Monday, October 30, 2006

It's so easy being green...

My friend Beth asked me to make a special onesie for her friends who are having a baby. They love frogs so I made a cute little guy with this great corduroy number print fabric. It's a really fine wale, so incredibly soft. This is one of my favorite items up on the shop. I just wanted to post a pic here too.

My Studio and The Omelette King's Couch

This is a photo of my friend Sara, author of Crackpots and the soon-to-be-released Lately, lounging on the Omelette King's Couch when it used to live in her studio across town. I am now the proud owner of this fabulous couch (even though I have to warn visitors of the sink potential just before they sit down). The springs need a bit of work.

I planned the color scheme of my studio around this couch. When we bought our house in 2004, the upstairs room was designated my studio, strange stain on the wall near the ceiling and all. After almost 3 years and several "guesses" by contractors, roofers, friends, psychics, my dad, and the previous owners ("We thought it was just a shadow."), my husband tore out the wall with a sledgehammer to find no known cause of the problem. Aaron insulated around the area, built a new wall in front of it, and called it a day (or, better yet, a year or two). After that we put up a beadboard ceiling and painted the walls. The back wall color is called Greek Tapenade, the side walls are Apple Green 2, and there is one wall painted white to feature my 2-D work and which serves as the backdrop for my gallery shots. The floor, originally covered by nasty carpet over linoleum tile over masonite nailed every two inches, is heart of pine painted a nice rich burgundy-brown similar to the couch (because there was no way to refinish this room like the rest, it was trashed).

I am almost finished moving in. After I get everything organized, I'll post some photos. My shelves (painted Mustard Seed) are up and my small globe collection is in place.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Montar a Caballo

This past summer, my husband and I went to Mexico for 12 days. It was one of the best experiences of my entire life. I am very lucky that we travel so well together and that we both love doing the same things away from home. We each take one small backpack (I prefer my old red Kelty Redwing and he uses one from Underground Products, UGP) so that we can go anywhere at just about anytime without taking up a lot of space. We don't have a schedule, just a guidebook and a list of places we'd like to see. I am an obsessive planner so even though we don't travel with a stone agenda, I like to have information ready for all the possibilities.

We started in Mexico City. This photo is from the monument Hemiciclo a Benito Juarez at Alameda Central, a short walk from the Palacio de Bellas Artes. We were across the street looking at these amazing outdoor sculptures by Juan Soriano when we spotted this police officer on horseback! My husband had never ridden a horse before and he was fascinated by this guy. We crossed several lanes of traffic to go talk to him and luckily he spoke English really well. After we were talking to him for a while, he got off the horse and told us to get on. I wasn't about to, but Aaron didn't hesitate. It was his first time on a horse. It was great.

One of the reasons I love my husband is that every time we're in a Spanish speaking country, people will just start talking to him really fast in Spanish because he has very dark skin and looks like he could be of Mayan ancestry. The confused looks on their faces when he doesn't understand a word are priceless. No one believes it. But, we're about to change all that.

I've been taking advantage of my one-free-class-a-semester faculty benefit with Spanish 101. Every day after my class, I go home and repeat the lesson and give La Tarea. We just learned the words for activities like esquiar, comer, beber, patinar, and correr -- and the only thing I could think of when we got to montar a caballo was this image, burned into my brain forever.

I'll be posting more pictures and stories of the trip in the upcoming months. I also owe the Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree Forum a long trip report. I have to admit that we made the huge mistake of buying the Let's Go Guide because it had a more recent publication date than The Lonely Planet guide, which came out right after we got home. I used Let's Go for a trip to Europe about 10 years ago and it was perfect. But now that I'm older, my standards for where I sleep have changed and I prefer the recommendations of people who understand that the floor of a frat house is nasty and a hotel with similar levels of cleanliness could not possibly be considered "sparkling" (as was our experience with a hotel recommended by the writers of Let's Go). We won't make such a mistake again.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pillows, pillows, pillows!

I have been stitching my little creatures for weeks now and it has been a blast. I love watching the new friends come to life. I didn't think it could get any better...

...And then I started my pillow fronts. The squares I'm working on are just over 8" so it's a bigger canvas than the onesies and the sweatshirts. It's really satisfying to pick the background fabrics then work on the little guy who'll be featured. One of my favorite parts of the process is choosing the patterns. When I work on the pillows, I get to combine and juxtapose patterns a lot more than on the clothes. I don't have any finished yet because I'm waiting on my labels but you'll get a sneak peak this weekend.

I'm super excited about the labels. I can't wait until they get here!

The image above is my newest onesie. I'm calling it a meerkat and it'll be up on my etsy shop by the end of the week.

When I get some more time, I'll move my old posts from typepad over here to blogsopt where it's so much easier (and free).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Great Day Trip

Last weekend we took a trip from Morgantown up to the Northern Panhandle. It's a route we try to take at least once a year. This year, we took 79 up to Little Washington and headed up 18N. Then we stopped for some great pumpkins at a little Farmer's market just past the sharp left you need to take to stay on 18 to head W. We usually have a big Nearly Annual Birthday Party Pumpkin Carving Vegan Potluck BYOB Extravaganza just before my birthday so we needed to stock up. I bought four little pumpkins to carve out and serve soup in. The Morgantown Farmers' Market sends out a weekly email with updates and recipes and I'm hoping to make the delicious sounding apple pumpkin soup recipe.

18N leads up to Burgettstown where we headed W on 22 and over the bridge to Ohio. From there we took 7 up to East Liverpool, a once booming pottery city. It's pretty dead like a lot of towns in Appalachia where the industry has gone overseas. Luckily, there's an amazing flea market with a huge selection of local antique pottery, cool furniture, and about a million other interesting finds. After spending some time roaming the floors, we headed back over the river and into WV again. We stopped for a photo shoot at the World's Largest Teapot and some gingerale at the Sunoco across the street.

The best part of our day on this trip is always the Homer Laughlin China Co. factory outlet. I call it Fiestaland. In addition to this outlet shop where everything is very well priced compared to retail, they have a room full of seconds. We picked up some great stuff for our retro-look kitchen. The outlet is just past the beautiful singing Newhall bridge that's on the right. The sign pointing down into Fiestaland can't be missed.

After shopping ourselves into a low blood sugar euphoria, we headed the rest of the way down Route 2 into Weirton where we got back on 22 and went east over to Pittsburgh. There's a Moe's burritos just off 60 so we got some dinner there before taking 79S back home.