Thursday, November 30, 2006

don't take your keyboard for granted!

hello there- how is everybody?

i am doing much MUCH better now that i have a working keyboard again! i spilled the slightest amount of water on my other one and it fizzled out. uugh. so i thought i was going to have to drop $50 on a new one but my mom had an extra one! you know what that means? now i can start my christmas shopping since i dont have to spend that money on a new keyboard! yay!

tonight i went over to my parents house. i stayed for dinner- my mom made chili (the old way, not the "new" way) and i was so happy so be able to eat a meal at "home", especially one that i remember loving as a kid. you know how you have memories from when you were a kid, the ones that just stick out so much and you know will always be with you? well, i remember when i was about 6 or 7 and we had the dining room table in the living room for some odd reason (maybe new tile was going in the dining room.) well anyway- i remember sitting at the table when it was in the living room and thinking about how much i loved those little red beans that my mom put in chili. i asked her what they were and she said that they were called kidney beans. i remember thinking that it was so funny that a bean was named after a body part. so now i love that chili recipe because it reminds me of when i was a kid.

after dinner my dad and i talked about property. for those of you who dont know, my goal is to move into a house that has at least 10 acres of land so i can raise and breed alpacas and i really would love to have a tree farm as well. the thing about buying property is that the land around here is mega expensive- about $150,000 for 1 acre, without a house. now, we could just move to a part of the country that has a lot of property to offer on the cheap, but the thing is that joe has an awesome job and we want him to stay with this job. so, we are hoping that with his next promotion he can transfer to middleton, which is right by madison, wisconsin. well, the problem with this is that the property there is super expensive as well.

SO i have been looking into property in baraboo, which is about 35 miles away from middleton, and its decently priced there. not the cheapest, but i would be willing to purchase something out there. this is all planning ahead- not happening in the next couple months or anything- but you can never be too prepared. the cool thing about moving there would be that u.w. madison has an awesome printmaking department, which would be so so great. i am thinking about enrolling in classes here for next semester, i've been wanting to for a long time but the time is never right. but really now, when IS the right time to go to school? i really dont think there is one.

tomorrow is december first and i am really happy because joe and i have decided to celebrate a 25 day countdown till christmas by doing a holiday related thing each night. here is my list so far, if you have more ideas let me know!

1. drink eggnog (with a little captain in it!) we've never had 'nog before.
2. sip tea and listen to holiday songs.
3. drive to the ritzy neighborhoods and look at the lights on the houses.
4. bake cookies.
5. go out for flavored coffee and muffins.
6. watch a christmas movie like rudolph or frosty.
7. bundle up and go to lake geneva. or a little town like it.
8. make and eat
these cookies. (this recipe looks awesome!)
9. make nutcracker sweets (these things ae so so sooo good- another favorite from when i was a child)
10. make decorations.
11. put up the tree!
12. wrap presents
13. write out our
holiday cards
14. drink hot chocolate while looking at a big book (i have a huge m.c. escher book that i love)

okay so that's my list so far. if you have any other ideas, please tell me! i'm trying to avoid baking toooo many cookies.

today i was featured on the front page of etsy. this is the second time (that i know of) and it is so exciting. i got a lot of new hearts today, which is really neat. i'm almost to 400!

here are my newest things:

cardinal ornaments

new journal

cardinal art

they are all up for sale in my shop right now. i plan on adding a lot more journals throughout the month of december. i just sold this one, it was so hard to say goodbye to it! i still havent made a journal for myself, but i'm thinking about making one similar to the one i just sold (the beetle one.) i have to order some more paper soon. it's so hard to pick which paper i want! at least i dont buy printed paper, that narrows it down a ton. well- i do buy some printed paper, but not a whole lot. i design almost everything that goes onto a journal cover, with some printed paper to accent here and there but it's not often. although, if i did use more printed paper, it would make my journal making a heck of a lot quicker! hmmmm...

okay friends, i am off to go post comments on your blogs since i havent been able to in a couple of days. take care!

OOOH HEY!!!! GUESS WHAT! i just realized that today is my 1 year blog-iversary! yay! wow, thats so cool! i hope this thing is still around in 30 years so i can see it then too!

