hi there, i'm alison


In my free time, if I’m not outside enjoying the trails and beaches of Lake Tahoe, I’m sprawled out on the deck or by the fireplace (depending on the season) with paint, wood rounds, and whatever else I’m experimenting with and on. I’m enamored with nature and her magic, and I hope this is depicted through my choices in materials, methods, and mantras. I focus on locally-sourced materials and upcycled goods. The wood I use is mindfully sourced from already chopped down or fallen trees from the forests of Lake Tahoe, ready to find new homes!

I grew up in a family that loved arts and crafts. Summer camp lanyards, homemade Halloween costumes, and a hallway lined with beautiful illustrations (my big sister’s) and lovingly messy scribbles (definitely mine). My parents created a safe space for creativity and exploration, something I’m so grateful to have had as a child. This love of art and self-discovery continued through school and beyond, all the way to my Peace Corps service in Vanuatu.

It was in Vanuatu that I began my journey with modern calligraphy and hand lettering. I covered my little hut with my favorite quotes, broken tile mosaics, nature-inspired art, and all of my sea findings. I painted old water tanks with my students and incorporated playful art into all of my classes.

Now that I live in Tahoe, there’s a whole new set of inspiration and materials to play with and share with you!


BURL noun | /bərl/ : a knotty tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner.

Why burl theory? Because that funky "flaw" is actually a beauty mark! There's a bit of magic in everything. That even a piece of scrap wood, a broken frame, or a stone from the shores of Lake Tahoe can be transformed into art. I love the phrase "making art out of the ordinary" because it places the burl theory right into the crafts.

And it's more than just a crafting philosophy - the burl theory applies to how I strive to live my life, too!