Cereal box kids

I sent these pictures to family yesterday and the response I got was they'd be perfect on cereal boxes :o) Especially Bird's picture - can we say animated?? What a ham.

I've started Griffin on the baby led feeding thing...basically he eats real solid foods instead of purees. He doesn't mind the occasional puree/smooth baby food, but wow does he get excited for spears of sweet potato! It was really fun. I've ordered these bibs based on another mom's review and can't wait till they arrive (backordered!).

It looks like it's going to dump buckets of rain out there. I feel like Fall is arriving. Just in time for us to get a bunch of exterior work done on the house...oh well, can't always have the best timing. I'm dying to get to Lowe's (w/o kids would be heaven) so I can get paint samples. I'm leaning toward an artichoke heart green for the house body color, a firey orange/red for the inner sash trim, and a creamy white for all the larger main parts of trim. I'll also add an eggplant color in there (probably paint it myself to save cost) on some detail trim parts for extra fanciness. What fun! Can't wait to get this house painted. Now to line up the contractor for exterior rot fixes, and the gutter guy, etc.

Have a lovely afternoon & Happy Columbus Day, or Native American Day - whatever's your choosing!

Hugs, Devon

End of June::Flowers Fruit & Veggies

summer garden

Zinnias...LOVE them! They're in full swing right now. I've got shades of coral and lime this year and I love how the corals are playing with the purple clematis next to it, and the fuschia dahlias next to those.

summer garden

My favorite Simpson's episode was one where they ended up on the old family farm by making a wrong turn. The tractor continually falls over on Homer, they grow a crazy nuclear infused crop they call tomacco (tomato+tobacco) which every one (including a sheep) who eats it gets addicted to. And they mention corn growing to the height of an elephant's eye. Well, this is just about there eh? Uh-mazing!

summer garden

Another huge favorite of mine - dahlias. The more the merrier.

summer garden

This says luscious salad to me. Basil, sugar snap peas, and pineapple sage. That plus the mint behind them would also make quite the mojito (maybe minus the peas).

And some sweet pics to share...Gigi with Bird & Griffy.

Gigi & Grandpa visit

Gigi & Grandpa visit

Alright...Griffin's trying to eat my pen and the dryer full of clothes is calling. Enjoy this last day of June :o)


Home Improvement :: Vintage Train Rack

Happy (day after) Mama's Day! We enjoyed a homemade (by Jared) breakfast of cinnamon rolls and eggs and some mighty fine mimosas. I got in a little more gardening and a trip to lowe's for some fun additions into the yard (black jack dwarf fig tree for one). I took Griffin with me as Jared was trying to catch a little nap and Bird was taking hers. Unfortunately I had to walk around the store for 45 min to get Griffin to settle into the sling. Then I realized I had forgotten my phone. After picking up some plants I was ready to go but of course Griffy was peacefully sleeping and I had to stick him in the car again (just like his sister when she was a babe, he's not a fan of car rides). Thankfully no one missed me at home (do you feel naked w/o your phone? I sure do!).

vintage train rack

Jared managed to get our ebay find up on the wall in the kitchen. We really like it! It's a vintage train rack from the New South Wales Railway. We used to hang our pots on an adjacent wall and while they looked cool they were in the way and Jared often banged his shoulders against them while passing. I don't know why we didn't think of this spot before but it feels good and look, there's room for more pots! :o) Have to tell my parents...they got the other ones for us in France at a thrift store. We had so much fun at those thrift stores!

vintage train rack

vintage train rack, corner of the kitchen

Beep beep beep...!! Dinner's ready ~ time for the frenzy to begin. I've got to get Bird fed and bathed so I can feel good about leaving the kids with Jared while I jet out to Zumba :o)

Hugs, Devon

ps: this is what was waiting for me on the counter on Mother's Day. Such sweetness.

happy mama's day


May Garden

Come check out a bit of our garden!

