Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's a matter of priorities

Okay, so the blog still looks crappy...

But oh well, it's third or fourth (or probably fifth) in line to other things that are screaming my name:

•State biz taxes (I will be working on these tonight! Last night I went to the gym instead but at least I was out doing something worthwhile right?)

•Logo for my sister-in-law's fledgling film company

•Painting commission for my mother-in-law (ironically of my sister-in-law)

•Finishing up the studio organization so I can finally take on my (most patient) client's mural project that should have been started yesterday

But of course, I have thus far not done any of these things and instead have been taking lots of pictures of Miranda & building terrariums :o)

baby safety - we don't babyproof the house, just the kid

just getting cuter-and more cheeky-every day

little moss world in an apothecary jar

I should have better luck keeping these alive - they need water only every couple of weeks and prefer the kind of light our house has plenty of. The moss I collected from a driveway in my neighborhood using a paint scraper. I was relieved no one saw me! The little frog came from a beautiful potted bonsai of my dad's - it unfortunately was the only thing that survived (not my dad's fault - we brought the bonsai here from Florida and it just couldn't take our weather).

Have a lovely day all :o)
Wish me luck with those taxes!!
xo, devon

Friday, January 23, 2009

Blog Woes + Etsy Faves

Soooo....in case you haven't noticed, I've been working on my little blogosphere. Unfortunately Blogger and I are not getting along very well and the current look is not what I'm going for - though I suppose you already know that (I sure hope you do!).

I'm telling ya - I'm THIS close to switching to Typepad. I have to see what the pros and cons of each are and then I'll decide. There are amazing blogs I read often that use both Blogger or Typepadbut I haven't seen a clear favorite yet. Maybe it's like a Mac vs. a PC...I've been getting along just fine with my little Dell laptop but would totally love to upgrade to a Mac at some point. Maybe Blogger is to PC as Typepad is to Mac? That's probably a stretch. Anyway, until I figure it out I'll just have to put up with the crazy mess that is my blog. In it's ugly pants and ill-fitting shoes - like the kind of person you see out and about and you think 'whoa! did they even look at themselves before they left the house this morning??'. Can you tell that I'm very embarrassed that my blog looks like crap right now? :o(

I do have etsy faves this morning though!
At least something is normal and going right :o) (Not even going to go into our own personal health over here - Miranda teething, Jared with itchy bites, and me with extreme nipple pain - oh, did I say that?)

Anyway, here's the etsy love:

Wool baby slippers by Wooly Baby
Recycled wool sweaters put to excellent use. Too bad they don't come in adult sizes - don't they look snuggly? And how about that little sheep on the sole - so cute :o)

Hipster pants by little girl Pearl
LOVING this shop - such beautiful, quality clothing and a very talented designer. I see a bright future for Melissa and her fabulous clothes! I so want to meet you someday!!

Zinnia Path fabric - Paula Prass for Michael Miller
Very pretty new fabric under the Michael Miller line - lots more to see at this shop too - love Fabric Worm.

Maxi Monster Cushion by Scrumptious Delight
Oh my gosh, everything at this shop is so stinking adorable!

Safety Pants - CPSIA compliant - by Whole Mother (for a good laugh, you HAVE to check this out!)

And if you'd like to learn more about the whole CPSIA debacle which is threatening the extinction of nearly all small businesses producing baby and children's products please visit here and here.

Have a great Friday :o) Think pretty thoughts for my blog...I'm going to keep trying to fix things on it over the weekend, as well as do my biz taxes (ugh), and continue our work on the laundry room (this weekend it's exterior trim & priming & maybe working on flooring as well).

xo, devon

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a time to be inspired

Barack Obama is officially our president! Hooray!!

I managed to watch the inauguration in between a way short nap of Miranda's, mopping the house, talking to my eye doctor, and a little neighborhood management (a story for another time). I'm so glad Jared called this morning and reminded me it was on...truly a great moment in history. I especially loved the poem Elizabeth Alexander read - I got prickles on my arms and it all felt so alive.

Now all the hard work begins, but at least it's a fresh start.

