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?