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March 31, 2009

sweet vivienne

Vivi Grabphone
Vivi Sunglare
Coy Vivi
Vivi Beads
Gotta catch up on a little Vivienne loving — she's such a doll. This girl loves to wear jewels and will instantly put any necklace or bracelet on and proudly keep it on. She's also fond of hats and hoodies (just like her brother who we sometimes refer to as "Kenny" because he keeps his hoodie on while inside) However, Vivi does like to rip barrettes out of her hair and has already lost of couple of my favorites (those embroidered barrettes are so darn cute eh?!) Vivi is also crazy about keys and loves to try to stick them into keyholes (or any philips head screw at her eye level will do!) and then open and close the doors to no end. She also loves shoes, preferably Max's or mine and tries to put them on herself and then "asks" to go outside for a walk (really it's not "asking" it's a lot of finger pointing, hand waving and sing song whining — but she gets the point across perfectly). She asks us to turn the music on by waving her arm in the air pretending to conduct the band and then dances by stomping one foot on the floor while turning in a circle — she's so adorable!

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kiddie shopping

While reading Design Mom's blog I found a couple of kids shopping sites I want to remember and check back in on — ISO Modern & Peek. Cute stuff and relatively affordable?!

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March 29, 2009

knit robot

Knit Robot
Robot Bunny
I finished my knit robot today! Other than Max calling him "FAT" and Mr. C saying "well I see his point, most robots aren't landscape" — he's perfect! (?!!@!>? Oye people, may I please have a drum roll rather than a ridiculously critical review?!) I for one think he's down right adorable. I have been appreciating all the patterns Jess Hutch has made. I am so happy I chased down one of the last booklets available of Unusual Toys for You to Knit and Enjoy. Her patterns are really easy to follow and her creative visions are genuinely fun and worthy of knitting — I adore these two patterns so much. I'm even feeling as low as to prompt my sweet darling son to ask Paga (aka grandpa) to buy my bunny and robot back from the preschool auction! (yes, I feel slithery for suggesting it). I hope to find the will to knit these again for my own kiddies to love and cherish!

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March 24, 2009

bunny slippers

Bunny Slippers
Mini Bunnies
If you didn't already notice (I dare you to search "bunny" on this site!) I'm a big bunny lover and yes easter is just around the corner so I've got bunny on the brain. I found these darling hand crocheted then felted bunny slippers and mini bunnies by way of a downloadable childrens magazine called LMNO. It's filled with wonderful kids clothing, toys, interiors and playful ideas for fun times. The above felted bunnies are available at pretty little's etsy shop, but since they don't have no-slip rubber bottoms I'm passing on them in favor of these boiled wool bunny slippers — not quite as cute but with these I won't worry about Vivi slipping on our hardwood floors.
Garnet Bunny

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March 22, 2009

encaustic workshop

Eileen Goldberg
Tracing Paper
I had an amazing day today. I was so happy that the encaustic painting workshop I took was awesome and inspiring. I'm in love with this technique and can't wait to try it again. The workshop I took was a whole day affair in the sunset studio of a very talented wax artist and ceramicist named Eileen Goldenberg (blog) She's a very warm and engaging person; a supportive, informative and knowledgeable teacher; and very generous with her help and studio offerings. You couldn't take a better class! I learned so much today my head is swimming with information, ideas and most importantly — inspiration.
Eileens Wax
Eileen's wax palette had me drooling! Those gorgeous warm colors are eye candy to me. I could smear 'em on my cheeks or just grab a spoon and eat them — super delicious!
Encaustic Paints
Above is the hot palette I worked from. Below is the brown dandelion ink stamp with the gorgeous smears that Max made while playing in my studio yesterday. I fell in love with it. Of course Max gave me such a hard time for wanting it and he loaded me up with rules about how I could use it. Sadly, I apparently screwed up and he was in tears when I returned home with my final piece in which I used his stamps. I just hope one day he'll like it — or at least forget all about it?!@#!
Max Stamp Smear
Below are the pieces I made while learning about encaustics. I'm attracted to the milky white of the clear wax and hazy dreamy depths that the layers create. I also loved collaging in images. One awesome trick Eileen showed was to print an image on tracing paper then dip it in the wax and seal. The effect is photographic yet painterly and beautifully translucent. I'm also wanting to explore the sgraffito technique. I love the results I've seen in other works, but I found it really difficult to remove the wax after filling in the channel. I need lots of practice to get it to look the way I envision it. i also need more time trying to smooth out the wax. But no matter, I had a great time trying and can't wait to wield a heat gun again.
Dandelion Encaustic
Sgraffito Progress
Sgraffito Dandelions

