19 July 2009

okay, folks.

it's official! if you have a link somewhere that leads you to this blog on a regular basis, you can update it. i am still working on getting things setup over at the new place, but as of monday, july 20, i am going to start posting at laurabrownart.wordpress.com.

17 July 2009

hello, good-bye.

i have one day left at the job i don't like. and then. . . . who knows?
there was a time in my life when i would have cried at that thought. but today, all i can do is beam. i'm not even kidding! since giving my two weeks' notice, i thought there might be a moment of nostalgia, an "i can't believe i'm not going to be here anymore!", a twinge of regret over the impending lack of funds. but let me tell you something:
the company does not make any acknowledgment of peoples' exits. the official position is that if co-workers want to do something nice, they are allowed, but the gesture cannot originate from anyone in a management position. the exact words of the boss are, "people who quit are dead to me."
nice, huh? it makes it unbelievably easy to walk away from a job where they don't even say, "thanks for all your hard work, laura." (although i will say, i have gotten nothing but supportive, encouraging, and slightly envious words from co-workers--not to mention the cake! the lack of a formal company-approved farewell make thoughtful actions like that even more meaningful.)
not only have i not felt anything but happy confidence about my decision all week long, but i am realizing that there could not be a better time for me to get out of there.
i could go on and on about how excited i am to live my dreams, but honestly, i am tired of thinking about it and analyzing the preaching "why should i wait until the recession goes away before i do what i love?!" business (which i firmly believe). i am tired of anticipating, i am tired of planning. i'm ready to dive in.
i have no idea what will happen. and that thought is thrilling! everything will work out. i really do believe that. i am excited to make things happen and to go after what i want.

speaking of what i want, and the life i am going after, i had a really great time last night at the launch party for local food blog simple, good, and tasty. it was at the birchwood cafe, which was perfect, and i enjoyed some great local food and wine with my friend mc (i met mc and lee, the founder of simple, good, and tasty, at my letterpress class!). i wish i had photos, but yesterday was the one day i left my camera at home. it felt great to be outside, eat wonderful tiny pulled pork sandwiches, meet new people, and talk with a friend about life and art and community. i think we are going back on saturday for some tour de france brunch (brioche french toast, anyone?).
i am looking forward to the weekend, knowing i can freely make plans for socializing since i know i will have time to be in the studio during the week!
did i mention how great i feel about my decision? i am looking forward to the weekend, and even to monday!
i hope your weekend is wonderful!

16 July 2009

i feel like i have been rather photo happy here this week--partly because i can't decide which photos to share with you, and partly to make up for the fact that i am still rather low on energy and don't have much of my own content to show (but it is coming, and i am really excited! as a long parenthetical side note, i just have to say how happy and relieved i am to have a light at the end of the tunnel of the day job. i'm looking forward to some rest and starting to structure my days around what i want to be doing rather than trying--and usually failing--to fit them in around the things i don't value--i.e. my day job).
uh, anyway. . . i have been thinking lately, though, about what i would like to be doing with my blog in the coming months. i like the idea of sharing great arts and crafts that i run across. i found these adorable crocheted macarons by sian keegan over on bakers dozen. i like this little shop, full of goodies created by thirteen artists, in editions of thirteen. the brainchild of australian amy borell, i think this is such a sweet project!

i got curious about sian's other work, so mosied over to her website, where i found more illlustrations, patterns, and stuffed things. because, you know, as much fun as it is to have macarons, it's also important to eat your veggies. the fennels and radishes are my favorites (although i really like the scallions, too! see? it's hard to decide which ones to post!).
sian also posts lovely little things on her blog. and her shop? ack! love it (there are strawberries and cupcakes there! and stuffed animal portraits! see, i'm practicing real restraint here).

totally unrelated: some of you asked about my switch to wordpress, which i am doing for a couple of reasons. i was about to share those reasons here, but i think maybe i will devote a post to that in the next week or so. the short answer is: it's more flexible and allows me to do more. but i'm actually really excited about some new features i have discovered, and the ease with which it allows me to do these things.

