Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

i apologize for my lack of a post last week....we are having some pretty glorious weather round here. makes up for the 7th round of sickness that we've been dealing with. to say that this winter has been brutal in the sick department would be an understatement. it might be safe to say that i have intimately known almost every virus that has floated around this winter. i'm happy it's spring because i'm hopeful that it means the end to the cold season. i'm not holding my breath because if a spring cold comes around chances are we'll get it, but it's nice to be hopeful.

out out

with all this great weather the little is frantically using her favorite word - out. she says it double time. out out. and with a canadian accent. [not sure why but it's true]. basically from the minute she wakes up until the end of her day she'll go to any exit or window and emphatically request out out - out out. it's really cute - except for when you have to tell her - i'm sorry we just came in from out out - or no - we have to stay in in now. what a pathetic and sad face she sometimes makes. occasionally she'll even whimper "out out" "out out". if she could figure out a way to stay outside all the time i think she would.

how cute is martha????????

last week i had the immense pleasure and treat to spend the afternoon with martha of uniform natural . she came out to my studio and we sat and chatted. my parents were here and so our visit was peppered with interruptions from the little, but mostly we were able to discuss art and process and making in a really lovely way. martha is incredibly astute and sincere in her observations and questions and responses [as if you had any doubt about that]. i could feel my body and mind viscerally responding - reverting to familiar territory - thinking more academically and speaking about one's intentions and ways of making in a meaningful and purposeful way.

highlights from our talk: the differences between architecture and art [some of them anyway - revolving around the idea that architects must be more concerned aware of public safety and more concerned about "client satisfaction"] ann hamilton , tara donovan , my desire to visit the walker , and how architects have an incredible ability to accurately access situations/people, and how they are so aesthetically put together [best clothes and glasses. always].

i am so grateful to the internet for providing the means for this to happen.

and so - i have to get cracking. i have a statement to concoct, a website to update, artwork to tackle, dishes to wash, a studio visit to prepare for.... i'm still hoping to write a spring manifesto . happy tuesday!

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there was cake

thank you so much for all the first birthday wishes... oh yes there was cake - homemade poppyseed with buttercream frosting... and there were cucumber sandwiches too. it was a lovely afternoon. and then we ALL got sick. one by one every. single. person. that came to the party. it was not food poisoning, but a really wicked stomach virus. oh dear. [hence no post this last week].


i thought i would share with you my vintage boston egg shaped pencil sharpener. it is my friend and companion in the studio. i think maybe gwen would like it.


it has been raining incessantly here. if we didn't need it so badly i might start complaining. i actually really like rain - the smell, the sound, the feel. but days and days in a row and we get a little stir crazy. the little gets VERY stir crazy. any break and you'll find us wandering around outside with an umbrella bundled up so she can look at some flowers and cars and birds.

this morning, i glanced over at the buddha in our garden and it looked like he had just had a good cry. i like that idea.

tonka in school

and finally some funny art.... i was asked to do a drawing for dogs in school an exhibition. [visit the website to learn about why dogs in school].

i immediately thought of tonka as a dunce. couldn't help myself really. i think he might complain and say he's no dummy, but... he doesn't talk - only snores and snarfles, so he really has no say i'm afraid.

Jan 30-Feb 25, 2010 at Screaming Sky Gallery in Portland OR

art sales benefit project grow

tomorrow i'm driving down to monterey to be interviewed for a video that companions another show i'm in. no idea what to wear. no idea what i'll say. sigh. hopefully my hair will cooperate.....

more soon i have LOTS of new art to share. made 10 pieces for ETA 7 .

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mr. giraffe

first - thanks for all the kind comments about my cat. the little and i spied a creme orange tabby like chini today and it flooded me with love [longing too, but mostly love]....

is it just me or is this year off to some kind of crazy start? only 9 days into january and i'm feeling some strange buzz. i've already started to make color coded lists [kind of sparked by the fact that i'm using this calendar this year], and i'm already kind of overwhelmed. it might be that i'm in 3 group shows in february and i'm trying to juggle finishing the work, framing it, shipping, installation plans, etc. etc. plus there were a couple of studio visits, some work emails to attend to now that the holidays are no longer an excuse not to reply, last minute [late] presents to get and wrap and send and.... and... and....

i'm tired just typing about it.

but you don't want to hear about that. but i got nothing - no good photos, no good stories, no deep thoughts [at least none that i can formulate in a way that makes any sense].

so you get a stuffed giraffe. it's a late holiday gift for a friend's child. pattern from lion brand . i made his neck longer because i wanted him to be goofier. and he is goofy isn't he? there is something inherently relaxing about crocheting for me. i wish i had the time to make a big blanket like jen . someday. what i do need to do is start some doily trees. soon. i may need to get help making some. but that will be another post.

happy weekend to you. it's freezing here [relatively speaking for california]. hubby said indian food for dinner tonight? and i can't wait. drooling already.