It's totally blooming & not yet dried from the coming hot days. My descriptions are typed below the photos (is there a general rule on that?).

my May garden

Be still my heart...love these two together...it took a couple years for the passionflower vines to meander over to the cecile brunner roses.

my May garden

Grow corn - it's fun! That's what everyone keeps telling me so I went ahead and am doing so this year. When does the fun start? Sorry, snarky tired comment, ha ;o) I'm assuming its in the speed at which corn grows and the reward of perfect sweet ears of corn to steam or grill then eat with butter & salt - yum!

my May garden

I may be in the minority but I'm loving this crazy mash of color and form!

my May garden

If you love purple this should really do it for you.

my May garden

This one really does it for me personally.

my May garden

New Zealand wind grass - wild and lovely!

my May garden

Left side of the front garden - we bucked neighborhood tradition and have no (mowable) grass. I assume we save on water as well as time. Though I'd love a little patch in the backyard. Maybe someday.

my May garden

Hot Lips salvia - dontcha love a name like that?

my May garden

Drowning in irises...it's a sickness. I love all my pretties.

my May garden

Sweet delicious flax - the backbone of the garden.

my May garden

Right side of the front garden. Yes, we live next to a pink and turquoise house. Jealous right?

my May garden

Bird's touch - pinwheel in the forsythia and daahlias.

Hope that was fun eye candy for any plant and flower lovers :o) Hoping to get more gardening on this weekend too.

Hugs and Happy Mother's Day to all you mamas out there!

Spring planting

new plantings

It's 87 degrees today! Sooo lovely! I'm thrilled I didn't take the advice of many and went ahead and planted my tomatoes (and everything else) back in early April. I really only did so because I had a window of time...then got lucky we were done with cold nights. So much time in the ground so far means I'll have tomatoes by July instead of August (and cherry tomatoes much sooner).

Last weekend I put in corn, sugar snaps, a french melon, and lots of herbs like an especially beautiful pineapple sage - yum!

This past week I read a super inspiring post on Apartment Therapy that featured Amy Butler's home. She mentioned gardening is as much a passion for her as her design work. I happily feel the same way and am grateful for that since it's much easier these days to spend moments outside pulling weeds and planting heucheras than it is to hole up in my studio with my laptop and tablet. That time will come again...

Speaking of time - I have run out of it :o)

hugs, Devon

Bird's room WIP

Bird's room : WIP

I posted earlier that we've been working on Bird's room to prep for Griffin to share the space with her in a few months. If she could have it her way it would have been yesterday! Bird is convinced Griffin is her own personal baby.

I took a whirlwind trip to ikea with Grif in my ergo carrier (and Bird at home, whew!) and picked up a bookcase, art table and extra chair, and a few accessories like a clip on light and boxes for markers and crayons.

Bird's room : WIP

While I've really enjoyed the lilac/red/pink/orange color scheme of the room I've been fairly over it for last year. And it's pretty girly - I think a little too girly for a boygirl shared room. In my crazy schemes where I imagine I have hours and hours of time and very few responsibilities I would paint the room a light airy aqua shade and paint over certain parts of the mural - phasing out the lavender and bringing in more red, orange, and shades of aqua and celadon. We'll see what kind of baby Griffin turns out to be...maybe he'll be content to watch me paint? Ha...not getting my hopes up.

Bird's room : WIP

See that second piece of molding up there? Above the picture rail molding Jared mounted a train track and actually got his HO scale train to run on it! It's awesome and runs around the entire room.

Bird's room : WIP

Toys toys toys - Craig's List find (ikea piece) to hold it all.

Bird's room : WIP

Our new favorite place to do "everything" - the oilcloth is working out like a dream.

Bird's room : WIP

Windsee for Griffin that Bird immediately stole.

Hope you enjoyed the photo tour of Bird's space...this may be the final version of her room before it changes again in a few months. If there was nothing to alter, redo, tweak, etc - life would be boring :o)

Hugs, Devon


Easter Day
Bird's new activity table
Lots of things are happening around here...I can hardly keep up with everyone's needs and demands. I keep telling myself that this crazy chaotic time will pass and be a faded memory with mostly positive things coming to mind when we think back. For now it's moments of insanity - temper tantrums, keeping on top of nursing for Griffin and potty times for Bird - followed by moments of total quiet where Jared and I nearly forget we have an almost 3yr old and a 5 week old.

Over the weekend we started a spruce up of Bird's room (someday to be Griffin's room too). Out went the sofa, in went the crib (in sofa style). In came a bookcase (yes - storage!) and a nifty new activity table that I covered in polka dot oilcloth. We moved Bird's bed to a better spot. It's still a little awkward in there but it's a small space so compromise is a must. Next to come is painting over the lilac wall color with the same light aqua from our bedroom. I'm debating whether to paint the aqua around the mural, or just paint something new. I would love to paint a gorgeous and huge goldfish on the wall. Odd?

