Monday, August 31, 2009

Most - A Must See

I was reminded of this movie today ... it was an icky day. I was way too grumbly. I think after all these years, my worst days are still the ones where I think about myself too much. I needed this reminder today.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Just For Fun

During the summer I try to have the kids keep up their math skills by doing worksheets and logic puzzles. Sometimes they love it. Sometimes they think I'm the devil. Either way, while searching for new material this summer I bumped into krazydad. All kinds of free printable games and puzzles here for you to enjoy ... and a lot more than that. At the bottom of the page you'll find his Flickr Color Picker where you can click any shade of any hue and receive a collection of flickr photos to enjoy. You can even use the slider for a lighter or darker variance. Follow his other links at the bottom of that page to see all kinds of other goodies like this cover pop.Amazing.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Meet Maria

One of the best parts of our trip was meeting all the wonderful artists alongside us. Maria White was one of my favorites. She was one of four artists who were given the Award of Excellence at the SF show, so we decided we had to meet her. She was fabulous. Her ceramic pieces have a look all their own and as much as I really wanted to come home with this beautiful bowl, my wallet said otherwise and I had to comply.
Maria was born in Nevada, raised in South Caroline now lives and creates in Hollywood. She has earned much well deserved praise and recognition internationally and her work is regularly featured in television and film productions. She was such a treat to talk to and was so absolutely pleasant to work with. She even made me a custom pendant from an earring set right there on the spot ... just because I mentioned that I liked the smaller set better. Go check out her website to see more of her pieces. They're stunning.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

SF: Post Two

We met all kinds of fabulous people at the show and several who told us we should really try to go to SCRAP while we were there. (I'm thinking scrap yard, scrap metal, not really fun for me) But noooo.

"SCRAP is a creative reuse center, store and workshop space founded in 1976 in San Francisco, California. Donations of high quality, low cost, re-usable materials such as textiles, paper, jewelry findings, wood, buttons and plastics are collected from businesses, institutions and individuals then sorted, displayed and distributed by SCRAP for artists, educational and community groups. Free materials and art activities are provided through our community outreach service. "
That was it. I had to go. We mapped it out and figured if we hit it right when it opened on Saturday, we would have about 30 minutes to zip through it and grab some goodies before we had to get back to the show. Now ... we didn't budget in time for any wrong turns, so we really only had about 10 minutes to enjoy it, but I'm so glad that we did. It was truly fantastic! It was inspiring to see all the materials that had been donated and to bump into other artists and teachers shopping for supplies. I snapped a bunch of photos just to be able to relish it more later, then bought a couple scoops of buttons before we had to run out the door. If you get a chance, take a look at their website and see all the fun things they are involved with. They even give you tips on starting your own scrapping business.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back to School

Aah ... it's time. The endless summer is over and the kids are back in school tomorrow. I will be able to have complete thoughts. Without interruption. In sequence. I've almost forgotten what that was like. I can't wait. It's time for regrouping, planning, structuring ... oh heck, it's time to cut loose a little and figure out what comes next for me and Mariposa Avenue. Ideas. So many ideas. I will need lots of notebooks to scribble them down in and lots of 'me' time to make things happen. School rocks!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

SF: Post One

I promise not to drag this whole thing out forever, just thought I'd hit the highlights in the next couple of posts. Now, after a year of really ugly sales figures, I was pretty nervous about accepting the invitation to the show in the first place. So ... I decided a long time ago that this would be my birthday trip. Hopefully I'd be able to recover my costs, but this way it took all the pressure off right from the get go.

I roped a dear friend into going with me since hubby couldn't get the time off work ... and spending that many hours at an art shop would have sent him through the roof anyway. We packed up the car with everything I could think of and hit the road Wednesday around 3pm. After filling up the tank, we drove on the long, long, straight, unpretty highway to Reno. We pulled into the Silver Legacy, drove up the 17 story parking structure, got checked in and went to find some sandwiches for dinner. The next morning, we grabbed a decent breakfast downstairs and got back on the road. After we made our way through dozens of construction zones along the way, we landed in SF just after 1pm.

It took us 4 hours to get the booth set up and presentable and we were able to meander through the other booths for a smidge to get a sneak peek of the competition. Then we were off to find us some yummy-licious seafood at Pier 39 and take a stroll to relax before the next 3 days of work, work, work. Luckily, we were able to find and check in at the hotel before dark ... we were warned that it was in a dicey neighborhood.

This was our home at Fort Mason and the finished booth photo. Like my new breezy CK blouse I got for the trip? I found it on ... gotta love point and click shopping on the fly.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Picnik Anyone?

