Friday, October 30, 2009

all the stuff I've been doing BESIDES blogging

yeah, I know I've been rotten at blogging lately. Really rotten. I did explicitly state it would be sporadic, so no apologies for you, too bad. Oh, well. I do think about and even take pictures for it, but to no avail. And then the longer I wait, the more daunting catching up on all the pictures and topics I've thought of the more heinous of a task it is. Its a vicious circle. So, I'll attempt now to break the cycle of blog neglect and perhaps a call to blog welfare services will not be warranted.

What I HAVE been up to:

1- Realized I was quite deficient in the earring department, so I went on an earring kick, and made a bunch of really cute earrings (and NO, I don't want to and shouldn't make more and sell them in my etsy shop, which is currently very much on the hate spectrum of our love/hate relationship, and even if it weren't, earrings are so not my focus). But it was fun, and much needed.

2- Went on a sewing kick, and made a crapload of baby diaper holders, baby headbands (and even documented both projects to possibly make into a tutorial, if you are interested, and ask me very sweetly I may even get around to posting it/them here someday) as well as diaper bags, and very recently Halloween costumes (despite my resolve not to go crazy this year). ...and I'll post costume pictures later.

3- I've been trying to be a grown up about keeping my house consistently cleaner, instead of just giving up on it in between cleanings. I've also started making my kids to chores now (I'm a mean, mean mommy!) so they are partly responsible and when its messy 30 seconds after vacuuming, its THEIR job to clean it up. As well as cleaning, I'm trying to be more organized too. In that vein I re-arranged my living room to accommodate part of my studio up stairs where I can work much, much easier (and not bogart the kitchen table). Which leads me to my last point...

4- I've been trying to really focus on illustrating my book. And realizing it is a massively overwhelming and daunting task. I still want to do it, but it scares the snot out of me and frequently makes me feel completely inadequate to the task. (then I wonder why didn't I go for my BFA and specialize in illustration, instead of just a general BA in visual art? oh, wait, a year or more of classes, plus another application to get into that program, a BFA show AND I couldn't decide at the time to focus on illustration or drawing/painting... right, NOW I remember. I wanted to GRADUATE) However I still can't decide between using ink and watercolor, or switching to prismacolored pencils. Both have plenty of advantages, and disadvantages. But I've resolved not to do another finished spread until I decide once and for all what medium I'll use. When I've done more little practice pictures in both, I'll do another blog entry, because I desperately need feedback. I wonder constantly if I'm totally crazy for trying to do this.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

opinions needed: baby shower invites

I'm messing around with different cards for my etsy shop one of which is a baby shower invite. I have four different colors I'm going to use, but I don't know which layout I like best. (the watermark is just there for copyright, its not part of the design) Which one should I do?

Very small image with all the information on the front.......Small with info on the back (in matching colors)......medium.....or large image?I'm going to use a different font, but don't know which one yet. They'll get to choose between all four colors when they order. I just need to pick which one works the best. Any ideas?

Friday, July 3, 2009

I may not have a garden this year...

