Tuesday, August 31, 2010

true story

saw this on design crush & loved it:


so far, i haven't heard anyone say anything bad about buying a mac. nor have any of the people i've talked to even heard of anyone else saying negative stuff about macs. so that's good to know.

in the meantime, i'm limping my laptop along. i threw together a quick postcard for a mini wedding reception we are having for all of our alaskan friends that couldn't make it to the wedding on the east coast. i wouldn't even call it a reception...more of a simple barbecue.

i didn't want to use a photo from our wedding - partially because we don't have the pics yet, so i did a little drawing/painting of one of my favorite shots as background to the postcard:

oh and while i was scanning it in, trying to open the file, and actually do some slight manipulations to add text & such to the postcard, my computer froze a number of times and photoshop had to be shut down. annoying? yes. but i think i managed to get the project done, so that's good.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

the great debate

my poor laptop is on its last leg. i've had it for over 4 years...and it was secondhand. it's struggling to stay alive and has served me well. i'm considering buying a new one (taking money from the money tree growing in the yard...ha).

for fun, i priced out some laptops from dell & hp just to get an idea of a price range for what i want. then, i hopped on over to apple's site and priced a macbook. dude. i used to not be a fan of apple and hubby has been working on me for years to look into their products. and then i got an ipod nano. and an iphone. and their stuff is pretty darn great. i asked a number of friends too, some die hard mac users & others who have made the switch - and everyone has positive things to say. in fact, i don't think i've heard anything negative. at all.

since i printed my wedding invitations from letterpress plates - that i had to manipulate & clean up digitally - i've been considering investing in something more reliable and powerful. there is serious potential in the printing market for me to start selling personalized letterpress invites & other stationary.

i priced out the adobe cs5 suite and um, OUCH. the suite costs as much as a laptop!! however, there is an online certificate program i'd like to take for graphic design that would teach me the basics of the adobe suite, plus lots of other useful stuff....and i could purchase the suite through the school for a slightly cheaper price.

so, dear readers, what are your thoughts on the great pc/mac debate? what do you prefer & why?

Friday, August 27, 2010

dos manos!

last week, i dropped off my first order of merchandise to the lovely ladies at dos manos, kara & stephanie. i was fortunate enough to meet these gals at the g street artist fair earlier in the summer and they loved my work so much, they asked me to drop some stuff off at their store!

check out a couple of pics from their shop - it's incredible! they have a huge variety of products & artists, all housed in a tall, narrow space.

da' bosses

i'm so thrilled to be in their shop! thanks kara & stephanie!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

one month

oh SNAP people! it's been a month since hubby & i got married. A MONTH!!! where did the time go?? seriously?

since i'm a freaking awesome wife (still sounds weird), i got hubby a little gift (click on pic for credit):
you're thinking "wooow that's soo coo....wait, what is it?" it's a pig tail food flipper, silly. you use these to nab steaks on the grill and flip them over. much better than tongs. they look weird, but i've seen these babies in action and they are pretty cool.

happy one month hubby! :)

the happiness project

attempted to pursue one of my goals for the year, i'm reading more - and am happy to see a tall stack of books (threatening to teeter over) on my nightstand. on a recommendation from brandi of not your average ordinary, i've started reading "the happiness project" by gretchen rubin. i just finished the first chapter last night and am a bit relieved - gretchen touches on a lot of the same things i worry about, feel guilty about, etc. not necessarily big things either - some are so tiny and mundane, most people wouldn't bother acknowledging them. but i'm a worrier...
and since i've been on this kick to get things cleaned up around the house, her first chapter gave me some good, manageable tips & tricks for getting things done. i'm really looking forward to the rest of the book!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

studio reorganization, aka TGSOCDDP

i'm really getting a bit excited about getting my studio re-organized...i'll call it "the-great-studio-organization-cleaning-decluttering-decorating-project". TGSOCDDP for short. (see, now that i've married into the air force i have to start using acronyms.)

