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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dressing the Part: Flashing the Elderly

Quite by accident I should add!
But the wind is fierce and unpredictable and just when you think you are safely tucked into your little blue civic, a gust could come and blow right up your skirt!
On the topic of clothes, I'm just about to fill up a smallish travel case with some of mine: a chunky wool cowl, a beat up pair of jeans, too many sweaters, some thick ribbed leggings and these boots.
I'll be driving out in the morning, headlights pointed South, to a coastal town with a glass beach and the finest chowder I've ever supped.  A ray of sunshine will be joining me, as we've proven to be quite the travel companions (it is a rare gift when you find another human with whom conversation flows like the proverbial milk and honey BUT with whom you can also share long stretches of silence.  If you find someone like this, HOLD TIGHT!).

That said, I'll be away from all things interwebular for the first half of next week, and hope to return with my cup overflowing.

And a small point of business:
In one week, most likely the evening of May 8th, I'll be pulling all the original paintings out of my Etsy shop in order to finalize preparations and send them out for my upcoming shows.  SO, if there is a piece you've had your eye on, let me know otherwise it will be soon off to show some sass on a gallery wall!

See you next week!
~ Umber ~

Friday, April 29, 2011

Checking In

Hello Lovlies and Lovers and Lovettes!
This is me.
I am a woman obsessed right now.

I'm in love with my studio.  I'm in love with art.  I'm in love with my work.  I keep telling myself I need to get out and stretch my legs in the glory of Spring's sun but I honestly can not tear myself away from this room.  The funny thing is, I've absolutely nothing to show you; this last week has been all about experimentation, trial and error, learning by the seat of my pants and listening to the same five albums on repeat turned all the way up.  I've got wet paint on three canvases, an unholy mess of leather dyes (I've discovered a technique that yields the most incredible dusky turquoise and I want to make approximately ten thousand pieces ALL colored the same), the pickle pot turned on and a new lens for Pierre.  I'm rather horrifically behind on emails and I've promised BC that I would eat lunch before 4:00 pm today.

So I'm checking in to say Happy Friday and ask if this week has been full of cabana boys and mimosas or nubby toques and afternoon whiskey.  Well?

~ Umber ~

OH MY GOSH!  P.S.  Are these not the most fantabulous earrings ever?  The amount of talent and inspiration this lady glows with does me in every time.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Do you ever have one of those weeks?  The weeks wherein the earth feels a bit off, wherein there is a slight hitch in your step, wherein the minor tragedies of the day conspire to bring down your soul.  The weeks your beloved camera PierrĂ© suddenly decides to stop autofocusing and no local camera shop can fix him, the weeks you spill coffee and track paint and open your mail to see your most recent etsy purchase arriving broken and find your brand new cucumber starts massacred by slugs.  
(Coincidentally, these may also be the weeks you find yourself checking out at the CoOp buying a bottle of red wine, two cartons of organic strawberries and four, count them, FOUR bars of dark chocolate.  And then you suddenly remember that you are a woman and oooooh... right.  Thank you moon).
But here is the thing:
In the face of so many disasters, I've still found beauty.  I've fought hard for myself, and treated myself very well in this last week.  I've been blissfully aware of how good this life is to me; that despite my own hardships, I'd not change my station with anyone else.  Something within me is staunchly demanding self-kindness, self-love, and from that well-spring I know love for all else pours forth.
There has been sushi, forest hikes, beach dates with the Pup, hours of writing, a massage, a trip to the chiropractor, miles logged in running shoes and a batch of the best damn chocolate cookies I've ever made.  And somewhere along the way, it's turned into the best week I've had in a while.
All this to say, quite simply,
Life is Beautiful.

Now go do something glorious for yourself.
Because you, my dear friends, are absolutely worth it.

Loving your souls today,
~ Umber ~

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hip Hop

Hope your day was ten different kinds of delicious!
~ Umber ~

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

All The Faux-Hawk Action I Can Muster

Today is no ordinary Wednesday.