Monday, November 27, 2006

it's the holiday season...

hello all!
how is everybody? i cannot believe (or just dont want to believe, maybe) that christmas is in 4 weeks! wow.
i just made this card:
handprinted cardinal and branches drawn with a pantone marker. the cone tree is made of paper from old novels. i'm thinking about making a bunch of these trees and also a few out of ivory colored paper, all different sizes, since i dont have a beautiful village like alicia does.
originally i wanted these great stockings from west elm, but now i am not so sure- they are a few posts down if you are interested. they are grey, and while they are the best stockings i've seen this season, besides the felted ones that are popping up all over your blogs, i am thinking that i might do an ivory, brown and red theme this year. this is kind of repetitive for me because those were our wedding colors- you'd think i would hate those colors by this point! but i really love the way they look for the holidays.
i am really excited to decorate this year! yesterday i bought a new sheet set from target (which is actually a much brighter blue) for winter. we only had one set before and i was getting really bored with the way the bedroom was looking. AND they are flannel, so they remind me of when i used to have flannel sheets at my parents house (i love flannel when it's cold outside!)
so this weekend i am going to be selling my wares at depart-ment in chicago. maybe i already told you that, i cant remember.
anyway, the cool thing about this show is that i dont even have to be there! i just set up my stuff on thursday and go back on sunday to gather my unsold items and collect payment. i am both excited and nervous- excited for obvious reasons, nervous because i have to drive to chicago and i HATE HATE HATE driving anywhere that's busy. and i have never driven there before. OH yeah, AND it's supposed to be super cold on thursday- an "arctict rush" as they are calling it. hmph.
hey, have you guys seen (and fallen in love with) lisa's new installation? it's so so great, i really love it. she says it looks way cooler in person- hard to believe, i know, since it already looks so great.
okay friends, it's time for bed. i am hoping to post a few holiday decorating photos soon...hopefully i can spruce this place up nicely this year.
take care!

Friday, November 24, 2006

it's been a while, hasn't it?

wow, it feels like i've been away for a long time! i thought about blogging so many times in the past week, but i have been trying to get other stuff done that i had to focus on before blogging. and then yesterday was thanksgiving, how was yours? mine was was pretty relaxing, not a huge get together like we usually do- just dinner at joe's parents and then we swung by my aunt's house to see a few cousins and hang out for a bit.
alright, now that i talked about thanksgiving, it's time for a time, for halloween every year, we do a DIY gift exchange with our good friends rod and tricia. (i know i know- we were past due for halloween by about 2 weeks!) anyway, we decided to make them this bar from readymade magazine. i've had an RM subscription since issue 5, and this is the first thing we've ever made from the magazine (although i have about 534 more readymade magazine projects that i want to conker!)
anyway, this is what we came up with (inspired by a custom journal that i made for somebody last spring):

this is the inside, it opens up and turns into a bar. joe made it and helped me paint it black.

i illustrated it with india ink and painted the red and grey part. this is the view from the front:

so that's that. it was a fun project, a nice break from the journals and stationery stuff. but now i'm ready for journals and stationery again. the holidays are right around the corner, can you believe it?? i'm really excited because the first holiday season that i get to share the things that i make with others. etsy is finally being a little bit more user friendly, i'm hoping that it holds out till christmas. etsy v2 is a great thing and the staff is working extremely hard to keep everything running smoothly, but wow are there ever a lot of bugs! i'm sure everything will be good to go soon, though.

this is my newest card:

i released it sometime last week and sold a few yesterday. i was having/am having a sale yesterday and today in honor of thanksgiving and black friday and i am thrilled because i am using the few dollars that i made to go shopping today. yes friends, i am going out in public on this crazy day. i mean, its 4 a.m. right now, the stores open in an hour and i am awake, so why not catch some killer deals? last year i did some christmas shopping on this day. this year i think i am just going to try to buy myself a couple of things. i really need new clothes, but pier 1 is calling my name too. i am going to try very hard to avoid it, though!

okay, that's all for today. for now i am going to go finish a journal to post on etsy sometime today. are you doing any holiday shopping on etsy this year? i sure am! i am buying about 90% of everyone's gifts from etsy and other handmade places. cannot wait!

take care everyone! and if you go out today, be careful!