i took a bunch of measurements over the weekend and came up with a few options of how to move around the furniture in the tiny bedroom i use as a studio. i have a sweet rolly cart (that's the technical term), a 6' table, a 4' table, chair, a shelf with 9 cubical sections (currently in the closet), and a bunch of random piles on the floor. so really, you can see about 3 square feet of floor in the actual room. maybe. covered with tiny little random scraps of paper.

in order to open up the room and make it more functional, i'm going to clear a path to the closet, where i keep most of my supplies, and actually GET RID OF STUFF. eek.

i read some ideas on design sponge about reorganizing my workspace (here) and am going to use some magazine files, since apparently they work well for people who make piles. like me. i went to my local tar-jay and they had the magazine files i was looking for...for $15 each?! wth?! so i'm determined to make some myself. because, seriously, that's ridiculous. now, i'm not going to get all crazy and make them look like some of the photo boxes or jewelry boxes i make, because they will be beat up. maybe i'll do a little dyi tutorial post if they turn out good.

wish me luck my friends, because i am going to need it. i'll even do a before & after pic.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


so before the weekend started, i had all these idea of what i was going to do...get laundry done, clean the kitchen, work on art, clean up my studio, organize my office, read a couple new books, blah blah blah...

i actually did clean...the house. a lot. like a LOT. did the dishes, unloaded, reloaded, ran the dishwasher, unloaded again, vacuumed upstairs & downstairs...and even the stairs themselves (which i hate because it's so awkward but, man, they were gross). scrubbed the spots off the stairs, wiped the walls of the stairwell down (random spills over the years), cleaned the shoe area, did tons of laundry. cleared out the clutter on our kitchen island & dining room table. switched out the shower curtain for the new awesome one we got for our wedding:

(notice the vito tail - he was helping)

and then i was exhausted. i used all of my cleaning energy on the rest of the house rather than my studio & office.

the dogs were helpful - they barked a lot at the vacuum cleaner, kept watch at the window for weirdos, hung out on the porch, and did this:

and since we've been making a lot of homemade ice cream lately, i treated myself to this:

we ran a bunch of errands on sunday - got some stuff for the house (picture frames, kitchen gadgets), picked up a birthday present for my mom, got a table for my flat file that hubby is building me, ate a snack:

and then we bought this:

and now, we will not be able to get anything else done. ever. good thing i cleaned the house first.

p.s. i now have a sudden urge to dye my hair blue (again), get my nose pierced (again), and get a tattoo. hmm.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

my MOH gift

so i need to talk about my maid of honor jamie...she was AMAZING. seriously, she kept me sane and was SO organized and on top of every little detail. i have a hard time not worrying about...well, everything...so having someone i could depend on was such a relief. and she did so many things to make me feel special throughout the engagement and our wedding trip...i can't thank her enough for everything she's done.

i wanted to design something special for her...so i bounced some ideas off of her husband and decided to make her a jewelry box (for him to fill..heh heh). its the most complicated box i've made yet.

i used teal lokta paper with gold chrysanthemums to cover the box and a butter gold japanese bookcloth for the box hinge as well as lining the lid sides & the monogrammed "J".

the lid opens to a six sectioned, removable tray lined with teal paper, for smaller items like earrings & bracelets.

with the tray removed, the base of the box has four equal sections that are also lined in teal paper. the sides of the box and the walls separating the sections are covered with the teal lokta with gold mums.

i used the butter bookcloth to hand cut a monogram for jamie...i wanted to personalize her jewelry box without overdoing it.

so what do you think? i also tried something new with the photos (the idea inspired from pobke photography). have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 20, 2010

gift set!

we had so many people to thank for helping with our wedding and we wanted to give gifts that were personal & heartfelt. and me being so picky probably didn't help the gift choosing process...so, naturally, i decided to make the gifts.

for our parents, i made photo album box sets in our wedding colors - red & aqua! my parents set had aqua bookcloth & blue unryu paper inside the box. the unryu paper was SO amazing to work with - has lots of inclusions of threads & felt like fabric! hubby's parents set had fire engine red bookcloth & tomato red unryu paper inside the box. we gave hubby's parents their set during the rehearsal dinner, so i unfortunately didn't get pictures of it...

