Monday, September 29, 2008

how not to rinse brushes

the guy below introduced himself. he's my Inner Meanie! i've heard from him many times, but this is the first time he's emerged on paper. ew! he only has six teeth and he's bald. i guess i couldn't expect my Inner Meanie to be beautiful, could i? anyway, he took great delight at my expense yesterday morning while i was painting. obviously, i got a little too absorbed in what i was doing, as i did with the pepper mishap . so, a reminder to all you painters: keep your wine and coffee away from your rinsing water :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

a toasty weekend

we're having a toasty hot weekend here in middle america, and enjoying every bit of it. this afternoon we passed a group of tightrope walkers in the park who invited us to join them. my older daughter took them up on the offer. i would have fallen on my (fill in the blank) so i declined. we ran into our dentist at the ice cream parlor/sweet shop downtown, a delicious irony there. now we're off to make mini cupcakes for school tomorrow, the semi-annual library book sale, and after that i think an early bedtime might be in order for the girls. i'm beat. i think this day should close with a batch of smoking hot salsa and a beer on the front porch.

a big thanks to soulbrush for her generous blog award this week. so, to pass on the blog goodness: for any of my current favorites, please slink over to the 'inspired by' column. any one of these will direct you to some serious creative food. thank you, soulful soulbrush!

p.s. as for this guy above? i don't know who he is, but he keeps getting a yukety yuk out of something silly i did this morning. i'll post more tomorrow about that :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

the itty bitty closet

this itty bitty closet, in the girls' room underneath the stairs to the third floor, was one of the quirky quirks that totally endeared me to this crooked, out-of-proportion house of indeterminate age. yet i haven't really done anything with it. it's too small for storage, but it is just big enough for a child to sit inside. i've been thinking of converting it to a little reading nook or secret hideaway for my almost-six-year-old... but i'd love any thoughts or suggestions on what to do with this little treasure of a space.

hope you're all having a wonderful thursday! please excuse my lazy posting this week :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

a passage to india

my lovely one returned from india with these gorgeous treasures, as well as fascinating and eye-opening stories about his time there. our house just exploded with color when he opened his suitcase; i can't get enough of the vivid reds, the gorgeous patterns, the details, and the energy that comes from these beautiful objects. the biggest treat is the stack of magazines [these pages are from meri saheli, grehlakshmi, vanitha, and grihshobha]. i know only a bit of basic hindi grammar and the devanagari script, so it will take a lifetime for me to decipher it all. he even brought some magazines in tamil (i think it's tamil!), which looks like a very pretty sequence of curlicues.

most of all, i'm happy to have him home again. life is back in balance, i can now officially exit minimalist parenting mode, and start thinking about our next trip. oh, travel! even just hearing about it sets my mind abuzz with inspiration. may you all have an inspired and creative week :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008


[really deep thoughts from a truck stop]

transitions noticed this morning: coffee beans to grounds, the newspaper in the air on its way to the front porch, the sun peeking, the moment of learning something, a car pulling out of the garage.

UPDATE: and soon a very special plane landing :)

happy saturday all!

Friday, September 19, 2008

a new friend

this guy emerged from my five year old daughter's backpack yesterday. oh, her drawings. i love them more than i ever could my own. so forget my space cadet below! our new little friend here takes the cake :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

spacey moments

lately i've been enjoying tiny red's chronicles of the space cadets she meets around town. do you have space cadet moments? i sure do, all the time. her endearing tales make me feel much better about the alarmingly high rate of those moments that occur in our household. here are some of yesterday's; i'll leave you to sort out who did what :)

[if you'd like to share your favorite space cadet moment here, i'd love to hear it]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

do not leave unattended

exhale. my pages for the do not leave unattended project are finished - with no wine or coffee or any other spills. for two days i was so worried i'd wreck this lovely journal that i couldn't do anything with it. on friday i finally accepted that i probably WOULD do something to mess it up, and only then was i able to jump in and zoom up to full speed happy doodling over the weekend.

next it goes to christy, and then.... and then....

happy monday all :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

thought pending

[an idea has arrived and is currently in processing]

we had dinner last night with some friends in kansas city; i'm sticking hard and fast to my no-cooking rule while my love is away. it's part of a minimalist parenting approach i've designed to minimize the stress and maximize the fun so that we all survive. so far, so good!

