Saturday, December 31, 2011

The eve of a New Year

2012 is minutes away...I write this knowing that the year ahead of us will be so different than this past one. Not necessarily easier, but definitely different. That's been a huge lesson for me this year. That so much of our own life is beyond our control, and maybe it's a really good thing.

Tomorrow Jared leaves again for Germany for two weeks. It'll be the 4th trip he's made since taking the new job and he'll have two more trips after this one. Being a single parent to a 3.5yo and a now 9mth old has been something that has changed me more than most things. I have so much respect for single parents!! Being on my own with our kids through our typical daily grind plus managing our Herculean effort toward readying our house for renting out, and preparing to move everyone to Germany...I've been completely pooped much of the time. I can't even imagine if I were trying to work right now too.

I'm so excited to go...and so hesitant to leave.

I hope for a fresh perspective on many things, especially in my art and related pursuits. I can't wait to set up a new super sweet studio space that has me inspired to paint & illustrate, design fabric & sell my work both small from my shop & on a larger scale as well.

I hope for our family that we will cherish this time together in a new place. Knowing that all you really need when you go someplace new is each other. And with no almost 100yo house to work on, we should have more time to enjoy on other things like travel (4hr drive to Paris!) and biking and cooking and making things.

So right now I'm looking ahead with a smile but bracing myself for the next two weeks and all the busy-ness ahead. Griffy has been having a terrible time with teething and we are up for hours at a time at night with him screaming :( It's been going on for days. Bird has been a lot of fun lately (3.5 is very interesting, & cheeky!) but also has been pushing buttons as fast as she can. I found myself saying "if she didn't push the boundaries, she would never know what they are" - that was when I realized someone was praying for me to have a good attitude ;o) We watch more movies & live more simply when Jared is gone but I'm not letting myself feel guilty for this strange bit of time between California & Germany life.

It will all get done...and we will look back and be proud of how we got through what has definitely been the most stretching time in our lives so far! I'm thankful for how we are being shaped, even though it's often painful. Being a single mom for weeks at a time has taught me to be a better mom and I've never had to be more responsible for so many things at once before. Because of this my confidence level has grown tremendously - I really feel like I can handle so much more! I'm so excited to inject this new confidence into my business in 2012 and hopefully into taking better care of myself as well (exercise and eating well has not been the biggest priority - this needs to change!). I also hope to be as sincere & honest as possible...with you, with me. There's no reason not to.

Hugs & well wishes for a New Year 2012!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!


Bird was the cutest cowgirl this year...she practiced a lot of giddyup's! and yeehaw's! and had been wearing bits and pieces of her costume for close to a month. We had so much fun last night :o)

Cowgirl Cowgirl Cowgirl Cowgirl

No pics to share of Griffy in his stegosaurus costume - it was super cute. There are some pics on my phone but it was getting dark and he is a wiggly 7 month old. So you can imagine how not so great the shots are. I was a woodland fairy (sort of)...holding a whining/screaming baby in one arm while trying to paint leaves on my cheek with the other. Then he nursed and promptly fell asleep. I was going to feel so guilty getting him into a costume while asleep, then thankfully he woke from a 20 minute slumber and was good to go :o) Trooper.

We went with my lovely friend Mrs. Potato Head and her furry friend Hans dressed adorably in a sailor coat.

Happy Halloween everyone, and now on to November and December and other fun things ahead!

Hugs, Devon


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Griffin is 7 months

Griffin, 7 months (w Bird's hat)

Griffin is 7+ months old and zooming ahead on things I'm totally not ready for!

Case in point...finding him climbing the pantry drawers, trying so so hard to grab that bright red box of Indian food.

Griffin, 7 months

Before I knew it he was moving along to the next thing - not happy to just be on his knees, of course!

Griffin, 7 months

So now he's pulling up to stand. Really? At 7 months, is this normal? And if I hold his little chubbers of hands he'll WALK from room to room. Maybe I shouldn't be encouraging this behavior. Lest I have a 9 month walker.

 Griffin, 7 months (standing!!)

