Something Different: Wingback Chair Reupholstery

I was told that I couldn't be a jack-of-all-trades. Doing so would mean that I would be equally mediocre in everything instead of master-of-one thing. I understand the point. I see where many were right in regards to aspects of my work. Yet, I still disagree. Here's why. 

When you are an insatiably curious maker who must use their hands and their brain in equal measure than you cannot sit down to do the same thing every day. Perfection, mastery, supremacy in the field - these are not their goals. We must explore new materials. We must try new routines. We must indulge our hands when they yearn for craft instead of a keyboard and mouse. 

This is one of my indulgences. I share it because it's different. A little peek at what I do with my time when I'm not designing or drawing or researching. 

One of my dear friends wanted two magenta wingback armchairs for her living room. I wanted to learn how to reupholster. It was the perfect opportunity. Together, we pulled staples, ripped dusty fabric, and stripped the chairs to their wooden bones.

The cousin chairs, before. Slightly different framework, but close enough for our purposes. 

The final result was visually quite stunning. She picked a lovely slate-blue for the walls that let the magenta pop in the room. The chairs were definitely a test of patience. The entire project took us roughly 4 months to finish - longer than almost any project I've worked on. It taught me how to slow down - forget the instant gratification of finishing a project.

It's lessons like this that keep me creatively fluid. When I need to step away from the computer or put down my pens, I'll pick up a hammer or a paint brush. Maybe it's the switch from minuscule, methodical details to large, highly tangible materials that helps my brain breathe and my muscles remember that they can do more than sit. Whatever the reason, I fully embrace it. 

Making the Most of It: Coffee With Good Taste

We all have an "it." A little task, a simple order that will be as boring or interesting as you want it to be. 

Here's one of mine.

Coffee With Good Taste is a fictional K-Cups brand designed to be extras in a circular photoshoot. I was assigned the task of making them and since I had a little extra time, decided to have some fun with it by turning it into a copywriting/packaging/branding project. Coffee With Good Taste was born and enjoyed its short lifespan as an "extra" in a circular. 

The result was delightful. It was liberating to pour my energy that had been stifled by limits into something that had none. My boss was as astonished as I was with them, which made me take a long hard look at the work I was doing. The unofficial evaluation from her happy reaction made me realize I could do better with everything else I was working on. Who knew that such little packages would teach me such a valuable lesson?

While it's not something that can be done all the time, I encourage you to look for those projects that might seem insignificant and give them just a little bit more than you normally do. It just might surprise everyone.

Welcome Home


It's been hard to get into a groove with my work. Moving to a new place was challenging, stressful, and in the beginning felt very isolated. I was out of my comfort zone and element all the time. Now that we have a home and our things, I've been able to start exploring. 

School was all-consuming for the past four years. Assignments guided my output, clients guided the evolution of my style and I left college without any idea of what my voice was. This isn't to say that I didn't learn anything - I just don't know what Lillie looks like on paper, yet.

So what do you do when you have complete freedom of time and boundaries? Nothing. You stare at the paper. You look for guidance. You wonder how others do it. You wonder if you're supposed to be doing this at all.

Or you go back to the thing you loved doing the most. For me that was cut paper. I love cutting, snipping, gliding through paper to form new shapes from one literally blank page. There's something beautiful about taking disparate pieces and working them together into one.


I wanted to create a piece for our new home. Drawing inspiration from the patterns and colors that we've decorated with, it needed to surmise our home and style in one pass. 


Painting the shapes with acrylic means more control over the final results than a standard collage. I enjoy the flexibility of moving the pieces around while constructing. It's very non-committal.

I love working into the cut paper with painted detail. But sometimes  I can get carried away. I tend to pile everything on and then retract until it's just right. Case in point. 


The green background worked in digital color comps but didn't provide enough distinction from the foreground in execution. The stripes and dots were just too busy. The solution? Simple. Unify it with color and let the textures dance in monochrome.

WelcomeHome_1 copy.jpg

Ta-da! The finished piece. It turned out nicely. The final size was 9"x12".


I hope you enjoyed looking at the piece as much as I enjoyed making it. 

You may also see this project on my other blogs and sites.


South to Scandinavia