can i say that i'm a wee bit jello of a friend who is going to santa fe this weekend for a painting workshop? doesn't that sound divine? i've been starving for the southwest lately; i missed my MBA reunion in arizona last weekend, and hearing about her heading off to new mexico just sparked my fire a little more to get back to that enchanting part of the world.

well, the southwest may not be in my near future, i don't think (one never knows), but the southeast is, and i'm happily and madly working on our upcoming trip to charleston and savannah :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


after the explosion in that last post, my brain was peaceful and quiet all day yesterday. that decluttering really did clear things out. maybe now i can focus on a few illustration/ lettering projects, including the one i'll tackle first: jude's do not leave attended notebook project. mine arrived yesterday from yasmine, and i'm pretty excited to unleash something in it.

off to the morning routine now. happy wednesday everyone :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


thank goodness for doodling... it moves the clutter to a much safer place :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

moving on

you're in a longtime favorite place: a cafe, restaurant, spa, park, a place where you have spent a lot of time, and then you realize it's not working for you anymore. you've changed, it has changed, the environment, the people... something about it is not the same. and so you move on, with sadness or ambivalence or maybe even a bit of excitement.

in other thoughts, ricë posted a great tutorial yesterday on prepping pages for art journaling... and how marvelous of her to credit me with the ink pad technique, even though i'm sure thousands before me have worked with it too. it was a happy accident that became my main method for creating colorful journal backgrounds, including this one.

and, finally, thanks for all your well wishes yesterday. we're already in our communications groove. all it takes is one little bitty blackberry and it's almost like we're in the same room. i hope i always have this childlike amazement with technological progress [i'm still wowed that humans can get a plane in the air.] enjoy the rest of your weekend, all :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

the thrill of arrival

[having a chocolate chip cookie and coffee for breakfast]

in about an hour my lovely one will be landing in india, and i've been quite the global voyeur keeping track of his flight path [technology is amazing!]. i'm filled with anticipation just thinking about his arrival. to me, landing in a foreign country is an experience like none other; i was never able to fully articulate the power of this feeling until a friend directed me to pico iyer's pitch-perfect description of those first few moments in "the thrill of arrival".

this weekend i'm freshening up my line of children's stationery, and of course, i'm feeling a little lonely... but also excited for the fresh pieces of inspiration that will no doubt flow into artsyville soon from foreign lands. happy saturday to you all :)

UPDATE: i just noticed there's no landing gear on this plane. now that would be an arrival to remember.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

traffic jam fun

i ran into a traffic jam on my trek from lawrence to kansas city this morning. i had nearly reached 435, the outskirts of the city, and to get that far only to hit traffic put me in a seriously lousy mood. and just then christy called. i asked her what she was up to, and she said, "well, i'm behind you." no kidding! she really was. friends and fellow bloggers stuck together in a traffic jam in another city? i have to say that lifted my spirits. and i got a little kick out of wondering how far those cell phone signals had to travel around the skies above when we were just mere feet from each other.

by the way, i can't hear much of anything right now. either it's the result of a cold, or trauma from swimming laps this week. all i hear is nutty stuff bouncing around my head. so if you comment, you'll have to do it loudly or i won't hear you :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


a utility pole next to funkytown that someone has transformed into a community bulletin and magnetic board...

a sad looking duck at funkytown, which was a bit sparse today...

scribbles from a bored bench dweller (not me)...

...and while i'm on the subject of quirky finds, you local readers must check out kansas curiosities by pam grout. it is full of odd and offbeat stuff around the state, and not surprisingly, lawrence has its own chapter (the only city to get that honor). her description is spot-on: "lawrence is one big summer camp attracting odd characters from all over the world. practically any one of its 80,000 inhabitants could qualify for a listing in this book."

my hands-down favorite was discovering that the downtown post office throws a party on april 15 every year to cheer on procrastinators as they slink in the door to file their taxes. there's food, drink, a band, revelry, the works. for me that even beats the pooch plunge at the outdoor pool, which we attended this afternoon. what a scene...

i'd love to hear a curiosity about your town or city :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

taking shape

i enjoy meeting those shy little ideas that wait for the noisy world to take a rest. when all is quiet, it's their turn to shine.

a few are peeking around the corner right now...

update: if you were here earlier, you're not dreaming or hallucinating, i did change the colors in the drawing... i went for a long swim this afternoon which shook the thought loose that if i'm writing about the absence and presence of something, black and white might suit the notion best instead of bright color... but it's still early, and i may well change my mind again. yay for life in artsyville... i can do whatever i want to do here! :)