Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Alanna Cavanagh + Giveaways

Hello Wednesday!  You know I must be getting really excited about Christmas now that I'm giving you yet another gift guide this week.  Today's post is extra special to me because (1) I am a huge fan of the talented Alanna Cavanagh (I framed her tea towel back in spring), (2) I visited Alanna at her studio for some behind-the-scene footage on silk screen print 101, and (3) I was Alanna's little helper for the 1st edition of the small brogue prints (in ochre) .. all 70 of them!

Ladies and Gents, please put our hands together to welcome my lovely guest, Alanna Cavanagh.  

image courtesy of Alanna Cavanagh
My love affair with Alanna's work started with this Brooks Brothers print when I first saw it at Hollace Cluny a few years back.  I simply loved the tailored look of this double-breasted jacket, and the super fashionable mossy green + black pinstripe combo just made my knees weak.  It is such a timeless, classic piece of art that I knew it would work in my home.  Only back then I didn't have a "home" yet.  

image courtesy of Alanna Cavanagh
This double-breasted pinstripe jacket is actually part of a collection Alanna did exclusively for Brooks Brothers to celebrate its 175th Anniversary.  Alanna created this stunning collection based on the actual images from the Brooks Brothers'  archive, and may I just say "WOW"!!  Many of these illustrations are only available in the Brooks Brothers 175th Anniversary book.  Thanks Alanna for sharing these stylish creations with us!  My new favs? The suit from 1950!        
image courtesy of Alanna Cavanagh for Brooks Brothers
Alanna's work is known for its light-hearted/cheerful nature, a healthy dose of punchy colors, and a sense of whimsy for the hopeless romantic at heart.  Here are four of Alanna's recent creations that I absolutely adore.   

image courtesy of Alanna Cavanagh
Before I walk you through my first lesson on silk screen 101, I want to show you the artfully curated spaces at Alanna's stylish studio.  The foyer is full of artisan vibe with a gallery wall on one side and an vintage chest of drawers that doubles as entrance table on the other.  I love the color play between the matte black shade and the lipstick red accent wall.  Red is such a challenging hue to use and Alanna has nailed it perfectly for a bold first impression.       


It is hard to believe this cozy, inviting living/working space used to have concrete walls everywhere.  Don't get me wrong, I love a cool, hip, industrial loft with polished concrete floors and perhaps a couple of concrete walls.  However, it is a little "cold" to me if that is what you have wrapped around your entire space.  The first thing Alanna did to bring some warmth to the space was to put up drywall (and a coat of warm white) on the main wall that runs the entire length of the studio.  This also makes art hanging (especially gallery wall style) a lot easier than to drill holes directly into concrete walls.  This inspiring open concept live/work space has certainly got my creative juices flowing.  Are you inspired?


Now let's get down to business.  I was lucky enough to be Alanna's assistant for the afternoon to learn about silk screen print, the tricks that make the prints "picture perfect", and most importantly, the hard work that goes into the making of every single print.  

Who says science and art don't mix? The technique of silk screen printing is a fine example of how you transform the creative images into printing tools with a little help from chemical reaction.  To make the first edition of the small brogue prints, we needed:

* tightly stretched silk screen with the brogue design

* high quality paper(for actual prints) and craft paper(for testing)

* ink of your choice (ochre and black in our case)

* squeegee of the appropriate size (in relation to the size of the print)


A few silk screen printing tips I learned from Alanna:

* max out your investmentstretched silk screens at various sizes are available at art supplies specialty stores and they are not cheap.  So make the most of the screens by putting as many designs on the screens as possible.  Just make sure you leave enough space between the designs, so you can easily mask out the designs you don't need at the moment.

keep the screen moist: a dried out screen means ink won't penetrate through ... ever!  So make sure you have your papers and ink all lined up to reduce lead time between prints.

