Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Hope your holidays are full of merry brightness!

--we painted our own Christmas tree this year-- :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sweet & Spooky

We decorated a haunted house this week.

It was made out of chocolate cookies.

And candy.

And lots and lots of frosting!

We went a little overboard with the frosting and it was delicious!

Have a spooky-ooky, happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tiny Tote

I used some of the remaining pillow fabric to make a tiny tote for Brianna.

I'm starting to like this sewing thing.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Delicious iced mocha with lavender, anyone?

Yes, please!

This yummy drink is called Midnight Garden or Moonlight Garden (I can never remember, but it's my favorite). So, thank you River Rock Coffee for making something I can't stop drinking.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Sewing Project: Pillows

I took another class at Crafty Planet and this time I made pillows. We made inserts first with muslin and poly-fil and then we made the covers with invisible zippers.

The main reason I wanted to make pillows (besides the fact that you can never have enough pillows) is that our couch is an Ikea couch. It's tiny and easily transportable (which fits into our current nomadic existence), but it needs a little extra help in the comfy department. Hence, the pillows.

Now, the only question is what do I sew next?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Waves and Pagodas

Tonight, while I browsed through my photo collections, I ran across photos of two paintings I did a little over a year ago.

The first I painted for my mother who loves the ocean.

As for the second one, I painted it with the idea of a secret place to go and dream extraordinary dreams.

I like to imagine that I'm in this painting somewhere.

Maybe on the starlit path.

Maybe in the dreaming pagoda itself.

Or maybe resting on the hill, staring at the sky.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Inspiration Blooming

We visited Como Park yesterday. I wanted to see the conservatory and all of the gardens. Many times I like taking inspiration (for my paintings) from the shapes and textures of plants and flowers.

One of the highlights of the day was walking into the Sunken Garden and being enveloped by fragrance. Amazing! It smelled so wonderful that I could have sat in there the entire afternoon.

Mmmmm... I wonder how much it would cost to build my very own conservatory? :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I got this from the Kripalu website. They got it from Colors in Motion.

All I know is that I felt relaxed after I watched it. So, if you need a moment to yourself, just put it on full screen and unwind.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Workin' The Canvas

I picked up a bunch of canvases over the weekend and started laying down the paint.

I'm working on three of them. Usually, I have a clear idea of what I'm going to paint, but I've been taking a more spontaneous approach lately. I've even gone as far as simply closing my eyes and blindly picking a paint color. Basically, I'm giving myself up to the fun of improvisation!

Obviously, the paintings are in their infancy right now. I'm looking forward to seeing where they end up.

I recently painted the one below with my cousin Brianna (she's 3 1/2). She happily smeared paint all over the canvas. I think her favorite part, however, was spraying the canvas with water. She couldn't get enough of that. My favorite part was listening to her explain (very seriously) to Jonathan about each step we took to create the painting. It was really, really cute.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I've been on vacation, spending my days with family and friends.

There was the roasting of marshmallows...

And the enjoyment of s'mores...

Followed by the eventual marshmallow-in-hair experience.

There was also the working at GenCon peddling both Stratego...

And Stomple...

All while fighting beholders and dire wolves and giant, ugly trolls.

Mainly, though, it was great passing time with my husband, my parents and my bestest, little friend while enjoying the beauty of summer.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Curious Brianna

This post is mainly for my 3 1/2 year old cousin. She loves Curious George. So, I'm putting this Jack Johnson video up for her. Of course, everyone else is welcome to enjoy it too. :)

Let your whimsy out!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Sewed A Tote

I mentioned earlier that I was taking my first sewing class soon. Well, I took it and loved it! I had a great time and created an awesome tote in the process. The instructor made everything seem really easy and even when I messed up (which I did--several times) she told me how to fix the issue(s) quickly and painlessly. No drama!

So, here's the tote (you can click on the pics to see the fabric better).

It's reversible!

And hidden beneath the fabric is some durable canvas, so the tote is pretty darn sturdy too.

I'm looking forward to signing up for another class at Crafty Planet and soon!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Too Hot

It's so hot right now, I think I might melt. This heatwave has been going on for a few days, but it does make for a good excuse to stay indoors and watch movies. We escaped the heat on Sunday and watched the final Harry Potter film. Definitely worth seeing.

I'm also looking forward to seeing this film in December when it's frosty, cold and snowy. :)

Alright, I need some ice cold lemonade now. Try and stay cool everyone.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Crushing On: Adam Turman Prints

Last summer while visiting the MCBA, I noticed a collection of postcards in their shop. As I rifled through them I found myself smiling with delight. I bought four on the spot, left the shop and then returned five minutes later to buy four more. These postcards were bold, vivid and, apparently, irresistible.

What kind of postcards could make a person smile like a loon and buy eight in one day? Ones with Adam Turman's artwork printed on them.

Adam Turman is a graphic artist based out of the Twin Cities. Many of his illustrations and designs depict the things I love (cycling, the Cities) in a way that simply makes me happy when I see them.

© 2011. All rights reserved.

© 2011. All rights reserved.

