Thursday, March 26, 2009

Studio snips & A little humility

Quick post today...gotta get out in the studio and finish sketches for a mural client. They're going well and I've got that renewed excitement for the job that I was desperately hoping would arrive any day! ;o)

Thought you might enjoy a few pics of where I work, as it's coming together. Haven't finished all the wall paint yet, nor the curtains, but I am absolutely loving the space - and loving the freedom to do whatever I want out there and not worry about, really, anything (why I worry stuff like that in the house I don't know...). Perhaps what I put together out in the studio (and in the Bird's room) will help me throw caution to the wind and just go nuts in our little casa (this means murals of course!) :o)

Oh, and yes, it IS messy - I know! But it's got lots o' potential right??

'Rabbit in the clouds' - little gouache illustration I snuck in last week.

'Candied Cottage in the Woods', gouache on watercolor paper - this paper is almost edible it's so nice!

And a dear sweet 'Penguin' I love my penguins. This guys is quite adorable if I say so myself :o)

Oh, but now to the 'humility' part of my post...yes, humility is important in life, and it's redeeming for our character to admit when we've screwed up right? Well here's a laugh for you at my expense:

My poor sister-in-law, Steph, painted with a head 3 sizes too big. And no, I don't think she has a puffed up personality worthy of painting a swelled head ;o)'s a rookie mistake that I should have known better about.

I've been working on my fabulous drafting table (found at flea market, then beautifully reassembled and finished, then gifted from my lovely dad on my 21st birthday). However, with a canvas this large, working flat on a tall table is just not a good idea! But I continued merrily along sketching out where I thought Steph should sit in the piece, thinking, hmmm, her head's looking a little large, or maybe her shoulders are a bit small. Then every couple of minutes saying, 'Miranda, could you please stop eating those leaves? And where did you get those leaves??', or 'Miranda, could you please come over this way and stop messing with the electrical cords?' (are you thinking by now that my studio isn't babyproofed??)...geez. So I guess it shouldn't have surprised me when it was time to go in and I propped the painting on my pinboard to check it out...and just had to laugh at myself. It's a good thing it's just paint. If you guys are reading this, hope you're getting a good giggle Steph :o) And hope you still want me to paint this for you Sandi!! ;o)

And today the circus times :o)

Enjoy your Thursday!
xo, devon

Monday, March 23, 2009

I swear I'm not a hermit crab

It's been a really long time since I last posted! It's hard to not be caught up in all the busy moments of l.i.f.e these days. But I thought I needed to check in and tell ya that I'm still alive and just more than a little overwhelmed by all the things needing to be done, yet wanting to play at the same time ;o)

Yesterday we played - had friends over for most of the day. Homemade bread, blueberry pie, pinot noir from Russian River, citrus salad with oranges from our tree...lots of conversation and playing with the Bird (who loved every bit of it - social butterfly in the making). Amazingly, the friend who visited yesterday with his sweet girlfriend is someone I've known since I was 7 years old (maybe even longer) - that's over 23 years! We met in second grade in Panama and have always kept in touch, but we hadn't hung out in nearly a decade. It was so lovely - we won't let another 10 years go by - at least not while they're living in SF!

I finished up the film logo for my awesome sister (well, Jared's sister actually but I claim her as mine too!) who is still riding the waves of the far Pacific filming for a project funded by a billionaire. I love how the flying fish came out, colors are still up in the air...that will get worked out soon.

I've started a new painting commission as well. It's a challenge and oh so fun at the same time. I'm soaking up all things French Impressionism - especially Berthe Morisot. I wish I could talk to Berthe Morisot and ask her about life - she seems so fascinating...I love that other artists painted her too - with her palette and smock and hair tied up.