...but I've still been busy trying to grow stuff. My problem is I planted all the flowers first, and ran out of steam before I got to the garden. I'm not that great at planting flowers even... I only have about a 50% or probably less success rate. In previous years I've planted one rose bush that took, but of the 17 or so lily bulbs only one has ever had a single blossom (which lasted a day, and then was destroyed by massive hail stones) and hasn't lived to bloom since. Which saddens me considerably!! I love lilies! My daisies are finally going strong, but it took them a while to get that way, and my black eyed susans and my poppies haven't even bothered to sprout. (I could list a bunch more that have failed to even show themselves above ground, but I won't) I have a couple of remaining sunflowers that have managed to cling to life through the snail wars, but I don't know how much longer they will last. I have managed to NOT kill off a few things, like my lillac bushes, and the pre-existing roses. But I can't really take much credit for those, they're pretty tough plants, which were well established BEFORE I took over. Well at least I have lots of fruit trees, if I didn't get around to veggies. Austin convinced me pruning was a good idea and lo and behold we have apples for the first time in any quantity at all! I guess pruning IS a really good idea. We've always gotten a disproportionately large amount of pears for the size of the tree. This year its even smaller than last year, thanks to the breakage of a rather major branch from all the weight of the pears last year. I think we'll still make out rather well with pears despite the loss. Dried pears are awesome! However my pride and joy is my beloved peach tree! I planted it myself, and it has bore fruit every year (including the first, which it isn't supposed to) granted it was only four peaches but... still. This year I have even thinned out the fruit, which is incredibly painful for me to do, because it means one less peach I get to eat. But it will hopefully spare the weak little branches of my young tree, and make the remaining peaches that much bigger and juicier!! There is not one single more delectable food on the planet for me than a fresh from the tree, warm, dripping, juicy, fresh peach. So, perhaps next year I'll actually get the vegetable seeds in the ground, and if by some miracle they manage to not only sprout but to actually produce food, maybe then I can eat nice crunchy fresh veggies too. Good thing I like fruit better anyway.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trade: ElsaBags

Here is yet another fabulous trade I did at the bazaar. I LOVE my new diaper bag. I've been waiting to blog about this until there were more bags like this in her shop, and here they are! It is SO roomy and has so many great pockets without the massive duffel bag-ish wide style like so many other diaper bags. Its utilitarian without screaming " I AM A MOM WITH A MASSIVELY HUGE UGLY BAG THAT NOT ONLY HAS DIAPERS BUT AN ENTIRE ARMAGEDDON SURVIVAL KIT". Its actually cute, without being grossly cutesy and baby-ish. I am not a big fan of most diaper bags. I have tried various things besides an actual diaper bag to haul all the crud around that I never thought was necessary before I was a mom. But nothing I tried (backpacks, messenger bags, tote bags) were really accessible while I was still wearing it, I always had to take it off to get stuff out. Which sort of defeats the point when you're dealing with kids and have limited arms, attention and time. This has the awesome front pocket you can fish around in without taking it off, with its additional pockets inside it. I am a sucker for pockets. And then it has even more pockets in the main compartment too. I can't believe this was made by hand. I am not lightly impressed, I have sewn since I was a little kid, and have been even employed to sew a couple of times, but I really don't have the time or patience to do that much detail work.

Speaking of detail work.. I was delighted to find out during the trade, that she also has the shop vanilla pie that I got Lucy's awesome leopard print boot/booties at last winters Bazaar.
Again, I was very impressed by the attention to detail and just how functional and well made they were. I would get comments on them constantly when she'd wear them. AND not only did they stay on (which is more than can be said of any other shoe or sock you put on a little baby) but usually even stayed UP. ..and I've already said what a weakness I have for chubby baby leg attire. Anyway, a plethora of adorable and well made stuff. Definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Trade: evieivyoverstreet

The recent Beehive Bazaar wasn't my first opportunity to trade with my little sister. I first fell head over heels in love with this tote bag she made. Then she went above and beyond that one and customized another one with the lining and baby whale corduroy I liked combined with a darling hedgehog appliqué. You may have seen me with it, I use it ALL the time!

This one wasn't a trade, but I couldn't help myself last bazaar. I had been drooling over the darling lion tee-shirts in her etsy shop for a while, and seeing them in person (in my son's size, and on a darling green ringer tee) was just too much even for my frugal, non-shopaholic, normally restrained self. It mattered not that I wasn't getting something for my daughter, it had to be snatched up! I love it every single time he wears it. Makes me want to squeeze him, even more that I already do, if that's possible.

This time at the bazaar, I got to see all the goods as we were setting up. She makes the cutest felt button bracelets and watches ever. I saw a cutie cute bright yellow one and secretly hoped it wouldn't get sold. To my delight it didn't, and I traded it victoriously!
And THEN, because she's such a great sister, she GAVE me a absolutely darling, delicious smelling, lavender filled, flower button appliquéd, vintage kitty fabric sachet for my birthday. It almost makes up for the fact that I turned 30.

