Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Meet Arrow.

He's the reason I've not been here in a while... Since we picked him up last week from Karen, every single subsequent minute of our lives has happily gone into raising this puppy: eating, snuggling, peeing, pooping, playing, sleeping.... repeat. He's an absolute handful, but also the most wonderful little thing ever in whole wide world.

Of course.

It's been really nice this last week as we're off work and staying home more than usual. And when we do leave, we've been taking Arrow everywhere we go. The second half of our Christmas was a trip to Santa Barbara and on our way home we stopped at the beach.

My heart m.e.l.t.e.d watching him meet more people, other dogs and discover the waves. I'm so proud of my little guy.

I could go on and on about little Arrow, so to keep it short, he is:
- insanely energetic (no surprise: he is a Vizsla and a puppy)
- ridiculously handsome
- not yet grown into the size of his limbs and falls over everything
- an amazing sound machine (howling is loudest, but he can also do some crazy sounds in his sleep)
- a snuggle machine; there's a reason they say call Vizslas velcro dogs
- so warm when he falls alseep on one of us. I call him my little Hungarian electric blanket.
- my favorite dog ever.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sooooooo.... I missed the Christmas-merchandising-boat.

That boat left the port a long time ago, but I thought I could just swim really really fast to catch up. I honestly thought I could get it all done in time. And I'm just finally admitting I couldn't.

Here it is: the 21st of December, and my Etsy store is still not stocked, my 2011 calendar remains unprinted, and my unfinished beasts sit awaiting legs, butts, and faces. I just couldn't get ready in time to sell for this holiday season. I feel disappointed in myself that I couldn't pull it off this year, but each year as my freelance exhibition-graphic design business grows, my handmade one shrinks.

On the one hand I am extremely happy that I'm so busy, but on the other, I am sad that I couldn't strike the right balance: I really want to be able to make more things... by hand... on my terms.. But, it's really hard.

I am in awe of and bewildered by the blog-people that I see making stuff ALL the time.... and selling it, and having jobs, significant others, children?



Despite all that, and as a measure of self-worth, I am very happy that I have finished a few projects for some good friends that, I hope, will bring smiles to some small faces. In my "off-to-the-post-office" haste I neglected to take photos of all the beasts I sent off, but I did remember to take some of this giraffe-llama who is on his way up North.

There's always next year... and maybe, just maybe, by then...... I can sew properly.

Bon Voyage beasts!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Apparently I don't remember sh*t from Grade 8 sewing class... my thread keeps breaking, the stitches at the back are completely different than the front ones, I use the foot pedal like I'm driving a car on the highway, I'm a sewing mess!

I experimented with a few pieces of fabric that I was willing to sacrifice, but quickly moved to on to sewing with paper, which oddly seemed less precious and less serious. I just relaxed a little more with the paper.

Because I am crazy and impatient and need to make something immediately, I started a garland....at least the beginnings of one. I realize I am very far from making that apron I was talking about. At this point, I can sew about 4 triangles (that's my record) and then my thread breaks. I've got some ways to go, obviously. Luckily this wonky garland (once I finish it) will go very nicely with my unintentional amoeba-shaped glass ornaments. Ahh.... there's nothing like experimental holiday decorations.

I've decided I need to take a beginners class. This whole idea of remembering how to sew from 18 odd years ago and "teaching" myself isn't going to work....

An Exercise in Self -Control, by Debi van Zyl

To my huge surprise, R gave me a sewing machine for my birthday last week. After years of hinting about wanting a machine to anyone who would listen, and years of asking my mother to hem my pants for me, I finally have one of my own. Finally!

So, R gave me this lovely present over a week ago and until last night I've let it sit in its box right by my desk, unopened. I've walked into the studio each and every day with such longingness to open the box and start sewing; it's been torture. I should have worn blinders or something... seeing that box out of the corner of my eye was killing me.

Why you ask? Why not just open the box? Because I know myself too well... opening that box would have created such a distraction from "real" work that I never would have made it through this last week of deadline madness. I would have been sewing non-stop. I don't even know what I would be sewing, but it I'd be sewing it. I've collected so much fabric just for this purpose, it's crazy. The poor exhibitions I'm working on would be dust in the wind; I would have forgotten about them as soon as I threaded my first needle. And no one would have come to my friend's wedding as I would not have completed her invitations. It's all true... I'm not exaggerating.

And so, last night after the last set of drawings were off and the invitations were in the mail, I finally opened the box. And I threaded a bobbin. And I threaded a needle. And then I went home.

Since R and I have been crazy busy with work we've not seen each other much lately. Going home to make a nice dinner sounded wonderful, though I admitted to him that the sewing machine was luring me back to the studio... he graciously said to go, but again, I had to exercise a little self-control. I would have stayed up all night sewing!

So this morning, I got up early, letting R sleep in-ish (of course he heard me get up!) and I stole away down the hill to the studio on foot in the rain to be reunited with my sewing machine!

