Thursday, April 30, 2009

the list maker

earlier this year, lynn fisher started a journal pages group on facebook, and it has quickly grown to over 200 members. we discuss favorite journaling tools, papers, inspiring artists, cool journaling blogs and sites, and so on, and we are having an excellent time with it! recently lynn turned over the reins to francie and me, and i've just started posting regular page prompts. this week the challenge is making lists: places you've lived, your favorite foods, things you'd never do again, and so on - i've left it open so people can choose a topic that's important to them.

i'm really lousy at planning my journal pages ahead of time, so i'm curious to see whether i actually follow my own prompts or not. this time, i did! as my mind normally turns to travel, i thought about my favorite (and least favorite) road trips.

if you would like to join the journal pages group, go here - we'd love to see you!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

walking in circles

my sick little baby girl and i are housebound today, so i've been walking around in circles trying to get inspired by something within the walls. here's a roundup (so to speak) of unfinished projects, things in progress, stuff found, stuff in general...

i found this in austin and put it above the stairs as a warning sign - if you are over 5'4" you must duck under part of our staircase if you want to arrive intact at either end...

my six year old has started making our shopping lists, knowing my issues with domestic chores...

some guy showed up in my journal...

magazine cutouts and sketches of my clumsiness...

my weaving which has not changed one warp or weft for the past two years...

we've started spring with only 2 plants until i'm confident i can keep them alive - note that i only showed you the new outdoor rug and not our filthy porch...

and i'm thrilled with my new arrival from jess gonacha - it's my favorite style of necklace and it is reversible, so i got two of her beautiful patterns!

thank you all so so much for your great comments about the magazine! welcome new visitors - it's great to have you here! now, back to my sweet little sick one...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

new pencils and little wishes

went for a run around the university yesterday and on the way home just happened to pick up a big set of prismacolors, which i haven't used since these days...

after a diversion to our basement for a tornado warning - we are in the land of oz, after all - i got some play time with the new little goodies...

[photo by my six-year-old] the girls call these 'little wishes' and blow them all around town to spawn even more little wishes...

speaking of little wishes, one appeared in my mailbox last week...

artsyville is on pages 48-51 of the summer 2009 issue of artful blogging, available may 1 at borders, barnes & noble and most other stores that carry art/craft magazines. thanks, somerset studio :)

and now, i have a surprise afternoon to myself - i'm leaving this messy house behind right now and going somewhere before the next storm (or swine flu) arrives.

Friday, April 24, 2009

the fun-filled no-newspaper friday

something squawked (might have been a child) around 5:45 this morning and i couldn't get back to sleep, so i slipped downtown for an early coffee and a new york times before the daily chaos began. no times, though. i said, "what? you couldn't possibly be sold out already." the guy behind the counter rolled his eyes and said, "the times delivery guy thinks he has tenure so he likes to sleep in." what a curious choice of job for a late sleeper! well, i got the coffee, anyway. gorgeous day here, healthy children once again, a nice walk around town watching people and looking at the little chalk trees drawn all over the city for earth day. quite honestly just enjoying the moments this evening and not much more...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

pick a bleu mango

this is a little promotional piece i did for my friend estelle's company bleu mango marketing. i love the name and what it implies: consciously changing the standard approach to a familiar concept. because she is french and très chic, she changed the spelling to 'bleu' which i think makes the name look even more eye-catching and distinctive.

after i did this piece it made me think about how many times i DO reach for a red apple or an orange orange simply because it is there, without questioning that there might be a better or more enriching way of going about it. for me it's easier to do something that i've never done before because i have no point of reference. but departures from things i do regularly, simply out of habit, are much more difficult - and often uncomfortable. she's helped me realize that it is well worth the effort to pick a bleu mango here and there by thinking actively about my routine choices rather than sleepwalking through them.

so i owe estelle a big hug for this epiphany, AND for stopping by this morning with a bunch of fresh croissants and pastries (which are, by now, long gone.)

