Thursday, December 30, 2010

this is the year

as suspected, i thought i'd need a sanity check before the year was up (the kids are still out of school) and it came in the form of being bitten by the resolution bug. it surprised me a bit, as i'm not normally a resolution maker. but i guess nothing better creates order out of present chaos than making future plans. this is a little piece i whipped up to help me through the list. (it's also in the shop as a print, magnet, and bookmark/wallet card.) so far i'm doing exceptionally well with resolution #1, Eat More Dark Chocolate Raspberry Sticks From Trader Joe's.

if you'd like to share one of your resolutions here (frivolous ones accepted and even encouraged), i'll draw a name on sunday, january 2 for a "this is the year" wallet card/bookmark!

happy new year!

Friday, December 17, 2010




mini doodle-bookmarks

thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! it was a wonderful day and i'm still celebrating. i've been really, obnoxiously obsessed with my new minidoodles this week. i had been looking for a way to make a little version of my doodles that were more portable and durable than the magnets and prints (my fascination with the keychains puttered out), and I finally came up with something that made my heart sing - these minidoodle wallet cards/ bookmarks. i was going to wait until the new year to put them in the shop, but i finished them early to give as christmas gifts, and i saw no virtue in waiting (i never do). they are the same size as the magnets, printed on a super duper thick cover paper, laminated on both sides to protect them from the elements, and each one has a coordinating pattern on the reverse so you'll get a burst of artsyville color no matter which side you use. i'm going to test 12 of them in the shop for now, and if they do well, i'll add others after the new year.

with the kids out of school, my attendance around here will be spotty for the next few weeks, so I'm going to put List it Tuesday on vacation. you're totally welcome to keep the listing going on your own blogs, but i'll start the LIT posts here again on january 4. no doubt i'll be back before then for a sanity check or two. happy holidays!

(p.s. mother of all holiday newsletters here. love that tulpen and her bad words.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

list it tuesday 12/14: pathetic cookie houses




every year we make pathetic cookie houses and what fun we have creating them! they all remained upright this year, so technically they don't qualify as truly pathetic cookie houses, but long ago the name stuck, so there it stays. you won't ever see these on a foodie blog, but all the same, it is an entirely relaxing and delicious process.

taking off the rest of the day, as i'm officially 4 decades even today, and it's time to call my mom because it's HER birthday too! happy birthday, mom ♥

if you've made a list today, please leave your link in the comments, and have a great day! xo

Friday, December 10, 2010

no more


next week my thirties will be coming to an end, and good golly, what a ride it has been. it's an irresistible thing to flash back to where i was at the end of my twenties, and then heave a sigh of relief that i am where i am now and not where i was then. i was so much younger in body, but so much older in spirit. i lived a divided life. on my own watch, i was happy: did as i pleased, went where i wished, spent time with people i liked. professionally i was a miserable wretch. every monday i got on a plane, showed up to whatever company i was dispatched, and shed myself in a heap on the front door before i went into the building. i can still feel so clearly how it felt, not strong or secure enough in my own skin to take along the parts of me that i needed the most. every thursday night i came home, spent, and collected myself out of that puddle and began the recharging process until it was time to go back. and as i picked through my thirties, i wondered, "why is this so hard? where is the unity? when will this all come together?" well, the reason was because it WAS hard, and i had to realize that the unity and togetherness were only going to come from inside, not from the outside. it involved making choices, standing by them, standing by my own side when i screwed up. in short, it involved not only figuring out my identity, but also taking responsibility for it.

this line has been traveling around in my journals and notebooks for as long as i can remember - and now i feel like i've finally earned the right to put it in color. not because it's something already accomplished, but because i'm finally starting to believe in it.

