Friday, February 29, 2008

Four New Prints - Yay!!

Can you believe it?
4 new prints in my shop at once! :o)

"Lima the Giraffe" took a little while with all the pattern - so worth it though. I love this guy and how his red & white spots still stand out amidst everything else. I think Lima will revisit for sure...

"The Sea Nymph" - a slightly darker look from me but felt really great to paint. Her skirt is a bit like dahlia flower petals, yes?

"Dreamer"...pretty fab - the black paper makes all the colors and patterns pop beautifully. I keep looking at it - it has a ton of energy. I need to paint and dark surfaces more often.

"Bunny in the Lemon Grass" is a little darling. I painted it in gouache on a vintage style paper pattern and am smitten with him :o)

Happy to get these into the shop...Martha Stewart featured Etsy on her show today so hopefully more people will learn about the wonderful rabbit hole that it is!

Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, February 25, 2008

In Honor of Mona

When I was sixteen my family adopted a German Shorthair Pointer puppy while we were in the states on summer vacation. She was teeny and had a million little brown spots on her white fur - just adorable - we named her Mona :o)

We brought her home to Panama and the fun began. We had a deep lot at the house with all sorts of trouble to get into. Every day was an adventure finding lizards and insects, and eating fruits off the trees (maranon, citrus, avocados...). Sometimes she would share, bringing avocados into the kitchen in her soft hunting dog mouth - never bruising the fruit. She was so sweet and affectionate and I just LOVED her.

When I left for college in '96, my parents sent me a framed paw print of hers to keep me company - I missed her so much.

In '97 my parents moved to Miami and Mona lost her humongous backyard but still had a decent place to play and still tons of lizards to catch! She had plenty of adventures with the busy lives my parents kept and a few years later moved with them to Okinawa (Japan).
Okinawa was a fun time for her with some ups and downs. Over two years ago she was bitten on the head by a deadly Habu snake. She somehow survived, losing a lot of tissue...but pulling through. It was obvious how strong her spirit was. Not to mention all the attention she got at the vet's office over the months of recovery. Everyone always loved Mona and she ate up all their affection.
Over the last couple months my parents told me Mona was eating less and seemed lethargic. She wasn't as into her walks and spent more time sleeping. My parents had her checked out and treated for various things, but she never got to the point of being her usual self. Over the past week it just got worse and my mom knew Mona was probably not going to make it. She was almost 13. Yesterday my mom sat with her at the vet's office and they gave her the drugs to shut down her system. She was already so out of it from a rough night of seizures (her kidneys were already shutting down). My dad has unfortunately been stuck in Costa Rica dealing with some property issues and couldn't be there. I felt so bad for my mom having to take care of it all by herself, and having to go home without Mona. Losing a member of your family is so painful...and dogs just don't live long enough - that's all I can say. I loved you so much Mona and will never forget your amazing spirit.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The perfect fabrics...

This is SO hard for me! I know what I want for our dining's in my head. But I never seem to find exactly the right one, though I love so many out there. These are so lovely:

A little insight...the dining room is now a sky blue (pictures soon!). It used to be a cringing shade of goldfish sherbet orange (yes, I painted it...). And the living room is a gorgeous blue-green shade that I mixed from the sky blue of dining room, the ceiling color from the kitchen, and the color from the hallway. It came out so perfect. I can say that with all honesty because I'm so often disappointed in paint colors that don't meet expectation. I have high color standards!! :o) I also painted the fireplace mantle wall a deep khaki brown and brought that color into the built-ins in the dining room. Pretty cool...

So my dilemma is finding a fabric with the soft blues, greens, and browns, but with a little punch of red-orange. I'm not above sewing some things together to get the right combo...just need to find them. Any favorite fabric shops out there? I mostly check out repro depot and purl soho, and when I make it to Santa Cruz it's fun to hit up Hart's Fabric. It can be a headspin to walk into a brick and mortar fabric shop...sometimes it's easier online when you can have some distance, though then you can't tell the exact colors you're looking at.

Okey doke...back to work for a bit. Today I'm sewing a big ol' owl and helping a client with colors for their kitchen - fun stuff :o)

xo, devon

Thursday, February 14, 2008

And nearly overnight... seems like I bumped out a few inches :o) Thought I'd share this belly documentary pic with you. It's amazing to realize that I'm nearly 5 months along - wow, more than halfway there! I'm still buttoning my pants...they're a bit tight I admit. A friend sent me a link for these and I ordered a couple including this great pattern.

I'm not really into buying 'maternity' clothes and hopefully these will keep me in my regular stuff as long as possible!

I had to include two lovely pics of my furry loves...Phylo looking so adorable :o) And Sanguine snoozing on my rolled up kimonos - thanks girl, I love fur balls on my kimonos. Be happy I think it's cute!

Have a great day!!
xo, devon

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fur, Unwelcome Visitors, and a Sweet Valentine

