29 June 2009

i am feeling really quiet tonight. it's late, and our beautiful new house is mostly dark, and very clean after hosting a party. and quiet. i think i feel quiet because i have to talk about something i have had a feeling was coming for a few days now: i am not ready to open my shop yet. as in, really not ready. yes, i could list a few things, but i did that before and it really didn't feel great. i want it to be coherent and real and substantial.
having said that, i feel i need explain myself. this is not some sort of subconscious "i'm afraid of actually doing this, so i'm looking for an excuse to put it off". that is not it. i am not a perfectionist, and i am anticipating this to be a slow-growing, organic sort of project, so it really is not my need for perfection that is stopping me. i am so emotionally and mentally ready to do this, to take this risk, i can hardly stand it. i have felt lately so much positive momentum moving me forward, i get giddy just thinking about it. this just, apparently, is not exactly the right moment.
and i am okay with that.
which, at this point, is all that matters, i think. i am usually very hard on myself, but really, there is no reason to flog myself over this. i have had a lot of most-nighters lately, and i am running very low on energy. i am working on a big project that needs to finish up this week and is giving me no end of technical difficulties. the transition of moving has been long and kind of hard, but it has been good. the transition of quitting my job is another really big change that is not without its difficulties. to be honest, the only thing that really disappoints me is that i said something that i couldn't follow through on. not following through is one of my biggest pet peeves (the phrase 'pet peeve' is high on the list, too). but even to that, i have nothing to say. perhaps i am just too tired right now (i do not, let's face it, have the energy to put together the selection of wolf-themed pictures to go with this post, as i feel like the girl who cried wolf. i had lots of material for that, but. . . .)
anyway, i am going to take a few days to get my wits about me, maybe get some sleep. i'm going to finish the aforementioned project, and go from there. i haven't quite figured out when a good revised opening date would be, but the news will be here when i figure it out.
that's all. i might be a little quiet on here for a bit. i'm not sure yet, but a break might be a good thing.

happy effing monday!

oh, wow. a couple of things: it really is a monday (maybe because i had a really great, fully weekend)! we managed to get some very final touches done at our house this weekend (shelves and curtains hung, etc.), i made a crazy-good haul at savers on saturday, i prided it up with my dear friend jack on sunday morning, amy and i threw a really fun housewarming shindig. . . and i will say that all that activity, on top of my efforts to get things together for the shop, i am really tired this morning. oh, and! i can't believe how excited i am about this, but: i have an interview at a temp agency today! the shop opens TOMORROW, which will likely be a more modest opening than i had anticipated, but i think july will be a month full of updates and specials. i have a lot of ideas and projects i want to share, so figuring out how to get all those out there is what i am working on. so, i feel a little bit like i am going absolutely nuts, but in a good way (oh yeah, that makes so much sense). anywayyyyyyy. . . . for your viewing pleasure this morning:
a few weeks ago, erin posted about luke irwin, who designs fine rugs. i had never heard of him, but find his work to be absolutely gorgeous. in the image below, i really like the tiny spots of orange, they are so beautifully balanced. not to mention, they look totally appealing for some good barefoot walking, laying around on the floor with a good book action. i hope you enjoy your monday and your week! i will be back with updates and news about the shop tomorrow.


26 June 2009

happy friday! so, we can classify this under "things i can't stop thinking about/when i finally do get married, i am going to want to remember this!" so i might as well bookmark it and share it with you! there are so so many more beautiful photos of this wedding over at once wed and our labor of love (that site makes me really like weddings!), that i would encourage you to take a look at, but i picked a few (seen first on cup of jo):look at this awesome red truck that transported the bride and her (ten!) maidens to the ceremony! and those clutches! so cool. not to mention the BOOTS. and the pretty j. crew dresses.

beautiful REAL cakes made by a friend and the milk! (i guess i'm feeling pretty exclamatory today.) the MILK, people! i love it.

these might be my favorites: the bistro lights strung up in a field, and the sparkly send-off. so perfect. anyway, i just think these are gorgeous. i hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

25 June 2009

my new theme song.

i'm really excited about stuart murdoch's new project, god help the girl. and, although there isn't a video or player to embed in this post, please go listen to them on their myspace page. pretty much every word of their 'god help the girl' track describes my life. it's true. the rest of the tunes are pretty great, too.

