Saturday, February 21, 2015

Surfer Nursery Art

This custom nursery art was created as a gift from April's friends.  She recently had her second child and decorated the nursery with a surfer theme, which is just so cute and fun.  

Bright neon yellow and blue are the main colors in the room.  
Congratulations to the Obeys on their new baby boy!

Bridal Shower Glitter

My sister was asked to be a maid of honor for her designer friend, Kathryn's wedding.  She asked if I would design an invite for the bridal shower and I was happy to help. 

Kathryn is a great designer, so it's a little intimidating to design her bridal shower invitation.  I think I, at least, captured a bit of her design aesthetic and taste which I would describe as elegant-simple-trendy.  The bridesmaids decided on 'Sparkle' as the key word or theme for the shower.  I used a scripty,"hand-drawn" font for the focal point with a mixed metallic, photographic glitter confetti motif. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Card 2014

This year I was inspired by a church sermon at the beginning of December.  Jesus is the true light who we need to seek, otherwise we are stumbling in the darkness.

I really liking the growing trend of flowing typography that I've seen more and more this year in print. So, I wanted to incorporate an element of that with the 'lights' theme.

I drew this in Illustrator, printed it out, traced on watercolor paper.  I scanned the painting and overlayed the watercolor painting over the digital image to get the rich 'guache' look. 

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lacrosse Elephants

My friends, Sara and Jon, who love the game of lacrosse decided on doing a sports theme nursery for baby Thomas.  I wanted to do something cute still keeping with the lacrosse theme for them to put up on the wall.  A family of stacked elephants tossing a ball seemed like the solution. 

above: Future lacrosse star, Thomas, and the framed art for his new room.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rosie's 2nd Birthday

Sara's daughter, Rosie, turned 2 this summer and I was so happy to help her out with decorating and designing an invitation.  Rosie loves, the PBS show, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, based off of the show we grew up on, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.  

 I created a 'Welcome' sign, a banner that says 'Rosie is 2!" and made circle cutouts of the characters to stick on solid paper fan decorations.  The 'Cabana Dot' plates and napkins from Party City were great to tie in the pink and red along with the other bright colors. Sara made the trolley cupcake stands from a template on pbskids website and her mom baked amazingly delicious cupcakes for the guests.  

Above; Sara and Rosie sitting with all the other kids singing with song-time-lady, Miss Delores Jiji.
PBS DIY trolley:
Cabana Dot plates from Party City:

Road Trip Wall Art

I love Richard Scary (who doesn't), so I've always wanted to do wall art with Animals driving vehicles.  So, here is my interpretation that for  baby Thomas' Nursery.  
Working on one more, requested sports-themed art for that room as well!

My Fox Christmas Card on Minted is selling my fox Christmas card and I already have 1 sale online.  

 Kristen Cavallo Christmas Fox on

There are three different color-ways that you can choose from; mint, latte or denim.
I provided all the coordinates, the backer and the wrap-around personalized address label.  The address I used is sentimental because it's where my mom grew up and the address where my Grammy lived (her maiden name is Brady).  

Check out my card on the website!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Holiday Card Submissions

Submitted my Christmas cards for's holiday card challenge. Click on the link to vote for them after June 5th. What do you think of these?

non-photo holiday cards - Christmas Fox
non-photo holiday cards - Christmas Fox

non-photo holiday cards - Christmas Mice Isaiah 9:6
non-photo holiday cards - Christmas Mice Isaiah 9:6

Joel & Kim Kwabi wedding

  Kim and Joel Wedding Part II
This summer, I designed elements for friends Kim and Joel Kwabi's wedding! 

Kim & Joel Wedding Part I

Kim gave me a sample of an invitation that she liked, which was watercolor style cherry blossom trees with traditional formal script. I had a painting session one saturday morning and was taken back to the Asian Sumi-art lesson I had in my highschool art class with Mrs. Strangfeld.  It's a minimal kind of painting and you really have to loosen up and paint a lot of trees and branches to get into a flow.

So excited when they came in the mail and saw the excellent printing job! I  took a quick photo to send to Kim.
This is my first time using  I highly recommend this site for printing. The color came out exactly as I had on screen.  The 100lb white stock was great quality and provided just a little bit of texture.  They include free envelopes (Kim and I had already gone to Paper Presentation in NYC to get some fancy envelopes though.)  I got a 40% off discount using a promotional code, so the price was the best I could find anywhere.  When I got them in the mail, they were tightly packed with clear bands.  All were cut the same way, none were a little off-register like I've seen with other online printing companies.

The only issue I had was that the 5x7 (standard A7 size) is more like 4.75 x 7.25 which fits very tightly in a standard A7 envelope.

In an hour or so I had cut all the RSVP/Information cards in half for Kim, ready to stuff and send out to her guests.  Excited to design the menu and program next.

