Monday, March 31, 2008


What do I love more than being able to barbecue dinner outside with daylight still to spare? Painting outside with daylight still to spare? Or maybe the way these poppies came out...

Still resenting the way the mornings fly by now that I've lost an hour, but LOVING that extra hour of sunshine in the evening.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

should be busy

So behind - so behind. Here it is at last - the giraffe painting with wings. It's been done awhile, it's been photographed and even uploaded to the computer for awhile. But I just haven't been sitting down in front of the computer much these days. Little boys don't like it when Mommy is at the computer. It's times like this when I really miss the laptop. The younger one is finally asleep for nap now and all I've gotta do is try to keep the older one from waking him up. A challenge to say the least.

Our wonderful friends are expecting their first baby soon and have been using my designs to decorate the nursery! Check out these photos!

It is official... Out of the Box*California will be at the Maker Faire's Bazaar Bizarre in San Mateo this May. Things should be busy in my little workroom. Should - key word here. Will they? Well, with the stars aligned just right, with happy little boys not having temper tantrums and a whole lot of luck I just might be able to make time for some new things. So, the Etsy shop may not have any updates for a bit so I can get some inventory built up. (like I update all the time - believe me, I always have intentions of updating) Ah - big boy woke up little boy. I probably jinxed it by writing that... time to go be Mommy again.

Monday, March 17, 2008

don't you worry

No, this guy does not have wings. But he'll get wings, so don't you worry. It's a new idea, new concept - but the wing portion of this brilliant new idea happens to be in the car with the husband and the kids who are off having a good time and giving me, mommy, a break here at home. So, stay tuned for the winged version of this painting...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

single swipe of the brush

I've been experimenting with a Chinese Brush Painting kit I got for Christmas. (yeah, it's taken me that long to break it out) I love the ability to go thick and thin in a single swipe of the brush. I usually stick to ink when I make my originals before scanning them into the computer for digital manipulation. But that's limiting, and when I want a thick line I'm forced to fill in by hand or in Photoshop. So let's see how this works out... start with some ideas from the sketchbook:

Then I take some of those ideas and try them out with the brush:

After I scan it and start to work with it in Photoshop (I love the filter,"stamp", to smooth everything out), I can start to build my drawing. This is what I've come up with so far and I'm interested to see what this looks like in a repetitive pattern. But I think I've gotten just about as much time as I'm going to get this morning sitting in front of this computer. Time now to clear out those breakfast dishes and get these boys outside. I'm actually surprised they've let me sit here now for almost an hour. Wow - a WHOLE hour!

Maybe I'll start to pull all the silk-screening supplies out today. By doing so, it might force myself to actually start printing something, sometime. How many times have I said I was going to work on something and then never get around to it? I've started catching myself having these ideas and I'll say to myself, "Just do it now. Don't try to file it away in the back of that cluttered mind... just go on ahead and do it now." It's helping me to get things done, but at the same time I often feel so scatterbrained because I set off to do one thing, have this idea and convince myself to get that done and then hours later have to go back and finish whatever it was I was in the process of doing to begin with. I can't win.

Monday, March 10, 2008

little sandy monsters

I just realized I never posted a picture here of the Easter bibs. (Imagine that - something I said I was going to do and I actually did it!) Initially, the front of the bib was going to be just the printed design. A little jam in the printer left a black smudge on the right side of one print, so I fashioned this patchwork strip to cover it up. Liked how it looked so much that I did the same thing with the others even though those didn't get smudged. Error leading design.
It was another beautiful weekend here in SoCal. We found ourselves at the beach after taking the kids on the brand new Sprinter commuter train that started running yesterday. It was completely insane of us to try it out on the very first day - what were we thinking??? Not only were we smashed in there like a NYC subway during rush hour, but we also had the clunky stroller which I folded up and held for several stops until there was enough wiggle room to set it down. But when we finally got ourselves to the beach we saw what a gorgeous afternoon it was on the sand and it immediately made it all worth it. The tide was waaaaay out, so there was an endless expanse of sand for the kids to run on. Wet sand. These boys of mine love wet sand. The little one would scoop up sand, throw it down with a splash and then giggle uncontrollably. Fortunate for us, my parents live walking distance to where we were so we were able to get them over there for an outside shower. They were little sandy monsters.
So I've been inspired by several Aussie artist/bloggers who are into pattern design. (Lara Cameron, Aunty Cookie, Cheeky Beaks) I've been wanting to get back into some silk-screening and thought I should come up with some kind of pattern that can be repeated for running some fabric. Lara was awesome enough to provide this great illustration for creating a repetitive pattern. I've always loved the way a silk-screened image looks on linen fabric. So I've been sketching up a storm trying to design something that would print well. Even woke up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep the other night. Couldn't stop thinking of designs and finally had to just get myself up out of bed to draw for a bit before my mind would settle down and let me go back to sleep. So we'll see if I can come up with something. That'll be my project for the next few days.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

whole bunch of time

Goody Goody Gumdrops pillow
available @

Keeping to my word on trying to get that little Etsy shop of mine stocked up. Trying to squeeze in some drawing and painting and sewing wherever I can. The other thing that's helped is the TV rehab I've put myself in. Such a bad habit to turn that sucker on as background noise. When I don't, my mind spins with ideas and thoughts and plans. So much better for me to be thinking about things I want to do than... oh, oh, what did Rachel say? I've seen this episode of Friends fifteen times, but oh, oh what did she say??? It's also been Diet Back On time. Lost 5 pounds last week - not bad, huh? Only 5000 more to go! So I've been finding that there's just a whole bunch of time to be had when I'm not standing in front of the kitchen cabinet/fridge mulling over what to munch on. And when I get that itch to eat I just sit down here and work. I should be hopping on that elliptical machine sitting not more than 30 inches away from me, but I'm just taking little baby steps here folks.

Monday, March 03, 2008

into the groove

Finished this painting I started last June. I remember we were camping on the beach and I was inspired by beach pebbles with circular patterns on them. All I had to do was finish painting the wings. Took me all these months to get around to painting those wings.

The weekend was nice - but I'm left feeling a little guilty that I'm the one here at home while the husband is off at the salt mines. I feel like I'm finally into the groove here at home - not falling too behind on housework, keeping up with the kids (getting them fed, entertained, bathed and to bed) and now finding time for some of my creative endeavors again. But when I'm having a good day - like today - always in the back of my mind is that the husband is off at the office head-high in stress. I wish we could both be at home, living as artists - he writing, me doing my thing and the kids finding their own creative outlets. I'm convinced that if we put our heads together and thought long and hard about it we might be able to figure out a way to do it. Can we?

Edit: Prints now in the Etsy shop!