Sunday, March 30, 2008

Earth Hour

What did you do during your Earth Hour?
Here we made some tea and settled down to a couple rounds of Scrabble... of course. It was lovely to settle down as the day was ending, it felt timeless & natural in its own way. Turning off the lights, television and closing the computers was so relaxing.
This is, however, coming from the girl who wants one of these. Ya know.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bi Bim Bab, Seriously.

Bi Bim Bab, that's what I'm talking about.

Right, every weekend post around here its food, food, food! Friday afternoon in the best Korean & Japanese restaurant in town was a much needed break. Sister and I both ended up getting Bi Bim Bab, a delightfully simple meal that comes to the table sizzling while it continues to cook in its own cast-iron pot. The carrots, daikon, zucchini and bean sprouts... oh goodness... sit on a bed of rice with a fried egg hat on its uppermost. So incredible!

I really hope I can learn how to cook this at some point.

I'm working on a couple of projects... but its slow going, I must confess. Got that feeling (this comes and goes) that I can't stay long away from my sketchbook, even if the doodles aren't great. I guess this is "Discovery Mode", not the time for finishes. Out of the many different ways the creative process fluctuates and changes energy, I like this feeling~ it is exploratory, searching, just following where sketches go from one page to the next.

So this kind of drawing, and Spring Cleaning (or Spring Clearing-Out), and perhaps beginning to knit a baby hat (!) is what my weekend looks like. The blog will be taking a serious turn toward what is going on while we gear up for the long-haul, I hope you guys can bear with me. I'll certainly be announcing a few more introductions to the shop this month, but honestly the creative energy is going to be taking a shift as the Spring unfolds. I hope for all of you it is also unfolding with inspiration, growth, and curiosity.

Now, anyone know a good recipe for frozen salmon? Hmmm...

Gocco news coming next week!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Painty Friday

Several weeks ago Illustration Friday had the theme "Garden"- - - better late than never! Happy Painty Friday, this is my latest, finished just recently with the Staedlter pens my brother sent in the mail. Thanks, Simon!

I'm not participating heavily in IF yet, too unusual a work schedule, but it is great to check it out and puzzle over~ just in case inspiration strikes. These are the best photos I currently have of the "Garden" watercolor, more later on my Flickr page. If they ever come up with "wrinkly dress" as a theme, I'll be all set for that one.

With 31 days to go, I'll be packing up the paints very very soon. Amazing. More on the process next week:
Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

ACEO (and more)

OUOU is entering the wide world of collectible art cards! Woo! Today I listed my second ACEO. I've talked about these little guys before, and drawing lots of tiny little lines, but only just now bringing them into the shop. They're really fun to make! You can see my new ACEO section here!

It feels special to be entering into the ACEO scene. Some of my favorite Etsy artists offer them, and if I remember correctly it was what my sister Celeste first suggested I sell. The above is Run with Me from CharlieMotel. Shes an illustrator from the UK and sells all sorts of paper goods like postcards, cards, writing sets... as well as buttons! Below we have a gouache ACEO from MadameBogg, Red Cape Russian Doll, that is just perfect in its classic design. These are just a couple of the little diamonds you find throughout Etsy!

Last, another note on those peanut butter cookies:
I found the recipe here by way of Google. I was looking for this recipe with sweet condensed milk, which I like better. They are slightly gooey, crumbly, and your idea of that perfect peanut butter cookie. I used the first one, the Classic Peanut Butter Cookie, and replaced flour with spelt. This made them thinner, but they were still good, and are tasty microwaved real quick to warm them up. If you want to try them with sweetened condensed milk, you can look through, they have many options there. Enjoy!

Monday, March 24, 2008


Ah, Monday. And a cold Monday, too, here in PA... recovering from peanut butter cookie overload. I spent my morning on the site Silkfair, opening up a second home for OUOU wares. I'll have mostly the Gocco there, with a smattering of the favorites from home base, Etsy. It was fun making a new banner & listing at Silkfair is free. Dawanda is the other hot Handmade marketplace, but they are only for European sellers.

Speaking of Europe... MY MOO CARDS ARRIVED! Woo Hoo! I'll get a better picture this week, but for now this will have to do. I chose a selection of images, from not only the shop but the blog and recent paintings as well. You can grab images from either Flick or Etsy, for resolution ease I just grabbed from my computer files. I've never had business cards before and have not been Etsy shopping as of late, so something coming IN the mail for me was quite exciting!

