Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Yes, I'm Still Alive!

Hello to all of you out there who are still sticking with me and checking in from time to time. I’m way overdue for an update, as I've got a ton of things going on right now that I’m sure you’re interested to hear about.

First and foremost, the biggest piece of news I have is that we are moving from Seattle to Florida in about a month! This is a great move for us (although a little on the rushed side), and we are very excited. We’ve been trying to get down to Florida for a couple of years because my two sisters live there, and finally, a job opportunity arose for Jason. It's going to be so nice living near family! However, as you can imagine, this has added a whole new level of stress to my life!

So here’s what’s on my plate right now- packing to move, trying to sell a house, trying to buy a house in a state completely across the country, taking care of a one-year-old, being six months pregnant, and if you’ll remember, writing a book which is due at the end of the year!! Am I crazy?? Well, at least it will all be finished within a couple of months, just in time for the new baby to be born, which will be a completely different story!

Well, anyway, beyond all the craziness of the move, I’ll give you an update on some other things. I completed the photoshoot for my upcoming book a couple weeks ago in Cincinnati. Basically, they shot photos of all my artwork and the step-by-step projects which will appear in the book. It went very well, although it was mentally exhausting! It’s very difficult to recreate a collage project so that photos can be taken for the process. I use so many layers in my work, it’s sometimes impossible to look at a finished piece and remember how I created it! But I managed, and it makes me even more excited about how the book’s going to look. I think it’s going to be great! I also created a piece of artwork to serve as the cover of the book, which was exciting as well, because it’s all beginning to take shape. However, I still have a lot of writing to do, which makes me nervous! But I’m confident that it will all come together.

In other news, I’ve also posted several new photoframes for sale on my website. If you’ve seen the latest Somerset Studio, there’s an article by me about the frames, and I thought it would be smart to actually have some on my website ready to sell! There will also be a similar article in the next issue of Legacy with my frames as well if you missed the Somerset one.

Okay, I think that’s all for now. That’s enough for sure! Obviously, I’m going to be quite busy for a while, so not sure when I’ll have time to post again… And sorry for no photos in this post, but I just don’t have time to try and upload them onto Blogger today!!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Art on Ebay

Just a quick note to say that I've listed this piece on Ebay.

It is a collaborative piece between me, Lynn Whipple, Janet Cooper, Phoenix Forrester, and Angel Walby. The piece originated with me, then was passed to the other four artists to add their touches. It is large- 29 1/2" x 16 1/2", and includes many different media- buttons, vintage photos, milagros, fabric, paint, to name a few. It could be used as wall art, or possibly sewn to a backing to form soft sculpture. I hate selling it, but I honestly have just never found the perfect way to display it in my house, and it's been sitting in a closet. I figure that another art lover may be able to do the piece justice, and actually display it and enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Long Overdue Post

I know, what's happened to me, right? Where have I been and what have I been doing for a month??? Sorry I haven't posted for so long, but things have been extremely busy. So here's a run-down of what's going on in my life, for those of you who have actually stuck with me through my absence...

The Book: This is primarily the reason for no posts. I've immersed myself in working on my book. I have my photo shoot in about a month, so I need to have everything which needs photos prepared by then. So most of the art I've been working on lately has been in preparation for that, and thus, can't be shown here because it will be a project in the book. However, everything seems to be coming along nicely, and I hope it will make for a really informative and beautiful book! Here are some small snippets of pieces I've made, just to give you a sneak peek.


Other Art: I've done a couple pieces which won't be in the book, so I can show you those. First, I finished Riley's second book, and here is the cover.

Next, this is a piece for the Motherhood/Bird Collaborative for Amy's project.
And finally, this is what happens when you think you don't need to actually purchase a pattern to make a doll for Riley. I fell in love with Hillary's little Archie doll (check it out- so much cuter than mine!) and wanted to make one myself, but thought I could figure it out without buying the pattern. Well, as you can see, the proportions are all wrong, and he has a slight resemblance to E.T.! Oh well, I guess he's cute in his own right, and we've named him Sam. Hopefully, Riley won't mind his wonkiness. And, for the next Archie doll (I know I'll want to make another one!), I'm buying the pattern!

