Hapy New Year!

Thank you from my very full heart for a wonderful year here. I cherish this space and your participation in it whatever that may be.
Much gratitude.
some wishes for this new year~
may this coming year be filled with health and abundance and generosity.  
may we all look deeper inside ourselves for our true voices to let them sing. 
may this coming year be full of gentle lessons and wholesome foods. 
may we find time and energy and resources to help others in need.
may our spirits be nourished and loved.

Welcome welcome 2011!


Some Holiday snipets...

  1.  7:00 AM Christmas morning: Lilikoi breaking into the sweater stocking I made for her.
  2. Bread Alex made for Velija. My favorite was the olive loaf.
  3. 8:00 AM Christmas morning: Alex making orange chocolate chip scones. (Check it out, all his hair is gone!)
  4. 8:15 AM Christmas morning: The kids wait anxiously to go next door and wake up the rest of the family (except Papa Dane. He was there to watch the stockings being opened.)
  5. Neighborhood Cheesy Christmas party
  6. Look at that face... new red cowgirl boots for her.
  7. and a hat (and a pink tutu, and a handmade hobby horse) to match...
  8. Dress ups from Auntie Becca
  9. Papa Dane and Amy read Lilikoi a new book
  10. Eliseo's first Christmas present


Merry and Bright

Vintage Loomer Christmas photo... maybe 1980?
My great grandmother made all those stockings Each one had our names embroidered at the top. (thank you Aunt Bonny for sending me this!)
My family has flown and driven in, (Mom & Paul, Dad & Amy, and Becca) and we are all cozied up in the Carmona's house (we are house sitting) together tonight. I am happy as a clam to have them close by and to be eating good food near a Christmas tree.

Tacos are on the menu for dinner tonight, and then after the kiddos fall asleep I need to whip up two stockings for them. I am thinking of using some shrunken (felted) wool sweaters. There is no way they will be as nice as my great grandmother's, but hopefully they will look cute enough for Santa to want to fill them ;)

I hope wherever you are that you also are feeling loved and joyful on this Christmas Eve!



Velija on Solstice

Last night (Solstice) we gathered for our annual Velija celebration with our neighborhood friends. This was only our fourth year being invited, but already this tradition has seeped into our lives as one of our most cherished things we do all year.
We gather with friends and share a 9 course Slovakian feast (whiskey, bread and raw garlic, babikies, .smoked salmon, sauerkraut soup with mashed potato, split pea soup, mushrooms, stewed prunes).  To toast again and again in gratitude, and for friendship, and to the spark that remains at this dark time of year. It is about hope and faith that the light will return both physically and spiritually in the world.

As the longest night of the year begins I am sitting at a long, beautifully decorated table with my family, raising a whiskey glass:

Nastrovia! Cheers! To Health! To Ema! (Ema's birthday always falls on this day)
(clink, clink, clink)

I feel very blessed to be able to sit by candlelight and see my friends changing and growing older each year. Some big changes, some small. New babies... different haircuts... changing partners.... It is in the repetition of the same meal and the same group of friends that brings a safe place to reflect on the past, and to say a prayer for the future, and be grateful for the moment.

Cheers! Happy Solstice!


new work

I had some time in the studio last Sunday, and it was wonderful. The studio itself is in a terrible chaotic state~ with unpacked boxes from the craft fair and shipping supplies all piled on top of each other. But I tidied up my work desk, and ignored everything else around me, and went to work. I made a few  4" x 4" collage paintings and finished an 8" x 8" painting that I have been working on for awhile.
This painting had been taking on a completely different direction before this, but then when I set it in front of me it suggested the anatomical heart that I had illustrated a couple of months ago to be incorporated into it (This little illustration was just pinned to the wall waiting). Sometimes it happens like that where it really feels like a painting talks to me. Sometimes they demand even. Sometimes they are suggestive and open to alternative endings. Sometimes they are silent. And this painting seemed to like the idea of the heart being the main focus. Usually the layers of my paintings blend together, but the only stipulation this painting gave was that the heart was to float above the rest of the painting like so. And so it was. And while the snowflakes swirled outside, I glued and drew and dreamed...
Flowering Heart
8" x 8" x 1.75"
acrylic paint, ink, pen, antique and decorative papers, glue, archival varnish
For Sale

{Thank you all so much for your input and thoughtful words about my last post. Just reading them made me feel 100% better about my confusion. For now I think I will just put all of my time and energy into making this blog as perfectly me as possible, and save worrying about being professional for some other day...}


a photo of my little vampire boy, and a post in which I ramble on about the goals of my blog.

