Beer can artwork

So now that the work of creating the brewery is behind me (mostly, the hard part at least) And our brewery, Lower Forge Brewery here in Medford NJ has been up and running for well over a year, it’s become time for me to begin working on can artwork. This is no easy task for me! If you know my work, I tend to go with a bit feminine, whimsical designs when I put pencil to paper. So creating beer can artwork is a challenge! A bit out of my comfort zone, to say the least! But, that’s ok! I like being out of my comfort zone!

Through our instagram, twitter & fb posts I’d created the imagery in my mind for our Belgian Dubbel “Legends & Lies” of sitting around a camp fire, with your friends, under the starry sky with a cold beer & a good story. The beer was named “Legends & Lies” after a song written by one of our brewers good friends Kathy Kopchinski. The chorus is along the lines of “legends & lies, fill the skies, of our beloved pine barrens” and the song evokes memories of Joe Mulliner, Ong’s Hat, and of course the Jersey Devil.
I cooked up these images in my mind a bit until the creation of our first can label came together in my head! Camp fire, starry skies, pines…

Once the concept was born in my mind, I put pencil (and marker, and watercolors, and colored pencil) to paper…then paper to scanner, and scanner to photoshop! And, here we go. I present – the first can design! I’m pretty proud of it, and I think it evokes the feel of the beer that we were going to. This was hard for me! There were SO many options for design out there, and there are so many variables. Not to mention, some really awesome competition beer label wise! When I didn’t know *anything* about craft beer, the only way I’d choose my beer when I was in the liquor store was based on the can/bottle artwork! That’s a lot of pressure haha!

And a quick mockup of how it will look on the can!

Beer can artwork copyright Lower Forge Brewery Inc, used with permission by me, Abbie Mylod Galie of Original Abbie Designs, at the Artery at Lower Forge. Medford, NJ.


Meet the Women of NJ Brewing!

You guys! I am so excited to be included in this list of awesome women involved in New Jersey Breweries!
“Meet the awesome women brewers of N.J.” Read the article, myself, my mother in law Pola Galie, and a TON of awesome women are featured in this article. I’m pretty proud to be counted among them for my work and interests in Lower Forge Brewery!


Finally! Lower Forge Brewery Set to Open!!

Our hard work is about to pay off, we (my hubby, my mil, myself, and a handful of friends/investors) are about to open the doors to Lower Forge Brewery. We turned a boring, no frill office building into a glorious, beautiful tasting room & 3bbl brewery.  Here’s a great article, with some….relatively flattering (or not so much) photos of myself (I didn’t know they were coming!!!!) But whatever! Still proud!  Read the article on the courier posts’s site!

We are featured in this article. Take a look at the design, I am quite proud of it. Here’s an example of a sign I posted, it hangs on 2 old barn doors that were salvaged from a big red barn. They hang on the wall with our sign on it. The barn was blown down in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy’s destruction of the East Coast. We bought them from the local farmer, with the intention of cutting them up for use in our bar (which is constructed of old barn doors, old wood, etc) but these doors were too cool to cut. They come to a point, at the top – they’re perfectly weathered wood, and the story behind them was too cool. Right before Sean took the saw to them I honestly screamed “STOP!!!!” I just couldn’t let him cut them! Stop by & see it for yourself sometime, and taste our brews!

You can see the giant mural I painted on the wall of our logo too, which was no easy feat! All the little artistic tid bits!


Hittin’ the Road to Salem Massachusets!

I have wanted to go to Salem forever, never seemed  have either the time, or the money at the same time to do it! We finally got a chance to go, just a long weekend, but so worth it. Had a nice trip with some good friends of ours.