Easter Day
Bird loves her room and we're so excited seeing it come together. I've been learning what little people need in their spaces. Surfaces to do things on is imperative! And having a bookcase to hold items (especially books of course) on both the kid's level and also the parents' level. A cozy place to sit is also really nice - usually the bed works great for this but it's fun to have other options too.

Easter Day
naptime funsies

I found some great little containers at ikea (where just about everything else came from). They're perfect for crayons, markers, stickers, etc. They're fairly difficult to open which is comforting to me - this girl tends to get in lots of trouble at nap and bedtime. Note the green belly button.

hugs, Devon

A Stuffy Gorgeous Afternoon

Losing the battle to my second cold in 3 weeks (what??). Not happy about it. But I'm continuing on with my "can't take anything" (as in, no hard core cold medicine) regimen of neti pot with salt water, airborne, and oscillococcinum. It does seem to be helping me at least feel human and functional.

Bird is napping...only because I got wise about using a baby gate. This is one of those days she wasn't into the nap idea but I was really into it. Thank you baby gate. And thank you to Bird for being so sweet & playing for a bit and then getting yourself into bed and covering yourself with the duvet and the blanket. Left me with nothing to do but get myself some hot tea & prepare for the afternoon ahead.

We're meeting with a mortgage broker today to see about refinancing...big stuff. Please cross your fingers, say a prayer that we're able to accomplish this. It really is about taking care of our future selves. Which is hard to do (meaning you make sacrifices here & now in the present) but will make life easier later on. It's the responsible thing to do - wow, J and I are so grown up now ;o)

In other news...my clay class is over but I have a gazillion projects left to complete. Here are the house numbers I'm working on for our place.

Hand carved stoneware clay forming into house numbers 
And in what I think is even bigger news (since I'm hardwired to the sun) it's been freaking gorgeous here!! Talk about a mood lifter :o) Sending sunshine to everyone!!

Hugs, Devon

ps - yes, that's an iphone picture above...still no fixed Nikon.

Worker bees

New laundry room slate

Tuesday morning here...feels like Monday because we were off yesterday with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. I admit we didn't do anything to serve the public & honor Dr. King. We were working our tails off on the laundry room (well, Jared was mostly). Saturday we got all the drywall installed, Sunday we flubbed around a bit (chilly foggy wet weather wasn't very inspiring) but then Jared got a late afternoon jump on the window & door trims and got a good head of steam. And Monday was a biggie day - Bird and I played together most of the day while Jared pounded away at all the beadboard & trim installation. It's a small space - tiny. But it's FULL of trim - 3 windows & 3 doors worth. And being an old porch with a sloping ceiling and parts of the exterior house shape and stucco defining the interior space, it had plenty of tricky cuts. I spent a bit of time at Lowe's Saturday night trying to find a contour gauge tool (their website said they had 4 in stock...) with no luck. Eventually we found one at another store on Sunday. It's basically a row of pins set into a metal bar - you push it against a shape (a curving wall, etc.) in order to get the negative space. Very handy tool!

Now it's my turn in the space. I'm essentially the "finisher" in the family. The room requires an obscene amount of patching & caulking before I can get going on the priming & painting. Luckily, I love this kind of work. It's annoying wearing a respirator & gloves (caulk is pretty nasty stuff) but it's so satisfying seeing an old beat up piece of wood blend seamlessly into the room with a little TLC (we used a mix of old & new wood for the project & it's a lovely combination - the old wood came from our former tiny closet).

In other news...I'll hopefully have my camera back soon. I dropped my nikkor lens off at a nifty little camera shop yesterday. A older German man (and his son too maybe?) run this gem of a shop & I've heard the best things about them. Hoping they work some magic on my sad lens. I miss it.

I'm 31 weeks pregnant! Starting to feel like it too. I have braxton-hicks contractions OFTEN and have definitely had a tougher time keeping up with everything with a 2.5yo to tend to. I'm really trying to cut back on how much I carry Bird (which is a lot) and letting Jared walk Phylo as much as possible. It seems getting out for a walk by myself is near impossible (it's still dark out so early & we're just so busy).

I've been keeping at it with my sketch book and putting together textile designs. One of my goals this year is to make art every day. Be it a tiny scribble or a big chunk of time in the studio it all accumulates into progress & keeping the gears moving. It's been totally fun to have the last few weeks delving into ceramics as well & I can't wait to share some pics (just need the camera...). One thing I'm working on in studio today is a set of house numbers for us. I'm super excited about them!

