Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Noodle & Boo, part 2 + a pattern

There she is...the last bit of the Noodle & Boo mural job. Freshly painted this evening after Jared got home from work. I didn't mind the transition from mommy to muralist very much today. I will politely say that I was happy to get in the car and drive somewhere by myself and do my own thing for a while.

Of course, I missed the little crankypants (teeth? short nap? cabin fever?) could I not? She's been doing too many cute things to count. I really need to be writing them down! She does kissy sounds to call Phylo or Sanguine, and loves feeding them, she's trying all sorts of words these days and yesterday said "cool, cool, cool" which came from a book we were reading. And today she also tried to dance like a ballerina...doing circles and randomly kicking one leg. Adorable. Hard to believe next month she'll be out of the teens and into the 2's - 20 months.

This is the column in the Noodle & Boo office space entry. I like that you can see it from outside the office complex. It's a hint at all the prettiness inside. They've really done a nice job. It's so warm and cozy.

They would probably prefer me showing off a tidier image - but I don't have one, so heck - here's the main wall I painted last week. 16x10'. It was a long evening - deceptively long evening. Doesn't it look like you could just fling your brush back and forth real quick and have bunches of flowers? Er, no...

And WOO HOO!! I finally got the new Photoshop software - CS4! I uploaded it yesterday and started warming up to the massive amount of potential the new program has. Really anything over 7.0 was a big step up. Here's a pattern I just made today (during M's very short nap).

I made it my new twitter background.

If you live in California make sure you get outside this week - the rain is constant but the cabin fever is worse! I'm planning our escape tomorrow.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Lake Tahoe

We went to Lake Tahoe this weekend and had such a great time. There were a couple mishaps - lack of sleep for all of us & food poisoning for Jared - but our general feeling about the trip was a positive one. It's so nice to get away sometimes. Not having to board a plane or pack for a week's time was a bonus.

It was fun to see & play in SNOW! We sledded a lot (Miranda was the youngest sledder we saw - she was often happy just to sit on my lap and watch). Phylo got to run around a big snowy meadow and eat mouthfuls of fresh powder.

You can spy the cute little cabins where we stayed in the photo above.

Lake Tahoe in the winter is such a play of opposites. Lapping waves on a sandy beach with patches of snow & ice interspersed between pine cones and crustaceans crushed into the shore. The array of blues and grays in the clouds and sky were incredible.

Here you can see that there's something on my lens, haha.

And you can also see the sad little bruises on Bird's face. The result of knocking heads with Phylo in a game of ball (that Phylo won).

This is the uncropped version of the first photo in the post, which shows it was actually Jared throwing our Bird up in the air and that she can't actually fly - which I'm certain that you had assumed by now.

There are lots more Tahoe pics at my flickr.

And to follow up from my last post...this is what I painted at Noodle & Boo last week. It's a 16' x 10' wall that will have cubicles in front it (where I didn't include flowers). I took the photo with my phone so it's a little dark & not so crisp, but you get the idea. I didn't leave the work site till 11pm...and didn't get to complete the other area of the office to be painted (I just wasn't up for working into the next day - I mean, really). I'm headed back this week to finish up.

Happy Martin Luther King day to you!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Noodle & Boo

Tomorrow I'm painting in Noodle & Boo's new office space! They're a super lovely company (with amazing products - just ask Bird) and their founder Christine Burger is a real sweetheart, and definitely to be admired for creating such a successful business with two young children. I could learn a thing or two from her!

I'm painting the floaty white flowers from Noodle & Boo packaging onto areas of the office space already painted pink. The flowers remind me of Japanese illustrations from cherry blossom festivals. Very feminine, very pretty.

I had a friend's little boy over this morning and he and Bird played, and Phylo had way too many toddler treats. Bird is napping hard now from all the dancing she did to the keyboard demo songs. Good stuff.

Gives me hopefully a little time to pack the car for tomorrow...

Oops, maybe not...really, already Miranda? Darn these 45 minute naps!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Grand Canyon full of inspiration (aka a letter from Lee)

My very first semester at RISD I had some of the most amazing experiences in all my time at RISD. This was mostly due to being in Lee Dejasu's 2D foundation class. The name of the class is so very deceiving. It really should be called "An opportunity to do absolutely anything you want with people that will support you, and totally celebrate with you." Really.

And the best part was Lee. I can only imagine how many lives he's touched.

Over the years we've kept in touch here and there. He never ceases to gift me with the kindest words - and they always seem so timely. How does he do it?

I received this letter from Lee the other day and wanted to share. I have to admit I cried while reading it.
Thank you to my friend Lee...for the reminder I needed so badly.
"You'll be back".
I'm humbled & grateful & totally inspired.

And isn't that
rad stationary??
She lives on my pin board now.

Friday, January 8, 2010

What I hope to do in 2010

I am an optimist, a dreamer, and I always have hope.

Here are my goals for the year!

1) Design and print a fabric line.

2) Pick a direction for my business, make a plan, design a look, market it (& say no to things that don't support the direction I want to go).

3) Blog, tweet, & put myself out there - in more immediate and significant ways. Often times I'm blogging about something I'd like to be doing, and don't ever mention what I'm actually doing (which is often pretty interesting, so I should stop keeping it all to myself!). So, if I miss the appropriate moment to blog about a huge world event, or say "happy halloween" or whatever, I plan to let it go...not harass myself into blogging about it 5 days, or 2 weeks, later. In a sense, this is a way for me to be more honest - with you, with me.

4) Host Creative Nights in my studio - at least one a season.

5) Save one half day a week specifically for painting/illustration - hire a babysitter or do babysitting exchange.

6) Finish Miranda's mural.

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

8) Paint all the trim in the house...our bedroom, living & dining room, piano room, kitchen, & future laundry room.