The Northey Street B&B

Stayed at a B&B called the Northey Street B&B. It was a cool place, historic vibe, clean, nicely decorated. The breakfasts were only “eh” and pretty repetitive, and you have to take your shoes off upon entering the building which can be sort of annoying after a while especially for the menfolk, seems like hubby’s shoes have a million and ten laces. But, the rooms were clean & the beds were soft & warm! The coffee, which is the most important, was pretty much akin to battery acid. Thankfully there was an awesome coffee house not far that the inn keeper actually recommended to us. It was called JaHo and their cappuccino’s were delicious!
We did all the usual touristy stuff. Salem Witch Museum, pictures with the Samantha from Bewitched… the whole 9 yards.


Hanging John Proctor at the Salem Witch Museum

The Salem Witch Museum was a tad campy, and exactly as I remembered it with the wax figures and all from the last time I was there, probably about 18 years ago, but it’s still cool! They added a whole history of witches part at the end,the tour guide was very excited about it, gave a very enthusiastic tour, but it was great! If you’re going to Salem, you gotta go to the Witch museum.


Salem Witch Museum – a very cool building

With Samantha from Bewitched!

The center of their shopping district features the cutest statue I’ve ever seen. It’s Samantha from Bewitched sitting on a broom over the moon – they definitely win the best statue contest!


Some cool Boston Street Art

We took one day and ventured into Boston. We had hopes of taking a tour of the Harpoon Brewery but the tour was sold out by 10:30am, so, that trip was a tad wasted. We explored Boston a bit. Saw this cool street art, had some clam chowdah for lunch & then headed back to Salem. Of course we missed the train, so our choice was to wait 2.5 hours for the next one or get creative. Thankfully by “we” had to get creative, what I really mean is my hubby. I am hopeless when it comes to public transportation. Just the idea of it gives me anxiety. I just need to hold a hand and follow, and I’ll be ok! Don’t ask me to read a map or plan a route! We ended up stopping by Wonderland station, not sure what was up above, if it was the giant mushroom/talking cat world I imagined, as we only saw the dank underbelly. Finally, a couple rides on the L and a taxi ride later, we arrived back in Salem!


No Rabbit Hole needed! Just take the blue line!

These “Bunghole Liquors” were all over the Salem area. There are just too many jokes to be made. I can’t even pick one!


Bunghole Liquors…. these were all over the Salem area. Super classy! haha

All in all Salem was a great time. I want to go back, see more of the town (lots of stuff was closed in the off season) and see Gallows Hill! It was all covered in snow, we couldn’t get up there. I also want to go back for this delicious Lobster Roll I had at this place called Finz. Oh man, it was delish. I could eat that every day for the rest of my life!


Henna Hair Dye!