Have a lovely day all! I'm going to get a bit more painting in (via Photoshop) for my last hour of babysitting time. First, I have to share a painting Bird did the other day (below). I dripped bits of concentrated watercolor on the page where she directed and then she went to town. I just love it! :o)

Hugs, Devon

Bird's artwork - ink & paint, 1/2011

Year end transformations

At this time of year I'm usually writing down resolutions but instead we're knee deep in a laundry room renovation. Where you see those pipes against the wall is where our stacking washer and dryer usually is. I washed/dried 9 loads on Monday preparing for this week! The space is the former back porch of the house and needed some extreme leveling (long hard day for Jared on Tuesday). Yesterday we had our babysitter for the morning and got our first layer of thinset down then the cement board. Last night when I hit a wall Jared kept going and got the next layer of thinset down then the nifty tile underlayment called Ditra. It's a cheery bright orange. We had a rough night of disrupted sleep from Bird then leg muscle cramps for me but we're back to it this morning! I have a tiny window of time to write this then need to lay out all the slate floor pieces while Jared and Bird do the coffee/playground run.

Have a lovely (and hopefully relaxing) day!

Hugs, Devon

Ps: I'm posting this using blogpress on my iPhone - hopefully it works and looks okay. If so I'll probably use it more often - super convenient and easy.

10 years + Father's Day + Apricot Season

Happy Sunday to you all :o) I'm home with Bird today while Jared is out enjoying a Nascar event he was invited to. I've been teasing him by saying it's "Jared's Day" instead of Father's Day. For a little while I was bummed when hearing about everyone's different plans for the day out with their families - brunch, parks, camping, etc. But we've had a nice day and I'm sincerely okay with Jared getting some time with friends getting their ears blown out by race cars on a track (hoping he remembered the earplugs...). Bird and I met up with friends for lunch & playground time, walked Phylo, and hopefully will do some gardening together (my plan at least, haha).

Yesterday Jared picked ALL of the apricots off our tree. It's something we always do with our cherry tree - harvest all at once. We're thinking it's a good way to go - rather than little by little. You get some overripe fruit, some under ripe fruit, etc. but it evens out with some being perfectly ready for jam making and some giving you more time to get to them for processing into smoothies, sauces, or just plain eating (which is best! - especially on vanilla ice cream!)

Lovely shot of our huge copper sink filled with just 2 of the 5 bags we picked.

I could eat all that color.

One thing I wasn't able to blog last week was that Jared and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on June 11th! We got married 10 years ago - pretty amazing... Of course, the day wasn't how I had pictured it being but I'm often off when it comes to imagining those sorts of things. I always think we'll have more time than we do. It's just not that time in life for us of course. Bird was a handful all day & we had no plans (because we had no babysitter). When my sweet friend Di offered to stay at our house so we could head out to celebrate we were so grateful!! It's a busy crazy time of life & I accept it. I'm just thankful for the little things & for friends who help make things better & for the time Jared and I have had so far. Looking back at our photos reminds me how much fun we've had over the last 10 years(+). Here's to many, many more!! :o)

Happy Father's Day to all you dads!

I'll be back later in the week with new drawings, paintings, and an update on fabric design.


Big Floorcloth :: Tiny Papercut

After planning, researching, measuring, cutting, applying gesso, designing & painting, hunting down the right (zero VOC) polyurethane, applying said polyurethane, then applying more polyurethane, then still more...the floorcloth is finally finished!!

The process was really fun and it's very rewarding to now have a floor covering in our dining room that is beautiful & durable, and that I made myself. It's also pretty sweet that unlike a regular rug I can simply wipe off the gunk that Bird spills on it throughout the day.

I wish I had had a larger piece of canvas to start with. I used my largest remnant but it still only got me 7' diameter. Sounds big, but now that it's under the table it seems smallish. No biggie. Someday we plan to make a larger top for the table (and I'd love to paint the whole table white...yes, really, Jared would be quite unhappy with me...) but till then I think it works just fine. Maybe in the future I'll find another spot for it...it's always fun to move things around.

Thanks for coming along the floorcloth making journey with me! It feels so great to accomplish these kinds of projects. I have to remind myself that even if I don't have tons of time, if I just apply myself in short spurts and chip away eventually things will get finished. And that's a real boost for the next thing in mind.

On that note...