If you haven't found yet then I have a real treat for you. It's a great free-ish online photo editing playground. You get access to a handful of fun tools for free and loads more if you buy the upgrade for an almost free price. I've been editing the photos from my trip and thought I would have some fun with some of them.

This little treasure was one of the great porch decorations on Lombard. I love the repetition and the angles and am dying to know if it lights up at night. Anywho it was a great piece for my little illustration here. This is the original. I just uploaded and cropped it in the Edit tab and then used some of my favorite effects from the Create tab.
#1 is Lomo-ish (effects), #2 is with the HSL Filter (sandbox), #3 is using Hypnotic (sandbox) and #4 shows you Neon (effects). I love them all! And each effect/filter has custom tools for adjusting each picture to your exact liking. Change the brightness, hue, bloom, saturation, you name it. Play and finesse to your little heart's content then save and share. Voila!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

True Story

It's great to be home again and I've missed updating you on the goings-on ... as humdrum as they sometimes are. The ACC Show was a blast and I have all kinds of pictures and details to share later this week, but tonight has been so maternally ironic that I just had to post a nice healthy dose of reality for everyone to, hmm, suffer through with me.

Set up details:
  • Got home Monday
  • Celebrated my birthday Tuesday
  • Spent birthday evening cleaning up vomit from #5's bed, bathroom floor, toilet seat, garbage can, etc. (visualize spaghetti dinner re-run here) 6 hours of this.
  • Wednesday was long and painful running on no sleep, kids were extra 'kid-like' (can't wait for school to start next week)
  • Thursday AM (today) hubby left for Sales Meeting
Now, #4 is sick, only it's coming out both ends at the same time. I got to mop up several pools of vomit and other fluids from the bathroom floor, not to mention the splatter all over the toilet, bathtub skirt and bathroom walls. I think I'm better off not knowing what really happened in there. It's 1:00 am now and I can tell we're no where near the end yet.

The really fun part was taking the trash can out to wash it. I open the front door only to get smacked in the face with skunk. It was truly potent. Someone must have hit one around the corner because our whole neighborhood still wreaks of it. Lovely. Just lovely. And some time tonight the tooth fairy is supposed to make an appearance in the boys' bedroom for #5's front tooth too. Working on the phones tomorrow is going to be less than fun.

I guess I'll go edit roadtrip photos now to share later since this will be another sleepless night. Hope you're having a better time than I am right now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Undiscovered Pretties - MorninGloria's

I found a great new Etsy shop for you to enjoy. MorninGloria's just opened on July 23rd this year and was found tonight with the Pounce tool. Look at the lovely hair pretties she makes for us to enjoy!

I love this set of three. They would look great in pearl or iridescent beads for a bride too. These particular pieces are set on silver flat clips, but she is happy to customize them for you. Go see which ones you like best

Monday, August 10, 2009

Definitely How I Feel These Days

Here is the latest addition to my music/art journal from Kara's lovely class. This whole style of art is new to me. I'm way too clean, proper, symmetrical ... you know, a little drab. It's hard for me to get excited about wrinkly, bumpy pages that are their own kind of messy beautiful. I'm working on it though. It's great that this particular project is centered around music in all its forms, endless inspiration there.

The class is over now and I have scads of pages to fill up on my own. This is my first self-developed art journal project, my take on a song title. I know, it's not earth-shattering by any stretch, but I still gave myself a little 'yay' when I finished it. Feel free to leave a comment with your ideas for future pages.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Red Potato Salad

Here's the salad I took to our ward picnic. I wanted something different that was a healthier alternative than your typical potato salad. This was fantastic and easy to make.

INGREDIENTS: 12 servings
2 lbs small red potatoes
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped
1/3 c chopped fresh basil
1 small red onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c EVOO

Place the potatoes in a large pot, and just cover with water. Bring to boil and cook for 10 minutes. Add in the green beans and cook 5 minutes more. Drain and cool. Cut potatoes into quarters, or bite size pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with basil, onion, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and oil. Whisk together until they are blended together and look milky. Pour this mixture over the salad and stir gently to coat. Salt and pepper to taste if needed. Serve at room temperature.

It was definitely a hit and will be added to our family rotation.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Long days ...

