Friday, December 31, 2004

Stop a fleeting moment

I found this photo essay of a family photographing themselves every year on the same date. I LOVE THAT. I wish I had done this with my husband and son. The closest we ever get is the family Christmas photo, and even THAT we sometimes forget (like this year.) It was a link from tenyearsofmylife, a photographer friend is always sending me the best sites.

Illustration Friday - Magic

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Cool Tool

My friend Jared forwarded this to me. Very cool drawing tool.

Wedding Cake Reject

For work, on my own volition, sometimes, my own time, I created this cake to present to the Today Show Throws a Wedding series as their logo for the series 2004. I made all the crepe paper flowers on the cake. It was rejected and I was pretty sure it would be, but it was such fun, was all worth it.
"Do you, Today Show, take this hand-made flowers, life-size, Today show colors, wedding cake, from Kim, to be your long-term series logo, to have and to hold, until you Throw Another Wedding in 2005?" They said, "I don't"! All photos by James Cheng.




WedCake10

WedCake9

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Best Of Us

Valentine's Day 2002. I made a mini-book for my husband. The book was called the "BEST OF US" but was really all the worst photos that we had ever taken. The silly ones -- me early in the morning before coffee, my son having a break-down during his "Christmas Outfit" photo session. I measured it all out and had the images line up so I could use my handy 1/2 inch punch on the front and back to let the images peek through. Message on last page -- "The best of us is yet to come." Made this when I was totally into making little books. Am still in the mood, don't have the time. I made many little books like this -- also made little mini-portfolios to mail out.



Farting Into Teens

Did I mention that my teenage son farts and sleeps ALL THE TIME. Is there a treatment for this condition?

Stolen Day

I had a great rainy day. Arrived at work to find I was really meant to be OFF. Stayed long enough to read email, do a little work and blog. Then hit all my favorite Goodwills on the route home. Usually don't get to do that anymore since I work until 8 p.m. Found a few treasures. A pink floral damask table cloth and matching napkins (possible S-I-L birthday present). A large worn to the silk feel - cotton mint color table cloth. A couple of stemmed etched goblets. Two what look to be cut glass butter trays, but I am growing grass in pots for a friend and thought I would put two in one tray and use them as saucers ($1.29 each.) I do have this fear that a loud speaker will blast out "LADY, STEP AWAY FROM THE LINENS!", that my family will have given them my photo-ID of a person who is not allowed to shop Goodwill anymore. The great thing about Goodwill is --- they DO have a return policy of a week after purchase, so if you can not make up your mind, bring it home and think about it.
Also found 4 in tall metal pails for $1 each in the Target dollar corner. I bought 8 pink and 8 red. I should have bought more and when I can figure out what I am going to do with them, I will be sorry that I didn't.

Ghost of Christmas Cards Past

I am feeling so guilty about not doing a Christmas card. It is usually the highlight of my holiday season. I did have ONE lame idea. Having the greeting melting off the card. I came up with that one driving to work in the pouring rain. It sounded like a good idea in the car, once scanned in, I was having second thoughts.



Here a few from years past. I would scan in the REAL cards, except they are hidden in the SECRET Christmas paper/card place my studio, and I can't remember where that secret place. Did a big search the other day because I was missing vintage placecard Santas that stand up. And a huge supply of old gift tags I was thinking of incorporating into a card. I am sure by next Christmas I will have located that stash.





Font Fun

I have been making these little font wreaths in Adobe Illustrator for years. And look, firstbornmultimedia.com has gone and made a useful little ap with the same idea!
Pick a font, any font. Pick a letter, any letter. Use the rotate tool. Usually rotating 45 degrees, but you can experiment with that as well. Rotating and picking different center marks on the letter for rotation will give you a variety of looks from one letter. Below see of the variations from some boring font for the letter "y". I found that the most elaborate scripts make the most fun wreaths!






Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Skating Into Teens

With the grim news stories, I feel the need to hold my son a little closer than usual. He is an obstinate 13-year-old, aggressive in-line skater, rap listening, pant-sagging, soccer, baseball, trombone playing, great kid, going through a challenging time. And I love him all the more for it. I never wished to be a mother. Never thought I would be a good parent, but it just happened ... at 35. And so my new life began the moment I held him in my arms. Fortunately, I like rap music and just ask that he clean his room once a month.
Tonight while he and I were running through IKEA for his new bedroom look and some
furniture ideas (he wants black walls, I say no, but dark grey okay), he weighs himself on some scales -- and he weighs what I did when I met his father a mere 13 years ago. How can that be??? Please -- TIME, slow down.





Re-Gift-Wrapper

I am a re-gift-wrapper. I admit it. I do not throw away tissue paper, ribbon over 3-inches long, re-usable gift bags, wine-bottle gift bags, a piece of wrapping paper that I deem re-usable. When my son was young, and we would go to those kiddie birthday parties, I was the weird mom collecting the scads of ribbon headed to the trash. What possesses me? Saving the environment? Re-using? Waste-Not-Want-Not? Any of the above? I have been afflicted with this sickness for years and have an entire corner in the basement dedicated to wrapping resources. I also can not throw away packing material, peanuts, and bubble wrap. What is up with that? If I don't use it, I take it to my favorite mailing store.



My other alligator clips. Aren't those just the best little invention. Also bought the little pictures holders at Paper Zone, which display little inspirations for the season.


Wall Offerings

I changed out my wall offerings this week. Cut out trees from a Christmas wrapping paper I found at Paper Zone and a few of the Christmas tags my husband put on his presents. I am only allowed to go to Paper Zone every couple of months, I have most of their inventory in my art studio

Christmas Dawg

I forgot my favorite Christmas dawg. I bought him a couple of years ago. He is papier mache, wire with colored dangling balls and a star. I love him! Of course when I made the purchase, I thought "I am going to make more of something like him". Ha!

Wave Of Death

I am completely devastated by the news of so many dead by the tsunami. I have worked for the Dallas Times Herald, San Francisco Examiner, The Post-Intelligencer and presently employed at MSNBC.com and I STILL can not help absorbing these tragic events. They become a terrible, sad part of my psyche. I become sick to my stomach, dizzy, dazed, discombobulated. After so many years in the news business I should be immune to tragic news, but I am not. I think about all of those people that in one minute lost all they had, all they loved. It is unbelievable. It feels almost obscene to continue on with holiday gift-wrapping and mailing presents. So many have lost so much, the event itself, the grief of all of those thousands of people, chinks out a big piece of my being. I encourage all to help as you can, as I intend to do. My prayers of with them.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Will The Real Henry Please Lift His Leg

My dear friend and co-worker (for 12 years) made these delightful papier mache gifts for his daughters. Are these dogs the cutest things you have every seen? (Also see the real Henry he has for inspiration!) Duane also made ME a life-size Pumpkin-Head papier mache figure for Halloween decoration. I was over-whelmed with joy at such a treasured gift. His wife, Susan, owns the greatest card shop in Shoreline, BEACH HOUSE. She has the most exquisite taste, at her house, in her shop, in her dress and her meals. One of the most memorable meals I ever had was cooked by her!



Santa was good to me

Merry Christmas. I must have been very good this year, 'cause I got some great stuff from my Santa. A Roy Rogers wind-up tin rocking cowboy and rocking horse. A molded metal lil' cowboy bank, I don't think it is vintage, "Fine Art of the West" by Bryon Price and a signed, vintage painting of Indians rounding up buffalo -- Santa spotted in a anique store during the summer. My Santa also gave me an abundance of new wild west tree ornaments. My wonderful friend Chris gave me "Extraordinary Chickens" books and beautiful blown glass hanging chili peppers tree ornament. My best Texas pal sent me a State of Texas tree ornament with boots attached. You know I can not have enough of those on the tree! Thanks to friends and family, I have a great collection of western/Texas Christmas ornaments. Sister-in-law gave me the perfect linen shirt with elongated mother-of-pearl buttons.









Lucky dog has gone back with his dad to Virginia. We hated to see him go, except the chihuahua. I swore I saw a smile on his demonic, snarling face when the door shut. My sister-in-law was here for just a few days. We all had a good time, good meal, then all back to work.
So now back to work, getting the rest of presents off to the post office. One of these years, I am not going to be mailing Christmas presents in January!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Lucky Dog

We have the privilege of watching 'Lucky' Dog for a couple of days. Is there anything better than puppy belly? Puppy breath? The way a puppy can fall into a deep sleep in seconds?






