Monday, March 30, 2009

a good kind of wallowing

mood management is a tricky business. sometimes i can stave off a lousy mood by changing my environment or playing games with my mind, but when a dear friend mentioned a few weeks ago that she was wallowing in her own funk, it hit me that, well, sometimes i too just have to dwell in the yuck for a bit for life to return to normal.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

a fool with fiber

this project took me by surprise yesterday. i had been staring for two years at this cool yarn made from old saris and had no idea what to do with it. finally this week i started fiddling around with it, gluing it all over things, tying knots, and threading it through journal pages. then yesterday i saw a few crochet hooks peeking out of my marker cups which reminded me that once upon a time i knew how to do a basic stitch. so i made a few just for fun, loved the way the colors played together, and realized that i could make headbands and bracelets by doing a few rows of that simple stitch and threading the ends to join the sides. no pattern, no counting, no fancy measuring to upset my brain. guesswork all the way. the perfect project for someone like me who is a total fool with fiber.

Friday, March 27, 2009

all about spanky

my march madness bracket went up entirely in smoke last night, half a foot of snow is on the way, i have to be out the door in fifteen minutes and i'm still in my pajamas. but it's all good here, now that i've had a round of mindless word fun.

p.s. don't forget to visit the petite press for christy's letterpress booklet giveaway, and check out her guest post on poppytalk handmade in which she describes step by step how she made these little beauties!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

what makes life better

stunning postcards and a beautifully illustrated stone, gifts from wonderful esti

an afternoon at my friend alix's house

a stop at z's divine espresso

healthy reminders

a cup of liquid sugar, oh yeah

and growing, happy girls

p.s. a big hug to jess for featuring my identity piece on pecannoot and to cindy for mentioning my unlearning post :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

an odd kind of math

when i want to add something to my life i usually find there's something i need to subtract is a strange equation, but then again i was never very good at math ;)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

little tags

my little cache of shipping tags came in handy this week when veja cecilia tapped my shoulder with a few questions. i made it through a few of them, at least, before i was interrupted:

i know, i didn't make it through even a sliver of them, but i tried, and now i'll pass along the tag to anyone interested! visit cecilia for a full list of questions and be sure to check out her gorgeous, intricate patterns while you're there. and if you want to make these little tags for yourself, they are fun and easy. pick up a box of 500 shipping tags at office max, ink them like this, and re-thread them with a fun yarn. then start collaging, painting, drawing, whatevering on them and soon you'll have enough to use for notepad covers, mini journal covers, gift tags, or of course, answering tags!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

funkytown is back

funkytown is back! actually, it never quite went away. a few die-hards kept a skeletal presence in funkytown through the winter, but now that the first blooms are in sight, the little village is growing quickly again. for those of you new to artsyville, funkytown was started by someone in our neighborhood last year by tossing a few toys in their side yard, and over the summer it evolved into a fun trading environment. people bring arts, crafts, junky kid toys - weird random stuff lives in harmony here. my favorite things today were the flower that someone fashioned out of an egg carton - so clever - and the beautiful headbands that arrived in the mail for my girls from a sweet art friend. my least favorite thing today: just look at birdiegirl's NAUGHTY purple fingers. she found a bottle of liquid watercolor this afternoon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

a bowl of diablo salsa

those of you who have spent some time in artsyville know that cooking is a form of torture for me. but there is one thing that i always make rather than buy: salsa. mine is a simple concoction, as it has to be because i am a very simple-minded person when it comes to kitchen-related activities. but something about it just works. it beats the booty out of store-bought salsa, and all goes well as long as i remember to follow my own handy tip based on a few unforgettable experiences.

a HUGE thank you to suzanne from an open [sketch]book for making artsyville her link love of the week (check out her sketches - they are fabulous!), to miss aimee from the very cool mostly mod for the same honor last week, and to pam at present magazine who featured the groovy doodle card project this past weekend. and make sure you get over to feeling inspired to see what valentina did with the clothespin project for her art show. wow! hers way outdo mine, and look at that packaging!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

moving through syrup

my birdiegirl, her scuffed shoes and i made it outside for some errands and pictures this morning but other than that, i have been living in the land of the supremely unaccomplished this week. lots of happy little ideas are swirling around upstairs but i'm afraid they'll evaporate by the time i manage to reach them because i'm...just...not...getting...there...

part of it is due to my own knack at inefficiency, and the rest is simply due to all of the little bitty things that add up to raising a child. i delighted in this post by jennifer new (if you're a creative mama who is balancing a creative career and raising a family, her mothers of invention blog is a must read!) in which she describes kid time as having a syrupy quality to it. i couldn't think of a better way to describe it. my kids simply work on their own time and their own schedule. what would have taken thirty minutes in my past life now takes four or five hours or more. a shining example of this: while i was in the middle of printing and taking pictures for my doodle card post, my two daughters (ages 6 and 2) got the brilliant idea of slicing a bean bag and dumping it all over the bed. just imagine thousands of electrically charged particles that jumped and danced everywhere and defied nearly all methods of cleanup. (pause) and oh! such brilliant timing on my two year old's part. just as i finished writing that last sentence, she smeared strawberry yogurt all over the coffee table...

and speaking of that doodle card post, thank you all SO SO SO much for stopping by and leaving your thoughts - as that post came a quite a price, i heartily appreciated all the feedback! and an extra special thanks goes to rachel at one pretty thing, jan at scoutie girl, and joanne at breathe as me for featuring this project on their blogs. i'll put little bundles of these cards in my etsy shop soon - that is, provided i emerge from this syrup...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

groovy doodle cards

i've discovered a use for the little intricate black and white doodles that keep piling up in my journal: groovy doodle cards! if you have a scanner, a color printer, photoshop, and a few doodles that are sitting in your journal with nothing else to do, this is a fun and easy project.

grab some color cover paper/cardstock (i had a bunch of astrobrights 65# cover on hand, so that's what i used).

scan your black and white doodle at 300 dpi and open the image in photoshop. with the color picker, choose a color that comes very close to the color of the paper. use the magic wand and the fill tool to replace the black design with your chosen color. you can also do the reverse (which i did for most of these designs) by filling in the white background with the ink color, and replacing the black design with white. (the white won't really print as white, so just think of the white area as the color of your print paper.) this part is one big fun trial and error process for me. there are many excellent photoshop tutorials out there if you need a little more guidance on this step. guess and play around with it. have a glass of wine. have a good time.

when you print, the ink color will come out slightly darker than the paper color which creates a really groovy effect. if you think it doesn't look so groovy, go back to the trial-and-error step and play around a little more.

when you're satisfied with the results, trim the paper to your desired size. i cut mine into 2 1/2 by 5" rectangles so that when i folded them i'd have a little square, ideal for quick notes to tuck into gifts or packages.

now grab a groovy pen and start writing! and let me know if you try making these - i want to see them!