Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Book for Noah

I had to send Riley's and Noah's books off to California because they are going to appear in one of Somerset's publications (not sure which one yet). Luckily, I was just finishing both books, meaning that I had run out of pages. So that means new books for both of them!

This will be Riley's fourth book, and Noah's second. There's something exciting, but also somewhat scary, about starting a new book for me. It's exciting because the book is fresh and clean and open to possibilities. But at the same time, that also scares me a bit. Do I want to take a new direction with this book? Make new "rules" for myself for this book? Try a different size or shape? I'm pretty anal-retentive, so I sort of want the whole book to be pretty consistent from one page to the next. So that first page is pretty important to me!

Well, this spread I did in Noah's book couldn't have gone any better for a first page. I chose the same size for both of their books (a little larger than Riley's previous book and a little smaller than Noah's previous book), and it seems the perfect size for me. It felt very comfortable to work in, and I'm extremely pleased with the results!

The spread is about how quickly Noah seems to be growing, and how I'm sad to already be putting clothes in the "too small" box! Having another child to take care of certainly makes the time seem to go more quickly than it did when I just had one...

And I'm not trying to add more fuel to the fire, or reopen the issue, but I just had to link to these wise words written by my friend, Tonia. She makes some excellent points!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thank You, Everyone!

I just want to send out a sincere thank you to all of you who responded to my last post so supportively, both in the comments and through personal email. Boy, if I didn't have a big head before, I've certainly got one now, after reading all your emails! Ha ha! Anyway, I guess that even if some people feel the way that one commenter did, there are enough of you out there who don't agree, and that makes me feel very loved- thank you! Really, you guys have given me such a boost in confidence and energy, just knowing you're out there, whether you comment or not! And so, enough about that-I don't want to expend any more energy on the issue, as it just isn't worth it!!

The photo above is of a little shelf in my studio, which I've been busy putting together and decorating since our move. It's almost done, and once it is, I'll share photos. It's really coming together to become an inspiring, lovely, happy place that I know I'll love to be in.

That's all for today. Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hi Everyone, I feel the need to address a comment I received this morning. The author brought up some things that I feel really bad about, and I sincerely hope that others aren't feeling the same way that she does. The comment was in response to my question about the decrease in comments recently. I went back and forth about whether I should even address it, but the author left the comment anonymously, so I cannot contact her personally. And I'm terribly worried that some of the things she brought up may be things that others are feeling as well, so this way, I hopefully can address the issues to everyone.

She listed three reasons why she thinks my comments have dropped:
1) you don't post regular like others do.
Yes, I can't argue with this at all. And I have no problem if people choose to stop reading because I don't post frequently enough. There are so many great blogs out there that post more frequently than me, so I wouldn't blame you at all. As much as I'd like to post more frequently, I simply don't have time (or, frankly, the things to talk about!). In addition, I suffer from pretty bad carpal tunnel, which makes it difficult to type very much. So anyway, no argument here!

2) Latley you've had a "Big Head" when you do post. You're making your readers feel you are so, so sucessfull and busy, that posting on your blog is a real pain. Do you not realize that we are all equally talented and we are taking time from our families and commitments to share?
This really worries me! I hate the thought that I'm coming across as having a "big head". I've looked back through my posts and found a couple phrases like "another piece of art for your buying pleasure" and stuff like that, but I was just joking! And for my birthday piece, I spoke of how proud I am of myself and what I've accomplished this year. And I am! I don't feel bad about that at all!
In reality though, I am an incredibly insecure person who is amazed that people even want to read my blog. And I'm also constantly struggling with my artwork- do I like it? do I hate it? I know that I post about "loving this piece" or that sort of thing, but I also post about how much I struggle with pieces, and how I don't like lots of pieces.
I give so much credit to others who have families and commitments and are also able to take the time to post so frequently to their blogs. I wish that I was able to do that, but I'm just not. So I try to at least post when I do a piece of art, which is every few days or so. I'm sorry if it seems like I think it's "a pain" to post, but I just usually am trying to fit posting between two screaming kids, so it's sometimes a difficult task.

3) A post you made a few months ago was very hurtful to many...You didn't mind spending time on your babies books... but that your OTHER artwork for sell was much less time spent and not as heartfelt.Why in the world then would I want to buy something you had rushed through?
This is the comment that I am most concerned about. I honestly can't figure out which post is being referred to, unless it is one where I spoke of enjoying doing the art for sale because it's less stressful. I really worry that I must have given the wrong impression about my pieces for sale. The point I have been trying to make is that I am having a great time doing these pieces. Lately, I prefer these to the baby books. Every other piece I do these days has some "personal story" that needs to be told- like Noah rolling over, etc. These personal pieces are HARD for me to do- they use modern photos (which I find difficult to work with) and they need to tell a story (which is hard because I can't just "go with the flow" and let what happens happen- I need to tell the story).
The pieces I've been making to sell are so nice and freeing for me. I'm able to let my muse take over and I don't feel pressured to convey a personal story. I'm not trying to imply that I'm rushing through them or that they aren't heartfelt. In fact, I often feel like these sorts of pieces are more heartfelt because their stories unfold as I'm creating them, whereas the others are "forced" to tell the story. Frankly, I like the way these pieces are coming out a lot better than my baby books, too.

Well, so, that's all I guess. I hope there aren't many out there who feel the way this commentor did, but if so, I really hope that maybe this answers some questions for people, or changes some wrong impressions. I'm sorry if I've somehow been hurtful to people without knowing it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Art for Sale (SOLD!) and Other Miscellaneous Stuff...