Dig Those Dwellings

When I win the lottery, my first purchase will be acres and acres of land in West Texas or New Mexico. Somewhere I can drive for hours on a highway and only pass a few pick-up trucks. These modern pre-fab homes might just be what I build out there. Maybe a Glide House or one of these modular homes for a little art studio. A girl can dream, can't she?

Dish Alert

Back to work for a day. Co-worker sent me this link where I found a few items of note. These plyFOLD Containers made out of recycled material are very fun. Animal Kingdom Dinnerware from Fish Eddy I love! If I were purchasing more dishes, (and I am not, yet) it would be the Pantone Collection. And speaking of DISHING, while Christmas shopping in Ballard, Washington, we were lucky enough to happen by Kathy Casey's Food Studios open a couple days during the holidays to the public for retail. She had a variety of samples of her fabulous Dish D'Lish and there was not one sample that we did not taste, love and purchase. I bought the bread dippers, Blue Cheese & Hazelnut Spread, Firecracker Wasabi Spread, Red Sangria Mix Cocktailor™ Mixer and some olive bread. She also offers cooking classes and I plan on signing up for one.

Elves Spotted In Texas

A wonderful story I saw on the Today Show about a Texas man who founded ELVES AND MORE, giving his time, money and inlisting hundreds of volunteers to make sure kids have Christmas gifts. There are good people in the world.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Note To Self

January 1, start making my to-do list for Christmas 2005.

Keeping Me In Stitches

Months ago I designed a logo for Amy's fabulous new adventure -- Stitches. A great fabric store in Seattle offering beautiful Asians brocades and lots of yummy yarn. I have signed up for a FELTING class in January and I can't wait.

Texas Size Pop Corn

I bought hundreds of these wonderful Texas Size Pop Corn bags last year for a few dollars from a store going out of business. Being from Texas, it was just a given that they should be mine. I thought they would be great for wrapping presents, for cookies, breads or hey, serving pop corn at a party. And I found these alphabet punches at Michael's yesterday. A great addition to my studio of stuff I hardly visit. I am having a hard time finding stuff in my studio, have not been there in a while. Sad, I dreamed of always having a place like that where I could work, dream, paint. And now that I have it, I don't have time to use it. Life is not fair sometimes.



Jammed on jellies

My mom makes jellies, jams, chutneys all year for us to give to co-workers and neighbors for Christmas. She does not ALWAYS label the jars while she is cooking, so wrapping and labeling months later can be very interesting. This year she made Damn-Hot Relish, Jalapeno Jelly, Pear Perserves, Something Peach, Grape Jelly from our backyard Concord Grapes and several other jars of stuff that I will just label "Happy Holidays". We stayed up late last night baking cookies and breads. I made my favorite chewy, very chocolate Truffle Cookie and Chocolate-laced mini-pumpkin breads. I used that fun stringy yarn this year wrapping the jelly and jams, they look very festive.



Shopping And Beyond

I spent the day doing my favorite past-time. Shopping. I don't always purchase, but I love to look and take it all in. I found a ONE bargain today. "Fresh Cut" roomspray from Pottery Barn for 50% off. Fear of not ever finding it again, I ran from mall to mall buying up a good supply. Added a few more to send to a couple of friends as "My Favorite Things". It smells of freshly cut grass and my son always knows when I have REALLY cleaned house because he says "You've sprayed that perfume around the room." Thank God I did not see this set of minatures chairs because as you know I am trying to break the chair-buying habit. I found these great frames for presents also at Pottery Barn. (PS: I paid $24 for a square one, and $36.00 for the larger, horizontal one). They are canvas-backed deep (shadow-box type) for photos and other special keepsakes. I bought one for my friend I have since we took "driver's ed" together, way back when. I am going to put some photos of us as teenagers to get her started. The idea that you can easily change out images appeals to me. Also bought one for my mom and of course, for for me!

