Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

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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sock monkey

the other day christine asked me if i knew of a good softie maker. of course i mentioned that wendy made some of my favorite softies. i also like thelma's ... and gracia + louise sent me a few adorable birdies too [can't find any of them on their website. too bad for you].

the little sock monkey above came to my little the other day. it's ADORABLE. and it's made by volunteers for fresh art - an organization in NYC that supports artists with special needs. good good cause. you can buy a sock monkey for yourself or a little you know.

hot pink bear for ava

i made a little bear for a little girl who is turning one tomorrow. my little's first park hawaian bbq birthday party! should be fun. sunscreen - check, hat - check, long nap beforehand - hopefully!

her invitation was hot pink, so i'm hoping this was a safe color choice. i had to hide it from the little who immediately wanted to put it in her mouth.

and the luscious images??

remember when i was reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog? [one of the best books i've read in awhile BTW] well... muriel barbery's husband takes GORGEOUS photos. see here the ones from japan .

ok.... gotta get some laundry started while the little is still napping. have a great weekend everyone!

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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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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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necklace 2

my friend rori from paper monkey press had a bracelet that she wouldn't wear. i told her i'd take it apart and make her a necklace from it that she might don. above is what i came up with.

i'm totally copying the style of a jewelry designer that i ADORE [and whose stuff i can't afford right now] ronni kappos . i think she's brilliant. in fact so brilliant that i made another necklace channeling her


this one is going across the ocean to another continent. i hope the recipient likes it... fingers crossed.

from grandma

my mom knit this for cc. she used a japanese craft book [sorry i don't know the title or ISBN, but maybe next visit i can ask her]. she made a matching blanket too. they are so beautiful... it's nice to think about cc as an adult and having these handmade items to hold and have. the thing is my mom can actually read the directions - lucky lady. i can decipher the crochet instructions, but knitting charts in japanese are still jibberish to me. knitting charts in general are jibberish to me. they look cool, but i have not a clue how to follow them. amisha and i were talking about this. if she lived closer maybe she could help me figure out knitting and i could show her how to make an amiguri. i'm positive the amiguri is a much easier task than cables.

a bug is coming to CA soon. if we have time i can show her how to crochet an elephant if she wants. her partner grub is the one who designed my studio so he gets to see it. it's finally been sunny the last couple of days so they are making progress. the siding is going up!!!! if just *might* be almost done by the time they get here.

have a great friday and weekend!


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 happy merry merry

we managed a tree with some lights. no ornaments... but i love squinting at night and looking at the lights....

have managed a bit of last minute santa's workshop around here...

felt flowers

felt flower pins made [click on the image to see from what book - info on flickr]


point hats too. and i'm in the middle of a little baby hat with ears.... [again click on image to see what book inspired the pointy hat]

holiday snuggles

i just wanted to take a minute to say THANK YOU to everyone who visits here. for those who comment, visit, email, participate in any way.... i am very grateful for this community. you have all inspired me, made me laugh, made me think and i am in your debt.

enjoy these final moments of 2008. see you in 2009! we're getting back to our snuggling around here

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booties for Andrés

this time for a boy baby. here's the pattern if you want to try them. i couldn't help but think of the other martha when i picked these colors out.

i am happy to report that i somehow managed to get holiday cards out [a shortened list] this year. i still like the feel of a real card - i don't want to succumb to an e-card [although i do like getting those too]. not yet.

they started digging for the studio in the backyard. i almost can't believe it. i should really try and document what happens little by little. maybe make a little movie [gif] of it? hmmm. ok. note to self: take picture early tomorrow before they arrive. although it might rain, so who knows if they'll get anything done tomorrow. i get to go BACK to the permit office tomorrow too. one more snafu to figure out - but my planchecker assured me he'd sign off when i spoke to him on the phone. phew. they tried to take away a foot. and we need that foot back! at least there is a solution [just have to change the nature of one wall]. it's amazing how 12 inches can make or bread a deal.

a domestic life :: 02 :: tulips

here's page 2 of a domestic life. i don't really like this. but part of what worked for me when i did the drawing a day project was learning to live with [and hence learning from] my mistakes. i like the thought here. isolate something from the photo - change the scale/location of it. i just don't really like how i rendered it. so i'll try the isolate/alter thing again on another page.

i think many people are on their way "home" or traveling for the holiday. i'm happy to be just HOME. no big plans. hubby and i can't afford gifts this year - so i'm hoping for a day of lounging and crocheting and petting dogs and cats.... and eating. and did i mention lounging? if you are on your way or already gone... wishing you safe travels [SO MUCH SNOW everywhere - but here]...

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freedom from used cars

on the road to the opening last thursday. i spotted some escaped balloons. luckily my camera was out and i snapped the pic at a red light [no snapping while driving] - but b/c it was a hasty photo there's a lot of funny stuff in it. i rather like this. another check for happy accidents.

six weeks of drawing a day

six weeks of drawing a day were on display at the gallery. it was a really interesting and well-curated show. lots of different takes on drawing including animation and a "missing" drawing. the space itself is really gorgeous.

crossing the line

i also got to discover the work of wendy crittendon:
wendy crittendon

i am totally inlove with the pillow drawing. i want to draw pillows now. [i guess drawing beds isn't too far off, but pillows. oh pillows]

john casey has some great install shots of the whole show on his blog . it was too crowded for me to get good shots.

for gabriella

a friend just had a little girl. over the weekend i made these little felt booties from a martha stewart pattern . i hand sewed these, but you could easily production line them with a sewing machine. the possibilities seem endless - color combos... little embroidery or felt add ons.... i could spend all day making them. really.

