Thursday, September 29, 2011

national coffee day

©2011, Monika Roe

It's September 29th, that means it's National Coffee Day!

But wait! I haven't gone back to drinking coffee since my juice fast. (Incredible, I know!!!) So I celebrate this afternoon with a couple cups of decaf. Not just ANY decaf but decaf brewed from freshly ground beans from our local coffee roaster Joebella. Delicious!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

halogen tv article

They Draw and Cook has been getting A LOT of splendid press lately! Today this new article on Halogen TV's website features one of my illustrated recipes! It's my illo of Fluffernutter sandwiches.

Congrats to Nate and Salli for the recognition they've been receiving! They deserve it for their hard work and innovative ideas... great work you two!

There's much more to this article, go to and check it out!

Friday, September 23, 2011

rotten apple ranch

Rotten Apple Ranch is the brainchild of my friend Sheldon Rosenberg III. A year ago he started to seriously cultivate his family farm in Sebastopol, California into a productive and sustainable venture. Part of that plan was to develop a logo that represented the brand and that's when he called me!

A fan of vintage fruit crate labels, he wanted that classic look along with a "Rotten Apple" character that spoke to his earlier days in the Navy. After a few initial sketches we decided on this surly apple character showing off his tattoo with the farm scenery spreading out behind him. 

I think the biggest challenge here was the typography. There was more type to incorporate than a typical logo. Fitting all of the elements together, yet still maintaining a clean and easy read is something I enjoy about projects like this. I love the end result and I can't wait to see it used on the amazing products that the ranch is starting to turn out!

From left: a vegetable patch, walking through the orchard and sky-high corn stalks.

A few words from Sheldon about Rotten Apple Ranch:

Where our values rest, are in fresh local sustainable foods that give our friends the nutrition they should expect from their produce.

We don't believe food should be shipped farther than it can be without added refrigeration as it does more damage than good — all the while diminishing the nutritional value of said food. Because of this belief, those farther than 60 miles will be unable to receive our products, and we would suggest they visit their local farmers market and begin a conversation with their very own local farmers. 

However, fans of our ideals or produce/products should feel free to stop by and enjoy the farm and it's surrounding beauty whenever they are in town...

From top: the farmer's daughter (Ava), treetop view of the ranch, turkeys in the barn.

Rotten Apple Ranch will be launching their website near the end of the year. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, look for more posts about the delicious creations they've let me preview!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I went to a workshop on marbling and this was the result! I was going to do something with it, like use it as part of an illustration but once I mirrored it I couldn't bring myself to chop it up (not yet, anyway!). I decided to post it as is for this week's Illustration Friday topic of "mesmerizing".

The swirling inks are mesmerizing...

more fluffernuttiness

Today my illustrated recipe for a Fluffernutter sandwich is featured on They Draw and Cook's jumbotron! It's one of six in the "Happy Kids" collection that will be up until September 24th. Go take a look and leave a comment! Mmmmmm....

Friday, September 16, 2011

painting of my new shoes

©2011, Monika Roe — Acrylic and pencil on paper

Yesterday I needed a tray for the pineapple pecan finger sandwiches I was making to take to an art opening. All the trays I have at home are glass and either shaped like a fish, too cumbersome to transport or etched with Christmas motifs, not really appropriate!

So I headed off to the thrift stores hoping to find one of those etched metal trays from the '50s that were a staple in every respectable household. I found one at my first stop for $2 (relief!) and as I walked to the register stopped to check out the shoes. Oh happy day! There on the shelf was a perfect pair of 'Flora' flats by Nine West in my size. Never worn! I scooped them up at $4.95 for a total savings of $54.05 off the original retail price!

They are so pretty I was inspired to paint them last night!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

curried lentil soup

©2011, Monika Roe

It's still hot here. Not soup weather at all. BUT when it cools down I am looking forward to making this Curried Lentil Soup. I found the recipe about a year ago and have made it several times. It was one of the dishes I served at an dinner party my man and I had. I still remember that night because it was a whirlwind of cooking a complete Indian menu from scratch, it was hectic to get so many dishes ready at the same time but we did it!

I've been working on this illustration here and there for at least six months! It's finally done and you can see the full size illo (that you can actually read) on They Draw and Cook's website.

If you make this, and I hope you do because it's so crazy delicious, don't skip serving it with the lemon wedges. The squeeze of lemon gives it a nice brightness and adds another layer to the complex flavor.

Monday, September 12, 2011


©2011, Monika Roe

Here's my entry for They Draw and Cook's Cooking 4 Kids contest!

Since I found out about the contest I've been trying to think of the perfect kids recipe to illustrate and then inspiration hit me... a Fluffernutter!

This sandwich is most popular in the Northeast. In fact, it's been proposed as the state sandwich of Massachusetts! Even though I grew up in California, my mom used to make these for our lunches every once in awhile.

I particularly remember finding these in my lunches at summer school. Summer school was great, instead of our usual summer camp where we learned to tool leather and went on nature hikes, at this school we played soccer and softball, had acting class and learned computer programming (remember BASIC anyone???). All of these activities were punctuated by the sweet nuttiness of a lunchtime fluffernutter. So, IF YOU = "Hungry" THEN GOTO "Fluffernutter"
PRINT "Delicious!"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

always remember

Ten years ago on September 11th I lived in Indianapolis, Indiana. That morning I woke up and turned on the television in the bedroom as I usually did to listen to the news as we got ready for the day. Instead of the usual chatter of financial markets and weather I saw smoke billowing out of one of twin towers. I woke my husband (now ex-husband) and we watched the events unfold. Horrified. Frozen.

My ex and I ran a small advertising agency at the time and we had a client meeting that afternoon. Like many people that day, weren't sure if we should continue with life as usual or not. We decided to go. Our meeting was at Holliday Park, a 94-acre park located on the north side of Indianapolis.

Once we were there we hardly had any sort of meeting. Instead we all talked about the days events and stared out the windows of the nature center listening and watching the many birds ate their lunch from the bird feeders in the trees. While terror and chaos raged in New York, we were in an oasis of quiet calm and reflection.

Reflection that continues today on the ten year anniversary of September 11th. I didn't personally know anyone that died that day but I do have friends that were living in New York at that time and their stories are always accompanied by a certain look in their eye. The look of a survivor.

9/11... always remember.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


©2011, Monika Roe

My illo for this week's Illustration Friday topic of "mysterious"...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Illustration © 2011, Monika Roe

This quote from Sandra Boynton was in my inbox this morning and I just had to illustrate something to go with it!

I remember Sandra Boynton's work most from the wallpaper she designed featuring her cute animal characters. When I was growing up my mom owned a wallpaper store in San Luis Obispo and I would go to work with her every Saturday.

She paid me $5 an hour to help out at the store doing things like sweeping the sidewalk, filing, lugging heavy wallpaper books around, answering the phone, occasionally helping customers (which I dreaded) and creating displays (which I LOVED). Reading this Boynton quote today brings back those fun memories!

Friday, September 2, 2011

ideal home september

My new Ideal Home magazine came in the mail today! What a great way to kick off the month! Shown above is my opening illo for the Savvy Shopper's Handbook which I illustrate every month.

I love the navy and white cover, so sharp! In the background is my illo of the Savvy Shopper putting her passport away and a few more of my faves are shown below.