Sunday, January 30, 2011

Illustration Sunday.....

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I am guilty. It has been many months since my last Illustration Sunday post, but let this be the start of a new beginning. A few of my friends from Art School and I are getting back together on a regular basis, to motivate each other and to hopefully be more productive. I know I really need to make drawing a priority again, and it really hasn't been since I graduated 4 years ago.
Finding out that I was pregnant with my second child just a day after presenting my senior thesis project pretty much removed my priorities from Illustration on to more important things. I think this might partly be because I was so burned out from school. Art school kind of killed my passion for drawing,especially after illustrating and entire book in 6 weeks.
But, my son is three now and I am getting older too. I set a personal goal to get the story I wrote an illustrated published before I turned thirty. In the 4 years since graduating I only wrote to one publishing company. The bright yellow envelopes that I made with an illustrated logo, have faded. I could have done better.
But there is still time(not before thirty mind you, because that is less than a month away now). How can I ever be an illustrator if I don't draw anymore? In the past few years the paintbrush and pencil have been replaced with knitting needles and a sewing machine. I found it much easier to make money sewing...and so that became the priority.
Spending time working on a book that may or may not ever be published seemed sort of like a waste of (precious)time, when I could earn money almost immediately for my family by spending that time sewing for my shop.But it makes me sad to give up on a dream. So I am not going to do it, I am going to find a way to make it happen. I am going to give it my best shot so even if it doesn't get published at least I know I gave it my all. It would be great to be a published illustrator while my kids are young too, so that it could better our lives financially, even just a little. But a little these days would be a great improvement as I am sure is the story for many families in America these days.
Then I wouldn't watch the trailer for this movie and bawl my eyes out, or maybe I still would because it speaks to my soul in such a huge, huge way.
Anyway, I am back. Holding myself accountable here on my blog to work harder for that dream, for myself and for my family and to hopefully get a little feedback along the way.
The above illustration is for a logo contest that I just entered for this years Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. Here are photos from last years festival. This was just for fun. Gotland sheep and drop spindle are the focus of next years festival and the diamond is the festivals overall symbol. I may have gone a little too straight forward with the sheep spinning his own wool, but it was just the idea that stuck with me and was great fun to draw. One of my rough sketches showed the sheep with lacy panties on, but then I realized I drew a male sheep and needed to make a slight adjustment..he, he. Anyway I just mailed it off and the deadline for entries is February 1st. Wish me luck :)!

Friday, January 28, 2011

This moment....

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A simple, beautiful moment for our week to cherish and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Unexpected treasure....

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It is no secret that I am a huge rock hound. If I am at the ocean or a rocky mountain river beach I can not help myself from searching for a little treasure.My very patient husband has sat in the car reading a book with a napping baby at the coast, in the pouring rain, many times...while I completely lost myself in treasure hunting trance. One time about a year ago at the ocean, the tsunami sirens went off while I was on an isolated beach...alone...I only panicked for a moment before remembering that it was the monthly testing day.
I started really getting into rock hunting when Solomon was a newborn. It became a great meditative stress reducing activity, much like knitting is to me.
Anyway, this was the best kind of treasure, found at unexpected times when rock hunting isn't in my plan. We planned just to hike for a bit(nowhere near water), and get some outside foggy morning time, when I found these two lovely treasures. I know the little red one is an agate, but not sure yet about the other. If you know, please do tell. Hiking may never be the same for me now.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

For a friend.....

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I got some worrisome news a few weeks ago that a friend of mine from High School just got diagnosed with breast cancer. I wanted to make her a hat to wear as she undergoes her chemotherapy.I asked around to see what colors she likes and her cousin sent me a photo of her in a green dress that was her signature color. I had fun searching out the Local yarn stores for the perfect yarn for her(and I got a bit of mama alone time too). I think the yarn I found came very close .I found this cute pattern on Ravelry after hunting around on there for days. It was fun to knit and although a few of my rows didn't measure up in the end it still worked out, It was a good knitting project for alone time when I could count, and concentrate, not so good when my kids were running around and jumping on me.
My friend is only 29 years old and a mama, please send her blessings of healing and health. She has a great attitude and I know she can beat this!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A day trip......

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My family and I were able to get out of the city for a little while over the holiday weekend. We just jumped in the car and headed up toward the mountains, with no real plans. We found a cute little town with some really nice people, local artist's murals all over and funky little shops. What is better than small town thrift stores(home of the cowboy in the photo above)? I dream of driving cross country with no other purpose other than finding weird small town businesses and thrift stores, that is what I will do if I win the lottery someday(well that and get all my much needed dental work done).
I love discovering new places. The weather has been so wet that I was just about going mad with cabin fever. I start to get a little claustrophobic when I am in the city too long as well. I am pretty easy to please, but I do miss the ocean and I can wait for the weather to improve so we can get out that way before my prime rockhunting season is over. There is some pretty bad flooding and mudslides all over our area from excessive rain, and warm temperatures melting the mountain snow. I will have to be patient, I guess. Time to catch up on my knitting projects!

And check out this beautiful mural we found in an alley, I just love it:

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A few good books...

