Friday, October 31, 2008

maps and happy challahs

here's a thought that occurred to me while i was traveling a few weeks ago...i've never been able to re-fold those big road maps once they're open, and i've realized that i probably never will. i think there are bigger battles to fight in life, so i'm going to let the map thing go.

it's an insane day today - making prints - doodles - halloween stuff - baking - yes, baking - i am putting a rare foot in the k**chen (can't say the word out loud) and making challahs (braided bread) for the lawrence jewish community center which is having its big annual blintz brunch/bake sale on sunday - it draws a large crowd from the entire community and it's the only fundraiser so i thought perhaps for once i could shelve my disinterest in domestic chores and create something edible for a good cause (and keep a few for us, too). twelve happy challahs. here goes. i hope the oven doesn't blow up! :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

inner child

i'm searching my brain to remember what sparked this drawing, because my inner child is not in the mood for so very many things. it would rather dream and doodle the day work, all play!

in just a few minutes i'm heading off to the pumpkin patch with my daughter's class. so if you need a chuckle today, just think of me bouncing up and down on a school bus with a load of screaming kindergarteners. oh my LORD! ;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


november isn't even here yet and already the temperature is in the tank. last night it was in the thirties and tonight it is taking a dirty dip to the low twenties. on nights like these i'm not too fond of kansas. i'd rather move back to arizona, where i can climb mountains in december and swim in january and eat a burrito outdoors on mill avenue.

i don't think we're going anywhere soon, so while i'm waiting, i'll keep warm with a cup of green tea and my funky red coat. and i'd like to confess here that i have crashed the stash of halloween candy. at this rate there may be nothing left for the children by friday night!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


i should have been all over last week's illustration friday theme (late), considering how i do most stuff at the last minute - or later. instead? i didn't show up at all. but this week's topic repair must have really struck a nerve because i felt compelled to do something with it right away.

thanks for all the thoughtful comments in my last post. the opening reception was great fun! they displayed all three pieces, and i sold a few prints, too.

happy sunday!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

blue plate exhibition

tomorrow evening is the opening reception for "a feast for the eyes" , a food-themed art exhibition hosted by blue plate dinners and organized by barry fitzgerald, an illustrator and professor of design at the university of kansas. i'm thrilled to be part of the show along with my friends christy, robin, and amanda.

above are three pieces i submitted for the exhibition. i'm not sure which one will be displayed, but i'll find out on friday night! if you are in town, the show will run through november 22 so please stop by! blue plate dinners is located at 6th & wakarusa, open tuesday through saturday. you can find more information here about the exhibition.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


savannah was lovely, as i thought it would be. a bunch of squares anchor the downtown which make it ultra easy to explore without getting lost. we had no particular destination here. we just wandered through the neighborhoods and forests of spanish moss trees looking at the architecture and feeling at times that we weren't quite in our own country.

the shining star for me was the savannah college of art and design. there are nearly 9000 art students here, and their creative energy really defines the atmosphere downtown. discovering this student exhibit on the first floor of the graphic design building was a thrill [no names were listed or otherwise i would have given the artists due credit here]. my favorite scribble is on the last page: "which way to go?"

i just made the world's worst pot of coffee, so i am dumping it in the sink and heading out for a proper cup. enjoy your day, all!

Monday, October 20, 2008


[an antebellum house on charleston harbor]

[a quirky old storefront on king street]

[front of the old city market]

[a little store on a country road]

[yummy cider]

[ruins of fort sumter]

[cute rusty bikes for wandering the island]

[and of course a bit of the beach]

our trip to the southeast was marvelous! after a week of wandering, rambling and discovering, i'm fully restored and ready to slip back into reality. we started in charleston, south carolina, and worked our way 100 miles south to savannah, georgia. for two cities so close together, they are entirely different in architecture and personality. they're both gorgeous, loaded with mysteries and histories and legends, but nothing alike. charleston and savannah had seemed like mythical places to me for a long time, so it was quite something to finally be there. of course, it was good to come home, too. we knew for certain that we were back in lawrence when we crossed the bridge to downtown and saw a crew hard at work stringing bras across the kansas river.

