June 4, 2014

SURTEX 2014: Part 2, Louie Awards, The Oscars of Cards

Posted by Cathy Heck


Conversation overheard at the Surtex booth of Cathy Heck Studio

Susan Birnbaum and Tom Vituj of Design Design, Inc: “Congratulations!!”

Cathy , Ellen and Julianna: “Thanks!  … um … for what?”

Susan and Tom: “You won a Louie!”

Cathy, Ellen and Julianna: “We did?”

It’s true! … and as you can see looking at the photo above … Ellen and Jules are even walking on a red carpet to go see it! The piece that won was a boxed Christmas card that Ellen designed, called Snow Angels. produced by Design Design.  It was also sold as gift wrap, and this year, they will be adding cocktail napkins and hankie packets. Snow Angels was also sold as a fun glittery holiday fabric through David Textiles.


P.S. We know most of you do not want to think, for one minute, about sparkly white snow after this very long winter, so, until next winter, we hope you can enjoy making snow angels on the beach in the warm white sand. Happy summer!

May 30, 2014

SURTEX 2014: Part 1, Stitching Up A Booth

Posted by Cathy Heck


Ahhh SURTEX. Our booth this year involved a little stitching. In a big way. We decided to feature our new hand-made eco-hip Made With Love collection, and, as you can see, the walls were covered with giant embroidered characters. And, no, we did not actually sew directly to the 8-foot panels (thanks for asking) … but many visitors wondered, and asked to touch the walls–just to make sure. We felt proud … like the peacock behind us.

So, how did we achieve the booth seen in the photo above? Well, as you might guess, a heck of a lot of stitching. (Please forgive the pun about our own name.)

First, we stitched the pre-show marketing.


Then we stitched the wall panels.

CathyHeckStudio_SurtexRecap3 CathyHeckStudio_SurtexRecap4  

Then we stitched giant ABC blocks to hold our samples, and flags to adorn our flowers, and an owl that said, “What?” We even stitched the logo for our sign. (And, yes, you are correct. It is possible that we were, perhaps, in need of a bit of intervention.)


I can now report, however, that although our usual mediums are paint, pencil and pixels, we loved drawing with thread. And, we could tell that our Surtex visitors could feel the love.


For example, above is an enthusiastic art director who loves our work. Okay, I admit it. Since we rarely have a chance to take a picture when we are meeting with clients, this is actually a pretend enthusiastic buyer, played by Ming Platt, fellow artist and friend. But, we think she did an excellent job portraying the typical exhuberance felt by those viewing our portfolios.


And, then suddenly, like our owl, we were saying, “What?”

Surtex was over. It had come and gone. It was time to move out of our embroidered home-away-from-home and get back to our drawing tables … and sewing chairs. Now the real work will begin–developing favorite collections for our clients, old and new. And after that, we are lucky enough to enjoy knowing that we have created artwork for someone somewhere who will find the sweetest baby book, or the cutest fabric, or the perfect card to give to someone he or she loves. That’s the best part of all.



May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day from Cathy Heck Studio

Posted by Cathy Heck


A Memorial Day thank you to all of those who have served to keep us safe and free. We are grateful every day.

And, we hope that all of you are enjoying this holiday with family and friends.

From the Heck family and all of the studio critters

Categories: about us

May 18, 2014

SURTEX is now!

Posted by Cathy Heck

SURTEX is now. Come and see us! And, if you can’t make it to New York, come see us cyberly from our new updated website. We will be sure to report back on new trends and new friends, as well as any dining discoveries we make in between.




May 16, 2014

A Pack of Pachyderms from Cathy Heck Studio

Posted by Cathy Heck


This year, at SURTEX, we are featuring our new collection, Made With Love. And, indeed, all of the original art was stitched by hand–a labor of love. And time. The silver lining was, however, that we could stitch the art while enjoying a variety of excellent PBS programs … except Sherlock. (You CANNOT stitch and watch Sherlock with any hope of following his digitally displayed deductive reasoning.)

During SURTEX, we will also be sharing many other collections, which have been created with a variety of media. Sometimes, an art director will ask us, “What medium do you use?” And, our answer might be, “What medium would you like us to use?” We enjoy choosing the perfect material to fit the collection: watercolor or gouache, cut-outs or collage, pencil or pixels–or all of the above. We think it makes the final collection stronger. Plus, it’s more fun.

So, we recruited a few of our studio elephants to help us compile a packet showing the variety of mediums and styles we use in the studio. See some of the samples from our Pack of Pachyderms below.




If you are an art director looking for a painterly elephant of a giraffe in stitches, please come by our booth. We would love to visit. (And if you have to miss the safari party this year, just give us a call when we are back in the studio, and we’ll party digitally.)

Hope to see you at SURTEX. Cathy, Ellen, and Julianna

May 14, 2014

Mr. Moose Goes To SURTEX

Posted by Cathy Heck

If you are headed to SURTEX, we hope you will stop by our booth. Or, if you prefer to have an appointment, just click on the SURTEX button from our new updated website. We look forward to seeing you in NYC.


