Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 round up

seems like most of the blogs i've been following are doing round ups of things they've done in i'll hop on the bandwagon and put in my list of things i did/experienced:

- got an awesome puppy
- received a puppy friendly plant for my birthday & managed to keep it alive
- started working in a gun shop
- got my car fixed (from someone backing into me the year before)
- started blogging consistently
- redesigned my website
- rocked a pistol & carbine class
- went on a day hike
- went on an overnight hike
- bought a wilson combat 1911
- made a bunch of custom orders
- met bfff's family
- had my first "first friday" show
- sadly lost one of my parents doggies
- two new stores (artique ltd & josephines) started carrying my artwork
- entered two big craft shows (bad girls & museum) & sold a ton of my artwork
- got a credit card
- celebrated an awesome year of living with my bfff

i'm not so sure about resolutions for 2010 but i do think that i'll have a few goals to aim for...but i'll share those later. i need to think about them some more. hope you all had an amazing 2009!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


i was working on a couple of projects around the house last night. one big project - filing. i HATE filing. i love the result of having things organized, but the actual process of filing is just awful. so i put it off. and put it off. and then 10 months later, it's the end of the year and i have to file because i'm looking for something important. so i did that, and its a relief to be done with it.

while i was downstairs filing, the puppy would come down and visit, check on me, or bring a toy to play with. i'd check on him occasionally too. i finally get finished stuffing things in drawers and head upstairs...lo & behold, vito opened up another present...that wasn't his! (it's for our neighbor's baby girl) and he looked SO disappointed that it wasn't a toy - he had this look on his face like a little kid getting underwear for christmas instead of a super cool robot. it was pretty hilarious.

the other project is a secret for now....i did a lot yesterday and will hopefully get most of it done in a couple more days. my friend jamie (aka partner in crime) might help too. i'll have pictures this weekend. i'm so excited!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

much love's fill in the blanks

i was reading the blog Much Love and decided to answer anna's fill in the blanks:

one thing that you loved in 2009? being loved & appreciated by my bfff
one thing you're loving this very moment? the anticipation of seeing my happy puppy soon
one thing that you'd love to do next year? get out of this chilly state for vacation! (among a laundry list of other things....)

how about you?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

merry christmas!

puppy's first christmas with us!!

i hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


well hello! i wonder what these little guys are for... (i based the dog off of my puppy)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


look what i got! what a nice surprise!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

custom orders

finished my second round of custom orders yesterday! two small address books & one large address book, plus a photo album with a box, which is still in process. the box set is my last custom order of the year and it's turning out quite nice so far. i'm using a japanese paper with hues of green & gold, for the covers of the box and the album:

thanks to papermojo for the pic

then the inside will have two different neutral colors of mulberry paper with a tissue lace layer flecked with silver & gold over that. it'll be gorgeous!

i'm looking forward to get this last order done so i can do some serious cleaning. my studio looks like a bomb of paper exploded inside of it. and the mess has flooded into my office (aka storage room of random boxes). one of my goals is to have the studio & office organized and in working order by the new year. which includes moving the art stuff that has also invaded the living room. and kitchen table.

wish me luck! i'm going to need it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

etsy addiction

why can't i stop ordering things from etsy? seriously. i have my christmas shopping pretty much done. there is no logical reason to keep buying things. but it sure is FUN!

i've really enjoyed browsing for random things on etsy and managed to only buy myself one little thing - a 4"x5" matted watercolor koi from fish fanatic. check it out:

photo thanks to fish fanatic

i have yet to start putting my products up for sale on etsy. i was planning to get that done after the shows were over, but it's the holidays and things are busy! (not to mention a number of things i was going to post ended up selling, so i have to make more books!) i have a handful of custom orders to finish up and some christmas presents to make too....then it'll be etsy posting time. here's a pretty cool article about selling on etsy that i found from the blog a cup of jo. it discusses how people are quitting their day jobs & pursuing their hobbies & passions. very cool.

and i'll leave you with this picture i snapped yesterday on my way to lunch:

p.s. now that i look at that picture again, it looks like the red car ran into the usps truck. it didn't.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

christmas shopping - etsy style!

i just finished up my first round of custom orders last night! a large address book & two medium sized boxes with removable trays. they are currently drying under some weight, so i'll get some pictures soon.

can you believe christmas is in 9 days?! i actually have my shopping pretty much done, for once. and a lot of my shopping was on etsy! i picked up some great finds from new sellers & some old favorites. i'll post some of them after christmas, since i don't want to ruin any surprises under the tree! here's some of those sellers:

Barry Singer of Fish Fanatic - he makes gyotaku, which are Japanese fish rubbings. literally. he inks up a fish & pulls a print from it. the detail that is captured is AMAZING. he also has some original watercolor pieces too. i know i should be shopping for other people, but i did treat myself to a little gift - a small watercolor koi. he is a pleasure to work with too. here's a couple of other pieces i've purchased from him in the past (pictures thanks to fish fanatic):

rainbow trout gyotaku

original rainbow trout watercolor

Bread and Badger
- they etched glass home goods with fun hand drawn designs. very cool items with a wide array of choices. and the items i received are very durable - glasses have to be pretty sturdy around our humble abobe. here's something i bought as a gift (picture thanks to bread and badger):

crow's catch - gorgeous handmade jewelry by Irene Wood. we went to school together and i came across her jewelry not too long ago. her artwork was so inspiring back in school, just as her jewelry is now. go browse her etsy shop - i'm sure you'll find something you love. a couple of my favorites (pictures from crow's catch etsy site) :

more to come later! have a good wednesday...