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March 21, 2009

brother and sister

Max Vivie1-1
Max Vivie2
Max and Vivi really do love each other! It's so sweet to see them watch out for each other, share food and feed it to each other, tickle toes, sing songs and so so much more. Of course they tug-o-war over the same toys and pull each other's hair too — they are normal!

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March 20, 2009

hookie day

Max Junglecamo
Vivi Smushface
Vivi Topboat

A couple of quickie snaps from our fun afternoon playing "hookie" (which Max loves to say) from school at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

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March 17, 2009

happy st patty's day

more knit robot progress

Robot Twosides
Buttons
Robot Facebuttons
Here are more photos of the knit robot progress. I'm having so much fun knitting this one because of the gorgeous heirloom quality yarn and the funky embroidery and button details. I sewed on the front details last night. I may add a few more embroidered stitches around the smaller buttons, but other than that the front is complete. I had to include a photo of all the lovely buttons I purchased yesterday at Britex. I mentioned this already but the palette of greens and pinks is making me super happy. I have high hopes I'll have the stamina and endurance to whip up a few more for my own kids. Wish me luck.

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March 16, 2009

robot progress

Robot Progress-2
Robot Buttons
My knitting needles are on fire! I've been staying up way too late whipping up this robot. I've actually already completed the backside too. While Vivi napped on sunday afternoon and Max was at his little buddy Gabriel's 5th birthday party with daddy, I sorted through an old bag filled with "extra" buttons. It was fun to sort all those one or two extras they give you with each sweater, pants etc I've been saving them long after I've gotten rid of the clothes. I found some lovelies in there and decided that I'll embroider a rectangle with ribbon and thread and attached a variety of buttons to the 'bots middle rather than the intarsia the pattern calls for. I think it'll be darling. I stopped by Britex this morning and bought some pale peachy pink and dusty green ribbons to match. I'm loving the peach, pink, mauve and olive color palette. I think I'm going to want to buy this robot back from the auction! More pics soon...

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March 15, 2009

six eyed monster

Six Eyes
Ultra Pinchpot
Top: Max's six-eyed monster painting. Below: an un-fired set of pinch pots (he said he's keeping these for himself!) and another Ultraman too!

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March 14, 2009

finshed bunny

Finished Bunnytwo
Bunny&MaxTwobunnies
I finished the knit bunny for the preschool auction last night, seen above one his own, with Max and with my first knit bunny. I started a robot too, so there will be more knitting updates to come.

March 13, 2009

artist statement

Kevin Gallery
Kevin Rainbow
Jellyfish Bear
I found this artist by way of BellJar. Although he's obviously a very talented painter, what I'm drawn to in Kevin E Taylor's work is the intention of why he makes art, illuminated in his artist statement below. I know I will refer to this again, it's genius.

I refer to my paintings as abstract narratives. Much like within dreams, there seems to be some underlying story or symbolic encryption; yet the significance of random artifacts scattered amongst would-be characters within unfamiliar settings remains up for discussion. No one, person can provide, with utmost certainty, the explanation of last night's nightmare; however, hypothesis remains a heartening comfort for the fretful dreamer. Works of art should be no different. To employ an all-encompassing explanation upon such a work is to restrict its potential to awaken sleeping thoughts; and, although translation of mystery and expression of intent can and do serve purpose, I'd prefer leave that can of worms to someone else's opening. I want as little conscious control over an experiment as i impress upon a dream... later, when i wake up, we can talk about what it meant. In short, my working method is highly improvisational- each work, a fossil born from the simple act of one's response unto the possibility of materials. Chance, accident, and spontaneity are welcomed artifacts upon the archaeology of my constructions.

