Monday, October 29, 2012

list it tuesday 10/30: quick fixes


Since we're expected to lose power soon, List it Tuesday is going up a day early. Because I couldn't in good conscience post a Tuesday list on a Monday, I force-advanced my post to Tokyo time. Now how is that for forward thinking! This week's topic was "quick fixes" -- things that you could do in a flash but still remain undone. Well, my list could range from here to Europe but I just took the top ones off my head -- little things that drive me bonkers every time I think about them, but really just can't be bothered to do. Fortunately the storm prep has taken a lot off this list (laundry strike too!) and if the power does go out, we're missing so many lightbulbs anyway that we may well not notice. Be safe and well, my Eastern friends. See you on the other side.

Next week's suggested topic: favorite movie lines 

Friday, October 26, 2012

clips of the week

fave pens

picked up a stash of my favorite writing pens

little room

sat idly in the little one's room with thoughts of ordering a pizza

paint pants

ordered the pizza, then painted my castoff jeans with fabric markers

favorite bowls

took a picture of my favorite bowls for Tracey who drew them on the other side of the planet

lunch with jen
had lunch with Jennifer

lori bracelet

shrieked like a lottery winner when my coveted bangle from Lori arrived

pen and paint

ditto with these darling canvases from pen_and_paint for our kitchen

morning in soho
spent a morning in Soho

coffee with cindy
had coffee with Cindy

public works
went to the Public Works poster exhibition at Flos

dos caminos
then wandered down Houston Street

Raffettos pasta

bought pounds of homemade pasta at the hundred year old Raffetto's in Greenwich Village

ancient po boxes

ogled ancient PO boxes in my local station (I really have a thing for these)

doodle clips

and -- I made doodle clips! Karen, Beth and Jennifer came over for an art date and they witnessed the beginning of my new obsession. With the storm headed our way I'm going out right now to stock up on water, batteries, Nutella and clips. Just a warning -- there might be hundreds of them the next time I see you!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

List it Tuesday 10/23: Overheard (or what they didn't say)


I had a good career in Eavesdroppings before I moved here. In a college town there is so much wonderful nonsense to be overheard. Apparently it is not so where I am now, unless I just hit a stroke of bad overheard luck. I listened tirelessly all week long and got next to nothing but soccer scores and remarks from folks in dire need of a good contractor.

The only worthy eavesdroppings I got were (not surprisingly) on the train (out of town):

1. "So that's where pallets go to die" (shipping yard near Rutherford)
2. "It was one of those places you go, for like, spiritual things, like Urban Outfitters"(somewhere under the Hudson River)
3. "You know what said to him? You know what I said to him? Nothing I can say in front of you" (Clifton)

That's it. I am in such a state about the distressing lack of overheard substance around here that I couldn't even draw the ones I had. If you want to see some of my favorite illustrated eavesdroppings you'll have to go here. Please tell me you did better this week than I did!

Next week's suggested topic: "quick fixes": stuff you know you need to do (and could do in a flash), but for whatever reason, it remains undone.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

haiku to you again

Haiku! My notebook had grown so full of them over the past year that it was starting to groan. So -- for better or worse, here are more slices of life in 5/7/5:


















You know the haiku rules here: 1) do not call the PoPo (poetry police) on me for writing these, and 2) please entertain me with one of your own in the commentary if you wish! Also, thanks a bunch to Kristin and EVA for featuring me today on Paint Party Friday!

Monday, October 15, 2012

List it Tuesday 10/16: what I love about where I live

jersey girls

Welcome to List it Tuesday! Today's suggested topic was "what I love about where I live." It's been nearly a year since we landed in North Jersey with our feet planted firmly in the air, and there they have stayed. I have plenty to whine about, but I also have plenty to rave about. Here are my top reasons for loving where I live.

1. Bagels. Oh, the bagels. Once you have a bagel from the New York City environs, that's it.  Everything else after that is a "roll with a hole", as Tammy says. (On a side note, she has an ongoing list collaboration with iHanna - definitely worth a visit for all list lovers!) Back to bagels: these are the real deal, the kind that are cheap, plentiful, hot and fresh every day, the kind that turn stale if you don't eat within hours. Last week my husband and I were driving on the New York Thruway and saw a bagel explosion on the side of the road. They were everywhere. There are so many bagels here that people just don't know what to do with them.

2. Same goes for pizza. It's fabulous. It's ubiquitous. And it's authentic. If they tell you it is a recipe that has been handed down for generations, it is true, and it is probably Nonna in the kitchen who is making it.