navel gazing complete. have a nice weekend!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

walking and whining










one great thing about winter in kansas is that we have a good sporting chance of a decent day here and there. yesterday we got one, so i took a whirl around downtown with the four year old while big sis was in art class. but the whining. the gritching. the moaning pile of child on the sidewalk. too COLD. too FAR. too MUCH. too TIRED. there she is, collapsed next to señor godzilla. she, griping because she has to move her very own self down the street. he, probably because he can't. (and i think he's still missing a hand.) we broke the spell by riding the elevator up and down at weavers for a half hour. still, mademoiselle grouchette earned an early exit to bed last night and i got a good head start on a new doodle painting. i hear stirring upstairs - let's hope mr. sun is shining more brightly on her today. i think i'll brew a pot of coffee before i find out.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

list it tuesday 12/7: beyond the canvas


my brush has gotten a bit too staid and comfortable on traditional paper and it is yearning to stray. but canvas and i do not agree. there's some kind of hangup there. everything i do on it looks stupid to me. i've had more luck with other flat surfaces - bags, cork, pegboard - and i'm going to try a few of these alternatives, too. any other ideas?

if you've posted a handwritten list today, please leave your link in the comments so we can find you! i'll be back soon with a little doodleditty about public embarrassments...

Monday, December 6, 2010

kind over matter


happy monday - hope you all had a great weekend! i stuffed myself to the eyeballs with latkes, but i managed to waddle over to kind over matter this morning to doodle and write a guest post! if you have a moment, please swing to say hello and to check out amanda's amazing, kind world. have a great day, and i'll see you tomorrow for list it tuesday!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

the handmade holiday doodletour

last year i doodled a tour through the shops of some of my favorite artists. i had so much fun with it, i did a fresh round this year. even if you aren't in the mood for shopping, hop on the bus anyway - there are great things to see, fabulous people to meet, good times to be had!

(shop: agambroult) what first pulled me into amy's world of elemental is that she WRITES WITH METAL. check out her artful stones. how fantastic are those? and from there the lovefest only gets bigger. her metalwork has such a smooth, clean, satisfying finish that it's hard to imagine the intense process that goes into making each piece. she writes a terrific blog about her work, her life, and sometimes both.

(shop: choosingbeauty) liv, that angel, opened up her shop earlier this year featuring prints of her collages and bottlecap necklaces with super uplifting messages, and her sales are already shooting into the sky. she blogs nearly daily at choosing beauty about things she chooses to do, see, and experience - which balances me out so nicely because i'm largely a reactive person and let things just happen.

(shop: anopensketchbook) it was ABOUT DAMN TIME that suzannefabulouscabrera opened a shop! you'll love her blog an open sketchbook if you haven't found it already. she's one of the best (and funniest) sketchers i know. she's having a shop launch sale: buy 2 prints, get 1 free through this friday!

(shop: carissapaige) i love carissa. how can i not? she wears canary yellow tights, and they look perfect on her. all of her drawings and paintings remind me of her: sprightly, charming, darling and wise. she has a wonderful dream log, too.

(shop: mirthmarket) julie's handpainted wooden rings are darling. go see. bursts of little candies for the hand. on my list to buy!

(shop: buffalolucy) julie and i met through our daughters a few years ago, and for the longest time neither of us had a clue that the other was an artist. well, you don't learn these kinds of things at dropoff and pickup times and frenzied birthday parties. somehow our online worlds finally crossed in an AHA moment last year, and i am just crazy bonkers over her jewelry. i love how the bright splashes of stone contrast with the medieval grooviness of her metal work, and i finally treated myself to one of her necklaces!

(shop: annebvinyl) i met anne via my friend christy (formerly of the petite press, now inkello letterpress) and i was just WOWED by her vinylicious goods. i am a sucker for nearly anything made of vinyl and oilcloth, and anne does it with the same impeccable touch that christy has with her letterpress work.

(shop: rachelawes) rachel's world all i did was listen could not be more perfectly named - her art and words have windows to the soul, as though they are there just waiting to hear what you have to say. when we were at her cabin in minnesota earlier this year, she asked each of us what we loved - and she drew my answer here. i'm still swooning over it.

(shop: crabcakescouture) not only is alix one of my best pals, she's also a rockin' children's clothing designer. she does a booming wholesale business as well as through word of mouth. i've bought her cake tees every year for my daughters, as well as her girlie girl shirts, ricecake babies, necklaces, cuffs, layered cake skirts, so many things that aren't even listed here. she's a mix and match pattern genius!