Assignment #5 Gift

Lilla Rogers Assignment #4 was wall art.  I was expecting her to keep the assignment a little open in order to start some nursery art for my friends Sara and Jon (they just had a baby boy, Thomas Joseph, last week!).  Lilla's assignment was so specific that it didn't fit with what I wanted to do, and I didn't want to spend time on something that wouldn't add to my nursery/children's wall art collection.  So, I didn't submit anything that week and I am still working on the nursery art (stay tuned for that soon).  

Meanwhile, I have been excited to design a wedding invitation for Joel and Kim's wedding in July.  I painted watercolor cherry blossoms for her wedding invitation (see next post for Joel & Kim's wedding invitation).  After I was finished, I decided to participate in Lilla Roger's final assignment in her MATS PART A class, GIFT.   

The assignment was incredibly specific.  She wanted everyone to do 'hyperlush' style art on a zipper pouch (which is a popular gift item).  'Hyperlush' patterns are very layered and can incorporate photos or vintage photographs, 'kaleidoscope' or mirrored compositions, and have a lot of interest.  I am happy that I completed the last project for the class, and I think it came out nice, and I used wedding/romance theme as the inspiration.

In conclusion after completing Lilla Roger's Part A, for me, it was not worth the money.   Maybe if I hadn't gone to art school, and hadn't worked as a designer for 10 years and hadn't already experimented with my illustration style, it's worth it.  Maybe.  If it was a quarter of the price, it's worth it for the industry contacts and the knowledgable insights.  The assignments are way too specific and not open for a lot of creativity like the projects that I got in art school.  I did get a few good art projects done with some assignments that I may not have done on my own, but not really worth the cost of the class.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


This week we were asked to either illustrate a book cover or a two page spread of the Aesop fable The Fox and the Crow.  

I decided on the two page spread.  In this fable, the fox flatters the crow because he wants the cheese that she's holding.  When she opens her mouth to sing, the cheese falls down and the fox catches it.  The moral is 'Do not trust flatterers'.  I am pretty happy with my manipulative fox and my smitten crow.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Assignment #2 HOME DECOR

This week my assignment in the Lilla Rogers class was to design ceramic plates that incorporated succulent plants.  
I was going for an 'anthropologie' 'ethnic' inspired type of design because I'm really attracted to tiles and world patterns that are trending lately.  

It's not as successful as I was hoping it would be.  I painted watercolor and ink and really like a lot of the elements I made, but I had a hard time trying make them work.  The assignment was due on Sunday at 5pm, and at 4:30 I was still messing around with elements and color-- so at the last minute (litterally 5:02) I posted this on the flickr site.  If I had more time I might have tried for an all indigo look, and played around with adding linework and less watercolor maybe.  

Moving on.  This week is CHILDREN'S BOOKS!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Assignment #1 BOLT FABRIC

This week I started an e-course called "Make Art that Sells' with one of the top illustration agents, Lilla Rogers Studio.  It's a five week course that goes through five different markets for freelance illustrators; BOLT FABRIC, HOME DECOR, CHILDREN'S BOOKS, WALL ART & GIFT.  I am excited for the Children's book and Wall Art weeks!

  The first week assignment is to design a pattern for BOLT FABRIC, which is the 'fabric store' fabric.  The customer buys this to sew things like quilts, aprons, pot holders, tote bags etc.    

Our assignment was very specific.  It was to make a kitchen design inspired by and incorporating icons of 'pyrex' vintage style kitchenware and tropical fruit.  I wasn't incredibly inspired by tropical fruit idea because I think I'm a little jaded from all the Luau party paper plate designs I've made over the past 10 years at Amscan.  Lilla said, when she gave the assignment, to 'do what makes you happy and inspires you' and she's all about being joyful about what you are designing-- so, I thought I'd be more joyful about strawberries than tropical fruit.  Making coordinates was optional part of the assignment.  

I am pretty happy with how it came out.  It's a mixture of painted and digital illustration.  I designed this graphically on Illustrator and then printed and traced the icons onto watercolor paper to paint.  I overlaid the painted image on the digital illustration in Illustrator.

Next week, HOME DECOR . . .

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Isaiah 9:6

I have been singing this Christmas hymn since Thanksgiving. What an inspiring prophesy from Isaiah about the coming of Jesus.  Verse 7 begins with Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end . . So, this made me think about the symbolism of the Christmas wreath and of the everlasting quality of God (He has no beginning and no end).  

Love these little baby mice in the stockings with their bow and bow tie.  Snowed-in today in NY,  I was able to watercolor paint my sketch on this cozy Saturday afternoon.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I submitted the design I created for my sister and brother-in-law on  Names have not been changed to protect the innocent. :)  Voting opens after November 22!

Vote for my
design on minted.
Nautically Yours
see more from Kristen Cavallo
vote for me!
Check out my competition in holiday photo cards and wedding invitations at Minted.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Owl Prints

I just finished and submitted this art on the personalized wall art challenge.  I started with some art that I done for Rosie's nursery a year ago and I updated it for the submission.  I was thinking that this would be great to hang in a twin's boy/girl nursery.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Art Prints Submitted!