Griffy is just the sweetest and cutest at 7 months...we don't want him to keep growing :o) He has both bottom teeth (got those while Jared was traveling, along with a cold). Then a top tooth poked its way out a few days ago, followed by another cold (this time with a cough). I'm sure the next top tooth is coming soon. But really hoping for no more colds for a while, please?

Hugs, Devon

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cereal box kids

I sent these pictures to family yesterday and the response I got was they'd be perfect on cereal boxes :o) Especially Bird's picture - can we say animated?? What a ham.

I've started Griffin on the baby led feeding thing...basically he eats real solid foods instead of purees. He doesn't mind the occasional puree/smooth baby food, but wow does he get excited for spears of sweet potato! It was really fun. I've ordered these bibs based on another mom's review and can't wait till they arrive (backordered!).

It looks like it's going to dump buckets of rain out there. I feel like Fall is arriving. Just in time for us to get a bunch of exterior work done on the house...oh well, can't always have the best timing. I'm dying to get to Lowe's (w/o kids would be heaven) so I can get paint samples. I'm leaning toward an artichoke heart green for the house body color, a firey orange/red for the inner sash trim, and a creamy white for all the larger main parts of trim. I'll also add an eggplant color in there (probably paint it myself to save cost) on some detail trim parts for extra fanciness. What fun! Can't wait to get this house painted. Now to line up the contractor for exterior rot fixes, and the gutter guy, etc.

Have a lovely afternoon & Happy Columbus Day, or Native American Day - whatever's your choosing!

Hugs, Devon

Sticky milky clumsy monday morning

Phylo doing his best & loving every second
I have no one to blame but me...what a crazy mess. Not a terribly great start to the week. Just before this Griffin bit me while nursing. I suppose his new 2 bottom teeth still feel sensitive. Add those things to a night of 4 hours of sleep and another week ahead with no Jared (till Saturday, this has been LONG 2 weeks), and a nanny who found full time work last Friday so she cancelled with us this week...sigh...I'm just grateful we have plans with friends this morning and preschool 2x this week so there are things to do. I need to get over myself and ask for help more often. My lovely friend Katie offered to walk Phylo for me. I feel bad accepting because he's so badly behaved on walks (think constant squirrel hunter). But I think I need to just say yes!

I'm also grateful Jared made sure there was lots of roasted coffee for me (he roasts our own), that my Bird is so sweet that she comforted me after the bite this morning (her comforting consists of hugs and kisses and pats and saying "sometimes...yeah, sometimes" which is how I often start a message of consolation), and that even though Griffin doesn't sleep so great he's such a happy little guy. When he wasn't napping yesterday, I was starting to get frustrated as Bird was napping and I was hoping to sleep too. I was hanging out on the bed waiting for him to relax in his crib. The little bugger kept cooing and chattering at me and pulling himself up as high as he could to catch my eye. He's so amazing to me - Bird was not like that as a little babe. There would have been lots of crying and whining, not playing and flirting. I'm so happy for the differences.

Gotta run...I'm still half dressed from the milk incident this morning and Bird is starting to get buggy. It was nice to vent for a few minutes. Have a lovely day!

Hugs, Devon

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Griffin is 6 months

Beach Day

Dear Griffin,

Happy half year birthday to you!

It was officially on the 17th of September but the time has gotten away from me. There is so much going on in our lives right now. The busiest we've ever been I believe. You contribute to that busy-ness quite a bit but we don't mind so much :o)

At 6 months old you are so active and physical, so into your world. You've been eating solid foods for over a month, practically launching yourself into them. You loved munching on a half of a ripe peach and you've eaten entire figs from our tree. You are quite the eater (like dad!). This morning you munched blueberries from my fingers and last night at dinner you ate sweet potatoes and quinoa. It's quite fun seeing your enthusiasm.

