Thursday, October 29, 2009

in the mail

nothing makes my day like an artful surprise in my mailbox.

10-29-bracelet-from-francie

i ordered a print from francie, and she included this gorgeous felted and beaded bracelet. i want to eat it, but i won't.


10-29-stupid-little-pumpkins

a year ago i got hooked on painted fish studio when jen went on a rant about these 'stupid little pumpkins'. i reminded her of it a few weeks ago and she threatened to send me a bag of them if i didn't shut up. i didn't, so she did. despite her choice of packaging (look closely), these i WILL eat. or my kids will.


food-friends-and-beer

and this card appeared from my dear, sweet friend alix the other day. she and her little one were sick earlier this week, and before my inner critic could warn me that i might poison her, i made one of my Big Ass Burrito Bowls and took it to her house, along with a beer, of course. so she drew this awesome little recap of the scene, including my daughter hanging out the window in the driveway waiting for me.

thanks to your public support of my lazy beer and burrito phase. the doer has finally returned and has kept me busy most of the week. so to make up for my lack of blog visits, i'll do a little giveaway. tell me about an art surprise you've sent or received in the mail lately, and on monday i'll draw two names for a bundle of my groovy doodle magnets. you can have good words, bad words, or both! meanwhile i'll be off searching for the dreamer...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

watching from the sidelines

10-24-au-marche

(painted windows at au marché)

10-24-postal-mail-art

(drawings on priority mail stickers, found next door to the mad greek)

10-24-dresses-and-fabrics

(fancy stuff at sarah's fabrics)

10-24-leaves-falling

(the last leaves falling)

writing

(and a little girl writing)

i've been impressively unproductive and at a loss for compound thoughts for nearly a week. after a few days of moping and even getting a bit frantic over it all, i put the histrionics aside and decided to give in wholly to being an observant lazy ass until the moment passes. for now i will just watch the world around me, with a beer in one hand and a burrito in the other. the doer and the dreamer will return when they are ready.

susie sent me this spectacular poem.

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

mission complete

finished-ketubah2

picture-detail-2

hebrew-detail-4

picture-detail-3

hebrew-detail-3

and the ketubah is finished! i did this one in watercolor and ink on hot press illustration paper. the lines look wavy, but that's just because of the crappy camera angle. i assure you that i spent many pre-inking hours grappling with my t-square to make sure that this blessed piece, so to speak, had even lines and some sort of symmetry to it.

i started by ruminating about it for about a month and looking at the paper for another two weeks. then i took a deep breath and trimmed the paper to 16" x 20", a standard frame size (remembering a good ricë rant from a while back about what a pain in the ass it is to frame non-standard-size artwork), then did the watercolor wash and measured the borders.

the next part, which absorbed the largest chunk of time, was lettering the text that the couple provided for me. since there was no room for error, i penciled in and proofed the hebrew a million times before starting it. i even took care with the english part because it would have been ever so easy to miss a word in that sea of letters.

once i finished the lettering i relaxed and totally enjoyed the illustrations, all symbols of jewish life: family, holidays, life and love. if you have any specific questions about what each of them mean i'll do my best to answer. from start to finish (not including the pre-trimming rumination) the process took about 50 hours.

go here to see another handpainted ketubah, a beautiful one designed by susie - as well as a great story about how she got started as an artist.

now i'm in that post-major-mission flailing phase, trying to get myself organized to embark on my next secret agent project. first step: strong coffee. have a great day!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

this week in history

10-18-fuzzy-socks

this week i watched the goofy event unfold as a film crew captured fuzzy socks walking across our clean floors

10-18-film-crew

and turned our crazy little house into a set for a TV commercial.

10-18-toddling-feet

this week i also chased toddling feet

10-18-laundry

avoided laundry

10-18-befuddled

had a few befuddling moments

10-18-caramel-apples

and made caramel apples with my artsygirl.

