Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is it still February?

"Underwater Sisters" fabric from Heather Ross, Mendocino collection

It's been a weird month over here - sometimes slow and dragging, sometimes flying by (the weekends of course). Lots and lots of rain, many sleep deprived nights, chipping away at our current house project (completely overhauling our back entrance + laundry room), getting organized and being total nerds about it (especially Jared), wishing for Spring but not quite ready for it at the same time. Still, I'm ready for a change, ready to have more energy and more light in the day - more time for projects, a warmer studio to work in.

Our weekend was great. Jared and I finally got to work together on a project like we used to (Mbird took some loooong naps). We had our power sanders out and got the trim Jared had made nice and smooth, then I quickly primed it. Jared got it attached to the house and I set off with the caulking gun, filling every nook, niche, crack, etc. The two of us together are a well oiled machine :o)

Sometime in the afternoon Sunday I was out in the studio (still cleaning/organizing/pretty-ing that space) and was just, ahem, getting up from the facilities as I noticed two strange guys walking around our backyard (!). They saw me, and the questioning hand gestures I made at them, and headed hastily for the gate. I booked it out there while trying to call Jared on the home phone (no answer, thanks hon). I caught up with them in the driveway and (quite irritably) demanded to know what the heck they were doing. They seemed lost and I realized they were probably looking for a friend's house (I figured it was the one down the street with the music blaring out the windows - why they didn't hear it I don't know). I felt bad I got so angry at them but they had totally freaked me out & I wanted them to realize that. I mean, please! - how hard is it to ring the doorbell before just letting yourself in? The funny thing about all of this of course is that it got me to thinking I really need to get curtains up in the studio bathroom!! The bathroom is ALL windows so you're fairly on display in there. I had some Ikea roman blinds in there until they were recalled last month (check their site if you have any!). Now it's a curtainless wonder that I need to remedy. Time to pick out fabrics...I'm leaning toward these:

I would love to have the bathroom be my undersea/mermaid haven :o) You're thinking silly, right? Maybe, but it'll be cute when I'm done with it! I'm thinking of continuing the red/aqua/orange color scheme from the main room, but still keeping things light and bright because of all the crazy angles and the super tight space it is. I keep forgetting to show you my inspiration room photo (from the lost but not forgotten Blueprint mag). By the way, all these fabrics are from one of my favorite designers who I admire beyond words - Heather Ross. You inspire me so much Heather! (please read her lovely blog here)

On the hunt for all things mermaid...now that really is random, must still be February! ;o)

Have a lovely Tuesday!
xo, devon

Friday, February 20, 2009

The 8 Month Charmer

Poppin' in to say hello and share these oh so lovely pics of the Bird. Enjoy and happy weekend to you!!

Love love love this picture...she's really into the camera these days.

Like I said, really into the camera.

Tired, thoughtful, curious...cute :o)

Lovin' to sit and play, though sometimes she'll grab what she's choosing to play with, sit nicely, then realize the caterpillar, rattle, or 'loch ness monster' is now out of reach.

This just cracks me up...oh dearie, you kill me :o)

xo, devon

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Free Food

The rain just keeps pouring around here, it's amazing we don't have a water park in the back yard by now.

One thing I can't complain about is the rain is definitely bringing us spring. And fruit! Our cherry tree is full of buds, the huge (oops, forgot to prune this year) apricot tree's branches are blushing pink, the avocado is once again looking out of control with flowers (though there are only 3 avocados on there - we'll enjoy every one!). The fig tree has sent out its pointy shoots, and the apple trees are reminding us that we better move them now or just forget about it till the fall.

The most prolific one of all is our orange tree. It anchors the back corner of our garden and hangs fruit laden branches high and low for us and our neighbor (who never seems to pick any). Over the weekend I used the long fruit picker and overflowed a tin bucket (Mbird was enthralled watching from the ergo on my back).

42 juicy & fragrant beauties...and just a teeny dent in the tree unfortunately. We can't possibly eat them all...ya want some oranges?! Wish I had the time to make marmalade or something (of course I'd have to like marmalade first). For now we're just eating oranges left and right...for breakfast, lunch, dinner, fruit salads, as juice, etc. They're just fabulous, and we didn't pay a cent for them which is all the sweeter :o)

Have a lovely, if rainy or cold or sleety or whatever you're having, Tuesday!
xo, devon

Friday, February 13, 2009

What Chubby Hands Love

Ribbons & more ribbons!...wool felts, rayon velvets, cotton florals, thick grosgrains, smooth acetates, chunky alpaca.

