Where the buffalo roam.

Another couple of pages from my sketchbook project. Apparently my scanner interprets neon orange as a very pale peach. Oh well. 

This past week has been unexpected I suppose. Unexpected in the sense that I didn't really do anything that I had planned on doing. However, some of us at work took a trip to the chinese buffet yesterday and that was pretty satisfying. 


"...stockings were hung by the chimney with care..."

Last year I made a stocking for Andrew out of some extra fabric I had stashed away. I had intended on making one for myself as well, but I never had the time. So this year, instead of working on cleaning up the aftermath of Christmas projects, I spent a couple hours making myself a new stocking. Some of the materials in it are a little nostalgic to me. The green and teal fabric that makes up most of it came from an old chair that I found on the side of the road several years ago and begged my friends to carry home for me. I had grand ideas for refinishing it because the upholstery was practically torn to shreds, but after staring at it in my room for a long time I remembered that I knew nothing about upholstery and at some point it made it's way back out onto the curb...but only after I stripped all the vintage fabric from it. I had to stitch some bits and pieces of it together to make a piece big enough to use for the stocking. I love the character of it. I also added a bit of an old sweater that I decided wasn't fitting that well anymore and some pom pom trim from a wonky footstool I used to have. Clearly I am a collector and never give up any little bit of something or another that I think may come in handy someday. 


Eugene's Summer.

Another glimpse into my Sketchbook Project. These photos were taken with my broken Pop Cam out the window of my beloved old Volvo.


Another year's cookie bake-a-thon.

My family's tradition of christmas cookie baking has come a long way since my grandma started it with me when I was little. It seems like my cousins and I have actually created our own traditions within the tradition...like attempting to use every single cookie cutter no matter the season it belongs to (this year we discovered one that seemed to resemble a pregnant witch), and attempting to create the largest and most ridiculous sugar cookie when we get tired of baking. And then there are the spritz cookies which are usually either awesome or a complete failure, but the good news is that we seem to have found the perfect vintage cookie press (made in Cleveland!). 

There are always some failures.
And some messes.

Lots of fun.

Dough eating.

And the ultimate cookie (for consumption only on Christmas Eve). 

Past years: here and here.


A little sparkle.

Today I worked at home on a small photo shoot for some Taylor Swift cards. Here are some of the outtakes. There is still glitter lingering on my floor and desk. It evades even the Dyson. 


Music for the Snow.

A collection of photos from our recent big snow day. We got a whopping 12" in one day which resulted in me having a 4 1/2 hour commute home. A trip that normally would have taken me 20-30 minutes. No joke. I won't go into details, but there were cars upon cars abandoned in the middle of the road and some conversations had with the people around me.

Some good friends of mine at Standard Recording have a radio show called the Standard Variety Hour which I've posted about before. On this week's show, all of the music featured was from a winter mix CD that I make Kevin years ago called "Music For the Snow". It was pretty cool to have music that I selected on the radio. If you'd like to have a listen, you can download the podcast version of the show here: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-standard-variety-hour/id377252541


A colorful thrift.

I cleaned up our closet this morning and took out anything we hadn't worn in a while. Tonight I took it all to the resale shop and lucked out when they decided to purchase the majority of it. So I picked out a few new items for myself and when I got home decided it was appropriate to put them all on at once. I loved the colors, and apparently I picked them to match my kitchen. 

(Bowie approved.)


Sketchbook progress.

I had intended to share a lot more from my Sketchbook Project as I filled the pages, but it seems as if I never remember to do that. I got a new scanner at my desk in cubeland so I decided to scan a page from it as a test run.

It's hard to be devoted to two sketchbooks at once, this one and my regular one. I don't ever remember keeping any of my regular sketchbooks for more than a year because I always ran out of pages...my current one is going on two years. I'm getting antsy for a fresh start as usual. 


A Very Standard Christmas - Volume 3.

Every year I illustrate the Christmas compilation album for my friends at Standard Recording. This year it just so happens to feature one of my favorite subjects: cats. Which makes sense because all of the money raised by this album goes to the FACE Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic in Indianapolis. So what's holding you back? Go here to listen to and download the album: http://standard.nuvo.net/

(Side note: The album cover subjects include our two cats, and cats in the Standard family. And one fluffy grey. Also, Marla Hansen is fantastic. Check out her EP.)


The tinsel tree.

I had spotted this great idea somewhere on the vast internet to drill a hole in a log to make a base for an artificial tree. I absolutely loved it and luckily enough, my uncle happened to have the perfect log for us. I love that it gives my great grandma's tiny tree some nice height. 
Most of the ornaments on our tree have some sort of sentimental value to me. I remember the times that I received them, or bought them, or they remind me of a particularly good Christmas from the past. Some of the ornaments have been around since before I was born, and some of them were just purchased on our honeymoon last year. 

This is the third year that I've set up this old tinsel tree and although I definitely miss the smell of the real deal in my living room, I love how sparkly this one is. 

(And yes, there's already a present under the tree! It feels very odd for me to have something wrapped up already since I normally do it much closer to Christmas, but one of Andrew's gifts came in the mail and I had no idea where to hide it.)


Let the festivities begin!

Saturday I did a little thrifting with my aunts and cousin to get Christmas presents. Our gift giving theme this year is "everything old is new again" so I picked up a lot of stuff that I'm going to repurpose into new gifts. I also found this box of vintage glass ornaments that I had to get. I just love the colors so much. Andrew and I set up our little aluminum tree last night and some of these made an appearance on it.


The Christmas Cactus is blooming.

These plants are named after the holidays because these times coincide with the time of year when they will bloom naturally in the Northern hemisphere. The Easter Cactus blooms in the spring and the Christmas cactus blooms in the winter.

The flowers produced are red, pink, peach, or white and can appear in massive numbers on a single plant. They open in daylight and then close in the evening.


Moustached Bear for Moustache Sunday.

A friend of mine at work organized this event for next Sunday:
All procedes will benefit cancer awareness and you can learn more about it at http://www.movember.com/
I'm contributing this piece to the art raffle:

So if you're in the area and free next Sunday then I highly suggest coming out. Especially if you're tired of turkey and have a hankering for a tasty hot dog.


Days gone by...

...or at least the past few. Got my copy of the Holiday poster. Worked away on more granny squares for our quilt.  Also, drawing more cats. Lots of cats for A Very Standard Christmas Volume 3. I've been making my way through Northern Exposure while I work. It's just that time of year and aside from that, it's sort of like my own personal Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment.


Holiday Get Down.

Charlie and I collaborated on this holiday poster for Music Saves and Square Records. I drew the cats which are sort of the store mascots. Vinyl (black) can be found snuggling up to your favorite music at Music Saves in Cleveland, and Kali (calico) is from Square Records in Akron. Charlie will be silk screening these on French Poptone Orange Fizz paper. They will be limited to 50 copies.

It's getting darker earlier.

It's the one thing that makes me hate winter. 

(I jumped on the bandwagon and downloaded the Hipstamatic app for my iPhone. I've fallen in love with this combination of lens + film because it reminds me of the aurora borealis.)


Dearest Anthropologie,

I would be happy with just one of these. Please, thank you. 


Andy Ralph.

I don't have words for this. Just fantastic.