Wednesday, November 25, 2009


as the time crunch shrinks before this next big show, i find that i am thinking "oh if this doesn't get done, it won't be the end of the world." i am in pretty decent shape - which is good since show set-up is one day away. i have all of my cards packaged and ready to go. books are coming along...and boxes are too. here's a peek at the set of small boxes i made :

lids closed

lids open!

i'm testing a small number of boxes to see if customers like them. i really enjoy making them - much like books, i get a lot of satisfaction from making these boxes from book board & paper. and with the number of jewelry artists at these shows, they would be great for jewelry boxes. i think i mentioned this before, but the idea for paper/book board jewelry boxes came from a winnie-the-pooh jewelry box (that i still use to this day) that my mom gave me. i thought it was the COOLEST thing to have a box that wasn't made from plastic or wood, but was still sturdy.

will probably be burning the midnight oil again tonight. wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

vito's birthday

yesterday was vito's big birthday! he turned one year old. i can't believe he's already a year old.

he went from this:

to this:

note the 3 toys stuffed in his mouth all at once. the little stuffed bone was from us...the other two toys weren't even his. he hasn't quite learned the concept of sharing. oh and these toys were out of commission within about half an hour. we should have named him "vito the destroyer".

he had a couple of yummy birthday cookies and got to hang out with his bffs. we also bought him some presents. in addition to the stuffed bone, he got a new nylabone & a new kong ball, since kongs are the only things he hasn't destroyed...yet.

mmm puppy cookies. bff thought they were donuts.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


so it was pointed out to me that my last entry didn't come off how i had hoped and that i sounded unhappy. well, i'm actually quite happy - for the past year, i've been extremely happy with bff! i've done more things and had more adventures this past year than i have in...well i don't know when.

to clarify one section:
"and i know i can't always be happy, but i could be happier more often." in the past week, i've heard of three deaths. a daughter lost a mom, a mom lost a daughter, and an incredibly creative & sweet man passed away. so, i wrote that i know i can't always be happy, because things like this happen - people pass away before it's their time to go. and it's heartbreaking. knowing people i care about are hurting makes me hurt. so i am going to try to be happier more often, appreciate more little things, not let stress get to me, and even be thankful that i have this stress.

i hope that clarifies that last post. i did not get the "writing" gene (my brother did).

Friday, November 20, 2009

bright eyed

sometimes i wish i was more like my puppy. yes he can be annoying, yes he likes to punch people in the face, yes he tends to do the exact opposite of what you tell him to do. overall though, he's a good dog.

a couple of things that i want to do, just like vito:

- have a perpetually optimistic attitude. nothing gets him down. he's always on the lookout for fun. it doesn't even occur to him that stress exists. he's always happy. and i know i can't always be happy, but i could be happier more often. stress gets to me. or, i should say, i allow it to get to me.

- wake up bright eyed & bushy tailed. i am not a morning person. at all. i slowly wake up after hitting snooze about 18 times, then lay there wishing i didn't have to get out of bed. once i do manage to pull myself out of bed, i plod through the morning. coffee is a necessity. vito on the other hand, wakes up, gives me a few nuzzles & kisses, then it's like "let's get this morning started!!!" i think he takes after his dad in that respect.

a few shots of vitters with his sheep (which lasted a whole 5 minutes):

posing for the camera

more later...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

its official!

i am thrilled to announce that my books will be shown (and on sale) for the month of december at the incredible gallery, Artique, Ltd! i am ecstatic & honored to be asked to show my work as such a prestigious gallery. i will be at the gallery on december 5th, from 1 - 3pm to meet & greet customers, along with the very well known & well respected artist Byron Birdsall.

things are falling in
to place! more later....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

shipping woes

a couple of supply orders that i place after the success of the bad girls show have been held up. unfortunately. i was expecting them to arrive today or tomorrow and as it turns out, one shipped yesterday & the other will be sent today. ugh.

in the meantime, i'm chipping away at the inventory and have 64 books in progress.

i was working in my studio last night and called for my puppy. bff said puppy jumped off the bed and was super anxious when he heard me, like he was worried about me. so i called him again and he came racing downstairs to check on me. i hope that was his protective instinct kicking in. bff said he's never seen puppy like that before.