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fall sky
[can you see the moon? fall skies are just so bright]

it's hard to believe we are in the last month of the year isn't it??

i was oh so so sick a week ago. nothing like sickness to force you to slow down and give you a bit of time to reflect. even if it's through a green goo haze.

and then it was thanksgiving - the little's first. with the husband sick in bed with what i had [oh i felt bad]. baby's first non-traditional holiday. no turkey to be had at our house. we had a japanese food feast instead :) don't get me wrong - i like me a good turkey - and i really like all the trimmings [cranberry sauce in particular. and stuffing]. but i also like being a bit non-conformist [can you tell?]. growing up i remember several irregular thanksgivings in my household. we had sukiyaki, we had ribs, we had chinese food....

i used to like going to school the next day saying "oh no we didn't have turkey" and seeing the look of slight shock on my classmate's faces.

but really i've been thinking about gratitude. as we roll into december - the month where i start to feel intense pressure :: shopping, cards, grading, studio, and now also baby... oy. how are we supposed to get this all done? i have wanted to just stop. maybe this is the year that i don't send out holiday cards [or they morph into new year's cards?]. i'm grateful for so many things. this has been such a strange and amazing and jam packed year. i just picture this huge pendulum swinging back and forth the good and the not so great back to the good again.

and thus this post really hit home with me today. i can't say it any better.



if you are in the Bay Area you have to shop at Holidayland. seriously good stuff. handmade good stuff. i have some stuff... underdog ink stuff AND some things from my NEW VENTURE with a friend. we're in the midst of making sure our name isn't trademarked by anyone else - once that's all done with i'll be talking about it more here. i'm really excited about this project.

Holidayland is at

blankspace gallery

and the compound gallery

i just became one of the compound gallery's art in a box artists. it's a great subscription. check it out.

Modern Mouse

you should also shop at modernmouse. either in the store on alameda island, or online. more handmade small artisan goodness. seriously. and eleen, the owner, is the sweetest.

OK. i have to get some grading done before i crawl into bed and start all over tomorrow morning. more soon....

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I am officially band-aid color

i didn't think that band-aids were real skin colors. really i didn't. and then i put one on yesterday and looked down and what do you know? i'm band-aid colored. this photo doesn't really do me or the band-aid justice, but honestly - it's kind of creepy how well it matches.

these are actually the kind of thoughts that consume minutes of my day.

i was driving the other day -- rushing rushing -- always rushing -- and i had the thought -- i wonder what it would be like not to multi-task. to actually have enough time in the day to do what you wanted to do AT THE PACE you wanted/needed to do it.

we now hear all these buzz words - slow food, slow media, slow fashion [i'm tossing this one around for another side project i'm working on. but that's another post]. but i never do anything slowly really. except for when i'm actually making art.

my brain is full of ideas. grandiose and minuscule art ideas. ideas that make me want to drop everything else i'm doing - which is simply impossible and unreasonable. but my head - it wants to explode with thoughts of kites, cloud formations, viruses, toxins, balloons, bombs, slovakian bobbin lace, and military ribbons.

and then there's the whole color study work i want to do. nothing but thread and stitching and colors. really quiet. shhhh. all about texture and subtlety and getting back to the basics. but that would be kind of a left turn from what i need to complete and things i've promised to folks. i do want to get there... but i may have to be patient.

colleen double ended colored pencils

i've been inspired by these double sided colleen colored pencils that i first spied here . i like the idea of making drawings using their color combos. sometimes i find it relaxing if one element of what i'm working on is determined by some outside force. the scale, or the color, or something. it makes me feel like i have one less thing to worry about.

i'm working on these very small drawings for an upcoming show - and i found i really had to push myself to use more than 1 or 2 colors. i tend to like small shifts in a color family - like a bunch of teals and greens or several pinks and browns together. throw in one more color and i start getting twitchy. i'm trying to use at least 3 colors in some of them [the work is kind of all about 3] and it's making me work really hard. i think this is good, but part of me is still complaining.

i've also been thinking about pressure. it came up with one of my students who has had some early success with showing and selling his work. he said making art right now isn't as much "fun" as it was before because he has all these extra voices and thoughts in his head right now. i feel for him. the best moments in the studio [for me] are when you are present and yet also somehow in some other world - where you don't really have any "everyday" thoughts in your head and you aren't worried. you are just kind of making. it's hard to banish the outside temptations, influences, general "noise". i'm have a particularly hard time of it now. but i'm going to practice what i preach [to my students] which is to soldier on. discipline through it.

on that note. back to work. i have to re-write my artist statement for a proposal. this proposal is big. it's daunting. if i get what i wish for it will be pretty amazing. and that's all i'll say for fear of jinxing it.

happy wed.