Lastly, I want to send a shout out to Kelly, Ms. Macaroni herself, for the amazing opportunity to do an interview last week. The magic went up on her lovely blog here this weekend, around which she certainly proved to be patient and good-hearted. Plus she let me prattle on about the Gocco! ; ) Kelly, you are certainly a treasure from the Etsy Greetings universe- keep on rockin that simple & sweet design! You have eloquence of expression down, darling!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tasty & Delicious

It all started with that darn cake. Ooh, and theres more leftover. My sister Celeste and I met friends Friday night for dinner (it was great- thanks so much guys!) and Celeste brought this chocolate madness for desert. So incredible. I chanced by a 1/2 slice the next day and... mmm... the memory is still sweet.
I hope everyone is eating well this Easter & having a good weekend!

You all know I'm crazy-addicted to sugar, and most of you know this above-mentioned sister is also pregnant, with twins, so there is a lot of eating going on in the house. I had no idea how many times I would be blogging about food! Today I put together some peanut butter cookies... maybe to distract myself from the other slice of chocolate cake. Did it work? Well, peanut butter cookies now outnumber slices of chocolate cake...
...good enough for me!

After all that peanut butter, I sure wish I wasn't lactose intolerant. Sheesh. (BTW, Vicki, those "SOY" Moleskines will be out next year- I haven't forgotten!) Off to go make some tea instead. Since there are so many holidays and Holy Days going on around now I'll just say Happy Sunday All!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Sweet

Hey there people! I hope everyone is having a wonderful equinox! Big huge riotous glorious hooray for spring... I know everyone is ready!

Today is special for me because I'm really excited to announce that one of the newer additions to the shop, the Gocco printed Butterfly Sky cards, were chosen to be in the book 1000 Handmade Greeting Cards! Yes, unleash those exclamation points, I've got my jumping up and down pants on! Woo! The Storque had a call for submissions that I only just made the deadline for regarding this upcoming publication. I got the congratulatory email a few hours before bed and was just ridiculously excited all night!

Happy Good Friday, and a happy & healthy Naw-Ruz to those of you celebrating New Year today. Yay Spring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A is for Acrobat

Here we are in the rain again, and lots of it too, so no pictures from today to share with you. I do have a painting, though, that is the beginning of an A B C series. A is for Acrobat!

I figure its okay to have Painty Friday on Wednesday, yeah? This particular painting is inspired by my recent and absolute obsession with the Retro Kid Pool on Flickr. Those book covers, records, ads and packages build one fascinating collection. I'll have more images in my Flickr page of A is for Acrobat. Yay!

Tonight I'm working on an interview from fellow Etsy Greetings member and the blogger/Etsyist behind Macaroni and Glue. More news on that later in the week. Thanks, Kelly! You're so encouraging! During my blog vacation I was featured in a Moleskine collection in Heart Handmade, a really well thought out, beautiful style & art directory. Marichelle at Heart Handmade's Etsy shop Wunderlust has carefully crafted bags and cloth projects, and I was very honored to be among those heavy hitters like KupKup and SiebenMorgen! You guys rock! Finally, the blog A Thing of Beauty has posted the list of 100 Great Artists on Etsy~ (by artists they mean visual arts) this list is mighty, the artists are incredible, do check it out!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New Gocco

Today I brought a new Gocco item into the shop. Those cute little otters already appeared in Moleskine form, and took off several weeks ago. Meanwhile, their sister-design the kitty resides in the Guest Artist section of Bamboo Village Press (a percentage of sales from Guest Artists goes to Bamboo Village Educational Fund~ check it out!).

Now in the ouou shop I'm offering sets of 2, one of each design, printed on fancy red note cards! We are offering combined shipping if you buy something from both ouou & Bamboo Village Press... I have to update that info in my shop tonight... but that's my latest news on the Gocco front.

Monday, March 17, 2008

little shop change & lessons from the heart

I'll be bringing in a new product soon that is black and white. Because of this, I've been trying to add photos into the shop of current designs (mostly black and white, but you see those Orange Dragons down below) on the actual cards. Hopefully this will diversify the way the shop looks a little bit. Here are some new photos:

* * *
In completely other news, today on NPR's Radio Times, good old Marty Moss-Coane had fellow host Dan Gottlieb (Voices in the Family) in for an interview. If you are unfamiliar with Dan Gottlieb, as I was before moving to PA, he is insightful, gentle, and absolutely resonant of a mindful life. They talked a bit at the end about his new book, Lessons of the Heart, but mostly the interview was simply a completely joyful and kind conversation about the ups and downs of expectation, anxiety, and belonging.

Highly recommended.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

typical sunday

It has been a typical Sunday: sleeping in, rainy drizzle outside, I'm drinking a little too much coffee, staying in my jammies too long while watching Meet the Press, about to begin some Gocco prints before making a stir-fry for lunch.

