Saturday, August 30, 2008


[lake of the isles, minneapolis]

it has been five years since our departure from minneapolis, and at this time of year i always start longing for it. the hot summer has ended, but the leaves haven't started turning yet. there's no sign that extraordinarily unfriendly weather is on its way. i just can't think of a more beautiful place on earth than minnesota in late august.

last fall i made my first trip back. i went to my favorite spot on lake of the isles, just a minute or two walk from our old house, and saw everything that had been part of my daily life: the minneapolis skyline, the connections to the other lakes, the ever-present two guys in a canoe, the lone kayaker, the stunning blue water, the walkers and runners, the planes preparing to land, the sometimes-present blue heron, the artists sketching on their easels, the arched bridge. nothing had changed. then came an unexpected smack of grief that i've never felt when i've returned to other places that were once mine. only then did it occur to me how deeply i missed minneapolis. none of these things belonged to me any longer. not even the nasty winters.

they were only memories of a wonderful life there.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


a quick survey of the environment at dean & deluca this morning... hope you're all having a great wednesday; i mean thursday, [it is thursday, right?] :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


a peek at some pretty old homes around town [a mixture of photos from today and last fall]... houses here run the gamut from ramshackle huts with dandelions to gorgeous historic beauties like these. all part of the lawrence experience. it is a 'live and let live' kind of place; i can breathe here.

new arrivals in funkytown, including a coffee can from us...

enough distraction for today; back to my daily programming :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the misguided leader

here's my philosophy of the day on leadership and management styles. this approach doesn't seem to quite work, but it's what goes on in our house every day as i try to guide a fellow 'artiste' through this existence. [i rely heavily on the two left brainers in the house to balance things out.]

and WOW! i got a superblogaward yesterday from tiny red: thank you, thereza! so continuing the fun and spirit, here are a few blogs that give me creative fuel, ones i haven't mentioned or yet given their fair due:

yellow pencil studio: my good friend christy, a supertalented children's and editorial illustrator. i love looking through her portfolio online again and again. she can make anything come out of that pencil and make it look so easy; i've seen her in action and she is amazing. also check out her gorgeous letterpress goods at the petite press.

molusca: andrea's moleskine sketches could keep me in captivity for hours especially when i divert to her flickr site where she has even more to show. go visit, now. i'll wait here for you.

megan coyle: i've always been a collage addict but megan takes collage to a new level. when i look at her work it's like looking at a painting. i have to remind myself that these are all bits of paper, cut up and arranged beautifully down to the tiniest detail.

daisy janie: i can't do anything with fabric at all but that does not stop me from peeking into jan's brain on a regular basis. she does some of the coolest textile designs i've ever seen. plus she has an outstanding sense of humor.

life in the pink box: get over to shugar's world for a moment. doesn't it make you want to jump into one of those doodles and swim around for a while so you can see every last detail? i also like her features on life in southeast asia.

i think that's only five but i'm running late so need to post now or it won't happen. for those of you listed, here are the rules should you choose to follow them [i'm a lousy rule follower so i can only give you the choice, not the command]: mention seven-ish blogs you love on your next post. link to me if you want to. and comment on your blogs of choice to let them know you're going to send some quality traffic their way.

oh, and one more important mention: a thank you to nancy lefko for such a warm and appreciative mention on her post yesterday!

now, time for morning duties and a zippety-doo-da off to kansas city. happy tuesday all :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

i see sparks

the imagination is charging back up again... thanks to:

a clean art desk [inspired by my friend christy's studio photos]; i rarely work here since it's on the third floor, next to a set of un-toddler-friendly skinny minnie mouse stairs, and most of all, i let projects stack up into uncontrollable messes when i work in permanent spaces... but it's always worth another try...

the ever evolving funkytown...

the adventures of a blossoming art journaler...

and coffee w/robin this morning who charged up my creative batteries (thank you robin :))

happy monday to you all! :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

short on imagination

slipped into an imagination coma this weekend. i didn't have even the slightest urge to draw. it's odd how the brain can switch on a dime and decide it would rather do something else. woke up to a Type A Friday, so i organized and rearranged and got stuff done while it lasted, not knowing when the impulse would return. worked my way through a french grammar book. sometimes i like to conjugate verbs. and also bumped into sweet heather on the way to the casbah market downtown. i always love visits from my blogpals online, but seeing one on the street? even better :)

Foggy Saturday was mostly a day of glazed eyes and frozen brain. it ended on a great note, though; my five year old and i sat outside on the front porch for an hour at sunset, i with my french book and a glass of wine, and she with her snack and stack of books (so nice when they can read by themselves) and we drifted off into our own dreamy worlds. it's Happy Sunday with 10 hours of sleep last night under my belt and a cup of coffee in my hand. i got a laugh this morning from ricë who thinks she's an alien, and a dose of feelgood from tiny red's cute sunday drawings. i feel calm, happy, and OH! i think i see imagination walking up to my front door... i'd better go see what that is all about :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

no exit

some thoughts and ideas are bouncing around upstairs today, looking for an exit route, but no luck yet. i can even see colorful little receptors on the outside waiting to turn them into doodles :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

how to greet people

every time i log into flickr, it tells me how to greet people in different languages. i think the messages are cute so i turned a few of them into doodles [and added the greeting in texan - how could flickr miss that one]?

p.s. early morning. sugar cookies for breakfast.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

repairs upstairs

yesterday i put the junk mail in the dishwasher and threw a plate in the trash. no joke! time to get out the mental screwdriver?

[p.s. a very special thank you to soulbrush for the mention on her blog yesterday!]

