Sunday, August 30, 2009

the troublemaker

i was quite the public annoyance the other day. sorry, everyone! i guess we all deserve our day, and this was mine...

p.s. soulbrush just took her beautiful, colorful, soulful world to etsy... and my groovy doodle giveaway is open for a few more days...

Friday, August 28, 2009

the scent of sunflowers

kansas is famous for its sunflowers, something i didn't know when we moved here three years ago. they are so beautiful that it really doesn't matter that they have no scent. even the sign next to this field wryly admits that you can stick your nose into a sunflower, but all you'll get is sunflower oil all over your face.

for more whiffs of the world, visit caroline, who chose the weekword aroma. thanks for all who signed up for the groovy doodle giveaway - i'll keep it open until wednesday, september 2nd. feel free to pass on the link to the post!

have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

surprise for me, surprise for you

what a lucky girl am i! yesterday, my mailbox was getting rather heavy, so i rested on a grassy knoll and took a peek inside. as i opened it, out burst a fountain of many colored butterflies, rainbow game counters, chess pieces, laughing cutlery, tiny chairs and tables, and flying plates covered with exotic fruit. oh, sorry - my mind drifted there momentarily to a nutty old poem-song by the nutty old dukes of stratosphear, so let me try again. as i opened it, out burst a big envelope of color and goodness from thereza of tiny red design in england, delivered to kansas by the royal mail itself. my girls and i had a great afternoon going through the layers of goodies - a tiny red envelope that really was tiny and red, keychains, little bookmarks, notes, a postcard from her el justiciero exhibition, beautiful prints - they really did seem like many colored butterflies and flying plates covered with exotic fruit. thank you, T!

her generosity reminded me that i promised a giveaway two months ago, and i haven't done it yet, so let's do one now. leave a comment for me here before next wednesday, september 2, and i'll draw two winners for a little assemblage of groovy doodle goods - notecards, wine tags, and whatever else comes into my head before then.

now, off to the famous sunflower fields - the weather isn't cooperating with the best light this afternoon, but kansas is known for its sunflowers and i don't want to miss them at their peak. if you don't hear from me, send a dispatch team - i'm probably lost somewhere around tonganoxie.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

my teachers

this is what our little one said this morning when i tried to help her with something. she is our leader, the strategist, the tester, the fearless pistol.

this is how our older one spends her days, our dreamer, the experimenter, the one who consistently eats her ice cream cones from the bottom up while she gazes at the sky.

i'm not sure where i would be without either of them. they are my teachers.

some food for thought from my favorite ranter on how to play nicely in art and life.

Monday, August 24, 2009

farewell, trashy mood

all right, i'll admit it: i was in a trashy mood on saturday, the kind that shows up for no good reason, uninvited, and expects rather selfishly to be entertained the entire day. so as any self-respecting funk dweller would do, i walked downtown and headed directly for the alley, imagining an accompaniment of minor notes and mournful violins...

started my slumming here...

clucked in sympathy with this person whose visual output was apparently expunged from a back door in the alley...

did what this spray painted pipe said to do...

looked in vain for the uplifting sign in the last photo of this post, and found only this reminder that "you do not even know what you don't know" in its place...

and wailed at the loss of the cheese shop on 8th. no more cheese shop staff returning to the dead after hours. it was a dark day, indeed...

but this fire breather and juggler lifted my spirits (if only temporarily, before my three year old broke her sister's glasses, cut the hair off her polly pockets and windexed her bed, sheets and pillows)...

these bountiful peppers at the farmers market also perked me up, just because of their prettiness, and so did the endless buckets and rows of gorgeous fresh flowers, even though i deleted that photo because when i uploaded it i realized there were a bunch of people's butts in the way...

then guess what? trashy mood packed its bags and went to bother someone else, which meant that sunday arrived with calm, sun, cool breeze, open doors and windows, naps on the sofa, well-behaved children, happy slothdom...

and it ended just perfectly last night with a delightful cocktail party, given by two gracious friends who knew just how to push my reset button. i'll tell you what else smashed my trashy mood - your comments on my camping post. hilarious! i'm still laughing!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

where i do and don't doodle

where do you do your doodling or whatever it is that you do? i do have a doodledesk but don't do much with it and here is why...

now i'm downtown-bound for coffee and spying - the weather is picture perfect and i assume there will be lots of activity going on, especially with the fire jugglers and phone book rippers in town this weekend. and oh - don't miss the guest appearance of fruenswerk's heartbreaking hairpins here, stephanie's feature on decor8 (note that she makes excellent use of her art desk), and kelly's excellent printmaking tutorial! happy saturday!

Friday, August 21, 2009

not a camper

weekword pushed me into a corner this time! i have no choice but to confess that i am not a camper. it wasn't always this way. i loved to camp as a kid - this was the only time i got to eat cereal out of those cool mini boxes - and i have a great memory of the time my dad carted us to upper michigan for a week, only to find that upon setting up our nuclear orange tent in the middle of nowhere that my brother had no extra underwear. with my dad cursing at my mom (who had wisely stayed home) under his breath (no cell phones in those days), we got back in the car and headed over the canadian border to the nearest store, where there were no tighty-whities in his size, only blue. after a long line at customs with nothing to declare but blue briefs, we made it back to the campsite just in time for dinner. my dad set up his portable coleman stove, pulled out the frying pan and took off the lid, and of course, there was the missing underwear that my mother had carefully and thoughtfully packed for the entire week.

anyway, with time i became increasingly ill at ease at braving the elements overnight. the last time i got suckered into camping was when i was a graduate student in arizona. i spent one very long sleepless night somewhere near show low, waiting for those exotic desert beasts howling in the distance to find me for dinner. after grad school i started traveling full time for work, and discovered that i preferred to camp indoors, W Hotel-style...