Friday, December 11, 2009


alaskan winters are known for two things: cold & dark. lots of it. the cold hasn't been so bad this year, as the temperature is hanging around the mid-teens right now. but the dark is getting to me more than normal. the sun rises at 10am and sets before 4pm. i feel drained, like i'm going into hibernation mode - although i'm probably still catching up from all of the art shows & work in the past couple of months.

in the midst of all the cold & dark, anchor-town has been seeing a lot of fog. or i guess not seeing, since you can't see through fog. anyhow, the fog has left behind a layer of frosty-ness on everything, making the great outdoors gorgeous. see:

even the weather is decorating for the holidays!

hello kitty

i came across this awesome site:, thanks to jenn ski's blog. lots of fun things to browse, from clothes & accessories to home decorations & really random stuff. clothing prices seemed to be fairly reasonable too, for some cute & different things.

another reason i like this site: HELLO KITTY! i have loved hello kitty since i was little - my grandma used to bring things back from japan for me, before she became more popular in the US. granted they only have a handful of hello kitty items, but that's okay. here's a few of them (images courtesy of modcloth):
hello kitty wallet

hello kitty key capshello kitty flash drive

hello kitty tanktop

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

artique show

this past saturday was the artique gallery feature - i was lucky enough to be featured with bryon birdsall! if you are unfamiliar with his work, go here. he has a lot of originals up at artique right now and WOW...they are amazing! the show is named: "McKinley Japonisme II" his work looks like it's very influenced by japanese ukiyo-e wood block artists such as Hokusai & Hasui. such vivid color! he was very kind & open to talking with me about his work. it was such an honor & a pleasure to meet him.

a handful of my books sold, and the address books flew off the shelf! here's a couple of pictures of my displays:

and here's a picture of me with byron. he's personalizing a print for me. very cool!

all of this art work reminds me of when i did wood block prints so many years ago. i think i might need to place an order for some supplies and work on a series of prints. i'm getting excited at the prospect of printing something different, besides note cards & business cards.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

crafts weekend at the museum, part 2

for once, i actually remembered to bring bff's real camera to the show (with a full battery). here are some photos of my space:

from left to right...all 14 feet of table

from right to left (there was a wall a few yards in front of the tables so i couldn't get a straight on shot)

card stand (thanks to mom's garden) and linoleum block printed card sets - created from my drawings

2 box sets with matching photo albums, lined journals, small handmade boxes

guest books, address books, secret belgian binding books

secret belgian binding books, post bound photo albums, blanket stitch books

japanese stab binding books in 3 different sizes

it's pleasant to look back at these show pictures & realize "WOW i made a lot of stuff!" the two big treasures from this show were the box sets i made. i honestly thought that people would look at them and go "ooooh" and then i'd take them home at the end of the show. to my surprise & delight, they both sold! in addition to that, i had a custom order for another set! i'll post some photos of those sets soon.

Friday, December 4, 2009

december first friday & hair trauma

sorry for the sporadic posting lately. with all of the shows coming to an end, i think i'll be able to get back into the swing of things & actually post on a regular basis. i'll have new photos to share from the show, updates for the website, and custom order pics, in addition to lots of other things...

i dropped off my inventory at artique yesterday and felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. what a relief! the ladies who work at the gallery were oohing & aahing over the books - it made my day :) check out artique's website - i'm listed in the right hand column under byron birdsall for saturday, december 5th!
i'm looking forward to stopping by friday night for their first friday reception too & checking out some other things downtown - such as....

- the lovely ladies of one world designs & annie's arts & follies will be showing their gorgeous jewelry at kaladis downtown. go here for details.
- and i'm going to visit upstairs studio to pick up a bracelet i ordered that matches my belt and to check out the venue. i've had a lot of requests for bookmaking classes and this working studio might be a great place to hold a class or two.

on a completely unrelated side note, i was shopping at tar-jay (target) for a few things and bought these weird bendy hair rollers. since i'm getting irritated with my hair (& am getting the urge to cut it off), i thought i'd try something new. i tried them out and got crazy hair, although you probably can't see it too well in my quality camera phone picture:
let me just say, i've developed a new found respect for all of you people out there with naturally curly/wavy hair. i don't know how you get unruly hair to co-operate, but i applaud you. my hair is actually looking better now that it's starting to relax a bit. i'll probably try this out a few more times & see if i can make it work. or just get a haircut.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

crafts weekend at the museum, part 1

what a busy long weekend! i hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving & enjoyed spending time with those you care about. we had lots of good food (bff made yummy stuffing & i made the pies) and relaxed with family & friends. overall, a great day.

after eating way too much, bff and i took all of my artwork to the museum and set up for the big weekend show. we were going to set up wednesday night but it snowed a ton and the roads weren't plowed...figured it would be a safer option to wait a little bit. i'll get some pictures of the table up soon!

(sorry this is so short - getting sales numbers done from the weekend & am doing some prep for the big artique weekend!)