Saturday, January 19, 2008

Busy Beaver Beats Cabin Fever

Ok, my last entry was a bit of a downer and I apologize for that. When I first started this blog I made myself a secret promise that I would only use this venue for good. There was going to be one place in my life where I was always positive. No whining, no complaining. I have tried to stick to it and when it gets away from me, I remind myself that I am here to inspire... if only myself and I check my crap at the door.

I used crap instead of S**T because I've noticed an excessive amount of profanity spewing out of me lately. It stared last weekend at a Champagne Girl's Night. The F-word was everywhere that night and since then it has become a regular guest in my sentence structure. I can't seem to compose a thought that doesn't need to be propped up by the ever-mailable F-word. When you don't have little kids around it's easy to forget your manners in respect to naughty language. I'm giving myself a written warning.

Sorry..I'm off topic.

As I was saying... I strive to inspire, so I am presenting a photo roll of my weekend DIY projects. I had hoped to be able to include a picture of a new pair of pajama bottoms from an Amy Butler pattern, but I ran out of steam after lunch. Maybe this week.

Rubber stamped rocks.

I can't be the only person who's ever done this. My next rock project will involve much larger rocks, tiny seed beads and the Virgin of Gaudalupe. Stay tuned.

Rubber stamped picture frame.

I was rubber stamping anything that would stand still this weekend. Thankfully, the dogs were too fast for me...this time. I went to IKEA last week and picked up a bunch of those $1 wood frames to use in my office re-decorating project and I came up with this. Again, I KNOW I'm not the first person to stamp a frame but I am pleased with the results.

close up of throw pillows

I picked up a few yards of cool fabric from Ikea and I whipped up these pillows for the living room with my new machine. I thought I'd better start out with a couple of easy projects. It's the smartest machine ever and I love her so! I need to get these scotch-guarded or The Cashes' will trash em' in a week.

I heart Johnny Cash

close up of pillow shams

I tried to make a blouse with this fabric but it was a few inches shy of a full 2 yrds. and mister showed an interest in the print, so I made pillow shams instead.

the boudoir

So that's it for now. My office is being repainted on Tuesday. I've chosen a very calming pale pale greenish-white for 3 walls and a nice grayish-green for an accent wall behind my desk. I can hardly wait to start redecorating. I'll share my after pictures when it's all done. xoxo-jenni

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Change Can Be A Good Thing

Bleh. Bleeehh. I've got winter blues. It's not quite so serious as seasonal depression, but there's definitely a funk.

I'm obsessing over my office. It's the wrong...everything. Please see photo below.

If you begin to feel light-headed, look away, as this may be an early warning sign of a seizure. SERIOUSLY. How can I be expected to concentrate on work when this is going on around me? When Mister and I moved into our new home, many of the rooms had already been painted. Actually, ALL the walls had already been painted. Some rooms, like my office, got a royal Earl Shibe color treatment. "We'll paint any room for $99!" As a result we have a baby blue guestroom, Mister has a not-quite-turquoise green office and my office resembles tomato soup from a can. But painting was the last thing we were thinking about when we moved in 3 days before Christmas. But it's been a year and when I look at the picture above I realize that I've spent the last year trying to cover up my walls.

But what to do when you're in a funk and you know that you're prone to making drastic changes to relieve ennui? I have about a 50/50 failure vs. success ratio when it comes to impulse decisions. (My husband is reading this and thinking more like 90/10) I've had more bad hair cuts/colors than good and at least one tattoo I wish wasn't there at least once in awhile.

It seems like a plan might be a good idea. Logical, right? I have never uttered the words "Let's think about it and come up with a plan." This is uncharted territory for me. But I feel a real need to alter my space and I want to do it right . I'd like to try to establish a design and not just rely on my flair for the eclectic.

So I am happily reading through my cache of inspirablogs and I get to
decor8 and she just happens to have posted a magnificent piece about a potter in Denmark. Just what I needed. And I thought it apropos an earlier post of mine about the impact one artist's work can be on another. The spaces these artist's create it can be just as inspiring as the art they create.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Is This Another Ebay Auction?

I hear this pretty frequently from our mailman, Greg. Greg's a nice guy. He has very few requests; shovel your walkway, pay your postage due, be kind to children and animals. Ok, that last one is mine, but I couldn't think of a third thing. That's how nice he is! I can't even think of 3 things!

He always brings cookies for my dogs and he never complains about the weather. And occasionally, like once a week, he'll query as to whether or not the package he has risked life & limb for by crossing our unsalted walkway (hey..we shoveled!) is an Ebay auction.