Monday, November 13, 2006

i should be getting ready for work...

hey- quick question...
do any of you sell your work through consignment with shops? ive been thinking about doing this for quite some time now, and the time is finally right. im not looking to sell my journals in shops because it just wouldnt pay working on a 60/40 deal. but im thinking about cards and art. i have a few places in mind (about 10) that i want to contact, but does anybody have any suggestions as far as this goes? anything at all. i think im on the right track, but it never hurts to ask for input.
ive decided that i dont post enough photos of my everyday life, and that i have to start. so from now on, i think i am going to include more of them. just for my own sake- so when i look back in 3 years, i can see what i was doing then.
okay i really need to get ready for my "real" job now- chili's. dang it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

etsy will be closed this weekend

as some of you may know, etsy will be closed this weekend due to the launch of v2.
i am having a sale today only in the shop, until etsy goes down (i think at 10 est friday night).
10% off all coptic bound journals.
15% off everything else.
all purchases ship with a free "warm wishes" card.
wait for an adjusted invoice if you make any purchases, otherwise you have to pay full price!!
today i am packaging orders and kind of just hanging out. no sense in updating the shop if its closing for the weekend, right?!
have a good one! new designs coming next week!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

new card and a me me

new art card:

If your life were a soundtrack, what would the music be?
Here's how it works:
1. open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. put it on shuffle
3. press play
4. for every question, type the song that's playing
5. new question-- press the next button
6. don't lie and try to pretend you're cool
Opening Credits: Rolling Stones - Paint it Black
Waking Up: The Knitters - Someone Like You (NOT a rod stewart cover! gag)
First Day At School: Zeke - Mountain Man (yikes)
Falling in Love: Johnny Cash - Dont Take Your Guns to Town. (oh man, that's hilarious.)
Breaking Up: Roy Rogers - Peace in the Valley (um, how did this get on my media player?!)
Prom: Zombina and the Skeletones - Count of Five (exactly how i felt that night, actually)
Life's Okay: Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry (this is perfect, if only I was Johnny!)
Mental Breakdown: Super Suckers - Captain
Driving: Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues (I feel like Im in prison when I drive! I hate driving!)
Flashback: Feist - Mushaboom.
Getting Back Together: Elvis Costello - My Mood Swings
Wedding: Teach your Children - CSNY (perfect! we used this song at our wedding too!)
Birth of a Child: Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire (yeah, we're not having kids for sure now!)
Final Battle: Rolling Stones - As Tears Go By
Death Scene: Sonic Youth - Jams Run Free
Funeral Song: Frank Sinatra - Summer Wind (not so fitting)
End Credits: Stealers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle.
well that was fun. probably shouldnt have listened to every song all the way through since i have a lot of cleaning to do, but oh well.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

the latest...

so i decided to keep going with this whole experiment thing...

new art:

new robot greeting card:

the other day i bought a new box of stash chai tea, my favorite. well, the thing is- it tastes and smells theres too much cinnamon or something. now, dont get me wrong, i love cinnamon. but i dont like when something tastes different than usual. i was hoping that it was just that particular tea bag, but it was not. kind of a bummer! i want the chai tea that makes my lips curl when i whiff it, not make my nose tingle.

im listening to the only radio station that i listen to on a regular basis (my car doesnt have a cd player so what else will i listen to on my way to work? all my old mix tapes are biting the dust, they've been played too many times.) ANNNYWAY, so yeah sometimes i listen to the radio at home too, and right now im listening to a station called 97.1 FM, the drive, and uugh they are playing a lot of crap tonight. its an older rock n roll/rock/etc station. they play a lot of CCR, eric clapton, bob seger, CSNY, simon and garfunkel, stuff like that. but tonight is terrible! ack, im about to climb over the mountain of stuff in the middle of the room just to get to my stereo and put a cd in. (im not hip enough yet- no ipod for me *cough*maybe for christmas*cough* (are you reading this, moonshine?) haha, i call my husband my "moonshine" because he makes me drunk with love.

alright, i have to go work on my etsy shop a little more. i've been updating it a ton over the past few days.

take care friends!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

i wish the sun was out.

yeah. so i wish that it was always sunny when i wanted to take photos. i am making a lightbox soon so it wont be a problem anymore, but for would be nice to have.

i got a lot of great feedback on the first birch journal, so i decided that i should offer another one, since that one sold. i was in a journal mood tonight, so i cut a bunch of paper and designed a cover and then i bound this:

i need to get a flickr account already! i've been thinking about it for a while but it just hasnt happened yet. maybe a gift to myself for christmas! ha, like i dont have enough of THOSE in mind!

short post tonight, im off to bed soon!

