Monday, September 24, 2007

There And Back Again

I'm back!

What an incredible trip! When my final plane ride was done (all in all spent over 14 hours on the planes just yesterday, ugh) and landed back home here in Seattle, I was happy but felt so...misplaced. I still feel a bit misplaced. London made such an impression on me--the second I got there I felt really at ease, like I belonged there. It is now my favorite city I've been to (more wonderful than Rome, in my opinion). It's so hard to put your finger on it, but that city has such a life and vibe to it that just can't be found anywhere else. Some day, I'd like to live there.
We ended up not seeing Blackpool, unfortunately, due to mucho time constraints. Saw London, Edinburgh (which, and I'm sure I'll get flogged for this, I didn't care for at all--but maybe that's due largely in part because I visited it right after glorious London), York, Liverpool, Bath, and back to London for a final night. Even with 4 days in that city, I still feel like I barely scratched its surface. And Liverpool was awesome! A lot of folks back home warned me against visiting it, but it's a really charming city. Lively too.
I took loads of neat pictures on my journey, only a few of which I'm showing here at the moment (don't want to break the Blogger). This one is taken from the London Eye, looking down at the cab below ours on our qwest to get to the top. We went on it at dusk, which was spectacular!
Not many souvenirs, just couldn't afford it. But, in Edinburgh, I spied the *coolest* Carvela heeled oxfords and....I caved. I've been looking for the perfect pair of shoes for Fall and Winter for a long time, and when I saw these ones, I had to get them. They were ridiculously priced, but, as a wise friend from work advised me, I ignored the little pound sign and thought of the price in dollars. Worked pretty well ('til the credit card bill comes, naturally). I'll post pictures as soon as I dig 'em out of the suitcase...
That's all for now. I have to mentally prepare myself for going back to work tonight (ugh). I'm looking forward to digging into the paints again! I feel like I've been away from them for ages. Thank you everyone who posted advise and well-wishes for my journey across the pond. :) I love you all!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hello, Goodbye

Today is being spent packing, list-making, iPod & camera battery charging, bank visiting, and bill paying before I fly out to London tomorrow morning at 6am. I'm buckets of excited! I'm bringing a sketchbook and notebook for general doodles/sketches and idea-making and a fully-charged digi cam for all those neato pictures.

I had mentioned that those new boots have a neat patterned interior and totally forgot to show you guys! Here's a detailed shot:

I've also been tagged by Marjorie to list 7 somewhat unknown or lesser known things about myself. I always love playing these games. Here's the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about YOU: some random, some weird...all devastatingly interesting.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

And here's my list:
1) I love crab (it's my favorite seafood, hands-down).
2) I'm a Wes Anderson nut. His movies make me so happy and inspire the dickens outta me. Wes, lets grab a coffee together...
3) I'm at least 3 years behind in cell phone technology. I'm a high-tech gadget girl when it comes to computers, printers, and software but am at a loss with cell phones. The one I have is so old it looks like a walkie talkie. And don't ask me what the phone number is--I don't have a clue.
4) I hate grocery shopping. It's one of my least favorite things to do and only do it when there's absolutely nothing for me to eat in the house. When I do go, a shopping list is a must. It's a death sentence without one.
5) I have a BFA in graphic design and I don't like graphic design. After a short stint doing freelance design, I realized I was always meant to be a fine artist. I got a lot out of my education and work experience as a designer, but honestly have no desire anymore to go into that field (it's just too cutthroat, competitive, and not nearly creative enough to satisfy me).
6) Every Halloween I have to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. I can't remember the last Halloween where I didn't watch it.
7) At one point, I worked in the kitchens at Red Lobster. I have no regrets even though it was the worst job I've ever had. I know all about the science of cooking crablegs and lobster tails and at what temperature prawns will begin to cook if left out of the fridge for too long, but to this day I'll gag if I smell cilantro or scampi butter.
I know I'm supposed to go hunt down 7 more people to tag, but I'm being extra lazy. If you haven't played the game (or even if you have and want to play again), you can officially dub yourself TAGGED. Now put together a list of all those weird little facts...

So, that's all for now. I'll be back on the 22nd with crazy tales, fun images, and hopefully a book full of new painting ideas. The shop will remain open, but any purchases made between now and when I return won't be shipped out until the 23rd.