I sewed this for Miranda yesterday and it's been a hit so far :o) I had originally planned to use the Anna Maria Horner fabric for the Bird's curtains but as her room was coming together realized it would be too busy. But it's just such a lovely fabric that I couldn't part with it and have instead been using a little piece here, little piece there.

I won't be making these to sell, but should whip up a few for presents. Right now I've just been stocking and selling prints of my paintings, with plans to get some small affordable originals in the shop too. Oh, and I never showed off those gocco prints/cards that I printed up before Christmas either! I'm way behind, as usual...only so many hours in a day.

Until the studio is intact and organized (aka all the unecessary crap is removed) I know I won't be zipping along productively - plus it's about 40 degrees in there!! I've been working at night getting my 'project board' put together. It's two huge sheets of sound deadening board (an alternative to homasote - cheaper and I hope I don't regret it), gessoed and wrapped in cotton batting, then screwed directly to the wall. The batting allows fabrics to stick to the surface without pins (perfect for laying out patterns, etc.), yet the board itself is soft and can act as a pin board if you need to tack things up - like the mural I'm currently commissioned for which is on canvas. Tonight Jared's going to help me get the behemouth on the wall - so excited!!

Oh, here's just a few of my favorites from the best place to shop on planet Earth...

Big Love Bowl by Prince Design UK
(this one has sold but there are tiny bowls & plates available too!)

Vintage Animal Figurines from Blue Bell Bazaar
(At some point I'll give you a house tour and will show you my fabulous collection of animals - bookends, decorative figures, sake holders, ink dispensers - 90% of them have come from my antique collecting parents and they are treasures to me!)

Lizzy Dish Fabrics from Fabric Worm
(LOVING this new collection of fabrics from Elizabeth House - I'm forseeing new towels for the kitchen, and the knife pattern would make a fab tablecloth right?)

Have a beautiful Friday whatever you're up to!
xo, devon

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Head Over Heels

Yesterday was a fairly normal day around here...some work& studio tidying was accomplished, grocery shopping & errand run achieved, and the three of us went out for our daily walk - me, Phylo, & Mbird. I chose to take the stroller - I switch back and forth between it and the Ergo carrier. They both have their pros and cons but I figured since I was going to a spinning class that night I could skip carrying 20+ pounds for our outing.

Isn't my pup Phylo just the face of innocence? You'd never know it from the photos (unless maybe you have a German Shorthair Pointer) that he has only two modes - off & on. "Off" is what you see here - lazy hanging out hound dog. "On" is what we see - whenever there's a door to go through (or bust through), a walk to be had (and whined about until he gets one), a bird or squirrel to be hunted. "On" is much easier for Phylo to slip into than "off", and I swear we've been trying since we got him at 8 months (he's now 3.5) to find some middle ground. It shows up only in glimpses - a quick glance back at me and a little sniff to my hand while I'm being dragged around the park out on a walk, when he's exhausted from a run or hike and will lay calmly in the car on the way home, or when we've done something so repeatedly that he knows he just has to listen, or else!

Yesterday we happened to be out for our walk at the same time as our neighbor and his dog, Franklin. Phylo and Franklin do great together and we all walked to the far end of the park then stopped to chat before heading in different directions. We were going on about the housing market, jobs, etc., when a lady and her two little yorkies approached from across the street. Phylo started his "but they're so little, how could they be dogs?, they must be squirrels!!" whine and when they got within 10 feet of us he started to pull - hard. Phylo is a strong dog, but I'm strong too - as my friend says, 'freakishly strong', and I always get him under control. But he had his feet in the grass and really dug in. I felt my body lean into Miranda's stroller and realized it was going to go over (!) so I let myself get pulled. Before I knew it I was yanked around the stroller, then off my feet with first my hip hitting the ground, then my head smacking the sidewalk (yep, ouch). You'll be happy to know I never let go of the leash... But my glasses were a few feet away, and Miranda was looking down at me from her stroller in surprise - 'what's my mommy doing on the ground?'. Sadly, (and this is part of what constitutes "on") Phylo looked at me like he didn't know what had happened and totally didn't get that he just put me on my ass in the middle of the park. Sigh...my neighbor then suggested it might be time to get a spiky collar for my dog, or some other measure of deterrence for such inappropriate actions.

