Friday, February 27, 2009

New Porch

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of construction on our house. We've owned here for two years now, and were very excited to get to the "new windows and a patio cover" phase of improvements.

Cassie of Spiralworks doing the framing. Now this is the open-air patio walkway between the dining room and the art studio. It's had my sweet little herb garden and a tree, which we had to take out.

We did as much of the work as we could, like sanding and oiling all the boards ourselves, digging the post holes and jackhammering. Yowsa!

We used locally made, GREEN oil for the wood. Really lovely stuff and good for the enviornment. UV protective covering plastic.

Finished! Check out that grey Oregon sky!

The patio cover is angled for wind, and higher than the roofs to allow for future roof and gutter cleaning/repairs, as well as air circulation so we don't create a green house effect in summer.

This is right off the kitchen/dining room so we like to put a cute little table out here and sip tea and dine all summer (as well as our dining spot in the garden). There are many times when it's raining out but not very cold, and will be lovely to have the porch to sit on. The dog and cats are already enjoying it.

View to the art studio. Look, there's a monkey on my roof!!!

The day following the porch's grand opening, it rained! We all ran outside in our slippers to "test" it.

Mud, rubble and the rest of the path to jackhammer up! We'll be re-routing the pathway from the gate in a more open and curve, with big stepping stones (not those you see) and nice rock. I am looking forward to adding lots of pretty potted plants, including my herbs, and hanging bird feeders. I received a gorgeous, hand blown glass hummingbird feeder for xmas. Did you know the Oregon hummers are already out and mating?? I'll post a pic of the feeder this weekend.

Check out the new sliding door and energy efficient windows!!!! The house is amazingly warmer. In Oregon, we get a zero interest loan from the energy company to install energy saving, healthy windows! Saves everyone money and energy waste.

It's a good time to get some work done on your house. Doing our part to stimulate the economy by hiring two local, small, awesome contracting compaines (one for windows, one for porch). :-)

next big project might be painting the house.... what do you suggest?


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sky Gnome Pillow Doll

Sky Gnomes- the latest in the Spring Gnome collection! ( Both Sky Gnomes have sold, but there are others to be homed.... )
I had so much fun with the photo shoot yesterday, then the sun popped out while it was raining and Sky Gnome jumped out of my arms and raced outside! It's their job, you see, to monitor the weather, and start rainbows with their little rainbow seed. I followed quickly with my camera and was just able to capture this shot of the Sky Gnome starting a rainbow... can you see the hint of the rainbow just above the treeline? I was amazed to see it in action!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

High Flying Easter Bunnies !!

Wow can these little guys jump!!!! And they are just hoppin to get out and see the world!

The gang poses for a publicity photo. Get yours at Bliss Forest. Spring is on it's way!

Mud Slide Sydney adores his little buddy, Licorice, and even helped stuff him, and did the hand stitching.

The end! Wheeeeeeeee!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Art Doll Rabbits

Between the meadow and the stars lies a special place called Bliss Forest......

All the dear plushies in Bliss Monkey Studio called a meeting and decided to share their world. Be curious. They are.......

January Rabbits dressed in their fine purple linen, and cotton vegetable prints. Today, they were seen returning from a jaunt along the lake with their young ones, on this unseasonably warm winter's day. (#3 SOLD)

The end...... but not the end of the adventure! I pledge to create a new batch of art doll rabbits each month throughout the year.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stripping for School

You know your ecconomy is down, when you find yourself stripping to fundraise for your kid's school. Ok, so I'm being a little extreem, but only a little..... read on.

Last night, we had an event that put the FUN back in fundraiser. Family School parent's night out at a great pub called Sam Bonds. Talent night, so we took turns entertaining eachother with songs and performances. Beer and happy hooting was plentiful. A wild pack of parents, I'm telling you.

One of the pieces we did was a runway show of Power Bras. Two friends, and I made up this idea to playfully decorate and sell new bras to make money for two friends going through breast cancer. It's been a blast. Last night, we didn't sell any bras after the runway show, but we did pass the bra purse and collected some cash for our friends. Nice!

Max and I were booked as the last two performances at midnight. We are members of the Emerald City Drama kings- we do drag king theater. Most people know what a drag queen is, but drag kings are women who don men's clothes, and impersonate men for fun. It's high theater! Our troupe focuses on fun, thoughtful, and thoroughly prepared gender performance. Cabaret. We don't just lip sync, each song has a full subtext of performance and storyline.

Normally, I'm either femme looking, or the jeans and t-shirt artsie mom, so people have no idea what an awesome dude I can be! None of the moms at my boys school have seen me perform.....

Max took the stage as a thoroughly confident character, in "Business Time" by the kiwi band, "Flight of the Concords". If you have not yet heard them, run run run to the next tab over and YOU TUBE them next. The audience was in hysterics. Max was in boxers and "business socks".

I did my performance of Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man". I sing and do a little soft shoe- cane routine with my character I call "Starlight Sam" (see photos-taken when I played Sam with long red hair). I'm happy to say we brought the house down and I had to hand out make believe permission slips for Starlight Sam as fantasy material. (blush). Playing with gender is a great deal of fun. And being an artist, as you know, means all of life is a stage.