today i cleaned up part of the studio. it was getting SO messy in there. not good for working. tomorrow [thanks to veterans day] i get a whole day in my studio. i need to start work on a very big bed drawing. right now it's like 7-8 feet long and 40 or so inches high. it will be a challenge to work this big - but i'm excited. i also want to include some 3D elements.... i think i picked out the bed i want to draw...

i think it's time to shut the computer.... see you soon

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frog bear

i made this bear for a friend's new baby. [premie baby - but she's fine]. something about a bear being able to dress up as a frog really cracked me up. plus i was literally so excited to go to michael's to buy googly eyes. when was the last time i used googly eyes?!?

the pattern came from this book:
crochet toys

i really want to make the elephant finger puppets

studio desk

i was looking at my desk in the studio yesterday. i can spy the evidence of at least 4 projects in the works. the pile of papers is all the research i did for pigmentary portraits - my upcoming show with lisa congdon at art stream studios . it's coming up quick. more on it very soon.

happy thursday! tonight i am meeting up with a friend from LA who is in town and we'll be stopping by the show at rare device

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camilla - how'd i do?

i made this for aurora's new baby. i followed [or at least tried to] camilla's instructions that she gave on whip-up awhile back.

these are totally addicting to make. i want to make a smaller one now. maybe while i'm on the plane?

i'm sitting [at this ungodly hour - infomertials are on TV] and waiting for the shuttle to take me to the airport. i'm going to nashville.... to meet kathleen and hang my show with aurora at square foot .

there are a few reasons this all seems bitter sweet. i'm so so happy to finally see aurora again and meet kathleen AND meet shari face to face for the first time. she is coming down with T and a friend. it's hard to believe that tomorrow i can actually just SAY something to her.

but sadly we are the last show at square foot. and i'm also feeling as though i should be closer to home. if only i could be in 2 places at once - heck - if we're going to do that - than why not 4 or 5 huh?

more on the show [and nashville, etc] over the next few days as long as i have decent internet access....

happy happy new year to everyone.... and thanks for all the virtual hugs for my last post....

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readymade mag - i made some plastic plates !

i was super duper excited when readymade asked if i wanted to do a little something for their holiday make it yourself guide.

using the makit melamine plate kit i made 4 designs of plates. 3 ended up in the magazine. i actually really like how they shot the spread.... how excited was i that the coolest bento boxes were in the shot with my plates ?!?

readymade mag - plastic plates

the pdf's for the shadow drawings are available here ....

sorry i've been a.w.o.l.... it's what must be right now. i'm hoping that once classes are over i'll be able to catch my breath a little.

be well friends!

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over the river and through the woods

almost there, almost there, almost there! been packing and wrapping and thinking

tuesday i leave for LA where i will have the amazing assistance of the lovely wenders and alyssa - who i'm so excited to meet - plus all the incredible help of the ultra fantastic staff at little bird gallery .

i'll share more about my thoughts on the show when it's actually up. [no counting chickens before they hatch]

just in case you thought i wasn't making crafty things anymore i thought i'd share my gradebook. i didn't like the plain black cover - so

i do still make stuff

i used moonstitches really great book cover tutorial as my starting point. i also used some trim and fabric i brought back from japan. what i realized while making this is that i'm no sally or martha or blair or all the hordes of amazing crafters out there. i am a lazy sewer. especially when i feel under the gun. i know how to be neat and perfect, but i just rarely do it. sigh. by the way - check out moonstitches owl tutorial too - those owls are SO CUTE.

so i'll be on ship tomorrow and shari and i resume our documentary project on monday - her blog - but i may be a little absent the rest of this week and all of next as i get my show up.... wish me luck!

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button book

happy labor [less] day..... if you are stateside, of course. we are having really nice weather here. it's a treat.

today shari is hosting the documentary project. the word this week was interior....

i have been drooling over my button book [above] from modern-craft . buttons - love. jewelry - love. button jewelry? what's not to love? so i made my own little button concoction.

button ring

i've actually got a pretty good stash of vintage and cool buttons [some from the lovely paula , who recently updated her shop ... i think there might be a few things left ??] i wish i had more time to play with all my buttons.... hopefully soon.....

aranzi machine gun

this cuteness also came in the mail recently. aranzi is just irresistible i think. i love how these little "zines" blend funny pics and projects.... more info on the machine gun series here [they are a CHEAP guilty pleasure].

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my grandma made me this coat

my grandma made me the coat pictured above !!! i don't know if you remember how many coats i have, but look at this one.... i certainly didn't have a knit coat in forrest green with cables! and it's so lovely and warm... can i say yay for me?? [oh i just did]. i *did* contribute the buttons.... it was actually fun to learn how to do that - and it's actually easy - you just need a little plastic ring to crochet around [who knew?]. but the buttons are the tiny touch on the masterful work of my grammy. THANK YOU!!

my dude [that's what she calls him :)] from jess hutch

jess saw the bunny i made awhile back and said she'd be willing to trade with me. i was floored. i mean really [i think i got the way better end of the deal] i'm a totally softie novice! she said she looked at my work to figure out the colors and i couldn't be happier !! my dude is so great and huggable. and i have to say he looks pretty darn cool w/ the nara ashtray that a friend got me... THANK YOU jess.

this is what i made for jess.... my first giraffe:

giraffe by me

i had a really good time making him. i had to give him a scarf too [since jess sent one with my dude]. my favorite thing is that he can actually sit. that was such a bonus! i could really get into this softie making thing.... if i only had more time....

speaking of which - a project just entered my life - i'm really excited, but also terribly nervous about it... more as it unfolds.... and i am way way way behind on some thank yous to blog peeps.... will try to get to that asap.

have a great friday - don't forget to check out ash's post on ship

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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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