Friday, July 10, 2009

Get Your Craft On

This past Thursday, the very talented Lauren hosted a craft night for some fellow creatives. When I say "craft night," I mean CRAFT night. We made Shrinky Dinks and got crazy with Perler Beads. Everyone brought a snack, and Amy along with J-No provided us with delicious cocktails. Also in attendance was Andrea of Owly, Denise of Nisee Made and her own illustrations, Jennifer (J-No) of nojenno's, and Daphne of Digitas. Above are a few pics from the night. Click Here to view the album on flickr

I could not get over how fantastic Lauren's place was. The space itself was multi-level with a ladder up to her own private roof deck. Mid Century furniture was everywhere you looked, and natural light flooded this top floor space. Every corner had some sort of incredible detail, whether it was a plant or a small horse figurine. To sum it up, the space was divine. 

After all the Shrinky Dinks had been baked, and all the Perler beads pressed, we left with a sense of accomplishment. A great night of snacks, creative acquaintances, and delightful crafts had been achieved. 

Until next time, Ladies.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Simple Science Screen

Just a quick post to let you guys know we're working on some screen printed goods. The process we use to burn screens is definitely an affordable route if you don't have a light box. Which, we do not. 

That's a whole new project for a different day....

More updates soon. Promise. 

P.S. A special thanks to Leslie of Urbanestics and UrbanPosture for the printing tutorial.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Loving Lace and Launching the Store (soon)

We're starting to sound like a broken record with all the 'Coming Soon' promises. No more! What we have here is a little sneakie peakie of what should be hitting our Etsy store in the next week and a half. We have 4 different products being finalized, and we couldn't be more excited about it. So please, hang with us a bit longer and we promise not to disappoint. 

The product featured above is a few pairs of our fancy lace earrings. Super light and perfect for the warm summer weather. Product specs will be posted on the Etsy listing. Let us know what you think. 

If you're super eager to know exactly when these are hitting the store, drop us a line and we'll send you an email on the day of the drop. Or follow us on Twitter to get day-to-day updates. 


Friday, May 15, 2009

Dinner & Drawing

Last night a few lovely friends came over for an evening of dinner and drawing. It was a room full of talented people who can draw themselves out of any situation (present company excluded). We kicked the evening off with some pasta and delicious salads, and moved the party to our sketchbooks. 

I was excited for Aaron Albarran of Toxik to meet my friend Tim Bubel (for this link, check out the painted shoes, that's his work) who is an artist of similar style. If you ever need zombies, monsters, or any of the like, hit them up. Not only talented, but hilarious and kind as well.

Next was the introduction of Amber Luecht and Ross Murray. Again, 2 artists with similar styles. I personally think they should do a collaborative animation...........

Finally, it came down to Greg and I. I think we spent most of the night trying to out-shade the other. I struggled with an illustration of hair, and Greg worked on creature illustrations. 

All in all, the night was a success. Except for the part where I forgot to take pics of everyone's finished work. Instead, enjoy pics of everyone hard at work, except Tim who was most likely making us all laugh.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More Concept Art

Perhaps Spring isn't the best time to introduce this project, but with all this gloomy weather, we're going to do it anyway. It's an "I miss you" card! This quick sketch gives you a rough idea with where we're going on this. It's going to be an overhead view of a bed, with only 1 side having tousled covers. The implication is that you're tired of sleeping alone, and that you miss someone. The plan is to make this as an art print/postcard. 

So, check back soon if you're interested in letting someone know you miss them. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Happy Spring, everyone. In honor of the seasons changing, we're doing some changes in the studio. Cleaning, re-vamping, etc. Once we're re-organized, we'll post pictures. In the 
meantime, here's a quick sketch of an upcoming t-shirt we're making. 

"It's Only Hair" is inspired by an upcoming haircut for Mean Millie's Angela. She's cutting it all off, and as a reminder, it's only hair. So the t-shirt will celebrate hair by screen printing long flowing locks on the front of a white tee. The shirt will eventually be available in white with black, red, yellow, or brown inks. 

