A Custom Kitchen Towel Design for a Fabulous Abode

I am so happy to finally be able to post this new kitchen towel design.  I finished it nearly two months ago but because it was to be a surprise I had to sit on it until I could get it to it's intended recipient. It was designed to celebrate my friend's wonderful beach house in Cherry Grove, Fire Island where we have spent many happy hours surrounded by colorful people and amiable animals eating, drinking and always laughing. I incorporated as many of the key elements as I could fit that make this place special such as his favorite deer and the squirrel that lives in the roof not to mention the drag personas they have come up with for the Pines Invasion every July 4th. It is a magical place and I truly wanted to honor it in the  kitschiest way possible. Deer-Abbey-Kitchen-Towel-Lisa-Zador

It is available for purchase at my Etsy shop The Curious Kitchen.

Pumpkin Season has arrived

Every year around this time I find myself on the lookout for that first little bit of orange at the green grocers, usually in the form of mini pumpkins. Then follow the larger pumpkins and decorative gourds soon after. It truly marks the beginning of autumn which is my favorite time of year. Last year I was wandering through the farmer's market in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and I found a treasure trove of the most beautiful decorative gourds! I bought a whole bunch and they inspired me to paint this Pumpkin Varieties Chart to help usher in the season.  Just looking at these makes me smell the wood smoke and feel the chill in the air. Soon it will even be time to pull out my vintage Halloween decorations and begin carving a pumpkin. I like to try out different faces each year, usually scary and since it is always so hard to decide upon one, I thought I would do a painting of all sorts of Jack O Lantern faces, some scary and some friendly. I added in a black scroll border complete with crows to finish it off! Both paintings are available as prints in my Etsy shop The Curious Kitchen.

The Nostalgic Appeal of Recipe Cards


I love to cook and particularly love to bake. I am always jotting down a new recipe idea on scraps of paper or printing them out from Epicurious but when I find that a recipe becomes a favorite I love going through the ritual of writing it out on a fresh new recipe card and filing it away into one of my vintage recipe boxes. There is something so satisfying about it, as if I am giving it my stamp of approval. I know how much I treasure my Mother's recipe cards written in her own hand that stood the test of time. Mostly they are worn at the edges and stained from use but that gives them their charm and meaning. How sad it would be for future generation to miss out on that piece of history. I know I am not alone in this as there are many adorable recipe cards to be found especially on Etsy. I have also found some fun ones that are free to download from The Graphics Fairy, one of my favorite sites for vintage ephemera.

free recipe cards from The Graphics Fairy

I have used many existing recipe templates that I have downloaded over the years and recently decided to design some of my own. I started out with 6 images per set (2 of each)  from my each of my anthropomorphic food prints which are vintage inspired. I am offering them for sale in my Etsy shop The Curious Kitchen as they go along with their matching kitchen towels and prints. I thought photographing them in my kitchen along with some of my vintage recipe boxes would be appropriate. The one below even features the salt shaker I used for the print!





Here is a cute vintage Halloween Recipe Card that I found on Amy Barickman's blog:

vintage halloween recipe card

Here is one of several adorable Halloween Recipe Card Templates (despite the misspelling of cauldron...) over at The Peach Martini blog:

vintage halloween cat recipe card

Here is a particularly pretty Christmas Recipe Card that is for sale on Zazzle

vintage christmas recipe card

There are even  vintage cards complete with recipes available, these are from Regina's Studio on Etsy:

vintage recipe cards


Italian Marinara Sauce

thecuriouskitchen.etsy.com When I was growing up in Philadelphia it just wasn't a proper Sunday if the smell of simmering tomato sauce wasn't wafting throughout the house. Fresh tomatoes, aromatic basil, tangy garlic and onion, mmmmm! I created this watercolor painting as an homage to my italian family, particularly my Grandmother. It is now available as a print in my shop The Curious Kitchen.

Anthropomorphic Cocktail Party

Dancing-Cocktails-Vintage-Kitchen Who can lure you away from temperance better than a juggling cocktail shaker, a strutting bottle of vermouth, a dancing martini glass and a jolly bottle of gin? My fascination with vintage anthropomorphic food continues with this homage to the most classic of all cocktails, the revered martini. Prints of this original watercolor painting are available now at The Curious Kitchen for 20% off if you type in the coupon code "Cocktails" at checkout!