i'll post photos of savannah next :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

mothers of invention

an EXTRA special thank you goes today to the fabulous jennifer new, who published my artwork this week on her recently started blog mothers of invention. jennifer, who is also the author of drawing from life: the journal as art (a must read for art journalers), spun off the MOI blog from her series of excellent articles on the challenges that women face while balancing a creative career with the round-the-clock demands of raising a family. she is currently working on a book proposal to give the many creative mamas out there a much needed resource on how to manage those challenges.

jennifer's articles have put a voice to many of the feelings i've had since my first child arrived nearly six years ago. in her words i recognize the despair and resentment i've felt from having to abandon a great idea or cut short a creative process because someone won't take a nap, needs something, is systematically emptying out every dresser drawer in the house, or just won't let me complete a thought.

her writing has also made me realize how much of my creativity i owe to my children. the urge to create came and went during my pre-baby years, but never consistently, nor with much conviction or purpose. once my girls burst on the scene, so did my desire to create, and that desire fed on itself until it became an essential part of my life, my way of making sense of the world.

just watching my children grow and learn is creativity in progress. they constantly push me out of my comfort zone and i think that's essential territory for an artist to explore. they approach life with a freshness that cuts to my heart when i stop and take the time to think about what they're seeing and feeling. life is so new to them; they're trying to understand things that i expect and take for granted. they say and do things that would never occur to me. their interpretations of the world take my mind in unexpected directions.

my girls have also taught me to live in the moment. with children, there is no tomorrow, no yesterday, only now. because of them I've learned to pay closer attention to my surroundings because I have to, and I'm surprised by what I see and what I missed before. i create with an intensity and purpose that i didn't fully understand before they came into my life. recognizing the significance of those small moments has helped me to be a better mother to my girls as well as my art.

so thank you, jennifer, for your insightful writing on such a complex topic, and for bringing together such a diverse group of women to discuss our common challenge. we are parents, we are creatives - and in order to satisfy both of those worlds, we must be mothers of invention as well.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

your morning cuppa

a couple of my local cafes go so over the top in describing their coffees that i feel like i've just met someone by the time i've filled my mug. one is touted as 'sultry and abolitionist', another is 'trustworthy', yet another 'dark and fomenting'. my favorite, the free state blend, is a 'spirited and independent brew that will do you proud'. i was so impressed with their ability to humanize a hot beverage that i couldn't resist coming up with an outlandish blend of my own. so, enjoy a cup on me today, all. may it take you somewhere unexpected :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

library gems

what luck! sunday was the last day of the semi-annual library book sale, which meant it was giveaway day. most of the good stuff was long gone, and i only had fifteen minutes to look at the leftovers, but still managed to scavenge a few items.

a history of portugal, and to my delight, someone's appointment calendar from 1969 that fell out of the book. (if you look closely, you can see where the page yellowed against the calendar. it was obviously there a long time).

one of the many colorful maps illustrating portugal's maritime prowess.

an english grammar book with an excellent section on "faulty diction" and "gross violations". i can almost feel the schoolmarm rapping my knuckles with a ruler.

a beautiful arithmetic book in russian...

...and these delightful postcards tumbled out the front cover of the russian book. from the 50s? or maybe the 60s?

one of my best friends lives in fort smith so this one will be going to her. i wonder if that motel is still there!

the other postcard nearly put me on the floor when i recognized it: in 2001 i stayed in this hotel for nearly six months! i was working on a consulting project in pittsburgh. here it is today, beautifully restored. it makes my day when life dishes up odd coincidences like this.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

sugar high

this week's creative prod couldn't have more ideal! we've been on a mini cupcake rampage in artsyville this week, and i'm still high on sugary frosting. i gave the pen a rest and played with papercuts all afternoon to make use of those many itty bitty leftovers. great fun! if you're into papercuts, be sure to check out the inspire me thursday post from last week. happy weekend all :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

the never-ending debate

oh, does the carefree side of my noggin love to tease its darker, serious twin. they get into such tussles, and what makes it even more confusing is that the happy-go-lucky half likes to blow off things that do need to be taken seriously, while the serious half spends its life dwelling on stuff that doesn't matter at all. if only i could flip flop the two, i might have a fighting chance at a properly working mind :)

it's been a gorgeous week here. the leaves are starting to turn, the mornings are chilly, and the afternoons are warm and sunny. yet, beautiful as it is here, my mind is drifting to georgia and south carolina, where we'll be later this month. i hope the fuel shortage will be rectified by the time we get there! (i do like walking, but not THAT much.)

enjoy your day, everyone :)