24 June 2009

dovetail love.

my little vacation is over! and it's back to work for me (boo). but! at least there is air conditioning at the office (which i actually feel a little guilty about, since it's putting holes in the ozone layer), and at least i only have THIRTEEN MORE DAYS OF WORK!! i am sending out resumes at the speed of light and hoping for a good little part-time gig. even if i don't land one, something will work out. it always does.
as i'm working on opening up the shop again and, specifically, on a set of wedding invitations (among other things, i will be offering some different lines of custom and semi-custom wedding invitations), i am thinking about giving gifts for weddings and how i never know what to give. i want to give something unique yet universally appealing, something useful, but not mundane. i often think that it would be really easy to just pick a gift to give to all the newlyweds in my life. a signature of sorts. a go-to. a standby. something surprising and wonderful that everyone will love getting. and of course, it is great to support artists i like. and i really like dovetail (this whole post is basically an excuse to talk about them). so, i think maybe my new go-to standby wedding gift will be a pair of dovetail mugs. maybe the bike ones. or maybe the letters. although i think maybe the neighborhood ones are my favorite. it's so hard to decide! but once you do, margaret and josh will send your pair of mugs to wherever you want them from their studio in lexington, ky. you can find a list of shops that carry their work here. and find out more about them here: shop :: etsy :: blog
what about you? do you have go-to gifts that you like to give to the people in your life as they reach milestones? favorite artists or companies you like to buy from whenever you get the chance?

23 June 2009

wish list.

for a long time, i have really liked chakrapennywhistle's moneybag wallets on etsy. but, you know, in a boy kind of way (as in, "i like boys, and i like these wallets!" or, "i like these wallets, but they look like they are for boys." or, "i would love to have a boy to whom i could give one of these great wallets!"). i have even thought about buying one of these wallets and saving it for a (hopefully) future mr. someone (is that crazy? did i just out myself on the internet?)

but then! she was the etsy featured seller last week, and from that article, i mosied on over to her shop to discover: moneybag clutches! wheee! now i can have my own bit of a moneybag in a cool, girly form! how's that for nice? and maybe, if i ever find that mr. someone, we can match. yeah, nice (or perhaps a bit much?).

22 June 2009

happy effing monday!

hi friends! today i really AM happy, because i am waking up at my parents' house in the woods, next to my sister. and i don't have to go to work! last friday, mrs. french posted about these amazing illustrations and i knew immediately that they would make perfect monday morning eye candy (and really, i just wanted an excuse to look at them some more)! so enjoy these lovely illustrations by japanese artist naomi kobayashi. i really had a hard time choosing just a few to show you! i mean, aren't they all so wonderful?!
there is also a really nice little interview with one of my favorite blogger/creative ladies, chelsea of {frolic}, over at auburn and ivory. she has nice, real, encouraging things to say.


19 June 2009

wish i was here.

and by here, i mean this amazing room! i can't get it out of my mind this week. one of my work survival tactics is to put something amazing and beautiful on my computer's desktop as a reminder that i am working on the life i want. which, really, involves working for myself from home/my studio. more on that later.
i'm escaping to wisconsin this weekend (my sister is there!) and it will feel so great to have a couple of days off, too.
i do want to share a couple of new blog friends i made this week (and by made, i mean found them and said "hi!" because hey, every friendship starts somewhere):
geraniums and potatoes: posts about LOVELY things (and lives in minneapolis!)
the design alphabet: this is a great concept! she posts beautiful art and design things based on letters of the alphabet, one for every day.
and that's me, signing off for the week. i hope you all have a lovely weekend!