box cover

inside of box

box with album inside

box & album covers

the sets turned out beautifully - probably the most difficult sets i've done yet because they were so large (9" x 12") and the materials were much more challenging than past projects. hope you enjoyed the photos!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


found this great quiz from the how about orange blog - the quiz reveals info about your creative style. to take the quiz, go here.

here are the pens i like to use when i'm busting out some creativity, yo.

i found out that i communicate through creativity:

"You think of art as a means of reaching out to others but, at the same time, you use it as a shield to some extent...It’s the way you communicate with others and the way they can communicate with you. Seen in this light, creativity provides the basic materials to build a bridge between you and other people, so you can’t think of it as something that lies outside your relationship with others. You like the attention and good opinion of others. When you show people what you’ve made — a birthday cake, or a piece of music you’ve written — it’s your baby, so you are very sensitive about any criticism. You need to be able to distance yourself from the result, and allow others to enjoy it and feel part of it, without it reflecting on you alone."

hmm. that explains why i cried so much during art critiques in college.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

website stuff

so i was looking at rifle paper company's website and am SO very impressed with it. the site is easy to maneuver, a crisp clean look, great products, and the ability to purchase items online. and it got me thinking...

i would love the tama press website to have the shopping cart so that customers could purchase products directly from my own site rather than having to go somewhere else to buy my work. so i looked up the company that worked on rifle's site and had the pleasure of perusing aeolidia.

aeolidia does a number of different things, from designing logos and websites to illustrations and marketing. i really enjoyed looking at their projects and seeing their capabilities. i'm considering having them redesign the tama press site and adding a shopping cart. i've also looked at ribbons of red to design my site (& possibly a logo) too. ribbons of red redesigned our photographer's website, pobke photography.

i would have to save a bit to have aeolidia redesign my site...plus i would have a ton of work to do to make sure the site stays in stock. it would be a significant increase in artwork for me and a major additional time commitment. but it would be a great way to really get my online business up and running. as wonderful as etsy is, having my own shopping cart would also shrink competition, as my products wouldn't be competing with a myriad of other people's work on etsy. we'll see...i have more thinking to do.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

weekend cooking!

our weekend was pretty productive again! i worked saturday morning at my friend's shop and then did art stuff for a while! i got one project done & made a lot of progress on another...i'll post some pictures later in the week - but since they are both gifts, i have to wait to discuss them, just in case the recipients happen to read my blog :)

the pups went out for a long run & swim at a new park & were so exhausted, they could barely keep their little eyes open. i caught them cuddling on the bed:

sunday, the hubby and i cooked up a storm! i think we used almost every new appliance we received as wedding gifts! since we had gotten so much bad news last week, my friend and i did some baking for our friend who just got out of the hospital & another friend that just had to put down her very sick dog. :( hubby made some cookie dough ice cream (yum) and made lots of tomato sauce & homemade meatballs. we ate very well!

we also got a new neighbor, who seems so pleasant! i gave her some muffins too :) also, vacuumed the house, did tons of laundry, and cleaned the bathroom. whew.

it's already been three weeks since our wedding! a wonderful three weeks....feels so much longer than that - like a dream.

how was your weekend?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

wedding pics, part 2 - christine

as i've mentioned before, christine pobke was our incredible photographer! she and i met when i was deciding on what college to attend - and we've been friends ever since :) i've gone on and on about her work...but i'll let it speak for itself. it was such a pleasure to see her again, after so many years apart. go here for the rest of the sneak peek:

making a face :)

getting dressed


me & my parents

hello friends!

mmmmm confetti cake

hubby and i

my favorite of the set

* all pics are from pobke photography *

Friday, August 13, 2010

wedding pics, part 1 - johnna

so we don't have our official wedding photos just yet - the photos will be ready 6 - 8 weeks from the wedding date :( but our two photographers posted some sneak peeks on their blogs!