if you pick a bleu mango today, tell me about it :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

a morning at yellow pencil studio

there is a joy in being able to work alone as an artist without having to worry about nosy cubicle neighbors, office politics, and fixed hours. but once in a while it's nice to bounce an idea off another human or to feel creative energy flowing from another source. my friend christy, who works full time in editorial/children's illustration and letterpress design, was intrigued by the concept of a 'jelly', or coworking, in which creatives/freelancers gather in a common environment (usually someone's home or in a coffee shop) to work independently on their own projects and offer resources and assistance to each other such as proofreading and brainstorming. the idea is to create an atmosphere of camaraderie and creativity without having to worry about the woes of a traditional office.

so this morning christy opened the doors of yellow pencil studio for heather, robin, amanda, estelle, and me to work together while working separately. she set up the network for those who brought laptops, and had delicious munchies and french press coffee waiting for us. there was much buzz about the exciting launch of estelle's new marketing company, the local art auction last weekend, and lots of other art and creativity-related topics while we worked on our own projects. as much as i enjoy working alone, i got something different out of this experience that was equally as satisfying - absorbing the energy of others as they did something they enjoyed. it refilled my create-o-meter and for one time in my life i can say i adored all of my co-workers.

have any of you gathered with other artists/creatives in an environment like this? if you have, i'd love to hear about it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

what i found

at the library book sale this afternoon: vintage french primers and some good old classics, including faust for a quarter

on the stairs: an arrangement of books that i was fortunate to discover while ascending instead of descending

in the messy room: the one who put the books on the stairs

at the top of the stairs: a curiously placed bowl of carrots

in the toybox: the one responsible for the carrots

in the kitchen: a sign that someone set to 'open' after i firmly set it to 'closed' for the day

and inside the itty bitty closet: little handprints from a few months ago that i've decided are too endearing to paint over.

so, obviously, no art here today as we're trying to keep the house from blowing up. maybe some doodlestuff and a glass of wine tonight after the real artists go to bed.

Friday, April 17, 2009

quite possibly impossible

my right brain is apparently at the wheel this week. scattered around the house are scores of unfinished letters, heaps of yarn and fiber, an abandoned spreadsheet, unsorted papers, a half-spray-painted ottoman, and scraps of lumber that had once had a purpose but no longer. scattered around my brain are incomplete sentences, circular references, and languages i don't understand. in the middle of this i have an irrepressible urge to start painting garbage cans. but i see the left brain out of the corner of my eye, with one hand on her hips and the other wagging a finger at me. it appears she's poised to take the reins next week and make me accomplish something. i hope so. both sides may have their quirks, but i couldn't live without either of them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the fleeting spanish tortilla

until the food fairy finds our house, we're still responsible for generating our own meals. once in a while i get a fleeting desire to make spanish tortilla and fortunately it is a rather aimee-proof process. usually i lose interest around the potato goo phase. but when i make it to the finish line, the spanish tortilla is a yummy dish, which means that it too is fleeting. i just don't understand that aspect of cooking. as soon as i'm finished, i have to start again? please hurry, food fairy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

a weekend in austin

several times each year we go back to texas, that land where the bluebonnets cover the earth and the temperature is fit for humans - usually. this time we had one day of gorgeous weather and then it felt like we were back in kansas again. but that didn't stop me from stealing an afternoon to check out the groovy shops, street art and odd finds on south congress avenue in austin. and it most definitely did NOT stop me from meeting my favorite ranter and writer on creativity, ricë freeman-zachery, and her husband earl that evening for the first time. i already knew i'd love them and of course i did immediately. i found that ricë is not only a darling, but to my delight she rants in person just like she does on her blog, in a sweet and charming voice, and earl complements her beautifully with the perfectly-timed zinger throughout her rants. we met for drinks and then went out for dinner with a few of their friends, including the outrageously funny wendy hale davis, a bookbinder who creates stunning visual journals. being around all of that artistic and comic genius left me rather mute by the end of the evening, but with a huge smile on my face, and strong hopes that i'll see these lovelies again someday.