Thursday, July 10, 2014

new paintings, new studio, new website!

I have recently been reading interviews from different women, and there is always a question near the end of the interview that goes:  I wish someone had told me___________________ about motherhood.  I love reading the different answers to this question, and the other day found myself thinking about what I might put in that blank.  And, are you ready for this?  I think I've decided:

I wish someone would have told me that taking care of a baby would be the easy part of motherhood.  Learning/remembering how to take care of yourself once you become a mother is the thing that takes some practice.

Deep, right?  Haha.  Well, it's true.  I have been so pleasantly surprised at how natural it feels to meet the demands of a tiny person.  I mean, yes, being a mother is hard.  But not nearly as hard as I expected.   Also, it's really awesome, which usually makes you forget that it's hard.  But remembering that I need to take care of myself?  That's hard.  And easy to forget about.  Sometimes I find myself looking down at my fingernails wondering who exactly is in charge of trimming those ragged things (it's me, by the way).

Something that makes me feel like I'm taking care of myself (besides cutting my nails on a regular basis) is making the time to paint.  And the weirdest thing has been happening!  I've found that being a mother makes me a better artist.  And that being an artist makes me a better mother.  Pretty tidy, huh?  Shoot, I love symbiosis (is that considered symbiosis?  I'll check later.).

I've been a painter without being a mom, and it seemed like I could never find a good groove.  But now that I have small (but consistent!) windows to paint, I am enormously productive.  And I've also tried mothering without making time for art.  I get awfully restless.

We recently moved my studio into Gesso's old room (oh yes, he needs to be properly put to bed each night or else he goes and drools all over my couches), and we did some wall painting and shelf hanging.  Since then, I have been painting like crazy!

I have piles of cloud paintings, and a growing pile of food paintings (which I have been calling my "snack paintings"), and they are taking over my studio.

I also buckled down and finally (finally!) created a website.  It's super simple, but I'm really proud of it.  I hope you hop over to take a look.  I've also put a link on my sidebar (click the cloud painting, yo!). 

I have some exciting things in the works to hopefully find new homes for all of these paintings.  I am so not a business woman.  At all.  But I am trying to be brave and figure out how to make this work.  Deep breath.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

2 big quilts for one little boy

I wasn't in a hurry to make Harvey a baby blanket.  I mean, yes, I'd made him like 10 baby blankets, but not his baby blanket. You know, that was quilted and special. 

Well, my mom was feeling bad for her only grandbaby, and so she surprised us with one! It's so cute and it's the perfect colors (I'm just assuming he will love deep greens and blues as much as his mama :) .

The aspen fabric is my favorite.

^^^ I love secret messages on quilts!

And because I didn't know she was working on a quilt, I was collecting fabrics for a quilt too!  I have been thinking about Harvey's big boy room (it's going to be AWESOME!), and found the perfect stack of colors to go with it. 

I didn't mean to start/finish the quilt so fast.  I mean, he's still a baby!  He doesn't need a twin quilt yet!  But whatever, I just couldn't help myself :)

I accidentally sewed one line of triangles upside down, but I remember taking a folklore class in college and learning that in the olden days, quilters would make one mistake in their quilts on purpose.  So yeah.  Me too.  And I made sure to sew everything super tight and strong, even doing a zip-zag stitch around the binding, because I didn't want to risk it splitting open during a jump-on-the-bed party.

Also, my mom made this:

I know!  I play with it all the time!  All of Mr. Turtle's appendages tuck into his shell.  Sigh.  It's super cool.  

And this concludes the post on how Harvey is super spoiled with handmade goods.  
Over and out!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring time

Oh man, Spring here comes early and is amazing!  Although I feel like we totally earn it after months of no sunshine at all.  It's a pretty nice reward.

The tree tunnel on our street is filling out!  Can I get a hooooo-ray?!  It's my favorite part about where we live.  It makes our ordinary suburban cul-de-sac feel really special.

I made Harvey this sort of ridiculous bow-tie to wear on Easter.  I was going to make some suspenders too, but I ran out of time :(

I can't stop taking cloud pictures!  Spring here is really the best.

I made some jelly-bean-bags to go in the young man's Easter basket.  They were pretty fast to whip up and I used fleece instead of felt (stretchy and soft!).   

Evan surprised me with these fancy cupcakes.  We were going to share them and then I accidentally ate them all.  I'm such a health nut.  I keep thinking of doing a sugar fast, and I just can't make myself do it.  Whenever I meet someone who doesn't eat sugar, well, I think they're kind of weird.  (maybe I'm just jealous of they're self-control?) 

I moved the cacti/succulent family outside.  They are recovering from the long winter too.

It looks like little Ireland here and we spend all day outside.  When we've been inside for too long, Harvey will walk around to all the doors that lead outside and start banging/whining.  He's happiest outside.  

We've been landscaping the heck out of our yard and it's been so fun to work in the yard as a family (it's actually even funner when someone is napping!).  We went to a nursery to buy some trees and they were going out of business (sad), and so everything was on a really good sale... and we came home with twelve trees!  I figure that since we can't live in an actual forest like I want, we will just plant our own forest.  Seems smart.