I made my first papercut! I love Elsa Mora's work and she is such an inspiration. She is amazing at whatever she touches it seems, and one of the things I appreciate is how many mediums she works in & types of artwork she creates with. It's always apparent that it's Elsita's work...whether drawing, painting, jewelry, collage, or papercutting! She even created a separate blog from her original blog devoted just to the art of papercutting. And we have a print of one of her papercuts in our office. They're gorgeous...you can find them in her shop.

My mom's birthday is today (happy birthday!!!) and I wanted to make her a special piece of art she could have on her desk at school (my mom is a teacher) or on the wall at home. I really wanted to try papercutting so I created this piece with a bird in a honeysuckle vine. The process was totally different than working on a floorcloth and it was refreshing to go from something very large to something small and precise. It was a little unnerving to make the tiniest of cuts and I did have one oops! but it's very difficult to find (please don't look too closely, haha).

After cutting it out with a curved x-acto blade, I used a tiny awl point to make the round holes in the flower blossom and the bird's eye. Then I applied adhesive to the back (I used a ballpoint-tip glue pen) and mounted it to a bright spring blue paper (an intense robin's egg blue almost) and put it into a thrifted frame (I'm always on the hunt for frames). The papercut is cut from a heavy & beautifully textured watercolor paper. It's yummy.

Now to send it off to my mom in Germany where Spring and the birds are starting to make their way out and saying goodbye to Winter. Hope she likes it :o)

Have a lovely day!

Floorcloth update: polyurethane found!!

I've been kind of stumped with my floorcloth...(not just because we currently have company staying in my studio this week) because I haven't wanted to toss on 5+ coats of regular old polyurethane or polycrylic after painting it with zero VOC paints. I mean how silly would that be?

So I started hunting down zero or low VOC polyurethanes and I tell ya, there aren't a lot of them. First I found this one by Safecoat whose paints I've used and really like, but at $88/gallon I couldn't pull the trigger.

Then I found a product by Ecoprocote called Poly-Soy...$45/gallon (still pricey, but with 400-500 sf of coverage we should be able to use it for many things around here). I like what I read about it - ultra-low VOC, self-leveling, protects and adheres to practically everything, and is virtually odorless. Oh, and it comes in a satin finish. Sold! It's on its way.

The back of the floorcloth is another story...traditional rug pads are gross (just sayin'). I had thought of piecing together bits of non-skid shelf liner but that's kind of cheesy (plus it would take a LOT of it to cover a 7' diameter area), and so that's leading me toward the idea of adhering a fabric to the back. Just gluing it on. I need to think more on that one, but at least I can visualize it, and I definitely have enough fabric for it. And non-skid isn't really an issue since it will be anchored by our heavy wood table.

And then I'll have to address the edges at some point. To be honest I keep trying to wave off the critique that a round canvas floor cloth isn't a good idea because it will fray so it's better to stick to an octagon. Phooey! I really want a true circle. I may end up either hand-applying glue to the edge (like fray-stop for quilting fabrics but more durable glue in this case...or maybe I really will use fray-stop, hmm). Or I'm going to adhere bias tape. Seriously. I just might do that. Why the heck not.

Allright...enough rambling with no photos to show for it :o) That just makes me feel weird.

Time to figure out the rest of this wet, soggy, and hail-filled (yes, hail!) day. My inner Panama girl is threatening to jump on a plane about now.


Finally, a place to fold laundry! Oh, and sleep too.

We got a new bed last weekend! It feels like one of those things you buy once & pass along to your kids because it's so special.

Save for a few late night interruptions (our pup Phylo needing a midnight bathroom break the other night...) the sleeping has been great!

Jared built our last bed and we loved it for a long time. It was many things - a super tall loft bed in our first place (in the teeniest of bedrooms), then cut down a bit for our new house (but still a smidge "princess & the pea"), then cut down a bit more to normal height toward the end of my pregnancy with Bird. A few months ago our backs started aching and we realize the wood slats had warped over time. We were working on our office at that point and planned on building a bed for Phylo anyway...so we dismantled our bed and Jared reused the lumber for Phylo's chic little raised platform.

Unfortunately that left us with a mattress on the floor (no boxspring as we never needed one) for the past few months. It was fun for Bird I think. I kind of miss that for her since it's not so easy for little people to climb up on the new bed. She could throw herself on the mattress and bury into the pillows, hang out and read books. Now she needs a boost. But she'll grow :o)

We've been doing a lot of this lately...