P.S. If you find at any moment during the show that you have been so excited about seeing so much amazing art all in one place and forgot to eat something and are feeling faint and woozy, we will again offer a pepper-upper show snack. This year’s menu: granola bars to celebrate our eco-hip hand-made collection, Made With Love. (We didn’t actually hand-make the granola bars … just the collection. You will be glad to know this, as we only have a License to Draw*, not a license to make food.)

*I presume we have a license to draw … since we read Ronnie Walter’s book, License to Draw. Ronnie, do we have an official license to draw if we read your book?


May 11, 2014

A Mother’s Day Surprise

Posted by Cathy Heck



Happy Mother’s Day … we can’t think of a better person to celebrate! Not only are moms smart … but they are clever, hard-working, devoted, loving, and, of course, pretty.

We hope you have a wonderful, happy day hugging or virtual-hugging on your favorite mom.


Categories: about us

April 19, 2014

Egg of the Day … Or Four

Posted by Cathy Heck

Ah, best laid plans of mice and moms. Four days ago, we had planned to share an Egg of the Day each day before Easter. But alas, we’re running out of time, since Easter is … tomorrow! So, here are Four Eggs of the Day–all at once. Hope it doesn’t send your cholesterol soaring.









We hope you find dozens of eggs to fill your baskets tomorrow … especially the chocolate kind … and the bacon kind, if there is such a thing. Then you could have eggs and bacon-eggs for Easter brunch!

Have a great day with your favorite peeps … and, your marshmallow Peeps® too … from the Cathy Heck Studio bunnies, and the artists who made them.


April 11, 2014

Springtime in the Studio: Circle of Life

Posted by Cathy Heck

Well, I think this might be my very first sad blog story. But it’s not completely sad … it’s all mixed up, happy and sad. Like life.

It all started with this … the exciting new nest that was built in a planter right next to the walkway to our front door.

CathyHeckStudio_SpringtimeBirds1 Every time I headed out the door, the mom bird would zoom out of the nest and race to the driveway, chirping loudly, as if she was saying, “There isn’t anything over there in that planter right by your front door–all the good wildlife is over here near your car.”

I would smile and nod and pretend like I didn’t know about the nest that had FIVE whole eggs in it. Yes, I peeked inside. Every. Time. I. Walked. By.

Then, one day, I heard some tiny little cheeps, even though the mom bird was yelling at me from the garage. So I raced to get my camera, and there they were … five little birds. Clearly, they thought I was their mom coming back with some excellent worms.


This daily reminder of new life and new possibilities gave a little pep to my step each time I passed by.

But, then, one day, as I walked by, the mom didn’t race out, and she didn’t chirp me toward the garage, and the babies just stared at me. “We are pretty sure you are not our mother.”

And, I thought, “Uh oh.” When Jim came home, I said I hadn’t seen the mom all day. And he said that he was afraid of that. That morning, a bird, that Jim suspected was the mom, had miscalculated and thought our window was the sky, and, well … Jim had had to bury her in our little garden graveyard for birds who think our windows are the sky.

We thought about taking the nest, complete with baby birds, to the science department (with some worms from the bait stand, of course), but then we saw a grown-up bird who seemed to be feeding the orphans. So we decided to let nature do its thing. But, after a few days, there were no more peeps and no movement. Things were just looking … well, dead. It made me feel so sad every time I walked past. I don’t know why it affected me so … but it did.

So, it was decided that when Jim came home from work, he would pull out the whole nest, and bury it in the garden graveyard. We tried to make ourselves feel better by telling ourselves that it was just the circle of life. But we still felt gloomy.

Then, that very day, as I slowly shuffled down the walkway to pick up my mail, I heard a little flutter. What? No way! There were two little fluffy birds, who had pushed their way out of the nest. “Oh my gosh. Two are alive!” (Unfortunately, the others were not, R.I.P.) But, still, I felt so much better.

At first the two strong survivors just sat there. (I think they look a bit angry in this photo … and I can understand why they would. They had experienced a very rough childhood.)


As they sat there just huffing and puffing, I was worried, “Who is going to teach them to fly?” But they gathered their courage and the first one put her foot out to begin the first flight … and fell straight down to the ground. Hopped up. Began to flit and flitter, until she was flying. Her sibling followed suit and off they went into the wild blue yonder … well, really just into the tree next to our yard. Apparently they have to travel branch to branch for awhile before they can conquer the wild blue yonder.

So, as you can imagine, there were lots of ups and downs on the walkway to and from Cathy Heck Studio last week. But, the skies are looking blue, and we are busy making new art for Spring 2015 … some of it might even include a bird, or two! Happy springtime.


Categories: about us

March 29, 2014

Inspiration Break: Lunch With A Zebra

Posted by Cathy Heck

Our weekend blogger, Julianna, reports today from studio east in Norfolk, Virginia, where she recently took an inspiration excursion to the zoo.


I had lunch with a zebra this week. Well, that was an odd sentence … but it’s true! I really did have lunch with a zebra, and a tiger, and several giraffes, and even an elephant. When the weather is nice, there is nothing quite like going to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk for a little lunch and a light stroll. We usually make some sandwiches, fill our backpacks and head off to see the animals. I have been to the Norfolk zoo about 50 times, so really, I am just eating lunch with my friends.

In addition to our lunches, I always pack my sketchbook, because there is nothing quite like drawing a zebra while looking at a zebra.



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