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the days are blending together for me. not because i'm doing the same thing everyday, but because i can't really keep tabs on anything more than what is happening THAT DAY. i think i always want to live more in the moment, but... i guess i must confess that ultimately i'm a planner and i feel as if i'm about to forget something hugely important.

hopefully that won't happen. i also kind of feel like if i can make it through the next few months things are going to shift again. in a big way.

so in no particular order here are some things that have been on my mind/happened:

1. i got a haircut today. as you can see in the above photo [another work day - the outfit made me think of martha and her new line - UN have you seen it?] my hair was almost to my shoulders! i haven't had hair that long since high school??

2. we've been eating out of our garden. the broccoli the other night was the best i've ever eaten. seriously. i'm so glad we conquered those broccoli caterpillars. tonight we had beet greens. our tomatoes are just finishing. my husband has been an amazing farmer and cook. sorry i don't have photos of our goodies [keep eating them before i think of it] but i feel so lucky to see items on my plate that come from our yard.

3. i've got a couple of ideas i'm researching for drawings. i'm thinking about how to take familiar imagery [my vocabulary] down new paths . seeing heather's layered drawing got me all excited to try these new things. it's been a couple of weeks since i've done anything in the studio and i'm itching to. next week....

4. i'm trying to relish teaching as due to the insane budget shortfalls here in california it looks as is my teaching days are numbered. this makes me sad. i've been thinking about how much i missed teaching when i was on maternity leave. and now that i'm back how much i will miss it again. of course there are things about it that are exasperating.... but there are moments in the classroom where i can feel and see minds and ideas shifting and forming and that is so exciting. i keep trying to believe that there is a greater force at work [all things happen for a reason] and that it will be good for me to take a break. spend more time with the little. maybe more studio time? maybe go back to freelancing?

5. the smell of rain is so good.

6. my parents are going to japan soon and i've been reliving my trips there. wishing i could travel again. i think i still have some polaroids to show from that trip. and speaking of polaroids... film. will be back. the impossible has happened !!!

6 is a good number. will stop here. hope things are good in your necks of the woods....

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b-day cupcakes

every year i'm surprised it's my birthday again. any wiser? nope! just older. this year in particular has sped by... last year i was cryptically implying that life altering things were in the wings. and here they are. the little is on her way to being a year old... my studio is built in my backyard... it's amazing to me how time can simultaneously fly by and yet things are happening. i can document, see, touch, them...

and this year it's amazing to get so many birthday wishes on facebook! i forgot they had the birthday reminder feature. and there are a lot of b-days happening right around now. bara , diana , karen , tracy , abigail ... i'm sure i'm missing someone....

Binding Constant at Rare Device

so here we go. install is friday for me ... before the opening of course.

Opens Friday October 2, 2009
from 7-9pm [i'll be there! come say hi !!!]

with marina luz and diem chau . two artists i totally LOVE and ADMIRE.

my portion this show is "his and hers" -- all about my grandparents and my memories of them. i'll upload pictures of all the pieces after the opening. and my statement on the show here. all art is personal - duh - but this show is really really near and dear to me. they will also be available for viewing [and purchase] on rare device's site.

ok - gotta run to pick up the babe.....
happy tuesday!

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Monica Canilao

my brain is at this very moment on overdrive. i just all of a sudden realized how much i really have to do in how little time. seriously - i think if i make a to-do list i might not be able to sleep tonight between worrying about it and waiting for the little to wake up [teething part 2. in all fairness the sequel is mellower than part 1, but i'm waiting for the surprise ending].

then again - i have been getting what i need to done. sometimes just barely in time, but it still counts if you are squeaking under that wire, right? as long as no one looses any limbs or an eye or something?

yesterday i gave a lecture with the above artist monica canilao . we actually drove up to sonoma state together. this could have been a bit scary considering we'd never met. but we had plenty in common. on the surface : gardening, eating, making art. and then after we both spoke and i got to see more of her work... i was sort of fascinated with how synergistic we were in rather odd ways. sure - we both like doily imagery and found papers - but my work tends to be sparse - hers bursts and busts from the seams. and yet.... besides literal thread there were many threads that connected us. it's always nice to find kindred art spirits. we even got to joke about how people come up to us in airports and start speaking languages we don't know. i don't get to have that conversation with everyone. and she was nice to boot.

it was the first time i spent 5 hours COMPLETELY away from little cc [i'd done up to 4, but not over]. she was with my mom and so i knew she was TOTALLY FINE the whole time. but it really was such an odd feeling. i felt liberated and happy to be doing "adult" things and yet all the while aching and missing her. she squealed when she saw me when i came home and you better believe that my heart melted and a tear almost fell from my eye.

tomorrow we do a trial "full" day at day care - the schedule we'll be keeping when i go back to work next thurs. i'm sure i'll feel equally psycho tomorrow. on the one hand i really need to tackle the 101 things that MUST GET DONE. on the other hand i think i'd rather just tickle cc and make her laugh.


did you see amy's video on lazy envelope making?