I just love a beautifully turned piece of wood. And that's a FLOR carpet by the way. Excellent for people like us with kids & pets and the unfortunate accidents that come along with them...I just take a deep breath, pick up the carpet tile, take it to the sink, wash it off, let it dry, put it back. No problem.


I'll be back soon...


Pinwheel Floorcloth

After a long fun morning in San Francisco we returned home to our still dirty house (no dust bunny fairies cleaned up while we were gone, darn). We were inspired to move a few things around our main living areas. The dining room rug went into the living room and the living room rug got rolled up. The dining room has been calling us back to eat there for awhile but I haven't had the nerve to let Bird eat over the wool rug (even though it's FLOR and easy to clean). So, I'm finally going to make a floorcloth! A wipeable, mop-able, easy care surface that I can design however I like - yes!

Above is my design...behind me is a huge piece of canvas which I'm about to cut into a 7' diameter circle. I'll gesso the entire canvas (I'll either tape the canvas to my studio floor or will partially pin it to my felt wall. The canvas is a little large to fit on the felt wall completely), then apply the paint - a warm off-white. Then I'll create the pieces of pie in delicious colors that pick up on the lovely fabric of the curtains hanging in the space (Anna Griffin, Sierra). After it's been painted it'll need several coats of varnish and I'll also have to contend with the back. I'm thinking more gesso and probably anti-skid backing. The edges will be turned and sealed with rug tape.

It may take me awhile to complete...hopefully within a few days, we'll see. Can't wait to share the finished project with you!



Getting pics together for a post later this week about my current mural project, plus a tutorial on painting and installing murals on canvas rather painting directly on the wall (especially helpful if you're like me and currently can't spend hours n' hours at a job site, or if you're creating a piece for a client across the country).

For now I'll leave you with this shot of some of our seasonal bounty - oranges!  We have so many oranges and they're delish.  Over the weekend we juiced bags of them and made sorbet, sherbet, and mimosas.  Still so much juice leftover - put to the freezer for future desserts probably.

Have a lovely day and check back later if you're curious about murals on canvas!

xo, devon

ps - sorry to be such an absent blogger lately - Mbird's sleeping (or lack thereof) habits plus my desperate working on the mural whenever I have a moment has been kicking my butt!

Another thing to love about April

Irises :o)

Ours are going nuts. I find myself peeking out the front windows at them, and lingering about them before and after walks.

This morning we drank coffee and ate strawberries on the front porch and got to admire the purply, bluish, & golden gorgeous gals even more.

It was short-lived though...Mbird has ventured into sleep patterns we're totally exhausted by unfamiliar with and naps have gone from 1.5/2 hours long to a mere 30 minutes if we're lucky. And yesterday that's all the sleep she got, and boy it was painful - for all of us. Today we're following some advice from the book "The No Cry Nap Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. So far so good (things aren't back to normal, but at least a bit better) and hopefully we'll just go up from here. Then we'll tackle the nighttime sleep! Getting work done during the week has been such a challenge...I don't even want to go into it. I have some deadlines coming up and all I can assume is that it's going to be a lot of late nights!!

Have a beautiful Saturday...I'll be back with pics of new wooly flora brooches (headed into the shop Monday!).

xo, devon :o)

Studio snips & A little humility

Quick post today...gotta get out in the studio and finish sketches for a mural client. They're going well and I've got that renewed excitement for the job that I was desperately hoping would arrive any day! ;o)

Thought you might enjoy a few pics of where I work, as it's coming together. Haven't finished all the wall paint yet, nor the curtains, but I am absolutely loving the space - and loving the freedom to do whatever I want out there and not worry about, really, anything (why I worry stuff like that in the house I don't know...). Perhaps what I put together out in the studio (and in the Bird's room) will help me throw caution to the wind and just go nuts in our little casa (this means murals of course!) :o)

Oh, and yes, it IS messy - I know! But it's got lots o' potential right??

'Rabbit in the clouds' - little gouache illustration I snuck in last week.

'Candied Cottage in the Woods', gouache on watercolor paper - this paper is almost edible it's so nice!

And a dear sweet 'Penguin'...how I love my penguins. This guys is quite adorable if I say so myself :o)

Oh, but now to the 'humility' part of my post...yes, humility is important in life, and it's redeeming for our character to admit when we've screwed up right? Well here's a laugh for you at my expense:

My poor sister-in-law, Steph, painted with a head 3 sizes too big. And no, I don't think she has a puffed up personality worthy of painting a swelled head ;o) ...it's a rookie mistake that I should have known better about.