I've done another piece for sale- sorry! SOLD! Here are the particulars: It's 11x14, done on an artist's canvas, with fabric wrapped around the edges to "frame" it. I've used paint, papers (mostly vintage, some new), pencil, pen, and watercolor crayons. The price is $75 + $7 for shipping. If you're interested, leave me a comment! And, by the way, the piece from a couple weeks ago is still available, too, as well as some more vintage flashcards!

I mentioned a few posts ago how much I'm enjoying these pieces I've been doing to sell. There's something very freeing about working on a piece without the pressure of trying to "document" something, as I do in the baby journals I keep. I'm sort of stuck in a quandry right now. I feel pressure (mostly from myself) to do the baby journals, since I really do want to document my kids' lives, but I'm having more fun doing the less-specific pieces. I know, I know, why don't I just do both? But I'm so limited on time! So much is going on in the kids' lives that I'm already falling behind trying to capture it all in their books. If I add "fun" art into the mix, I'll fall even farther behind...
Oh, the tortured life of an artist mom, right?? Instead of complaining, I really should be talking about how thankful I am to be able to be home with my kids and have the opportunity to document their lives with the gift I've been given (my artistic abilities). I guess it all is a matter of perspective, isn't it?

And speaking of complaining, I really do feel like a bit of a complainer after my last post. It only makes sense that once the kids are out of school, the less time people will spend leaving comments on peoples' blogs. And I'm certainly not the best at commenting either, so who am I to whine about it? Thank you to all of you who wrote and reassured me that you're still reading- that really did help ease my worries that nobody likes me anymore!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hmmm, What's Up?

Boy, the comments on my blog have really dropped off lately! I don't know if people aren't reading anymore, or if I'm not posting frequently enough, or if everyone's just busy because of summer, or what! Have any of you experienced this on your own blogs? I'm so encouraged when I get comments- it provides me with the motivation to go do more art even when I'm not quite "feeling it", you know what I mean? That's why I love blogs so much- they really inspire us as artists to continue creating...

But, enough of that. Here is some art I did yesterday about Riley's first haircut. Do you like the Burger King hat in the first photo? I can't believe they still make those! I chose that for a "before" photo because it shows the little curl at the back of his head- I was sad to see that go! I'm just sad in general at how quickly he's becoming "not a baby" anymore-for some reason, the first haircut seems such official "proof" of that!

Next project I'm working on is for a trade with the talented Erika Tysse. I can't wait to see what she makes for me! I'll show the piece I make for her after she receives it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Random Things That Have Made Me Happy Lately

Here are a few things I've acquired recently which make me very happy! It's funny- when I tell my husband that I bought something because it made me happy, he doesn't get it...that's men for you, isn't it?

First are these vintage flashcards. You've seen some in photos of my kids' rooms- I use them as decoration frequently. I just love little bits of text scattered around the house. But I have so many of them! So I have put the ones I'm not keeping together in groups and put them up on Etsy for sale. I'm just putting a few groups up at a time- I'll add more in the future.

Then, there is this funny painting that I found at Goodwill. I think it falls into the questionable category of "cool or weird?" What do you guys think? When I first saw it, I walked by, but then I kept thinking about it, so knew I had to go back for it! And the more I look at it, the more I like it! Check out the sandals and socks combo!
And here is my new favorite fabric, ordered from Superbuzzy. I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, but I LOOOOOVE it!!

For my birthday, I got a wonderful gift from my dear friend, Tonia. She made a necklace for me with drawings of maple and poplar leaves, which are representative of my two boys in the Celtic zodiac. I love the plexiglass box she made for the drawings! By the way, she's writing a book about using plexiglass right now- it should be a good one!
And, also for my birthday, the sweet Jamie sent me this cutie as a birthday gift! It's the back of a vintage highchair. She saw my post about loving old-fashioned decals, and figured I'd appreciate it. She was right! I'm thinking of somehow making shelf from it. Any other suggestions out there?
Speaking of vintage decals and highchairs and such, take a look at these Ebay finds! An old doll's highchair and two doll's chairs. I love, love, love them all! Just can't get enough of those old decals.

And finally, here's a photo of what I found in Riley's room after his nap the other day. How could I not resonate with it, considering the shapes that have been appearing in my artwork lately? Perhaps we are on the same wavelength...

That's all for now. I haven't had the chance to do any art lately because of various things going on, but hope to get to some later this week. I'll show you when I do!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Another Piece for Sale!

Another morning with Riley at Auntie's house, and that means another piece to sell! I really love how this one came out. The colors in real life are just wonderful- I'm afraid they aren't translating quite as well in the photo as I'd like them to. But just trust me, it's a really pretty color combination.

Here are the particulars: It's 11x14, done on an artist's canvas, with fabric wrapped around the edges to "frame" it. I've used paint, papers (mostly vintage, some new), pencil, and watercolor crayons. The price is $75 + $7 for shipping. If you're interested, leave me a comment!
And, by the way, the one from last week is still available as well. I've opened an Etsy shop, which is where it now resides. If this one doesn't sell in a few days here, then I'll put it up there, too.

I've been having some issues lately with Blogger. I just realized that there are comments on posts that never made it to my inbox, so I never saw them- I'm not sure why... So I'm not sure if the comment function is working properly right now. If you want to get in touch with me and your comment is not working, my email address is on my website!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Noah's Baptism

Little Noah was baptized a couple weeks ago, and I finally got around to "journaling" about it in his book. Actually, this is the first spread in a while in one of the kids' books where I didn't actually journal. There's a little bit of text from a card he received that says "tiny child of God" and I wrote the names of his godparents as well, but that's it. Once I was finished with the artwork of the piece, it just didn't seem to need anything extra to tell the story. Here's the spread- doesn't he look cute in his little "bonnet"? It was his Daddy's when he was baptized!