The Pregnancy: Things are going well on this front. I'm feeling pretty good, with the exception of my carpal tunnel and other arm issues (another reason for no posts). I'm 19 weeks, although I think I look at least 25 weeks. All of the sudden, my stomach has really popped! And the biggest news is that we found out the sex- another boy! I'm not quite sure why, but it just looks like it is not in the cards for me to have a girl for some reason. In all my dreams, I honestly never could have pictured my life without a daughter, but I guess I just have to trust that things happen for a reason. Oh well, maybe we'll try again in a few years... But, I just can't wait to see Riley interact with a little brother, and if he turns out anything like his big brother, I cannot complain a bit!

Riley: Riley's doing great. There are few pictures I took of him at the beach last month on my picturetrail site. He's crawling around like crazy, and walking around every piece of furniture he can find. He babbles away constantly, but still no actual intentional words. He turns one in a month (I can't believe it!), and the following week is when I leave for my photo shoot. It will be my first time away from him, and for a whole week, so I'm preparing myself for that...!

So, there you have it. That's what's been going on with me. I'll try (but I can't promise!) to update more frequently, but this book is only going to take even more time after the photo shoot, then comes the holidays, and then soon after, the baby is due! I hope you are all doing well, and thanks so much for sticking with me and checking in on me!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sneak Peek

I've been working one of the "projects" for my book. It's going to be one that is shown "step-by-step", and can I tell you how difficult that is to plan for?? I have the option of creating these projects from scratch while I'm at the photo-shoot in a couple months, but I've decided that I just don't want to deal with the extra pressure of trying to create on demand. So I'm going to do them ahead of time and bring materials in order to recreate them while I'm there. That's where the difficult part comes in though. As you all well know, having duplicates of most of the items that we use in collage/assemblage is really not the norm. So while creating, every step of the way, I need to think to myself, "How am I going to recreate this? Do I have the right materials to do it again?" Needless to say, I ended up making a trip to Staples to make some color copies of certain unique items so that I'd have duplicates. So here's a very small sneak peek of the project- I can't show any more since it's going to be in the book.

And here's also a photo of a frame I just made for Lorraine. She requested the word "Pink", and wanted a pink theme. Hope you like it, Lorraine- it's on its way!

Tomorrow I'm heading to Florida with Riley for a week to visit my two sisters. It should be a fun trip. Riley will get to see his two cousins (one who is 10 days older than him), and we'll get to see the new coffeeshop my youngest sister is opening. I can't wait!

Things are going well on the pregnancy front. We had another ultrasound and saw little baby's two hands clasped together- so cute! I'm feeling close to "back to normal" with the exception of mild nauseau every so often. In 5 weeks, we get to find out the sex! I'm crossing my fingers for a girl!

See you all when I get back!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Robot Book!

I've made a new soft book for Riley. This one has a robot theme, from some fabric I got a few months ago. I decided to try and make it more interactive than the previous books I've made, so I made it sort of a "matching" book. Each page has velcro on it, and there are matching robots hanging from ribbons that attach into the book. Then on the cover is a pocket to hold them when they're not attached. It was a fun book to make, although required quite a few problem-solving sessions where I tried to figure out the best way to make it work. I think it turned out pretty cute!

Although I'm physically feeling fairly good lately, I'm suffering from a lack of motivation to work on artwork. But I suppose that might be just as well, as I need to start focusing on writing my book anyway. I'll keep you all updated on my progress!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tall & Skinny



Here is the piece I said I was working on. Style-wise, it's similar to the way I usually work, but it's much larger (probably about 3 1/2 feet tall) and more involved than my usual stuff. I'm into this sort of shape lately, so I thought I'd try a piece that really plays with it. I like the way it turned out, although I'm not sure if I like the fact that it doesn't have a definite focal point. But maybe that's what makes it interesting-it's just a collection of things... Maybe if I do another one, I'll do some journaling on it to break things up a bit.