18 June 2009

hmmmm, intrigue!

look at that tiny image! it's a hint. it's a hint about my new shop name (and banner), or rather the name i am applying to my various projects. i am excited about the projects. and, while the banner might not end up looking exactly like this, you get the general idea. maybe i'll post another part of the banner another day! it can be like a puzzle.
you might see some other newness over to the right there. it is perhaps a little in process. . . but we're getting there. slowly but surely.
ooh, also! i just looked at my blogspot profile and i'm at 1,000 views (which, since i still can't figure out how to paste my google analytics code into my page code, is my only clue as to how many people may be looking at this)! yay!

17 June 2009

new babies, new house.

the party on saturday was so lovely. it was wonderful to see old friends and the new babies. these are the women who have known me the longest, who inspire and encourage me the most. i never end up taking as many pictures as i intend at things like this, especially when i am hosting, but here are a few, which also give you a little better view of my new house. and, as you can tell, there is plenty of light coming in, which made for slightly weird photos (that might have been the photographer more than anything), but is one of my favorite things about the house.

sara made a wonderful vegetable tart, and i made molly's berry pound cake. everything was so tasty, i would repeat this meal anytime.

okay, it really is funny to make those little people do things they don't know they are doing (or are interested in doing, necessarily)! i think they were close to holding hands anyway. . . .

15 June 2009

happy effing monday.

this may not come as a shock to those of you that really know me, but i am not the world's biggest fan of painting. first of all, i am terrible at it. second of all, i just prefer prints! which is why i am a printmaker, i suppose. i'm sure it came out of some kind of cycle of learning about the medium, and then loving it more, and learning it and then just not really caring if i ever saw anything else in my life. i sometimes get stuck in ruts like that.
however! there are some painters out there that i like. rachel austin, for example. i want to move to portland and be her friend. she is probably the person who i have watched online the longest, without ever actually introducing myself. anyway, so she is great, and she often features other artists on her blog. and last week, when i saw the paintings of kelly neidig, i was so taken with her use of color and lines, and the way she divides her canvas. i think they are lovely.

12 June 2009


what are you up to this weekend? i have the meet the babies party, and i am excited to bake a cake! it will be wonderful to see old friends and have an excuse to get the final boxes out of the house and the art on the walls--and then take some real pictures to share with you next week (i think next will be picture week). i am also hoping, as always, to get some art made.
i hope your weekend is sunny and wonderful, summer really is here and i want to soak up every second! have a wonderful weekend!

11 June 2009

get ready babies, you have a sa-weet party coming up on saturday! (although i have to say, jack and emmeline are probably not reading yet*, so they will likely not see this post.)
i have no words (i write this late on wednesday night), but this is one of the many things i did tonight. see those curtains in the background? the chrysanthemums? they will likely become a skirt as soon as i have the white curtains up (i do like them as curtains, but crafty planet is done carrying that particular fabric and, to be honest, i don't have time to scour the internet for more). just call me sister maria.
i really did almost post pictures of the house, but looking at them was really depressing since there is no art on the walls. this weekend, i promise, the art will go up, the photos will be taken and posted! you will likely also see my new hairdo, as requested by my mother.
i guess when i say, "i have no words", i really mean, i have plenty to say, but it might all come out as stream-of-consciousness because i just don't know how to organize the words.
*they are two months old!

10 June 2009

(look at these lovely little letter ladders!--inadvertent alliteration, i promise. i don't know who made them, but they were on the drying rack in the letterpress studio and i found them irresistible.)

