Saturday, January 31, 2009


Long Legs McCormack is NINE today! How could that be? I've urged him to stop here, since next year will be double digits! He is clever, thoughtful, soulful, artistic, athletic, and oh so dear to everyone. Happy Birthday, my little Aquarian!!!

The kids are outside right now, climbing the back yard trees and playing with sticks. It's an amazing Oregon weather emergency: Warm and sunny in midwinter! Everyone outside! Go play! (so why am I at the computer? Does it count if I'm also sitting in a patch of sun at the same time?)

We are doing Thai food tonight, with a friend over, and tomorrow morning is the big party at the rock climbing gym. Every single kid invited said yes, because it's such a novel idea. I wish we could invite an even bigger group, because some of MY friends were left out. We usually do a fun indoor event for his birthdays because they are winter, and do a big park party for little brother who is late summer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reading and Sleeping and REading

I'm a hard working artist. I love to read, and read a lot, but don't usually settle down with a book till the end of the day. The kids are in bed, shipping is accomplished, kitchen all tidied up, Max and I are all updated about our days and plans and such...... yawn.... and I really want to, yawn, get back into my book. I settle into my fav chair with new blue blankie... get all cozy with the book, drinking Roobois tea. But by then it's hard to read without getting sleepy sooner than I'd like.

And did I mention that the grown ups in this house, the grown ups who get up at 6:30 every morning to get cute children to school, do not LIKE to go to sleep? We avoid bedtime, we parlay like pirates, we find good excuses: MUST snuggle with the dog on the couch for another 1/2 hour! We get caught up in etsy convos at midnight. We have giggling fits in the kitchen until we cry and fall down and getting up is too much work late at night and we think of more jokes (and I assure you no alcohol is involved with this activity). We can be found holding our toothbrushes in our mouths, like twin kiwi birds, as we read for twenty minutes more.... but we do not go to bed in a timely manner. Yet once we have struggled ourselves into bed, we don't tend to want to get out again.

In an effort to avoid that build up of lack of sleep and the silly idea one can get caught up on the weekend, we have implemented
"Go to bed early Wednesday". I highly recommend it. Basically, you get ready for bed right after you've put your kids to bed. Bring your tea and cookies and good book to bed (and your four cats and your dog). You are guaranteed to get in extra reading, extra snuggling and extra sleep in the middle of the week where you need it most. (Do NOT bring a tv into your bedroom, what ever you do.)

Now that you get the basic scene here, I will go on. Reading is important in our family. The adults often share books and talk about books. I have the kids read to themselves or out loud to me for 20 min a day each (most days). They read out loud while I make dinner. Yet, I just realized, they don't see me read for pleasure. Besides the daily comics. How is that a good role model?

I don't read during the day because I'm busy. Busy being a mom, an artist, a business owner, a designer, a friend, a neighbor, a shipping export, a soccer coach assistant, the dog walker, etc. You know. Feel like reading is sitting around, if it's daylight, but the kids should know how great reading is and how important. So I've decided to read occasionally, when they can see me enjoying my book, not just talking about reading. I also started a book club for women in my neighborhood (more on the awesomeness of that later)and our first choice is "The Time Traveler's Wife".

I found two things about reading during the day: it's really fun to read when I'm not tired - thus more difficult to stop reading. And two, adults reading can be odd. Not only do I giggle to myself and go "deaf" for periods of time, last night, the kids were playing chess after dinner. I was sitting at the table with them (not clearing dishes) but ... yes you guessed it... only the very end of the book. Have you read it? So sad and beautiful and brilliant....tears were trickling down my cheeks, dripping onto my place mat. I started sniffling and trying to see through the water to keep reading. Suddenly both kids looked up in concern asking, "mommy are you ok??"
"Oh yes, I'm crying because my book is so good."
"What? Why? What happened?"
I explained and they asked me many questions, and wanted to know all about the book and why it had to go like that, and what did it mean. Then they went back to their chess.

I waited till everyone was in bed, and all was quiet to savor the last five pages of the book. Wow what a story. And sometimes, it's just nice to read when it's quiet. Yawn.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Inspire me Thursday "Breakfast"

Inspire me Thursday's prompt was "Breakfast".

