Friday, May 28, 2010

Favorite Things Friday - old cassettes

I'm doing a major purge of 'stuff' this month in my house. With a little kiddo and all of her toys, plus two parents who have lots of toys of their own, it's getting crowed in here. And frankly - we get all edgy with so much crap around. I was cleaning out a box of old tapes, and decided it was time to get rid of my stack of most treasured preteen music. * sigh * You can see I didn't branch too much (besides my strange and serious 5th grade obsession with surf music). Every one of these tapes holds a story for me. But, the tape I'm going to have the hardest time parting with is my dogeared copy of New Edition.
Christmas, 1984 - I was in fourth grade. My then 20s something, adventuresome aunt, who was living all the way across the country in Maine had come home for Christmas. To me it was like she had been to the moon. I couldn't even comprehend how far away Maine was, as I'd only ever been to California and Oregon. Before coming home she'd gone on a Christmas shopping trip to New York City and brought home exotic trinkets for all of us from the Big Apple.

My gift from her was this tape. My aunt told me that she'd never heard of this "New Edition" group, but this was what the kids in New York City were listening to (she'd asked a clerk in a record shop for their advice). I was thrilled - and felt so special. I was pretty sure I was the only kid with a New Edition tape on the West Coast and I am pretty sure I was the only person with one in my small hometown. I busted that thing open, and within minutes my cousin and I were dancing around to it in grandma's pink guest room. It was so different than anything I had ever heard; being raised on a steady diet of classical music and 60s rock. And I think it was this tape that somehow let me know it was ok to listen to music other that what my parents were listening to.

Here's a little compilation of my favorite tunes from this stack just incase any of you need a dose of 80s nostalgia of your own! Bye-bye stack of old tapes, thanks for all the memories!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Print: Grow

Carrots. I've been eating a lot of them lately, and maybe it has gone to my head. As promised - here is the newest print in the "Friendly Little Reminders" series. Now available in my shop.

Let this bunch of friendly veggies remind you or someone you love that growth is always possible, even while firmly rooted just where you are. Looks sweet in your kitchen or even in a kids room (and hey - it might work in a subliminal fashion to get them to eat more veggies).
This is an 8 x 10 inch giclee (pronounced zhee-clay) print. Professionally printed in the US of A, on Legion Entrada Rag Bright 290 (a fine art, 100% cotton paper) and with Vivera Archival Inks, giving it an archival rating of 150 years
The adorable snail in this photo was purchased at the Etsy shop "Marthaland"

This cheerful little number will slide easily into any 8 x 10 inch frame (not included), leaving no excuses for blank boring walls.  Shown here in the Room Essentials 8 x 10 frame available at Target for $17.00. 


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My sketchy ways

Here's a peek of a random page of my most recent sketchbook that I finished today. Now I need to get a new one. Whee! I am not sure what any of the above stuff means. It was just kind of a visual brain dump I took (gross, sorry) one afternoon and then started to color it one afternoon while my kiddo played with her crayons. You may see some of these characters appearing in future prints. 

Speaking of new prints, there will be one revealed here tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Queen Ding-Dong

I'm so spacey today! I can't finish a sentence, and all I can think about it junk food. Yeah - I can imagine getting into a chocolate boat and sailing on a fudgy moat. It would lead right to my house, home of the royal space case - Queen Ding Dong. My god. I hope I find my brain soon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Print: Shine

Finally! Something new for my shop! Here is the next installment in the "Friendly Little Reminders" series: Shine. I drew this while on our sun drenched vacation to the southwest. Makes a wonderful gift for someone in your life who shines like the sun - and is guaranteed to brighten up otherwise sunless corner in anybody's home or office.

This cheerful little number will slide easily into any 8 x 10 inch frame (not included), leaving no excuses for blank boring walls.  Shown here in the Room Essentials 8 x 10 frame available at Target for $17.00. 

The fine print:$20 will get you this sunny 8 x 10 inch giclee (pronounced zhee-klay) print. Professionally printed in the US of A, on Legion Entrada Rag Bright 290 (a fine art, 100% cotton paper) and with Vivera Archival Inks, giving it an archival rating of 150 years. 

Buy yours here!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Talk to the animals

Hi all. It is Monday, and I have had too much coffee and am on decongestants! Enjoy this totally wacky Welk video that has nothing to do with anything. Wheeee!

Tune in tomorrow for a brand new print!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Resurrecting Adventure Girl

Last night I went to a meeting for my kiddo's co-op preschool. It was only the fourth time I had been out of the house since Hell Cold descended upon our house, weeks ago so it was a pretty big deal. That would make a great movie wouldn't it? Hell Cold! Gobs of snot that will eat you alive! Larger than life Kleenex sheets that would swoop down to the rescue? Honestly! I think I have missed my calling.

