Thursday, December 30, 2010


Back in August, Elsie of A Beautiful Mess, issued a challenge to set and meet 4 Simple Goals before the end of 2010.  Here's a look at my goals and how I fared:

1.  Plan another trip.
There's nothing definite nailed down here - but a few possibilities floating around and two that are likely to happen this year.  The first being a trip to Dominican for my gal J's wedding.  This is still a "maybe" but close to a "ticket please."  The second is looking like another European go in fall... probably an Italy/Greece combo.  Fingers crossed on both of these because it's been too long since the passport has been swiped!

2.  Give my workspace a makeover.
Done and done.

3.  Paint and draw just for fun and agenda-free.
I've done alright with this one, probably better in fall when I could take the sketchbook outdoors and enjoy some downtime in the sun.  I did make a collage piece just for kicks and some paintings and drawings for the workspace... so all-in-all, I guess this one was a success.

4.  Do what I love to do.
This gets a definite check mark.  Aside from a couple of part time gigs, I am otherwise full time into the art and sewing - and totally loving it.  The only downer on this one is that I need to work on my organizational skills and time management... as in, maybe less late night work and more daylight work?!  Not totally sure yet, but I need to figure it out since I'm starting up with the coursework again at the end of the month and need to squeeze that in somewhere too.  (I think I'll try to sort this out a bit for my New Year's goals).

How did ya'll do with your 2010 goals, simple or otherwise?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Ick.  Yesterday I mentioned that my brain was begging for a little slow motion... apparently my body agreed.  I woke up sick.  So a morning in bed, an afternoon watching t.v. (what?! unheard of) and hmm, perking up a little now and hitting the other couch armed with tea, a new sketchbook and some pencils.  Not the day I had planned, but sometimes that's okay too.  Couch time is as good for sorting out the head-space as it is for letting your body recover... so I'm just gonna enjoy the rest of the afternoon in tights and a hoodie under my blanket and hope that tomorrow is a feel better day.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Give & Take

My all-time favorite thing to give and receive, without a doubt, is books.  Always, and since forever.  I was a total bookworm as a child... still am, when I can find the time.  Someday I will have enough books to warrant a big ole Restoration Hardware bookshelf.  Ohhh, maybe one with a sliding ladder - there's a childhood fantasy that's within the realm of possibility.  
Here's a list of the pretty books I got for Christmas this year:

-Interiors by Yoo (Good work Blakey)
-100 Years of Fashion Illustration (Soooo happy to find this one under the tree - Thanks Gramma)
-The Party Dress Book (Nicey nicey Kimmer)

I also just finished reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson so my Chapters/Indigo gift cards will be going towards picking up the other two books in that trilogy.  There's a yummy looking vegetarian cookbook that I've got my eye on too.  I will have to take myself on a little self-date in early January - a trip into the city for a day of coffee and book shopping.  Perfect way to relax after the busyness of the holidays.
Tuesday will be kinda back to normal.  Sorta.  Gathering number five happens at supper, but the Tuesday afternoon routine is back to the usual photo gig.  I've really been feeling the need for a few days to relax with no agenda.  I think I need to get some time to myself to refresh the creativity and to plot my next moves.  Ha, I sound like an evil cartoon character.  It's much more basic than that, but there is definitely a plan needed.  I guess that's what the whole new year thing is supposed to be about... right?!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas Miracle


It is true.  I have performed a Christmas Miracle.  Not the virgin-birth type, nothing nearly as impressive, but a small little me-sized miracle.  *Drum roll please*  I finished the projects that had to be done before the holidays laaaaate last night.  Done.  Miraculous.  Two pieces to be picked up by their new owners and then that is that.  Hallelujah.  There is a chorus of little Christmas angels singing in my head right now (somebody needs to get me some help).
And now, for some much needed plain old nothingness... well, the 5-gathering line up starts Friday, but I can deal with excessive amounts of delicious.  I will now crawl under my brand new and super soft blanket (thanks Meg!) with my sketchbook and some markers and doodle the day away.  Ohhh so good.
Merry Eve of the Eve,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Collage Project... Sneak a Peek