Breakfast rendered in art quilt. Do you recognize my favorite new mug? Steaming coffee, my favorite, and fresh eggs from our hens.

I couldn't get a better shot under the lighting conditions, but wanted to show the piece as it looks on the wall. I wrapped the art quilt on a thick wooden frame, so the image wraps around the sides, which I think is fun. 9" x 12"

This is Quillan's offering. "Breakfast" of fried egg, over easy, with glass of juice, rendered in gummy bears. He did the place setting and photography himself. Quillan age 6.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Turn your face to the spring

These are the Bluebirds of Happiness wrist warmers. I know we must be in mid winter now, but I feel so springish. All my work is so full of birds lately, we've had a long stretch of not-rain here in Oregon, and little green stems have poked from the garden.

I like the idea that one might tell a story using these wrist warmers.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Random BOOK Facts tag?

Kiley books stopped by to tag me and I forgot to publish my post! Here's how it goes:

Link to the the tagger, list 7 random book facts about yourself, and tag 7 more friends...well lets get started:

#1. Just last night, I started a neighborhood book club! How about them apples for timing? We had a blast at the first meeting and decided to read The Time Traveler's Wife first off.

#2. I read a lot. I love fiction, non-fiction, fantasy novels (must be excellent), self help (that sounds lame... um, self improvment? mind evolving?), travel stories, and pre-reading young adult novels that we've been collecting for the kids to read when they are older.

#3. We read out loud every day with the kids. Grown ups reading to kids, and kids reading to each other and kids reading to grown ups. I love being read to while I'm cooking dinner. We've read the first three Harry Potter books out loud as a family. (We are stopping here till the kids get older. The other books are scary!)

#4. My fav secret location to read is the bath tub. I've never dropped one in the water.

#5. I'm most embarassed to admit that I read total junk when I'm flying. I always intend to read something fantastic when I take a trip, but can never concentrate on real reading while traveling. Why is that? So I end up reading a trashy rag mag that I pick up in the airport. Luckily, I dont travel too much........

#6. I have a snuggly reading chair of my dreams.

#7. When I'm into a good book, I often carry it around with me, when I leave the house, just in case I get a spare second to read.

you are tagged:
Indigo Luna
All around creative awesomeness of a person, and a fun blog to read

Sweetest of things
My twin carrying, tango mama of a friend

Moontea Art Work

Love her hand printed fabric!

My fun Finnish friend, knower of all things Moomin, excellent textile artist, and fun blogger

Try To Catch The Wind
My dear friend, sweet blogger, and an artist who's charming works always make me gasp

Pink Cheeks STudio
REally really really really cute pillow doll artist!! I mean the dolls are cute! Really happening style.
Hi Everyone!!!!! Guess what? We have a new president. One who's values seem more like mine than any president I've known. One who I am excited about! One who cares about the environment, and the people of this planet- all of them. One who came to my town here, and ate at our local icecream shop with his wife. He rocks.

Before any work got done around here today, I had to gather with friend to watch the inauguration. Wow, can that man give a great speech?! What a job he has, with the whole world watching us so closely right now too. I'm glad he's gathering brilliance around him.

What have you been up to? Me? I'm still taking it slow in the new year, business wise. The christmas season seems like forever ago, yet it was a mere few weeks and I'm still recovering and tidying up. I'm sewing every day, enjoying new custom orders, and working on my secret hush hush plans for the new year.

I have come out with several new wrist warmer designs this month, like this "Bird on Bird" set, and the popular "Coffee Time". Both currently available in my shop .

Enjoying an Oregon sunny moment, modeling "Migration", a new coffee cozy design. I am migrating as well, towards more artsy, painterly designs this year. I should say "stitcherly" rather than painterly. That's not to say I won't be making my silly and cute designs as well. But be on the look out for more Art. (She says only a little tongue in cheek).

Yesterday, our whole family joined the massive Martin Luther King Jr day march. I really wanted my kids to be part of the scene this year, of all years. it was a positive experience over all.

