Next week.

Next week there will be paintings. And articles. And the kinds of fun stuff that you expect to find on an artsy-craftsy blog. Am having some problems with monitor-induced headaches at the moment, so I’ve been loathe to fill my lunchtime with more computer staring. But I promise to find a way around that.

Thanks for checking in…I hope you have a good (long!) weekend.

P.S. Favorite searches o’ the day: “anime sketches of arms and legs” and “sitting on the couch paintings.”

Where are the paintings?

A couple  of friends asked me recently how my paintings turned out.  You know, the ones I started working on over a month ago. As it turns out, I’ve finished all manner of practice sketches, almost-final sketches, final sketches, and paint swatches, and the final pieces are nestled amongst a mess of paints, brushes, and papers on my dining room table. They are almost done – at one point I even signed them – but I’m still not particularly happy with the results. So I keep painting, hoping that this will improve them. Argh.

All that to say, a big long painting post will be coming as soon as either a) I become satisfied or b) I run out of time and stop.

I heart my living room.

(Although not these photos so much.)

After husband and I returned from our Seattle vacation, I did a little living room rearranging that I haven’t posted about yet. It was mostly prompted by my new Urban Outfitters fan print rug,  which replaced the sadly grey’d white Ikea carpet. Yes, I knew that a white carpet wasn’t such a hot idea in a high-use area where nobody takes off their shoes. But I did it anyway. It is currently located under our dining room table, waiting patiently to be cleaned (this is a much better place for it, anyhow, since we rarely eat at the table).

Living room improvements.

Back to the new rug, though. So far, it’s been a very worthwhile purchase in that it had the unexpected and most fortunate effect of helping me to like the couch better. I think that adding a little more color to the floor has helped the forest green beast to stand out less (everything was very black and white before).

New wall collage (unfinished).

The other major new addition is the frame collage on the wall. I used to have a large wallhanging which I liked in principle (simpler = better, right?), but not so much in reality…my UO bedspread just wasn’t cutting it like the Marimekko or Inhabit wall hanging I really wanted. So, I picked up a few cheap frames at Ikea and scrounged around our poster + photo collection. The images are, from left to right:

  • Er, blank (will hopefully be filled with this).
  • The Gods Hate Kansas” book cover postcard. (Subtitle: “A Startling Story of Science at War with Alien Life-Forms.” For some reason, no one finds this as funny as I do.)
  • Photo taken by Tricia Porter, meant to accompany The Habit of Perfection by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
  • Gregory Crewdson photo. (Yes, I cut it out of a book. So sue me. We look at it a lot more, now.)
  • Mark Kozelek poster by The Small Stakes (it’s a lot better-looking in real life).
  • Blur’s Think Tank cover, art by Banksy.
  • “Make Art, Not War” poster that I picked up at Subterranean Books in St. Louis.
  • More Crewdson photos.

It’s still not “done,” of course (we’d like to add a Loretta Lux photo and get a few more frames), but it’s good enough to make me happy every time I see it. Okay, a few of the frames are a leeetle bit crooked – and I measured! – and that bothers me from time to time, but I’ve been able to leave it alone so far.

Ikea vases.

The mess level always creeps up as the week goes on, but it’s so nice to know that, after vacuuming and straightening tomorrow, I can once again have that nice “ahhh” feeling after walking in the door. Minor living room changes? A few bucks + a hammer. Loving your own living room? Priceless. 

Finally, as a random Friday comment, my blog has been the recipient of a lot of strange searches lately. Today’s featured search phrase is “fingernails -disease -health”, and I have no idea what I’ve ever said about any of those topics.

Have a good weekend!

Sadly delinquent.

That kind of describes the posting around here, doesn’t it?

I mean, I haven’t even shown you the photos from last weekend’s Lentil Festival (and I know that you’re dying to see them, right?). So without further ado…

Here’s our little booth!

The Sing & Shout Crafts Lentil Festival booth.

The day was lovely, and the venue was quite nice. The people, however…they were also nice, there just weren’t as many as we thought there’d be. Hmm. I really thought this would be a great selling venue, and it turned out to be kind of slow.

Hanging our wares.

I was up till the wee hours the night before printing lentil cards, and I’ve got tons of them left. At least I’ve got back-up office Christmas presents, eh?

My new lentil and wheat prints.

Laura also printed a new batch of cards that are tres adorable and not-so-hot-selling. Very mysterious.

Vintage-esque cards by Laura.

We didn’t all do badly, though – Mackenzie’s stuff was a relative hit (as it should be). Lots of cute purses, embroidered bibs, baby toys…more photos here.

A few of Mackenzie's purses.