© 2011. All rights reserved.

And even though it's been a year since I found those postcards, I still can't get enough of his work! If you want to see more prints, and I know you do, go to Minnesota, Our Home (I've put a few up there too) or Adam Turman's website.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What Did He Say?

Let me start by saying that British literature, television and film are three of my favorite things. That's why I laugh every time I see this SNL skit.

It's so true and hilarious.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Layering The Paint And Buddha's Garden

Lately, I've been experimenting with layers. I paint a layer of color on the canvas, I spray the canvas with water, I wait until it dries and then I add another layer. Unfortunately, I don't have a workspace with a hard, okay-to-get-messy floor and I don't think my landlord would appreciate me dripping paint all over the carpet, so I do all the messy work in the bathtub. That means cleaning up the paint after each spraying (so it doesn't stain). Result: my bathtub has never been cleaner! :)

Here's a picture of my latest painting. It's still in progress.

And just to share--here's another painting I did this spring. This one doesn't have the layering effect. I started playing with that technique soon after I painted this one.

Buddha's Garden

Also, I am listening to this song right now . . .

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I am loving this short animated film by French filmmaker, Joanna Lurie. It's called Le Silence Sous L'Ecorce (The Silence Beneath the Bark) and it's exquisite. At times the animation reminds me of something from Studio Ghibli.

I hope you enjoy it as well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Once Upon A Time

I've been devouring fairy tale anthologies of late--mostly edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow. Their anthologies are modern interpretations of the old tales and they're not for the faint of heart.

If you like folk and fairy tales, here are some of Windling and Datlow's collections that I've enjoyed :

The Beastly Bride . . . stories about shapechangers (like werewolves)

Coyote Road . . . trickster stories

The Green Man . . . stories of the ancient forest

The Faery Reel . . . fairy stories

Currently, I'm reading books from their older anthology series which takes stories like Cinderella and Snow White and reinterprets them:

Snow White, Blood Red
Black Thorn, White Rose
Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears
Black Swan, White Raven (reading)
Silver Birch, Blood Moon (read)
Black Heart, Ivory Bones (read)

Reading all these fairy tales makes me want to go adventuring in the Black Forest, but it'd probably be safer to eat some Black Forest Cake instead.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Crushing On: Papaya!

Have you ever seen something and immediately fallen in love with it?

That's what happened to me when I first saw Papaya's glittering art panels. I was instantly smitten. It was 2007 and I had recently taken some tentative steps towards reclaiming my own creativity. I think that's partially why I loved the art panels--they were filled with inspiring energy. Soon my own creative space was decorated with three of them:

So what is Papaya! exactly?

It's a creative company started by a mother (Gina Katkin) and a daughter (Anahata Katkin). In the beginning they mainly used Anahata Katkin's journal art for the cards and decorative prints they sold. They even glittered everything by hand (click here for a great blog post interview with Gina Katkin).

The wonderful thing is that Papaya! has grown more amazing with every passing year. They continue to expand their product lines with everything from water bottles to luxe totes. Anahata Katkin's art remains at the center of the Papaya! universe, but they've also incorporated the works of other artists, including Sabrina Ward Harrison and Flora Bowley.

They've even opened a retail space in Ashland, Oregon. Unfortunately, it's almost 2,000 miles from my current location. Private jet, anyone?

What I love most about Papaya! is the genuineness of their work. Their products are filled with true artistry. They don't just slap something together for a quick buck. They create authentic beauty. That's why, after all these years, I'm still crushing on them.

**all images courtesy of Papaya!**

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Staying Put

I contemplated starting a new blog, but I've decided to stay put. Instead, I just updated it a bit. I also hope to be a bit more diligent in my blogging and write more about everything that interests me (like books filled with adventure and chocolate cookies dipped in chocolate) and everything that I'm doing (painting, writing and taking classes).

Speaking of classes, I'm taking my first sewing class next week. I haven't sewn since 7th grade Home Economics. How did I sew that neon pink apron, anyway? I've completely forgotten. The class is being held at Crafty Planet. They carry so many beautiful, whimsical and kitschy fabrics. I've been looking forward to this for months. Their classes fill up so fast that it took a couple tries before I actually scored a spot.

I'm taking the Sew A Tote class. I've already chosen the fabrics. I went for a super-fun-ninja design.

The bolder fabric on the left will be the outside and the fabric on the right will be the inside (the characters are little ninjas).

I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I think this blog might go through some changes soon. I'm not really sure what my plan is yet. But for now, you can catch me at Minnesota, Our Home.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Knits and Clix

My parents sent me some pics of my little cousin. She's wearing some of the knits I've made her this year...

I knitted this hat for her out of a bunch of different yarn scraps and then I felted it and added the flower patch. As you can see she's also holding one of her favorite books.

This hat and multicolored sweater are both made from leftover yarn. She loves the magazine she's holding because it contains Jonathan's 1st published article!!! The article's about Heroclix.

And if you want to check out his latest article, it's in this month's issue of Game Strategyst. I'm so proud of him! w00t!