A little taste of the collages I've been working on lately.  This one was just for fun, using my own words handwritten on left-over paper from other projects.  This particular piece is 3' x 3' on 1/4" plywood.  The frame is made of pine... and it took me way too long to figure out how to get it this color.  Six coats of Dark Walnut and one of Ebony.  Geez.  This made me wish I could ask for Grandpa's help on the project, he would've had it nailed much quicker than I.
I will post more pics of this and the other collage piece after Christmas Eve when the ordered one heads off to its new home.
I'm having some trouble believing that it's December 21st today.  Seriously?!  Did this month even happen?  I'm not ready, this painting is definitely not ready - just hoping I can pull this week off somehow!
Back to the sky and the trees and the hands covered in paint... I do love that.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Illustration Inspiration

I lovelovelove this illustration.  I wish I had more patience for drawing, because this style is just beautiful.  Usually, I don't even make it half-way through a portrait style pencil sketch before going back to my ever-loved markers and watercolor brush pens.  That's where the sketches below come in.  They are much more akin to my personal illustrating style.  I'm going to use these drawings below as a little inspiration to get me going with my watercolors over the holidays...


...Speaking of holidays.  I did have to revise my plan - I'm now *hoping* to get the new 'to-do' list done before Wednesday or Thursday.  Fingers crossed.  Toes crossed.  And probably eyes crossed by then, but so looking forward to some down time.
Back to the paint mixing, applying, drying and repeat cycle that was last week!

Friday, December 17, 2010

... And Cute to Boot

1.  Victorian Locket - Polyvore
2.  Slouchy Beret - Polyvore
3.  Prudence Starburst Pocket Dress - Ruche
4.  Pearl Earrings - Polyvore
5.  Highland Reel Coat - ModCloth
6.  Crocheted Fingerless Gloves - Polyvore
7.  Over-the-Knee Sock - Polyvore
8. Pearl Ring - Polyvore
9.  Victorian Ankle Booties - Polyvore

Just a wee bit of fashion inspiration for your Friday.  I picture this outfit off to Gram's house, Little Red Riding Hood style (with a skip in your step), for a holiday dinner with the fam.  The booties and the pearl ring are super sweet and the dress from Ruche looks so incredibly comfy - I would certainly be cheery in such a cute lil' get-up.
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hittin' the Books

Hmm.  It's beyond time for me to sign up for some 2011 classes... and I am procrastinating, of course.  I did tell myself I would take until January to get organized with working from home and all the changes that brings.  However, I must say that I am ready to get back to it.  I miss books.  This time around I will be sure to read the fine print a little more carefully.  That last class had at least one too many essays... you shouldn't have to write 45 pages of anything for an undergrad class, that's just silly no matter how interesting the topics.  I'm torn on the next go being The 19th Century English Novel or American Lit.  I've taken some of each and have more than half of the books either way... I just cannot seem to decide.  Wow, not only am I geeky today, I'm also totally boring.  I'm putting myself to sleep here, geez.  My apologies.
Moving on...
Yesterday was Bloom day for me - playin' florist with Pegster.  We do always have so much fun.  This time around, both of our sisters came for a visit at the same time, so it was girl party in the flower shop - seems so fitting.  Hey!  This means sister is home and for three wonderful weeks this time - hurray!
This afternoon is more painting - fingers crossed on getting that puppy done before Saturday.  Oh the self-imposed deadline, always such a good idea when it's a week away.  I'm sure I'll thank myself next week when I take some equally as self-imposed days off.  I know I will, I am kinda on the desperate side for some time to re-evaluate and boy am I looking forward to sitting on the couch with my sketchbook and watercolor pens or some other grand form of ink that I just can't seem to find the time for lately.  Yes, please.
For now, baking away and getting super excited to see my friend Clar at noon - it's been waaay too long since we've had lunch, and I miss her pretty lil' face.  Luckily, not for long.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

O Christmas Tree

Today I'm keeping two promises:
1. Pictures of the tree
2.  Less babble than yesterday
Aside from fulfilling promises, today will be about more painting this morning  - and yes, mission accomplished as far as committing to an idea for this painting and boy, did I ever get a lot of time in on that piece yesterday.  Hurray!  After some time painting, I'll be spending this afternoon with my friend Jamie working on her business cards and some other fun projects we've been putting together.
The End.  For real.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh Victoria

Here's a little run-down of the weekend (in no particular order, naturally):

Saturday night was all about the Victoria's Secret tradition - Every year my friendly friend Jenny and I watch the VS fashion show together.  We wait alllll year long to see what sorts of big beautiful wings will walk down the runway.  This year, my favorites were pretty classic: white and over the top big.  Although this wasn't my favorite of the shows, I always enjoy it (you can watch it here).  Jen and I are now on a mission to collect them all as far back as they go.  Once we've got them all we're planning a marathon viewing... probably with a bowl of candy and the two of us on the couch in our Halloween wings and knee-high boots.  Ya know, for good fun.  Maybe we'll even dump glitter over our heads too - ha!