And I'm working on little illustrations...ones that I see potential for on fabrics. Yes, one small step toward my goal of a line of fabrics for this year. I WILL do it, must persevere, must not be afraid of coming up short - what can I do but try right?? I'm tired of being so anxious of failing or wondering if what I'm doing is 'good' enough, or 'new' enough, or 'charming' enough, or 'whatever' enough. I'm trying to quiet those voices and JUST PAINT...then before I know it there will be armloads of work I can play with for patterns. Keep it simple...take a deep breath. Can you tell this whole thing makes my heart beat too fast? I think I'm putting a lot of stock into to not think about it too much - yes, maybe, probably so :o)

We're leaving for Florida in a couple of brother is getting married! We're so happy for him and his fiance. In preparation (besides packing for a small child which is quite the task), we need to press some 150+ vintage napkins for the wedding reception. I scored a bevy of beauties on ebay (some are handmade and from the 1940's) and they will also need to fit in with our stuff for the coast to coast flight. Darn those weight restrictions! goes Monday...another deep breath...time to get painting :o)

Hope your day is full of inspiration and energy from the lovely Spring that's all around - enjoy!

xo, devon

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's in the air's pretty cold out right now but the sun is shining and we're plotting away at all sorts of outside schemes, projects, and getaways. This extra hour of daylight is almost too much for an overachieving optimist to get her head around! (although it is throwing us something awful in the morning - guess you gotta pay up somewhere).

Here are random snippets of the signs of Spring happening 'round the house...

We're making our own bread again least once a week, sometimes twice. This is a yummy kasha cereal bread I whipped up yesterday (kasha is buckwheat - find it in bulk bins). Oh, it is delicious! :o) Haha, and our neighbors have been asking us if we're baking - seems we're makin' the neighborhood jealous. We keep the bread machine in the former back porch now laundry room instead of in the kitchen (as it's way too loud for a sleeping baby) and the aroma wafts into everyone's backyards.

This orchid is finally happy again after 2 years of not blooming! It helped that I moved it to the kitchen sink area - lots of sun, and easy to water.

Random wintery fruits...can't wait for those CSA strawberries!! Plus our own cherries in May, apricots in June, apples in July, and oranges nearly year round.

Sweet pea seeds a'waiting...with 'to die for' fragrance. If you've never smelled sweet peas and you have a little teeny spot in your garden (or any little patch of dirt with some sun - they're not picky!) put these in the ground. You will not be sorry!

Ok, so have a lovely springish Tuesday...I'm off to try and hack away some more at Illustrator and my sister in law's film logo. Who'd have thought that this same computer program could give me so much pain for so many years!! I'd much rather sew curtains and make bread (gosh, even put away's gotten that bad), but I must, must, must persevere!

xo, devon

P.S. - More randomness for you - just how it is this time of year with so much going on...just read this article yesterday...the items below were of special interest to me as I have to print and ship often. I had no idea those standard mailing envelopes aren't recyclable!! Such a bummer - I have at least half a big box left of them. And everybody seems to use them. One more reason to switch to that 'kraft' style mailing envelope (besides the fact that they don't bend - I have to load my print packages with stiff backer boards for just that reason).

Those ubiquitous mustard-colored envelopes are not recyclable, because goldenrod paper (as well as dark or fluorescent paper) is saturated with hard-to-remove dyes. “It’s what we call ‘designing for the dump,’ not the environment,” says Matsch.

Jiffy Paks:
Many Jiffy envelopes―even the paper-padded ones filled with that material resembling dryer lint―are recyclable with other mixed papers, like cereal boxes. The exception: Goldenrod-colored envelopes must be tossed.

Padded envelopes with bubble wrap:
These can’t be recycled. The best thing you can do is reuse them.

Printer-ink cartridges:
Seventy percent are thrown into landfills, where it will take 450 years for them to decompose. “Cartridges are like gas tanks,” says Jim Cannan, cartridge-collection manager at “They don’t break. They just run out of ink. Making new ones is like changing motors every time you run out of gas.” Take them to Staples and get $3 off your next cartridge purchase, or mail HP-brand cartridges back to HP.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Peek into the Birdhouse

Miranda's room is far from done...but if I wait till then to share snippets of her cozy, dreamy little space it may be far too long of a wait! are some photos, what I've been slowly designing, amassing, painting, collecting for the Bird's room. She seems to love her room, and we do too. It's inspiring me to not feel so restrained with the rest of the house. I mean, if we're stuck here for awhile (slumpy housing market) we may as well make the best of it right? And besides, it's an amazing house and we pinch ourselves that's it's ours (or at least maybe 7% ours?) :o)

Enjoy this (extra extra photo heavy) post!