She makes some REALLY cute stuff, this is only a teensy tinsy sample of it. So, if you haven't checked out evieivyoverstreet's shop lately (or ever) you totally should.

New Pictures and the Beehive Bazaar

I finally finished the digital editing of my newest animal illustrations, just in time for the Beehive Bazaar last weekend. The Bazaar was a fun and learning experience. Anyway if I do it next time, I've learned a ton both about what sells, and how to prepare, and will be able to implement it. I'm totally glad I did it though, I had a great time, ended up doing much better the last day than the first two, got to hang out with my little sister Eve, had some fantastic trades (more on those later), met some awesome and talented people and got good publicity as an added bonus. Thanks to everybody who came, or wanted to come. I wish it was closer.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Trade: planner for leggings

<= this for this =>

I think trades are superb. Wouldn't it be cool if you could trade for everything? I don't suppose the power company wants to be paid in crafts though. But seriously, when money can be circumvented, trades are my ideal way to acquire stuff. I have thoroughly enjoyed every trade I've done and I look forward to many more great trades.

I had a lovely trade with my sister that not only inspired an awesome planner design I will be making many more of for the upcoming beehive bazaar, but Lucy got some super sweet legwarmers that show off her chunky little legs to perfection! It was a perfect trade. Kaarina wanted the perfect sized planner (which if you didn't know, happens to be checkbook sized) to fit in her purse, but without preprinted dates, so she could start and stop whenever she wanted without the planner being rendered obsolete. An idea I myself, not being a great planner aficionado, had already implemented in previous planner designs. Whilst I was dearly in need of more stripey things to adorn my baby girl Lucy's rolly polly thighs. Especially if those somethings were tactile and chunky and hand knit. Despite my many and varied random skills, knitting is not one of them. Thus the perfect trade was born.

Of course Lucy wouldn't hold still so I could take a picture, so I was chasing her all over the house, while she gleefully slobbered on the packaging they came in. Aren't they lovely!! My sister is so very wonderfully handy (and neat and patient) with yarn! Clever Kaarina! Yay for trades!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Art Show

Alright, here are the gory details. The Taylorsville Art Show is THIS saturday (March 21st) from 12 noon until 4:00 pm at which time there will be an awards ceremony. If you want to be able to vote on the people's choice award, you should get there before 4. It is held in Taylorsville City Hall which is just off 26th west and 54th south. Coming from the north or south on 2-15 West, exit on redwood road (to the right if you are coming from the south, left off the exit if you are coming from the north) to go north on redwood then turn left/west on 5400 S, turn right/north on 2600 West and another right onto Taylorsville Blvd. (5320 South) and its in the second building. (if my directions suck, call me or mapquest it)

Unfortunately with all of the plethora of infectious disease I've had to deal with in the past few weeks, and some stupid paint issues one of the three paintings I set out for myself to complete for the show will not be done it time. Normally my oils dry anywhere from a day to maybe three. (I don't usually paint very thick) But, just my luck the green I am using seems to have a serious problem drying. I painted some preliminary background vegetation, and TWO WEEKS later it was still just as wet as when I first painted it. I would understand maybe tacky... but no, I picked it up to move it, sure that it would be dry, and smeared paint all over.

However, I still have two watercolor paintings that go along with my elephant in the sprinkler painting that will be finished. One is of a rhino on a see-saw, and the other is an alligator in a bathtub. They are all eventually going to be used in a children's book I'm writing. So, if you want to see them, come to the Art Show!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Kid tag

This is one of the funniest things to do with your kids. I laughed A TON.. So I'm going to tag everybody with kids big enough to talk. (Mary, Eve, Kim, Shayna, Suzi, Kristin, Janel...anybody else who wants to) I want to hear what your kids have to say about YOU.