Linkletterpress class is over. i have thoroughly enjoyed it, being at the book arts center each week, working with others, and having an assignment again! we are having one very last extra class tomorrow night, since not everyone was able to finish up printing last week. i made a print of some barns (shock!), but am trying to think of some appropriate text that would be fairly easy to set and print. so far, i have nothing and am open to suggestions. i'm also open to no text, although to me, this print does not look finished (i do love multiples, though! another thing i love about printmaking). this is a combination of a linoleum block and a polymer plate made from a scratch negative--a process i am totally in love with now.
what i do have, however, is a name for my business! i have been looking for something appropriate for a long time, and i feel satisfied with what i have finally come up with. as soon as i have my branding done, i will tell you all about it. i think it is also going to involve a change in blogging platforms--i feel a little like i am getting carried away in the momentum i spoke of yesterday--there is so much to do! so much i want to have ready in the next few weeks. so i need to take a deep breath and do one thing at a time. but i think i can say that the shop/new blog will launch by the beginning of july. so there. here we go!

09 June 2009


it has been rainy and gray in minneapolis the last few days. i have been enjoying it, honestly (i prefer it to ninety-five degrees and 100% humidity). the sea of chairs sitting on nicollet mall outside the local are gorgeous, and i enjoy passing them each day on my way home from the gym. today they were totally empty.
i have barely been keeping up these days, there is a lot going on here! the house really is magical (i took some pictures tonight and will post them as soon as i can gather the energy), with enough space in my second-floor bedroom to work and sleep. i am sleeping better, i am working more productively (already! it's only been a week!), and in the midst of my low-grade exhaustion, i am energized. i have a lot on my plate, and that's exactly how i like it.
there are some really exciting things in the works, and hopefully i will be able to share some news in the next week or so.
also, i would just like to say that i have really been enjoying decor8 lately. sometimes the layout is a little too busy for me, and i get overwhelmed by all the visual doo-dahs going on. but the content? the writing? delightful! the images? gorgeous! i'm a fan, especially after reading her post on bedside table options.

08 June 2009

happy effing monday!

as i write this late on sunday night, the thought of going back to work tomorrow does not give me the sinking feeling it normally does. i had a restful and productive weekend. i enjoyed my house, baked a thousand cookies, and slept in--finally! i test rode some wonderful bicycles, fell in love with one and fell off another (have you ever ridden a fixed gear bike? yikes! i don't know who would choose to do that! i have some nice big bruises on my right hip to remind me of my spill). i will likely post more bike details later as i am rather preoccupied. now, on to your pretty things (not conventionally pretty, but a little newsy).
i give you one guess as to where this amazing, slightly over-the-top (and rather poorly photographed) chandelier is:

um, did you guess my house? because that would be right. there are actually two, one in the dining room, one in the living room. they are kind of amazing. i will definitely post some comprehensive pictures of the magical house, but not until the boxes are gone and the art is on the walls. this will happen as soon as possible, so be patient (i'm talking to you kim lambright). but to give you a little taste, i give you the chandeliers. and part of our enormous kitchen:

oh, and i found my ring. it is possibly my favorite possession (i made it several years ago at a little jewelry making class), and i was sure i had lost it somehow in the moving process. i was quite ecstatic to find it the other night and haven't taken it off since. it occurs to me that this is a terribly dorky and possibly boring thing to post about, but i can't help it. that's how pleased i am to have it back. i hope your week is off to a good start this morning!

05 June 2009

june to do list (this is kind of a long one, folks).

(photo found at sfgirlbybay. i want to organize my to do list and other workspace information on clipboards like this!)

yay! i love monthly goal meetup!
i had four goals in may. i sort of bombed on all of them. and i am not even kidding. i want to talk about may, though, because a LOT happened in may, just not what i had intended. and i need to start not exaggerating my failure with statements like that second one (i.e. i need to not be so hard on myself). one thing i need to work on in general is giving myself more credit. instead of looking back on my month and say, "i didn't get my four things done, i'm so lame", i need to say, "this is what i did, that i didn't anticipate coming up, but turned out to be really great!" and give myself credit for the things i do, whether they are directly related to work or not (i was inspired about this way by amanda at daily worth, who included personal time as something to prioritize in one of her posts this week). after all, if i am my business, i need to take care of me, and that means all of me.
so, i did some things that i always do, like blogging a lot, and commenting on blogs, which led to more blog friends! i blogged about how much i love daily worth, and that led to some great correspondence and new friends, and to me learning a little more about twitter! also, i made some baby party invitations and sent them out, i finished up letterpress class and made friends with my teacher, i got a cute little haircut. i also got to meet sally and jena.
also, i moved, which turned everything upside-down. it was kind of a long, drawn-out, exhausting process, and only now seems to be drawing to a close. but it will be good! we have a lovely new house, and once we are totally settled and i have a good nap, all will be good. it's a magical house, i can feel it.