Hello, I'm Miranda Bird. Welcome to my room :o)

Loving the Flor carpet (toy poodle square in lush lilac)

Ribbon mobile that has bounced around the room. Made up of red, burgundy, orange, and aqua ribbons with some Martha Stewart scrapbooking stickers for extra pop.

Miranda's closet is great - good sized, with plain shelves (I someday need to paint, or paper them), plus a rod we put in. But who wants to look at that? Or have a door cut into the room's footprint? I love hanging curtains for closet doors - this one I sewed from Aunt Grace reproduction fabric - purple polka dots on it.

Another item I salvaged from my former office...lovely ikea floating shelf. These things are awesome. You see them used on so many design shows because they're just so fantastic. Love how you can't see the hardware, yet it's a deep shelf that can hold a lot of weight. This one I already had painted the grayish lavender of my office, and since I kept the wall color for M's room it got to stay and fit above the changing area built-ins. On the shelf is Mariposa the penguin (I made this before she was born, and had to save it for her, just couldn't let it go...), two vintage glittery lovebirds I got off Etsy, plus a great box from a friend.

Over her crib...a watchful owl...just love owls of course, and painted one nestled in the clouds. Beneath that is a framed print of my "Owl" painting (prints are available in my shop if you're interested). Looks so great in that gilded frame. The plush/bell hanging next to it is from Panama, from my favorite store (an Indian store of all places) called Sol de la India. I always hit that place when I'm back there...tablecloths, baby pajamas (Chinese baby pajamas - even more random yes!), placemats and napkins, carvings and jewelry, etc., etc. - great for presents.

Miranda's ultrasound :o) Someday I'll either paint her name in there, or paper the white mat with something to tie it together (a great little feedsack print would be nice). No, I cannot leave well enough alone.

Vintage Irmi (made in the USA baby!) mobile that hangs over the changing pad. Got it for a steal off Etsy. I also found a great little Irmi table lamp with a kitten that you can wind up to play the tune - the kitten then spins, and a girl in a rocking chair rocks back and forth - cute, if a little out of tune. :o)

Hmm, that's a little blurry, be careful when editing photos in Flickr - wasn't blurry when I uploaded it. Anyway, here's a peek at a nearly finished area of the mural. I painted two oversize birds - here's one, plus a great ikea flower light (with green cord, love that!), and a glimpse at the humongous dogwood blossoms that float across the walls.

Cozy pillow in a cozy chair...we got this chair for a crazy good price in the "As Is" section at ikea. Got it cleaned by Naturell (natural upholstery cleaning) and boy is it comfy. It's a great chair for nursing, or just kicking back. The pillow is a combination of fabrics from Heather Ross, Anna Maria Horner, and Anna Griffin. Orange silk and super soft rayon velvet trims from Hart's Fabric finish it off.

We wandered into Paper Source one day while enjoying an afternoon (pre-baby) at Santana Row. Lunch at Pizza Antica, browsing at Anthropologie...yes, lovely day it was. I picked up this rad hook - don't you love a bunny tongue to help hold your fabulous silk baby sling? I sure do :o)

It kind of pains me to show you this's just that it will be SO amazing when it's done that I wish I wasn't showing it off unfinished :o( But, maybe it'll help motivate me to get back into working on it soon. It's a tree full of "tree houses" of course - or maybe they're bird houses - open to interpretation. From the left: shoe house, tiny Swiss chalet, craftsman bungalow, dreamy castle, and quirky victorian. And below the tree sprouting from very fluffy clouds is Miranda's crib - very simple and modern, clean lines - nice for such a detailed room. Oh, and of course, check out those fabulous books! Many of them are from when my brother and I were little. A couple I picked up from Recycle Bookstore and are from the 1920's. It's a nice, growing collection that Mbird will be able to get her hands on as soon as she stops sampling everything by mouth :o)

Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour!
Thanks for coming along :o)

xo, devon

ps - I'm going with this for the studio bathroom:

With a piece of this to put in a frame:

mermaids! mermaids! mermaids!
Have a lovely Monday :o)