day and I am forever changed. But now Dave is gone and it has torn a hole in my heart. 

I am sure Dave’s family knows this, but Dave showed me what integrity and friendship really means and how easy both are to lose. People may feel they have integrity but it is the people around them who help shape it and make it stronger.  Friendships are easily dismissed as time and distance push those friendships away. Dave made both stronger for me.  

I will never forget his presence and friendship and I take along his passion for doing what is right. You don’t always find someone like Dave who embodies both and that is what I will miss. No matter what the issue was, Dave would take the high ground. 

When I first met Dave in person and not over the phone it was at the first illustration conference in Santa Fe.  At the end of the event,  some on the conference board wanted to use the extra revenue to fund a trip to Hawaii, Dave was adamant to stop it because he knew it was wrong and he and others on the board did stop it. I never forgot that. 

I have seen in our industry, people willing to take the short road, to make the easy choice and take the money. Dave was not one of those people and if you met him you know exactly what I mean. His moral compass was set in the right direction and his sailing was straight.  Even as he was leaving us, he stopped to pick up the phone one last time to say goodbye to a friend. I only hope that for the rest of my life, that I make Dave proud and follow his examples.

Dave, I miss you already...I wish the phone would ring. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Latest illustration for LBA...

Here is the latest illustration for this quarter's LBA project art directed by Jamie Thomas...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

For a Few Dollars More...

How much money did each senator receive for their re-election for voting "NO"?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wedding Candy Buffet

Just beginning another candy buffet and I posted the following photos from  a wedding from last year. The couple wanted a candy buffet but the reception hall would not allow it. So in order to satisfy everyone we designed and printed fake candy labels with fun wedding facts on each box. We had over 100 people and made enough for 300 people and still ran out of candy.

Using baby pictures we created milk chocolate wrappers with photos of the couple as children.
 Then made reproductions of famous candy wrappers and changed the nutritional information to info on the couple.

 Hersey kisses with baby photos

 Home made sea glass to match the wedding colors finished everything off.

Monday, April 15, 2013

20 Year Collaboration.

Twenty years ago Andy started work on building two end tables for his home. Unfortunately he could not complete the build on these tables because Parkinson's Disease got involved. Andy kept these end tables in storage since then where they sat in pieces waiting to be completed. Several months ago Andy asked me if I could finish them for him. I had never done a collaboration with anyone my life. From my illustration work and woodworking, I have always done work on my own.

Completing these tables were like finishing someone else's math problems. I knew I would get the same answer but I did not know how Andy got to where he was because he did not show his work. But they were completed and Andy asked me to add a drawer on each one. They are made of cherry and tiger maple with many hand coats of finish. The time spent working on them is something I will treasure.

Yesterday after Arlene and I dropped them off at Andy and Josa's, Andy gave me a large unfinished tiger maple plank from the original piece for the table top. I have no idea what I want to use it for...yet.

But I think some kind of collaboration is needed. Pieces like this should not be done...alone.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hand Made Cherry Sea Chest

Just finished for a client on Martha's Vineyard is this custom made reproduction of a sea chest in solid cherry. The inside is lined with aromatic cedar to keep your fabrics and blankets safe from moths. The rope beckets are made by artisan Tim Whitten. Each piece is given a hand rubbed finish to give it a luster that last for years. The top and face are given a nautical detail and compass painted in enamels. If you would like one of these chests contact me to discuss your project.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Help Support Bill Plympton's Next Animated Film "Cheatin' "

Help support Bill Plympton's 7th animated film by donating a few dollars. Via Kickstart you can donate  directly to help Bill finish his film. If you are a fan of his work this is a no brainer...