TIP: it helps to have kids do it separately so they
can't be influenced by the other kids answers

    1. What is something Mom always says to you?

    Sohvi: I love you
    Max: she says I love you a lot.

    2. What makes Mom happy?

    S: me being nice to her
    M. me eating something that's yummy.

    3. What makes Mom sad?

    S: me being mean to her
    M: me not eating something that's yummy

    4. How does Mom make you laugh?

    S: make funny jokes
    M: tickle me

    5. What was Mom like as a child?

    S: hmm, I don't know
    M: I don't know

    6. How old is your mom?

    S: I don't know, six?
    M: I don't know, three I think

    7. How tall is your mom?

    S: maybe I can guess, 24
    M: two pounds tall

    8. What is your mommy's favorite thing to do?

    S: paint
    M: make play houses, you get some things together, and ta-da its a play house.

    9. What does your mom do when you're not around?

    S: she does things that I can't do, like putting nails in the ceilings
    M: just play a game, and then she just walks around, and then she plays a game again, and then she starts to go somewhere, and then walks around at home, and thats all she can do.

    10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

    S: I don't know, painting
    M: uh, I don't know.. maybe three

    11. What is your mom really good at?

    S: painting
    M: doing handstands

    12. What is your mom not very good at?

    S: nothing
    M: tricky things. and I can do some tricky things also, and I can climb up the ladder some tricky ways, and thats all I can do, also I can do flips (no he can't)

    13. What does your mom do for her job?

    S: I don't know, nothing
    M: sharpening some pencils

    14. What is your mom's favorite food?

    S: burritos
    M: pancakes

    15. What makes you proud of your mom?

    S: doing things that makes me happy
    M: eating a sandwich

    16. If your mom were a cartoon character, which one would she be?

    S: Tigress (from Kung Fu Panda)
    M: I think she would be Jessie I think (from Toy Story 2)

    17. What do you and your mom do together?

    S: play games like hide and go seek
    M: play a game like the memory game

    18. How are you and your mom the same?

    S: cause we like each other
    M: we have the same pants (both jeans)

    19. How are you and your mom different?

    S: she does art work, and all I do is watch TV. (disclaimer: she LOVES to paint and draw too, and doesnt' watch hardly any TV... so I don't know where that is coming from)
    M: she doesn't have a helicopter shirt

    20. How do you know your mom loves you?

    S: 'cause she says she loves me
    M: because she says it to me very much

Some answers I could have predicted, but most of them came out of nowhere. Its fun to see what your kids will say about you. My kids crack me up. I'm glad they know I love 'em though, 'cause I sure do.

Monday, March 2, 2009


So I temporarily lost my sanity and sense of good judgment and forgot my sworn oath that I wouldn't getting any more pets while my kids were little, and we got a kitty a while ago. I apparently learned nothing from Lola our basset hound we had for about a year, but had to watch closer than my children because she was constantly getting into trouble, stealing my kids food, shedding on my couches, making my back yard uninhabitable and ruining my floor. Did I learn my lesson with my guinea pigs, when Felix got really sick, two vet bills later, a month of syringe feeding, two different sets of antibiotics, one of which I HAD TO INJECT MYSELF, as well as having to personally inject him with IV fluids twice a day, all of which happened WITH A NEWBORN BABY! And then he ended up dying anyway, and I felt guilty because it was such a blessed relief. No, apparently I am one incredibly stupid sucker for a cute animal.

Though Mossimo is one really cute animal, he is however, one very strange cat. He isn't overly tempted by opening cans of tuna as is every other cat in the known universe, but will jump up on the counter to filch CORNMEAL PANCAKES! ..or brownies, or jam sandwiches, or cake, or toast or anything else that every other cat would never look twice at. I've also learned from a rather unfortunate experience you can't turn your back on a uncovered wedge of brie.