I'm not sure why it matters one way or another. I mean, if I was a freelance surgeon working out of my house, would he enjoy delivering my packages more if he thought they were kidneys? Do my Ebay auctions say more about me than I realize? Am I consumption-happy? Are these boxes and their contents' a trite and materialistic display of gluttony?

As a begin my decent down the shame-spiral I remind myself that everyone, or at least everyone I know, loves to get something nice in the mail. Whether it be a little hand written card, (my mom-in-law, Linda is really wonderful for these!) or a free sample of fabric softener or an Ebay auction; everyone likes to get mail.

Maybe that's the problem with Greg. Maybe he hates to get mail. What's Mister always saying...the baker's kids have the worst shoes? Or cobbler? I dunno, but you get my drift. Maybe handling the mail all day has bred contempt deep in his heart. Well Greg...if you're out there, I'd like to share with you the Ebay package I received on Monday. I hope you find it as inspiring as I do. xoxo -jenni

click on the picture to enlarge
These are pages from the Neiman Marcus 100th Anniversary Pop-Up Book.

Monday, January 7, 2008

"The girl is crafty like ice is cold!"

As I mentioned in my last post, Christmas was wonderful! I got everything that I asked for and then some. This year was a crafty Christmas and in my opinion, that's the best kind! Mister gifted me with a nifty 'lil sewin' machine called the Quilt Designer II.

That's Husqvarna for y'all that don't know. It's hella nice! I haven't really cranked her up yet because I need a little one and one class time to fully understand all that she has to offer. I want to understand her inner workings so that I never take her for granted. She's that important to me. I pause now to consider my reading audience ... does that read creepy?

My very generous hoosband also gave me the Speedball Block Printing Kit and I got myself some rubber block and voila! My first rubber stamps! I must say..I'm pretty pleased with my first attempts.

owl + mermaid JI 08/AP

The last thing that I want to leave you with are these 2 fantastic photos. The first is a 'tagged' tree. It's part of a movement of non-destructive eco-friendly graffiti projects that are taking place all over the globe. Most notably, the Knitta, Please! group.

This second photo is the sculpture “In Bed” by Ron Mueck. Many of you have probably already see this piece or other pieces by the artist, but they are so cool I'm sure no one would mind another peek at them. But for those of you who are seeing this for the first time, I'm hoping your reaction is something like " Brilliant!" (thank you to Kristin)

It's images and concepts like this and the tree sweater that inspire me and fuel my creative work. I depend on like-minded individuals everywhere to take up the cause of art in a public forum. Even if it's only to make something small and post your creation for others to view. You never know what kind of impact your art can have another person. That's why art is so profound and why it needs a greater, wider audience. So, thank you guerrilla knitters and giant lady sculptures, you make this a livelier world! xoxo- jenni

Christmas Wrap-up

The tree and the all the ornaments have been packed away and we're already a week into the New Year, so what better time to post our holiday pictures and say goodbye to 2007!

I have to say, this was a wonderful holiday. I've commented to my friends that one of the downsides of getting older is losing the frenzied excitement and anticipation that the holidays bring when you're a kid. It would begin to build right after Thanksgiving as the countdown to my Dec. 5 birthday kicked off. Then it was just 20 days until the BIG EVENT! Christmas!!

I had a lot of great Christmases when I was still in single digits. In 1982 I was gifted with some fly parachute pants and a pair of white corduroy high-top Roos with the little pocket you could stick a quarter in! Thiller was released in November of the same year and my mom understood the fierce importance of having the proper street gear when returning to the 3rd grade.

But not since the Cabbage Patch craze of '84 have I felt anything akin to the joyful anticipation associated with Christmas, until this year. Maybe it was knowing that my Mr. was hiding presents in the basement or that every time the UPS truck came around the corner, he was bringing something wonderful! Each gift I wrapped brought me closer to that feeling I had when I was a kid. As the presents began to pile up under the tree I'd find myself uncontrollably compelled to break out in freestyle dance moves and sing-songey Christmas tunes from my past. Here's my favorite..Merry Christmas Ho-Ho-Ho...gimme fruit pebbles in my bowl. Anyone remember that commercial? I can't recall my Driver's License number upon request but that little gem had been burned into my brain for all eternity.

Sometimes, without knowing why, all that buildup can leave a high-strung flibberty-gibbert like myself feeling a bit of post-holiday eunni. But I am happy to report that this year delivered up all of the good and none of the bad. We opened presents and looked forward to all the fun these gifts would bring us in 2008. We shared a breakfast of eggnog waffles and the best bacon Mr. has ever made! We enjoyed the dogs enjoying their gifts. We took a long nap and relished the free and easy life that makes no demands of us on a holiday afternoon.

We enjoyed our first married Christmas and it was more then I could have ever hoped for.