Sorry, for the life of me, I couldn't seem to take a great photo of it, and Blogger doesn't seem to be able to show a larger full photo, but you get the idea.





Friday, July 28, 2006

Good News!!

I just wanted to let everyone know that your good thoughts and good vibes worked- my book idea was approved!! Hooray! Even though in the back of my mind I'm saying, "what have I gotten myself into?"- trying to write a book while taking care of a newly crawling baby while pregnant! But I'm excited. It will be nice to have something to focus on and keep busy with, when I'm not busy with Riley that is. So thank you all for your suggestions and ideas when I was still mulling over the possibility, and thank you for your well wishes while I've been waiting for it to go through!

I'm in the middle of working on a "different" piece of art right now. By different, I just mean that it's not exactly like the art I usually do. I'll post when it's finished...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Piece of Art

Yesterday I did a piece in my new pregnancy journal (click on this link to see better detail). Don't know if you can read the writing, but it talks about feeling trapped in my own body. I'm feeling so much better now, but during the worst of my nausea and fatigue and dizziness, I wanted nothing more than to just step away from my own body for a while and have a break. But as we all know, that's not possible... And although I feel better, I thought it was important to document that part of this pregnancy, since it really affected me mentally.

I really like the "unfinished" look of the piece. I rarely leave any of the paper substrate showing through when I work, but on this piece, it just felt right. I find it interesting that the page I worked on is page #41, since Riley was born at 41 weeks (much to my chagrin!), so I hope this baby doesn't follow suit!

Please send me your good vibes on Friday morning, as that is when my book idea is being proposed to the publisher. Wish me luck!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Coffee Anyone?

My younger sister is opening a coffee shop in FL within the next couple weeks (I'm so proud of her!), and she asked me to do a few paintings for decoration. So that's what I did today. It was a challenge, as this isn't my usual subject, nor my usual style, but I'm very pleased with the way they turned out!

I'm feeling so much better the past couple days- I think the morning sickness may be on its way out! The heat has been almost unbearable though, but luckily, that is also on its way out! As I was reminded when I read my dear friend Tonia's post today, even though things may seem miserable, I really am blessed... I cannot let myself forget that!

We bought a little pool to keep cool, so I'll leave you with a photo of Riley enjoying himself!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Slowly But Surely...I Hope!

Well, I'm slowly beginning to feel better. I battled a cold for about a week, on top of the morning sickness, but that is now better, which is already a vast improvement. And, although I've had some off days, I'm generally beginning to feel less exhausted and dizzy. I'll tell you though, if it had been this bad with Riley, I would have thought twice before getting pregnant again! And what's sick about that is that I know my "morning sickness" is nothing compared to what some women go through- I just have such a low tolerance for discomfort, I guess. I know- I'm weak!!

So anyway, I worked on a piece in Riley's book yesterday-that's how "up" I was feeling. And although it's not my favorite, I don't think it's going to be one that makes me nauseous every time I look at it- hooray! It took a while to get to this point though. I spent the majority of the time I worked on it absolutely HATING it. There must be 8 layers of paint on the thing, because I kept covering things up that I didn't like. But eventually I got to the place where what I did worked, and I now like it.

On a side note, I usually don't mind hating a piece at some point while I work on it. That's usually when I have a major breakthrough- I become much less inhibited about making changes, and I take risks that usually result in a much better piece. With this piece though, that went a little too far! But, as I said, I ended up "making it work" (as Tim Gunn would say) and I now like it. In case you can't read the words, it's about different milestones that Riley has hit during this last month- crawling, standing, growing 5 new teeth, and being INTO EVERYTHING!!!


Monday, July 17, 2006

Feeling Better? Maybe?

Well, I may be jumping the gun a bit, but I think I'm feeling a little better. I haven't taken one nap today (and until now, I've been taking 2-3 a day!). It's hard to tell though, because I've now caught a bit of a cold, but it does seem like behind the cold, I'm feeling less exhausted and nauseous. And honestly, I need the break. I seriously feel like I'm losing my mind lately with all this dizziness and fatigue. Anyway, I'm crossing my fingers!

