Friday, June 26, 2009

Alberta Street

The draw in moving to Portland was not just having my big sis to adventure with, or watching my twin nephews grow and explore their world, but also the promise of an abundant and thriving art community. I have the luck of working for a company that embodies old world artisan spirit and therefore work alongside numerous local artists, but have found this first year in Portland that the way you enter into the community of artists is not just by creating, or through work contacts, but with the support of friends.

local printmaker Emily Riley and our shared table outside at
Last Thursday on Alberta Street yesterday

One such friend is Emily Riley, a truly skilled print maker and painter. She is a member of the Talisman Gallery, a cooperative gallery on Alberta Street in NE, and one of my closest friends in town. I'm pretty familiar (and comfortable) with selling online; much of my business plan is still focused on the Internet as means of communication, networking and expression, but Emily has played a role in encouraging me to show my drawings around town, in person, despite my shyness, hesitations, scheduling conflicts... or all the other road blocks that have manifested since arriving in this arty town.

Yesterday I left the glow of the computer behind to set up shop at my first ever outside booth. Attending Alberta Street's Last Thursday was a complete blast, with the constant river of people flowing by, odd parades making their way down the street, and such pleasant weather after a day of overcast foreboding skies. I was surprised to find people were eager to talk about art, process, and other sellers out that night whom they had enjoyed pouring over. It was great fun.

I was surprised, also, by just how inspiring spending a night out talking about drawing, printmaking, design and other local artists could be. It was very, very hard arriving home at 11:30 p.m. and not cracking open the sketchbook.

ouou shows off her wares; single cards,
stationary sets, journals and original drawings

I feel as though I'm entering into the weekend with bold exuberance for some fresh new drawing, as well as mindful that I've been posting about a new year with new experiences lately- only to stumble into one such experience! :D Find out more about Emily's art at her website here, or visit her Etsy shop here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I'm not such a fan of the heat or humidity of summer, but I am of everything else about it: nature, food, being outside in the world, sunlight, water, flowers, dresses, travel, cookouts. The local Farmer's Market has opened up just three or four blocks away from our house, so Sunday mornings have taken on a whole new exciting tone. Our friend K is back to making jam, the boys have been to the ocean once already and will doubtless be there countless times when C brings them to visit their grandparents on Cape Cod, and I am craving watermelon like you wouldn't believe. Summer!

We've been trying more vegetarian recipes lately. With the abundance of fresh local produce this time of year and my on-again, off-again work schedule, we've been buying in arm-fulls and trekking home to cook two or three meals all in the span of an afternoon, freezing them, sometimes with fresh bread or scones thrown in for good measure. The boys have been joining us in eating big-people food these days... boy can those kids eat! Any suggestions on whole food recepes you like in the summer?

ooh, fresh fennel's pretty pattern.

Did I forget to mention? There's a SALE going on over at ouou for the 23rd and 24th only! I'm thinking about retiring the original art again until winter, so pop by and check out the sale. Also, I'm heading over to Alberta street tomorrow night, June 25th, for Last Thursday, too. If you are down there after 5 p.m... keep a look out for ouou's table! I'll probably be the lady snacking on some delicious watermelon.

ACEO sale! Down from $13 USD to $8.00

Monday, June 22, 2009


I turned 31 last week. It has been a crazy, busy, (at times) frantic two weeks, so I really have to put on the breaks in order to reflect upon that. Officially, the first feet-wetting year in Portland is over, and now is the time to begin turning the gears on new ventures, new visions, to sink in some roots. I'm proud of myself for sticking to it and not moving back east this year, though the issue of work is still an issue on the table every day. It sometimes makes me feel deeply worried and I'm looking to resolve that this summer. Who knew that this would be a part of the unfolding of our grand adventure out west: the trouble in the country, or that up against the temporary ways of living I had become accustomed to I would finally choose to remain in a place and try and work it out regardless. It is time to branch out in my explorations of the west coast, to meet more artists and crafty folk here in town, and to spend my second year making this place my home.

One of my friends at work is often talking with me about yoga, meditation, and subjects of spiritual significance. I look back and see just how much those influences guided me along the way last Spring as we took the leap to change our lives, both myself and my (then) pregnant sister. In the scramble my days often feel like now, the flow and availability of that peace is obscured. I'll try my best to bring them back into my own daily practice this year. Gosh, I'll try to have a daily practice this year. Hopefully my immune system and financial situation, the two places I feel strain most often, will feel more centered the more grounded I become.