if you're in the mood for some good weekend reading, check out the great feature of orly's one artist journal in the new issue of artful blogging and thereza's thoughtfully written post on copyright considerations. happy friday!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

those kinds of days

good morning! here are a few silly doodles inspired by a rare string of good idea and good worker-bee days i've had recently. i must have been feeling exceptionally optimistic when i made these, as i didn't consider the option of a do-nothing day. i have plenty of those, too, so i'd better get busy on that do-nothing doodle ;) what kind of day are you having? i love that every day starts fresh with potential - anything (or nothing) could happen...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

delights from distant lands

yay for little bundles of color and happiness that have traveled many miles to reach our doorstep in the middle of kansas...

yummy candy and cookies from china, hauled over the pacific by mr. artsyville. he sure knows how to treat his girls...

a print swap with the lovely violette from british columbia, canada. her bright and encouraging work takes the edge off of my cynicism and my all-too-often grrrrrr outlook on life. my girls love to watch her dance with an accordion in the promo for her new book, journal bliss. thank you for the smiles, violette!

a surprise from south africa, a beautiful photograph from l'atelier as well as one of her gorgeous watercolors - thanks, sweet l'atelier :)

and another gem from canada, uppercase magazine - this issue features two of my favorite artists, heather smith jones and gracia haby. it is fantastic from cover to cover and fully worth the splurge!

hope you're having a great week so far - if you'd like to play weekword with us, visit nicky and let her know. also, don't forget to check out the interview with thereza and the excellent feature on her work at aqua-velvet... well, now i think it's time for a glass of wine, some writing and some doodling. what? the kids? oh, yeah, i guess i have to put the kids to bed first...

Monday, August 17, 2009

driving in circles and other adventures

my aimless wandering around the united states has ended, school has started, mr. artsyville has returned from a trip to china to relieve me from minimalist parenting mode, and suddenly, thankfully, joyfully, i have art time on my hands again. so i played catch up this weekend in my journal, inking and prismacoloring in my quick pencil doodles from over the summer. there are more - one involving a bunch of bananas - that i'll post as soon as i finish. hope you all had a great weekend!

p.s. if you are a self-employed artist, i highly recommend following swedish artist alexandra hedberg's excellent new sunday series art as business!

Friday, August 14, 2009

a detour to the village witch

it has been a long, hard day, and johnny's tavern is on your mind. so you get in your car, head over the bridge, and see the twinkling lights of johnny and his siblings - the gaslight tavern and the village witch - waiting for you on the other side of the river. you're getting pretty excited about that drink, but as you approach the trio of watering holes, you see something that makes your throat tighten and your stomach lurch. the road is under construction, the entrances to all three bars are blocked from your side, and you are diverted one street to the right. you panic, wondering how on earth you'll ever make it back on your own.

fortunately for you, the transportation department has not only assumed you would make the poor choice of driving instead of walking or taking the bus, but it has also anticipated your navigational dilemma. so not to worry.

there are not just one,

not two,

not three,

but FOUR signs within that half-mile detour to guide you, soon-to-be-sotted patron, to your destination.

after you've loaded up to the gills here, be sure to continue your detour with anairam, valentina, fruenswerk, veja cecilia, nicky, jersuzstuff, e, frayed at the edge, alexandra, l'atelier, and thereza. (take a bus, please.) don't forget to sign up for thereza's giveaway while you're there! hey, nicky, will you pick the next weekword?

have a great weekend - happy trails to you!

Monday, August 10, 2009

which way

sorry i'm a bit late with the weekword, but i spent the morning taking care of my little artsygirl, who has been having some back pain lately. it's no wonder - the child is a contortionist and she never stops moving. it is nothing to find her scaling stop signs, hanging from the inside doorways of our house, bouncing high on a trampoline and landing hard on her can, or the most horrifying to me, watching her scale the rope up to the ceiling of the gym, ringing the cowbell at the top and waving hello from 20 feet in the air. so i took her to the doctor this morning thinking it would be a quick in/out visit with a prescription for an ice pack and motrin, but instead they sent us over to the hospital for a round of x-rays. when the doctor asked her how she hurt her back, she thought for a second and said, "you know, i think it was that limbo contest."

i'm sure she's fine, and we wound up even having a little bit of fun during our re-routed morning. and since our day didn't go according to plan (it rarely does, which is why i generally don't plan in the first place), i decided on DETOUR for the weekword. if you want to play, leave me a comment, and post your interpretation this friday - a drawing, journal page, photo, painting, a story - truly, any way you want to take it ;)

Friday, August 7, 2009


greetings from the last road trip of the summer! we left monday morning for the ozarks, a gorgeous area of the country that is too often underrated and overlooked, and then wandered down to texas, where i got suckered into a parking lot carnival and many other things i'd never do on my own turf. went to the diego rivera cubist exhibition at the meadows museum in dallas yesterday and picked up this fabulous book of his illustrations. see l'atelier for more stories of wanderlust! in the meantime, i'll be trucking home on country roads...

Monday, August 3, 2009

how not to paint chairs

1) dig a dusty chair out of the attic. 2) do not wash, brush off dust, or do any other kind of preparatory work. 3) use only gunky, cheap old craft paints, and 4) slap them on quickly and randomly. 5) do not let dry in between coats. 6) leave doors closed to keep the vapors in. 7) make sure you have two children to care for/mediate/feed/reprimand/ soothe, a lawn to mow, bills to pay, two projects due, a toy to dig out of the sink, applesauce to clean off the deck, a suitcase to pack, etc. this will keep your effort level to a minimum. 8) place flowers on the chair for a staged effect. 9) take a photo in direct sunlight to wash out the colors. 10) enjoy your new chair.