Monday, September 9, 2013

for the time being

As you might have noticed, my last blog entry was in the spring, several months ago.  I've been far too busy making art and living a very full summer to write about it.  I'm having a fabulous time, if you wish to know.  For the time being, I'm going to continue to focus on creating and living, and try to keep the home page of my website updated on a weekly basis with shows and news and the occasional new photo.  Someday I hope to return to my blog, it's been great to stay connected this way.  Thanks for reading, and check back later!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring show!

Perhaps having two postcard designs will bring in twice as many people... 

Busy days in the studio!  Market is right around the corner (two more free Saturdays until after Christmas), this show is going up, clients are calling, I'm getting paint on everything.

Friday, February 15, 2013

more sweet sole music

Oh yes, me and my shoe puns.

It's been a busy week or so here, finally getting on the proverbial stick about some business whatnot: updating my website and catalog, contacting wholesale accounts, bookkeeping, applying for shows, and all those other glamorous things that artists do when we're not...ya know, hanging out with models while wearing berets and drinking espresso while standing in sunflower fields painting sunsets.  Like we artists do all the time.

I'm laid up with a wicked cold today, and so may as well make a blog entry too while I'm at it.  Since "business whatnot" doesn't really make for interesting blog entries, I'm also happy to say I've been painting more shoes and that is what I'll share with you today.  Wingtip is once again getting some attention, people are actually buying them, and the positive feedback is inspiring me to make more.  It's totally fun.  So here is a bespoke pair of boots, some sweet girly mermaid-ballerina shoes and some steampunky ankle boots with pseudo-spats for your delectation.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dishes with Fishes

Huzzah, a fun new project!!!  My friend and fellow Handwork member Colleen McCall invited me and Jenny Pope down to her studio in Elmira to play with clay and glazes.  Colleen's work is amazing, she makes mold-formed pots and does some magic with slips and underglazes and carving.  Each piece takes hours, all those exquisite details.  It was great fun to try this technique out, and I'm really pleased with how my fish dish is coming out.  It still needs to be fired and overglazed, I will keep you posted.

Monday, January 28, 2013

painting again!

As you read in my last post, it's lazy winter time.  But my laziness has come to an end, I'm pounding out freelance projects and getting out my leather paints again.  PAINTS, I said, not PANTS.  Haven't spent a lot of time typing, obviously, but here are two things I painted recently.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

But the fire is so delightful

I have a few odd favorite days of the year.  One of them is the day in the spring when we turn the clocks ahead and suddenly it's light until late.  One of them is New Years Day.  One of them is the day after Christmas, when all the world is sleeping off their excesses and no one expects me to work.  This whole week between Christmas and New Years is my time to rest and celebrate the end of the busy season for another year.  Right now I'm in front of the wood stove, looking out at the beautiful frosted trees decorated by the first snowfall of the season.  The driveway is shoveled, but I don't have to go anywhere.  The cat just weaseled his way onto my lap between me and the computer.  Contemplating a second cup of tea.  I'll be back with you in a few days....

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

doh doh doh

I recently cleaned out a closet, and found some good stuff tucked away in there.  There was the box my friends Heidi and Jeff sent me a dolphin skull in.  There was my Duran Duran record collection (that's right).  A bunch of Christmas decorations and a stray menorah.  A pile of old calendars awaiting re-purposing as envelopes.  AND my baby book and school-days book....which included this awesome photo of me at 2.5 years old, with our old dog Arne in the background.  I now recognize that the flowering shrub behind me is still alive and gigantic in my parents' yard.

I'm pretty sure I won't be sharing my 9th grade photo with you anytime soon, sorry.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

oh the winter winds are coming in...

This is just a sweet and pretty song which I discovered this fall on my road trip.  It's become a favorite sing-along song at my house...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Don't forget your towel

Well I realized somewhere around when I last made a blog entry during my epic road trip that I'd rather be experiencing the adventure than writing about it.  Really there's too much to share without writing for hours and boring you to tears. 

