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Sunday, March 29, 2009

The sun came out today, and so did I,

The rain has stopped dripping (and so has my nose),

The cherry blossoms fluffed their petals (and I my skirt),

We love the spring,

We love the shine,

We are feeling fine.

(amen, eh?)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bottoms Up

Well, I began this week with a bounce in my step and a flip in my hair, but by Wednesday night, I was swinging nothing but a huge box of Kleenex from my fingertips.  Yes, I've been a bit under the weather, wearing nothing but my sweats for the better part of the last 48 hours, watching "Dan in Real Life," drinking buckets of tea and bowls of pho (and perhaps sneaking the last of the Girl Scout cookies).  

BUT, I've also been drinking up my special I Have A Cold And Need To Get Healthy Tonic (or Get Filthy Tonic as I'm sure BC considers it).  The IHACANTGHT drink is kind of like tagging out and letting big, burly Vitamin C Man take over your corner of the ring to kick the holy bejesus out of your cold.  And it completely works, at least for me, in my highly psychosomatic ways.  So I figure I should share, just incase you need a burly C in your future.


3 Carrots
1 medium Beet (or two small)
3-4 hearty Kale leaves
1 Orange
1/2 Lime

Juice all together (for me, I use my trusty Juiceman) and drink it up!  Don't be afraid of the vampirish color, the taste is perfectly sweet and earthy - promise!

Bottoms Up and Back To Bed!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why Hello Beautiful!


The blog-o-sphere break is officially over!  

It has been a VERY full last two weeks and difficult to narrow into a manageable bit for the reading, but I'll try.

List O' Highlights (and random bits that I am pleased to share)
1.  I love my Ti.  And we are this cheek-pinchingly adorable some moments (then loud and obnoxious in others, then deep and philosophical in our art discussions, then in bursts of hysterical laughter from which my cheek muscles are still recovering).  She is one of the most amazing women I've ever know and without a doubt, will ever know.

We got cheese down.

Ti and I.  She is my Guitar Hero, but I can Bejewel her ass any day of the week.

2.  I received in the mail five of the cutest teeny tiny canvases I've ever seen (at only 3" square!) for a upcoming collaborative show that I'm a part of in Atlanta.  Each canvas will be my own interpretation of five randomly generated words that were sent along with the little guys and let me tell you, I received some great words.  I am currently working up some teeny tiny sketches for them and will keep you posted!

3.  Just as a preface, I love chickadees.  They live quite comfortably in my neighborhood, spending a great many sunny mornings gossiping in my cherry tree while Sing tries to coax them inside with chirpy, chortled meows.  But the actual point is that I discovered the collective name for a group of chickadees, which is a banditry of chickadees.  How perfect is that?  I've been trying to work that choice bit of knowledge into conversation for the last couple weeks.  (My BC received this shirt for Christmas and every time he wears it, we end up sitting somewhere nice having a lovely discussion, and I do nothing but disrespectfully stare at his chest, head tilting as I try to read in circle.  Muh-ha-HA how the tables turn!)

4.  April is coming.  So stay tuned!  As April is the best and most blessed month of the whole year (and just coincidentally also the month of my birth), I'm working up a plan for a give-a-way contest that will include a custom order from UmberDove!  Schemes are a' scheming!

5.  I devoured in one sitting a book on the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi (say it out loud, it's very satisfying and you know you're rolling those a-b-i's around on your tongue).  To explain it in a very small nutshell , Wabi-Sabi is the beauty in objects imperfect, things born in a humble nature, the beauty of some material being long past it's prime or long before it's perfection.  The idea of Wabi-Sabi resonates with my heart, in my love of the anonymous stamp of nature on objects (the surprise of glaze misbehaving in a kiln, the soft edges of bricks worn by wind, the rough scuffs on my brand-less leather boots), the fingerprints of humanity (quite literally, the fingerprint on the side of my favorite hand-thrown mug, the grooves left in worn wooden stair railings, the slightly irregular stitches in a handmade garment) and my boredom with the synthetic, the calculated and pristine.  It makes me love the chipped paint on my one-hundred-year-old windowsills and the detritus that falls deep on the back stairs.

It makes me want to live simply.  It reminds me to live with respect.  It brings me joy to wander the small rooms of my humble home.

*And please, if you are Japanese or have a deep and long standing understanding of Wabi-Sabi, do forgive my crude attempts to explain such a huge and beautiful concept in a few short, English sentences!*

6.  Lastly, this sign, my new favorite in a city full of clever word play.  I feel full of love today, and I've got it to share.  Take a little, wrap it twice around your shoulders and breath deep.