Dispite the low sales, we had a great time hanging out. I think that’s one of the reasons why people “do” craft fairs anyway, right? I mean, no one’s going to get rich off this stuff, but spending time with your friends is always worthwhile.

Hanging out with Laura and Mackenzie.

Before I forget, I also have to mention our first brush with crafty-blogger celebrity. As we were chatting away in our tent, a lovely woman with three children started browsing through the bibs. We start talking and it turns out that she’s none-other than the sister-in-law of Heather Bailey! Who has an etsy shop that I wrote on a little scrap of paper that I now can’t find! Aargh! So, sister-in-law, if by any strange chance you happen to read this, please leave a comment so that I can take a look at your shop. I really want to see your sewing, and it’s bothering me to no end that I can’t remember your name. So sorry!  :(

We’re going to have a Sing & Shout Crafts table at the good ol’ Moscow Farmer’s Market this Saturday, and then I think I might call it quits for the season. I’m still trying to move in a more artsy/less craftsy direction, and Saturday morning is a nice time to paint. Or sleep, for that matter. Have also been thinking a lot about Etsy lately, and why it might be a better marketplace than the local options…stay tuned for more in that direction.

Quick, a post.

I had this nice Friday post planned for today but ran out of time. Hmm…the abbreviated version:

We’re creeping into fall here. This morning had a definite chill and I shivered my way to the bus stop. How did summer go by so fast?

Grain elevators look cool, especially the ones right next to my bus stop.

Grain elevator.

My card-printing plans have hit a hitch: I forgot that I don’t really like linoleum. I’ve been using the easy-cut stuff recently, and I’m going to stop feeling guilty because last night’s linoleum project was not particularly successful. I couldn’t get a nice, even print no matter how hard I tried. (And no, I didn’t switch my ink.)

Wheat cards.

Lots and lots of cards to make before tomorrow. Wish me luck, and have a good weekend.

Painting progress.

So, this is what painting progress looks like. Or should I say, “looked like,” as I had to clear the table a bit this morning. I finished six little gouache paintings last weekend but chickened out before doing the pen and ink work on top. (If I mess up I have to start over, and it seemed like a little more practice would be a good idea.) I have high hopes for the pen work, as I’m not particularly fond of one or two painting as they are now.

The look of progress.

Another reason to shelve the painting is that I really need to print some cards. We’ve got a Sing & Shout booth at the National Lentil Festival this Saturday, and I kind of haven’t made anything. No new sewing, but I’ve got plans for two new sets of handprinted cards (lentil design and wheat design), plus more quails, chickens, and birdie notecards. I haven’t been to the Lentil Festival for years, but my hazy memories are of lots of people, hot sun, lentil everything, and a good bit of small town goofiness. Should be a fun time if you can make it down, and there’ll be pics for those who can’t.

After the weekend, it’s back to the drawing/painting board.

Oh-so-fun while it lasted.

We’re back (again) and I’m writing this from the ol’ office. It’s amazing how fast vacation time goes by. Sheesh. It’s, like, twice as fast as regular time, you know? But in that week and a half, we managed to:

walk along my grandfather’s rocky beach at high tide,

Seaweed at the beach.

search for treasures,

Finding treasures.

add to the “pretty rock” collection,

Adding to the rock collection.

smooch,

One of those hold-the-camera-over-your-head shots.

pick lots and lots of these,

A few ripe ones.

wash lots and lots of these,

Some berry picking results.

watch the pups try to play with each other,

The Bean and The Grub

and wave goodbye to aunt + cousins.

Aunt and cousins

Good times. Vacation activities not shown included lots and lots of driving, shopping excursions in Seattle (downtown + U District + Ikea), hearing Page France and Bishop Allen in concert (both very good), baking blackberry pies (delish), watching season 1 of 24 (addictive!), and painting (more on that later).  I miss it already. Sniff.

Next up: painting + drawing for the Enormous Tiny Art Show II.

Gonna take a vacation.

This is my last day in the office for a week and a half and I can’t say that I’m going to miss it. Nope, I’m going to be shopping, watching a movie, listening to a band, sleeping, and playing with the cousins. Did I mention shopping?

Due to an unexpected hitch at my grandfather’s house, our stay may resemble camping more than the usual bed ‘n’ breakfast routine. But who cares? Husband + road trip + someplace to sleep + mom’s cooking = lots of happiness.

The photos below are from the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, which was quite spectacular and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. I regularly want stock plant photos when I’m making brochures, etc. at work, so I thought I’d skip the middleman and take some myself. The Nikon D100 I was borrowing didn’t hurt, either.

Au revoir, and I’ll return to more frequent posting later in August!

Climatron.

Chihuly onions at the Climatron.

Large leaf.

Insect-eating flower.

Vine.

Tall red flower.

Leaf abstract.