In summary, the basic trajectory starting from my last entry was to fly over to Kauai for 11 days (love love love), then a red-eye back to Seattle on Halloween where I picked up my friend Jenny.  (She makes amazing woodcut prints, you should check them out.)  We started with a ferry to Whidbey Island (my other favorite island), then headed on back basically along the I-90 corridor with a stop in Yellowstone and the Badlands, and some friends and family along the way.  By the time we got to Chicago, I was feeling ready to be home, which is a good feeling for this restless girl.  Of course, now I want to do it all again, but not necessarily immediately because sitting in a car for 8,919 miles makes me want to run for miles just to leave the feeling of the car seat far behind me.

And now the Christmas season is in full swing.  However, instead of feeling all burnt out and tired as I often am by this part of the season, I say BRING IT ON.  I have some events coming up, which I won't list here but you can read about them on my website calendar.  More about that later.  And, ahem, I'm ready to ship out any card or calendar orders immediately, should you feel the need for anything from my website.

I've been letting the trip settle in, and here are a few key observations and travel tips for you, gentle reader.

1) My stars, I am RICH in friends and family.  The hospitality and kindness shown by my lovely network of people who were willing to take me in and feed me and show me around their worlds was really awesome.  I am blessed and grateful to have such good people.

2) I think I definitely got a better feeling for what it means to "live in the moment."  People say that all the time, but I didn't get it until about a week into this trip when I realized all I was thinking about was what I was doing that day, instead of planning out every moment of the next week and keeping so many things in the air at once like I usually do.  Of course, it's easy to "live in the moment" when that particular moment has you sitting in a tree on the beach in Kapa'a with a cup of good decaf looking at waves.  But I'm trying to keep that ability and flexibility going as I'm back home, to focus on what needs to get done today and let tomorrow happen tomorrow...and to enjoy whatever is happening at any given time.

3) If you are in close proximity with someone for a long time, in a situation where it's important to get along and have a good time (i.e. 12 days in a car), the question to ask is: "what do you need?"  Then say what YOU need, and then make sure all those needs are met.

4) Practically speaking, food co-ops are the way to go for road food.  Liz and I figured this out on the drive out...find the co-op in the town, get some good deli food and maybe some kombucha, and you're set for lunch and snacks without having to be at the mercy of fast food and other desperate junk. 

5) Feel at home in yourself and you'll feel at home wherever you are.

6) Carry tea.  Carry a travel mug that you really like.  Bring a fork.  Throw a towel and pillow in the car.  Keep things organized enough that you can then FIND that towel.

I'll put a few more photos up here in the next day or so, but for now I must get back to work and live in this moment of my Wednesday morning...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Palm trees and rainbows in the water

Aloha my friends!  A quick update this morning before I head out to the beach.  I'm on Oahu, reconnecting with cousins and exploring an new island (and spending an unfortunate amount of time in terrible traffic in Honolulu, there's only one main road artery and there's no escape).  I have two photos to share this morning which sum up my last few days.

Yesterday I went to the USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor.  I've flown over it many times, and have always wanted to go see it and learn more about this chapter of history.  My aunt grew up in Honolulu, and has a pretty powerful tale to tell about living through this attack and subsequent wartime life.  She was on the Arizona the night before the attacks for a band concert.  The memorial is sobering and respectful, I'm so glad I went.  The Arizona holds 1,177 sailors who died in the attack, can you imagine?  The ship is still leaking a little bit of oil to the surface, which makes a constantly-changing rainbow slick called the "Tears of the Arizona."

I also had some beach time yesterday, and time to explore the island a bit.  Here's a classic view of the island known as Chinaman's Hat, on the east side. 

A friend of mine is apparently quoted as wondering whether I'm coming back, because I keep going farther and farther away, and to nicer and nicer places....