Stay tuned for results.....

photo featuring Angela by IshootRockstars
sketch by Angela

Friday, March 20, 2009

Willow Goes Solely To Web

I know it's been a bit since our last post, but we're back now. So, dry those tears, and let's get creative!

One of our favorite local stores, Willow, is closing down their brick and mortar shop at the end of this month to run their store completely online. While this is sad news, it is completely understandable in this economy. We've become particularly fond of this store, and even had the opportunity to do a window display for them. We wish Amy the best of luck in her online endeavors, and can't wait to continue to get our favorite Willow items online.

Also, for those of you in the area, Willow will be having an art show this evening titled "Oil & Wood." It starts at 6 pm and goes until 9 pm. Hope to see you there!

Photos by the Lovely Leslie of Urbanestics.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Loco for Labels

Good morning! Just a few quick things before we get our day started. 

1: We're getting labels! For all our sewn merchandise, our branding is underway. Check out our labels. We're excited to get them and see them in person. We found this label company through Etsy, and are excited to support them. They were great with answering any questions we had, and promptly returned our emails. Even without seeing our final product, we highly recommend them. Check out their unique way of sending proofs.

2: Do you have any before & after projects you would like to share with us? We're preparing for a before & after post, and thought it would be fun to include some of your stories and projects. If you're interested, send a description of your project and a few photos to 

That's it for today, see you guys tomorrow. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Photo Friday's Presents: Birthday Bean

Here at Mean Millies, we're not professional photographers, but we want to get better. That's why we've decided to instate Photo Friday's. This is a platform for us to show you our stuff, and for you to advise us on what's working and what's not. This first Friday will be a little different from our typical Photo Friday's. That's because we have a VERY special birthday, today. Bean the dog, who rules the house of 3 very dear friends of mine, is having a birthday.

We're not about to get all personal on you, but even in our amateur photo, look how dang cute this dog is. Wherever there's a camera, Bean is close behind. He hears a shutter and the next thing you know he's in the picture. Bean is the best. He's a very calm and friendly dog who will hug anyone. He even likes handmade toys! We would know. We made him a stuffed bean, and dang-it if that dog didn't love it. We were on cloud 9 when the gift was so well received.

So, in honor of our very first Photo Friday, Happy Birthday, Bean! You're 1 cool little dude.

Mean Millies

P.S. Have a great weekend everyone. See you Monday.
(Photo Credit: Mean Millies)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sneaky Sneak of a Peek

So far this week we've talked about happenings in the life of Mean Millies, showed you someone that inspires us, and went on an investigation. You might actually be wondering if we do any work around here. You bet your britches we do. Today we'd like to give you a little peek into what we're working on.

The project board is packed with concepts, follow-ups, to-do lists, and random doodles. We'd like to share with you 2 projects we currently have in the works. Though we won't divulge all the details (not because we think you'll steal our ideas, but because unveiling a new product makes us feel super cool), we'll give you a little insight.

Topping the list of current to-do's, we have a print titled "Simple Science." Designed and printed in-house, we like where this project is headed. Starting from a rough sketch and then refined in Illustrator, this print will soon be available in our Etsy shop.

The other project we want to share with you comes in the form of a block carving. What we'll tell you about this concept is: think green. We're all about reusing wherever we can, and this project illustrates that. The block is all carved and ready to go, now we're working on refining the ink. An even bigger super secret hint of a peak is that this block is going to be printed on fabric. Woo-hoo!

So there you go. We work, play, and work some more, then eventually play again, but mostly we work. We're just here to create and have a good time while doing it.

Ok, but enough about us, more about you. We want to know: What projects are you working on?

(Photo Credit: Mean Millies)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hello, Yellow

Sitting here in the Mean Millies studio contemplating what topic to next address on the blog, we start to notice a lot of yellow. Literally, the color yellow is all over the studio. Tea is steaming in a yellow mug, vintage yellow fabric is perched on the desk, and 2 little, yellow glass vases serve as home to our moss pod flowers.