3. Mom and pop shops. By default pretty much everything is locally owned. The big guys are here, but definitely not dominant. I love being in a place where the big boxes aren't the go-to for everything.

4. Nature. In less than 15 minutes I can be free of the u-turn mess and hiking happily in the hills. A few blog readers sent me notes before my move telling me 1) don't believe everything you've heard about New Jersey and 2) how beautiful it is once you're out of the urban fray -- and now I understand.

5. City. So much at my fingertips here -- in a flash. This summer we might as well have just lived in New York City. My older daughter took a weeklong fiber arts course in Greenwich Village, we soaked up Brooklyn, we played in parks all over the city, went to museums, sat on the sidewalks and watched people do the things they do while we ate waffles with Nutella. I love being able to explore without rushing, knowing I can go back whenever I want.

6. Nonsense borders. I love the unpredictability of the municipality changes here. There are so many townships, villages and boroughs smashed together in a tiny sliver of land that I'm never quite sure where I am. Unless I'm trying to get somewhere on time and wind up in a mess of u-turns, it is a relieving departure from the obedient lines of the Midwest.

7. Public transit. Excellent.

8. People. Away with the rude and unfriendly label. The folks I've met here -- particularly the ones who have grown up and have stayed here -- are some of the genuine, solicitous people I've ever met. Commuters make room for my kids on the subway and talk to them, and not in a creepy way. The conversations between bagel shop owners and their regulars are entertaining and funny. The NJ Transit bus drivers and train attendants repeatedly tell me to quit buying tickets for my six year old because she looks three and should ride for free; they put smiley faces in their tickets with the hole punch; they joke around with them. When you get your coffee and they ask how your day is going, they mean it; they want to know.  People seem genuinely tied to a community here. I don't even have to be part of it to enjoy it. I just like that it exists. (This of course doesn't apply to road behavior. Drivers have to be aggressive to get where they need to go -- if you block their way and make them miss their exit, they're screwed for the whole day.)

9. Art community. The networking in the online art community always delights me with its connective powers but I was truly blown away by the outpouring of open arms by local artists once they found out I was moving to the area. Karen, Lisa, Beth and Jennifer in particular gave me a hearty welcome and an instant friendship.

10. Education. Top notch. Grateful for that.

11. Anchor to the ocean. Just knowing I'm near water makes me feel settled and secure even when I'm not.

12. Anchor to the past. History lingers here and I can feel it everywhere I go.

So -- there may be no zombie walks where I live now, no Funkytown, no UFO conventions and no Dennis sightings that I was so used to in my beloved little adopted hometown of Lawrence, Kansas. And all that stuff that Jersey is notorious for is definitely here if you want to find it. But I don't, and I don't have to; there's plenty else here to keep me content. And if that isn't enough, my parents did some enthusiastic digging into our genealogy and found more than one branch of our family with deep, multi-generational roots in New Jersey not far from where I'm living now. So maybe I'm a Jersey girl after all. I just wish I could pump my own gas.

Next week's suggested topic: "overheard".

Sunday, October 14, 2012

october surprise




October surprise in Artsyville! I've had a severe attack of forward planning. Here are the results: a 2013 flipside doodle calendar and a 2013 Follow the Full Moons moon chart. The first two pictures are actually one and the same thing, with the year on the front and the months-at-a-glance on the reverse. I've wanted to make a calendar for years now and yay! I finally managed to do it, and I love how it turned out.

Follow the Full Moons 2012 wound up being my sleeper hit (so to speak) this year, which absolutely took me by surprise as I was not even planning to put it in the shop in the first place -- I whipped it up to satisfy my daughter's lunar curiosity. But I'm glad I did -- lots of people shared this one with their friends and the Brainpicker featured it on Twitter so I was very busy printing moons this year. I started getting e-mails in August asking if I was going to do a 2013 version so I figured I'd better get on it before the holiday season arrives and sucks me under.

Sorry to run two 'shoppy' posts in a row (I try not to do that too much) but I have lots of fresh material and will be updating the shop frequently this fall -- my pen/pencil/eraser is finally moving quickly again and that is a relief to me!