Anyhow - at the meeting we did an exercise where we were asked to answer a question based on a colored M&M we drew out of a bag. Kind of a getting to know each other game, I guess. One of the questions asked us to tell about an adventure from your past. As we went around the circle, I was utterly impressed by the crazy adventures the other moms shared. The places they have seen, the people they have met, risks they have taken. If you could make a list of all the stories we shared and somehow link them together? Now that would make a blockbuster movie. For real.

As we shared, I sensed a collective, distant longing to get some part of that back. Don't get me wrong - becoming a parent is a wonderful adventure full of surprises. And perhaps our old adventures prepared us for this job as parents. Being pushed out of your comfort zone really does help you develop compassion for others, extreme patience, the ability to think on your feet, and to adapt to new situations. These are all skills that will be called upon again, and again, and again in our lives - and especially in the parenting of little ones.

Becoming a parent has really challenged my inner Adventure Girl (pictured above). Responding to the needs of my kiddo, trying to make her life as enriching and healthy as I can; at times takes everything that I've got and then some. At the risk of sounding too woo-woo, I really believe that our kids choose us and need us to be our real selves. That girl that once fearlessly roamed the streets of distant cities alone, said 'why not?' more often than 'what if?', and generally liked living way outside the box is still very much in me and I've been ignoring her.And seriously? A little more of her might do my parenting style a whole lot of good.

I'm not really sure how to bring her back, or even incorporate her into this more complicated, busy life - the one where I'm partly responsible for the upbringing of another human, helping to pay a mortgage, and try to run a small business. Or, maybe I do know how, but I am just too scared; because when I really listen, some of the big ideas she has are very out there. Then again, some of the smaller ideas seem very do-able. Maybe I just need to start somewhere, and as I listened to the moms last night I realized I might just have some new partners in this quest.

We'll see how Adventure Girl can re-enter my life. At this point I have no real concrete answers, but I hear her calling me from underneath those heaps of dirty laundry. Stay tuned…

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Musical Interlude

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While some of you are confused by my musical tastes, some of you claim to miss me posting a playlist here. So, while I am still a bit slow and under the weather enjoy this little musical interlude of songs that are currently inspiring me - kicked off by my pal David Byrne. Some other time I'll bore you with the story of how we once met, back in the day...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Icky - icky


I'm hoping some of you are still reading this thing. Our house is still being held hostage by the aftermath of that dumb virus that started round here two weeks ago. It has turned into a sinus infection for me, and a raging ear infection for my kiddo. No one is sleeping very well, spirits are low and tensions are high. We did get a nice 2 day break over the weekend where every one was feeling pretty OK, and the weather was beautiful. I even stole away for a few hours to chat it up with some of my old pals from my last job-job. Such funny people they are. I'm sure all that laughing had to do me some good. Then last night it all came back again, and here we are. 

So, if anyone is out there - please hang in there. I want nothing more to be back to my regular schedule. Both in my life and on this blog. 

No images today, as my scanner is hanging out in my studio. Instead, this wonderful video suggested by the talented artist Ingela Arrhenius on her blog today. My god, I love this thing. It does stir up memories from Art History 103, in a really good way. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Silent Retreat

A little while ago, a friend asked me if I'd ever be interested in going on a yoga retreat with her. My yoga skills are a little lacking these days, but I was still open to the idea. Then she added - "the one thing's a silent retreat". I had to chuckle. Me, silent? It seemed impossible. Anyone who knows me knows I can't keep my yapper shut for more than about 30 seconds on average. My parents claim I was born talking.

Well, the past few days proved me wrong; I can be completely silent. I lost my voice due to this horrible cold I am fighting and I was forced to shut it. For about two days if I tried to speak, it sounded like a muted balloon seeping old helium. It was not pretty. I had a lot of time to think, and it wasn't so bad to just be lost in my head. Laying in our quiet basement with my eyes closed I've gotten a lot done: redecorated our house in my mind, tried to recall details of pleasant times past (see above sketch) between hacking up my lungs, designed my next few prints. I know that isn't really the point of a silent retreat - I think you are supposed to shut your mind off too, but hey. Baby steps. That silent yoga retreat may just be doable at some point.

In true geek fashion it wasn't long before I employed a little technology to get me through. On day 3 of my 'retreat' I walked around with my laptop, typing things into the text editor and selecting 'start speaking'. So what if my new voice sounded like something from an early episode of Star Trek? I thought it was brilliant, I think others in my house were might have been kinda sad my silent retreat was over.

More back to bed.