Places, Uncategorized

Stimulated yet?

Supposedly this summer is one of the coldest on record in San Francisco for the last hundred years. I am not surprised. It is dreary and gray and so foggy I had to use my windshield wipers driving around the city yesterday. Summer is never our best season, but it has been particularly gloomy this year. I don’t do well when the weather is like this, and it’s even harder when other things aren’t going so well.

I was going to self-publish my book, Animal Mashups, on a small, handmade scale, but have found the process so incredibly frustrating, I decided instead to seek a publisher or agent representation. Which most likely means heading down a long path of rejection, which I’m also not so good at.  That said,  I’m trying extra hard to keep focused on doing things that bring hope and light into my days, keeping my senses stimulated until the blessed sunshine returns (I know much of the country can’t fathom this, as it’s hot as balls everywhere else, but the grass is always greener, right?).

This week I stopped by Casa Bonampak in the Mission to get a gift for a friend, and to brighten a blah day. Everything in here is made by hand in Mexico. There are papel picados in every color for any occasion, paper flowers, Day of the Dead ephemera, Virgen de Guadalupe onesies, Spanish greeting cards, Mexican wrestler action figures and on and on. It makes me happy just walking in. If you need to brighten up a party (or your day just because), you can buy fun decor directly from their website.

Have any of you done anything to wake up those senses this week? Do tell!

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First Baby Book

baby book

My amazingly talented cousin Ria, scrapbooker extraordinaire, sent a beautiful handmade baby book for me all the way from Indonesia. Since I can’t seem to get my act together enough to make one myself, this was the perfect gift! All I had to do was stick some pictures in there and voila! A finished momento of some of my baby’s big moments. Thanks, Ria!!page 1

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2nd spread

3rd spread

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You can see much better pictures of the album without any pictures in it on Ria’s site here.

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Beautiful Things

beautiful-things

One of the perks of being pregnant is that I’ve received many amazing gifts for the baby and even a few for myself . I am always thrilled to get handmade things, knowing how much time and love and care goes into making them.  My friends with knitting skills amaze me. Though they’ve tried to teach me, I’ve never had the patience to really learn how to do it.

blanket

Here’s a gorgeous baby blanket my talented friend made from hand-dyed merino wool and baby alpaca yarn, with an organic cotton backing.

snugglesack

This is a snuggly sack made by another friend who just had her own baby. Her little girl’s is green so when she’s in it, she looks like a pea in a pod, and as she’s gotten bigger it looks like a mermaid tail. My friend calls this one “blueberry”.

As I get closer to having this baby (only a few weeks left!), I like to sit in his room and imagine him wrapped up in all this love and beauty.  While I do that, now I can enjoy the latest gift I received – artisanal chocolates!

chocolates

These weren’t made by a friend, but are handmade nonetheless by this guy. Each exquisite piece is a work of art almost too beautiful to eat…almost.

Ah, how did I get so lucky?

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Where The Wild Things Are Quilt

Where The Wild Things Are Quilt

I chose to paint a mural from Where The Wild Things Are on a wall of my son’s nursery because I love the story, I think Maurice Sendak is a children’s book genius, and I love nature and the moon in particular, so I thought a forest scene with the moon peeking through the window would be perfect. I thought it was a bonus that there really isn’t a lot of merchandise to go along with it; it’s not super popular like Winnie the Pooh, so there’s not accessories galore to be inundated with by well-meaning family and friends (that could all change when the new Spike Jonze movie adaptation comes out – yikes! So much for trying to pick something unpopular).

But leave it to my family and friends; they’re a determined and creative bunch. They’ve managed to dig up all the WTWTA merch I didn’t know existed, and where they’ve been unable to buy it, they’ve made it themselves. Which I have to admire. The room is getting a little more “themey” than I intended, but I adore handmade schwag made with love. After my aunt’s incredible baby shower WTWTA cake, I thought I’d seen it all, but then came this, a sweet sweet WTWTA  quilt handmade by my Grandma. Brings tears to my eyes. I hung it on the wall because I don’t want anything to happen to it. Adorable, and like I said, determined, my grandmother who had never even heard of the story went out to her local bookstore to pick it up and could only find it in Spanish, bought it and took it home to find fabric that matched the colors. I love how simple the imagery is, just the moon in the top right corner, and a silhouette of Max in the bottom left. How sweet is my family?

Where The Wild Things Are - Quilt Detail

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Jungle Animals Growth Chart

Jungle Animals Growth Chart
Jungle Animals Growth Chart

Here is a growth chart someone commissioned from me for an adult friend of theirs. I guess her friend saw the one I did for her daughter, was jealous and wanted one of her own, so she had me make this one for her birthday.  I love that! You’re never too old… Check out my mural site for other examples of growth charts and murals I’ve done.

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Calendars!

I just finished the holiday gifts for my clients – handmade 2009 calendars. Now, on to my family’s gifts…

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