See you for List it Tuesday! Suggested topic this week is "what I love about where I live." All the goodness that Jersey has to offer -- coming up!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

free flying spirit

free flying spirit / artsyville

This doodle describes the essence and provenance of a little flying spirit that I love, one who was sent to us from some other universe, one who is brilliant beyond her years in some ways and absolutely befuddled by the workings of this world in others, one who is quickly getting too old for me to write about in my public postings. And that is hard not to do, because she and her otherworldliness are what fuel so much of my thoughts and writing. So about this piece I will simply say: dreamers have roots, too. Just not where most people would expect to find them.

{now in the shop: 5x7 here; 8x10 here.}

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

List it Tuesday 10/9: I am a sucker for...


Here's my sucker list -- can't wait to see yours! Out of all these, I'm probably the biggest sucker for the continuing ed classes since I seem to keep signing up, but not showing up.

Speaking of classes (and this one I will be fully present for!), I'll be teaching a workshop in Tamara Laporte's Life Book 2013! Registration has just opened and I can't wait for it to start! As you can imagine, we'll be messing around with lots of colors and words :)

Next week's suggested topic: "what I love about where I live."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Your Spot


This is a little piece whose time has finally arrived. I wrote the first half of it in a flash, when I was living in Lawrence, but could not bring the thing to closure. Nothing worked; I didn't know where I was going with it; didn't know what it should say. This was, of course, because I was settled and content there, so I really wasn't searching for anything -- or needing to find validation in where I was. Nothing that a major relocation plus one year of complete upheaval couldn't fix! I'm plenty lost now. The song is now complete and I have a new print for the first time in months.

Speaking of displaced, I have solved the postal mystery of the year! I shipped an order to Canada two months ago and it went MIA until yesterday, when the customer received the envelope with bold letters on the front: "MIS-SENT TO CAYMAN ISLANDS." Apparently the package had its own ideas where its spot was in the world. When I went to the PO this afternoon to drop off a few orders, I brought our postal clerk up to date on my envelope's Caribbean vacation and then she told me her favorite mail mishap of all time: when someone in Greece mailed a package to someone else in Greece, and it ended up in New Jersey.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

list it tuesday: 15 minute creativity


This week's suggested topic "creative things I can do in 15 minutes or less" was inspired by Hwee, who stole 15 minutes during over her lunch hour to create her first List it Tuesday page. This kind of thieving strikes the most harmonious chord in my heart. Short bursts of artistic activity are the best! There isn't much time to think about them, but there IS enough time to do them, and they usually spark all kinds of internal revolutions. Here's my short list:

1. Wait until 15 minutes before a birthday party starts to get out of your pajamas, wrap a present, make a card, and mix together the most colorful outfit you can manage.

2. Trim colorful cardstock into ATC-sized pieces with a paper cutter, then toss them in a basket with a sharpie. Instant canvases for doodles and writings.

3. Use them. Write wishes, draw faces, record quotes, sketch scenes.

4. Or make a moment jar out of them. The kids and I did this over the summer -- kept scraps of paper handy and wrote down moments we would have otherwise forgotten: a movie we rented, getting kicked us out of the pool for lightning when there was nary a cloud in the sky, the day we made and ate snack necklaces at NYU, when the kids got into a fight in the furniture store, the search for the lost lawnmower bolt (we never found it), the time someone sneaked a brownie (the jar also turned into a confessional), the moment of the storm. They seemed silly at the time but were a delight to read when the summer was over.

5. Take a walk & collect branches of different shapes and sizes.

6. Wrap them in colorful yarn. Fast and easy.

7. Then put them in a vase.

8. Do a few quick layers of a watercolor wash over a vintage book page, then cut it up for collage material.

9. Skim a magazine article and make a list of 10 words you love.

10. Read something that bores you, and make yourself find one interesting thing about it.

11. Write a lunch box note for someone, or leave a message on a table in a public place.

12. Make a paper chain.

13. Fiddle around with modeling clay or some other sensory prodding material.

14. Have a silent conversation (or storytelling session) on paper with someone. You write a sentence, they write a sentence, and who knows what you'll end up with.

15. Move a piece of furniture. I don't know what it is about this, but relocating just one thing can provoke in me a major mental shakeup (in a good way). It reminds me how I have the power to change things in my own environment, that things don't have to remain fixed forever in one spot simply because I put them there.

16. Decorate a piece of outgoing mail. My favorite to date is doodling up the payment envelope I sent to the Indiana State Troopers in 1990 after a shocking speeding ticket.

17. Get a set of foam bathtub letters. Take random ones into the shower and make up ridiculous words.

I can't wait to read all of your creative quickies! Next week's suggested topic: "I am a sucker for..."