Friday night was good too - no fashion show viewings, but a good holiday get-together with friends.  Ahem, thanks for the entertainment boys (you know who you are).  It was nice to see everyone and meet a couple of new people.  Ohhh, and the appies and cider drinks prepared by Santa's Little Helpers were delicious too.

Let's not forget Sunday.  Which played out pretty much as expected... except that the festive baking turned into the festive eating of baking already done by my lady, lil' J, and was accompanied by festive wine.  Needless to say, it was festive?!  Ha, perhaps I should use my words: it was nice and really quite relaxing. 

Now moving on to Monday business... mix paint, apply paint, watch paint dry and repeat.  Keepin' it simple today, time to make serious progress and go with the instinct instead of the waffling.  Yip.
There you have it.  More than you ever wanted to know about my days!  Less babbling tomorrow, promise.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fine, Feathered & Fancy 2

Two down.  There's more dresses cut and prepped... and sitting beside my sewing machine.  The sewing projects have taken a backseat to the art lately - which is totally good with me.  I like the variety and the way that I miss one creative outlet when I'm busy with the other.
As for these two dresses, I think they will end up in my shop sooner than later.
Sunday will be a bit of relaxing, a bit of brainstorming on the current painting situation and maybe a bit of Christmas baking... or some other form of festive fun.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fine, Feathered & Fancy 1

Just a quick preview from the pics I snapped yesterday of the holiday sample dresses I made.  I'm thinking I may just post them in the Etsy shop?!  Haven't totally decided.  I'll share some of my favorite photos of these black & gold duds tomorrow.
Today looks like: gym, painting, coffee, painting, girlfriends, painting, coffee, painting.
Time to get a move on, lady.  Geez, enough with the Saturday laziness.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Party Wears

As far as the party duds go this season, here's what I wore for round 1 of festive events.  I tried to keep my dress choices in the same palette this year so I could get more wear out of the shoes and clutch pictured above... I just love that dusky pink, so pretty.  I'll switch up the tights for each outing, and the bijoux factor too because I have lots of lovely pearly greys and creams in the jewelry drawer.
This weekend is for working away so that I can get out to play again next weekend for my gal Jenna's wedding social.  So looking forward to that one - should be tons of fun!  I am hoping to get to a more casual holiday party for a bit tonight... otherwise it's finishing touches and new beginnings in the art department.  Hoping to find some serious inspiration yet today.  Where to look?  This is one time I'm hoping it's right in front of me...
-And YES I am writing from a coffee shop because NO my internet woes are not resolved.  I guess the shout-out to the internet fairies didn't do the trick.  Hmm.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Deckin' the Halls

I have too many pics of the holiday decor around here, so the tree is getting its very own post.  These are just a few shots from the living room... it's the only room that got dressed up for the season this year.  It looks like this: vases of ornaments, bay leaf garlands and wreathes, and random sequined beauties strewn about.  It's not too fussy, but its definitely coordinated and blends right in with the decor items that stay all year long.  
So.  I have been internet-less for days and days.  Ahem, thank-you neighbors for the too-tough-to-crack security keys.  Kidding.  Rest assured, I do not have those sorts of skills - but if I did, I would be seriously tempted right now.  It's a pretty strange existence when most of what you do relies on being online for hours a day doing one thing or another.  To all of you wonderful people that I have been out of touch with, or who are awaiting a response - please bear with me!  I *hope* to be back to business as usual before the weekend.  
Please, please, pretty please help me internet fairies!
That makes tonight a good night to prep a canvas that's getting attacked this weekend.  Friday is the day to make second attempts at photographing a very sweet (and hopefully sleeping ;) baby boy.  It's also the day to get moving on a last Christmas order and it just may be the day to also photograph a couple of holiday dresses and ah, who knows, throw in an escape to the gym at some point.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All I Want For Winter...

tulle around town lace dress by Ryu

I know, I know, enough with the Ruche lovin' already ;)  I just can't help myself.  Their Holiday Look Book is a dream, as per usual.  Check it out at the source link below. 
Currently underway, the Wednesday routine at Bloom -  and so busy with holiday shoppers.  Fun and festive, that's what the day is calling for!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Busta Move