* registration with acetateanother way to speed up the printing process is to use a piece of acetate to figure out exactly where the link will land on the paper.  Once that is determined, you will know where to place the paper and all you need is to lift the screen, put in a new piece of paper, place the screen back down, and a quick squeegee pull.

and voila my first silk screen print!!


Thanks Alanna for having me at your studio for such a wonderful experience!  It was certainly my pleasure to have finally met you in person, and I simply couldn't thank you enough for introducing me to "the art of silk screen print".  To learn more of the silk screen print process, check out Alanna's informative, step-by-step guide here.  

Of course I didn't go home empty handed.  No. 27 of 40 was what I took home, and you will just have to wait and see which print I picked up once it is framed.


Here comes the super exciting part for you all.  Three lucky DesignMaze readers will take home one of the three giveaways: (1) limited edition tea towel signed by Alanna courtesy of the Bay, and (2) one of two unframed small brogue prints (retail at $60 a piece) generously donated by the artist herself.



The unframed small brogue print is 7" x 4.75" in size, signed and numbered.  Alanna made 70 silk screen prints of the small brogue for the first edition.  For $60 a piece, these stunners are the perfect gifts for those fashion forward male friends of yours!  Here is how you can frame up this print the "Alanna's way":

image courtesy of Alanna Cavanagh
For a chance to win one of the three prizes, all you need to do is to tell me which giveaway (tea towel or unframed small brogue prints) you are interested in and how would you incorporate it in your own home.  Good luck and the winners of the giveaway will be announced on December 17th!  

Do you know that Alanna is also on twitter and pinterest? Be sure to follow Alanna for her latest work and future studio open houses! 

image courtesy of Alanna Cavanagh

34 comments:

  1. I've been chasing Alanna's tea towels all over Winnipeg, but either The Bay I go to doesn't have it (never had it, salespeople look at me like I'm speaking a diff language) or they are sold out online. I would love to frame one. It would be a Christmas miracle to own one!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would love, love, any of these prizes! If I had to choose, I would take one of the brogue prints. I would use it as I transition my son's room from "baby" to "little man"!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Tim,

    What a great giveaway and treat on your chance to help Alanna out!

    I would love to win the brogue shoe. I would frame it and put it in my hall way above the closet door for everyone to see when they first walk in.

    A reminder to put our shoe's away:). But more importantly, its the spot where i would definitely see this handsome print everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome post, Tim! AC is such a lovely person and her studio really is cozy isn't it? I am (hopefully) close to showing everyone where my AC print is! A few more little things and then the reveal!

    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janice!! LOVE AC and it was truly an amazing experience for me to visit her studio and be her little helper for the afternoon to make these small brogue prints! How is the little guy? Hope to see you soon too!

      Delete
  5. Loooooove Alanna's work! I've had my eye on that tea towel for a few weeks now and would love to inject a pop of colour in my rental's VERY beige kitchen. It would look great framed and hung above my shelving unit that's full of vintage kitchenware items!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would love to win the brogue shoe print! I am planning a complete redo of my oldest son's room. He has discovered "fashion" and is now a young man (16). He needs a gentleman's room and this would be a wonderful addition :) Lovely work. You look like you had a lot of fun!

    ReplyDelete
  7. the brogue print look amazing. I would hang it near my front entrance rug, maybe 1.5-2 feet off the ground. It would designate the shoe area, while keeping it visible and high enough not to get messy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post Tim! I'd love any of the prizes, but the one I'm eyeing is the tea towel. Very whimsical and would be perfect in a frame hung in our main hallway!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh wow Tim! This post was well worth the wait, and I am super jealous that you got to spend some quality time with Alanna and help her with the brogue prints! You didn't take that Giant Orange Scissors print home did you? :) I've been contemplating of getting that print since I first laid my eyes on it. It deserves all the spot light but I just haven't figured out where at home would be perfect for it yet. And it's so funny that I've also been thinking of getting teh shoe and small iron prints for my mudroom and laundry room. The orche brogue print would be perfect for my mudroom! Fantastic post again Tim!

