Saturday, July 29, 2006


Lately I have been obsessed with embroidered items. They are so pretty, delicate and interesting. I am drawn like moth to the flame to embroidered clothes. *sigh* I've been finding all these sales and incredible deals lately on clothes like this. I got a lined silk sweater covered with embroidery and beading...a 3/4 sleeve 50's-ish style cardigan with little hook closures....I about fainted when I found it. That brings me to the other day when I bought this little green 1/2 sleeve knitted sweater on sale for 50% off. It was the only one left and it was my size. It's not something I would normally pick out to wear, but I was drawn to it. I tried it on and it looked really cool! The colors drew me in...such a nice palette. The colors are inspiring to me. Then I realized it's the embroidery that draws me in as well. I decided to buy it and now I can't stop staring at it. If I could hang it on my inspiration board I would.

Along the same note, I was touring a nearby mall several weeks ago with my friend and business associate Debbie. We were researching interesting displays and other "eye-catching" retail solutions. We wandered into
this store...I don't have kids, but I WANTED the clothes in there. They were quite pricey for the age group, but they were so beautiful it almost seemed worth spending that kind of money. Almost. We were mesmerized by the beautiful packaging and hangtags on the clothes. We oohed and ahhed over the retail signs and displays...a graphic designer's dream store. My eyes fell on a little clearance bin...more like a tray of small belts and other odd objects. I pawed through and gasped as I pulled out this GORGEOUS hat. I gave a little yelp to show Deb...the colors in this hat are so beautiful. And the hat is so soft. I could pet it for hours. And, there is this little embroidered bird on the side. *sigh again* I looked at the price and it was $1.99!!! I decided that I had to have it. Again, I don't have kids. But, I figured it was so pretty and was a real inspiration for me. It was a perfect item to pin to my inspiration board in my office. And it was less money than a lot of greeting cards are now! I excitedly brought it up to the register and the associate asked me "When are you due?" with a smile on her face. I felt so embarrassed and sheepish. All because I'm buying a hat for myself that I can't wear. I managed to peep out that "I'm not!" with my own smile. I felt bad for her; she was so upset for saying it. She said most people get so excited about the clothes and they are usually expecting. I said "no, not me. I just excited over the colors and design of things...I'm a graphic designer and I love this store!" She agreed, she loved the designs as well. And to add to the dorky design excitement, she gift wrapped the hat for me so I could have the gift box and all the little details that go along. The tissue paper....AMAZING! The gift boxes....SO CUTE! And the shopping bag....again, so great. Everything was inspired by vintage wallpapers and pretty patterns. She included a ribbon and sticker in the box for me as well. When I have kids, I'm definitely going to shop there! (Probably in the sale area, but it's all good!) Such a great store. The website pales in comparison to the actual shopping experience and all the beautiful tags and signs and props. All this makes being a designer so fun for me. Below are photos of the steps of the "packaging experience" for my little hat. The gift box had little flowers on the lid and a pale green gingham pattern as the bottom of the box. You can click on the images to might be able to make it all out. Even the tissue is a contrasting printed pattern and has scalloped edges. wow.
I adore it all so much. I feel silly getting so excited. But, I can't help it and that's fine by me! I know I'm not alone!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Eyes on me...

Yikes! I finally called my eye doctor today. I've been having problems with "red eyes" and other issues with them every time I wear my contacts. It's been a nightmare this past month. I've never had problems before after 14 years of wearing them. So, I'm now wearing my out-of-date prescription glasses that I hate and can't see all that great through. I just want my eyes to feel better!! Hopefully, it's just a lens fitting issue since I recently switched brands. Anyhow, I have an appointment for a week from now. I ordered new up-to-date eye glasses today; and have to wait until next Tuesday or Wednesday for those. I'll make do; it could be much worse. On the way home, I stopped at the library and read some magazines (much cheaper than constantly buying them!) and checked out a book on Leonardo DaVinci (I love books about him...) and one on the anatomy/drawing of wildlife animals. It's very detailed in terms of different poses and scenarios for every kind of critter. Good for studying! As for DaVinci, I just love his line quality and his drawing style. It just captivates me; his notebooks are amazing. That was one curious man I'll say! I like to get out a magnifying glass and peruse all the little details of his work. Endless fascination for me! And finally, below is a photo I like that I took after the Fourth of July fireworks up at Great Pond in the Belgrade lakes of Maine. It was pitch black outside and this little area was lit by a porch light. The photo, while not totally accurate to what our eyes saw, it reminds me of some sort of children's book illustration. Very luminous. :) It's a favorite of my husband and myself.

