Friday, September 28, 2007

Sabbatical Day 5

It's going to rain all day today. I can't complain; we really need it! We are cleaning up and preparing for a visit from friends tomorrow; so we are excited for it. Today I am concepting designs for my holiday card packaging. I'm really excited with how it's coming out so far...I may end up using it for my packaging for card sets AFTER the holidays...that is, if I can manage to finalize it! Too many ideas = hard decisions. Today's photos are of a recent Save the Date I did for a fabulous bride I'm working with. I love the color theme she is using...
Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sabbatical day 3 and 4

Hi! Yesterday was incredibly hot; so we walked to the nearby pond and sat on the beach and swam. We were the only ones there so it was so soothing listening to the water lapping the shore. I spent the morning and afternoon doing work. I finally managed to design my Christmas cards to be sold on Etsy and I finished them up yesterday. I've ordered the plates for the letterpress and the waiting begins! I'll have a lot of printing to do soon, I guess. I've done 3 different designs that will be for sale and I tried to make them "cute" and a little different. But not "out there." I've decided that I can second-guess myself I might as well do what I like and leave it at that. I have visions of being stuck with 60 packs of holiday cards in July. We shall see! Today was spent doing work while Chris worked on mowing the lawn/doing yard upkeep. It's supposed to be thunderstormy soon so we're avoiding the outdoors. I decided to post a piece from my recent work: this was the invitation I did for my mother's surprise birthday party. I made 25 of them and they seemed to be a big hit. And for not a lot of money! I designed the inserts myself and printed them/cut them out on my own printer and used a paper cutter for trimming. I used a rubber stamp to do the red "secret" marking, and bought the mini folders and envelopes at Paper-Source. Fun! I even used "mission impossible" language throughout the invitation to keep to the that made it fun to read. And that's the one thing I like to pay attention to: not just a design, but language that relates and ties into the theme is just as important. Have a great day and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sabbatical Day 2

Happy Birthday to my husband, Chris! His birthday was yesterday...and a wish of his was to go to Martha's Vineyard for the day. So, we got up early and drove the hour and a half to the ferry terminal. After a great 45 minute ride, we arrived! I've actually never been there before. I grew up in Southern Maine, so I have always been familiar with the "ocean/tourist" thing. And I never tire of it; I love the ocean and the coast...I'd just never managed to make it out to M.V. before. Anyway, it was a great day! We wandered the shops, had lunch, went to a beach, walked some more and had dinner at Black Dog Tavern. We got to watch the sunset and the full-moon rise. What a day! I would definitely like to go back and explore the different areas of the island and see some of the shops.
The day was one for the senses, and here are a few things I noticed:
The cool breeze wrapping around us
The smell of fresh salt air
The bright aqua ocean
The cloudless blue sky
The scent of onion rings in the air
The sounds of the swirling waves
The hum of the ferry boat's motor
The fresh sea mist spray on my face
The sparkling sun on the water making it look like liquid silver in the highlights
The warm sun on my face (I now have a racoon face thanks to my sunglasses)
Chris told me to mention "husband getting older". (ha ha. Aren't we all...)
The smell of fresh steamed lobster (my husband's birthday dinner...I had the prosciutto-wrapped chicken)

It was a great day to just take deep breaths and let it all out. See more photos here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sabbatical and catch up

My husband is very lucky. For every seven years worked, his company gives an 8 week paid sabbatical to rest. He can do whatever he wants with the time... That being said, we're trying to fill it up with day trips, excursions, and fun. How many chances will we get in our lives to have this time together alone? We're looking at this as our last big hoorah before creating our family. So, by default, I am a lucky wife. Today marks the first official day of sabbatical. Although Friday night Chris had some definite spring in his step when he came through the door. (Whereas I seemed to look beaten by the elements). Saturday (day one of freedom) we went and met up with my friend Sue and her boyfriend at the Big E in Springfield, MA. For those not from the area, this is the "Eastern States Exposition" and is a huge state fair. There's musical acts, livestock, games, rides, food, food, and food. I had several fried items, of course. My husband said "I'm on sabbatical...I'm going to try the fried Oreo!!" I always wondered what a fried Oreo looked I had to wait no looked like a doughnut hole at first. But when you take a bite of the warm treat, you discover the melty Oreo inside. I'm ignoring my chest pains as I write this.And I made sure to buy a bag of cotton candy before we left...just to drive the nail in the coffin that holds my health. We had fun there checking out all the livestock and even the fancy butter sculpture (try to contain your jealousy!)