But other than goals for the future there are countless incredible, unexpected, miraculous moments from the past year to acknowledge. My nephews have turned me inside-out and head-over-heels to the very core of me, I cannot begin to put words to my love for them. My relationships with my family are changing, growing, beautiful, I am grateful for this new chapter with them, probably the most beloved example of leaving the tumultuous 20's behind. Our friends and my friends at work amaze me time and time again, what would this place or this experience have been without this remarkable community? Mamas and papas and artists and kids! I feel lucky to feel so alive and welcomed around these people I love so, surprised and happy at its variety.

I have high hopes for 31, even if 30 is a tough act to follow. When the going gets rough (June)... I like to break things down into slower, quieter segments of time. Coming home from work on my 31st birthday to a dinner made lovingly by my sister (and it was still hot) and ending the stormy day with a rainbow stretching over the house, the day turned out to be a really very good one. Despite the stresses it feels good to work hard for these basic, extraordinary things. I hope everyone reading has also has a lovely entrance into summertime, and is looking ahead with sweet anticipation at the next steps from here to there.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

update: Knitty

Wow, I just hit 300 posts on my blog!
It feels good to sit down to write here tonight. I've been working odd hours at work, and around those work days quite a bit has changed in my own shop in a short period of time. This has been refreshing, as though new life has been breathed into ouou, but it has not left me many hours to work on and I've missed it.

I had been working on some new Gocco around the knitting designs in prep for's June release... its been published!
Check out ouou Knitting Notes in the "cool stuff" section here!

Puuuuurl Moleskine Notebook printed with Gocco (above), and Bundled Up (below)
back in ouou until C opens Bamboo Village Press back up.

the most recent color versions of Knit Kitty and Otter
(these are sold together in a set of 2) with my own mixed Gocco inks.

There have been so many new listings in the shop, as I said I feel like the experience has been refreshing. My sister C and I are playing around with our swank new home printer and she's helping me sew some new craft items, too, so I feel as though energy is flowing back into the creative process. I've yet to get good photos of my exciting two color Gocco cards, those will be released in the next few days. Also, I promised news about the fate of my first print run of mixed sets, so you can expect I'll be better about blogging this weekend.

Until then, friends, thanks for the comments and I hope everyone is enjoying their June!

Friday, June 5, 2009

many thanks, Mister Fishy

It all started with this fish.
Weeks ago, C and the boys and I went for a long walk and ended up at FuBon, the local Asian market. The day was pretty remarkable, actually... after picking up some groceries we ducked into a sweet restaurant next door, sat down to noodles for the first time with the twins, had a riot watching them try new flavors! But while we were still in the grocery we saw this package and I caught a quick snap. I think its not only the design itself, but the navy and orange really captured me.

you can use some photocopy inks, but to avoid misprinting
I hand draw all my own Gocco screens.

As I said, then I heard from, purchased new Gocco screens, and have been cranking out new prints ever since. But, aside from re-printing Mr. Knit Kitty and Otter, I kept thinking back to that wonderful fish package. How to get that same combination!? Below is an example of one of the fixes, finished after mixing a darker blue than the RGB that Gocco inks come in. Now that I'm mixing my own ink colors, I can't believe how long I lasted last year using colors straight from the tube. I also tried my first two-color that I'll share tomorrow, along with where these little orange beauties are going now that they're all packaged up!

Knitting Notes kitty in navy on orange.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Knit Knews

Here comes another weekend, and with it I'm seeing a pattern emerge to my posting. It looks like the early days of the week, while I'm home, I'm getting the creative work done then listing, blogging and Facebook updates around my weekend work schedule. Funny it has turned out that way, but any post when I'm talking about spending days in creative output is a good one, yeah?

My exciting news I had suggested last week is that my knitting notes are going to appear on in their June issue! I'm thrilled about the venue, even though in the knitting world I'm barely a novice knitting is still a major part of our experience, conversations, and the twins' standard gear. It has yet to be published, but I'll surely be blogging again when it hits.

In preparation, this last few days have all been devoted to getting Knit Kitty and Knitting Otter back onto clothes and cards. C helped to get new Gocco screens, burning the first fresh prints since 2008. I've come up with two new logos for Gocco prints and have been testing mixing my own colors entirely since Larger than the Sky's blue was such a success. Our friend K let me borrow her fancy schmancy camera so hopefully I'll be cutting through the overcast and getting some brilliant shots of all this work up for the weekend!