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I just wanted to mention a few books that I have really enjoyed reading in the past few weeks. Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes is an interesting book about families who try and make their living mostly from things they make and grow rather that buying everything they need. It was pretty inspiring. I am motivated to be better at reusing, re purposing and making things I need. I am hoping to learn a lot more about gardening and hopefully get better at it. The snails have ruined my garden the last few years. I think how awful it would be to rely fully on our garden and then starve because of those tiny, slimy little fellows. I have tried many different ways of getting rid of them, the drowning in beer method(they just drank the beer and crawled out), the egg shells, the copper tape, pennies, green non-toxic slug goo,sneaking out in the middle of the night with a flashlight and throwing them out by hand.If I am missing something, please do tell.
The other book Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs is a beautiful hand illustrated book with helpful hints on everything from making your own homemade cleaners and shampoo, to gardening tips. The book itself is visually lovely as well, it is hand written and filled with drawings and looks like a personal journal. I really treasure it. It was a gift for Christmas and I haven't yet made any of the tinctures, soaps or cleaners, but I look forward to it.
It is a great little handy reference for any one who is interested in being more domestically sustainable.

Friday, January 14, 2011

This Moment...

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A simple precious moment to cherish and remember from our week, inspire by Soulemama.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A bittersweet milestone...

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Fist time in his bed.

Solomon has moved out of our bed into his own little bed. He is so very happy and proud to have his own little bed too. His little bed has been sitting in the corner of our room without a mattress since May. It has been a dumping ground for spare blankets and boxes of yarn.
When I first started researching mattress for him on-line I came across several articles that discussed all the nasty chemicals that are used to make infant mattresses. I got a little paranoid about buying something toxic for him to sleep on(ignorance is bliss). We saved for months to get enough to buy him a natural mattress but whenever we came close another expense would come up and the money would disappear(like in the movie UP).
We decided to use or Christmas money we were gifted from family to finally purchase the mattress and get our little guys bed put together just in time for his 3rd Birthday.
The morning it came Solomon and his big sister were both very excited. Sophie brought in some of her old blankets and got it all set up for him. Much to my surprise Solomon jumped right in at his nap time and fell asleep with a big smile on his face.
It took years for us to get Sophie out of our family bed and into her own, she was a co-sleeper until first grade. Even though our children are seven years apart, we got our first child out of our bed just months before the second one came to join us. So when Solomon was still eager and more than happy to sleep in his bed that night I was a little shocked. I thought there would be more of an ease into it, more of a transition time. Sollie didn't need it, but mama did. I missed him that first night, missed holding his hand while I fell asleep, and his warmth, I even missed getting kicked in the head all night.
I know some folks probably thing I am nuts cause after all he is 3 years old. But it was bittersweet for me. He is growing up fast. His little bed is parked next to ours(although on Papa's side) and I can still hear him breath and talk in his sleep. I need to let him be a big boy one bittersweet moment at a time.
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Solomon helping Papa put the bed together back in May.

Friday, January 7, 2011

This Moment......

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A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A few knit gifts.....

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A sweater for my Dad's dog Cinnamon. I used the pattern from the knitting book Stitch and Bitch. I have made this pattern 4 times and I really quite like the way it looks. I can't wait to make one for our future family dog.
By the way, Cinnamon loved it and didn't want to take it off. When my Dad took it off of him to go out in the rain he tried to get it back on himself, it was pretty funny.

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Oh and that reminds me, I tried this sweater on Milo, our cat. And he liked it too! He rolled around in it purring. I took a picture with my phone, but don't know how to get it onto the computer as my phone isn't connected to the internet(shocking, I know).

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A new hat for Dad, a yearly ritual.

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A hat for my Brother-in-law,"Uncle Q-way". Don't mind the yo-yo action in the background.

I am happy to say I managed to squeeze a few knitted gifts in over the holidays, on time, despite my 50+ pairs of of toddler mittens( btw,did I mentions I am making more?). There would have been another to share but it ended with a felting mishap. Still working on Holiday gifts over here....including re-knitting, and re-felting the gift that malfunctioned.
I will catch up, one of these days.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Party Essentails.....

The crown:
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The decorations:
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(he picked the fabrics out himself... "Lellow!")
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(A tradition since he was born, I like to hang up photos of Sollie from through out the year to look back and remember as he moves on to another year.)

The Music:
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Two of the best kids albums ever! Mom and Dad friendly too! I just Love Medeski, Martin and Wood and when they made a kids album a few years back(2008) I had to get in for the kids. This is our second copy the first one got stolen out of our car. The Keller William's album is very new(2010) and is great fun to listen too. I bought it especially for Solomon's party. Keller's daughter sings with him on several song's which always makes me tear up, I just can't handle little kids is too precious!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

For his Grandparents far away.......

Sorry, I turned my camera while filming this and I don't know how to flip it. It is still sweet sideways though. Love you!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lellow choc-lick duck cake

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(Got to try out the frosting)

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(although he looks disgusted in this photo, I assure you,he thoroughly enjoyed his cake)

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When I asked Solomon what kind of cake he wanted for his Birthday, he though about it for a little while and said,"Lellow, is my favorite......a Lellow Duck Cake!". The I asked him what flavor and he rolled his eyes and said "Choc-lick" like, duh, mama, do you really need to ask.
So I looked around on-line and found this one. Ours is based off of it's design, but with marshmallow, and chocolate chip eyes and we added little feet using the little orange candies that they suggested for the mouth.
We served Sollie the head which was a separate tiny cake. I am all about healthy eating choices for my kids most of the time with the exception of the Birthday cake, we tend to forget about healthy choices for fun, sugary ones. It was hard to top last years dragon cake but this year was special because Solomon came up with the idea himself.
I look forward to sharing more birthday photos, just though this funny duck deserved his own post.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Three times around the sun....

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Happy Birthday to my sweet boy! WE love you so so much! Thank you for coming into my life, you bring me sunshine every day with your happy little face!