The Curious Kitchen on Scoutmob

I am so pleased to announce that Scoutmob is featuring my Etsy shop,  The Curious Kitchen on their wonderful site! Scoutmob is a great place to find new and interesting artwork and crafty products at a discount and they really promote buying local by sorting their shops by location. They were so easy to work with and I think they did a great job of describing myself and the individual prints. Visit the page here and let me know what you think! The-Curious-Kitchen-Scoutmob 1

Studio Shot

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The-Curious-Kitchen-Scoutmob 9

The-Curious-Kitchen-Scoutmob 3

The-Curious-Kitchen-Scoutmob 6

Just Desserts!

www.TheCuriousKitchen.etsy.com Do we really need friendly little anthropomorphic desserts to encourage us to go off our diets! Of course we do! Who can resist the allure of the Cannoli Girl or the Eclair Man? Certainly not Myself. Dancing macarons, tumbling petit fours and chocolate covered strawberries in love just make me smile. This is the newest addition to my Anthropomorphic Food series. Prints are available in my Etsy shop The Curious Kitchen along with mini print sets of the individual food people!


It's Breakfast Time!

Breakfast-Time-Border We can all use a little encouragement in the morning to begin our day on a cheery note. I'm hoping my newest anthropomorphic print will do the trick. This combines two of my favorite subjects: anthropomorphism and vintage kitchen! It  is now available in  The Curious Kitchen shop on Etsy and I'll soon be adding small prints of the individual characters . Next week I'll be running a contest to win an 8 x 10 print simply by sharing the link on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest so check back for details.

Lovebirds Collection

Love Birds pair I have really been enjoying working on this series of decorative illustrations and textile designs, it has been a nice break from my usual dark, moody work! This group began as a simple bird illustration, I was going to use various song birds but as I worked it out I had the inspiration to put love birds on a swing together. I think it is so touching that love birds mate for life, they seemed like the perfect subject matter at this time of year with Valentine's Day approaching. Once I painted them I fell in love with the colors and decided to make the whole thing about love birds. I used a pink ground which is unusual for me but it seemed perfect for the aqua, mint, butter and melon in the birds. The two pieces above are available as prints and notecards in my The Curious Kitchen shop on Etsy.

Bird Toile Detail

Love Birds Stripe - Plates




Here is the latest addition to my new Etsy shop The Curious Kitchen. One of my favorite things about summer is the backyard barbeque. My family has a long history of then complete with hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, corn on the cob and even the matching mustard and ketchup bottles. We even had the iconic red and white plaid tablecloths with the little flowers. Working on this painting brought back all those warm memories of my childhood and the endless possibilities summer represented.

The Humble Parsnip


I just finished the second in my Vegetable Kingdom series, the Humble Parsnip. Parsnips are another of my vegetable favorites which, sadly, are often overlooked. The next time you pass parsnips in the market, pick them up and give them a try! Roasting them simply with olive oil salt and pepper is delicious. Some people also toss them with a bit of honey or maple syrup, mmmmmm. Prints of this will soon be available in my new Etsy shop The Curious Kitchen.

The Unassuming Leek

I have just finished the first in my series of Unappreciated Vegetable posters to be included in my new Etsy shop The Curious Kitchen. I began with the leek because it is one of my personal favorites. I never had leeks growing up and rarely see them at a dinner table here in the U.S. I only became acquainted with it's  delicate flavor during my stay in France as an au pair. It just makes such an adorable vegetable person with it's jaunty leaves that can make it so expressive. Usually when I am painting this type of illustration I use gouache but this time I decided to go with watercolor. I love the richness watercolor has on good paper and I found that I liked the variable transparency that doesn't occur with gouache. I began by outlining them with a crow quill pen and india ink but then switched to a Staedtler Pigment Pen because the crow quill was catching on the texture of the watercolor paper. I also decided to hand paint the lettering to give it a more handmade look. I did use the font Apple Casual for the body of the text and then wrote it out myself using a light box so it wouldn't be so uniform. I also loosely used a delightful font called Honey Bee for the title because it had a whimsy about it that I thought was perfect . I am working on the next installments that may just be about brussels sprouts and of course parsnips. So many delicious vegetables to be explored!

The Curious Kitchen

I am so excited to announce the opening of my new Etsy shop The Curious Kitchen!  I have  always had a soft spot for anything anthropomorphic and have been painting these retro illustrations inspired by my own collection of vintage collectibles for years. Since they are such a different style than the work in my Curious Portraits shop I decided to give them a spotlight all their own. The images here are from my archives but I am working on a new series of paintings to continue the tradition. Now I have so many more items in my collection to inspire me, I hardly know where to begin.