We went back to the beach (can't. stay. away.) and Evan got to try out his birthday kite (oh, it's a dragon).

Our friends have baby goats.  This little guy kept trying to eat my sweater.

I'm getting better at chilling out and letting Harvey make a total mess.  My friend told me that her grandma used to say, "flowers and kids grow best in dirt", and I really loved that.  So we're trying it out :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Last March I started painting again. 

 After experiencing my first northwest winter and not seeing much besides fog or heavy fog for way too long, I couldn't help myself when Spring came and the sun and puffy clouds came out with it.  I have sooo many pictures of the clouds from last spring!  It's really funny for me to look back on them again -- it was like I was afraid it wasn't going to last for long and I had to capture it or something.  I was obsessed and so so happy to see the sky again!  

Here is just one of the sky pictures I snapped ^^^  Can't you just feel how everything is so happy the sun is out?!

And then I ordered a bunch of square foot birch panels (Evan was super thrilled I wasn't going to make him build them for me!) and got to work.  I decided that I wanted to just practice and get comfortable with painting clouds.  So there wasn't really any pressure or anything.  And I just painted over them if I wasn't happy with how they turned out. 

And now I'm done!  haha.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with a whole pile of cloud paintings, but I'm so glad I just kept painting clouds over and over again, I learned so much!

I did six paintings at a time, and would squeeze in 30 minute painting sessions during naptime or whenever I had a spare second (for the record, it is not a good idea to paint when the baby is awake!).  

At first I really hated whenever I had to paint the land, because I just wanted to paint clouds ya know!  And then I got to be okay with it.  But I really would rather paint the sky.

This one is my personal favorite and it's for Harvey.  My mom wrote each of her kids lullaby's, and I thought I could give my babies their own paintings.  It has a really sappy love note written on the back.  I hope he keeps it forever.

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

February Statistics

I spent 50% of February being sick, and it seems like whenever I'm sick I daydream about all the things I would be doing if I was healthy.  And then once I get healthy, I DO THEM.  It's really pretty motivational.  So every other week was spent being productive.

I (re)painted our room! And since the sun came out about 5% of the time in February, I decided to go with a moody gray.  If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em (can you say that about weather...?).

We found a magical blizzard one weekend.  I was so happy about it.

Our pantry door has some cheesey etched-glass-grapevine thing on it.  And because I didn't know the rules on painting glass, I found a roll of vinyl chalkboard (you're welcome), and it has been so fun!  I have a grand time picking out a quote of the week, and someday soon I hope that Harvey does a little drawing of the week (day? hour?) down below.

I got our 2013 family yearbook made.  I went through blurb instead of shutterfly this time.  It seemed like the right decision.

I made a fun pillow!  (I was inspired by this one) When Evan saw it he said he thought it had "a latin flair" to it.  And I heard it as "Aladin flair".  And you know what, I think it has both!  And I like it.  And I hope it never gets dirty because I have no idea how to wash a very long pillow.

This little dude is my favorite.  And we walked the cul-de-sac sidewalk loop about 57 times this month.

We got Harvey a tiny sleeping bag.  And now I don't know what's cuter... baby shoes or baby sleeping bags?  Equally cute?

And then we used it to stay warm at a snowy yurt last weekend.  

It was 100% awesome.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pizelle's for President

You know that book that talks about the different "love languages"?  Either you feel loved by getting presents, showered with compliments, or or or, and so on.  I think there are like five of them?  Well.  I felt like none of those really 'fit' me.  I mean, who doesn't like presents?  Or a sincere compliment?  I just felt like I couldn't really commit to a language.

What I've come to realize, after many years of deep thought, is that my love language is food.  Nothing says I love you Holly, quite like a delicious stack of cookies.  You know? 

Anyway.  So now you know!  It's a wonder I'm not 500 lbs.

With some Christmas money I ordered this fancy cookie maker.  It is AMAZING and makes me so happy (and fills me up with love, if you must know).  It's a Pizelle maker.  And shoot, it makes really fancy cookies.  They taste like really thin and crispy sugar cookies.  Very tasty.

It comes with a little dowel to roll the hot cookie around, so you can make sort of a cannolli.  Well after burning my fingers off too many times, I decided to stick with the flat cookies for now.  And guess what, they taste the same!

Harvey gives them an enthusiastic yes!  And then he fed the rest of his cookie to Gesso, who gave them two thumbs up.

Oh oh, and then I smothered them in chocolate.  It was a really great idea. 

 And now for future reference, here is my very own Pizelle recipe:

3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
a generous sprinkling of cinnamon

yields about 50 pizelles

Beat the eggs until smooth.  Melt the butter almost all of the way.  All the butter to cool while you blend and mix the sugar and vanilla with the eggs.  Then add the melted butter, stirring to combine.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.  

I've had to add several teaspoons of water as I go along, it seems the dough starts to thicken the longer it sits?

Also, it snowed today!  Hooray for seasonally appropriate weather!

And this is what I look like now!  hehe.

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