it is cold car thermometer read 0 degrees. but at least it's clear & sunny!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

friday the 13th weekend

what a week(end)! i think i had some bad karma or bad luck this past week. to start, my credit card had some mystery charge on it, so i followed up and cancelled it and ordered a new card (that isn't here yet). the good news? i got my money back the next day! i also received some announcements for the upcoming museum show, and it listed that i make paper/jewelry. jewelry? really? but not that big of a deal - i'll just adjust it before i send them out. got stuck in an hour & a half's worth of traffic on my way to my part-time job...and everyone knows it takes about 20 minutes to get pretty much anywhere in anchorage. i came down with a nasty sore throat & fever late friday night & saturday (right when i had gotten rid of that nagging cough!), which prompted a trip to the doctor. but i am feeling better now, thank goodness. oh, and i slipped and fell on the driveway this morning. at least it was dark out so no one saw me! haha. alright, that was a good amount of venting. and after looking back over it all, it really wasn't that bad. on to better things...

printed some more ornament cards over the weekend. and printing went SO smooth. it was one of those dream printing days where everything goes right, the prints turn out wonderful, and life is good. here's a couple of pictures from that:

block 1 printed of ornament cards!

sweet ink slab

i also worked on lots of books and things are coming along. still have a ton of work to do, but i'm making progress. puppy kept me company in the studio. it's like he couldn't get close enough. he started sleeping by the door, then in the closet, then under the table on my feet. he's so cute. bff and i bought him a couple of new toys - a rubber bone and a sheep. he managed to destroy them in about 2.5 seconds.

guardian of the studio

and my luck is changing....good news to come tomorrow!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

so much work to do....

so i'm a little stressed. i have about 2 weeks until the next big show - crafts weekend at the museum - and i have so much to do, it's ridiculous. while i have been a bit better about preparing for fall art shows this year, i'm still behind. what happened to getting everything done before november? EPIC FAIL.

i have 113 books left to make (geez that's it? ha), 14 boxes, and about 300 cards to print. and t-minus 2 weeks to do it in. seriously. *deep breath*

my attitude went from "how am i possibly going to get this done?!" to "i'll get it done, i have no choice." thanks to sarah von of the awesome blog "yes and yes", i now have a few tips to aid me in my productive whirlwind. if you get a chance, drop by her blog - it's highly entertaining and funny. sarah comes across as one of those warm, inviting people that would be a great friend & confidant.

wish me luck this weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

stuff i bought myself at the bad girls show part 3

finally, i bought myself a new belt at the bad girls show. i have been oogling the belts by Julie Patchin of JP Designs for a good couple of years. her work is just amazing & eye catching, not to mention that she is extremely nice (this show was the first time i met her in person). i've seen her products at bella boutique - the fine accessories shop that also carries my books. she makes belts, watches, bracelets, wallets & much more. she will also customize things to your size or will take measurements & make something specific just for you. i also have a bracelet on order to match my sweet belt. i can't wait to wear it!

my new belt, in all of its colorful glory

and of course i was attracted to the circles. it reminded me of one of the first sets of cards i printed - my dots cards.

love Julie's work? want to contact her? try her e-mail:

stuff i bought myself at the bad girls show part 2

continuing with my shopping spree at the bad girls of the north show....

next up, i bought a sweet pair of earrings from Vicki Potter of Orion Designs. she makes beautiful jewelry with gemstones & pearls. she's also been making her living through her art, which is something i would LOVE to do someday. at her etsy shop, she has an assortment of items - earring, necklaces, bracelets, even pins!

these earrings bring some sparkle to the dark winter ahead
- this picture doesn't do the earrings justice

take a look at Vicki's etsy shop, or visit her at some upcoming shows (scroll down the page a bit for her schedule.) you won't be disappointed!

stuff i bought myself at the bad girls show part 1

every art show i've participated in (all 3 so far) have wonderful perks. not only do i get the opportunity to meet a lot of new people, i also get to show my work (duh) and network with some of the best artists in alaska. they take craft to a fine art level, in my opinion. and one of the joys of these shows is that i get to shop - unique gifts for other people and sweet stuff for myself. i sometimes wonder how i make any money at these shows since all i want to do is buy everyone else's stuff. so here is the first post of "stuff i bought myself at the bad girls show". now, i didn't go all super crazy shopping, but i did buy a few items that i just love.

one item i get every year is Wicked Good Lip Stuff made by Carol Green of Sound Soap.

