December 29, 2011

sometimes being sad is very very close to being - happy.

There are moments in life that force you to be completely aware.
And I think many of them happen when irony is unavoidable. 

 when two "not-supposed-to-happen-at-the-same-time moments"
in the same piece of time.


Like leaving a birthday party with a piece of cake.

but eating it on the way to visit a friend.

who is dying.


That's a kind of moment

that stops you.

I worked with Martha for a while.

We were a generation apart, but we were friends for 800 reasons.

Like our shared love of reality TV, craft fairs, and seasonal chocolates stuck on the end of pretzel sticks.

(Ok. she made those.)

usually the chocolates were monster fingers.

and we would dial the phone with them.


See why I needed her at the office.


But she got sick.



her gifts were always meaningful.

like sewing pins. with hearts on them.
because I love to sew.


And she was one of those people who saved a comic from the paper when it applied to you. 

I think that sort of person is one of the kindest in the world. 

because even though they just woke up. brewed their coffee. and poured milk on their cereal.

they aren't worried it will get soggy... they stop and get out some scissors and cut the comic out.

and then tape it to your cube secretly.

She was one of those. 


Martha kicked me out of the office.

well...she pushed me out forcefully.

with a big white vase of purple flowers.

But before she succeeded in getting rid of me.
She would see something I was working on and say -
you need to be making art. Go do it.
Get out of here.
Go for it.


As she got sicker.

I visited with her...

and I had visions of her dying with a beautiful giant blanket I made. With all of her favorite things on it.  

But sometimes. you have no control. 

Scratch that. 

All the time. you have no control.

(I am finding this out. constantly.)

and all you can do is be there for someone.

And I am very thankful that I was called that day.
and left that birthday party with a piece of cake.
to go see her.

because birthdays are blessings.

and so are friends.

and even though it seems super sad.

and like a super horrible irony.

I am confident that sad... is the closest thing to happy.

Because I have yet to feel sad
without an attachment to some sort of happy.

I was blessed to be friends with Martha. still am.

lucky me.

and to be there with someone you care about. two hours before they die.

That is a big life moment.


and I am interested in big life moments.


 So thank you Martha. For your streamers. and your jazzy wardrobe bling. and for asking me every day if I saw Dancing With The Stars last night. Because even though I was stressed and sleep deprived, you never stopped being good to me. never stopped being interested. and never stopped telling me -

Get out of here.

You need to be making art.


From the beginning you said to me
"I'm taking this whole thing as a challenge."

You did.

Your strength and grace are examples that I will never forget.


I will also never forget your love for Adam Lambert. 
And the fact that you not only went to his concert and stood the entire time. 

you wore black skinny jeans. boots. and bought the tour shirt.
Girl, his voice is butter and I will continue to preach on for the both of us!


Consider this a giant hug.

December 14, 2011

I see lights.


I'm living off sugar. 

 I would say- I wish people would stop making Holiday treats... but see. I don't want them to stop. 
I just wish I had more self control. or maybe less excuses for why it is ok to have 5 cookies. 
in one sitting.
more than once a day.

I just end up seeing this all day


The holiday season is both a massive love of mine and a huge art project. 

The snowflakes are back. and swooping down the hall. 
Although in haste last year I tossed them in a box. 
The tangled mess was so wild that only a few survived. 

 No worries though. Rhonda the cardboard angel is back. and at the top of the tree. 

I made her when I lived in Disney World and wasn't able to travel to family for Christmas that year. 

She is not surprisingly durable.  
(I am the biggest supporter of cardboard.. ask my friends who ran a 10K in cardboard kayaks.)

get it girl.


Speaking of living in Disney World...

Did I ever tell you about the time I lived in that small New England Snow Village?

down the street from that doll shop.

and my friend bought that wreath from the lady that looked a lot like Mrs. Claus.

yeah. ok. i know.


Sometimes I save little Christmas Cards that I get or even buy. 

because they make great focal points for holiday displays.

And. Yeah.. I add glitter to them.

unless they already come with bling.

small flower on his head. come on.


And I feel the need to share this happening on the tree. 
(excuse the blur. but this is an unexpected gem of a picture)

to confirm what I already believed to be true. 

Angels go to Cracker Barrel. 

Want to see something else that will make you happy?

I found this dancing guy at a race I did in Chicago.

He is the best race watcher out there. 

and yes. everyone in the race was dressed as a Santa Claus. 

Watch. this. guy.

He is going places because he is already above and beyond.




I have been working on a lot of orders this month because it is the gift giving season. 

Does that make my house the North Pole?

Honestly. It probably is. It is freezing in my room normally. But even more so now that the light display cord runs through the window in my room. and it cannot be fully shut. 



I get a little into packaging things up.

and after drawing that last rabbit I realize I want that tree sign in real life. so I will probably make it.


I wish I could afford to mail everything I wanted to everyone I wanted. 

But is it wrong to want to hug the mail guy when he tells me something is cheaper than I thought it would be? 

When am I going to stop being obsessed with everyone who is nice to me? 

probably never.


PEOPLE: It has almost been a year that I made the leap to full time art. 
and on the anniversary post I will do some mad thank yous. 

right before the leap.

Last Christmas- I was scared to death at the idea of trying this whole thing out without a net.


This Christmas- I am still scared. ha!


December 7, 2011

love first. work later.

Unedited fact: I have been neglecting my blog because I am obsessed with my nephew. 

Point blank. 

I have no other excuse. 

I am visiting with family and brought a lot of art to work on.

I cannot accomplish a thing.


Cheers to now. being now.

and later. being later.

best creature ever. 


