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Friday, March 26, 2010

Rather Unimportant Ramblings


Have you seen Julie and Julia yet? Yes, I am ALWAYS a few years behind on all the good movies, and a decade or so on the random ones. Last night I experienced a terrible sense of pure lowliness as I whipped up a one pot dinner of mac and cheese positively overpowered with steamed veggies and then proceeded to watch pound after pound of delectable butter crafted into beurre blanc sauces and oysters slipped from the half shell and teetering souffl├ęs pulled carefully from the oven. My [previously frozen] green beans shook their little arms with envy and the broccoli was forced to mop its sorrows with the sticky mix of milk and cheese in the bottom of the bowl, which is every bit as sad a story as you can imagine.


BC and I were made to eat well; and watching the parade of French cuisine flashing before our eyes was almost enough to make me throw on some heels and drive into the city for second-dinner (it's been known to happen. As well as the infamous "two restaurants in one night" progression. DECADENT, I KNOW. But there is such magic that happens when dining with certain company and the thought of ending the night without a flourless torte or a hunk of bree and a nightcap feels like pure blasphemy. It's the city in me. My favorite dichotomy of pure urban fabulousness alongside the love of the wild). Thank God I at least had fresh strawberries and dark chocolate to save face while I watched the movie over the tops of my fuzzy green slippers.

Which brings me to the subject of MY NEW-FUTURE GARDEN. I've waited these last few city-licious years to say that phrase. I've always done my best with pots of lettuce and vining cucumbers but for the first time in my adult life, there will be real soil. LET THE ANGELS SING HALLELUIA! My green thumb is ripe for the pickin'. I'm ready to start laying out rows and hoeing it up. All my saved seeds from last Summer's farmer's market bounty are hopping around like Mexican jumping beans at the prospect.

I think I'll start marking it out this weekend. As we're making the first drive down to Ca tomorrow. Yes, as in leaving in 18 hours. Holy. Moly. Here we go, it's officially on.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good Day I say to you!

The rolling clouds of fear that blanketed my last two weeks have begun dissipating, breaking apart to let the piercing light of joy back into my heart. The short end of the story is that I've had a scare of medical proportions, HOWEVER it does look as though everything is going to be perfectly alright. All that to say, LADIES, CHECK THE TWINS, PLEASE!

** I do not plan to say too much more on this exact subject in this forum however please feel free to email me if you like! **

To all of you who sent encouragement this last weekend, you have buoyed me up into the shallow waters, and not a drop of it went unnoticed. So thank you, from the golden depths of my heart, thank you!

Back in the saddle,
- Umber



Friday, March 19, 2010

Picnic











******

Please excuse the silence around these parts. It's been a rough week. One of the roughest. Nothing to do with moving or packing (in fact, all newsprint and cardboard has been put on the back burner), but with other issues that have gripped my heart in an iron fist. And today has left me with an odd sense of renewed hope (my hearts, you have been my comfort) coupled with a trembling fear that still threatens to crush me.

I'm clinging to my life raft.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

What's that you say? It's Sunday?

I swear it was just Monday a mere second ago.


I think that I was abducted this last week, levitated out of my little house wearing legwarmers and my hair piled high, and time warped all the way to Sunday. I vaguely remember some small details such as opening mail containing a fabulous kitschy deer necklace, eating no less than six artichokes, snow falling in my hair, and a rockin' trip to Goodwill, but other than that, it's all a blur of unfathomable chaos.

Thankfully, at some point during the week, a sewing machine of workhorse intentions was loaned to me and I wasted precious little time.

Briar Patch Pouch
Linen and vintage flour sack


Bramble Patch Pouch
Raw linen and vintage flour sack



Thistle Patch Pouch
Linen and vintage cotton


These sweetie-petities will land in the textile shop tomorrow morning for the snapping up as soon as I've had my coffee. Additionally, as I'm packing and streamlining my life in preparation for the move, I'll be celebrating with a pretty fantastic Spring-Cleaning sale on other selected shop items (whoot!).

I'm so very excited about these new little pouches for all your pouchy needs (my needs include pencil cases, cabochon corralers - I've got a pouch filled with ocean jasper and turquoise that I've hoarded ever so greedily - lip attire, and last but not least, brightly colored bus ticket stubs I've collected from the streets of Seattle). I feel they hint at the new direction I'm striking out towards with my textile work, allowing me to use my prep drawings for paintings and simply translate them into a new medium.