    ReplyDelete
  10. YAY! My favourite giveaway - I love love love Alanna's art. I would love the brogue shoe, and would put it in one of the boy's rooms....maybe (or maybe in mine!)....or in the new basement!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, looks like so much fun, congratulations! I ordered her tea towel for a Christmas gift for someone {thought I would wrap a cook book in it!} -- love all her work!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great give-away Tim! I love Alanna's work - it's always quirky and fun with a bit of whimsy thrown in! The ochre brogue would be perfect for the entry-way to my condo, it will match the new navy/ochre runner I got! xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just discovered your blog via Alanna's -- love it!
    Looks like you had a great time collaborating with her and did a nice job on the brogue prints. I'd love to have one of those. It would make the perfect gift for my Better Half! Keep up the great posts, Tim!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a fantastic giveaway! I'd be happy with either prize, but since I already bought the tea towel (unsigned though...), I'd probably choose the print and hang it in our front entrance near where we keep our shoes. I HAVE TO get to one of her open houses...what a talent.

    ReplyDelete
  15. totally want the brogue shoe print...doing up my office and this would be a great nod to my husband's style...fingers crossed!

    ReplyDelete
  16. LOVE AC!! I would love a brogue print! I would frame it for my hubby and put it in our master bedroom. I have the perfect spot right I can see it there now :D

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'd love to hang Alannah's brogue print right next to my husband's wardrobe in the hope that it would improve his style! Lee

    ReplyDelete
  18. I absolutely love Alanna's work. I fell in love with her style a few years ago and am thrilled any time I encounter it. I would love a Brogue print to place in my ensuite so when I see it each morning when I get ready for the day I will remember to put my "best foot forward."

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's such a tough choice I would love either one, but if I had to pick I think I would go with the Brogue print(although I am sure I could be swayed towards the towel without too much effort!)

    ReplyDelete
  20. The brogue print is my favorite and will look great in my bedroom next to my closet!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love Alanna's tea towels - I would totally frame one. Great giveaway:)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Definitely the brogue print! It could be my first art piece after I move into my new home. Getting married this Sunday (yikes) and so I would really like to start an art wall in the living room!
    Thank you for the lovely giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh I would love the tea towel! I'd put some cotton strings on it and it would instantly become my favorite holiday apron. Alanna is a hidden talent - am so glad she is venturing towards repeat designs that can be used for wallpaper and/or fabric.

    Thanks for the give away!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'd love to win one of the brogue prints and get it framed for my much-more-fashionable-than-I brother.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would love the tea towel, it wouldnt be used for my dishes though - but hung or framed above my new little studio space in my crammed little house!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Fabulous giveaway and I love that you got to spend the day in her studio!! I think everyone is completely jealous, me included. I would happily win either prize, but the tea towel is so beautiful and my Mom has been wanting one so badly, so I would love to make her day and surprise her with it!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. OH you are sooo lucky to have had a chance to hang out with Alanna! You need your own show - Behind the Scenes with Tim! I would LOVE to win her Brogue Prints!!!!!! XX I would hang the shoe print in my entry way!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Tim,

    It is so fun to see you in action with Alanna. I am a big fan of her work. This giveaway is amazing and so generous of both of you. I think the brogue print would look adorable in our little guys room.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

    Chad

    ReplyDelete
  29. I LOVE Alanna Cavanagh prints--they are equisitive!!! I would use one of the unframed prints in our guest bathroom--it would make a great WOW for whoever uses the room.
    dee clegg

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Tim,

    I would love the unframed small brogue prints to place in my sons walk in closet.

    Thanks for the great giveaway.

    Fatema
    Fatema.khan@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love the tea towel... thinking that I could frame it as it is a work of art also.Thank you for showing us AC studio and more of her fabulous work... oh yes and the chance to win one of her great prints/tea towel.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great giveaway!!!
    i love tea towel

    Anna

    ksurty@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I would love to have any of the stuff but I'd prefer the print! Thanks for the intro Tim!

    ReplyDelete