500 pencils ? handmade colored pencils. i'm drooling here. kind of really want these [and sorry can't remember where this link came from... it did come from somewhere].

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so cal 60's door

cc and i are in so-cal visiting my parents. i can't believe she made the car trip w/out too much drama. she is NOT a fan of the car. she isn't one of those babies that you can put in the car and they'll fall asleep. i wish. she is one of the oh i don't like sitting backwards and i get car-sick kind of babies.

it never ceases to amaze me that the air just feels different here than in northern california.

one of my favorite things about my parent's house is their front door. their house was built in 1962 so it's modern-esque. the front door and door knob are the best, though, aren't they?? this would be a great house to furnish with eames and nakamura and nelson - if only... it'd be really fun to see it all period.

so cal figs

my mom is also a good farmer. she has persimmon trees and an avocado tree [came with the house. believe it or not my parents HATE avocados], and a fig tree. yum. yum. my mom and grandmother actually used to run a vegetable seed business for awhile. i should dig out some of the old catalogues. there are funny pictures of me next to veggies. speaking of gardening.... i wrote a post which features our new garden for sew green tomorrow.

anyway - we'll be a bit absent from blogland while we are here. plus i have to finish getting my syllabi together. it's hard to believe, but i'll be going back to teaching in just 2 weeks. where has all the time gone???

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lunch is better with flowers

first - thanks for all the kind responses to my last post :). no wonder i like it out here in internet land.....

my old studio mate came by for lunch. it's what i miss most about sharing a studio space. we'd often stop what we were doing to eat and contemplate the universe. we'd discuss our upcoming projects. he'd ask me what colors he should use, i'd beg him to help me construct something. we'd ramble about music, the oakland A's, interesting designs, artists, clients, materials [always in search of the perfect tool].

anyway - he brought mac+cheese and an avocado corn salad and the above flowers - which looked SO lovely in their blue and kraft paper packaging i had to photo them.

thanks faiss .

his + hers sneakpeek

here's a sneak peek of what's going on in the studio.

i'm working on some new pieces for a group show at rare device that opens Oct. 2nd with 2 artists i totally admire marina luz and diem chau

my work for the show is based on my grandparents. i'm working on things that are "his" and "hers" and how i remember them and how they lived their lives.

it feels good to be making things. the nanny has returned from vacation and so i get 4-8 hours a week to work. it's amazing what i can get crammed into those hours now. there no longer any time to dawdle or procrastinate. in fact i spend a lot of time when i'm playing with the little or rocking her to sleep thinking about what needs to happen in the studio. if you could see behind the scenes it's like my brain is multi-tasking. it's whirring and purring -- images and ideas are being born, rejected, tended to, developed. then when i get in to work i'm a maniac.


other tidbits:

we redesigned papermonkey press . check out the new site !

katie from save gocco featured my doily prints the other day . thanks katie ! [great resources on her blog by the way - if you are a gocco enthusiast. i just bought some more supplies for mine and MY have they gone up in price. sigh.]

did you see that wren handmade posted instructions for her gorgeous bracelets on purl? [thanks craftlog

happy wednesday!

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we are 2, but like 1

hello. anyone still reading this blog? it's gathered a bit of dust.

i didn't mean to be gone. life and lack of sleep took over [the little was teething] and so the computer time just had to give.

i really did miss this space, though. more than i thought i might if i gave it up. in fact i started waxing nostalgic. i realized i've been writing here for 5 years. and been part of a community online for that long too.

A LOT has changed since i asked why we blog . in fact i bet many of the links from that post are dead and gone. people who used to be regular readers and commenters here have stopped blogging, had babies, moved onto bigger and better things. some i still keep in contact with in other ways - some i have no idea what happened to them. we've all started twittering and/or facebooking [i really hate this adding of "ing" to a noun to make it an action, but what can you do?]. the circle of who knows who via who expands on almost a daily basis.

i've realized that in some ways this virtual community is more real, more day to day, more dependable than some other communities. but it's also interesting because different social rules apply too.

and i've realized that i still like this as a place to gather links, talk about what interests me, sort out my studio practice, whatever. a few people emailed me to ask why i turned the comments off of the last post. i think it's because i was feeling kind of high school. wondering what kinds of posts generated the most comments - or waiting for comments/reactions. that's not why i started or have this space. don't get me wrong - the comments are fabulous - i love each and every one - or even the lack of them when there aren't any. but i was thinking about them too much. and i was feeling guilty because i knew i couldn't visit everyone and comment back. to me part of what is joyful about blogging is the interaction - and i don't feel right if i can't participate, but people are commenting here.

