Tuesday, September 28, 2010



enjoying the last few days of summery clothes


taking in the last sunflowers of the year


gawking at the people-powered pedal hopper bus


loving my vintage japanese harlequin boots


staying off vehicles


wishing i had a balcony with a cow


smiling at someone's bike


bummed that i missed this


doing a bit of window shopping


thinking about ice cream


watching life spin

Friday, September 24, 2010

artsyville love on the go



finally figured out how to create a little bit of artsyville love on the go - introducing doubledoodle keychains! the image is printed on the front AND back (so you're covered on both sides), then sealed in a most durable 2x3 acrylic covering. so, i think i'll have a little sale in the shop to kick them off. from now through sunday, buy two keychains and get one free - just let me know in the notes to seller which one you'd like. and now i've got to go perk up a bit. i've been misaligned this week for no good reason, which is usually the worst kind, because there's nothing concrete to poke with a fork and say, "hey, what's your problem? get with it." even the plumed pencils only uplifted me for one feathery moment. it's that elusive off-ness that keeps me awake at night and gives me an insomnia hangover the next day. that nagging feeling that i'm the most disorganized mother in the world. the persistent reminder that the gene for social interaction was left entirely out of my DNA. the upshot is that it's a gorgeous day, which means i can go for a walk and sulk for a while - and now i can take my doodles with me! wishing you all a great weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

plumed pencils

About four years ago I saw an article (in Paper Crafts magazine, maybe?) on how to cover pencils with paper and I was instantly an obsessed woman. I went on a factory run of about 250, then had my second child and moved across the country and there was no time for adorning pencils. Today seemed like a good day to revive the madness.

I'm sure there are plenty of tutorials out there on how to cover pencils, surely better than this one, but this should at least get you started. Magazines are perfect for this project because the pages are thin enough to wrap easily around pencils, plus the variation in the pictures makes the overlap hardly noticeable. I siphoned a few pages from my old stacks of Marie-Claire Idées and Cloth Paper Scissors for these. You can use just about any kind of paper, provided it is thin enough. Origami paper, scrapbooking paper, wrapping paper, even patterned tape should all work, but lining up the patterns on the overlap requires extra effort that I'm personally not willing to invest.

Cut a piece of paper the length of the pencil and about 1.5" wide. Sharpen the pencil, run a glue stick on the strip of paper, then roll it around the pencil - it should wrap several times - and fix the paper in place. Then slap on a coat of Mod Podge and you're done! To let it dry, stick the tip in a foam block. Once it is thoroughly dry, you can sharpen it as you would any regular pencil. Thicker papers might require a wider pencil sharpener.


And then there's the matter of ornamentation. For a clean, minimalist look, you can leave the ends bare, as above.



Or you can go over the top, and sully the eraser with feathers and floral tape as I did. This way, the next time you go to your local craft store and they hand you one of those grubby flower-topped pens to sign your credit card slip, you can whip out your plume and say, "No, thank you! I have my own."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

pumped up












The cheap, moldy old umbrella stroller disappeared this week. After searching all of the usual places where I might have stowed or abandoned it, and coming up with nothing, I'm guessing that someone swiped the POS from our front porch. Fine with me! I couldn't do any decent walking with that thing anyway. Forced me to get the souped up jogging stroller out of storage (read: back porch, where it has been sitting unused with flat tires for six months) and pump that sucker up. The bird and I grabbed a strawberry lemonade and did a photowhirl around downtown this afternoon in the new inflatable. (I slid Bugs Bunny in here, too - a discovery in the alley few weeks ago that I forgot to post.)

Thank you all so much for your delightful comments on my last post. Have to say that messyfish's comment takes the cake, hands down - thanks to her two year old son I now have a new, unforgettable word for popcorn!