Hi Guys!  Finally got to submit some of my art prints on!  Thanks to April Obey for suggesting it!
Vote for my
design on minted.
Noah's Ark Announcement
see more from Kristen Cavallo
vote for me!
Check out my competition in Christmas cards and wedding invitations at Minted.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Promo Postcard 2013

The Surtex show is around the corner (May 19-21)!  So, if the occasion arises that I would want to promote myself as an illustrator, here is the promotional postcard that I will have in my back pocket.  I will be at Surtex to help and assist my mom, Betsey Cavallo, who is a very successful freelance licencing artist.  She will be showing at booth 733,  I believe this will be our 9th year setting up and breaking down at Surtex.  I look forward to this time spent when she drives down from MA and we stay in NYC to 'do the show'.  See you at the Javits! 

Got these puppies (do not excuse the pun) printed on  The prices are really good and the product is always quality.

Friday, April 19, 2013

D is for

My friends, Rachel and Mike, were expecting their second boy and wanted some art for their firetruck themed nursery.  So, this is for them and brand new baby, Casey Aaron, born April 13th.  Congratulations Rachel and Mike!
Above: Framed art hanging in Casey's nursery. 
I had a great time visiting their new home outside of Chicago.  It was fun helping with nursery decorating and hanging out with friends and kids.

For this week's  Illustration Friday word "train";  This dalmatian Fire Department dog is highly trained to help in an emergency.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

NOINOPIA- illustrations

I illustrated for a video that, videographer, Brian Leary put together.  It is for a new non-profit that empowers people get on their feet financially and working again.  The name of the organization is 'NOINOPIA' which combines “no” and the Latin word for poverty, "inopia".  There are already 5 people currently participating in the program.  They are attending seminars, learning how to manage money and more.  I was so fortunate to be able to use my gifts to contribute to this organization.   Here are 2  examples of the illustrations that I drew for the video and also the final video.

Find out more here!

Friday, February 15, 2013

In a Hot Air Balloon

It was such a pleasure to make this nursery art for a close friend of my sisters, April, who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Saturday February 9th.  

April has this energetic-positive-artistic spirit meets love of nature and the outdoors.  Channeling her vibe, I came up with this composition with the rabbits freely rising over the great outdoors in a hot air balloon (I also really like hot air balloons right now too).  April is one of the best photographers I know. You can check out her website here
Congratulations April!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Happy February!  My amazing and creative friend & coworker, Pegah, hosted another of her signature 'knit and eat' parties for February. Since I have not given my 'all' in learning and practicing the craft of knitting, I decided to turn to pinterest in search of a 'craft' to do while the others were knitting. 
Pegah prepared all of the delicious breakfast food for us- her granola is amazing.  She is also the potter/painter of the mugs and bowls seen above.  See more of her work on her blog

I was incredibly inspired when I came upon this googly eye valentine pin by Parents magazine in which I immediately posted "I am so making these!'
I told the girls about the google eye valentine idea, and they all wanted in. Instead of knitting, the craft turned to valentine's day-silly-card-making.  I collected the supplies for everyone to make their own valentines.  At Michael's craft store, I found the Martha Stewart 1 inch circle punch and large 25mm googly eyes (.98 inches) (which makes a perfect fit!). 

Supplies included; Martha heart punch and Martha 1" circle punch, googly eyes, elmers glue, 5.5x4.25 folded cards, printouts with patterns and solid colors, scissors, markers/colored pencils ...
         After eating a delicious brunch we went to work making valentines . . .
Above: Pegah's super cute daughter, Nava,  participates in the card making with Colleen and Katie.

Here are a few of our finished cards.

 I doodled an octopus, some birds, and monsters inside my cards and they have been sent off to my close friends and family. Thanks to Pegah for hosting another successful craft party!
Happy Valentines Day!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pine Cone Garland

This year I got a small potted pine tree at Home Depot for the kitchen.  Without really knowing what I would do with them, I also picked up a box of Martha gold pine cones.  I ended up stringing the pine cones together by tightly wrapping yarn a few times through the nooks and crannies of the pine cones. I intertwined the pine cone garland with the lights over the window.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I've been especially into fox illustrations lately.  They are just so darn cute!  Those 'woodland' animals get me every time.  I am really inspired by vintage 50's Christmas art too.  

I love this scripture from Luke because of the overwhelming imagery of a great host of angels appearing in the night praising God together telling the shepherds about Jesus' birth.

I got some business card size 'peel & stick' magnets from Staples.  I wanted to illustrate something cute and give a set out to co-workers this year.  I like magnets because they are practical, and I always like a nicely designed magnet to put stuff up on my fridge.  I hate using the ugly magnets that I get in the mail from my dentist, doctor or friendly allstate agent. 

So, it's a set of 2 magnets.  His body is one magnet and his hat is another magnet.  Maybe I could make a few other hats that he could interchange?

Merry Christmas!