Monday, March 31, 2008

art. and the past

this weekend i spent so much time in the art room making page after page of collages. it really makes me so happy. lately i have been worrying a lot that I've become too focused on results / feedback from others / some kind of commericial success. which is never what I intended this to be. so I looked back through a lot of my old work, before I started posting things online, back when it was solely about me and my personal fulfillment.

when I look at my old work it makes me glad that I took the time to make a painting, glue together a collage, whatever, instead of watching reruns on tv or spending endless hours reading blogs. It's nice to look at my (albeit small) collection of work and just feel proud that I have these pretty things to show for myself.

I have a lot of new things to show (as soon as it gets sunny enough to get a decent photograph!) but I wanted to show some of what's been making me happy this weekend.

the past five years worth of art journals. the flickr breaks it down.
from my messy watercolors phase. fun fact, i'm pretty sure I painted this the day before I met my husband.

more messy watercolors.

stack of little books.

more little books. yay for ribbons!

it was a nice weekend overall. sunday afternoon we went to the little petting zoo in town so I could see my favorite llamas. and out for sushi for dinner since it's been sooo long and I had a taste for some unagi.

hope you had a nice weekend too, friends.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

saturday mornings

every weekend I have the best laid plans to get up early on saturday, run errands, make art, bake something, just get going!

well, that's happened maybe once. most of the times I hit snooze until 8:30 and then sit around in my pajamas drinking coffee and watching reruns of the soup. today was somewhat better. until I started making bread and realized there were no eggs. and i got distracted by flickr. . . . then the morning slips back into its lazy inertia.

i did take advantage of the glorious morning light in our dining room to take some photos. this will eventually make it's way into my 27 mini book, which comes along sloooowly but surely.

my favorite books of the past year.

here's to a more productive rest of the day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

thoughts on a day job

little yellow birdies, began as a doodle during some work meetings.

so, i have been thinking lately about my job. In the past week or so, I have had a big surge of creative energy, outside of work, and that always makes part of me wish I had more time to dedicate to my personal art.

The thing is, I'm pretty sure if I didn't have the outlet of my job (doing graphic design for a small corporation), I wouldn't have the same kind of creativity outside of work. I really do love my job. Loving my day job energizes the rest of my life; I know this now because I've had jobs I haven't liked, and it totally sucked away all my vitality and spirit. Now I'm content with where I am. I really respect and admire my supervisors, and I enjoy spending time with my coworkers--many of whom I now consider good friends, outside of work. I get to work on some pretty neat projects, too; signage, logos, invitations.

It's not always puppies and rainbows, that's for sure--during our busy times I work late a LOT and it can be stressful and crazy--but for the most part I feel really blessed to have finally found myself at a good place in my career.

Anyway, to bring it back full circle, one of the things I most love about my job is that no one ever seems to care that I draw through about 75% of all the meetings I attend. Last week I made doodles through an entire meeting, and that's essentially what I was there to do. Seriously! It's great.

Monday, March 24, 2008

our music and us

Both Mike and I have been spending a bit of time in the past few days converting our CD collection to MP3, taking boxes and boxes of discs from the attics. It's such a weird trip down memory lane.

For all the early emo and Christian ska and other random and somewhat questionable stuff in my old collection, there are a few discs that I still love and would never be ashamed of.
look at the cracks on this puppy. it was carted around in countless backpacks before the dawn of the ipod. i'm actually surprised it's held up this well. i almost had a heart attack when I realized i bought it about 13 years ago. dude.

Between the two of us there's quite a wide spectrum of music. just in the past half hour I've heard the hold steady, bruce springsteen, cat stevens, the beach boys; i did my flail-y white girl dance to ben folds "kate." and now we're listening to some Dr. Dre. want to guess who's collection that's from?

tonight has been a lot of fun, just the two of us listening to music. the dog is sitting under my chair. I made a few collages earlier. such a pleasant evening.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

behold the man

thinking about these caravaggios this week.

happy easter, friends.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

sparkling clean

is there anything better than a clean house?
the apartment therapy spring cure is going pretty well for me. so far, it doesn't really seem that organized online, but the book has really given me a boost to get things done. More than anything it's raised my consciousness of my surroundings, what works about my house and what doesn't. And after the whole week of really pondering what needs to be done, I realized that what my house really needs is to stay clean and clutter free. I don't really need new furniture. I don't need more knicknacks.