10-18-allen-designs-goodie-package

this week i found a colorful surprise from michelle in my mailbox

10-18-allen-designs-on-hockney-photo

and watched her beautiful art block and magnet land magically on david hockney in today's times.

all memorable pieces of this week, all now part of our history.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

a document of love

english-detail-1

here's my latest secret agent project - for the last few weeks i've been absorbed in making a ketubah, a jewish wedding contract. it is a tradition that goes back thousands of years, a very early form of a pre-nuptial agreement. in those days the documents were very transactional in nature, but over time the ketubah has evolved as an art form, much like illuminated manuscripts, and modern text reflects marriage vows between the couple. just a few more touches and this one will be finished. once the happy couple has seen the final piece i will share more pictures and the process i used to get to the finish line. making things for other people is not my strong suit, but bouts of frequent panic helped a lot. ultimately, the honor and satisfaction of creating a document to unite two people is what has seen me through. love indeed conquers all.

see jane for more ♥ around the world, and i'll be back soon with a report from my floors!

Monday, October 12, 2009

a night of light

candle-arrangement

diwali-invitation

little-kids

two-dancers2

orange-dancer

candle-holders

a quick hello to share a few scenes from an unforgettable evening! thanks to a thoughtful friend we had the honor last night of attending a celebration of diwali, the festival of lights and the national holiday of india which celebrates enlightenment, love, togetherness and hope. it filled my soul with good vibes - i can feel the energy coming through on the final touches on my project, which represents another cultural tradition of light and love. back to the doodletable and i'll see you wednesday for corner view!

p.s. and after that i'll be back with a report of the goofy event requiring clean floors in my home. it is not a sleepover although that is a very good guess :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

hibernating

i-am-hibernating

it's been a little quiet around artsyville lately, mainly because i've been waist-deep in a lettering project that requires accuracy and measurement and other things that make my brain do gymnastics. but i'm really happy with how it's turning out, and i'll show a few peeps of it here when i arrive at the finish line. i'm on track to come up for air in a few days, just in time to deep clean this messy house for something rather goofy that is taking place here next week. let's just say that i need to make sure the floors are really really really clean. and then i'm going to take a nap.

please join us over at carmen's spill it! workshop - there's still time to sign up. have a great weekend! back soon!

(drawing by my artsygirl)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

there's no place like home

postcard-1

magnets 1

postcards-2

finally back in the corner view saddle this week, just in time to show a few souvenirs of our fine state. nothing makes my day quite like a truly cheesy souvenir, and as you can see, i had no issue scoring a few tacky postcards and magnets to remind me that there's no place like home. i had my heart set on a dorothy snow globe, but no luck. there MUST be one out there. i have hope.

a few updates from around blogville - sarah from PaPaYa! e-mailed me about a fun creative challenge going on over in their world, anairam gave me a huge smile this afternoon with her word creatures, and susie is having a buy one get one sale of her gorgeous watercolors over at mishmish market. i have the owl and the cat and i loveeee them! :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

the ultimate treasure hunt

treasure-hunt

what lurks under your sofa cushions?

see l'atelier for treasures that are surely more valuable than what i've unearthed. cindy has chosen the next weekword and it is TWILIGHT. if you'd like to participate, swing by quaint handmade and let her know. happy monday to you!

p.s. you can get a preview of my bad word magnets at tiny red and drop your name in the hat for her illustration giveaway while you're there... alexandra has one going on, too, if you're willing to tell a story. and don't miss her continuing art as business series. chock full of good info!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

the ultimate germ carrier

germ-child-color2

it figures that illustration friday would pick the disgusting topic of germs the week i decide to jump back into it. what's more, it only took me about ten seconds to come up with my idea which shows you how close i am to the gutter too. now is certainly the time of year to dwell on it, when school and germ exchanges are back in full swing. birds and cows and pigs may cause panic in the media, but let's face it - children are the ultimate germ carriers. nearly seven years into having mini humans run around our house, my husband and i are still astonished at how two sweet little girls can so continually and regularly knock us out of commission with the clouds of germs that follow them home. fortunately we love our germ carriers very much so we keep them around.

cough.