Illustration Friday: Clean

I instantly thought of the germs that are on the kitchen counter before I spray it down. Here's a little cross-section of them. I nice reminder of why we clean in the first place.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

All is well! Yesterday I worked on-site for a was a very busy day! Lots to do. It was a lot more harried there than I've gotten used to working at home. I felt tired when I got home last night from all the action. So far today I did some client work and sent out invoices. I went shopping at this little boutique...they always have such cute finds! It's rooms and rooms of pretty things...clothes, furniture, art, objects, toys, name it. And the fact that it's a short drive to the center of town doesn't hurt either! Here are some photos I took the other day:

The grasshopper was hiding in the grass amongst the purple flowers. I spotted him; he didn't seem to mind that I took his photo. We're neighbors after all. Not much else going on; just reading blogs and brainstorming art ideas. I've been coveting these blogs lately: loobylu and heather. Another fun one is's endless with inspiration and fun. Okey doke, I'm off to clean a bit of the kitchen and eat (garlic tortellini with pesto sauce is on tap for the night). Mmmmmmmm....

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Pain in the Butt

As promised, here is our new backyard retreat. We have a little outdoor firepit/stove (perfect for s'mores and roasting marshmallows). Toward the right back by the hose, you can see a bamboo-like structure...that is our outdoor fountain. Water trails from the top "tube" and flows down through each tube. Sounds a little like a small waterfall. The hammock is fun, although I sat out today in my bathing suit ready to ponder my work when this black bug (not sure WHAT it was...) flew at me out of nowhere and flung down into the hammock. I squealed quite loudly and fell off the side of the hammock along with my notebook and pen. Sprawled on the ground, I felt a stinging pain on my right butt-cheek. The damned thing bit me in the behind!! I started to get scared and in a flash I whipped down my suit bottom to check to see if whatever bit me was in there. Thank goodness it wasn't. And thank goodness the neighbors weren't home! Our backyard is pretty private luckily. Not that I cared at that point in my freaked out state. I scared away my little chipmunk friend I'd been watching...I'm sure he was laughing at me from the bushes behind the rocks. Anyway, I'm working INSIDE for right now; as my butt heals. I worked a little more on my painting this steps. The front empty part will be very detailed and I'm sure it will take quite a long time to do. So, I've spent a lot of time getting all the background finished up so I can focus my attention to the front. Since it will go in the dining room I really want to do a good job on it and not just rush through like I normally might. (I don't have much patience). Here it is so far.
It's a start at least. I've also decided to post my inspiration board / and one of my desks.

It's got visual treats that I really enjoy looking at lately.

It's got 3-d objects and flat objects on there. I have some fabric items I have yet to hang. And on the desk you can kind of see a rubber ducky painting laying flat that I will put up for sale on my etsy shop at some point soon. I found that I really enjoy painting "non-reality". Landscapes have their place, but I like painting little characters and critters. I'm thinking I will have to expand on that idea as I move forward. I get totally energized and excited when I paint things like that and that's what I'm going for. Well, the rest of the day will be spent getting cleaned up and getting done some client work before Chris gets home from his softball game tonight. Tomorrow I will be working for a client on-site so it will get me out of the house for a bit which is always fun. Hopefully nothing will bite me in the behind there too!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The big follow-through