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March 12, 2009

knit bunny progress

Bunny Body
Bunny now has a body and arms...legs to go and all done. I'm considering trying to whip out a robot using the same yarn. I'm wondering if I can come up with a good embroidery idea for his center and possibly use some real buttons?

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little prince

Kingmax
Vivi Carrot
How regal yet pensive does my little prince look? It's a great contrast to his little sister who just wants you to take a bite of her carrot please. Snaps taken while riding the "jolly trolly" through Fairyland.

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March 11, 2009

i am a scientist

Scientist Max
Eyedropper Slide
Microscope Max
Maga & Paga bought Max a microscope (and a crystal making kit too) while visiting the Exploratorium (thanks you twos!!). Max came home so excited to start being a scientist. He even asked me, can I be a scientist when I grow up? I told him he already was one. For the last few days we've looked at all matter of things under the scope: sugar, salt, onion skin, hair, carpet, baking soda, leaves etc. it's been very exciting. A highlight was when Max asked if he could wear daddy's lab coat — from daddy's days of yore when he studied blue green algae at the Pasteur Institute. Like father like son, as they say!!

“Faith” is a fine invention / For gentlemen who see -- / But microscopes are prudent / In an emergency. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

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twilight: melancholy and magic

Vhammond Garland
Vhammond Green
Vhammond Installation

I love the ethereal beauty of these large litho & monotype prints by Valerie Hammond from her exhibit "twilight" (found by way of About Today blog). The material line for the top image reads "relief printed lithograph, glass beads, thread on handmade Kozo paper" sounds like a sunprint of some sort where she may have laid the materials on an emulsified litho surface? Not sure, but I dig the result. "Women as dolls, drudges, helpmates and heroines" — a line I like from her artist statement.

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March 10, 2009

stitched scribble

Megan Stitched

I'm drawn to the intersection of art and craft especially when knitting or embroidery are involved. Yaya forwarded me a link to Megan Whitmarsh whose works looks to me like she is using embroidery like marker pen — scribbly stitches — so cool. I also like many of her ealier drawings like the trees below, which are really similar to an illustration I did a few weeks ago. What quirky and fun work!

Megan Trees
Megan Trees2
From my sketchbook:
Tree Sketch

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March 9, 2009

toile thread

Kent Dance
Kent Swing
By way of the "By Hand" book I found Kent Hendricksen's stitched and embroidered art. I love that he's added in his own characters to old toile patterns — subversive genius.

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March 8, 2009

paper quilling

Wilson QuillingWilson Quilling2
Wilson Installation
I happened to walk by the SF Museum of Craft and Folk Art and was drawn into the shop by a cute hedgehog stuffie made by Katy Kristin. However, once I was shopping I came across amazing art and paper work by Megan Wilson. She calls the way she lays out the strips of paper in the above pieces "quilling". It produces a beautiful visual layering effect which is obviously hard to capture with a photograph because you need to see the side angles to get the color and repetition in all its glory.

I also found a book I really want titled "By Hand" The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art", there's lots to love and be inspired by in there. Must add to my Amazon Wish List.

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March 7, 2009

knit bunny progress

Bunny Head
Just a quickie progress update on the knit bunny — head, ears and embroidered face are complete.

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March 1, 2009

nanamation

Nanmation
Lil Geisha
Max & Dada went to wondercon/comicon (Max's first convention as daddy pointed out!) and they brought me back this darling print by Nan Hockin of Nanamation. Her artwork is adorably sweet and I love that she is also a knitter, baker and all around crafty type.

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