2/4/16

January Favorites

january-home3

I'm going to try and make a list of things I'm into every month, loosely keeping to a few categories. We'll see how it goes, there are a lot of months where I'm just not into new things! I'm also going to post what books I've read every month, but in a separate post.

Beauty: Making diy face masks with honey and add ins like yogurt, turmeric or cinnamon

Food: I've been making and eating a lot of Veg Shepard’s pie. It's so comforting in cold weather & one batch can feed two people for days.

Reading: Deuce Cities Blog. Since buying a house I've gotten obsessed with a few home-fix-up type blogs. They are usually more down to earth and have a lot of DIYs. So many ideas!!

Watching: Shakespeare's Mother The Secret Life of a Tudor Woman

Music: Adele's song “send my love to your new lover”. There's just something about this song that is so fun and I love it.

Podcast: Gilmore Guys. It's pretty funny (though it can get annoying) and it's nice to go though the episodes without having to actually watch them (because I need to sit at my desk and draw, not because I don't want to watch them!)

Home: My new geode, pictured above. Soo sparkly.

What things have you been into this past month?

2/2/16

Tongue Tied

Tongue Tied

This is the piece I made for Antler Gallery's exhibition at the LA Art Show.
It feels geeky to say but I'm trying to get back to making work that I feel is more true to myself, while still exploring new things (such as more opaque color) and I think in that respect this piece is a success.

wip-tonguetied

1/28/16

My Winter Skin Care

winter skin

Here are some things I've been using to deal with dry winter skin this year:

Lotion Bars: My hands get especially dry and these are so soothing & moisturizing. Plus they aren't greasy and lock in moisture for a while. I usually buy them from small makers, but I'd like to try making my own soon!

DIY Body Oil: I prefer body oils to lotion because it sinks in right away and it's moisturizing without feeling greasy. I made this mixture with sesame oil, sweet almond oil, and lavender essential oil.

Yogurt & Honey Mask: It's an easy diy, yogurt gently exfoliates and moisturizes & honey moisturizes and cleanses. Sometimes I just put honey on my face, because it's slightly antiseptic I think it also helps with breakouts. My boyfriend makes fun of me for this.

Rosehip Seed Oil: Part of my diy face oil, again non-greasy moisture with added benefits of essential fatty acids, vitamin E & vitamin C.

Coconut Oil. I apply this to my lips & hands before I go running since running in the cold is especially hard on them.

Drinking Plenty of Water: Obviously.

Humidifier: I have one running in my bedroom, I think it's helped my skin. It definitely helped with dry sinuses when I had a cold!

1/26/16

January Flowers

I can never resist tiny daffodils! Now I can plant them outside when they are done!
January-home1

january-home3

1/20/16

Harvesting & Baking

harvesting squirrell

baking fox

1/13/16

2015 Sketchbook

2015-sketch-page4
A few characters I particularly liked from the last few months of last year.
2015-sketch-page3
2015-sketch-page2
2015-sketch-page1

1/4/16

What I read in 2015

reading-december-15
It's time to look back over what I read in the last year, and I have to say it was a good year for reading! That's probably completely down to making time for reading in the evening not just the morning.
For whatever reason I think the books that especially stood out to me this year were The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, The Paying Guests, No More Dirty Looks, Beloved, The Table Comes First, At Home, The First Bad Man & How To Be Both, those last two are probably tied for my favorite books I read this year (surprisingly because I keep thinking I'm over Miranda July, and then she makes something so good!).
I finally read Willa Cather and loved her, discovered Sarah Waters who I will definitely be reading more of, and discovered a few "cozy armchair mystery" series' that got me though some stressful times. You'll see I don't count audiobooks with other books, this is a personal thing because I think the experience is different, but I did want to record them because I listened to quite a few this year.
I got recommendations from my parents, my parents' friends, my friends, youtube, and a guy at Powells who I sold some books to. A few of these were read for my book club.


Dragonfish by Vu Tran
Purity by Jonathan Franzen
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
M Train by Patti Smith
How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits by Anne Berest
Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Plumdog by Emma Chichester Clark
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Scarlet Letter and Other Tales of the Puritans by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
The First Bad Man by Miranda July
The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #4) by Nancy Springer
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1) by Frank Herbert
The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #3) by Nancy Springer
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce, #6) by Alan Bradley
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Case of the Left-Handed Lady (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #2) by Nancy Springer
Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures by Mary Ruefle
Euphoria by Lily King
The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin's Lost Notebooks by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce, #5 ) by Alan Bradley
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Countdown City (The Last Policeman, #2) by Ben H. Winters
World of Trouble (The Last Policeman, #3) by Ben H. Winters
The Last Policeman (Last Policeman, #1) by Ben H. Winters
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing by Christiane Northrup
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia De Luce, #4) by Alan Bradley
The Turnip Princess and other newly discovered fairy tales by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth
The Lost Estate by Alain-Fournier
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
The Vet's Daughter by Barbara Comyns
A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce, #3) by Alan Bradley
The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #1) by Nancy Springer
My Ántonia by Willa Cather
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2) by Alan Bradley
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (My Artwork is on the cover)
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1) by Alan Bradley
Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin by Adina Grigore
How To Be Both by Ali Smith
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume by Mandy Aftel
The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison
No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics by Siobhan O'Connor
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
The New Moon With the Old by Dodie Smith
The Town in Bloom by Dodie Smith
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
The Professor by Charlotte Brontë
In Praise of Slowness: How A Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honoré
Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg
Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (a re-read for me)