Sometimes things just don't go according to plan... or entire days don't go according to plan.  That would be the story with today: the late post - because my internet is on the fritz, the dog photos - because baby just wasn't feeling photogenic this morning (we WILL try again Jimma Jami ;) and the meltdown - because, well because the roll of canvas that I'm desperately in need of will just be arriving another day instead of NOW and the to-do list is longer than my arm (which, fyi, is exceptionally long).  I don't usually let these things get to me, but I must admit that I failed at being Captain Happy today.  I just wasn't myself and I let the littles get me down.  Now that is a waste of day.  
So tomorrow I will try again.  And darn it, I will have a good day.
--- The cutie in the photos is my gal Jami's pup, Buster.  Isn't he a sweetie?  And a very well-behaved boy with good snuggling skills.  That's what his personal ad says anyway.  Haha.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Wonderland

The weekend was good fun - a Christmas party, a birthday party (Happy 85th G'ma D!), and a Sunday afternoon of hot chocolate and the first round of gift wrapping.  I topped the weekend off last night with a glass of wine and the black and white version of It's A Wonderful Life.  Good.
December is down one weekend and now I'm feelin' it... well, I'm feeling the hustle at least!  There are SO MANY projects to finish and things to do in the next two weeks.  I've made myself a bit of a deal (more on this later) and it involves a self-imposed deadline of December 17th for a whole lotta work.  Don't worry, there's a reward involved too.
First, a battle with some stain that is just not doing it for me, then the run-around and back to the art projects. (I really do need to make sure to find some caffeine in there, don't you think?!)
--- More peeks at the holiday decor around the house & home coming up... we'll call this photo an appetizer ;)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Drum Roll Please

The winner of the 100th post.give.away is...

BIG thanks to all of you who entered and for the sweet comments that everybody left on the post - I truly appreciated each one!

Dear Sandra: Please email me ( your mailing address so I can send your goodies on their way. Thanks so much and enjoy your win! 

In other news...
As a thank-you to those reading, I'm offering a coupon for skirts and accessories from my Dove Tree Etsy Shop:

Just enter the discount code when you're checking out and it will apply to all of the items in your cart that are from my shop.  The coupon code is for this weekend only.
Enjoy & Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tulu Textiles



The photos above are from Tulu, a gorgeous fabric and textile shop in Istanbul, Turkey.  Tulu is owned by an American antique textile dealer and textile designer named Elizabeth Hewitt.  Her beautiful handmade fabrics are modern, yet highly reminiscent of traditional Turkish style.  The architecture and textiles of this part of the world have long fascinated me, and I am lucky to have visited Turkey myself.  If only I had known about Tulu - As it turns out, the guest house I stayed at in Istanbul was only a few short blocks away! 
Here are a few of my own textile-inspired photos from Turkey: 

Thursday looks like art, art, sew for me.  After the Tuesday/Wednesday combo of other creative-but-not-my-own-pursuits jobs, I'm ready to get into my projects again.  That's what I like about being off on other adventures a couple of days a week, it gives a little urgency to my M/Th/F.  
*** I will be posting the name of the winner of the 100th post.give.away on Friday ***
*** Watch for details of a holiday sale coming to my Etsy shop soon ***

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Champagne & Olives

... More Holiday Party Dresses from ModCloth

1. Fairy Lights Dress
2.  Glamorous Garnish Dress
3.  By Invitation Only Dress
4.  Time Of My Life Dress
5.  Classic Combination Dress
6.  Forest Thicket Dress
7.  Raise The Roof Dress
8.  Silent Screen Queen Dress
9.  The Finalist Dress In Gold
10.  Bronze Statuesque Dress

These are my absolute favorites from ModCloth this season.  I honestly could not pick just one.  Four maybe, but not one (#1, #2, #4, #10).  Ha!  I'm already three dresses deep this holiday season, so NO MORE for me.  Now if I can stop buying tights in an attempt to get the perfect non-matchy-match everything will be great. 
I'm off to play in the flowers at Bloom for the day.  Then home to more coats of stain and hopefully some time for the gym and a good relaxing sit by the fire.
This week is disappearing before my eyes!
--- If you haven't already, be sure to check out the 100th post.give.away - I will leave it open for entries until midnight tonight.