Mossimo does have traits normally associated with cats too. He is very playful, and has some rather hilarious antics. He likes to stalk and pounce on Max and sometimes Sohvi. Sort of the whole Hobbes effect. It would be a lot funnier if it didn't involve claws. He loved climbing our Christmas tree and swiping at the ornaments from a different vantage point. Between Lucy and Mossimo, the tree was constantly in pretty sad shape.

His biggest redeeming quality though is his inherent need for cuddling. Not necessarily being petted, he just needs a warm lap. Even if that lap belongs to a kid. But he also loves to cuddle me at night. Not curled up docilely at the foot of my bed, he prefers to be under the covers if I let him. Weirdo.

I'll show him though.. in the immortal words of Jack Sparrow, "eunichy snip-snip". Meanwhile, I'm not going within 100 yards of a pet store anywhere. Only the vet.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Art Madness

Thus begins my self induced fall from sanity. I am going to be doing both the Taylorsville Art Show (March 21st) as well as the Beehive Bazaar (April 30-May2) which for all practical preparative purposes are almost simultaneous. I realize that yes, technically there is over a month in between said events, but there is also less than a month before the first one. They also consist of totally separate things. One is an art show, that I'll be displaying my as yet unfinished art. The other is a craft show where I'll have prints of my art and other things from my etsy shop. Two completely different preparations.

Not only that but I suffer from a severe case of chronic, debilitating artist block. Sure its easy and convenient to blame my lack of progress on my having three kids, but honestly, thats not really the issue. I have in my studio a painting that is very close to being finished THAT I HAVEN'T TOUCHED IN THREE YEARS. It seems the more I like a piece the harder it is to finish. I don't want to mess it up, and the longer I am away from it the more intimidating it is to come back to. I think in some weird way my potential as an artist scares me. The better I do, the more I have to live up to. And I never know if something will work. Just because I have before, doesn't mean I can do it again, I can't predict anything. Creating art takes a lot of concentration, I like it when it works, but it is certainly not relaxing. Maybe for other artists it is, I don't know. But it takes a lot of effort for me. So, don't expect me to emerge from my dank, cluttered, unfinished, basement studio anytime soon. However I fully plan on retaining all portions of both of my ears. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy (Late) Valentine's Day

For some reason, I was feeling extra festive about this Valentine's Day. I'm not a very big holiday person in general, but I thought it would be fun to make some Valentines with my kids. Crafts with an (almost) three year old and a five year old, aren't exactly relaxing, but it was mostly fun. ...and too bad but I have no pictures of their chaotic cutness! I did also decide to make some fancy cookies to go along with the cute haphazardness of my kids glue stick creations. I found the idea from an old Family Fun magazine that to this day I have no idea who got me a subscription for it. ..but that is neither here not there.. Basically you make sugar cookies, and use two cookie cutters, a large heart and a smaller heart in the middle, and you bake it with a jolly rancher in the negative space (over pam-sprayed tin foil so you can get the melted mess off in one piece, after it cools of course). The result looks really fancy (for me) and was quite the accomplishment for me who hates rolling out cookies. (especially since you have to WAIT to chill the dough, I don't do well planning ahead normally). Besides the delivering to all their neighborhood friends, I wanted to take some pictures of the kids and I for a Valentine's present for Austin. I had just figured out the self timer on my camera (the first thing I've had to look up so far, yay for intuitive Cannon design) and wanted to play around with it. I also wanted to try out a backdrop and pretend I actually know anything about photography.

I got in some good ones before Austin woke up.
..and he shockingly agreed to attempt some of the whole family. We are notoriously bad with our lack of family pictures. The last formal one was when Sohvi was about 1 1/2. So, even though layout sucks (hey, its hard to compose a picture with you and a baby not in it yet.. and I've never messed around with a timer before). I think its not half bad.

Then, Austin made me a multiple course steak dinner, and sang and played a new song that he wrote for me, because he's probably the best sweetie ever. It was a pretty awesome day.