14 July 2009

what should i wear today?

kim and i were chatting yesterday about clothes and living cheaply and creatively, and she sent me a link to the uniform project, which i love. inspired by her teen years spent in school uniforms, sheena matheiken has taken a versatile dress, designed by her friend, and made seven identical pieces. she has pledged to wear them every day for a year in an effort to raise money for the akanksha foundation, which works with children in india to give them important education opportunities (you know, like going to school). three months in, she has already raised over $5,000!
i like this project for a couple of reasons. one, i always like anything that helps other people, especially the indian babies. they have a special place in my heart. two, i like the idea of a uniform! i am not the world's most creative dresser, by any means, and my closet is TINY. for some reason, 80% of the time, deciding what to wear is just not that fun for me. last season on project runway, someone asked michael kors about why he always wears a black t-shirt, blazer, and jeans. his answer was basically, "i have a lot of other creative decisions to make, i travel a lot. this is just easier." and i was shouting, "yes, yes!" at the tv screen. i really like the idea of having a basic element or two, and then changing it up with great accessories. as i move into a waaay more frugal phase of life, i am excited to make more of my own clothes, or modify thrifted clothes.
on a totally unrelated note, i am in the process of changing blogging platforms. as soon as i can get all my sidebar information transferred and a learn a few more things about wordpress, i will let you know about my blog's new home. i think i can still direct my laurabrownart.com domain to it, so there shouldn't be too many problems. i will let you know, though, so you can update any links you might have.

blah blah blah.

i am still sick. i have spent most of the last week coughing. seriously. and i am still exhausted and foggy. i'm not exaggerating when i say it's a struggle to get the minimum done these days. i can't wait to feel better and have my brain back and functioning. getting to work on time is even harder than usual. what are they going to do, fire me?
speaking of which, the boss-man is taking my resignation with all the maturity of a twelve-year-old girl, and hasn't given me so much as a glance since i gave my two weeks'. i'm actually not surprised by this behavior, and i can't say that it makes my workplace any more enticing of a place to be.
the robot boss keeps pushing cough drops on me, since she can hear me hacking away at my desk (this is the woman who didn't really believe that i was sick last wednesday when i called, sans voice, to tell her i was not coming to work that day). i don't want any more cough drops!
on a happy note, a co-worker made me good-bye cake yesterday! two cakes, actually. from scratch, with yummy pineapple frosting.
on an even happier note, look at this unbelievably adorable piglet in a pair of wellies!

(from what possessed me, a blog that has become one of my favorite-favorites with her combination of hilarious writing, appropriately dramatic commentary, and plenty of baby animals. this particular little thing is "a british piglet named cinderella, who won't go in the mud without her boots. " tee hee.)

13 July 2009

happy effing birthday monday!

birthday? yeah, it's my blog's birthday. i can't believe i just typed that, or that i am actually pointing it out (although, my own birthday is right after christmas, and is typically an awkward and sensitive day for me, so why not celebrate the online representation of myself in the summertime?). but when i think about where i was a year ago, when i started writing here, and where i am now, i am just so excited. this seems like an appropriate time to take a look back and a look forward since this is my last week at work (good-bye beige cube! good-bye robot boss! good-bye big fat paychecks!), and i am excited to embark on this new adventure. it has taken a lot of preparation and patience, but now is the right time for me to be stepping out on this limb.
i did a little search for 'balloons' on etsy and found these charming little images by seller aliette! i kind of can't get over them, they are so right up my alley. they are 'automme 1-4' (because she's french! i couldn't not include the whole set!). i think they are beautiful, and she has a lot of other wonderful pieces. if i were not about to walk across the threshold of low-income living again, i would treat myself with the set as a blog-birthday present.
i hope your week is lovely!

10 July 2009


my friend meg loves maira kalman, and has totally gotten me hooked on her work in a conscious way (if that makes sense). i really like how playful and full of energy her images are. i also like checking in on her blog, where she writes and illustrates little commentaries on various things--lately they are related to history, democracy, and government. here are a couple of excerpts from a piece about her visit to monticello.
i hope you have a wonderful weekend! i will be back on monday (my last monday in a dreaded beige cube!)