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 1.23.41 PM I absolutely LOVE Lush’s products.  I’ve been using their Caca Rouge Henna Hair dye for about a year and a half now. My hair is naturally a dark blonde/light brown color depending on how much sun I’m getting, so, lighter in the summer generally. I’ve never been big on the idea of dying my hair mainly because I’ve got curls, curls need all the care they can get and dyes are super drying for hair. Then I found Lush. The Lush store opened up at my local mall and they sell Henna hair dyes. Not your average hair dyes, these are all natural are are mixed with cocoa butter so they leave your hair super soft, not dried out. These come in a brick, and for my hair, one brick equals 2 dye jobs (3 squares per dye). I chop it up, put it in a double boiler, add some boiling water and mix it til it’s a brownie batter consistency. Instead of mixing it with boiling water, this time I mixed it with red tea, I figured ehh.. why not? It certainly helps the smell too. It smells very earthy, not bad, just earthy.
The first time I did henna, I stayed over the stove to keep the henna warm the whole time. That was kinda torturous since I had no good mirror in the kitchen. f619820a770311e29b9b22000a1f96c5_7 Now I double boil it to melt, then take the whole thing upstairs to the bathroom sink. Fill the sink with water as hot as I can make it, and sit the bowl in there. It stays warm enough.   I have curly hair, and this time I straightened it before applying the henna – it made it MUCH easier not having to fight the curls! I gather up all the hair clips I have, divide my hair up into sections, and start smearing henna! DON’T FORGET TO WEAR GLOVES! I forgot gloves last time and enjoyed orange Snooki hands for a few days! I start with the top front of my hair, applying the henna to a section, wrapping it, clipping it, then adding more hair to that same section – wrap it, clip it together with the original section. Then I move to each side, then divide the back and do that part.  Whatever is left over, if there is any, I smash into the edges. I’m telling ya, it really is like rubbing wet mud into your hair, but the result is worth it, trust me! Once I’m all done & clipped up I grab the saran wrap & put a couple layers on my head, to finish it off I take a plastic shopping bag, rip it a little and do a real attractive head wrap (see pic below) haha it looks weird, and I’m pretty sure one day my neighbors are gonna see me walking around like this through the window and try to have me committed, but, until that day – it works! b3f137fa777711e2a42522000a1f96b3_7 It keeps me from dropping chunks of henna dirt all over the place too. They say let it sit for an hour or so, I go for 2 hours at least, more if I can. It seems the longer it stays the shinier, redder, and softer my hair is. Then wash out, the cocoa butter which I love so much can be a bit tedious to wash out. I do 2 shampoo’s using Lush’s curly whirly shampoo, one where I start at the front of the scalp where most people start, and then i turn my head upside down & shampoo the base.. does that make sense? That really helps get all the henna out. Wash til your water runs clear.  I finish mine off with Lush’s ReTread conditioner. Dry it & style it with Lush’s R&B. Yeah, I’m a total Lush addict.
I’m not gonna lie, the dying process is pretty tedious, and messy, but….. it doesn’t dry out your lovely locks, and it looks great. It never really fades either. Mine grew out, but didn’t fade. The cool thing about this dye is it takes your natural colors and highlights and works with that, so it turns out looking really natural. So, it’s a pain to put on, it’s a pain to clean up, but the results are totally worth it!


Wisdom Teeth & other fun Feb ailments


Home made chicken soup cold remedy!

Well that was lame huh? About a week after relaunching my blog I completely disappear! Well, I have a half good reason. First was that we took a trip to Salem, Mass with our friends and I was completely off the radar for a while, I’ll blog about that later. Upon returning, no doubt my souvenir from Boston’s Mass Transit system was a cold which my husband and I both caught, and passed to our 7 year old too! Sick house! Ugh! Lot’s of chicken soup, rest, and recuperation and we are all almost at 100%. Hubby seems to have gotten better and then sick again, but, being a typical guy he is refusing to go to the doctor.

As I recuperated my teeth started really hurting me, my dentist has been telling me since I was in my early 20’s to get my wisdom teeth out. My teeth weren’t bugging me, so I didn’t do it. Who wants to electively have oral surgery? Not this girl! No thanks! They’d hurt on and off, nothing a few advil or tylenol couldn’t handle, til now. They really started hurting, bad. The one was impacted partially and pushed my molar so hard it cracked it. Got a tooth infection, doc put me on heavy penicillin, found out that though I’ve never been allergic to penicillin before, the high dose was apparently the threshold for me and I had a weird reaction to it.  Apparently though the tooth pain was terrible, you can’t pull an infected tooth out so I had to wait out the infection, plus my dentist was on vacation…


Chipmunk Face! Before & After Wisdom Teeth Removal

So, it’s been a journey. Long story short though, teeth came out the end of last week and I’m on the mend now, starting to feel a bit more like normal though I still have a slight case of chipmunk cheeks. Here’s a nice & humiliating before & after pic haha.



this is what I’m pretty sure I looked looked like the day after my wisdom teeth were out!

The thing that sucks too? Not to be vain, but, I’ve been busting my butt since last summer-ish to lose weight and get healthy. Lost some weight, still more I want to lose, and the wisdom teeth swelling has given me fat face again! I thought I was done seeing fat face! Thankfully it’s almost gone, and, thanks to  my post wisdom teeth removal liquid only diet (cause I can’t chew!) I’ve lost a few extra lb’s this week!