(shop: candiedfabrics) candy dyes all of her delicious fabrics by hand and then creates mini masterpieces out of them. check out her mod house ornaments, her messenger bags, freshly picked outfits, and her art quilts. she writes an awesome blog, too, on topics ranging from funny everyday bits of her life to super useful business-oriented posts. my girls each have one of her freshly picked shirts and they wash and wear beautifully. problem is, her fabrics are so delish i keep trying to eat them. free shipping in her shop through the 12th!

(shop: lbolter) i adore laura's colorful, fresh, juicy art! she's one of my favorite jewish artists, right alongside susie of mishmish. we've been corresponding for two years but it was only this week that we finally met for coffee!

(shop: oodlestitchandfold) i first found magaly through her other blog and her illustration shop, the itsy bitsy spill, and immediately snapped up one of her cuffs and felted pendants when she opened oodle stitch and fold earlier this year. not only are they gorgeous, they are beautifully made and they go with nearly everything i have.

(shop: polarity) i've never connected personally with cat before now, but her magnetic lockets have totally pulled me in, so to speak, and i'll be getting one for myself before long. check out her artists' series and you will probably recognize some familiar names - lori portka, stephanie levy, and jessica swift, among others. all of her locket lids are interchangeable and totally darling.

(shop: loriportka) looking at one of lori's paintings is like being in a world you never want to leave. if you have a moment, check out the story behind her work - it lends such a deep authenticity to the beautiful pieces she creates. her work totally stands alone, but it has even more meaning when you read how she found her happiness through art.

and there you have it - the 2010 handmade holiday doodletour! if you have time, it's worth a visit to the artists on last year's tour - most of them have their shops filled with goodies for the holidays. hope you enjoyed the ride!

p.s. if you're curious, all of the backgrounds for these pictures were covers of vintage books i've snagged from our library book sales over the years!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

art every day month #30/list it tuesday 11/30: back on track


last day of art every day month! a big thanks to leah for being a terrific host and helping me put that spark of spontaneity back into my hours. now i have to pull my head out of the art and attend the daily affairs i've neglected over the past thirty days. thus, a rather boring list for this week - it's time to get back on track. i haven't even bothered to get yesterday's mail out of the box. same with the newspaper. but the biggie this week is the drivers' license and i cannot blame that one on art every day month because i've been shoving off the task for four years. the problem is, it seems to be a curse - every time i get legal in a state, we wind up moving. if i had been smart i would have held on to my arizona license, which i got in 1996 and was valid until 2030. can you imagine that, my 25 year old mug on the license of a 60 year old? next up is resuming work on a wedding commission - i'm handlettering the invitations, programs, table signs, the works. i don't do commissions very often because they usually make me distraught, but this one has been a SUPER fun job. forgot to include "re-introduce self to family" on this list, too - that goes to the top! if you made a list today, please leave your link in the comments. happy tuesday and thanks to everyone who kept me afloat during AEDM!

Monday, November 29, 2010

art every day month #29: finding the balance


one final doodle for art every day month: my dirty little secret on achieving balance in life. if you know me, this will make perfect sense; if you don't, it will explain everything! i sketched it out at the swimming pool last night and plowed through the rest of it at wheatfields this morning with a cup of extra strong coffee and three hours of peace. my hand is about to fall off (these long doodles make me arthritic) so i'm off to find a bottle of ibuprofen, then coming back to finally start making some blog rounds. last day for the doodlesale - the coupon code BFCM2010 will turn into a pumpkin at midnight. see you tomorrow for list it tuesday!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

art every day #28: soaking up the color


back to painted papertowels! my older one uses rolls of papertowels to make paper skirts and dresses so we decided to give them a bit of color this time. we put slightly diluted liquid watercolors in ziploc bags, then squished around the papertowels until they absorbed all the liquid. it only involved a bit of yelling - it's highly permanent stuff and the girls kept opening the bags - and then we pinned them to dry on my pegboard display from yesterday's show. i've seen pegboards in others' studios and homes before but never appreciated how versatile and useful they were until i started playing around with them myself. if you have little feet running around, pegboard is a great alternative to a bulletin board because it avoids the need for thumb tacks. just rows of ribbon (secured with knots behind the holes) and clothespins. plus the boards are very economical - only $7ish for a large, sturdy piece.