Have a lovely day all, devon

Friday, January 16, 2009

a balmy winters day at the japanese friendship garden

It's been so unbelievably nice here! I'm talking days in the 70's (well, that was earlier in the week, but I'm not complaining about anything over 60). And it's January folks! I suppose we really need rain, and I'm all for it, but just don't like the gloomy grayness and chill that comes with it. So for now, we're celebrating!! Long walks, hanging laundry outside, disc golf, and getting out to places like the Japanese Friendship Garden - a local gem for us.

Mbird and I checked it out on Wednesday and had a marvelous time. Well, I did at least. Miranda was less impressed (probably just sleepy - you know how it is to be all snuggled up and comfy and then have the warm sun shining on you...too tempting for a nap).

The koi were huge...like monstrously large - they are totally not hurtin' for food.

I kept checking on the Bird and she was mostly just like this - hanging out, content, staring off into space.

I avoided crossing the stone bridges initially then realized I had to get over them to see the good stuff. Another reason why the ergo carrier beats a stroller. But, it wasn't so bad - just picked up the whole thing and walked it over. Then repeated that 3 or 4 more times :o)

The big one - you can hear it when you're meandering through the twists and turns of the garden. Wish you could get closer to it, but they've put up some hefty bamboo fencing all around to keep us curious ones out.

Miranda had a fleeting second wind as we were heading out of the garden and for a fast stroll through (the less glorious) kelly park.

Mmmm, warm sunshine nap - the best :o)

Fun day...can't wait for real spring/summer as this was just a tease, but we're sure enjoying it while it's here.

Ugh, even after writing all this my brain is still on slow fry. Just.not.a.morning.person. I need to get it together for the day, though. Have to work on J's sister's logo for her film company, and also get ready for starting a painting commission (oh where, oh where have my reference photos gone to??). And of course, figure out stuff to do with Mbird, head out for two errands (bummer), and get a walk in. And what to do for dinner? Sometimes there's just too much to think about - wish I could balance it all better. I get so caught up in the day to day stuff I feel like I barely scratch the surface on work and things that make the day fresh and new.

Self talk for the day: "one thing at a time, one thing at a time..."

Oh! and I didn't post any etsy favorites - doh!!
What can I say, I'm not a perfect blogger by any means :o) Maybe I'll be back with some mas tarde, goodness knows I have plenty to share.

Have a very lovely Friday and super enjoyable weekend :o)
xo, devon

Monday, January 12, 2009

The List

I've got the resolutions list down - I'm sure I'm missing plenty of things, but for now this looks pretty good. And heck, it's a lot of stuff!! It's going to be a busy, challenging, but hopefully very rewarding year.

How about you?
Have you planned out your wish list for 2009?

Here goes mine (in no particular order):

1) Write wills to include Miranda, Phylo & Sanguine.

2) Paint all the trim in the house.
We have a soon to be crawler and all that loose flaking paint sure ain't edible (and since this house is from 1918 there's the possibility of lead).

3) Finish Miranda's mural and room.
Little by little, in between naps...

4) Set up college savings for Mbird.

5) Design and print a fabric line.
Finding my way back to the textile world - starting this year! I'm hungry for it - it's going to be a lot of hard work (and not easy for me - the marketing part, ugh), but I really want this and I'm willing to get beyond myself.

6) Spruce up my shop & blog to best represent Devon Industry.

7) Clean up the cottage (my studio) & make it pretty.
Not just functional and organized but super duper lovely, can't wait to get out there even though it's 40 degrees sort of lovely :o) (add to that, set up space heater).

8) Host at least 4 creative nights in the cottage - 1 per season.
Wouldya like to come hang out and make stuff? Drinks and yummies and good conversation??

9) Learn Illustrator.
Re-learn Illustrator - should have been paying better attention the first time...

10) Pick a direction for my business, make a plan, design a look, market it.
From my Mural Studio to Devon Industry I have so many outlets and specialties - too many. It's time to downsize, commit to what I really want to focus on, then move forward. Hopefully with a plan I won't be so tempted to stray into things that seem more fun or easy, thus keeping me further from my goals.

11) Save one day a week specifically for painting/illustration - get a babysitter.
It's time...Mbird is ready (maybe more than me) to hang out with a babysitter a few hours a week. I need to get more done than just a half hour here and there. At least I work from home - I don't think I could handle leaving my Bird at a daycare at this point!

12) At least 1 cardio workout a week, in addition to our daily walks.
Hopefully more, but gotta start somewhere!