My Inspiration

I only started this blog because of Erica. A friend of mine forwarded me her site a long time ago, stating "you guys were separated at birth." Erica is very talented, sharing and I look forward to every new entry. She shares fun projects on her projects page (and gives good directons) and I gave the felted snowman a try last year. Because of my lack of ideas this year, I have used my sad little woolie snowman as nametags on presents for co-workers.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

South of the North Pole

Not exactly the North Pole, but this is where it all happens for me -- the art studio. Finished all my Christmas cd labels and glued the cd sleeves together. I have one more day to come up with my Christmas card idea or I give up for this year. And start thinking New Years? Valentine's?



My favorite spot is on the wall entering the studio. I have alligator clips tied on rope. I change the images out all the time. Thanksgiving can find turkey feathers, Christmas -- cut snowflakes, Spring -- flowers pictures cut out of magazines, Birthdays -- images of the birthday person. Such a small thing, it completely delights me!

No More Blogging

Do I all ready need 'blogger anonymous' 12-steps. This is my "Deer in the Headlights" look. No more wine or blogging until Christmas is done.

4 more days of freedom

It dawned on me today at 3 p.m. as I was blogging and drinking coffee in my PJ's and house-slippers, that I only have 4 more days of vacation, BUT more importantly, 4 more days of getting Christmas finshed before I return to work. So tonight, I worked on a few projects. I spied in some magazine (can't remember which one) a vintage bottle with a photo inside. I was thinking I would do something like that for my sister-in-law. She always appreciates efforts like that. The rest of my family looks at me like I just laid a rotten egg. I scanned an old photo of her dad (now deceased) playing the piano. I also scanned the back of the photo since it had the date and a cool stamped logo and stuck them together back-to-back with double-sided tape. I rolled the photo up and inserted into the bottle. My problem is trying to get the double paper to unroll. It is a little tight right now. I ask my family for suggestions on this problem (see the puzzled look on everyone's faces). Also, I have been making flower lapel pins from vintage pink/white wool blanket for some close friends. I boiled them thinking they might felt some, but they did not. The ends rolled up and made a perfect petal effect. and I sewed beads in the center. It is all an experiment, just some little project to get my mind working creatively in a non-computer way. May also make a couple of stockings out of this wool fabric. It has a wonderul feel to it.





Friday, December 17, 2004

Scooter De-Skirted

My Cocker Spaniel is a wonderful pet, I love him, and he has been my loyal companion for 8 years. He has all the Cocker Spaniel ailments and we have had so much work done on him, we dubbed him the bionic dog. But the worst part is the guilt I feel when he is not clean and matt-free. Keeping him presentable and odor-free is a full-time job. He had the full Cocker Spaniel show skirt for many years, finally we trimmed it up to a shorter version. Yesterday I made the painful decision to have Scrub-A-Pup shave off his luscious, matt-filled coat. What a relief. I can now look at him and not feel GUILT. (And of course I had to buy him a cute little sweater in case he caught a chill).

Bringing Some Green Indoors

In December I like to plant pots of grass to add green around the house. Grey and rainy outside, it is nice to have some green inside. Once grown, trim it and experience the smell of summer for a minute or two. I start many pots and use them or not. You could pot up something for your favorite cat. I have lots of peppermint, mint in my yard but don't have much luck growing it inside. I love the idea of growing a cup of tea indoors. This year I planted some abundant ground cover Baby Tears in vintage glass battery containers. A layer of potting soil, then plopped in the ground cover. It is doing very well. I have moved a ton of that ground cover in my yard from where it does not belong, to somewhere I would like it to grow. You have to be a planner to enjoy forced "Paperwhite Narcissus" bulbs at Christmas. This year, I forgot. This is what I need to get me organized for the holidays. As hard as I try, as much as I want to be organized, I always feel like a deer caught in the headlights by December 24th.



Looking Forward To Sweet January

My husband and a friend landscaped the backside of our backyard a few years back. One early January I was getting hints of the most amazing fragrance and finally tracked it down to Sweetbox (Sarcococca), an evergreen shrub with tiny, delicate, highly fragrant flowers. Now, I look forward to January. I once thought winter was a barren time in the garden. Now as a amatuer gardener, I know there are many winter plantings to please the eye and tickle the senses. Have planted more Sarcococca, to sweetened up the winter walk in the backyard. To bad we don't have scratch and sniff on the internet. Another winter favorite of mine is Red Twig Dogwood.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Liver Treats Anyone?

