Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Art & Such

Allow me to begin with a little showcase of my own of some of the artists I love and follow on Etsy:

This is from sanfran67. Remember the early Debut days of Bjork videos like Human Behavior and Venus as a Boy... all bright colors and big shapes and fairy tale weirdness? That is what sanfran67's shop reminds me of. An intricate dreamworld, she also has a website here.

Celeste found Joseph Blake's shop, really worth checking out. These paintings are reminiscent of Zen Shorts author/ illustrator Jon J. Muth, a longtime favorite. In Joseph Blake's shop, I like the descriptions of his individual pieces and his dramatic backgrounds & trees. His "Midwinter" was the runner-up for this post.

Check out michellemoode and these brilliant sculptural pieces. You predict, yes, I love the safety pins... but also these soft colors and the stitching and knots. I don't know what "mulberry paper" is but I sure will investigate! Beautiful. Also, I could stare at her shop banner photo just about all day. : )

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Next time I post one of these Etsy favorites, it will be all about felt crafters! Yeah, you know it.

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Otherwise, Celeste and I celebrated her birthday tonight at a fantastic Japanese restaurant, good conversation, good food. It was delicious and comforting, I hope she really did enjoy her birthday.
(I even used my chopsticks! ...a little wobbly)

Now, though I will be really tempted to post, I may be away for a while due to a large-scale Gocco endeavor I am going to try and do after I get out of work the rest of the week. You see here that "Cookie" will follow "Milk" in Celeste's shop one of these days (don't worry, Vicki, the "Soy" is totally on its way too!) probably beginning in cloth, though taking photos has proven difficult. I hope to get some prints into OUOU of this boy and girl watching the falling snow- it is becoming a juggling act just between screens and the different renditions of this drawing I've done! Very, very fun.

Then its off to Boston and Cape Cod for the week...

I found these right before a trip to CoinStar the other day, just hiding out in my penny jar. Home Sweet Home!

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*Happy Birthdays*

Happy birthday today to my lovely sister,
and as of Saturday happy birthday also to my dad!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh My Goodness!

I am in my first treasury!
On Etsy, a treasury is where people gain a treasury "space" and create a little showcase, usually by a theme, with items from different shops other than their own. These treasuries show up on that main page of Etsy, and they change throughout the day. Rock on little dragons!

New Things & New York Shows

Well, somehow the weekend flew by. With more printing finished Sunday, it is time to send out my first mailing today. Yay!

I am still learning quite a bit about just what it takes to get the cards off the ground, as a shop and as items themselves. My next step is to design some packaging, and as I was folding cards and matching envelopes last night I realized it was time to print up some labels on the card backs. Behind the scenes, those little touches are becoming realized.

As for other new things, my good friend Bethany has started her blog. We went to art school together, sharing many of the same artistic influences. You can expect lots of music & movies, pop culture, Japanese everything, and we might get to see some artwork too!

I spent a lot of this weekend drawing and have finished two new designs... brambles and bunnies... here they are:

Actually, most of my weekend took place in my sketchbook. I had trouble sleeping Saturday and stayed up late sketching until exhaustion took over.

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If you are in, or going to, New York there are two shows you should know about: Giant Robot's gallery in New York is having a short show for the minimal and haunting Jen Corace. Jen has an adorable children's book about a little pea that does not want to eat her sweets, but the images from this show (see online gallery here) are more sobering and surreal. I love this work! As far as I can tell, the show is over December 6th, so although I will not get to see it I hope someone can check it out.

The German & Austrian Neue Galerie, right down the street from the Met Museum, is holding a show on Klimt's drawings through June of 2008. The Galerie itself is an intimate and beautiful setting. They have several paintings, both landscapes and portraits, as well as wide range of letters and jewelery in careful display. Some of the drawings are a little hard to see based on the lighting in different rooms, but I highly recommend this exhibit. One room has a wrap-around of the Beethoven Frieze (and playing Beethoven's 9th) that is just amazing. I was lucky enough to get to the show before moving out of New York, anyone thinking of going has 7 months to plan the trip!
It is $15 to get into the show, you have 7 months to save up. : )

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday morning over coffee I uploaded my newest card design to the shop. Bigger jingle bells showed up in the sketchbook several weeks ago, but this is their first finished apperance. I was not drawing much in the hubbub of setting up the shop, so it was a pretty spontaneous drawing, showing up just the day before yesterday! Those mini-jingles
may appear in more designs throughout the winter, I like how they look like "thought bubbles" in this one. I was happy with how she came out.