more art every day here, and one more day of the doodlesale here. thanks everyone for a great few days in the shop, and happy sunday to you!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

art ALL day #27: the biz baz





every art/craft show i've ever done has sucked. today i finally broke the cycle! this is my tiny space in front of the bizarre bazaar, which ran from 9 to 5 today at the lawrence arts center. the table on the right held the bulk of the goods; the table on the left was for little people, with crayons and coloring books, to keep the tots occupied while parents shopped. i took a chance on the weather, which could have easily been lousy, but it turned out to be stellar, almost 60 degrees. i sold double my goal in both dollars and units, and finally got to meet a few people from the e-world live and in person! a big thank you to my family and so many of my friends who stopped by - especially to julie and stephanie who kept me sustained with hot chocolate, lunch, and brownies. hope to catch up on all of your worlds in the next few days - between posting every day and getting ready for the show, on top of the holiday and having the kids home, i've fallen woefully behind on visits. i will remedy that soon! but first, a bottle of beer, and then, sleep.

*p.s. the sale in the shop is still on through monday, november 29*

Friday, November 26, 2010

art every day #25/#26: doodle friday

a few new doodles to share!


look inside that noggin i made to prop myself up when i'm feeling ill-equipped to deal with the world, solve a problem or push myself in a new direction. a reminder that i don't constantly have to look outside of me for all the answers. (i'm a super chronic offender of that.)


wishing star is one that i finished last month, but haven't shown here yet. just a happy and hopeful little doodle to give my inner cynic a restroom break. no one is ever too old to wish upon a star (especially when nothing else is working)...


last thing is a new version of a piece i did long ago. it requested a comeback, because there are so very many things i don't want to do- and if i can't get out of doing something, i should at least get to complain about it.

and YAY! i'm having a doodlesale in the shop from black friday to cyber monday - 15% off your entire order. just enter the coupon code BFCM2010 upon checkout. happy weekend to everyone!

p.s. did anyone go to target at 4 a.m.? i didn't...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

art every day #24: mirror mirror


do you ever become numb and indifferent to things in your house, to the point that you don't remember how or when they got there? that is, if you even notice them? that was the case with this mirror - it was a dull, boring space occupant and i was starting to take offense to that. not sure where i'm going with it, as it still needs some work and clashes terribly with the drab wall. but at least it has a story now - as anything with turquoise does - and it might force me to re-paint the room to a brighter, cheerier companion color. happy wednesday, and safe travels to those who are on the road for thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

art every day #23/list it tuesday 11/23: morning moods

this week's list started last week, when i took the girl to preschool and went to circle her mood on the sign in sheet. but there was no option for her state of being that day. so i gave them a verbal heads up and they appreciated that. clearly it was a list in need of expansion. tammy from daisy yellow got things started with bewildered, giggly, exuberant, and questionable, and from there the rest of the words flowed like wine. it was quite the aha moment when i finished. no wonder days can be so complicated - not only with children, but for all of us. who knows what mood we'll wake up hosting, let alone others in the household? at work? in public? i think we all need our own sign-in sheet every morning. it would be a common courtesy to the rest of the world, a public notice to let others know whether they're in for a trick or a treat from us.








(background images: 1) the ethnic paris cookbook, 2) recipes from provence, 3) traditional sarasatic patterns, 4) robert guest's lunchbox notes to his kids in esopus, 5) côté sud, 6) ready made, 7) the cute/idealistic BOHO mag, and the FABULOUS new polaroid book WORD by jen shaffer and jen victoor. a must if you are a polaroid fanatic - available here and here.)

any other listers out there today? please leave your link in the comments!