Somehow, it doesn't feel like I got anything really accomplished today. We got my car serviced for the upcoming San Fran roadtrip. I finished up a few sewing projects lying around and got the sewing table and its 'accessories' cleaned up and put away. I made a yummy potato salad for our church picnic tonight ... and then hit Craft Lake City as planned. I just didn't get anything done that was on my 'list'. You know those 'lists' that you keep adding to in your head as you walk around the house and see things that need to be done? Yep. Didn't really touch anything on that list today. Maybe tomorrow. In the meantime, I did find a new song that struck a chord with me today. It's called "Fool's Gold" by Will Derryberry. You can download it free here. Enjoy. And goodnight.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wise Guys

I love unexpected pick-me-ups that just happen along my way. Today I received a email newsletter from Mibo Lighting and Homewares. Their fun geometric lampshades look vaguely familiar, but I don't know when or how I would have ever found their website before. Anyway, I'm glad that I did and lucky for us ... the great news today is that they are selling this great little DIY project for just over a dollar to make these adorable little owl friends. I zipped them my payment and within 30 minutes received the PDF file. Sweet fun for the little ones. I'll post the pix of ours in the next few days. Go get yours right from their home page while you can and shop the rest of their great store as long as you're there. Have fun!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Itching for Fall

Shopping for school supplies in the heat of summer just doesn't feel right this year. I can't wait for the seasons to change. Today I have such a craving for colored leaves, cozy sweaters and fun scarves. This photos are by Jeff Beck and give me a little bit of what I'm wanting right now. He was featured at the Utah Arts Festival this year. We missed it, but were able to enjoy some of it Thank you Jeff.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Feeling Like a Bad Mom

Our kids are growing up so fast it's hard to even understand it sometimes. One minute the most important thing is which friend is coming over for a play date ... and it feels like the very next day you're having to research how closely high school graduation standards and college entrance requirements align.

My oldest son will be in 9th grade this year. Ninth grade is the last year of junior high in our district, but these grades will be included in his high school transcripts. He's a great student and is 'socially appreciated'. He's even run for student government three times and has been elected every time. Great kid. I'm so proud of the person he's become and how much he's grown up in the last couple of years.

This year I pushed him to join the football team. He needs the extracurricular for college and school/coach politics have squashed his dreams for basketball. Luckily, almost his entire male social group also went out for the team. The first week of practice was tough. He was sore. He was beat. He was exhausted, but determined to stick it out.

Now, he has a growing passion for it. But you should see him. He has huge bruises all over his arms from his shoulder pads and from other players' face masks. He looks like someone beat him with a baseball bat all week. What have I done? I'm glad he is feeling successful and strong. He really is 'taking it like a man' so to speak, but I ache inside to think of how much it must all hurt him. Crossing my fingers that all we'll have to deal with this season is more bruises, no broken bones ... no concussions. And I'd better do some more in-depth research at those college entrance requirements to make sure this is worth it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Diary 2010 Project - Check

Here it is. I finished up my page for April 16th ... not the product page I had planned, but a self portrait instead. Not that I'm such a little hottie that I can't get enough of myself ... I just didn't want it to look like a yellow pages ad. I hope it fits in alright with the rest of the year. As a bonus, it forced me to get my hands into Adobe Illustrator which has been collecting dust in my computer for about a year now.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Birthday Festivus

The budget conscious birthday fest this year for the big boy consisted of a sundae bar, night games for hours on end, an unexpected fireworks show and s'mores around the fire pit. We did all this at a great local park with supplies we mostly had on hand. Thanks to technology, we didn't even have to buy invites. He whipped up his own info-email and zipped it out to all his buddies. Easy-peasy. The kids all had a blast and had the most fun throwing cups of water at each other towards the end of the night ... go figure. It just goes to show you that you honestly don't have to spend a fortune on these kinds of things. Simple fun goes a long way.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bite Size: Quote of the Day

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Life is Great

I live for days like this. For starters, it's my oldest son's birthday. He's a big 14 yr old now .... (sheez I'm getting old fast) and I couldn't be more proud of the young man he has become. We started the day a with birthday breakfast of scones and monkey bread, per his request. The other kids all made our standard table decorations (placemat, chair sign and crown) and we sang happy birthday as he blew out the candles in his scone tower. A beautiful morning!

Then I went to search for blog/project ideas and was lucky enough to find Fantazya Fantazies' Flickr page. Wow, try saying that five times fast. I was hoping to find out more about this recycling phenom and was led to her Diary 2010 Project. Why don't I have ideas that are this brilliant? Note to self: must ingest more good vitamins and nutrients on a regular basis. She is soliciting 392 artists to each design one of the 392 pages in the calendar. Each participating artist must have an existing website where they sell their own art/crafts. We put our url in the page design and get free publicity. Free art for her. Free advertising for us. Right from the start, there will be at least 392 people who'll want to buy it publicize it because they are featured in it.Pure genius. I want to be her. Luckily, this morning there were 2 pages still available. I sent in my email request and heard back almost immediately. April 16th is mine! Mwah-ha-ha. Now I just need to whip up a killer calendar page and send it in by next week. Yikes. It looks like there is still one page left if you're lucky enough to get it before someone else does. I'll keep you posted on my progres.