On that note:

IT'S TIME FOR ME TO TELL YOU SOME THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Warning: I'm about to get all business on you here

From day one with my fabric I committed to using natural fibers - cotton, linen, wool - and creating as little waste as humanly possible - all those patchie pillows have been created from bits and scraps and trim otherwise destine for the trash. But these days buying new cotton just doesn't feel right [for me] as I educate myself on the environmentally destructive processes the commercial industry uses. I want to move ever closer to environmentally sound business practices and I feel it's important to let you know this desire of mine. I've finally begun cutting into my stash of vintage fabrics and I feel so wonderful knowing that these textiles I've rescued from the sad corners of thrift stores and found in the bottom of trunks long sealed are being breathed new life and new purpose. They already hold history, warmth and stories, and their life makes my own creations that much richer.

I have no wish to sound preachy, but I feel it's important to let you know my intentions. That said, I'll continue to use the new materials I've already collected (getting rid of them would absolutely seem to miss the point!) in conjunctions with previously loved fabrics. I'm really looking forward to setting up my new stitchery corner in our new home as the ideas are literally falling out of my head and bouncing off my knees as I work.

In other news, updates abound in the art shop...

The Brothers Grim: Tuck
Oil on Canvas, 5" x 5"

The Brothers Grim: Nip
Oil on Canvas, 5" x 5"

I have such a fondness for these two, sigggggghhhhhh. I love their little skull-y heads.

Cyclical Nature
Archival Prints on 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Paper


Receiving Messages: See
Archival Prints on 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Paper

Receiving Messages: Hold Fast
Archival Prints on 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Paper

Whew!


I feel so businessy, I think I must go and put on my power heels just to hear them clickity-clack all over the house.

Please excuse me, there's a pencil skirt calling my name...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Beautiful


This weekend I've been feeling fussy, prickly just under the skin, my clothes itchy and tight in all the wrong places. It's this in-between place: I can do no more painting until my studio is set up in California (wet canvas plus travel equals a dire situation), my sewing machine seized up something fierce yesterday as I was in the middle of a custom order (equaling two hours of trauma with screw drivers and about a bazillion q-tips) and it's now official in need of repair, it's too early to pack the "easy" things like the kitchen and closets, all this Spring makes me want to run outside and play but I feel I must stay inside and be productive somewhere (I have serious case of "productivity need" that seldom lets me sit idle). My to-do list is uninspiring. I'm tired of trying to catch up with emails (on that note, if you are waiting on a reply from me, know it's nothing personal but sometimes I just have to flee from my inbox. I'll come back, I promise).



So I made myself a pan of lemon-lime bars (my very own scratch recipe). I put on smokey eye-liner even though I had no plans of leaving the house and long musical earrings. I called my mom. I put on a bright pink sweater, an apple green scarf, a mustard and purple vest. I went for a bike ride, 2 hours of flying up and down these hills with the wind in my ears.





I tossed my childhood blanket out in the backyard, poured a glass of wine and wrote a few letters in the dwindling afternoon sun. I ate a spoonful of peanut butter. I checked the mail, found a postcard and a birthday present (albeit one that is not addressed to me but to BC and I'm on pain of death to not shake). And I do feel a bit better.

I hope this month passes easy. And peaceful.



And speaking of peace... I've got a slew of shop updates brewing for you in both the art and textile shops. I'll be listing items tomorrow, Tuesday, at random, with a second sneak bloggy peek on it's way!



In the meantime, a pair of "Peace, Love and Cushions" have made their way into the shop to kick off the festivities!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Friday Confessional: March 5th 2010

Confession Number 348: Today's photos have absolutely, positively nothing to do with the content of these confessions. Well, except this first confession. Because I'm talking about them here. Hhm. Right. Anyways, incase my ramblings today bore you terribly, I've included a sampling of the wondrous Spring we're soaking up.





Confession Number 6: Sometimes my musical palette is terribly undiscerning. As much as I would like to boast of listening to highly diversified, unheard of indie or fabulously interesting music all the time, it's just not true. Just this week I had to run approximately fours hours of errands in the car (blerg!) and listened to the "stress-busting, easy-listening favorites of the 60's through today" the whole time. I confess to know ALL the words to a few Celine Dion songs. And John Cougar Mellencamp. Nevermind Counting Crows, Sugar Ray and even some Spice Girls. I may or may not even kinda liked it.
And when "I will always love you" by Whitney Houston came on, I belted it out at the top of my lungs.

(I'M SLIGHTLY MORTIFIED NOW)

(Don't Judge Me)

In a related confession, the very first CASSETTE TAPE I purchased with my own hard earned cash-o-la was the Bodyguard Soundtrack. So you see it's just ingrained at this point. I can't help it.


Ok, your turn and make it juicy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Two Pints and taking the long way Home


What did you do tonight?