Ugh. There is so much I want to do! Sometime I don't know how to fit it all in. I overwhelm myself with ideas until I am paralyzed and find myself wasting the day on television instead. I spent all last week working, working, working for a client in the city. It was a long commute and tiring. But I enjoyed the work. I just didn't enjoy getting home so late! Now, this week I don't forsee a whole lot of work. (of course that could change any second now with the ringing of the phone). Feast or famine is my life right now. I'm always either bogged down with so much to do, or light as a feather. I love it. I'm lucky. I'm going with it.
So, I make all these plans for what I want to do with this found time, and I get overwhelmed. I finally have the chance to spend time on all the things I daydreamed about (what I'd rather be doing if I were home) when I had a 8:30-5:00 job before. And I've got NUTHIN'. I realize I just have to decide what my biggest priority and interest is for the day and dive in. (I never WAS a diver...I always sort of hopped in the water butt-first...I have never done a dive before...hmmmmm). So today, I'm going to work on a painting. I started it at the beginning of June and haven't found ample time to touch it since. So, it's got the background filled in and that's it. I want to do a nice job since the intent is to hang it on our dining room wall once complete. So I guess that's my big goal for today...not to finish, but to continue on it. I also have lots of bookeeping and filing to catch up on for my business...and invoices to send out. Never the fun part but necessary if I want to be paid! Oh yeah! My other thought was wanting to fix some photos I took and upload them to my flickr page...see what I mean? I start coming up with plans and a whole host of new ideas swarm like bees around my head. I refuse to give in to my normal pattern of retreating to the couch...I must break that bad habit. I know I will be grateful to myself if I do. I feel like I'm normal. I just need to bite the bullet and see things through. And THAT is what is hard for me to do. I'm a starter, not a finisher. And I need to change it. I WANT to change it. Being creative and accomplishing art depends on some sort of follow-through. I need encouragement...I need strength.
I've got the inspiration, now I need the strength to be confident and FOLLOW-THROUGH.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ahhh, summer.

I love summer. I've missed it!!! I've been thoroughly enjoying it so far! I'm sitting in our brand new backyard right now. Well, we always had the yard. After we've had the house for over a year, we still didn't have any outdoor items set up. So I haven't gone outside the house much during the day. So, for my birthday (which is this coming Friday! yay!) we picked up a new patio table and chairs (to replace the green plastic) and an umbrella and a hammock with hammock stand, a bird bath, some bird feeders, a fountain, and some large colorful outdoor urns to plant annuals and other things in. It feels like a littlel retreat now. All the items are from end of season clearance sales, so we spent staggering little for it all. I'll be sure to post a picture soon. There's a zillion dragonflies out here. They must have caught on to our gazillion mosquitos. I've noticed that we don't have nearly as many as last year. All thanks to those dragonflies. They are all, green, black, speckled, brown, and techni-colors. And huge. These look like little bi-planes. I keep peeking at the bird feeders, but haven't seen any birds yet enjoying the seed. I think they have to discover it's there first. Anyway, we went to the beach in the other part of town the other day; it was fun. It's a big beach on a cute pond. It must be fun living there. We live across from a similar pond, so it's fun to be able to walk or ride the bike over and lay on the sand and swim. I feel like we are finally settling down and making the town our home. Finding the shortcuts, the trails and the roads to get to places more quickly...discovering little shops and other excitements. It's been so fun getting to know the area here. So much to take in! Other than all this, we've been going to fun barbecues. We also visited my parents at a house they rented for 2 weeks up on Great Pond in Maine. We stayed for several days enjoying the lake and the relaxation. Again, I love summer. The smells of the barbecue and the flowers in the air. The fresh cut grass. The smooth warm air on your skin. And the cool breeze in the lazy shade at the pond... I wish it could stay like this all the time, but summer in New England just wouldn't be the same without the fiendish winter that preceeds it. Well, I'm off to get back to work. And reality I suppose.