I've been on top of things enough in the last couple days to actually complete a project! I have a niece (3) and nephew (1) who will be having birthdays soon, and their mom requested some stuffed toys like this cat I made Riley several months ago. Unfortunately, when I made the cat, I didn't use a pattern, so I had to "remake" a new pattern for the new ones, and the proportions came out a little differently. But they're still cute, in that handmade sort of a way!


A few of you have asked about my potential book project with the news of my pregnancy. As of right now, we are still going to go ahead with things. In fact, my proposal will be presented next Friday, so keep me in your thoughts for that!

And finally, I want to put in a plug for my great friend Tonia Davenport. She will be teaching a class at Art & Soul Portland in October, and she really needs some students! The class is on alternative framing for your artwork. She shows how to make some really unique frames that not only enhance your artwork, but become part of the piece itself. Her ideas will really open some doors for displaying your artwork. Even if you can't make her class, she has a book on the subject as well. In fact, this is where I got the idea for the photoframes that I make!

Oh, and speaking of my photoframes, I need to put out a "LAST CALL" warning. In a couple weeks, all my existing frames will be going to a new coffeeshop that my sister is opening in FL. So they will no longer be available on my website. In the future I will be adding more, but if there's one you've been eyeing, go ahead and snatch it up, because it won't be available for long!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

All Is Revealed...

So, I'm sure you've all been wondering what's up with me lately- hardly any posts, hardly any art, a mysterious "secret" project... Well, I've decided it's time to let you all in on the secret. Here it is... dum, dum, dum,... I'm pregnant!

Yep, that's right! I'm nine weeks pregnant, with a due date of Valentine's Day, 2007. We found out while we were in Yellowstone. Check out this photo of Jason's expression when I told him! And of course, here's also the obligatory photo of the first ultrasound.

Was it planned? Well, pretty much, although I totally didn't expect that it would happen so soon. If any of you have looked at my pregnancy journal from Riley's pregnancy, you'd know that he took close to a year to be conceived. So we sort of expected a similar wait for the next one. But oh no, apparently pregnancy really made me fertile, because the very first month we made a half attempt at trying, it worked! Sixteen months apart is what they'll be- what in the world am I in for!?!

So the reason for the lack of posts and artwork lately is that I feel like crap!! I'm lucky enough not to suffer from "real" morning sickness (which is a good thing, because I have an unnatural phobia of throwing up!), but I basically am just absolutely exhausted. And certain things make me feel totally nauseous- one is going on the computer. It was the same with Riley. For some reason, going on the computer and watching TV make me feel sick. And sometimes doing artwork also makes me feel sick, so I've been limiting that unfortunately. Even when I do art, if I'm not happy with the piece, it will make me feel nauseous every time I look at it. There are pieces I did when I was pregnant with Riley that still make me feel sick when I look at them- isn't pregnancy crazy?? And, as I've mentioned before, my arm problems have also been acting up, which is often a side effect of pregnancy, another reason for my limited posts.

Well, there you have it! So you may not see much of me for a little while, until I start feeling a little more back to myself. And forgive me if I don't respond to as many comments or emails for all the same reasons. I'll still post when I do art, such as the secret project I've been working on, which obviously is Pregnancy Journal #2. Here are the pieces I've completed in there. The third one, by the way, is one of those that's going to make me feel sick every time I see it, because I sort of hate it...

And now I'd better get off this computer before I toss my cookies for real! Ta ta for now!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Linda, Your Frame Is On Its Way!

Here is a frame I made for Linda for photos of her twin grandsons. I'm showing it here just to remind everyone that I can do "custom" photoframes if you have specific color requests, etc. For example, Linda liked this frame I showed a couple months ago, but wanted one with blue and yellow, and that had her grandsons' initials. Hope you like it, Linda!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More of My Secret Project...