No, ladies and gentlemen,
today marked the very first day of using
on this fuzzy head of mine.  I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a long and lasting love (with plenty of cussing no doubt) relationship with Mr. Extra-Strength-Waxy-Pomade.
Hello my new lover!  Muah!  Let's make magic up there!

(And for you ladies out in the blogosphere who have been rocking the shortie short hair for a while, give me your product recommendations!  I'm climbing the everest of beauty products, literally starting from ground zero and planning on having some fun with the shortness)
In other news, I purchased a chaise lounge yesterday.  I've been struggling with finding the perfect reading and writing nook in my house; the lighting is either too dim or seating not loungy enough or it's right in the middle of the chaos that ensues with four men running rampant through the house (three of those men wear furry coats.  Just to be clear).  She's lovely and squishy and ALL girl and ALL mine.  I plan on fighting the good fight against muddy paws and anything that resembles tortilla chips because SHE is a lady.  And all I want to do is park my cords right there below the windows, reading and sipping tea (this tea, pictured below, a triple sensory delight) by the drizzly afternoon light.


and p.s.
I made these for you:
The newest of the new in my Soulful Armor series.
A Bit of Soulful Armor
~ Umber

Monday, April 18, 2011

On the Subject of the Cherry Blossom Tree

Have I mentioned the cherry blossoms are blooming?

That first year we lived in Seattle, that first Spring, was the first time I think I truly looked at the cherry blossoms.  Outside the windows of our petit apartment arched the wizened trunk of an aged tree.  She bloomed cotton candy in May, raining down petals like a localized snow storm.  In July her leaves turned glossy and hid fat chickadees who sang to me while I brewed coffee in the morning.  In September she turned every shade of Autumn and I collected her fallen treasures, pressing them in back pages of my sketchbook.  In the thick of December she stood stately and silent as two inches of fresh powder balanced on every limb and twig and I wrapped myself in wool sweaters.

She was my very own giving tree.

When we moved South, back to California last year on the fourth of April, with hearts torn apart by a fresh diagnosis, the cherry blossom tree in our new back yard bloomed early and thick, my own promise from heaven.  And just this last weekend, as BC and I visited the slice of land bound for our future, I saw her.  Nearly covered with dense bamboo, shaded by the ancient redwood, and just West of the birch thicket stands the cherry blossom tree I will watch in the years to come.

I think they call that destiny.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Day in the Life of the Dove: Birthday Edition

[A photographic account of a single day, an exceptional day which just so happened to be my birthday.]

~ Monday April 11th 2011 ~
6:01 am
6:43 am
7:57 am
Morning Pages, April 11th.
9:25 am
9:50 am
10:01 am
11:35 am
12:31 pm
1:06 pm **
2:17 pm
3:06 pm
5:48 pm
6:53 pm
7:45 pm
9:00 pm
9:24 pm
10:01 pm
11:39 pm

** For this post I'm renaming Sancho "Big Pimpin' "- because HONESTLY have you ever see a pup ROLLIN' like this one?

Monday, April 11, 2011


Is my age today.
Thirty One
I woke well before light began creeping into the Western sky, made a pipping mug of tea, and took myself to the ocean to watch the sun rise, walk the beach and listen to the dawn song.

Now I'm sitting at the kitchen counter eating strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar while BC makes me challah french toast.

I'd say the day is off to a WHOOMPING good start!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Offerings In Stone

Good Morning this Fine Friday!
I'm high on caffeine this morning (Two cups! With cream!  Ya! Ya!)  and I've some new work to share with you:

All the green in the woods (and subsequently ending up in my mouth) has been finding it's way into my work, along with a few finch who have been catching my eye with their flashy feathering (hey baby, check out how red my head is, wanna get a drink?  I know the best spot in the woods for fir tip tea...).
All of that to say,
And will be setting these babies into le shoppero about 1:00 pm PST today!

Ciao Bellas e Bellos!
~ Umber