13) Learn to make the Paris chocolate cake.
The day we left Paris (just 3 lovely days - Oct. '07) we grabbed lunch from a patisserie on the way to the train station. After downing superbly delicious sandwiches, we ate the most marvelous chocolate cake while sitting on our suitcases waiting for the train to Germany. It was fantastic - sort of a ganache, definitely decadent.

14) Throw a big backyard party to celebrate Miranda's 1st birthday.
Loaded resolution/goal for sure...this involves re-doing nearly our entire backyard. I get all giddy thinking about it actually - I love love love to work outside and can't wait to get my fingers in the dirt, put up a shady arbor, build our own pizza oven, etc., etc. M's birthday is in June so we better get started. (by the way, she still gets a party even if we don't finish the backyard...we're not that hardcore!)

15) Learn how and start to make yogurt, mozzarella & farmer's cheese, and butter.
Prompted first by reading 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle', then 'Nourishing Traditions Cookbook'.

16) At least 1 camping trip this year.
Somewhere not too far, but very cool - I get the Weekend Sherpa every week which has tons of good ideas.

17) Clean and organize the basement and garage.
More Jared's department, but I plan to help.

18) Practice this mantra: do more with less, repair instead of replace, acquire an item/remove an item, use what we have, make it before buying it.

19) Incorporate ASL (American Sign Language - through Sign With Your Baby book) into our everyday language with Mbird.

Wow, 19! Funny how that makes me want to think of one more to make 20 :o) I think I'll leave well enough alone and take the 19.

Hope you have fun coming up with resolutions too - should be a great adventure this year!

xo, devon

Saturday, January 10, 2009

this says it all

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?'

Actually, who are you not to be?"

–Marianne Williamson (used by Nelson Mandela in his presidential inaugural speech)

This quote always make my throat feel tight and my eyes water - it's perfect motivation for where I'm at right now.

I've been working on my resolutions and ideas for the year - I really feel a sense of urgency and the need to nail things down with commitment. & I'm going to post them here for additional accountability (!) & to hopefully inspire YOU to do the same :o)

xo, devon

Tuesday, January 6, 2009



I'm happy to be back here posting again! It was a great break...not exactly restful, but fun & productive - that sort of equates to rest these days :o)

There were some ups & downs too - a great week+ in Cedar Hill, Texas, with Jared's family was a great time. We got to share our little Bird with everyone, ate yummy food (maybe too much!), played lots of frisbee golf, and I learned how to crochet a granny square (will share my almost complete granny square blanket soon!).

When we returned we found that poor Phylo had spent his week at the Petsmart hotel somewhat neglected. His bed and blanket were completely soaked with pee and he was so very unhappy :o( We picked him up straight from the airport and gave him a bath immediately, then tried to figure out what happened. I'm waiting to hear back from the managers at Petsmart. After talking to them yesterday I think he wasn't let out often enough - it makes me so sad to think of him sitting in his little cubicle on a wet bed :o( He has just gotten back to his normal perky self...now we have to figure out a plan for the next time we travel (April for my brother's wedding...just around the corner really). We don't plan to leave him there again. I'm just not sure if he's mature enough to stay here at the house and have a dog sitter walk him twice a day. We may need to test it out over a weekend sometime soon.

Since being back Jared and I have been going over what you might call resolutions. They seem to lean toward organization and doing more with less, more productivity (on my end, toward my business), finishing projects (like painting the trim in our house before our Bird becomes a crawler...) & planning out our backyard space, and of course exercise. I haven't had an exercise routine besides daily walks since before Miranda was born and I'm ready for a change!

I need to get our ideas down on paper and then we'll have a concrete reminder of our goals for the year. We actually got the kitchen decently organized over the weekend, and our laundry room is starting to take shape. Jared worked SO hard...pretty soon we'll get the windows in, and the door, and it's going to be totally gorgeous & super functional. And then I'll have the delightful task of picking out fabrics and making curtains for the space :o) I've been eyeing Joel Dewberry's Ginseng collection.

For today...off to work on laundry, find a retractable clothesline (one of our resolutions - start drying our laundry on the line), pick up stretcher bars and canvas for a painting commission, and pick somewhere fun to take Miranda for a walk. I'm thinking of this place.

Japanese Friendship Garden - photo via flickr by jeremiah owyang

Have a lovely Tuesday and Happy 2009 :o)
xo, devon