Monday, November 06, 2006

second illustration in the experiment...

look what i got in the mail today! the tags that i ordered on etsy from red polka:

arent they great?
so, i decided to add another illustration to turn this experiment into a series. so now there is "pine tree" and "pine tree 2". not trying to toot my own horn here, but i am really happy with how "pine tree" (the first one) turned out- i love the positive vs. negative space.

here they are side by side

pine trees 2...landscape is 2 shades lighter than "pine tree"
what i'm currently loving from west elm:

beautiful stockings:
cheese cutting boards:

thats all for tonight, friends! have a good day!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


i know i already posted today, but i wanted your input on something...i need a break from the journals for a couple days, but i want something to keep me in the creating mode- im thinking about doing a series of these:

about 6"x9", artwork approx 5"x4.75", india ink, green paint chip, and sturdy cardboard (from the back of an artist pad of paper).

feeling let down.

so, after hours upon hours of preperation for ART VS. CRAFT, it turned out to be a huge let down. i devoted 12 hours of my day (9 of those were hours that i vended during, the other 3 were transportation and set up) to earn a whole $32. not a single journal of mine was sold. i am supposed to be at the event right now, actually, but i decided to withdraw myself from it. this means that i am not allowed to attend another art vs. craft ever again, since i didnt show up today. i do feel bad, i really do- but how do i justify sitting in a drab conference room for another day after the terrible time i had yesterday? i was starting to think that my prices werent right. too high, maybe. so i lowered them. still nothing (good thing i suppose, i know i can get what they are worth elsewhere).
the event ended at 7 last night. i saw 2 girls packing up early at a booth near mine so i went and asked them how their day went. they said it was terrible, the worst show they've ever been to. we talked for a while, they were really cool. (oh, by the way- this is the second "worst show" i have had a booth at. i have only had 2 shows, and both were considered "the worst" by others). the part that really let me down was that this was a juried show- it was the 5th time they have had this show, i was really excited about the potential that i thought i had. i mean, this was an actual hipster/indie/awesome crafty event--not some county fair, ya know?
i knew i wasnt the only vendor who wasnt making any sales when i heard some guy from a booth around the corner yell "15 minutes left, start buying!!!" i thought it was kind of rude but hey, i was feeling the same way.
so anyway, i am not doing any more shows in milwaukee. only chicago (and the other cool shows around the midwest that ive heard great things about). i dont know- it just didnt draw the crowd i was hoping for. lots of families with little kids- everyday people, ya know? not the people who really KNOW what "handmade" really entails. the time, energy, money...the passion that goes into each creation. i mean, maybe they do know. but i have learned to appreciate handmade MUCH more since i started. im sure most people are the same way. anyway, enough is what i brought to the show. there are more pictures on my flickr account.

i'm going to update my blog tomorrow because i want to show you some cool things that i have found online. stockings, cheese cutting board, etc...all really great stuff.

today i am going to organize my "office" as i call it. this is a HUGE project, especially because i dont have anywhere to put anything. i found a great shelving unit at lowes and i was really excited that i would be able to buy it after the show but hey, looks like thats not happening. joe says i can use some of the money in our joint account but i dont feel right doing that- this is something for ME, not for US. although, haha, i suppose it could be for US since he's the one who wants my office organized!!! haha, i do too, but i just dont want to do it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

hello all!

hey everyone! i really want to show you some stuff but blogger is being slow about things and not letting me put any pictures up. so thats the update that i have for you.
yay! i found the perfect christmas stockings at my favorite place ever, west elm. i will show you soon!
okay off to make a little bit more before the show!