I think it's time we do an obedience class together. Either that or someone get Cesar Millan on the line, please!

It's hard to believe this is the same dog.

I did make it to the spinning class even though my bum was sore. It's actually more sore now, but that's just from the bike saddle :o)

If anyone has any tips to offer this challenged dog walker I'm all ears...

Now off to drink more coffee - our other issue of course is lack of sleep at night, but I won't burden you with more than one problem at a time!!

Have a lovely one,

ps - I just thought this was fun to include, if a little gross. One thing Phylo never slacks on is cleaning up our dishes, and for that we're grateful ;o)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

the scramble

Miranda's crawling!

We lowered her mattress (yikes, that's a change), removed her bumpers (nice lump on her noggin already), put away the crib skirt as it doesn't fit anymore (bummer, it was cute), and now we're fixing/putting away/reorganizing things daily (if not hourly) as Miranda is making her way around.

It's fun...but we definitely weren't ready (nothing new! hahaha :o)

Now I get to freak out constantly at all the things she chooses to 'explore' - chair legs, door thresholds, phylo's toys, shoes - wow, so gross!

And this little guy is none too happy about it either!

xo, devon :o)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A small reprieve

It's been a rough few days, but today is a new day and we're moving on. Miranda hasn't been sleeping well and we've had some real low points - especially yesterday. You can only go so many days with a handful of hours of sleep before you start to feel hopeless! Last night Mbird slept through the night waking just once to nurse. We think it's because she's also really tired, and tonight we may be back to the 'same old' but hey, at least we finally got a break.

I have to mention these cute little Le Creuset bowls I picked up over the weekend. I had a mural client meeting to go to in Los Gatos and stopped in Sur La Table on my way out. I was looking for a food mill to help me with pureeing foods for the Bird. Found that, then also got a nifty set of silicone ice cube trays that I can freeze some of those pureed goodies in. The bowls I spotted with the baking supplies. Bright red, green, yellow, and blue flexible silicone bowls in sizes from 1 cup down to 1/4 cup. Perfect for measuring out bits of what you need while you're putting together a recipe. But also perfect I thought for feeding Miranda pureed foods from - eventually she could feed herself from them (silicone is so rubbery and easy to hold on to). And after I had them washed up I handed her the stack and they've since become her new favorite toy while sitting in her kitchen chair :o) Silicone is great - medical/food grade safe - saturated colors and very tactile. I'm thinking of chilling one of the small ones in the freezer to make something cold and gummy for Miranda to suck on (those two bottom teeth are finally through and really growing!).

I'm also working on the logo project for Jared's sister's film company, 'Open Boat Films'. Stephani's film company is bent toward science and the natural world and her favorite image for the logo is a flying fish. I remember watching flying fish while out in the Pacific heading to the Perlas Islands for the weekend (or the Pearl Islands if you watched 'Survivor'). Growing up I remember much of our time being spent out in the ocean, speeding past ships headed to transit the Canal, floating over the deep blue/turquoise waters off of Mogo Mogo, Contadora, and Shell Island (which is where my dad always said pirates abandoned their dissidents). My brother, Drake, and I would spend hours crouched over mini-ecosystems in the tide pools finding starfish, snails, urchins, and psychadelic colored fish. I remember vividly reaching out to touch a dolphin's side as a school leaped alongside our boat and one time out in my uncle's much larger boat (the Pasha) a huge whale baby snuggled up alongside us like we were its mama. Such magical times in a magical place. I wish I could go back right now, even if just for a few days.

It's another beautiful clear day here again. We'll get rain later in the week so I need to jump on my rain-free tasks stat. Mixing up my weed-killing vinegar solution to spray the clover in the front garden and the driveway, and maybe finally priming the kitchen window exteriors so they won't be soaked with rain again (for probably the 20th time, but better late than never!).

Love and sunshine to you all,

ps - I haven't given up on fixing my blog...just needed a break from it for a few days so I could do things like finish my taxes and work on the logo and such. Hoping to make a shiny new lovely page very soon!