Now the flood gates are open, now I can sew to my heart's content! Of course I have to practice before making anything. The last real time I sewed with a machine was in Grade 8 in Home Ec (do they even have that any more?) and I made an apron. I need an apron, I was just telling R the other night... looks like I have my first project.

The End.

{Wow. That was a long story.... Thank you R. You are an amazing gift-giver... I'll see you in a few days when I'm done with the sewing frenzy, ok?}

Monday, December 13, 2010

The first question of the day is: where is my camera? I can't find where I've left it... again.

I was going to take a photo of the scarf I am making for a friend but instead, and until I find it, let's all just feast our eyes on Sandra's scarves instead.

Second question of the day: how talented and awesome is Sandra Juto?
The answer is very....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yay!! Happy (almost over) birthday to me!

{image via ffffound!}

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'd like to be this lady on a bike.

My secret bike obsession is growing daily.... It's something I'm not going to be able to ignore for much longer. And just to taunt me, our new studio is exactly 1 mile from the house, perfect for biking. After all the hours, days, and years that I've put into my long career of commuting in Los Angeles, it feel likes like a luxury to have options.

We're in the foothills of Los Angeles and the studio is fairly far away from the majority of my clients who are in the "city" so I can't get out of driving completely. But... one of my New Year's resolutions is to stop driving to work on days I don't have to go somewhere other than the studio.

Actually, let me start again... the first resolution should be to get a bike. (I used to have one, but the sad truth of it is that I drove over it by mistake with my car and killed it. That is another story entirely, but it should be noted that I do not own a bicycle at the moment).

Second resolution should be to cut down on the driving.

Third resolution should be to get shirts with heart cut-outs in the back so I can be this cute on a bike on the way to work.

Hmm... 2011 is sounding pretty fun so far, if you ask me.

{downtownfrombehind via cup of jo}

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dear Santa Claus,

I hope you read my blog.

I also hope that you bring me one of these planters.

I'll leave you some really good cookies by the fireplace, ok?

Thank you!

{via the heart breakingly-beautiful General Store.}

Friday, December 3, 2010

My sister and I went to a glass blowing class a few weeks ago. It was so much harder than I imagined. It turned out to be a Christmas ornament making class, for which we were not mentally prepared. She and I had much more grandiose ideas about what would happen in the class. We imagined fiery furnaces, large pipes, thick leather gloves; instead we got pre-blown glass tubes, individual burners and some safety glasses.

For some reason I had imagined we'd start off big. We'd start off with some big crude stapes... I imagined I'd walk away from class with a mildly-revolting-but-interesting clear glass shape that maybe, just maybe, I could turn into a terrarium. I was so very wrong. Instead I made some really wonderful but very wonky Christmas tree ornaments.

R bought us a little Christmas tree for the first time last year, and turned some of the urchins I collected from my dives into ornaments. I'm looking forward to this year's little tree and seeing what he does with these little oddities.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I need some new storage for the studio. Half of the studio is functional, the other half still sits on the floor in piles.... would love to have this totem collection by Pastoe.

Oh, and happy December 1.... can you believe it's December already? What happened to 2010?

Monday, November 29, 2010

I forgot how much I like San Francisco. It's been a few years since we were there last, and we're just back from spending the holiday with good friends.

Saw the Post-Impressionist Musée D'orsay show at the De Young, finally visited the Heath factory store in Sausalito, and bought some goodies at the Ferry Building. My only wish was that the Alameda flea market was on. That's on the list for the next time we go up... that and the California Academy of Sciences.

p.s.... how awesome is this map of SF? thanks for the link, renee!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's raining in Los Angeles and time to cozy up.
Wish I had a window like this to sit by and knit all day. And I wish I had those needles!

{I wish I could know who this lady is, I love her house, love all her knitted home accessories, but I couldn't find her name or a way to find out more about her.... via plaza.... via pinterest}

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

You lucky Londoners... the temporium is coming! A concept pop-up shop set for Brompton Road Dec 9-19.

I've got my far-away-window-shopping eyes set on Jacqueline Rabun's Alphabet pendant collection... How nice and perfectly simple would it be....a D in Arial?

Also showing are some of my old favorites:
Faye Toogood of Studio Toogood
Donna Wilson via Theo

{via rgl}

Monday, November 15, 2010

Trying to make... make... make...
. .... . . .. . in between things... . .. . .. . . . ... here and there...
little by little.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm in turbo mode with all the exhibitions I'm working on.
In short, this is what's on my mind lately:

1. dinosaurs
2. paper airplanes
3. chinese calligraphy

. . . . . .. ... . a strange combination!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I have an "everything" drawer at my desk and today while looking for some wayward tool, I found this single lens. It's from some old magnifying glass whose handle broke. I stripped it and kept the lens.

Of course.

I keep everything.

