Thursday, March 31, 2011

i dream of trees

There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees,
A quiet house, some green and modest acres
A little way from every troubling town,
A little way from factories, schools, laments.
I would have time, I thought, and time to spare,
With only streams and birds for company,
To build out of my life a few wild stanzas.
And then it came to me, that so was death,
A little way away from everywhere.
There is a thing in me still dreams of trees.
But let it go. Homesick for moderation,
Half the world’s artists shrink or fall away.
If any find solution, let him tell it.
Meanwhile I bend my heart toward lamentation
Where, as the times implore our true involvement,
The blades of every crisis point the way.
I would it were not so, but so it is.
Who ever made music of a mild day?
––Mary Oliver

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

color inspiration: turquoise and green

Perhaps my favorite color combination of all....

Owl Die Cut Embellishments by Paisley Greer

Turquoise and Lime Green Mugs by Lynn Cardwell Pottery

by Jezebel Charms

Emerald Whimsey by Swalla Studio

Set of 9 Ikat Pillows by Ikat and Batik

Turquoise Ring by Moon Over Maize

Soul and Sea by The Golden Trees

by Handbags by Daphne

Guitar Strap by Funky Mutt

by Tilly Whistle

I love Fall (Part of a collection of 3)
by Photography by Lori H.

Concentric Pears by Priss Designs
Lilies of the Valley Print by D.S. Brennan Photography

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

california road trippin': lake tahoe

Aww, Tahoe! One of the most popular California getaways among Californians. Tahoe is absolute perfection with it's spectacular mountain views, majestic redwoods and deep greens as far as the eye can see, and the infamous turquoise water. I had never seen anything like it.....a lake that is turquoise like a tropical island? Mind boggling, but beautiful and so interesting against a woodsy backdrop rather than palm trees and white sands.

There are two popular reasons to travel to Tahoe--skiing and casinos. But, I was there for neither. I really wanted to camp in Tahoe and it was certainly an adventure! At the time there had just been a series of forest fires in the region, which had destroyed much of the bear population's natural habitat and food supply so there was an epidemic of bears breaking into homes to (literally!) raid people's refrigerators and cabinets.

Well, when my travel companion and I finally arrived at our campsite we heard warnings of bears roaming that particular area. You could hear people yelling and banging pots in the distance (a way to scare off the animals), and at that point the adrenaline in my body began to surge. Halfway through my campfire dinner I had my first encounter with a real, live bear.

Two bears came trotting through my campsite. One kept walking, but the other absolutely did not like the sound of our banging pots so he decided to climb a tree! I got a real sense of how sharp his claws were as they broke their way into the tree trunk he was climbing, oh and the grunting noise he made the entire time.........terrifying. Mr. Bear stayed up there for a good hour until finally coming down and walking away, but he did not leave the campsite until morning!

I was camping with an ex-boyfriend of mine who was not interested in protecting his woman or making her feel safe as she tried to sleep. So, with him passed out, I spent the night awake, clutching my pots and pans, banging them, and praying every time I heard Mr. Bear sniffing us (uh huh!) through the screen of our tent. Crazy. Terrifying. Exciting experience (now that it's over:).

The rest of the trip was filled with clean mountain air, the purest yet coldest swimming water, and lots of hikes.

Campfire smoke.

Doesn't it look like I'm on a tropical vacation?

Right after the bear climbed down the tree.

Turquoise waters yes, but fine, powdery sand? No.

Monday, March 28, 2011

out at sea

This is my fist attempt at children's art. I was excited at the thought of finding a childlike painting voice, but I had to work at it even though I had so many ideas. It was also the first painting I've done with specific requests in mind (from my sister-in-law). I was inspired by Mati McDonough's work and by prints I've seen on baby clothes, which gave me a great jumping off point. As unsure as I was about this first painting, I am actually now contemplating a whole line of children's art and decor, but that all depends on how much time I can find to dedicate to that venture.

So, this was painted for my adorable niece Olivia. Her nursery has an underwater, tropical theme to it, but sadly has blank walls at the moment. On top of that basic theme and the color scheme of the room, I incorporated pink and brown, the colors that Nicole associates with her little one. I also added the sign for Capricorn on the little ship as Olivia truly feels like a Capricorn already. I had originally intended to do more with the sun, because Nicole also associates the sun with Olivia (as opposed to her moon child Lila). But, ultimately I felt the sun needed to be rather simple to keep it from being a distraction and making the piece too busy (which part of me feels like it already is).