I admit, last week I took a break from the blog due to a crazy amount of stress. Several of the blogs I follow confessed to general grumpiness, too, so I feel a little better about admitting that. Thursday I went to downtown Philadelphia to get out of this suburban-stuck feeling. We are packing up and moving in 43 days (!!) and very, very restless. Spring is here, adding to this sense of muscle-stretching, leaf-turning urgency. I had the camera with me, here are some photographs from around Rittenhouse Square, before I tucked away in a bookstore and spent the afternoon hours doodling:

I've started putting sketches from my notebooks into Flickr, I prefer pencil to anything else... it is just the most basic and satisfying medium.
I hope we have time on the road trip to get photos of the experience! I'm a bit of a home-body and have never done anything like this before (2 years ago at 27 was the first time I'd ever been on a plane!), but first it seemed fitting to add some of Philly. I just tried out this tool for making mosaics ... what a charming little collage of my winter!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Back in Blue

while I was away: a very big thunderstorm, dark skies for days...

...then buds on the trees, everywhere! crocuses, too...
slept with the windows open for the last two nights, I woke up to birds this morning. Spring!

"Spring and all its flowers
now joyously break their vow of silence.
It is time for celebration, not for lying low;
You too - weed out those roots of sadness from your heart."

it is good to be back in my little fort, the blog, as the season turns over... as newness of all kinds keeps growing and growing this year. It is sweet. very sweet.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

monkey, robot, bird + Flickr ate my brain

After months not showing up in Treasuries, I have some purrdy screen grabs for you today of monkey, robot, and bird showing up in really varied Treasuries. Fun!
Those Robots have been holding their own, so much so that I'm almost out of those fancy red envelopes... that's a first! I think it's funny that Valentine's Day didn't sell them out... but those pudgy roboters & their nubbly little arms? Yeah, that's right.

Everything in Blue + the ouou shop now has it's own Flickr page! A lot of time has gone into bringing the last 4 months of photos there, playing catch-up.
Amazing things are in the works, but with several appointments that break up the day in a weird way I need to be a little more flexible... so I may take a break from the blog for the rest of the week. Hopefully when I get back I'll have a lot of fun new pictures and news for you!

Until then, this is the thunderous rain we had Saturday & the haze forming on the roof across the street:

So beautiful!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

sweet teeth

Thursday. I love Thursday. I have no idea what happened to Wednesday, I vaguely remember being terribly worried about this and that... but I woke up today just 100% delighted that Thursday it is!

So, in my happy state I'll share some of those paintings I had finished last week. These were practice sketches, completely finished paintings that took about 1/2 day each but intended as trouble-shooting. This first guy has a layer of colored pencil over the paint, I was going for a crayon-type look:

Below were the initial attempts at the new Hello Gator drawing conversions to watercolor. In the end I inverted the orange and green of her sweater and skirt and deepened the color of her hair. I was unsure about these until going over them in ink, my favorite part.

At this point, they've gone out to milestones, some of whom may have wondered if I had forgotten about them! My 900th & 1001st Heart got these small original paintings, as well as my 200th sale!

Painting 1st:

You can bet I am really really focusing on anticipation of a deliciously sunlit apartment (or porch? or... yard!?) in my Oregon future. Pictures above still came out blue (&%$*@#!) despite several days of photo shoots. The second painting photos still need some repair before I post those.

* * *

Otherwise this week I learned:
1. never re-list all day on a day the press is calling Super Tuesday, no matter how many Super Tuesday's there are in a year.
2. chocolate fudge trumps apples.
3. maple walnut fudge trumps apples.
4. penuche nut fudge trumps apples.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

making a mess

Hi everybody! Happy Super Tuesday... the 2nd...
Yesterday was a Monday of hit the ground running: lots of work to do. After a big round of printing, it took me a little while to realize that I had not formatted the Cupcake cards correctly! Argh! It's back to the printer today, as well as a major mailing of over 20 parcels and those long over-due special gifts for some special customers (more on that soon). Whew!

I made such a huge mess in my room while cutting, folding, packaging up cards & writing notes, wrapping Moleskines, packaging artwork; finally I had to leave the room and bring my chaos into the rest of the apartment. There was a post-dinner Gocco printing of Otter Moleskines, after such fantastic light in the living room that I finally got to take new photos for the Birds and Bunny tags (before Easter- fantastic!)
...last time it took way too long and the mini-eggs were eaten during last week's Lost.

All of this packaging and mailing and printing is a wonderful distraction from the painting I had been telling you about, but already I'm feeling the urge (after 2 days) to get back to the watercolors & the peaceful pressure of painting. Here's a sneak peek at one of my projects... I am very fond of this design but it just has not picked up in the shop since adding it. So, a painted version is on it's way- the first watercolor to arrive in ouou. I'm having some trouble with reproductions, more news when light turns green on that front.

Back to work!
: P