Monday, August 18, 2008

air mail

finally sent off the little giveaway packages this morning. wow, was i poky getting those out the door. sorry about that. i got really distracted with the olympics this week. after this, the tv will be mostly off for the next four years. i'm not a tv watcher, with the exception of foreign films and march madness. and i do admit to turning it on for my children. you know... just for a few moments of peace. and ok, one more confession. there's one kiddie show i totally love. i'd like to have this little guy as a pet. i love everything about this show - the groovy graphics, psychedelic music, his cheesy smile, his general oddness. he does a great job of reminding kids that it's ok to be a little different , helping them out of the dumps, and teaching them personal responsibility without totally nauseating the viewer in the process.

anyway, it was great fun to watch the little packages disappear into the hands of the USPS, wondering what journeys they'll take on the way to their destinations of florida, new hampshire, north carolina, texas, the UK, and sweden.

so today i've been noodling on the joy of sending and receiving handwritten letters. this weekend i got two surprises in the mail: a postcard from germany, from my friend andrea, who just surfaced in berlin. she was/still is my road trip pal; we took off to so many places from graduate school in AZ that i am surprised we emerged with degrees. we've managed to travel together at least once a year for the past ten years; last year we went to san antonio/corpus christi, and later to minneapolis. this year, she's celebrating an extra special birthday so we are working on travels to an extra special place.

the other mail surprise was from my friend dj who has been sending me gorgeous mail art for fifteen years. i always know when he's sent a letter because a big poof of patchouli bursts out of the mailbox. and i know the economist doesn't smell like that, so i figure it must be something from dj.

do you enjoy mail art? handwritten letters?

Saturday, August 16, 2008


when a creative lark calls, i detach from reality and float away into another world to chase it... in the meantime my children wonder when i'll return :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

vivid dreams and psychosis

i'm watching my husband curiously these days. he just went through a round of immunizations for a trip to india later this year, and two of the potential risks are vivid dreams and psychosis. he's already had some odd side effects so we're waiting for him to go on some wild ride. i'm wondering, if i got the shot, if i'd even notice the difference :)

(UPDATE: i have been corrected! he informed me that side effects range FROM vivid dreams TO psychosis. not just one or the other. so this takes it to an whole new level. we're talking about an entire spectrum of potential mental oddities here. i am watching more closely than ever!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

happy places

yay, i got a blog award from bella sinclair, a doodler and self-declared 'dilettante extraordinaire'. now there is a girl after my own heart! thank you, bella! in turn, to nominate some of my current favorites, check out my 'inspired by' list of ubertalented creatives to the right of this post!

here is an offshoot of my happy things; i could fill page after page with my many happy places, but here are 28 to start. funkytown will be on the next list. we're going to drop off a doodle today :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

funkytown is love

a few weeks ago i went for a walk and saw this adorable little scene in someone's yard. yesterday we wandered that way again, and not only is funkytown still there, but it is now thriving as an interactive trading environment:

so we traded a few of our junky toys for a few of their junky toys. think i should drop off a doodle there too?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

seven lucky years

yesterday's lucky seven leads us perfectly into today's post; today is our wedding anniversary! seven years ago today my husband and i were married at the rose garden on lake harriet in minneapolis. i have a huge smile on my face just thinking about what a perfect day that was. and somehow each year keeps getting better and luckier. happy seven years, my Lovely One, if you're reading this :)

i also got a piece of lucky news: one of my oldest dearest friends (who is also celebrating her anniversary today, AND shares a birthday with me!) just had her third baby, a supercute little boy this time! her oldest daughter is in love with the little guy, but her two year old was not impressed: she looked at him and said, "he's stupid."

i don't know why that is making me laugh so hard, but it is!

Monday, August 11, 2008

the winners

WOW!! what a turnout, and so much fun to get these great comments over the weekend while i sat on my lazy bunda drinking limonatas and watching the olympics.

so, just a few changes before the draw: i closed comments a little early (did anyone really take me seriously that i was going to draw precisely at 9 am CST? probably not) and i also added 3 more packages of goodies so we'd have 7 winners just like last time.

my 5 year old is still in dreamland, so i socked the task of drawing to my 2 year old. we used an upside-down lampshade instead of a hat, in case anyone is interested. each time she drew a name out, she took off running with it. she thought it was a chasing game. but she did the job, and did it fairly. so here they are, the lucky ones, in order of drawing (and chasing her to get the names back)-

1) aivilo (olivia)
2) tiny red (thereza)
3) tita mama (peggy)
4) nicola
5) sharon
6) please sir (diana)
7) nancy lefko

i have everyone's e-mail address except for olivia's, so hopefully you'll check back to find out you've won, olivia! everyone, please e-mail me with your address sometime today (monday)!

thank you so much for participating everyone! i'll try to post a doodle today sometime, too :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

celebration giveaway

it's my 100th post and i haven't deleted my blog yet, so i thought i'd celebrate with a little giveaway to thank all of you for passing through artsyville! i look forward to every single post, and i get such a zing when a new comment pops up in my inbox. your creative and funny thoughts really do make my day :)

there will be four winners this time; each one will receive a package with these artsy little goods, all products of stuff-making binges:

one of these little paper-covered notebooks

four of these glass gem magnets

and a bunch of these colorful stickers [i made these from vintage teaching charts from india]. great for journaling or mail art.

locals, nationals, internationals, and even those who won last time are all welcome to participate! my 5 year old will draw the four winners, find them on the map and help me pack & ship the goodies to their new homes.

to put your name in the hat, tell me your favorite olympic event. comments will be open until monday 8/11, 9 am CST. good luck! i'll see you on monday :)