Wednesday, November 16, 2011

hello from the studio

Hello! I'm still stuck in my studio, working my tail off in preparation for the holiday art markets. I haven't let myself do much besides work. When was the last time I left the house? When was the last time I had contact with a human other than Larry? I'm basically denying myself of all pleasure so I can get this work done. (I'm a tough boss!) Overextended and overwhelmed? Yes and yes!

While I'm busy being the crazy shut-in artist, I feel like I'm missing out on just about everything. Every day I look out my studio window and think "I should go outside and photograph Fall in our yard." We have several gorgeous maple trees with bright yellow leaves, and my favorite - a burning bush hedge that turns a stunning red in Autumn. Today, I looked out the window and all the leaves were on the ground. Too late. Why is Fall such a fleeting season? Why do I now have to look at bare branches for four straight months?

However, my sacrifices are paying off - I have nearly a dozen new pieces (all gouache illustrations) completed. I'd like to do a dozen more, but I have to be realistic. I still need to build a display (there may be some adventures in woodworking this weekend - hopefully, I'll make it to Monday will all my digits intact) and package up prints, keep up with my Etsy shop, and make ornaments (for the ornament swaps and some for sale at the art markets). I'm obsessed with gouache, bright colors, and patterns lately, and can't wait to share the new stuff - but first I need to fork over the big bucks to get my paintings professionally scanned and reproduced.

I like to keep this a personal blog and only write about my life, my art, and things that I personally have experienced. I only post my own photos. I don't typically post links to other people's stuff - there are plenty of other bloggers out there who scour the internet for beautiful and interesting things, so I prefer to leave that to others. (If you want to see what catches my eye on the internet, check out my Pinterest!)

However! Twitter has been keeping me sane while I've been shut in my studio. Thank goodness for blogging friends to keep me company while I work. Since I'm lacking the time to take and edit photos (not to mention, do interesting things to blog about!), I thought I'd share some random bits and pieces - things I've shared on Twitter, things I've found on Twitter, and other thoughts going through my head these days:

* I want to go to Sweden and stay in the Treehotel - specifically in the UFO treehouse (don't forget your E.T. costume!), although all the rooms are awesome (there's also a giant nest!). Too bad I didn't think of this for Larry's 40th!

* Did you know that author Dave Eggers is also an artist? I love all of his illustrations, but especially Being A Bear Solves Nothing, Hoping Fervently That You Stay Kosher, and Ass Kicking Is On My Mind. (At $500 to $900 each, though, they're a little out of my budget.)

* The discovery of Federal Donuts makes me want to hop on an Amtrak and stuff my face with donuts and fried chicken in Philly. Seriously, a place that sells only donuts and fried chicken - it's like it was made just for me!

* For years, I've wanted to eat at Chef Johnny Monis's Komi. For some reason or other, we haven't (Larry had even gotten us reservations there for my 30th and then changed his mind and rented a limo instead - which was awesome - cruising around town in a limo with my friends on my birthday!) Anyway, Johnny Monis has opened a new place - a tiny Thai restaurant called Little Serow. Can't wait to try it!

* Luminhaus (my favorite Virginia vacation spot and the place I did take Larry for his 40th - almost as awesome as a UFO treehouse!) has a new website and photo gallery. They've included links to my photos from our trip along with photos taken by Shauna & Stephen of Something's Hiding in Here.

* Big thanks to Becky of Love Everyday Life for including my Embrace Messy Hair print in her collection of Handmade Holiday gift ideas.

* Speaking of Handmade Holiday - Larry and I are trying to give all handmade gifts this year. I've been wanting to do this for years, and as an artist/crafty person, it's rather shameful that I haven't. I used to think that as an artist myself, I had to make all the gifts myself, too. That is not what is going to be happening. I'm happy to support other artists (and certainly don't have time to make all our gifts) and will be buying handmade items at craft markets and on Etsy to give as gifts. Either that, or everyone will be getting glittered macaroni necklaces.

* Handmade Holiday, part 2: I'm hoping to share a series on my blog in the coming weeks of handmade Christmas ornaments and decorations all made by me. Ideally, I'd like to decorate a Christmas tree with entirely handmade ornaments this year. Realistically, I have two art markets to prepare for, OMG. But I'm still taking little breaks between paintings to make ornaments, and I can't wait to share.

* What have I been the most excited about this week? Unleashed by Petco just opened up in the shopping center next to our house. A pet store within walking distance! Now we don't have to drive all over the county to find the fancy dog food we feed our pups (ahem, or make the dogs scrambled eggs when we *accidently* run out of dog food and don't want to drive 10 miles to get more. Good dog parents, we are). I live a pretty exciting life, let me tell you - excited about a pet store.

* If you exceed some of your goals for the year, does that make up for the ones you've completely failed at? I was looking over the (way too ambitious) lists of goals I set for the year, and with 2011 coming to an end there's no way I'm going to accomplish a lot of these.

* I have found the cure for insomnia! As much as I hate hate hate going off of Daylight Savings time (every time I see the moon out at 4:30, I want to punch its face!), the time change was the perfect opportunity to kill my bad sleeping habits. I've been going to bed earlier, snuggled up with a hot water bottle (I'm such an old lady) and my iPad, watching TV on HBO GO. I know you're not supposed to look at screens an hour before bed, but this is totally working for me. For a girl who didn't have cable television for the first 30 years of my life, I'm loving being able to catch up on all the HBO series that I missed out on. I watch one episode per night and I've been sleeping like a baby - the past week or two I've slept through the night for the first time in years. My bedtime routine is something I look forward to all day. And while I haven't been reading as much (now that I'm rotting my brain with television instead), I'm not going to argue with what works!

* And last, but not least, Gravy turned 5 on Monday. We celebrated with peanut butter sundaes:
gravy's birthday sundae
Yes, Larry (the guy who swore our dogs would *never* eat people food) even topped Gravy's sundae with miniature marshmallows. Lucky beast!


Sarah Rosemary said...

I hope your not being too hard on yourself! I know this is a busy time of year for you!

I am excited to see what you're working on - will you share your display?? I bet it's awesome!

Happy birthday to Gravy!

I wish Belle didn't like people food. She's been counter surfacing a lot lately. But at least Kate is getting good with her forceful "NO!" :)

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Thanks, Sarah - I can't believe you read all that!

Yes, I will photograph and share my display and all my new work - eventually. Just need time to pause...