(sorry it's blurry - my camera phone tries hard)

Carol creates hand made soap, lip gloss, & other body products in small, carefully controlled quantities. everything is certified made in alaska with premium plant oils. and let me tell you, i have bought a LOT of lip stuff over the years, looking for the perfect blend that doesn't leave my lips sticky or dry - this stuff is the best. plus the ingredients are things i recognize, like vitamin e & olive oil. no weird chemicals here. if you get a chance, check out her website and all of the yummy things on there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

bathroom remodel

bff & i have talked a lot about making a functional office, one that we would actually like working in. we are still flinging ideas around, especially since there hasn't been time to put our ideas into action. (after the art shows are done for the year!) we've also talked about glamming up the bedroom and bathroom.

so where do i go for ideas? design sponge, of course!! here's a super cool bathroom:

(thanks to design sponge for the picture)

of course i don't think it would fly with bff. can you tell i love blue? he's told me a million times "you can't make everything in the house blue!!" which i respond with "why not? there are lots of different shades..."

Monday, November 9, 2009

bad girls of the north show!

thursday night i was up til about 3am, prepping for the show. here are some pictures:

books & ribbons & price tags, oh my!
(notice the puppy keeping me company)

working hard

lots of books!

watching some quality tv (ncis)

i packaged tons of books & cards! setting up friday early afternoon went quite well and my table looked great! i'll have some more pictures soon.

one of the nice things about prepping for a show (besides all of the necessary coffee drinking), is getting to see all of the products i've made. as i packaged books, i looked at the stacks and stacks of bright, festive books and realized that i've done a lot of beautiful work. that sense of accomplishment is SO satisfying.

the morning of the show, as i was setting up, i was nervous. and this happens with every show. "what if people don't show up? what if lots of people show up, but no one buys anything from me?" lots of "what if's" pop up in my mind...i'm a bit of a worrier, if you couldn't tell.

the show itself was excellent - it was packed friday night! tons of wonderful vendors to visit and lots of great people visited my table. saturday was busy too, very steady. i did get a chance to look at a few of the other artists work (WOW!) and bought a few goodies for myself :) i'll post my goodies later.

the puppy was so sweet - he actually stayed out in the living room with me while i worked into the wee hours. he slept on his bed and would get up and check on me every once in a while.

time to do some sales analysis!

Friday, November 6, 2009

check this out!

i've gotten hooked on yet another blog: frenchie and flea! these gals have a gorgeous etsy shop and they are big supporters of handmade products. they make stationary, beautiful things to adorn your home with, wedding & bridal items and lots more!

they will be highlighting 12 different artists & their etsy stores and will also be doing some giveaways too. click on the picture below (borrowed from frenchie & flea) and read the details.

enjoy...i'm back to prepping for the show tomorrow! if you get a chance, come see me at the bad girls of the north show, millennium hotel (on spenard road), friday 4-9pm & saturday 10am-5pm. it'll be tons of fun, food, shopping, & handmade items!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

blast from the past

so the other day, i was at the pharmacy (due to an obnoxious, nagging cough that hasn't completely disappeared yet) and the pharmacist was a girl i went to high school with! that got me thinking about how quickly 10 years have passed. i wonder what other people are up to. i know i've changed a lot since then. maybe our reunion will be like the movie grosse point blank, excluding the guy trying to kill john cusack.

i finished gluing book covers last night and have some binding to do tonight, then packaging and packaging and....packaging. sweet. i wonder how many things puppy will try to eat tonight.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


just ordered more paper for the next show (crafts weekend at the museum - thanksgiving weekend) and am really excited about it! here's a sneak peek of what is coming:

images courtesy of paper source

i'm seeing a teeny tiny light at the end of the tunnel for the's about this big -> .

i'm down to 7 sets of book covers left to glue...then some binding, which shouldn't be too bad. overall, i'm in pretty good shape for this weekend's show. although, i'll probably be up in the wee hours of thursday night. i think, no matter how prepared i am for these shows, i'll always be up all night doing last minute stuff.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

printing weekend

at the end of last week, i was busy carving linoleum blocks for some new notecard sets. i was up pretty late and had a major hankering for chocolate pudding. one night, bff came home with this:

and pudding :) how sweet! definitely recharged my batteries! (see my blocks in the background?)

i did a massive amount of printing this weekend - 350 cards total. tried printing on some new paper, which was great for my new bird card set. i also printed a new 3 color card of presents for this weekend. a total of about 11 hours of printing.

halloween was fun and relatively quiet - dinner, games & a movie with our friends. puppy got to come with us and play with his friends too.

i have about 800 things on my to do sticky note lists...time to start conquering things!

p.s. i hope puppy is like this while i work!