You are sitting up on your own quite nicely and scooting yourself vigorously across the room. When you see something you want you really go for it. Hardly getting upset, just doing whatever you can to get that thing in your fat little hands then into your mouth. You love when Phylo or Sanguine (especially Sanguine, who is at your height) get close so you can grab handfuls of fur. Sanguine will hiss at you but has not bitten (yet). This really makes you laugh. are such a happy little guy. Very ticklish, so incredibly charming. There is nothing like the sound of you laughing :o)

Sleep is challenging...naps are often short but I think it's because we drag you around everywhere and it's too hard to nap. At night you're up a lot but we're working on that. With dad gone to Germany for 2 weeks I'm so tired but your smiles motivate me to stay cheerful.

We love that you joined our family and have planted yourself quite nicely in your own unique spot. You are just what we needed! We love you Griffybear.

Love, Mama

Friday, September 30, 2011

It's official :: Auf Wiedersehen!

That's right...I just said goodbye, in German ;o)

We are moving!!

Not forever, just a 3 year commitment and we're keeping our house and doing storage and such. So we're definitely coming back (can you hear my relief?). Jared resigned from his job of 11 years and took a new one with a company in Germany. We will be moving in March. Until then (and maybe then too?) things are going to be tough...Jared will travel for 2 or 3 weeks at a time every two weeks :( But the pay off will be living right on the border with the Netherlands, 4+ hour drive from Paris, quick trip to Belgium, 3 hours from my parents (they're by the Air Force base in Ramstein), with 30 days vacation a year, oh, and Ikea (Netherlands) just 25 minutes away which is the same amount of drive time it is for us here ;o) It's the important things right?

Mostly, it will be a new experience. A fresh start, a paradigm shifting maybe. I think we've been needing it. I've been trying to accept my current situation of having so little time to myself and being so busy with two young children. I may as well go focus on that in a different country right?

Speaking of no time to myself...I'd better publish this now before it takes me a week to come back to it.

Hugs, Devon

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Griffin is 5 months

And three days shy of 6 months but I am determined to record 5 months on my blog before the opportunity passes. Griffy, at 5 months you are extremely grabby & strong (!), happy and laugh easily, take painfully short naps and don't sleep through the night (but we love you anyway...). In fact, you are up from your nap right now and I have to go get you. I'm sure you'll have a smile for me :o) Griffin, 5mths Griffin, 5mths Griffin, 5mths hugs, Devon

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm here but not really

Hello there... I don't even know where to begin. It's been a month and a week since I posted lasted. To say I've been busy/overwhelmed/scattered/unmotivated/tired etc. etc. is an understatement. And just now there's a little non-napper calling my name. I'll be back when I hopefully have two nappers later. There's a lot to catch up on. hugs, Devon

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book recommendation for busy 3 year olds who should be sleeping

It's laaaaate and I should be getting to bed (Griffin is up a lot at night these days for who knows what reason) but I'll be mad at myself if I don't type this out right now. I'm already a little sad I didn't take pictures.

Anyway, a certain friend of mine gave Bird the book pictured above for her 3rd birthday. It's awesomely funny. And my mischievous inner child can't help but egg Bird on a bit while we're reading it. "Look, see where his mom stashed the paint so he won't be able to get it", etc. etc.

Tonight I checked on Bird before going to bed. She's often in odd little places about her room. It's strange to find her tucked in with nothing else strewn about. This time I walked in and found her on the floor. She started to get up when I came toward her and I immediately saw black marker all over her hands (like gloves people) and lower half of her face. I scanned the scene and saw THE BOOK opened up like an instruction manual on her bed. Markers uncapped all over the bed. And scrawls across the sheets, bed frame, dresser. I scooped her up and got Jared, hand over my mouth to keep the howls of laughter in (not entirely successful at that one). Jared got her cleaned up while I changed out all the bedding and wiped off all the markered surfaces (thank goodness for washable markers!!!). Looking at the scene more closely I found a baby wipe totally covered in black marker. I think she was actually trying to clean herself up after the whole wild escapade and then fell asleep in process on the floor.

So if you need a little excitement in your life please give your child this book. Or give it to your friends child ;o) They may not find it as funny as we did but hopefully so.