okay, so to recap, my may goals were:
1. make things. i made a few things, but not as many as i wanted to.
2. photograph the things i have made. this didn't happen, since it was dependent on #1.
3. really, seriously, get a file box (the paperwork is overflowing, folks). i looked at file cabinets, but they were kind of expensive! i think i can find one cheaper than $50, so i am going to keep my eyes out for one. also, considering my new living situation, my filing needs may have changed. so i will figure that one out. HOLD ON!! as of 7:30pm tonight, friday, june 5, i am the proud owner of a great little beige file cabinet, which i snagged for $10. amy and i went to look at a couch from craigslist and the file cabinet was just there. talk about synchronicity!
4. write up my application for the eileen fisher grant. this was the biggest bomb. i wrote it, i edited it, i had it all ready. and then i moved to a house with no internet and couldn't access the website until the evening of june 1, the due date. and i was too late! they were due at noon. so i just plain old didn't plan ahead. and it's okay. i'm pretty sure it would have been a loooong shot anyway. but i am going to keep looking for grants and other opportunities.
5. look for a new, part time job. i did this! i got my resume all spiffed up and sent it off, but now i am just waiting to hear. and looking for new jobs to apply for.

and looking forward. . . june goals:
1. finish making things! i have some specific inventory goals on my list: thank yous, camping cards, sample stationery sets. i also have an order for wedding invitations, and a set of baby announcements that need to get finished.
1.5 take photos and get etsy site ready to launch (i am aiming for july 1! eeek!)
2. order paper and envelopes!
3. buy screenprinting supplies!
4. apply for more jobs.
5. write class proposals for community ed classes.
6. start contacting bloggers and websites about advertising and possible give-away items (things i want to give away).
7. get some 120 film for my diana f and start taking photos!

i'm sure there are more, but that is a good list to start with. i like loose guidelines and jumping off points (mmmm, docks! summer! vacation! will i ever get one?)

04 June 2009

my favorite part of the creative process is that feeling i get when something i imagined has not only materialized, but turns out to be better than i even imagined. that was how i knew, with the help of a wise professor, that i should choose printmaking over pottery as my medium of choice in college. i loved my pottery classes and working with clay, none of my pottery ever turned out like i wanted--and not in a good way. my prints, on the other hand, never turned out the way i wanted, either--they turned out better (well, usually). anyway, i was reminded of that feeling this week as i painted these little flags.
my friends an i are getting together to meet two new little folks in a couple of weeks and i put the invitations in the mail a couple of days ago. i think the design might just make an appearance as a part of my inventory when my shop reopens (with better photos--please forgive the shadowy lighting. these were taken in the middle of the night). and yes, i guess i am obsessed with garlands lately. they will probably appear in other forms at the party, as well.

03 June 2009


hurray for pirated internet! (our comcast will be transferred and connected on friday, so i am looking forward to the return of reliable internet.)
and now i am going to show you the part of our house that looks the best, although tonight we made some great progress, unpacking books, breaking down boxes, getting more things put away. i am quite excited about the garden, the beautiful trees, and the backyard in general. also, i have some other exciting things i have been saving up to share (!), and i am excited to finalize some plans for an official launch of my totally revamped etsy shop later this summer (mid-summer, if you will).
anyway, enjoy the flowers. i certainly have been.