Sunday found us driving around as we searched for a new television for our bedroom. Happy birthday to my husband! We found a 32 inch flat panel television with a built-in DVD player made by we snatched it up and now I fear I'll never leave my bed again. Again, my health is turning in its grave. RIP.
Today, the first "official" day of sabbatical, I did some work and Chris went for a run. He also made me a delicious sandwich of sliced turkey, cheese, lettuce, avacado, and pesto mayonnaise all on toasted break. *drool* After lunch, we went to Kimball Farm and played mini golf and then had ice cream Frappes. Now, here I am doing work and taking a break to blog. Tomorrow is Chris' birthday and the weather looks to be hot! So, we plan to head out to Martha's Vineyard for the day and see what awaits us there! I'll be sure to post on our discoveries.
On the work front, aside from client projects, I'm working on designs for my holiday cards to sell in my etsy shop. I'm overwhelmed by this task because so much has already been done out there and there's so much yet to be done. Ugh! I don't want to do something cheesy, but I don't want to do something boring. It's so hard to know what direction to go in. So, I've decided to just keep sketching until I feel the light switch on in my head. Am I alone, or do any of you get these pangs of uncertainty about your work? Feel free to comment. Perhaps some time at the ocean will awaken my muse (or put it to sleep with the fresh salt air...who knows). More to come! Have a great day everyone!

Catching up

Phew! I'm finally finished my corporate client work for I'm back at the home office and studio and into my own routine again. So much to tell! I'll start with this post. A few weeks ago I posted about my Mum's birthday. Well, we ended up throwing her a big surprise party the next day. She's never had one, so it was great fun! My Dad drove her down from Maine to our house under the ruse that we would all be going out to dinner around Boston. Well, when she arrived she was welcomed by 33 people!

We promptly decked her out in her birthday gear:

She was so delighted and I'm so thankful to everyone who came and made the day so special. It was a steaming hot day in September...95 degrees! So everyone was melting outside. But we turned on the sprinkler for the kids and made the best of it. We had lots of good music from the 50s and early 60s, cake, gifts, and TONS of food. Even Morgan the dog got in on the action.

A wonderful day and even better memories were had by all. The last photo shows Mum opening her gifts with her brother (my uncle) sitting next to her. My brother is on the other side of him; and of course, Morgan is at her feet hoping he might get a treat of his own. (He did get a special L.L. Bean boot squeaky toy later that day...and a few meaty soup bones to chew on). More posts later!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Happy Birthday Mum!

For the mother who I have always dreamed to be like one day:
I love you more than life. You mean so much to every one of us. When I think of you, I can only think of words like "sweet" "fun" "loving" "nice, nice, nice" "caring" and "the best."
This is a very special birthday for you and we wish we could give you the world; sometimes it feels like all of our love and thanks seems so small and not enough for what you deserve.
Happy Birthday to you, Mum. Cheers to many, many more!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Last weekend I finally printed my "wren" notecards. I've had this plate for almost a year just waiting to be printed. I have them for sale in sets of 5 on my Etsy shop. I've only printed 14 sets in this particular custom color...never to be again! I will reprint the plate, but in a new color next time. Right now it's a sort of pale olivey color...I wanted something that looked like it could be used all year round but also had a bit of a fall feeling to it. I'm excited about them.
I saw a really fat wren on our front porch at the end of the winter and it looked like a softball with legs. You could barely see its was just so chubby for the winter. And so cute. That inspired me to do the card...this one on the card is a bit more thin than the one I saw (which is really saying something). I hope everyone is well! I've been busy freelancing these past few weeks and will continue to do so for the next few. After that I need to get cracking on my holiday cards and my next limited edition print (which I already have the plate for). See you soon!