anyway. i will try to be back. at least once a week. and i will try to participate as i can - understanding that i have new responsibilities in life [and a SHOW to prepare for - yikes!]. hopefully no one will feel slighted. and i won't mind if people stop commenting here. it's just how it will be.

and in the meantime here are some really cool drawings my husband did.

my husband can draw :: 1
mcnulty capturing a cartoon mouse

my husband can draw :: 2
and an "eater" at the bottom of our grocery list.

i love when he draws. i wish he'd do it more often. he does it in fits and spurts.

see you!

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stamping baby shirts

being sans computer can be a blessing and a curse. it's kind of nice not to have to get design work done, or answer emails.... but then i start feeling antsy. isolated. wondering what you all are doing out there in internet-land. what are you making, reading, taking pictures of, eating????

like see - i missed when abby posted about her hope to go to second storie market ... and the release of a special print set to help get her there. i almost bought this print too.

and then i wonder about this space. what to write when i return. there is so much and so little to say at the same time.

it's almost like each of my days are broken into micro-segments. what do i do with the little when she's awake? what do i do while she's asleep? is she getting enough sleep? [i know i'm not getting enough sleep]. how do i balance what she needs with what i need and everything in between? did i remember to go outside today??

and then some stuff does get made around here. like the above shirts stamped. there are babies being born to the left and the right of me... and with cc outgrowing her clothes faster than you can blink i thought i'd re-cycle ad re-fashion her plain white onsies for the newly arriving babes. the dog stamp i bought - but i carved the robot one.

one cupcake

the other day i did manage to walk to a cafe and get a glorious cupcake. and i put it on my very special robot plates [from amisha and shari ]. which reminds me that i really should properly thank some folks for their gifts that they've sent. which means that i should photo them. cough cough.


and it was the 4th of july in there somewhere, right? just when i think i'm about to loose my sanity... my mom comes. and rescues me. and takes on baby duty in a way that allows me to relax. to realize that i am still my own person. gives me and my husband a chance to watch a movie together.

and how cute is she with the sparklers? in my coat???

sometimes it's the absolute littlest things that loom large. how grateful am i to those close to me that i can lean on. depend on. how special is it to come down the stairs after getting the little to bed and find a plate of food lovingly put together by my hubby for me?? practically every night.

i did manage to make some art these last few weeks. images of that... and my studio... and our new bathroom... and and and??? stay tuned.

happy weekend!

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mobile mobile

a mobile of course!

hello. we made it through last week. one long day and night at the hospital [hours felt like days] but overall we were none worse for the wear. thanks for all the emails/notes of concern and well wishes. they really meant a lot!

i've been meaning to show the mobile i made for CC. she's definitely seeing in 3D and color - so i wanted to hang something above her crib. i thought origami would be fun. i've made cranes since i was a little girl, but the wreath pattern came from a bloesem post here . in that post there's a link to many more origami sites and one of them had the butterfly pattern i also used [sorry i didn't keep track of which one]. the paper was actually a gift from the curator of the museum where i had my show 2 years ago.

the mobile is a success - she coos at it - heh heh

so onto life... i'm kind of at a loss. i'm not sure if i'm coming or going and there's so much and so little going on simultaneously. i keep thinking it's a miracle if i get 3 things done in a day [one of which is usually dishes]. my studio is slowly coming together. just a few more boxes to unpack before it will be functional. not perfect and organized the way i want it to be, but functional [which will do for now]. while i feel like i have a lot to say and potentially show here, i don't have a lot of computer time to type - or a lot of mental capacity to organize my thoughts... so it goes.

i know i didn't want this blog to become all about me as a parent - but i have found a couple of websites that i want to share with the other parents out there [these might be old news to you, but they've been great resources for me].

ask moxie this is a woman in ny with two kids who is funny and smart and writes from a down in the trenches perspective. her commenters are also funny and smart and i have laughed and cried and felt better as a parent from reading multiple posts on this site

because i want to give bloesem all the props i can... she also has this great kids site . so much eye candy and good ideas there.

of course the baby center is just a good all around quick i need to look something up site

and then there's berkeley parents network .super duper helpful if you are in the bay area - but even if you aren't - there's so much advice, good stories, helpful suggestions etc. the site is a maze... so much.

there are more, but this is where i'll stop for now.

be back soon. i have more polaroids and a couple of domestic life sketchbook pages to share....