okay, I have to admit though, I did buy an wood and metal monogram from anthropologie, and a few pieces of art from etsy seller labokoff. (highly recommended! beautiful prints, i LOVE them.) and finally took some wedding photos to get framed, but that's a different story. why yes, i did get married almost three years ago, thanks.

my prints from labokoff. aren't they pretty?

anyway! clean and clutter free. that's the goal. I cleaned so hard on saturday afternoon, like workout hard. it was so incredibly satisfying. I think the soundtrack helped, too:
fruit bats, spelled in bones (twice)
belle and sebastian, if you're feeling sinister (twice)
the strokes, is this it

I'm going to make up a fake statistic and guarantee you 94% success in scrubbing every surface in your house while listening to these albums. it worked for me!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

still winter

it seems like there are signs of spring everywhere but here. the magazines and catalogs in my mailbox are full of hyacinths and short skirts. even the sun setting later makes it seem like my neighborhood should be warm and blooming. but it's not.

i don't think I'm really complaining though; it was warm enough today to ride my bike to the grocery store, one of my favorite activities of all time. there's a little path and a big pond between my house and the ultra foods. even though it's still wintry it's pretty in a sparse way. isn't that an interesting little seed pod?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

mini-book, big fears

new project, originally uploaded by oltremare.

I think I may have expressed this here before. . . . I have a weird phobia about what I consider "real" scrapbooking. I have always made paper-based art, collage, all that, but for some reason i get all intimidated by all the uber professional scrapbooking out there right now.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm not secretly Type A, because I don't really like doing things unless I can do them perfectly or at least extremely well. Most of the time I don't deal with it though, because I've always tried to avoid those things. (Sports, anyone? :) ) It's so dumb though, that I've put so much pressure on myself in this arena, which really isn't anything to overthink in the first place!! Stupid unfounded fears.

Anyway, I've realized lately that age 27 has been one of, if not THE best year of my life. And I really feel like I want to document that. So; what you see here is the beginnings of a mini-book. I'm pretty stoked.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I really love getting comments on my blog, and flickr, and just connecting with people through the infite tubes of the internet.:) Often though, I just read other blogs and never comment or email people, as much as I might enjoy or be inspired by them. So, it's my resolution for the new week to do a bit more connecting.

This was inspired a little bit by Carrie & Danielle's friday focus. I think I might start doing these little resolutions on a semi-weekly basis.

Other nice things this friday:

-thinking about the rob & big DVD making its way to my mailbox in a few days. I LOVE this show and it makes me laugh so hard every week. hijinx!

-fun friday lunch out with my coworkers today

-signing up for the Apartment Therapy Spring Cure. I have been meaning to do so much with our house but I always end up slacking or ignoring it. Maybe this will give me the boost I need. . . .

-my Pandora "Cat Stevens" station. Soothing sounds of the seventies, totally mellow.

-a whole weekend with no plans. lots of time for relaxing and working on fun projects!

happy weekend. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

good day sunshine

images of florida. gotta love that pinky sunset light. there are a couple more on my flickr. The last photo was taken at the mini-golf course we went to. There are literally dozens of photos of that giraffe. Can you spot him?

I always have a hard time writing vacation recaps, since once I'm home I can't seem to recapture that free vacation feeling.

One of the best parts of the trip was seeing how Mike and I have so much fun when we're together. We get along so well and laugh about all the dumbest stuff. Sometime if I'm feeling generous I'll tell you some of the pirate jokes we came up with on the trip. For example,
Q. Who is a pirate's favorite fashion designer?
A. Arrrrmani.
And so on.

The weather was great, the visits with grandparents were pleasant, and I really love all the Florida wildlife--lots of big weird birds. It's a Katie paradise. It was so nice to sit out on the little dock behind our hotel and drink coffee and watch the birds in the morning. After such a long, confining, crummy winter, it just made me feel like ME again, like taking a deep cleansing breath.

Monday, March 3, 2008


it was great. we played mini golf and watched baseball. we saw a lot of birds and ate a lot of fish. i was warm! I can't ask for anything more than that.

Now we're home and exhausted. I've had my pajamas on since about three this afternoon. . . unwinding with some tea and getting ready to watch last week's Lost on the DVR. Takin' 'er easy.

More pictures and stories soon.