09 July 2009

in good company.

so, as always, i have been listening to the current at my desk this morning, and felt particularly encouraged to know that on this day in 1977, elvis costello officially quit his day job (at elizabeth arden cosmetics--what?) to make music full-time.
now, i am not comparing myself to elvis costello in any way, really. but i will say that i have been a fan for a long time (ever since my sister introduced me to him in high school), and that mostly my criteria for admiration of artists/musicians/writers is essentially a lifetime of interesting and growing work (i have been thoroughly enjoying his new album, secret, profane, and sugarcane, by the way).
what i am trying to say is: everyone has to take the leap sometime. and while there are probably a lot of people who have leapt and not landed so well as mr. costello, i don't know about them, so i can't really dwell on being discouraged by their stories! (nice how that works out, huh?)
does this post make any sense? i have been sick all week and spent what felt like an entire year in bed yesterday. i returned to work today--because to my company, sick is not an option--but still don't feel like my brain is forming coherent anything. . . .

06 July 2009

july to do's.

(two totally unrelated photos from my weekend at the lake: fireworks and baby-cousin graham, 4, who allowed me to photograph him and his glow sticks until he informed me: "i have the hiccups, i can't take anymore pictures" and then ran away.)

how is it that june was another "what just happened to me?" month??? for reference, my june goals are here, although i didn't really do them. i was pretty productive, though. here's one for all my monthly meet-up friends, and what happened in june:
1. i finally got a file cabinet! i also got some clipboards like the one in my june to do list post and i am excited to hang them up.
2. came up with a pricing structure for screenprinted wedding invites (EDIT: i am so not offering screen printed invitations at this point. but i think the pricing structure will apply to what i do want to offer, so that is good).
3. made a set of wedding invitations, for my cousin's wedding, which will be great examples to add to my inventory/example of custom work. this is the reason i am not offering the screen printed invitations. they did NOT go as planned and took way longer to make that i thought, and the whole big long story ended in me buying a laser printer (and loving it!), which sends my work offerings in another direction, one i feel more confident about it. all that to say, the vision has changed slightly once again, and with this change, i feel more confident about offering products i feel good about. anyway, the invitations are done, and ready to go to the bride.
4. look for part-time jobs: i did this! i sent out a bunch of resumes to different places, and have a few more to send out in july. i had an interview just this morning that went as well as i could possibly have hoped, although that doesn't mean i will get the job. and just this afternoon: i put in my two weeks' notice at my job!!!!! i seriously could not be happier (although i am getting sick from all the stress lately). i feel so great about this decision, and confident that everything will work out, one way or another.
5. write lesson plans for community ed classes. hmmm. didn't do this one, but it's going on the list for july.

here is what is on the list for july (as a side note, erin had a really great post about to do lists over on the bakery blog, for anyone interested. she shares some good tips i am going to start using):
1. develop product line, make, photograph and post online (hmmmm, is that too big of an item? i'll break it down). i am excited about this one.
2. decide on an opening date for my shop (which i like to refer to as "the business").
3. take some photos with my new diana! (i did get the film.)
4. nail down a part-time job.
5. contact bloggers/set up some advertising/sponsorship stuff.
6. write lesson plans/proposals for community ed classes.
7. oh, and this should maybe have been #1, but i now need to organize all the stuff in the file cabinet. somehow, my room is still overflowing with paperwork from the move, and it needs to have a home.

good luck to all of you with a to do list!

02 July 2009

so, i am not out of the woods in terms of work and transition, and it is good to take a break from this space (although i actually miss it). i need to focus on some other things right now, but i figured if i were going to do that, i might as will post something really beautiful for you to look at if you stop by during my little hiatus (besides, as soon as i saw these on modish yesterday, i knew i wanted to look at them some more). amy's frantic search for a dress this week (she is going to a wedding tomorrow) led us to a discussion about being prepared for such things with a pretty dress. i think one of these tea dresses from sohomode might just be my choice. and with prices starting at $85, they are just as affordable as any old dress you would find at the mall (without the stress and sore feet), but made by hand out of gorgeous vintage cotton.
i have high hopes of getting to the family cabin in wisconsin this weekend (provided i get my work done and can find a ride), and i hope you have a wonderful long weekend.