Friday, October 5, 2012

Go west, young woman! Part II

Time for another photo essay on the Great Trip West.  I'm writing to you from the comfort of my brother's pub, the Brewers' Union Local 180 in Oakridge OR, and I'm happy to say that my shiny red car has gotten me this far comfortably, safely and stylishly.  I have a few more photos to share today of the second week of the drive WEST, just a brief taste of the many small adventures and long empty roads between Colorado and here.

When we left Durango, the first stop was one of my long-time dreams...Mesa Verde National Park.  Whoa, this was as cool as I had expected.  I love thinking about what it must have been like to live in these cliff houses.
 Then off to the Four Corners, through some of the craziest open country I've ever had the pleasure of dropping my jaw over.  It was so big and open and weird that there was no way I could take photos of it.  We chased rainstorms through the desert all the way to the fine little town of Bluff, Utah, where we scored the last hotel room for miles.  The next morning the clouds and storms were still present, and made the drive through the Valley of the Gods moody and exhilarating.  I almost cried, this was so cool.
Then off through the desert until a welcome oasis: Zion National Park.  We planned two night here, to allow a day of exploring the canyon and resting up.  Zion was particularly nice because the HUGE red rocks (we've seen a lot of big red rocks in the last week) was balanced by the coolness and shade offered by the Virgin River.  Really a beautiful place.
After this, Liz and I blasted through Las Vegas (seedy and abandoned on a Thursday morning), through the desert by Area 51 where we saw a disappointing lack of aliens, and on through the evening to get her home to Nevada City.  That was a long long long drive, and it's frankly a bit of a blur although I do recall seeing Mono Lake.  Nevada City was a welcome break, and a beautiful little mountain town with charm and history and a perfect climate and I confess to fantasizing about moving there.

Then I ventured out on my own for a few days.  Had another dream-come-true by visiting Donner Pass, where I ate a twix bar.  Here a photo of the pass from Donner Lake, you can see why those poor souls with their wagon trains in the snow were unable to get over that wall of rock.
 A little time exploring Tahoe and Reno and generally enjoying the Sierra Nevadas, and then I drove and drove and drove because I decided I wanted to camp on the coast and say I had driven all the way to the Pacific.  This was a success, got the last campsite, and had a leisurely drive up the 101 and then over to Oakridge.
More soon!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

For the folks back home

Sabbatical update photo essay!  Huzzah!  I'm one week in on the big trip, and all is going super well.  I'm traveling this leg of the journey with my friend Liz, and we are getting along like peas in a pod.  Really, I even sing in the car in front of her.  We've been experiencing the blessings of the road, serendipity and hospitality and happenstance.  I'm writing right now from Durango, Colorado, and it's time for a quick tour of the trip to this point.

We had two great visits with friends in Pittsburg and Goshen, IN, but the photos only get interesting  once we cross the mighty Mississippi.
Then we had a great night in Iowa.  Really, all my preconceived notions of Iowa as a flat corn-riddled wasteland were shattered, it's a beautiful state full of rolling hills and big skies.  And llamas.  We stayed with Becky and Brian in their cool geodesic house and got up at the crack of dawn to walk the llamas in the Iowa sunrise.  I now love llamas.  Becky and Brian are fantastic hosts.
Even though I named my cat after Nebraska, the less said about this next leg the better.  We drove through a whole of stuff that looked like this.
But then we got to Colorado!  Spent a few days in Denver catching up with friends, work, dinosaur tracks, altitude and sleep.  And exploring Red Rocks!  You can see the famous amphitheater in the middle distance, and we also took a hike around through the rocks.  Bonus to the beauty was that a three-day Grateful Dead "Further" concert was about the start, and the place was hopping with a dose of Dead culture and it was pretty entertaining.

And then off through the mountains, where the aspens are peaking RIGHT NOW and the mountainsides are bursting with incandescent golden craziness.

Bonus serendipity was a random stop at a place called the Pony Espresso in Jefferson, CO, where the lovely women who own the shop decided on the spot to carry my notecards!  I can't fill the order until I get home, but am excited to have a presence in CO in such a sweet place.

Tomorrow, on to Mesa Verde (a life-long dream) and points west.