My wonderful mom made our dogs some liver treats when she found liver half price. The dogs loved loved them. She shared them with a friend who is mad about her dogs and they loved them. The friend called asking for more. So Mom made 6 batches today. The smell of that much liver baking in the kitchen, ran me outdoors, to, aahh, put up the Christmas lights, yeah, that is what I need to do outside. I usually resort to the quick, cleaner label-making solution of the computer. Tonight, since I am on vacation and have not visited my art studio for months, decided to make some the messy, old-fashioned hand-stamped labels. This is my third day of ten days off and it feels good. I have spent the last couple of days just cleaning, mopping incredibly dog-hairy art studio floors, watching movies late into the night, lighting lots of nice fires, drinking some wine, talking with neighbors in the street and running little errands. Not the big Christmas shopping trips I should be taking to the stores, but I am working up to that later in the week.





And speaking of treats,
Sherry turned me on to this incredible piece of music by Yo Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone, Gabriels Oboe. It is haunting, sad and exquisite. Do yourself a favor and listen to it on that itunes store snippet thing! Speaking of itunes, still have not figured out how to get back the play-list of all play-list my husband had assembled. I moved it from some folder into what I thought was a public folder and lost it. He is not happy with me.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Christmas Shopping Online

I usually pick up appropriate and unique presents for family throughout the year. This year, I have not been to any art/craft shows (I work on Saturdays) or found anything exciting to grab for anyone. I have been searching online and only found a few things for my sister-in-law. She and my husband are easy to buy for. I want to get my s-i-l these cool Candela Lamps. They sit in a base and can work from that base, or sit on the table alone, looking like glowing candles, without a flame. You can buy a set of four for $70.00 or a set of 10 or $350.00. I think I will start with a set of 4 and see how they work. The other object-de-arte I was considering for my s-i-l was this beautiful die-cut curtain I spied some months ago by Tord Boontje. (check out his chairs on his site!) I fell in love the first time I saw it, along with all his other designs. I noticed his lighting covers were selling at Fireworks. My mother is also an easy buy ... Joy Perfume by Jean Patou - a distinctive blend of jasmine, Bulgarian Rose, ylang-ylang, and tuberose. It is heaven in a bottle. She has worn it since I was 15 years old. My dad bought if for her every Christmas and now that he is gone, I make that purchase.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Flaking out at work

We are having too much at work with this 'snowflake maker' thank you, lookandfeel.com for giving us some chilly thrills today! You can even save them out as pdf's ... now that is a useful tool! More snowflake patterns, templates and all out fun at papersnowflakes.

Small chairs reproducing in dark places

A friend at work was telling me of a crazy Hot Wheel Car Collector, his collection took over an entire room. I mentioned my out-of-control chair collection and newly installed shelving to accomodate, adding that at least I did not have a matching Barbie doll collection that sat in them. Now he considers me insane.Who knows how it actually becomes a COLLECTION. Slowly, silently, they take over a shelf, then the entire bookcase, and before you know it, you are are installing their own shelf space to show them as a COLLECTION. Now, I would be crazy if I bought this grand comfort chair miniature by Vitra chair for $525.00 from Unicahome.com. Not to say I would not LOVE to have it. So, Robert, if you are looking for that special little gift for your buddy, I will take any of these. HO HO HO.

A collection of little chairs

A collection of little chairs

A collection of little chairs

A collection of little chairs

A collection of little chairs

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Christmas Comes But Once A Year

Thank God! I say. It is a hoot carefully unwrapping the ornaments, remembering who gave us what. Of course the very special ones are my son's early art projects, macaroni glued around his picture, glittered popcicle sticks fashioned into a snowflake. Friends have made or given us precious ornaments. I treasure them all. My favorite, if I were forced to pick one, would be the first ornament my husband (right before he was my husband) gave me. Two white lovebirds nestled together in a white cage. I cried the first time I unwrapped it and I cry each year I hang it in a special place on the tree.