A few years ago I picked up a fun coat from my favorite local thrift. It's a grayish tan suede leather with furry trim on the arm cuffs and at the collar. I thought it was so cute and it fit me great. I always felt kind of weird wearing it though and only wore it out a handful of times. Over the past year I started wondering if maybe that fur trim on it was REAL fur - could it be?? I knew that if it was then there was no way I could wear the coat again so I tried not to think about it. Then a few weeks ago I decided to do a 'burn test' - one of the nifty things I learned in the Textiles dept. at school. You take a little snippet of the material you want to test to determine fiber content and burn it with a match. You learn that different fibers have different burn characteristics. What I was looking for was a quick burn with a hard ball of black plastic forming from the burned material - this would tell me the fur was synthetic. Instead I got a slowish burn and the material left turned to dust when rubbed between my fingers. was real fur. I couldn't believe it - mostly I couldn't believe that I had bought real fur and didn't realize it. I had to figure out what to do with the coat. I would not be wearing it anymore and didn't want anyone else to either. Then I remembered this organization that collects old fur coats and trims and uses them for wildlife rehabilitation - think little fur blankets for baby animals (who would be right at home with fur of course!).
I did a search and found Coats for Cubs sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States. There is a darling video with baby raccoons at the site you have to watch - way too cute. So this week I'm going to cut the fur trims off the coat and send them in. They'll be distributed to registered wildlife rehabilitation facilities. This makes me SO happy!! It's been eye opening to me just how prolific the use of fur still is - why is that?? Even trims you think might not be real fur really could be. If they come from China there is very little oversight and the sad fact is that the 'fur' trim on your gap jacket could actually be from a rabbit, a raccoon dog, or actual domesticated dogs that are kept in horrible conditions and killed for their coats. So I avoid anything that looks even remotely like fur now - it's just my own way of not putting it out there visually. Maybe if there's less of that 'look' in our everyday wear fewer people will think to buy those kinds of products. If you have something with fur, please think about retiring it and/or sending it to Coats for Cubs! OK, that's my soapbox...forgive me if I sounded preachy, but it's something I really care about. Thanks for listening!

So in other's been REALLY nice in California lately! Yesterday we had sunny skies and 68 degrees - so amazingly gorgeous! I decided to take a break in the afternoon and spend a little time at Vasona park with Phylo. It was lovely...Phylo got lots of doggie time in (with another GSP too!) and we had a great walk along the water looking at all the ducks and geese and enjoying the sun. I still had to hit the grocery store and was planning on painting my dining room in the evening so I dropped Phylo at the house and headed back out.

It was nearly dark when I returned. I needed to get the mail so I rounded the house and bounded up the porch steps toward the front. Surprisingly, there was a dark pile of something tucked away on part of the porch (in a niche created by our chimney). A second later and I realized it was a guy laying there, fast asleep. Without thinking about, I told him to get off the porch - that he needed to leave immediately. He didn't answer so I went around to the front for another try. I yelled louder that he had to go or I would call the police. This time I heard him muttering a little bit, but he didn't move. So, I called 911 and they were on their way. Unfortunately when they don't know if it's a medical emergency they have to send the whole brigade...yep, in about 5 minutes I had a firetruck and ambulance and two squad cars sitting in front of the house with all their lights flashing. Our whole house was filled with spinning red light. The EMT's carefully got the guy up - he was apparently just really drunk. They gave him a once over and passed him off to the P.D. who talked to him and eventually sent him on his way. In some ways I felt really bad for him - you wonder how people get that way. In another sense, I was awfully annoyed that someone felt they could just wander up onto our porch and take a nap. Also unnerving was that I never would have seen the guy if I hadn't been coming around the side for the mail. He could have been out there all night and we may never have been the wiser.

Through the whole time the police and crew were here I kept trying to reach Jared. I really wanted to warn him before he got home so he wouldn't freak out driving down the street and seeing emergency crews in front of our house. I couldn't reach him but thankfully he got here after the firetruck and ambulance left and it looked a lot less dramatic! Oh, and I didn't get the dining room painted (not surprising I guess!)...maybe another day when there's less going on.

Lastly, tomorrow is V-day :o) Jared and I tend to not do much for Valentine's Day - instead we just try to remember to be extra sweet and romantic in other moments. It's more fun that way. These are some amazingly beautiful flowers J surprised me with last Friday. They are gorgeous! Tea tree branches, orange roses, some big exotic blooms (ginger family?), little red berries - thank you Jared, I love them :o)

Happy Valentine's Day and a lovely day to you all - big x & o, Devon

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Here she is!

After waiting for forever to our little girl! She's due in June and we are so excited - especially after seeing her via ultrasound last week. It's so amazing I can't even describe it. We can't wait to see her in full color :o)

Hope you enjoy the pics!
Have a really lovely day and thanks for stopping by...xo, devon

Linnea and Regan

These cuties are in my shop today!

I'll be back later today with some fun news and pics to share :o) d

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Tuesday

For those who dig Barack Obama check this out - it's pretty great.

Hopefully you'll get out and vote tomorrow!!

xo, devon :o)

Home Sweet Home

After a few more days (okay, weeks) than we expected it would take, we are finally back in our house!! Yesterday was WAY too busy but we did all the furniture moved back into our bedroom, office, and my studio. It was so lovely and peaceful to fall asleep - and wake up - in such a pretty new space. Not everything is finished (I admit it probably never is) but we got it all painted with terrific Yolo paints and stuck FLOR carpet tile samples under the legs of our bed and a little chair until we have better solutions (hmmm, new mid century styled legs and a cozy plump chaise would be nice). And can I tell you how much we love our new closet??!!

Now I have mounds of fabric to refold and stack in my studio. I'm vowing to put things back thoughtfully and carefully, and to let go of pieces I don't really love or think I can use. Difficult for my inner pack rat but there's only so much room and I function better in clean, organized spaces.

I also finished some custom orders - finally! - thank YOU for your patience :o) and will get the little owlings off in the mail today. I somehow snuck in a couple more cuties and they will be in the shop later today or tomorrow. The lapdogs and owlings got a chance to snuggle together in a cloud of wool stuffing before saying 'au revoir'.

And lastly...I have something great to share and will post about it tomorrow (oops...maybe it'll be Wednesday - today came and went so quick!). It'll be good - I promise!

Have a lovely day!
xo, devon