Thank you everyone for tuning in, giving good thoughts, and being so awesome! See ya soon!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

Just stopping in ever-so-briefly to let everyone know that this print,and this one,
are now up for greedy hands
in the shop. Being 4x6 and 5x7"-ish prints, they're also nearly half the cost of their 8x10" cousins. And they truly look marvelous! Very pleased.
I forgot to also mention a while back that I've been accepted onto the Trunkt artist-portfolio website as well (it's really just another online portfolio/advertising opportunity, but every little bit helps, eh?). My page is here, if you're at all curious or want to say hello.

And, the boots came the other day and are spectacular. Absolutely, spectacular! They fit like a dream (the only thing I was a tad worried about, as I have skinny calves) and since they're lace-ups, you can adjust how tight or loose you'd like them (which rocks if you like to wear boots over your jeans and such). The biggest and bestest surprise, though, was the awesome interior lining of the boots. They have the most amazing, colorful inner pattern. I've never had prettily patterned lined shoes before. All said, I love them oodles (and it seems that, as predicted, they've already sold out the first run of them online. Mom, thanks again!). And am so buying shoes from Anthro from now on.

I hope you are all doing well on this fine weekend. Enjoy the rest of it and I'll see you tomorrow!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Good Things

I just spent my entire morning & afternoon color correcting & testing new prints of paintings that have sold within the last couple of months. It was exhausting (as it always is) but seeing all these new printed images, freshly sitting out to dry, makes me so happy. I currently have the key print in this photo up for grabs in the shop along with this new and larger print of a painting I did earlier in the year:It's digitally tweaked just a smidgen because the greenish gradient background on the original was just too bright, too saturated and all-around not quite right. While fidgeting with the greens in the computer, I accidentally turned them a wee bit tealish up towards the top and loved the look. So, this is one print that I actually love a good deal more than the original painting.

The other day I went to the bookstore and snagged a new book that is *so* me that it's silly. Really. I was going to get a Kurt Vonnegut book for the trip (next Wednesday!) but when I saw this one, it was obvious which book had to go back on the shelf.
As you can see, Winter (my cat, who's now flea free at last, at last!) seems to approve.

While at the bookstore, I also stumbled upon Inside Out Magazine and wowza! I normally don't blow $10 on a magazine, but this one was a sure-fire must-have. Every single page, even the advertisements, is complete interior design eye-candy. It's truly glorious. I spent last night poring over every image--there's so many in this issue that grabbed me, but here's a few that I especially liked:
I'm also doing this collaboration illustration project with a creative buddy from work. Both of us created a fun sentence and then divided up a piece of illustration board into evenly-measured panels. Then, we swapped boards to illustrate the first panel of each other's board, using whatever materials we'd like in whatever style desired so long as the image plays off of the sentence. We'll then swap boards again, playing off the previous image, until all panels are filled in. Both him and I have been in a bit of a creative rut lately, so I thought doing this might broaden our artsy minds a bit. Plus, it's hella fun. Here's what I did to the first panel on his board:
His sentence/title is "While she's out, Earth says hello to yet another turning point"--just in case it's hard to make out due to his crazy cool handlettering and my shaky picture-taking. I did a quickie walnut oil sketch in the background and laid down a piece of old newspaper. The black line drawing of the girl with the crow, along with the scribbly sides, was done in ink. It's a super quickie of a piece but I'm madly drawn towards it. I think I may actually offer up prints of the panel, just so I don't have to say goodbye to it...

My knee high boots finally gave way a couple weeks ago. I was devastated. I got them 4 years ago and LIVED in those boots. I adore knee highs. When it comes to boots, I'm insanely picky too. I decided for my next pair to go all-out leather. No man-made material (it just doesn't wear as well with knee-highs). I've been searching all over the place for new ones but nothing caught my eye that was mildly affordable. That is, until I saw these over at Anthro: The fact that they're knee highs was, naturally, the biggest plus. But also the fact that A) they're lace-ups, B) completely leather, C) have a stacked wooden heel, and D) contain antiqued grommets made me jump in my chair with how perfect they are. Alas, at nearly $200, they were really out of my price range since I have this expensive trip coming up that I can't really afford.
My mom found out that I was ogling over these and called me two days ago at 7:30 in the morning to tell me that she bought them for me. Ack! What an incredibly lovely thing to do! Moms are the best, are they not? My mom is truly my best friend and I love her dearly (and not just because she bought me the neatest boots from Anthro).
Time for some tea and chocolate chai cookies (my faves). Take it easy, friends!