As you may have noticed, I have been absent from the blog recently... and it is partly due to a chock full life schedule and consequently a lack of time to sit and tell stories at the computer. But also hindering it is a personal ambivalence of the direction of my blog. I feel like I am straddling the fence of having an art blog and a personal family blog. Often I feel weird about linking to my blog from my Etsy site when so often I post about unrelated art things.  The thought that some stranger would pop over here thinking to find juicy art stuff and find me on a rant about lack of sleep, and teething troubles, and boogery kids bothers me.  I have this vision of being a "serious" artist-type, and this doesn't fit in with that. And then on the other hand sometimes I hold back on art related blog posts with the fear they could be terribly boring to my family and friends who so kindly read the blog.


and so I came up with my newest way to amend this dilemma. I would make another blog location where I would copy and paste all of my art posts so if someone wanted to connect with me just on an artistic level they could. I could link to that blog from my Etsy and make more solely artistic networks. And then I could feel free to gush on about my kids for as long and for as many posts in a row on without the thought that someone out there could be thinking how dull the mothering part of my life is.
Makes sense right?
Now, a couple of years ago I already tried to make just a family blog separate from this blog. It didn't work. But it was because it was way too much work to maintain two blogs. The trick to this newest idea is that I would be copying and pasting.

Anyways, I explained my problem, and shared my solution with Alex, and he just looked at me like I was completely nuts (He truly doesn't even understand the problem). And he just said "No".  He said I am am always making things WAY more complicated than need be. That it is MY blog and I can do what I want, and if people want to read it they can, or not. End of story.
 I think there is a lot of wisdom in his thinking, but why do I still feel so unsettled with it? I know that it is my truth and my reality that I am both a mother and an artist~ and this blog reflects just that. And I certainly don't want to give up sharing all the awesomeness that is my family and daily life stuff. And while it is true that a general rule of thumb for my life is is that I only want to surround myself with people who love me for who I am wholly. But, from a career mindset, I would like to network and connect with other people who may not be interested in the rest of my life outside the art realm. Please tell me, how do I do it all???

Any advise or thoughts you can bestow upon me would be greatly appreciated. Realistically can I wear two separate hats? Or am I destined to wear one hat that looks like a jester hat?


Big Crafty

This past Sunday was the Holiday Big Crafty, and as always it was great fun!!!

It is such a wonderful and creative fair, and I felt lucky participate again this year. Here it is Thursday though, and I am still recouping and getting our house back in order from the bustle of getting ready and the social intensity of the fair.
My booth looked awesome this time, just really nice. I filled my antique printers box with black beans to display my earrings. The ornaments were arranged in my wooden cupboard. And one door displayed the pendants, and the other had my original paintings. Ema surprised me with an incredibly cute sweet mess banner for an early Christmas present. It all looked tight, well stocked, and pretty. I made a ton of sales and had a lot of great conversations.
I forgot my camera at home :( but I drew this picture of my table to give you an idea of what it looked like.



Alex finished installing our woodstove which has been awesome!!!

but the real star of this picture is Eliseo's thighs... right???



at the condor cage at the zoo

The family was driving around on a wet day recently and during a break in the rain Alex turned the windshield wipers off. From the backseat Lili piped up "What happened to the heartbeat? I want the heartbeat back!"

We couldn't bear to correct her.


more family

Thanksgiving trip 2010
Auntie LuLu, Eliseo, Gramps, & Lilikoi: 
holding a photo of Gramps and LuLu when they were little.