And. this is why I make art.

December 4, 2011

This is my battle cry.


yours too?


November 28, 2011

We will be capping the race at 5,000 Santas.

(nephew. wearing a Turuhl...nick, holding a tiger.)

I am sorry but when I get an email that says, "We will be capping the race at 5,000 Santas."  
I am paying attention. and then showing people how cool I am. 
because this is my important inbox.

I am also loving the fact that spellcheck is telling me SANTA cannot be plural. 
That is sort of amazing. and spellcheck is right. 

But this weekend I am running in a race where the entry packet includes a beard and hat. so need I say more about why I am running this race? They had me at.... "please wear your beard."

In other important news:

There are miniature ice skaters in my den that tell me Christmas is coming. 
True statement.

There is also a small house in my den that plays a Christmas song on repeat. and no one has complained once or turned it down. and as you will see in a later post. it has been here at a clutch time. so I appreciate its flashing lights and constant tune.

In the spirit of giving. and shopping. and smiling at things.



I added a few more of my illustrations to my website store.

Like this one.

and I now offer my illustration prints in 3 sizes.
(not all prints available in these sizes. just the illustration ones. you'll see on my site.)

25.00 for 10" x 10" prints. 

50.00 for 15" x 15" prints.

80.00 for 20" x 20" prints.

so peek around at --> <---my website.

and contact

to see if the one you want is available!

Happy Christmas.

November 26, 2011

The grocery store tried to pick a fight with me. but I won.

Sometimes I inappropriately think my life is more complicated than it is. or busier. or harder.
Then I get a grip.
It's just different. So. Sometimes that confuses me.

let me explain:

It's Happening...

I am currently listening to the Orange Hanson CD. 

this means I have hit the point where I need it.

Some of you are freaking out because you have this music...
You even have Hanson Christmas. Which. 
By the way. is 

click above for a treat from 1998.

( I have spent more time in my life trying to tell people that Hanson is not just MMM Bop. although I can still jam out to that. easily.
 In all seriousness, they are on my list of good music. believe it or not. Sermon over.) 

I am also wearing my glasses that help me focus. 

So things are looking ummm...shady.

Because severe deadlines have hit. 

and reality. 

as it does. 

showed its ugly face...

in the cereal aisle.


I had to get the dollar cereal.

But look. here is a good point- They have dollar cereal.
I mean. hi. yay.
There are only 4 choices. But one is the dollar version of Smacks.
And it has been 241 years since I had those last. So I am due.

Disclaimer- I have a hard time talking about the realities of my artistic leap. But I also feel like it is silly not to... because. it is part of it all.

It's just that I both laugh and cry inside when I am in stores these days. Grocery stores are hard because. well...

If it helps. I will make a chart.

(look at my chart title. see. I am full of details.)


Here's the thing

I hit lows.

and then I call my friend who is an illustration-loving-trolley-riding treasure. and 
WE LAUGH SO HARD on the phone in the grocery store.

and all of a sudden it is more funny than scary.
while we are both at the store at one moment shopping on opposite coasts for the cheapest apples.

Value = Bananas.

 sh please tell no one. 
I think no one has noticed that their price is still from 1932. so yeah. this info is between you and me.
and if they are a buck tomorrow I am gonna know who spilled. And I am going to steal your 
$2.50 pomegranate.


The other amazing thing I do to move forward
 is bombard artists that I love.

This started when I was young.
As mentioned above. I starting loving Hanson in middle school. I think I wrote Taylor Hanson 3 letters fully expecting he would contact me.
I mean. 

I worked on those letters. and edited them.

(HALT. WAIT. it started younger. I WROTE A FAN LETTER TO LISA FRANK in elementary school.)


dont even tell me you didn't appreciate the rainbow colored unicorns and dancing animals and sunglasses and the link above and unicorn-techno-dreams is in the bottom right of the folder selection.

She was a staple from school supply shopping days of yesterday.



The grown up me ( I use that term subjectively) still contacts artists.

I feel an urge to tell people they are doing things right.

And I HAVE NEVER BEEN LET DOWN when I contact cool people. 

They say amazing things. 

I contacted this letterpress printer. I have mentioned him before - Amos Kennedy. And I told him-
Thank you for your documentary about leaving the corporate world and following your dream.

he wrote me back and I read his email one night when I was feeling the strain of 2 full time jobs.

He is fantastic.

He says- Proceed and Be Bold.

and in his email back to me he said
Enjoy your adventure.

(I have some of his prints. I want all of them) 


And my friend Kelle... I reached out to her after I saw her blog for the first time.

You should read the birth story of her second daughter. it is beautiful.




 I said
Hi. You are hilarious, smart, crazy, and take striking pictures. but mostly I love your honesty. and the raw stories you tell.

And pretty immediately we decided we were born in the same hospital. and we hung out in neighboring little baby beds in the nursery. high-fived. said our goodbyes. were separated and found each other again via the internet.


BUT that is why we are cool.


And friendships between artists and thinkers and DOERS are my favorite. 

I need to start shouting out to my people more often. because they keep me going. 

Because when you are looking for how to stretch a dollar. eventually that dollar breaks. 

And you need people. 


I am going to keep going, because I have a good feeling about things. 


See. This 12 year old wandered into my studio. smiled. and sincerely asked,
 "Why did you make all this stuff?"

I was silent for a second thinking of the answer when she threw her arms up and shrieked,

I nodded and said,
"wow.yes. Exactly."

Then she looked around.


And hugged me big.


And bam. I was full again.


i love music. almost more than everything.