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shh we're stalking

i think i actually might be seeing them. spin around my head with stars like in the cartoons.... hmmm....

we spent a big chunk of yesterday at doctor's appointments. my little has to have a minor surgical procedure done on monday. i say minor because it's nothing life threatening - but it's VERY serious to me and her dad. she has to be under general anesthesia and spend the night at the hospital [i get to stay with her of course]. i'm trying not to fret and keep calm as that will only help her. but man.... i think the worse part is that i have to stop feeding her 4 hours before we show up to the hospital. ugh. that is not a pretty thought.

anyway.... i may be MIA around here/blogland for a little bit. my folks are coming up to help and for that i am so grateful.

pink elephant

i did make a pink elephant, for reals though. for the little girl of the woman who runs this press . their studio is in the building at the end of my street and her little girl comes on tuesdays with her grandpa to feed my cats. it's so cute i can't stand it....

see you soon

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*update* the prints are available in the artstream shop here **

doily prints

so remember when i was goccoing with the little?

here's what i was making ... 2 prints to send to art stream studios for their incredible print show

opens May 1 runs through June 27th

i have always always wanted to do more with paper doilies [after the cupcake drawing series]. paper doilies are kind of throwback, no? they also instantly remind of me of sweets [all the cute bakeries that still use them]. plus i like how they are and aren't like crocheted doilies....

the doily also just makes me think of home... and so home was the theme for these.

dream of home

dream of home
2009 - signed edition of 20 with 5 APs
gocco, charcoal, embroidery on doily
10" D

doily sweet doily

doily sweet doily
2009 signed edition of 20 with 5 APs
gocco, embroidery on doily
8" D

these prints are under $60. affordable art rock on ! please contact the gallery if you are interested. i'm not sure if they are going to end up in their shop ??

random thoughts :

1. i went a bit overboard on the reading and trying to institute a game plan with cc. i ended up stressed [making her stressed] and feeling like a failure [even though i was partially succeeding]. note to self - ENJOY YOUR BABY. this is the new mantra. things will work out. even if it's not always how you envision it. stop trying to conform to every book you read b/c there is a book that will back up any method. hands down motherhood is the hardest thing i've ever tried to do. it's also heart wrenchingly good [she is smiling now!!! and cooing. we have mini conversations all day]

2. next week is POLAROID week 2009 - and gosh darn it i'm going to participate this year. i have tons of polaroids from japan that i haven't even shown anyone.... so even if i don't say anything i will post a picture EVERY DAY next week.

3. i am DREAMING of owning one of these metal step ladders . it would be perfect for the loft in my studio. and it would help w/ installations. i've used them before and they are good. so good. i'm calling tomorrow to see what kind of small fortune it might cost. it doesn't hurt to ask, right?

have a good weekend!

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i was going to title this post good things - but then that phrase has become so martha stewart associated i decided to use the word pleasant instead. it doesn't slip off your tongue or ring as nicely in your ear, but whatever. i'm all about the compromise.

the wisteria has bloomed in my yard. this signals spring to me. the smell is so wonderful. i took the little under it this morning just to smell it for a few minutes. before the flowers fade. i also tried to take some polaroids - but i have lost my polaroid mojo. if anyone finds it i'll give them a reward for its safe return.

my mom left. this is going to sound sappy, but until you have your own child you just don't realize what exactly your mom REALLY did for you when you were growing up. i was so beyond grateful to have her here. things that at one time seemed small [sleeping in, doing dishes solo, a relaxing bath!] all of a sudden were really wonderful extras that i didn't even know i had been missing.

and on the cute front:

isbn4-579-11182-4 - mom and girl outfits

leslie has been living in japan [jealous]. she has an etsy store - which she is having a huge SALE in because she is moving home.

i bought the above book. [isbn4-579-11182-4 - if you are interested] am dreaming of someday making matching outfits for me and cc. wonder if i will make this dream a reality?

postal inspired stamps

i also bought these postal stamps. which i am way way way too excited about. have already used them on various mailed items.

OK. enough pleasantries for today. everytime i take a break from the internets they seem to grow exponentially. how does that happen? anyway - have a good weekend. i'll be back early next week with an exciting art [affordable!] announcement.