I have to say that I was disappointed by the quality and choices the speakers made at the end of the march. I wanted my boys to hear a rousing, "YES we can!" sort of speech. There was some overly intellectual speeches, some "this is what the media wrongly portrayed MLK as" sort of speeches, and honestly some bad music, and non-meaningful entertainment. I wanted to get into talking about the MLK peace movement, the human rights activist that he was, and the new day dawning with our first African American president. Most speakers just didn't have the right feel and angle.

Next year, I want to use our day off to do some peace work, or volunteer work together as a family, instead of sitting around talking about what was. Let's act. Not that we wait till next year to do something! We volunteer regularly and attend other events. But on the special MLK day, let's celebrate by making a difference.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gnome ornaments

These are a few of the new ornaments I made for my family this year. These most excellent mushrooms grew in my front yard. The gnomes took to them right away.

After working with polar fleece (large plush, pillow gnome series currently for sale in and soon to be joined by their spring version cousins-reserve yours now, if you like), I was excited to make some in cotton.

A happy gnome trio. The little linen heart trees were for sale, but not these guys. I just LOVE gnomes with their tall red hats. Sitting on faux bos fabric in front of my bamboo...... I wanted to share a few snaps before packing them away till next season.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


The Girlz started out the new year, by laying eggs again. You can clearly tell which hen laid which egg by the color. Lacy, Penny, and Star. Penny is a year younger, so that may be the reason she continued laying while the other two took six weeks off during the darkest part of the year. Their hen house has a moon roof AND they get a heat lamp, the spoiled little chicklets that they are! One would THINK that would grant them more light. Clearly a few more minutes of light each day, as we passed Winter Solstice is what makes the difference.

I'm working along in the new year, but not full production mode yet. I have many many many new plans for my etsy shop and creative life. I'm taking time to explore ideas, and what my heart desires to bring to life.
I'm happy to report I have many returned customers from holiday rush. Folks are coming back to get a new coffee cozy or wrist warmer set for themselves. And I have a record, SIX people in my secret coffee cozy club! I love that. For those who aren't familiar, I sell a four month "subscription" to my club on etsy. Members fill out a fun questionnaire about themselves, and I send them monthly coffee cozies based on what they wrote. Surprises await for my clubbies!

Fav new things!

Funny coy photo... this necklace was made by Australian artist Jen of Jen's Jewelry. It's a sterling moon, with my children's names stamped on, and the words, "I love you to the moon and back" in a spiral, and stamped stars. Some of the "o's" are rivets put into the moon as craters. Jen was fun to work with, and packaged everything so sweetly. From a distance, it's just a 2" moon with crescent, up close it's all specialzy.

New video camera xmas present for the family! The kids are loving it already. IT's got a touch screen and night vision (looks all green like on Survivor). WE are ready to start making documentaries! I have to learn the editing software.....

New favorite mug. I bought several hand built pottery pieces as holiday gifts. I hadn't really looked at local pottery in a long time. Just in passing, so I went on full search. If something looked like pottery in passing, I was IN their booth scoping it out. Eugene Holiday Market, Art Shows, Portland Saturday market......looked at a lot of work and was surprised to find so many potters doing the same old same old muted colors and blah drippy glazes straight out of the 70's. Blech. I found one interesting, bright booth with fun colors in Portland and bought a few pieces.

And then found Bob Haley from Corvallis with several booth weekends in Eugene. I teased him that he must make purple glaze to get all the ladies in his booth. He laughed and told me about his life being a color blind artist!! He was trying to make a navy glaze and ended up with two custom shades of purple that are so popular, he continues to make them. He can't tell green from gray, blue from purple, and didn't realize he was colorblind until he and his wife had a terrible argument over a colored vase and almost divorced!

I love this size, texture, and color of mug. With the smaller opening, my tea stays warmer longer in the cool studio space AND it holds LOTS of tea! I love his work. Fun colors and really wonderfully architected pieces. (Can we turn that noun into a verb??) He can be reached at Alas, not everyone is on etsy.

Speaking of etsy, I had a delightful season, shopping on etsy, but also wanted to spread the cheer to local artists. Esp when it came to buying heavier items and clothing.

What are your new favorites??