I've been working on my fabulous drafting table (found at flea market, then beautifully reassembled and finished, then gifted from my lovely dad on my 21st birthday). However, with a canvas this large, working flat on a tall table is just not a good idea! But I continued merrily along sketching out where I thought Steph should sit in the piece, thinking, hmmm, her head's looking a little large, or maybe her shoulders are a bit small. Then every couple of minutes saying, 'Miranda, could you please stop eating those leaves? And where did you get those leaves??', or 'Miranda, could you please come over this way and stop messing with the electrical cords?' (are you thinking by now that my studio isn't babyproofed??)...geez. So I guess it shouldn't have surprised me when it was time to go in and I propped the painting on my pinboard to check it out...and just had to laugh at myself. It's a good thing it's just paint. If you guys are reading this, hope you're getting a good giggle Steph :o) And hope you still want me to paint this for you Sandi!! ;o)

And today the circus continues...fun times :o)

Enjoy your Thursday!
xo, devon

It's in the air

Spring...it's pretty cold out right now but the sun is shining and we're plotting away at all sorts of outside schemes, projects, and getaways. This extra hour of daylight is almost too much for an overachieving optimist to get her head around! (although it is throwing us something awful in the morning - guess you gotta pay up somewhere).

Here are random snippets of the signs of Spring happening 'round the house...

We're making our own bread again now...at least once a week, sometimes twice. This is a yummy kasha cereal bread I whipped up yesterday (kasha is buckwheat - find it in bulk bins). Oh, it is delicious! :o) Haha, and our neighbors have been asking us if we're baking - seems we're makin' the neighborhood jealous. We keep the bread machine in the former back porch now laundry room instead of in the kitchen (as it's way too loud for a sleeping baby) and the aroma wafts into everyone's backyards.

This orchid is finally happy again after 2 years of not blooming! It helped that I moved it to the kitchen sink area - lots of sun, and easy to water.

Random wintery fruits...can't wait for those CSA strawberries!! Plus our own cherries in May, apricots in June, apples in July, and oranges nearly year round.

Sweet pea seeds a'waiting...with 'to die for' fragrance. If you've never smelled sweet peas and you have a little teeny spot in your garden (or any little patch of dirt with some sun - they're not picky!) put these in the ground. You will not be sorry!

Ok, so have a lovely springish Tuesday...I'm off to try and hack away some more at Illustrator and my sister in law's film logo. Who'd have thought that this same computer program could give me so much pain for so many years!! I'd much rather sew curtains and make bread (gosh, even put away laundry...it's gotten that bad), but I must, must, must persevere!

xo, devon

P.S. - More randomness for you - just how it is this time of year with so much going on...just read this article yesterday...the items below were of special interest to me as I have to print and ship often. I had no idea those standard mailing envelopes aren't recyclable!! Such a bummer - I have at least half a big box left of them. And everybody seems to use them. One more reason to switch to that 'kraft' style mailing envelope (besides the fact that they don't bend - I have to load my print packages with stiff backer boards for just that reason).

Those ubiquitous mustard-colored envelopes are not recyclable, because goldenrod paper (as well as dark or fluorescent paper) is saturated with hard-to-remove dyes. “It’s what we call ‘designing for the dump,’ not the environment,” says Matsch.

Jiffy Paks:
Many Jiffy envelopes―even the paper-padded ones filled with that material resembling dryer lint―are recyclable with other mixed papers, like cereal boxes. The exception: Goldenrod-colored envelopes must be tossed.

Padded envelopes with bubble wrap:
These can’t be recycled. The best thing you can do is reuse them.

Printer-ink cartridges:
Seventy percent are thrown into landfills, where it will take 450 years for them to decompose. “Cartridges are like gas tanks,” says Jim Cannan, cartridge-collection manager at Recycleplace.com. “They don’t break. They just run out of ink. Making new ones is like changing motors every time you run out of gas.” Take them to Staples and get $3 off your next cartridge purchase, or mail HP-brand cartridges back to HP.