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that is the sound of me hitting the wall. last week went a little haywire to say the least. sleep deprivation + almost anything out of the ordinary = a bad cocktail.

event one :: i think it started when the power went out last week. i was trapped upstairs holding cc w/ no way to even find a flashlight [which we do have upstairs, and which i would normally hunt down in the dark, but when you are carrying a baby - all bets are off]. we don't usually loose power as we're on the same grid as a hospital so it was a bit startling. candles out. camping lantern on... little LED reading light - suddenly indispensable.

event two :: i won't go into gory details, but lets just say i even lost my saliva swallowing skills. i kid you not. [a pill stuck in your esophagus will do this]. i had no idea how much spit one would generate over an hour until i emptied it out of a cup i had to spit it all into.

event three :: and then there was the biblical moment. a whooshing sound and pitter patters a plenty - what the heck? i open the kitchen door to bouncing little black objects scattering as if they had been set free from a long confinement. the floor normally white a sea of black dots. what the heck? bugs? no. where did these things come from... what are they? black beans. yes. from the pantry cabinet. over turned and spilling..... i swear all i could think of was that scene in magnolia where the frogs fall from the sky.

where are the photos for this post you ask?
OK to occupy

on the flip side - fantastic news... my studio passed final inspection. it's "ok to occupy".... which means

did i mention i hate packing?

let the packing commence. do i need to mention yet again how much i hate packing? unpacking is more my speed. when you unpack you can re-organize. [oh ikea here i come], but packing? nightmare. moving? nightmare. and with a baby strapped to you, you can't quite lift and shove like you're used to. my former student anna has come to my rescue. offering to help she's been a guardian angel. seriously.

and... my mom comes tomorrow for a long weekend. cc and i are super excited about this. i don't even have the vocabulary [or the brain cells to use such vocabulary] to describe how ecstatic i am about this.

and soooo... i am going on an internet break. i'm not comprehending anything i'm reading anyway - and pretty pictures just make my head spin. i'll be back soon - hopefully after a long nap....

two bits:

i'm in this week's design for mankind dialogue on self discipline.

and oh! here's me goccoing with the little [note to self must finish those prints!]
we gocco

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bug and grub brought the sweetest treats when they stopped by [tasted as good as they look]. haven't made it to miette yet - but i think it will be a must stop next time i head to SF.

they return next week for a bit more of a visit.

one of the things i love about gwen is that she color coordinates and plans her travel outfits. cutest charts ever! because i knew what colors she'd be wearing i wanted to make her a necklace

necklace 3 for bug

i really really like making these. if anyone is interested i might be coaxed into making some to sell? you could give me some color palette options and then i could give it a whirl. just a thought....

i'm about to try and gocco with cc strapped to me... we'll see how it goes. i'm working on some prints for a show. hopefully they'll come out. but i wanted to leave you with some eye candy. a former student sent me this image:

maurizio anzeri

it's work by Maurizio Anzeri . yum. besides the above piece, i really love the photos that have embroidery on them. why didn't i think of that? i've embroidered images from old photographs but never though to embroider on top. duh.

oh! and go check out abby's resurrection of 5 senses friday

have a good weekend. i'll be back next week with images of the 7 foot drawing. finally.

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on this day

anniversary ::

1. The annually recurring date of a past event, especially one of historical, national, or personal importance: a wedding anniversary; the anniversary of the founding of Rome.
2. A celebration commemorating such a date.

i'm not even sure how many years this would have marked for my grandparents. but they would have celebrated their wedding anniversary today.

[above: their passport photos that sit on my desk]

i think about how different my role as wife/mother is from my grandmothers... very different indeed. i will most likely not be a permanent stay at home mom. i am not the homemaker that she was by any means. [husband cooks more than i do]...

i come from a long line of long lived relationships [knock on wood]. my parents have been married for almost 40 years. my husband and i have been married for 6 years, but together for 17....

my grandfather was not overly or overtly affectionate with my grandmother. i think in her heart of hearts she wished he was. she would have relished constant romantic attention. he was also not always the world's most easy man to live with. he could be demanding, had a sharp tongue and quick wit which could cut sharply, it was usually his way or no way... i often feel as if i had a really exceptional relationship with my grandpa. as the first grandkid - and the first little girl in his life [he had 3 sons] - i got very special treatment indeed.

but for their 50th wedding anniversary there was a big party. and i will never ever forget how my grandfather stood up in front of a room full of people and spoke about what his wife meant to him. it was so moving. and there were small tears... he spoke of seeing her across a room, of dancing... of what kind of mother she was. it was beautiful.

sometimes it's not how often you express something, but how truthfully and deeply you do when you do it.

tomorrow erin at design for mankind launches a new project of which i am a participant. let's just say i'm attempting to overcome my camera shyness....

and shari has launched everyone needs a rock . so true. go see lots of artists, friends, and bloggers show off their favorite rocks....

be well

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happy girls day!

it's girls day today. a japanese holiday. [you can read more here ]. when i was a kid we set up dolls every year. my japanese grandma made them. i loved the fact that there was a day for girls [there's one for boys too]. and i loved setting the dolls up. they were too precious to play with, but i was in awe of their clothes. there's always an emperor and empress and if you have an extended set then their servants and food. little sculptures of pink and white mochi - perfect instruments - lanterns, etc. my mom says she will be giving me the set i grew up with for our little girl. she brought the above dolls to start us out for today.


i made the elephant ! i made his ears stick out a bit more. this one we're keeping. a little present for girls day. hopefully cc will like it....

a domestic life :: 04 :: xmastree

installment 4 of a domestic life...
gotta give credit where credit is due. the dots totally remind me of laurie reid . click on her colored pieces/dots portfolio.

i think this one is my favorite page so far [ha! of all 4 pages]

it is pouring rain here. i think it's supposed to be raining all week. time to bundle and hole up....