Happy Valentine’s Day & All

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“Do what you know in your heart is right.. for you’ll be criticized anyway”
Art Copyright Original Abbie Studios 2013

Did a little Valentine’s piece that I was eager to finish up this morning. I actually added a few details after I took this pic, but, you’ll have to wait to see 🙂 Nothing major, but, for a perfectionist like me my art is never quite complete until it feels just right. Happy Valentine’s to all you heart-ists. I coined that term, isn’t it cute? Heart+Artist? Meh? Yeah… hehe.

 The quote reads “Do what you feel in your heart to be right… you’ll be criticized anyway” by Eleanor Roosevelt.  Isn’t that the truth? Seems somebody always has something to say. The key is to either not care what other people think about you, or, to be able to just take the criticism with a grain of salt and keep on going. Depending on my mood I fall somewhere in between the two.

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brushing up on “realistic” eyes



I teach art classes for teens & little ones at the local art gallery & studio. The kids had asked to learn to do “realistic” eyes again. We had done them in a comprehensive face a few months ago, but we’ve got new kids now and they wanted to focus on eyes. So, I brushed up on my “realistic” sketching. I’m not really big on realistic drawing/painting etc. I feel like there is enough talented artists out there to compete with why am I going to compete with a Canon DSLR Camera too? It will win every time! Eh, but, the kids wanted to learn it and I didn’t mind. It’s a good exercise to work on, it just doesn’t do much for me! The kids did a good job though. I skipped that lesson with my little kids because it was tough for the teens better yet kindergarteners! We did some cute little Valentine’s drawings with the little ones. Roses, a Teddy Bear – all that fun stuff!


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Creations of a 4 Year old in my little ones class

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Chocolate Icing & Peanut Butter Cupcakes, dangerously delicious!

Valentine’s Day and my hunny’s birthday are very close together. He’s stuck working on Valentine’s Day so we celebrated last night, I made some delicious Peanut Butter cupcakes with Chocolate frosting, all from scratch. Don’t get me started on canned icing. It’s a travesty. Real icing is SO SIMPLE TO MAKE! I get boxed cake mix, it’s so convenient, but, the icing? Ok, getting of my soap box now haha. The cupcakes came out awesome, peanut buttery, chocolatey… so good. I sent most of them into work with hubby for him to have bday cupcakes with his buddies at the firehouse because they are TOO good, and I’m trying to live a healthy life style here!!


Valentine’s for my Boy

Valentine’s day is one of those holidays that I’ve never really been over the moon about. However, I do admit that being in elementary school makes it way more fun. Exchanging valentine’s with your class, making little construction paper mailboxes, Valentine’s Party – it’s all good stuff.

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It seems these days that the “sweets” valentines are frowned upon in school, teachers don’t want to deal with sugar hyped kids, and God knows there are so many allergies and food restrictions these days that it’s really hard to find something everyone can enjoy. I always try and go with a small toy valentine over a sweet treat. I found an inspirational pic on Pinterest and stuck it on my Valentine’s Board. The pin I saw did include a free download but I wasn’t crazy about the design, I wanted something a littlebrighter and more colorful! So I made up my own – and I’m pretty happy with the way it came out!

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Kiddo brought in these “You Make My Heart Bounce” Valentines. We stuck a super bouncy ball into a small zip lock bag, and stapled the valentine over the top. The back had plenty of room for his “to” and “from”. He loves it, and he was sure to pick “boy colors” and “girl colors” for who gets what ball, which I thought was adorable! He even wrote the girls names in pink because he thought they’d like that. He has a small list of kids outside of his class that he wanted to give valentines too as well, including “my beautiful friend ____” (name omitted!) But let’s just say she’s a sweet little girl who’s been in his class since Pre-K. So cute!
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Anyway I’m all about spreading the love so if you want to make these – here is my design on a PDF: OriginalAbbieValentine . I got mine printed at Kinko’s since I love their printer and hate mine haha, and I had it done on card stock.  WAY cuter than the generic boxed ones! If you make them – I’d love to see! Comment here or post a pic on my facebook page if you can!