This painting was a struggle! I painted over it so many times before I felt okay with the color scheme. There are still a few details that I could work on, but I feel like it might be finished? Yes? No? Should I add clouds in the sky? Waves in the water?

The colors are way off in these photographs (the turquoise doesn't look green in person and the sky is a true sky blue), because the lighting was awful, but I didn't have time to reshoot this morning. Here are some of the details:

The seagull was my husband's idea! I think it really works.

The sea turtle I'd like to change...

Friday, March 25, 2011


Lovers Reunited, originally uploaded by

Love this photo! The lightening and emotion are so powerful, and the slightly off-center focal point really works here. I immediately identified with this image, partly due to the fact that I've been away from my husband for a week now and am very much anticipating his return late tonight. But, the intensity in which I identify with this image goes much deeper than just a week apart.

My relationship with my husband began long distance, with me on the west coast and him on the east coast (literally on the ocean for both of us, in other words as far away as possible). Being old classmates and pen pals, we decided to have dinner when I was visiting the east coast one Christmas. We knew there was an attraction before this planned reunion, but we never considered how painful it would be to fall in love over the course of my 2-week visit and then have to say goodbye with no real "plan" for the future.

Alex drove me to the airport New Year's Day in 2008 and when he left me at the curb, the aching began in my chest. I knew at that moment that I never wanted to be separated from this man again. And my husband admits to the same aching and sadness as he drove away. We dated long-distance for 4 months and while that doesn't sound like a long time, it sure felt like an eternity at the time. It felt tragic to finally meet the person I had waited my whole life for only to have to say goodbye so quickly (which is why I moved to be with him, smile).

Long distance dating is not easy feat to tackle, but one of perks is the intensity and passion you feel every time you are reunited. What's interesting is that I never seemed to let go of that intense reunited/painful goodbye pattern. The experience of it at the very beginning of our relationship was so symbolic in that once I had found what I was looking for all my life, I was heartbroken at the thought of loosing it. I never experienced separation anxiety as a child, but now, as an adult, it seems to be ever-present (I'm hoping that will dull with time!).

Here's to lovers reuniting!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

dreaming of an anthropologie living room


I have had a bad, bad lust for everything Anthropologie since the store opened. I remember the first time I walked into the store.....the rustic wood floors and beams, candles filling the air with musky scents, delicate clothing hung in mouth-watering rows and housewares designed with an impeccable blend of bohemian/ultra feminine/dainty brilliance. Obviously, it's a perfect store for me. The problem with this love/lust is the one thing we all know about Anthropologie: the prices are ridiculous. I have literally paid $120 for a tank top there (yes, don't judge me). It's insane. But, I cannot walk through those doors and not find a billion things that I suddenly feel like I can't live without (exactly why I no longer walk through those doors). I have not allowed myself to physically go there since quitting my job back in California.....oh the days of spending all my extra money shopping (bad habit).

At any rate, I decided the other day that I HAD TO have this Petite Parrot glass for my bathroom:

and this Wild Woodland tree stump vase (this one no longer available) for my living room...

I allowed myself the small purchase. And then I allowed myself to peruse the portion of the website that is so far from my budget, but ├╝ber lust worthy: furniture. From there, I began to piece together a living room I could never afford (at least not until I become a wealthy artist with shows across the country:).

I am by no means a designer, but I do love to decorate given I'm an extremely visual person. It's probably only natural that artists look at their homes as blank canvases, but on top of that innate desire of mine, I grew up with an incredibly talented builder/designer father who has created some of the most gorgeous buildings I've ever seen from the nuts and bolts to the interior design. He's truly a master artist. And my (adoptive) mom was an interior designer. Needless to say, our house was out of control decorated (I'm going to try to dig up some photos later). And I'm left aching for the day when I own my first home and can let myself loose on the blank canvas.

Here's what I'm lusting after for my fictitious Anthropologie living room:

Standing Medallion Mirror (for the mantel? Love.)

Perch Barstool (not for the living room, but to use in front of my easel that would be on the patio outside the french doors of the living room overlooking my backyard full of trees and gardens, sigh).

All items can be found under the At Home section of the Anthro website.