Hence the very existence of the "everything" drawer, right?
{Ok, I admit it.... it's two drawers worth}

Then I spent about half an hour taking the most random photos you can imagine. Almost all of them are out of focus and let's just say some things on one's face need not be magnified.

Nevertheless....I present to you these two.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

8 hours later....
... . .. . .. . . and my civic duty served... in a waiting room.

this is the 30 inch beginning to my end-of-year-yarn snake no. 2...to be completed and for sale soon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

At the art sale I also bought a print of Yu-I's.... I've been following her blog for a while as well as her work. Despite us both living in Los Angeles, having mutal friends, and having attended the same architecture school, I had never officially met her until Saturday. Finally it all just came together.

Funny how that goes, eh?

This one is from her Princess Kavalan series from 2008. It's so beautiful. I'm waiting to take it to the framers and will hang it in the new studio.

{the lower image show two of my many favorite sections of the print, blown up}

... . ... . ... . ... . . . .. . . .

Tomorrow I start jury duty... so I might disappear from a while!

We'll see....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yesterday I went to a little art sale where a few friends were selling their wares. I had to restrain myself from buying more, and I ended leaving with only two pieces. One of which is this ceramic rattle by Phi Lequoc.

I'll have to see if I can get some more images of her work... the installations she has at the space are so beautiful.

I will show you the other piece I bought later, perhaps tomorrow....?

... .. .. . . . .. ... . .. ... . .

In other news: this is the current state of the studio.

We need to build the wall next. R will have his metal shop on one side, I will have my little studio on the other.

And storage... that's a big problem. I really need to tackle that soon!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I love these hand drawn patterns by Holly Maguire.
These little images don't do them justice, you have to go her website to see the loveliness up close.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This is Rolf. He's my first beast pillow!
It's hard not to find a position he's comfortable in.

{I'll be putting him up for sale soon, along with loads of new beasts, cards and more.... so stay tuned for my shop's re-opening.}

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's been a very long day. I'm off to bed.
Where are my Ls and Ps when I need them?

Back at it again in the morning... see you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I can't help but pick things up off the ground.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Apparently Darby and Beatrice are very comfortable in the new studio. I like how Darby has his leg hanging into my binder... like it was his binder! Possibly staking a claim?

And Beatrice, that is a frown to be reckoned with.

Les petites bêtes sauvages... seemingly cute, but territorial, amongst other things.

You have to watch them. And your stuff.

p.s. speaking of beasts.... I have a few coming into the world soon. Camping, road trips, and vacation does wonders for the knitting itch that gnaws at me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I can't quite describe the things I'm thinking about these days.
These images get close.

boots :: dinner (lost this link) :: N :: cutlery :: book :: storage :: boots2

{inspired by mood}

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back in Los Angeles, and still working on the studio.... picking up a paintbrush after vacation seems like torture! Today R started the gorgeous blue chalkboard that will be his space. We still need to build "the wall" and deal with storage, but we're getting there!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It is difficult to take a fitting image of the Colorado River. It is so wide, so grand, so red and muddy. We went from Moab to the Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers which took us 4 days.

The geology is amazing, the scale humbling, and the quiet at night is surreal. And the stars!

I knew it was a muddy river, but I was surprised to never ever see the bottom, so thick it was with silt. An 8 foot+ deep river looked no different than one of 6 inches; my oar was the only measure.

The last day we waited for Tex's shuttle boat to pick us up. Our little tent is nothing in this landscape.

A few more days of camping as we make our way back to Los Angeles... see you soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

travel memento: taken at sunset after the truck got stuck in the mud.... another story completely.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A is for almost....the studio is almost a studio.

B is for blogs I'm reading.

brown paper journal


C is for camping + Colorado river + canoeing = C ya!

I'm heading out.... will be back in October!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

S is for Second coat of paint.

Two and a half walls remain before we can say we're done. One of R's walls will be done with chalkboard paint and we were able to get a mix that wasn't black or green. Thanks to the best paint store in LA, Jill's Paints and their advice, we went with Syndey Harbour's Chalkboard Paint because it has a clear base so you can mix any color you want!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I cannot tell you how many times I had to refer to my beloved fan decks today. Countless times. Paint colors, PMS colors, I-feel-like-I'm-going-crazy colors.

The results of the day:
- R and I picked a color for the new studio. Mythic Paint Ghost Story 142-1
(Sorry Benjamin Moore, you lost out on this one)

- I'm working on some signage for this amazing place in China, and the printer is in, you guessed it, China. Time is tight and there's no chance for color proofs. And even with all the Pantone color matching goodness in the world, good old random values of CMYK pulled through and gave us a better color on all the printers we tested. Fingers crossed.

And fan decks closed.

For now.
This is what our new studio looks like... three coats of primer, newly sealed concrete floor and a long way to go.

At least we picked the paint color today.... will show progress as it happens.