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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

summer breeze

I keep thinking of things I should post on my blog and then weeks go by and I realize I've never actually posted anything at all!  Whoops.  Here is a smattering of photos of the good parts of our summer so far.  We've tried to stuff it full of outside time and adventures.



^^ I'm getting pretty fast at making bowties these days.... and so far Harvey keeps them on!  I hope I didn't just jinx myself!


^^^Gesso is finally growing out of his puppy stage.  It only took four years.  And now he's basically a teenager and all he wants to do is nap all day.  Fiiiine with me!


^^^ See what I mean?





^^^ I planted these holly hocks from seeds last year and this year they are just outrageous!  I've had to tie them up three times -- they are so giant and keep falling over!  Not to brag or anything, but I'm pretty proud of these guys, they're like 10 feet high!

^^^ They cover up our windows and I really like it.  It makes it feel like we're living in nature.  And not a cul-de-sac.





^^^  Every day.



^^ Harvey has a small inflatable pool and when it's empty he rolls it around the yard like a giant wheel.  It's hilarious!


Oh summer.  I just like you SO MUCH!

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

skyscapes

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!



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