Audiobooks:
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
The Table Comes First: Family, France and the Meaning of Food by Adam Gopnik
Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
The Tipping Point : How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Also, here is my "Year In Books" on Goodreads.

Here is what I read in 2014

What was your favorite book you read (or listened to) this year?

1/1/16

Making 2016 Goals

MI December Forest
stone wisdom
I prefer the word "goals" to "resolutions" I think it sounds more friendly & more like challenging things I want to do (which is what they are) rather than things I'm forcing myself to do.
I think I did pretty well with my list of goals from last year (you can read them here). I definitely did better with the small concrete things than I did with the more overarching goals such as "worry less" (fyi I did not worry less). I ran in my first race, started some new hobbies. Some of the things, like slowing down more in the evening, are just part of my life now. Something that wasn't on my list but I started doing early on last year was to only buy ethically made clothes or clothes made in the USA (for a lot of reasons). It turned out to not be too hard, and an added bonus to that has been that it's helped me save money so that's something I'm going to continue.
Here are some of my goals for 2016:

Get serious about saving some money.

Run in a 15k race.

Meditate for at least 10 minutes at least 3 times a week.

Go hiking at least three times a month.

Attempt a few simple woodworking projects, specifically carve a wooden spoon

Try and have my work life more on my terms. By far this is what I want to achieve the most. This might mean some painful separations, big decisions and reinvention, but I am feeling more like I know what I want it to look like finally, so it's something I need to do. This is a big one and has a sub list of goals to go with it, but I'll keep those in my private journal for now.


How about you, what are some of your goals for this new year?


Also should you still need a 2016 calendar, don't forget to check out my downloadable cat calendar!

12/20/15

Things

home-corner

I made a decision last year that I wanted this blog to be only artwork and artwork related updates. Now I am majorly waffling on that decision, I think it has made this blog incredibly boring. Also, I have my Tumblr blog for that content & for another thing I don't even like to read other blogs like that, I find a mix of lifestyle and art way more interesting. I guess I thought it would seem more professional if clients came across my blog? However now I kind of think, who even cares! Probably no one.

Still, spending time editing photos is my least favorite thing to do so I don't think I'll be going crazy posting updates here or anything, just when I feel like it!

Kind of amazing I haven't even written about this here yet, though if you follow me on Instagram you'll know that...my boyfriend and I bought a house together!
We are incredibly excited and thankful and amazed that it worked out. We've been living there since November but I think it will be a while for it to really sink in that we own it and aren't just renting. We keep doing things like opening the door to the basement and saying "we have a basement!!" which is really pretty exciting if you've been living in one room studio apartments for years.

Things aren't how I want them yet (and from what I've heard from other home owners it will be on ongoing process forever). We need a new couch & I dream of a huge farmhouse table and kilim rugs buuut that will have to wait a bit while we save up. And in the mean time we are pretty content in these big bright rooms. You couldn't ask for more really.
New House November2015

New House November2015

home-corners2

12/16/15

Getting the tree

Getting The Tree

A drawing I finished up before holiday travel. I think it represents a new direction for me? Maybe? We'll see.

Wip

12/2/15

Shop Update Continued...

I didn't mean to have so much Christmassy stuff in my store this year, but I had these folk-inspired sketches started for and then rejected by a client and I liked them too much to let them go. So now they are note cards!
Folklore Rabbit Card

Folklore Fox Card

Folklore Deer Card

You can find all three in my store.

12/1/15

November Book List

Here's what I've read in November:


I was more in the mood for non-fiction this month, probably because I was distracted what with moving & I find it easier to pick up and put down non-fic after reading only a few pages without it breaking the flow of the story. I absolutely loved the Liz Gilbert book I have to say. I thought it was just a great pep talk, and one I kind of needed to hear honestly. I don't know if I agree with everything she has to say, but mostly it was so positive it made me feel good, while at the same time being very real. I kind of love Elizabeth Gilbert actually, she's so unashamed to be sincere and be a huge geek & I honestly find that kind of refreshing (I know other people may find that insufferable).
Mindy Kaling's book was okay, much the same as her last one, but somehow just not as charming. I think she's too busy and too mid-career, I bet she could do better in a few years after she's had time to process and reflect.

Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling
Plumdog By Emma Chichester Clark
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear By Elizabeth Gilbert
A Room of One's Own By Virginia Woolf
Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times Jennifer Worth

Movies & TV Watched in September
• The Great British Baking Show Season 1 <3 <3 <3
• Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (episodes from various seasons)
• Master of None Season 1
• Friends (part of) Season2

11/25/15

Shop Update

It's been a while! I've been in the process of moving the last month and I am just now starting to settle in to my new home and studio, but I'm going to try to get back into my blogging schedule...

Anyway I wanted to post today to let you know about a few holidays related things in my shop:

Firstly, I decided to do a 2016 Calendar after all! It is going to available to print at home as a digital download rather than a physical copy this year. I have a lot more freedom that way and so do you! This calendar is of course all cats (each month is different!) & was made with a mixture of digital and hand drawing.

2016 calendar

2016 calendar
Buy Now


I also have a new holiday card with these adorable little raccoons off to spread some festive cheer! Again I decided to do a digital download, which means you can print as many as you need!
Raccoon holiday card
Buy Now

Lastly I made some bright cheerful gift tags:
Holiday gift tags
Buy Now

Let me know if you buy any of these & how you use them! I'm interested in expanding the digital items I have available (I've even reopened my Etsy store to sell exclusively digital products), so let me know if you have any feedback or any requests for digital items!

11/1/15

October Book List


I feel like I didn't read much too much this month, although maybe it was more that I wasn't that invested in any of the books and was preoccupied with preparations to move. I thoroughly enjoyed the Adam Gopnik book though, I will definitely have to read more from him (or listen rather, I've found I really love listening to food related writing on audio)

The Scarlet Letter and Other Tales of the Puritans By Nathaniel Hawthorne
All the Light We Cannot See By Anthony Doerr
The Beauty Myth By Naomi Wolf

Audio Books
Stumbling on Happiness By Daniel Gilbert
The Table Comes First: Family, France and the Meaning of Food by Adam Gopnik

Movies & TV Watched in October
• Friends Season1
• Doctor Who Season 8
• Morse Series 5
• The Berbs
• Tales From The Royal Bed Chamber

10/21/15

Peaceful

A peaceful smoke

Cozy Armchair Read

A few recent drawings

10/14/15

More Delights of Autum

chia

autum-leaves

autum-flowers

astor

I wish I had something more interesting than snaps from some recent walks, but my mind is too full of work or anxiety, or anxiety about work, lately so this is all for the time being.

Blanket

quilt progress
quilt progress
Finished quilt
Last month I finished the quilt project I started a few months ago (you would have seen if you follow me on Instagram). I absolutely loved working on it and I'm so proud of finishing it.
For a while I was just working on it in bits here and there, but in July I started getting really burnt out with work and I found working on the quilt in the evening to unwind was really helpful. Pretty much working on it was everything I hoped it would be: a way to use my hands, do something creative, and feel like I'd accomplished something solid, which I often don't get from my work these days, which is creative but filled with fraught decision making and a whole lot of insecurities.
I looked forward to working on it a lot, I'd just put on a podcast or audiobook and embroider for an hour or so, which actually made quite a bit of progress over the course of a few weeks. So pleasant and relaxing!

Plus now that this one is done I can using it to cover my lap while reading on cool Autumn mornings. And, I've already started on another!

10/7/15

Delights of Autumn

backyard-sunfowers
fall-crocus
persimon
salmon-brunch

Some photos taken in September from my phone.

Some delights of Autumn:

•Lighting candles on cloudy dark mornings
•Listening to the Fleet Foxes
•Having some Squash and sweet potatoes roasting in the oven for dinner
•Getting to wear rain boots again
•The smell of crunchy fallen leaves on a sunny day
•Woodsmoke on the air

Another Poster For Art Star

Poster
A poster I designed for Art Star. Love these brash driving foxes (and thanks to Megan + Erin of Art Star for the concept)

10/5/15

September Book List



The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #3)
Dune by Frank Herbert by Nancy Springer
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan (Enola Holmes 4)by Nancy Springer
The First Bad Man by Miranda July

Another mixed bag this month! I tend to read books that generally interest me and I want to read, but I like to have a cozy palate cleansers in-between.
I've decided to keep track of Audiobooks here (since I'm listening to more lately), but make them a separate list.

Audio Books
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (read for my book club. None of us liked it!)
The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Wayne W. Dyer
Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Movies & TV Watched in September
•Chef's Table Season 1
• Somm
•The Mind of a Chef (part of) Season 1
•Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Series 3