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funny bear

the other night around 2am i was feeding cc and listening to the rain come pouring down. it really is a lovely sound. and of course "here comes the rain again" entered my head. i was never a eurethmics fan - although i always like annie lenox's shock of red hair. and thus the corny title of this post was born.

the bear above is about to make a long journey to get to his new owner. it's the first time i added something to the eyes. the amiguri book i had used felt cut outs around the eyes for a panda - so i modified it for this brown bear... i wonder what name he might end up with. when i was a kid i named my stuffed toys usually what they were - sometimes in japanese - and often with and "ie" or "ey" at the end like giraffey. OK i was not a good namer when i was a kid. i think want to make this elephant sometime soon.

felt mobile

in keeping with the animal theme. made this mobile for cc. just cut out some felt animal silhouettes and used steel wire we had around the house. it's hanging above her changing table - although she can't really see it yet. *smile*. hubby has really worked SO HARD on her room. it's amazing. i'll show you when we are closer to done. just a few more things to get together.

making scones

and in the spirit of domesticity i made some scones last night. wanted something hearty and not so sweet and we had dried currants. at the end i looked down and just liked what i saw - so i snapped the picture. i really have a thing for rolling pins. if we had more room i'd collect them. i think they are so beautiful. those measuring cups are from my grandmother.... i'm eating the scones with my favorite jam and i have way too many. have to give some to the neighbor.

did you see the article on neko case in the new york times magazine the other sunday? how much do i love that she collects free/often broken/funky pianos?

have a good thursday!

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happy valentines day

so... why have i been gone?? well.... i have a new valentine

i had a baby girl.... january 12th at 6:04pm. she wasn't supposed to come until feb. 23rd, but i guess she decided that the womb was not the place to be and that the world was just way too interesting to stay cooped up any longer.

she had to stay in the Newborn ICU for 10 days - which in the scheme of things was not very long - but those were 10 of the longest days of our lives. it's really hard to get discharged from a hospital and have to leave your baby behind.

we've been getting to know one another - and getting used to a totally new routine. and my expectations of what i can get done in a day have shifted beyond belief. at the same time when i look at her, i can't imagine my life without her - she has just embedded herself in a way that is hard to describe.

parents talk about the absolute love they feel. and we all, in theory, understand and nod and agree. but then it happens to YOU. and it's beyond anything that you can put into words.

i don't want this to become just my baby's blog. i've been thinking a lot about if i still want and or need this space and what i want it to do. for now i think yes - i do need this space - mostly as a place to still think about and talk about art and the funny things that get made or photographed in my life [some of which will obviously now be baby oriented]. i will not stop doing all those things. in fact my studio in my yard is WELL WELL underway - it's so exciting.

and i miss all my friends online. there are moments [particularly late at night] when i feel very isolated - everyone is asleep except for me and my baby - and it reminds me of how you can feel alone in the studio. and that was why i have grown to cherish this space and the friends and community i feel like i have here.

granted i don't think i'll be able to post or visit other people's blogs or comment on other people's blogs as much as i have in the past, but i'm OK with that and hope you are too. then again - you never know, right?? and the one thing i'm really learning is that you have to take things as they come and adjust accordingly. it's all in the stride.

i don't think i'm going to show many pictures of my baby here [i will post pics on flickr for friends and family often i'm sure]. and i don't want to name her here. it just feels like she should remain a bit private. but... her name is two colors in two langauges - so i'll refer to her as my dear friend wenders did before i would reveal her name. color color - or cc

new baby

but i will give a little sneak peek of her. after 8 months of feeling like a giant science experiment [being pregnant is such an otherworldly experience!] she's here ! she's here!

her grandparents are coming for a visit today.
life shifts in grand ways.

see you soon!

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My Photo
Name: lisa s
Location: oakland, CA, United States

hello and welcome to my blog. i'm a mixed media artist living in oakland, CA with my husband, 2 dogs, 1 cat and my baby daughter. i try to post once a week about things that inspire me, what's going on in my studio, and little tidbits of my life. thanks for visiting, reading and commenting!

please please please :: i am happy to have you use an image of mine on your blog or somewhere else, but PLEASE just ask permission before you do. and please don't hot link. it really is important that we respect one another and the work we do. and if you are too shy or busy to ask, could you at least link back to me? thank you in advance!


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