Check out this amazing cartoon video I just found that was made for the song. I think it's awesome.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Big news!!!! Big hole beads!

I am very pleased to announce: I'm now respresenting my own jewelry line, Charmish on etsy. It is a great and unusual opportunity to represent the jewelry that I design for another company. Along with the things I create in my Bliss Monkey Studio, and share with you here, I also spend two days a week working with EuropeanBling and desiging their super fun charm braclets.

European beads are the new wave in charm bracelets and modular jewelry. You start with a gorgeous, thick silver braclet, and collect beautiful, sterling charm beads to go on it. The charm beads come in many styles and themes, so you can tell your life story (with birthstone beads, anniverary momentos, first house, zodiac, etc), collect them to represent special accomplishments (first race, gallery art show, spiritual quest), or collect your hobbies and favorite animals and colors. Our beads are fully compatible with other major brands of European charm beads, such as Pandora, Biagi, Troll beads, and Chamilia.

European style charm bracelets are normally rather expensive. We use the same quality, craftsmanship and materials, but create them with more affordable prices and super fresh designs. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm In Love With The Sky Today

There is another sky by Emily Dickinson
There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Spring Wrist Warmers - you choose the color

Here's the latest wrist warmers in my shop. A scaled down version for spring: walking the dog, driving, outdoor stuff, as well as in. Many many people buy them to type at work or home and keep their hands happy. Great for knitting. Sooooo soft and warm and cute!

Black licorice, chocolate, or latte- you choose the color!

Spring Palate! Lilac, Grass, and Denim.... imagine Spring is here, you are wearing your favorite old jeans, and beautiful blouse.... it's warm enough to lay in the grass, gaze up at the budding lilac and take in a new season...... ahhhhh................ Ok, try HARD to imagine it, as you look out your office window and see WINTER still upon us. That's why I've made Spring wrist warmers in these lovely shades......just for you!

I'm selling these in the full 10" length. Cute to fold at the cuff. Keeps your hands warm and happy till those WARM days really do roll around the calendar.

I saw two humming birds at the window today! They were looking longingly at the red window decorations. It's still freezing at night, why are they here?? Is this normal arrival time for Oregon? Should I put our new hummingbird feeder out?

Friday, February 6, 2009

An article on me by Stacy Schrak of Grow By Love.

She's also a designer, and a mom, and a great writer! Thanks so much!

A fun, monstery treasury!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wake Up

Green Dots cup Wrist Warmers found here.
I'm So Green coffee cozy found here. Get green here.

I woke up to the sound of doves outside my bedroom window accompanied by the sound of my Grandmother snoring in the twin bed next to me. The sun would be streaming in around the edges of the pulled shades. I'd lay in bed, smiling to myself, for a few moments before getting up. If I woke early enough, my Papa would still be eating breakfast in the kitchen. I'd slide into the green vinyl seat silently, and he'd look up, pretending to be surprised and say, "THERE's my Leesie!" He always had a cup of coffee, small bowl of cereal and an egg on a muffin. He's fix me whatever I was in the mood for. We'd chat while he read the paper, then off he'd launch into his day of joyfully working outside and in the garage.

And I would start MY day! It was summer in Southern California. The birds were chattering in the side yard, and chirping in the palm tree, the scent of flowers heavy in the morning air. If Iwas able to get dressed without waking Grandma, I could slip outside without wearing sandals. Bare feet on grass, before it got hot out was delicious. I loved being outside while air was still cool in the morning and the ever-present California sun was just rising.

My friends weren't out yet so I had time just to be quiet. I'd walk along the yard, looking at the Bird of Paradise and Lily blooms, and check the Guava plant for fruit big enough to eat. I'd walk through the tunnel of Bougainvillea, touching the thick leaves of the money plant. Maybe Papa would be out back picking oranges to make juice.

I would feel quietly excited that it was summer, that the whole day was laid out before me to be enjoyed, that I had so many fun things to do, that the world was beautiful, that Grandma would soon be up and available to chat with inside, that Papa would be doing many interesting things I could tag along with outside, that I could play with friends. It was summer and the day would be mine!

As an adult, I love thinking back to that time of my life. The summers spent at Grandma and Papa's house, feeling so safe and loved and spoiled "rotten". My dreams often take place in that house. I was a kid, totally confident, happy, safe, with the whole day of fun before me. I like to tap into that feeling before I head into the art studio.

When were you so happy, confident, and relaxed about life? Go into that memory, hold that in your heart and restart your day smiling to yourself.

My new garden companion. Maybe he'll ward off real snails since he's so giant!

Here he is on his dirt mound. I'm hoping to get all this earth green with ground cover. This is a view of the fairy/moomintroll garden that I started two years ago. It's been slow going getting the ground cover to stay in this part of the garden. I think I'll try installing an automatic mist watering system this summer.

Santa brought us that "toad bath". It's turned out to be very handy, because, as you know, toads are incredibly filthy.