'till the next,
- Umber

Sunday, March 15, 2009


HOORAY my friends!

The opening was simply fantastic - a wonderful turnout, beautiful discussions with old friends, new friends and [future] patrons, flowing champagne and amazing support from my loved ones.

There will more pictures to come, but for right now I have my Ti visiting from California for the week and we have cappuccinos to drink, art to view, guitar to play and new hats to buy.  

Signing off, but returning later this week,
- Umber

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Consider Yourself Invited

Question:  So what are you doing next Friday night?

If you answered "coming to UmberDove's show, ObliqueScapes at Stylus then BING BING BING you answered correctly!"   

I know, I haven't mentioned it before now, but I promise it's not because I'm not excited.  In fact I'm absolutely on pins and needles as far as excitement (as I am before EVERY show) but remarkably, feeling quite calm about with a strong measure of self-confidence about it all.  Plus we are a week out and I've already solved that oh-so-tricky-gut-wrenching-dilemma of what to wear (after all, one must stand out in a crowd when one's life-work is on display, right?).   You'll just have to wait for the pictures, but I will tell you it involves kelly-green and turquoise-surprise-surprise.

I will be delivering all my pieces, with lots of whispered encouragement to them, tomorrow morning so the rest of my afternoon today will look like this:

Finalizing price lists
A bazillion emails back and forth with the curator/BC/friends who have offered their muscles
Carefully wrapping the smaller works for travel
Gathering my physical portfolios and plenty of business cards
Zucchini-Kale casserole (hey, a gal's gotta eat!)
Sending email invites
Making sure all canvas are properly labeled
Entertaining kitty boys who have zero patience for my computer work
And maybe, just maybe, doing a little painting on some works in progress

There will probably be some dark chocolate pocky thrown in as well as a gin and tonic later in the evening too, but who knows?  I like to live on the edge.

So, see you there?

* The image on the flyer is one of Brad Strain's pieces, and I can't wait to see it in person.*
** For all you Seattlites (or Bellevue-ites, or Maple Valley-ites, or Renton-ites) seriously, come on by!  The show is part of the Belltown Art walk this month and there are LOTS of talented artist showing their work at galleries within a few blocks walk.  Plus, cheese, wine and crackers.  Don't tell me you can turn down cheese and crackers either! Humph! **

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

And I have always been the redwood

In honor of my best poet-crush, Billy Collins, and inspired by his poem, Litany.

I am the scent of rain on asphalt
As well as that of horses at dusk
warmed from the streaming Summer light.

I am the knocking call of the raven
And the silver peep-toe stilettos
And some days
The glossy orange tea kettle as well.

I have never been candlelight at midnight
Or the first wind of November
I am not a red delicious apple
And while their first appearance tugs at my breath
I have never been the crocus.

I am the fruit stand on the long highway
The merry chiming of a palette knife on glass
The cherry blossoms piled like pink snow
in late April, confusing the seasons
And always
Always have I been the redwood.

And what, my friends, are you?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Molbak's and a Mosserarium Update

Remember the mosserrariums?  Well I managed to very successfully kill one of them.  It became more of a mush-errarium which I pretended was making a comeback for approximately one month before I admitted to the being the grim reaper of moss (this was actually quite surprising to me, as I generally have quite the green thumb - I COMPLETELY talk to my plants and largely chalk that up to their success).  But, even in its pitiful state, it served to give me the excuse to BUY MORE PLANTS.  Which is not something I need convincing of to begin with.  

Photo taken by the Mme. with my camera, and therefore shamelessly stolen and edited for my blog-o-rama.

So Friday morning, the good Mme. Bookling and I set off to Molbak's, the Nordstrom of nurseries (especially because in Molbak's, one can casually shop for plants, grab a bite to eat in the garden cafĂ©, or sip a cool glass of Pino Gris - all of which may or may not have happened Friday morning).

Also snapped by the Mme.
Super pleasing selections.

Classic Mme. Bookling self-portraiture.
A very sunny Miss Melancholy Chic.

The cheeriest pot of all - which wiggled it's way right into the Bookling home as the newest family edition.

Color that makes me want to shout "Cadmium!"

I wish the best of Sundays to you.  When I spontaneously awoke this morning at six (!) fourty (!) -five (!) the rain was falling soft and and every feathered creature within a ten block radius was chittering and chattering.  But now, the sun is sparkling in the last drops hanging from the cherry blossom tree and warming the toes of my kitty boys.  I am appropriately caffeinated, have a painting luring me to the studio, and a date night out with my man to look forward to.  Make it a good one friendlies!

Tootle-loos and cheerios!
- Umber