9) At least 1 cardio workout a week, in addition to our daily walks.

10) 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.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Reviewing the past & looking ahead

A sneak peek into our new home office (more on that later) :o)

How's your New Year going so far?

I can't help but feel tingles of optimism when a New Year starts - it's just my personality. Thankfully I don't get too crushed when my best laid plans don't all come together. Last year's list was actually not so far off, though - I don't feel even a tiny bit crushed, quite possibly I'm more determined.

And I
love making these lists...this year I'll just amend last year's list and go with it. It's all good stuff anyway. Except that chocolate cake goal - I think I need to stay away from that one, haha.

Anyway, here's last year's list. With updates in coral (because I like

1) Write wills to include Miranda, Phylo & Sanguine.
Started! I have the form and plan to get on this one.

2) Paint all the trim in the house.
Put a check mark next to the bathroom, Miranda's room, and the office. Next up will be the kitchen, our bedroom, living/dining, and piano room (and the laundry room when we work on that space). It's a heck of a lot of trim! Did they ever trim out these old houses!

3) Finish Miranda's mural and room.
I've made great progress on organization, storage, and cuteness but have yet to finish the mural...I'll get there. I'm keeping my paints & supplies handy for spare moments to sneak in there.

4) Set up college savings for Mbird.
Done! Thank you to my mom & dad for the first contribution :o)

5) Design and print a fabric line.
Putting this straight into this year's goals! No getting down on myself, only looking ahead.

6) Spruce up my shop & blog to best represent Devon Industry.
Hmm, yes, I did some of this but have been thinking lately of a larger overhaul...possible name changing & consideration toward my future business direction..

7) Clean up my studio & make it pretty.
I have to say, it is looking quite pretty out there...I painted over the horrid yellow walls & ceiling with fresh blue & cream, and painted the bathroom too. Hung curtains, pared down my items, made a pin board wall, added a butcher block table, and rolled out a huge wool rug. AND...I now have a heater out there - yes!!

8) Host at least 4 creative nights in the studio - 1 per season.
Had one - and it was great! Hope to keep this up this year too. I love getting together with my creative friends.

9) Learn Illustrator.
Scratching this one out. Not because I accomplished it, but because I don't think I need to anymore. Hello Photoshop, you are and always have been the one for me!

10) Pick a direction for my business, make a plan, design a look, market it.
Working on this the top of my list.

11) Save one day a week specifically for painting/illustration - get a babysitter.
This has been tough, but the past couple of months have been promising. I have yet to get a whole day to myself. If I do get time (through the very occasional babysitter, or babysitting swap with friends) I use it well. I just have to figure this one out.

12) At least 1 cardio workout a week, in addition to our daily walks.
I've stuck to this but haven't upped it at all. I admit I'm not feeling great about my body...need motivation - longer days & more sunshine would help. And getting all this chocolate & candy out of the house, oh my!

13) Learn to make the Paris chocolate cake.
I'll just eat "Paris chocolate cake" when in Paris.

14) Throw a big backyard party to celebrate Miranda's 1st birthday.
It was a super awesome incredible day! Looking forward to the 2nd one.

15) Learn how and start to make yogurt, mozzarella & farmer's cheese, and butter.
Haven't done this but I'd still like to. Jared likes to remind me that I've talked about this countless times and never do it, hahah.

16) At least 1 camping trip this year.
Camping (like, real camping) has been elusive for us. But we're going to Tahoe in a couple of weeks to play in the snow and will stay in an old cabin with a wood burning stove. Can't wait.

17) Clean and organize the basement and garage.
I had mentioned before that this is in Jared's department & so I happily pass the torch to him - along with any guilt that may come from the mess that is our basement. The garage is actually looking pretty decent.

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.
I love this's a lifetime goal. A few things come to mind. I made our own cloth baby wipes as well as diaper wipes solution (I have the recipe on the bottle and just remix the ingredients when we run out). I also made our own whole house cleaning solution, and painted the office using leftover paints I had on hand (just mixed into a color I liked).

19) Incorporate ASL (American Sign Language - through Sign With Your Baby book) into our everyday language with Mbird.
Our little Bird is a signing champ :o)


Friday, January 1, 2010

From 2009 to 2010

Happy New Year everyone!!

With just a couple of days left of our wondrously long (and fairly leisurely) vacation I thought I'd share some of the highlights of the past 2 weeks. My parents visited from Germany & we spent Christmas together. It was such a treat to watch our Bird experience all the moments (some were more challenging - like Christmas eve church service). She soaked it all up - in her own way - the ornaments to explore (& remove) from the tree, the fabulously fun new dollies & cars she received for presents (yes, she is a well rounded girl), the great food and loving faces around her all the time. With family here we even got to sneak out to watch Avatar. One of my favorite parts of the evening was looking over at Jared wearing 3D glasses ;o)

It was a great time for me and Jared to get some things done too. Jared worked on lighting projects for our updated home office and I sewed a darling Marimekko curtain for the office closet. He and I cleaned up the backyard & we tackled loads and loads of organizational projects for the house. I need to make a photo tour of our new office probably - it's (without sounding boastful I hope) impressive...we really thought this one through & we love the results.

I also went through my 2009 goals list and wasn't too disappointed. In fact, I feel pretty good about the past year. I'm thinking on 2010 and will list out my goals again like I did last year. It's good accountability and I've always been one of those learners that is helped by writing things out multiple times.

Here are some photo moments from our last bit of 2009:

Hot chocolate outside Golden Gate Park.

Hiking above Crissy Field.

With my parents (and the Bird obviously bothered by her teeth!) at the Rose Garden.

Vacation has also meant staying up way too late - like every night. I'm so tired!

Time to hit the english breakfast tea.

Enjoy your first day of the year :o)