Friday, September 10, 2010


on her way to learning english, my younger girl has made loads of the typical mispronunciations and misinterpretations that make kidspeak so funny. when she was two, she couldn't say macaroni so she asked for "f*ckaroni and cheese". a shoe was an "oosh". when we go for a drive on the turnpike, we have to stop and pay the "troll". she even called me esther the other day for no clear reason. awesome stuff to write in the baby book.

but my older one. oh my god. that indecipherable mystery of my life was largely silent until she was three, setting off ten-alarm panic bells (read here for her story) throughout the early childhood development community. then poof - nearly overnight - she started dispensing crisp, neatly articulated sentences based on the speech pattern of a 90 year old and the grammar rules from another planet. (read here for more on that). she's nearly eight and sometimes we still need a translator.










to my delight she is still mostly oblivious to the great stuff that comes out of her mouth. but i worry that will change. she's at the age where she's becoming aware of how other kids perceive her. all i can do is document her cryptospeak, madly and clandestinely, and hope that she won't censor herself in order to fit in - not only for her sake, but for mine. this blog will totally go down the tubes if she conforms - she's my biggest source of creative fodder! stay yourself, artsygirl. please.

(credits: handmade background papers from world market, gypsy head wrap from julie bartel, t-shirt from alix, child from who knows where.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

collage boards


for months i've looked with starry eyes at fruenswerk's and thereza's inspiration boards, remembering the days when i had boards (and in some places, entire walls) of patchworked postcards, art pieces, bits of memories. though not as groovy as theirs, my walls and boards meant a lot to me! when the kids started walking, experimenting, pilfering and eating small things, the boards and the thumb tacks had to come down. my older one was a climber, and my younger one was a mouther, and i didn't want to risk either the pieces or my little people.

now they are old enough to know better, and they can even contribute! so the boards are going back up, one by one. here's the first! the "grit and moxie" print is up for grabs on spring this week - stop by to drop your name in the hat, if you wish! my "don't forget to unplug" on the right is a new-ish piece (old doodle, new words) that i just put in the shop for chronic e-dwellers. the other lovelies on this board are by susie, jen, pixie, allison, heather, lotte, thereza, violette, jess, lori, and my artsygirl. more to come! thank you all for the inspiration!

Friday, September 3, 2010

the traveling plates

a year ago in june, the bookbinding goddess/funnier-than-hell jen drove all the way from minnesota to kansas so we could meet and make stuff. one evening she held a creative jam session in her hotel suite, and when you have a creative jam session, you need wine. with wine you need cheese and bread, and with cheese and bread you need plates, so i lent her a few of mine. when she got back to minnesota she realized she still had the plates and wanted to mail them back, but they were not worth the postage, so i told her to toss them. so she did, but not in the way that i meant. instead she tossed them in her suitcase.

then i started getting postcards.


the first was from the rose garden on lake harriet in minneapolis, and my eyes boggled when i got it - she didn't know it at the time, but this is where i was married, and so this is the family favorite of the bunch. very special to me.


a few months later, another one appeared - this time from new york...


then from seattle, where i spent nearly a year on assignment drawing process maps in visio, making copies, going for morning runs along the waterfront and getting caffeinated.


then from vegas, of which i only have bleary memories, mostly surfacing at the MGM grand buffet around 5 am. when i was a grad student in arizona it often seemed like a good idea around midnight to get in the car and zip up to vegas for breakfast. but i never walked three miles hung over to the vegas sign. and i definitely never took a picture this awesome.


then from minneapolis, the iconic pillsbury's best flour sign, near downtown. ...


and the last is from lake of the isles, just around the corner from our old house. that's downtown minneapolis in the background. this perspective is from the bridge that connects the isles to lake calhoun, where i could piddle away entire afternoons watching people paint, read, run, walk, bike, and canoe. i complained nonstop about the cold when we lived there, but all the same, i love minneapolis. and lucky for me, i'll be going back soon.


there's also a photo on jen's blog that i hadn't seen until now, one of the polka dotties sunning themselves on the shores of lake superior. not to be missed! how absolutely nifty it was to see two of my possessions running around the country through jen's eyes and camera, knowing that when we look at those pictures they bring back entirely different sets of memories for each of us.

the plates are now officially retired, and i'll treasure these postcards for my lifetime. thanks, jen.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

the bakery room




after four years of daily loving bombardment, the girls' room was in dire need of attention. i decided to surprise them last weekend and painted it the color of the pink box bake shop, our local yummery. you sure can't miss it now. complete with a new cupcake doodle!

doodleprint giveaway

hi, all - the marvelous allison strine is hosting a giveaway of my "wilderness of the mind" print this week. swing on by and say hello if you'd like to drop your name in the hat!