I spoke a couple posts ago about a secret project I'm working on. I did some more today-this photo shows the top half of the piece I did today. Sorry again, but no more details at this point. I'll fill you in soon though!

The heat has let up around here, thank goodness, although the timing certainly was strange. Days and days of not a cloud in the sky, and when do the clouds come in? During the fourth of July get-together we had last evening! So we were treated not only to fireworks, but also to thunder, lightning, and rain! Oh well, I'm already feeling a little more energized without the exhaustive heat sucking the life out of me, and it also helps that Riley slept in until 8:30 this morning (he's usually up at about 6:00)! My arm is still really bothering me though, so I'll again keep it short.

Tomorrow I hope to make the frame I've promised to Linda, so I'll post photos if I succeed!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Corners of My Home

First, I want to sort of apologize for not posting much lately. Honestly, I've had a little lack of motivation for the past few weeks, partially from the heat and I'm sure as a result of a variety of other things as well. Then, as I've mentioned, I'm really having some issues with my wrist/arm. This is a long-standing problem I've had (it's not exactly carpal-tunnel, but it's close) that seems to have really intensified over the past few weeks. So forgive me if my posts are shorter and maybe a little few and far between for a little while, until things improve.

However, I haven't been on the computer at all today, so I thought my arm could handle a "corners of my home" post, even though it's not Thursday. These are two walls in our master bedroom where I have our wedding photos displayed. If I haven't mentioned it before, I used to be a custom framer, hence the fancy framing. But frames really do make a huge difference in a piece... don't get me started, because I could really get up on a soapbox about it! Anyway, even though I love the arrangement on the multiple grouping, I think that eventually I may have to do away with the smaller photos on the sides and replace them with baby photos. Our wedding days are done and gone now, and have been replaced with our little Riley, and I'm shortly going to run out of wall space for photos of him! But I had this in mind when I originally framed everything, which is why I used neutral colors and a variety of frames. This way it will be easy to replace the photos as needed. I'm not sure how well you can see the individual photos in these shots, but we really did come away with some beautiful images of our wedding. And I've hung them on either side of our bed, so it's nice to lay in bed sometimes and remember that day!

Quickly, in book news, my friend (the editor) thinks my proposal looks good, and she will present it to "the big guys" soon. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Step-By-Step

I decided to take progression photos of a piece I worked on today. I won't really give much explanation, other than the obvious that this is a piece in Riley's Book of our trip to Yellowstone...


Monday, June 26, 2006

Oh My, Is It Hot!

It has been hot, hot, hot in Seattle, and it is really affecting my mood! For those of you who don't live out here, you should know that most of us don't have air conditioning, so there is just no relief from the hot, muggy air in the house. I have felt so sluggish and unmotivated the past few days, and am taking several catnaps throughout the day while Riley naps. Ugh! I hope it lets up soon so that I can get some energy back!

But, despite the heat, I do have a few fun things to show you. I went to Vendor Night at Fiberfest on Friday night. It was so nice and laid-back compared to Artfest- I actually prefer this to the frenzied mood of Artfest. I found some things that I'm really excited about. First, I got the cutest little stuffed bird pincushion from Lampe's Lumps. I actually probably won't use it as a pincushion, but just set it out to look at since it's so sweet! Then, from Tracie Lyn Huskamp, I got these neat flash cards and two fabric books. I am SO excited about the fabric books, especially the one with the little boy learning how to button, zip, etc. For some reason, he looks the way I picture Riley looking in a few years. I'm not sure what I'll do with the books yet- maybe just revamp them to make new books, or maybe frame the pages, or maybe use the pages in a quilt...we'll see. And you can see what I already did with one of the flash cards. Finally, I also got a little blue doll's dress, although I can't remember from whom.

And I've also finished my contribution to Lauren's project for the Motherhood/Bird Collaborative. I'm very pleased with the way my little eggs turned out- I liked working with the egg shape, as Lauren knew I would!

Okay, enough time on the computer for me. As I said in my last post, my arm is really bothering me lately from typing too much...