Hugs and good night!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Summer Backyard

Two weekends ago I had friends over to help me celebrate my birthday. It was sooo much fun that I want to do it regularly - without the birthday part :o) We ate rum cake and drank two types of sangria. I set out a table of supplies and a couple of crafty project ideas: tiny felt strawberries and needle felted flowers.

A couple of strawberries were sewn and stuffed but there was mostly a lot of furious felting going on. Possibly a few drops of blood from the accidental looking up to answer a question (never take your eyes off the needle). Thinking about it, maybe it's not safe to mix needle felting with sangria but it sure was fun.

Summer Backyard

Summer Backyard

I also got to set the yard up all pretty which has been such a joy this summer. The garden has been amazing & I can't stop checking out all the new blooming flowers and fruits/veg. Every morning when Jared drives off Bird tells me it's time to look for sugar snap peas (in her cutest 3yo version of the words) and then we move on to strawberries, then tomatoes. Then we ogle at the corn and talk about the growing melons and ripening figs.

Summer Backyard

Summer Backyard

Summer Backyard

Summer Backyard

It's so fun to share this space we've been working on and nurturing for nearly 6 years now. My studio is still pretty rough around the edges but we can't justify working on it with full focus till we get a few other things done on the house. Plus, with a 4mth old and a 3yo it's been more than difficult to get time to myself out there. So for now it will have unpainted baseboards, leaky old windows, lots of entrances for spiders (and hopefully nothing larger than that), and mediocre lighting. Frankly, I don't care what it looks like really - I just want some time to get working and stocking my shop again. I have SO many ideas...bursting at the seams.

Summer Backyard

Have to mention, of the friends who were over the other night...some fabulous blogs, sites, and projects they are involved in. My lovely friend Klay has partnered with Anna Maria Horner and is selling her plushes in Anna's shop. They are made with an assortment of AMH's fabrics and they are incredibly cute and meticulously sewn. They would be perfect in a living room as much as they would in a kid's room. Here's Klay's post about the news and here is Anna Maria Horner's "Visiting Artists" shop page. And this is Klay's shop. I'm so excited for Klay!

My friends Wendy and Laura also came and they are both talented crafty ladies. Wendy used to work in a high tech job (same company as Jared, that's how we met) and has since left and is now, hopefully, going to be making and selling more of her beautiful things. Wendy's blog site is here and shop is here. You will love her design aesthetic - I totally admire her clean and modern design sense.

Laura is an illustrator here in San Jose. I can't even remember how we met at this point but I just enjoy her company so much and think she's such fun to be around. Her illustration work is so light hearted, colorful, and energetic. She's been working on building a licensing career and I think she's doing an amazing job. Her blog site is here and her main (fancy!) site and shop is here. She posted about the evening over here too :o)

Have you attended an evening of crafting and hanging with friends? What kind of projects did you work on? Have any advice to share? I think it's such a great time - I definitely recommend it. It's the perfect opportunity to share a new skill or just connect with creative friends. I wasn't sure what crafty project to offer and looked online a little for ideas but didn't find much. In the end, I just thought about what I like to work on and possibly what others might be interested in.

The two glasses of wine I had tonight have made my brain a little (more) mushy...I'm just happy to be finally getting this posted after 2 days of attempts. Such is life these days :o) Hope you're having a lovely week.

Hugs, Devon

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

3 adults 3 kids 2 dogs::Camping in Big Meadow

Big Meadow

We were just a little afraid...but we did it anyway :o) Like most anything with small children, camping was a lot of work but it was so worth it for the change of scenery, fresh air, new experiences for Bird, time with friends, time w/o internet and phones, etc., etc.

We drove into the Sierras on Friday and luckily found a spot at Big Meadow campground. Our initial plan was to camp at Lake Alpine but our friend David got there before us and found it to be less than ideal (boggy, no fire ring which meant NO fires, eep!, & LOTS of mosquitos) so we found a sweet little spot at Big Meadow. Picture huge granite boulders, towering redwoods, creeks with crystal clear cold water, miniature everything else - mosses, powdery blue butterflies, teeny alpine flowers. Just divine.