No lies, we're startled. When the heck did we become yellow obsessed, and how come we're the last to find out about it? Deep purples have always reigned supreme around here. We smell sabotage.

So, being naturally sleuthy, we head over to Colourlovers to check out current color trends. Dead end. Yellow is no more prevalent than any of the other colors. "Super Lemon" has been trended for fashion in Spring of '09, but so have a dozen other colors. We next try our luck with color psychology. Same stuff we've always known, except yellow apparently speeds up your metabolism. Who knew?!

Mean Millies knows when to accept defeat, and we're throwing in the towel. This yellow mystery will continue to be just that: a mystery. Honestly though, I don't think anyone minds. We're enjoying the color, and just hope that we'll be more aware the next time a new hue drops by.

Before you go, check out a few pics of the yellow we see everyday here at Mean Millies. Lemon Drop the Sofa, Angela's vintage yellow Schwinn Sport (with ram handlebars, yee haw!), and a thrifted yellow vase with our signature moss pod flowers.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lovely Leslie is on Free People

So, I'm posting a special mid-day blog as sort of a News Bulletin to let everyone know that the Lovely Leslie of Urbanestics is currently on the Free People blog. She participated in their Valentine's Day Craft Swap, and her goods were so rockin they made their way to the blog's write-up. Speaking from experience her hand-made goods are pretty amazing, and don't even get me started on her baked goods. Yum!

Leslie is a dear friend of mine and has served as inspiration to so many projects and events that I've become involved with. Not only is she a great artist, designer, crafter, etc., she's just downright a good person. So yay for you, Leslie. Congratulations!

Art Show After-Math

This past Friday Mean Millies had the opportunity to show some work at a small gallery located inside Willow, here in Chicago. Amy Rowan of Art School Girl curated the event. Amy has curated shows previously, and did a fantastic job running the show alongside Willow owner Amy Doehla.

A few of the artists showing work that I'm familiar with are the talented Antonio Garcia, Kyle LaMere, and Amy Rowan. The show consisted of illustrations, prints, photographs, laser-cut Valentine themed pieces, and oh so much more. As part of the show each contributing artist was asked to choose either a laser-cut heart or bird and do with it what we wanted. Each piece was then grouped together to make a 1 time installation that interested parties could buy right off the wall. Super neat.

Mean Millies doesn't often get the chance to participate in showings like this, and we were more than tickled to be involved. MM received word 20 minutes before the show was to "open" that a mixed media piece we submitted had sold. Excitement followed by disbelief is what we felt after getting word of the sale. Yoo-hoo woo-hoo!

Perhaps the most important part of the show, however, wasn't the artists or buyers there, but the foundation that part of the proceeds were donated to. A portion of every piece sold went to Chicago Canine Rescue. Art Lovers and Dog Lovers alike convened for a wonderful evening of good conversation, good company, and lovely art.

Thank-you to all who came out and supported such a good cause.

Photo Credit: Kyle LaMere

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hello, My Name Is...

Welcome to all things Mean Millie! This little blog is dedicated to the work created and produced by the Mean Millies studio, day-to-day inspirations, and projects' MM creator Angela is involved in.

Mean Millies is a handmade brand that takes into consideration both vintage and modern aesthetic while acknowledging how product & design impact the environment. We don't specialize in a certain product, but rather we're a lifestyle brand. You'll find things for all areas of your home and personality, and we thrive on the process of creating great work.

So why is Mean Millies blogging? Simple. We want to interact with you, fellow creatives who have something to say, or feedback to give. One of the main things we've learned here in the Millie studio is collaboration and communication is key. And, who knows, through all this blogging and communication, we all might meet some new friends along the way.

Again, welcome to the Mean Millies blog. We hope to hear from you soon, and often.


Photo Credit: Kyle LaMere 

Friday, February 13, 2009