johnna brynn was our second shooter. we actually originally didn't plan to have more than one photographer, but a fortunate turn of events changed that. our photographer, christine pobke, mentioned that a second shooter was coming to the wedding and we said "sweet!" i had assumed that christine & johnna were friends, but as it turned out, they met in person for the first time in connecticut!! christine lives in australia and our wedding was a rare trip to the states for her - johnna loved christine's work and wanted to meet her in person. pretty amazing, huh?

johnna was so sweet and such a pleasure to have at our wedding! if you ever need a photographer, call her! check out her website here.

here's a few of johnna's shots from the wedding - see more on her blog here:

newly married hubby & i in the spa's gardens

entrance of the spa with our wedding party

my hubby getting ready

my makeup appointment

me and my shoes

* all photos are credited to johnna brynn *

Thursday, August 12, 2010

sad news

in the last few days, we've been hit with an onslaught of sad news. without going into detail on many of these stories, there is one in particular i feel i should mention.

if you've been watching the news over the last couple of days, you've no doubt heard of the plane crash that killed ted stevens and a number of other people. two other passengers on that flight, dana tindall and her 16 year old daughter corey, were also victims of this tragedy.

when i first read who the other victims were, i had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.


one of the parks hubby & i take our pups to is next to a gorgeous view of the inlet - there are huge, beautiful houses that sit right at the top of the hill and overlook the scenery. we've met one of the residents of these houses, a very pleasant man named virgil. his lab/great dane mix jake comes out to play with vito & mia on a pretty regular basis and the herd of pups tear around in the open field while we visit with virgil. he's mentioned his wife in passing and told us what company she worked for. occassionally we've met & chatted with virgil's step-daughter, a shy teenager, when she's taken jake for walks.

and this morning's news article confirmed was i was afraid of - virgil's family was killed in that plane crash. my heart goes out to him & his family.

design sponge blue-ness

i heart design sponge. seriously. great ideas for decorating, projects (& instructions!) large & small, beautiful pictures, recipes, business advice, etc...its truly a site for inspiration. since the past three months had been so focused on the wedding, i sadly neglected one of my favorite places to visit. here are some things that caught my eye as i've been perusing past posts:

i adore this color blue! go here for a tutorial on painting furniture

blue frame from here

since we've been doing some reorganizing at home, i've been oogling bookshelves:

all bookshelf pics from here

amazing refurbished chairs from here

DIY wine tube rack from here - for all of those mailing tubes i've kept! i knew they would be useful someday (right, hubby?)

pics of some cute nurseries (don't get any ideas punky!) - i just liked some of the blue items & bright colors:

blue table!
blue stand!

blue crib! LOVE all of the color in this one!

(all nursery pics from here)

blue kitchen from here

loving this color combo from here

as you can tell, my obsession with blue has not wavered in the least :) so, what websites inspire you? i'm always searching for new ones!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


over the weekend, we also took the pups out for some fun! we took mia & vito out on long leads and hubby wore his fishing chest waders. vito already knew how to swim from last summer. we were unsure about mia so hubby walked out into the water with mia on her lead and gently persuaded her to follow him by holding her beloved frisbee. we learned that she's a natural :) so here's mia & vito and some new friends out at the lake having a blast:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


how was everyone's weekend? hubby & i got a lot done around the house! we focused mostly on the kitchen & dining area, cleaning things up, putting away gifts (new plates! new appliances!!) there are still some things to unclutter, so i'll wait on posting pics of that stuff. here's our new wine rack though:

we also did some errands - groceries, target, lowe's...i bought some dirt (for the first time EVER) and some little succulents and planted them. i'm new to this whole plant thing - i've managed to keep a couple pet friendly plants alive for the last year & a half and decided to expand my little collection. we'll see what happens. wish me luck :)

oh we also made our first batch of ice cream (in our new ice cream maker) and it was AMAZING! (ben & jerry's recipe)

it was nice to hang around the house together for the first time since we've been home from the wedding. there's something very pleasant about puttering around as a married couple :)