Big Meadow

We spent time both hiking & exploring as well as trying to get Griffin to sleep, haha ;o) I walked up and down the road for half an hour with Griffy in the sling while reading my Sunset magazine. Heck, that actually was somewhat relaxing.

Jared did what he normally does. Made me nervous by throwing Bird "high in the sky please?!" (her words) and crossing rivers on fallen logs with 4mth old Griffy strapped to his chest. Not too happy about that one still...

Bird LOVED it all. We are planning our next trip and hopefully one for each month next summer as well.

The only real issue was how crazy cold it got at night...and that when sharing one space for sleep, if one person wakes up often everybody wakes up. This can be a bit of a bummer. Note photo below...hard to tell but that is the sunrise behind Jared and the kids :o)

Big Meadow

David and his little guy joined us in camping. Bird loved having someone to dote on.

Big Meadow

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What's new on a Thursday in July

I hung these shelves in my studio. They are spice racks from Ikea. Got the idea from Ohdeedoh but I think lots of blogs have been featuring them (because they're functional and super cheap!).

new shelves for the studio

Josef Frank is still inspiring the heck out of me.

on my pin board: josef frank

I'm making this cake for my birthday celebration this weekend. And three types of sangria. Yes, three!

Griffin is 4mths old & killing us with cuteness. He had his 4mth appt. today and weighs nearly 16lbs. Big boy chunk of love.

Sanguine (our 12yr old tuxedo cat) is driving me nuts...along with Phylo dog. I think they're keying in on my anxiety when I have two kids sleeping simultaneously. Or it's probably that they think it's their turn for attention. I can't even step outside to take photos w/o Phylo erupting into whiny barks at people passing by. It's making him crazy that I walk him at night now. He has to chill the whole day waiting. Such is life. It's not forever.

I'm really enjoying this blog lately. Everything you ever wanted to know about alignment and strengthening your muscles and really just about how our bodies (should) work. Fascinating stuff. And she just had a baby which adds another component of interest to it for me. Did you know it's important to have diaper free time for babies so they won't have their legs separated by a big 'ol diaper all the time? Or that maybe you don't need to be doing kegels? (like I've been doing them hmm...)

I'm designing a collection of fabrics that I'm reeeaaally excited about :o) But shame on me for leaving my open sketchbook and pen right in the open on my desk. Talk about an invite for collaboration from Bird. Thank goodness for Photoshop.

Bird's addition to my sketch

Bird will be going here this fall. Her name came up in the lottery - thrilled!!

Lots of beauty from the garden these days. Flowers for sure but also blackberries, figs, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, corn, strawberries, herbs, apricots, avocados, and oranges. You would not go hungry in our backyard.

zinnia explosion

We made apricot jam again.

canned apricot jam

I'm getting this book and this book for my birthday. And this for Bird because she really really needs it (story will follow soon if I have time).

And I'm headed here tonight.

Hugs, Devon

Griffin is 4 months old

Griffin, 4 months

Sweet Griffy boy :o) 4 months old!

Griffin, 4 months

Hands in the mouth, grabbing everything, decent sleeper, happy kid.

Griffin, 4 months

Bird is still just as obsessed with her little brother. It's lovely, most of the time.

Griffin, 4 months

He has super hearty laughs. Bird didn't laugh like this so we're really enjoying every bit of it :o)

Griffin, 4 months

Hugs, Devon

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Leah Evans Textiles

"Googling" is just amazing. You never know what you'll find right? In my quest to find things related to a certain key word I'm exploring for a fabric collection I stumbled upon the work of Leah Evans.

To say her textile pieces are detailed and worthy of getting completely lost in is an understatement. I can't get enough of these amazing pieces. I really wish I could see some of these in person, and run my fingers over all the hours of stitch work. My favorites (photos from here):

And some detail shots (photos also from here)

The odd thing is that I feel like I've met her before?? Did she go to RISD? She certainly knows textiles - I knew a couple of Leahs in our department but who knows. I would love to hang out with her for an afternoon and learn more about her process.

Happily sweating in the studio with 2 kids napping,