Thanksgiving in almost 70 degree weather, smack in the middle of the usual 40 degree East Coast November, is cause for special treatment. Wednesday my sister and I had gone for a leisurely walk at Wissahickon Valley Park. It was truly autumnal, filtered sunlight and blazing yellow leaves.

The place is huge, with a paved section and also paths for hiking through the woods. It was so enthralling that when the weather turned unseasonably warm Thanksgiving day, we got some water bottles and went right back for more!

We did a little hiking through the woods, the large rock formations and fallen trees. There were quite a few families there, mostly with young children, nice to see other people out and away from the television. Celeste and I were there for just about two hours when rain clouds settled over the area. We had to sprint to the car as the wind rose, temperature dropped, and the rain came! It was great!

This was by no means a "traditional" way to spend the holiday, we didn't have plans for a home-style dinner but instead went out for a yummy, generous brunch with steaming cups of coffee before hitting the trail. I think we made the most out of an unusual holiday scenario, she had a change of plans and I could not travel home to Massachusetts because I work today. It turned out to be a peaceful, beautiful couple of days.

When we came home we talked to the family on the phone, ate fresh baked cookies (yum!) and watched the Discovery channel's miniseries Planet Earth. This show is simply breathtaking.

While I'm on the subject of nature, get a load of little ladybug hanging out on the front door. I came upon her after a short walk Thursday morning. Ladybugs love this apartment building, I must have seen three or four already in the same spot, and I have only been here for two weeks or so. Button up, Lady! It is cold outside today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Handmade Holiday

Well, yesterday was my day to build my Etsy shop, by the time I got to 13 items I was sooo tired ! The site right now is pretty dragon-heavy (you can tell my favorites are the dragons) and has about half of my finished designs, as of yet. This has been a really eventful couple of weeks and the decision to sort of jump in feet first yesterday turned out to be very, very fun.

Celeste's shop was recently mentioned in a really cool article you can read here about Etsy shops that give to charitable causes. Go Celeste!

If you are thinking about buying handmade for more unique and personal presents please don't forget to look through Celeste's shop. I highly recommend her etched glass, photography note cards, and warm nubbly knits. She spotlights guest artists too (JealousJewelry, SeaFindDesigns who hails from Providence, RI, Altinay, and a local fiber artist whose work appears here)!

100% of purchases from one of these guest artists goes to the Bamboo Educational Fund, and you can read about that here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Hey look! My shop is officially open!
Follow the link or type www.ouou.etsy.com!
Good Times!

I have lived with these guys filling up my oversize sketch book for months. It feels really good to see them out there in the world.

It has been dark and rainy here all day, the perfect wrap-up-in-blankets w/ fireplace+purring kitty weather. I am looking ahead to doing just that in celebration! In the upcoming days and weeks I hope to add the Gocco cards and some new designs or products (possibly iron-on's?). But for tonight? I might not have a fireplace, or even a cat, but I can curl up with a good book and that will be a fine end to an exciting day.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

All Things Cozy

This past week Celeste has been working on a number of cozies to wrap around a French press. This is such a useful but also novel idea that I cannot get enough of it. Sort of like those urban knitters that wrap wacky unexpected places (I found this picture of work from graffiti team knitta on inhabitat.com)...

...yes, that cool! And in your house! And wrapped around your morning coffee! Those sheep would be proud.
(Maybe Celeste really is a street knitter, graffiti needles at the ready! Hmmm... Cozying the world, one French press at a time?)
You can see our efforts from yesterday, too. I was really happy with "Milk" on these earth-brown cards and those pretty Moleskine journals. It is one of the few things I have drawn over the last two months without eyes or paws or ears. Oh, and I'm lactose intolerant, too. Celeste wryly suggested I draw one for "Soy"... maybe that design will be in my shop.
What is going on with my Etsy shop, you say? We did a bulk of the printing today. You will be the first to know.

Otherwise I am just wild about felt lately, those simple shapes and bright colors. Can you tell I have worked in a children's book store recently? Take a look at these felt Yeti finger puppets in cherylasmith's shop! The rest of her wares are of equal caliber. Clean and smart. Tiny and vibrant. When I finally get to the point of taking out my needle and thread (or, buying some) I hope to make toys as simply, well, cozy as these.