A Peek into the Birdhouse

Miranda's room is far from done...but if I wait till then to share snippets of her cozy, dreamy little space it may be far too long of a wait! So...here are some photos, what I've been slowly designing, amassing, painting, collecting for the Bird's room. She seems to love her room, and we do too. It's inspiring me to not feel so restrained with the rest of the house. I mean, if we're stuck here for awhile (slumpy housing market) we may as well make the best of it right? And besides, it's an amazing house and we pinch ourselves that's it's ours (or at least maybe 7% ours?) :o)

Enjoy this (extra extra photo heavy) post!

Hello, I'm Miranda Bird. Welcome to my room :o)

Loving the Flor carpet (toy poodle square in lush lilac)

Ribbon mobile that has bounced around the room. Made up of red, burgundy, orange, and aqua ribbons with some Martha Stewart scrapbooking stickers for extra pop.

Miranda's closet is great - good sized, with plain shelves (I someday need to paint, or paper them), plus a rod we put in. But who wants to look at that? Or have a door cut into the room's footprint? I love hanging curtains for closet doors - this one I sewed from Aunt Grace reproduction fabric - purple polka dots on white...love it.

Another item I salvaged from my former office...lovely ikea floating shelf. These things are awesome. You see them used on so many design shows because they're just so fantastic. Love how you can't see the hardware, yet it's a deep shelf that can hold a lot of weight. This one I already had painted the grayish lavender of my office, and since I kept the wall color for M's room it got to stay and fit above the changing area built-ins. On the shelf is Mariposa the penguin (I made this before she was born, and had to save it for her, just couldn't let it go...), two vintage glittery lovebirds I got off Etsy, plus a great box from a friend.

Over her crib...a watchful owl...just love owls of course, and painted one nestled in the clouds. Beneath that is a framed print of my "Owl" painting (prints are available in my shop if you're interested). Looks so great in that gilded frame. The plush/bell hanging next to it is from Panama, from my favorite store (an Indian store of all places) called Sol de la India. I always hit that place when I'm back there...tablecloths, baby pajamas (Chinese baby pajamas - even more random yes!), placemats and napkins, carvings and jewelry, etc., etc. - great for presents.

Miranda's ultrasound :o) Someday I'll either paint her name in there, or paper the white mat with something to tie it together (a great little feedsack print would be nice). No, I cannot leave well enough alone.

Vintage Irmi (made in the USA baby!) mobile that hangs over the changing pad. Got it for a steal off Etsy. I also found a great little Irmi table lamp with a kitten that you can wind up to play the tune - the kitten then spins, and a girl in a rocking chair rocks back and forth - cute, if a little out of tune. :o)

Hmm, that's a little blurry, be careful when editing photos in Flickr - wasn't blurry when I uploaded it. Anyway, here's a peek at a nearly finished area of the mural. I painted two oversize birds - here's one, plus a great ikea flower light (with green cord, love that!), and a glimpse at the humongous dogwood blossoms that float across the walls.

Cozy pillow in a cozy chair...we got this chair for a crazy good price in the "As Is" section at ikea. Got it cleaned by Naturell (natural upholstery cleaning) and boy is it comfy. It's a great chair for nursing, or just kicking back. The pillow is a combination of fabrics from Heather Ross, Anna Maria Horner, and Anna Griffin. Orange silk and super soft rayon velvet trims from Hart's Fabric finish it off.

We wandered into Paper Source one day while enjoying an afternoon (pre-baby) at Santana Row. Lunch at Pizza Antica, browsing at Anthropologie...yes, lovely day it was. I picked up this rad hook - don't you love a bunny tongue to help hold your fabulous silk baby sling? I sure do :o)

It kind of pains me to show you this one...it's just that it will be SO amazing when it's done that I wish I wasn't showing it off unfinished :o( But, maybe it'll help motivate me to get back into working on it soon. It's a tree full of "tree houses" of course - or maybe they're bird houses - open to interpretation. From the left: shoe house, tiny Swiss chalet, craftsman bungalow, dreamy castle, and quirky victorian. And below the tree sprouting from very fluffy clouds is Miranda's crib - very simple and modern, clean lines - nice for such a detailed room. Oh, and of course, check out those fabulous books! Many of them are from when my brother and I were little. A couple I picked up from Recycle Bookstore and are from the 1920's. It's a nice, growing collection that Mbird will be able to get her hands on as soon as she stops sampling everything by mouth :o)

Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour!
Thanks for coming along :o)

xo, devon

ps - I'm going with this for the studio bathroom:

With a piece of this to put in a frame:

mermaids! mermaids! mermaids!
Have a lovely Monday :o)