Kittens Knit My Scarves

You may not recognize it (the photo is blurry) but one of the Most Amazing Trees in the World is right outside the apartment door. This guy is huge and orange and just totally on fire! Autumn is my favorite season, from the weeks of rain to the leaves-stuck-to-everything winds. It helps that I am endlessly delighted each year when the leaves change.
Lately the weather has started threatening little hints of winter, but this morning it is just cold and cloudy and looks as though it rained all night. I am curled up with some steaming coffee and a couple of blankets, still rubbing sleep from my eyes.

Yesterday Celeste and I were both home with the whole day to work on production. Oh my goodness. A rare and exceptional thing! It was lots of fun, the day started with supply shopping and ended with us sacked-out on the couch, inky hands and dazed looks in our eyes, and an abundance of new creations.

This is the second kitty w/ knits that I have made for Celeste's shop. I suspect the combined influence of living with a knitter and my own addiction to Cute Overload has me drawing all these knittery kittens.
Once we got rolling, I was set up printing some cards and paper goods while Celeste squeegeed away onto fabric. Knitting kitty here was followed by more of those fancy twin fish you saw in the photo for my first post. There are also a boy drinking cocoa with his dragon, and a recent design we tried out called "Milk".

Today the batteries are all charged for the camera, photos of yesterday's output will follow. I am trying out some popcorn designs (as of now they look an awful lot like chubby little octopuses!)... hopefully by the day is done the color, non-Gocco prints for new cards will be finished.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Raa Chaa Chaa!

Wow. First order of business is a big huge heartfelt thank you to everyone for the bombardment of wonderful comments. What totally kind, generous, talented and inspiring people you all are. I am gushing thanks. Please give yourself a little hug and say hello to you from me. I hope you enjoy this blog and that it gives some of you crafty/artsy folk some ideas, too!

Hey! It is sunny today! Me and the digital camera had a very blustery picnic outside with my trusty sketchbook in tow. I finally got a good handful of photos taken that look pretty good.

I am also happy to report that I have a new design that will be appearing in Bamboo Village Press soon- it will be next to hit the Gocco. For this I simply cannot wait!
By the way~ for those who don't get why I am loco for Gocco, this is a printmaking press that originated in Japan, makes deliciously crisp prints, and fits on a counter top. As portable printmakers go, it is aces! That's right... aces! I am still on the one-color side of that learning curve, looking at full-color examples of Gocco prints still drops my jaw. Lucky for me a lot of my recent drawings are in black & white. I have three more designs all ready to try while I practice, practice, practice. So my thanks extend all the way to Japan!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Today I woke up all ready to photograph for the Etsy shop. And the best place to do this is outside. And it is raining. And cold. And also raining.
...A lot.
I am getting a little bit cabin-fevered (I go back to work Monday-phew!) so getting rained in had me feeling more than a little on edge. What to do? Eventually I just put on some comfy socks, make a fresh pot of coffee, and allowed myself to draw without any thought as to finishes or projects. Just drawing. (Zen gong sound) That was good.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Welcome to my Blog!

Hello and welcome to my blog!
I am building this blog to keep a journal of the arts & crafts all around me: where I live, with my friends, and yeah... in the old sketchbook too. I am still getting the hang of using the digital camera, as well as inevitable blunders in grammar, so please be patient while I figure out posting.

This week marks a bunch of starts for me. To begin with, I have finally set up an Etsy shop! My sister's trail-blazing efforts on that one have had me dreaming Etsy dreams for almost a year now.
My little OUOU shop should be chugging right along in due time, now that I made up my mind about its naming (sheesh!). Also, today was my first attempt with the Gocco!!! I first read about Gocco printmaking in Craft magazine and it was love at first sight. My sister got her hands on one back in the spring and today she showed me the ropes. Not only was I gushing with printmaker-ey joy, but we made a run of cards using this super silly design of mine picturing a couple of the happiest little devils you've ever seen, so I may still be writing because of the sheer adrenaline of it all.

The fish design is one of my sister's, we were having so much fun making cards we decided to practice on fabric for a while. I am so happy to be going through these creative explorations with my sister by my side. Who knows what the rest of the week will hold!