Friends, I need your help. I have two pieces of work that are finalists in the US Figure Skating Championship Poster Competition. There will be a People's Choice Award and I would really appreciate you casting a vote for which one you like best here.
I can't get enough of the Twinterns' preschool artwork. I'm fascinated by how differently they will layout the same basic shapes---and in the process show their unique personalities. I love it.
These cats are SO Miles (left) and Max (right).
As a side note, have you ever taken note of the 232,333,532,112 ways a paper plate can be cut, glued and fashioned into a precious piece of self-expression? Thank you preschool teachers everywhere. You're incredible!
Max's hands are always full with little toys. He'll carry around the same two things for days at a time. It's like nothing I've ever seen. If only I had this attention span! Here is a sampling from a few days back.
The boys and I spent Monday outdoors, soaking in the last of summer's warmth and 'helping' Edgar work on the greenhouse. I loved seeing the fallen leaves next to the boy's inflatable pool---the perfect illustration of the change of seasons.
We spent a lot of time this past week with our neighbor's Great Dane, Andy. We've really missed Pokey, so it was nice having another four-legged-companion around--especially one that can stay still for long periods of time while I draw him. I can't get over how the geometries of Andy's body are so different from The Beagle's. He's one big guy.
Here's a little reminder for my desk [and perhaps, yours] this afternoon.
I've been feeling a little defeated here lately. An Open Sketchbook has really begun to thrive. Yay!!! But, as a result, I'm feeling spread incredibly thin and overwhelmed by the rest of life, particularly the Twinterns who need and deserve so much attention these days. It never fails that when I feel as though I'm excelling in one area of my life, I'm lacking in another. Don't ask me the last time I cooked dinner.
After taking a much-needed time-out this afternoon, I've decided I needed a new mantra---and this is it. Here's to deep breaths and positive affirmations.
Recently, the #twinterns have discovered that their papi and mama draw. As a result, they're like first year professors, constantly giving us prompts. And, we, in turn have been providing some pretty nice pages for coloring...if I do say so myself.
Our friend, Jen, happened to capture a recent 'collaboration' when taking some photos of our family last week. Even if the boys don't go on to be creatives, I love that they enjoy being creative now.
[please note: no illustration today due to complete lack of creative fervor]
It's 1:49 pm and I'm just sitting down to work for the first time today.
I can hardly see straight.
Currently: the boys are washing their toy tractor under Papi's supervision.
Already today we've: underslept [5:30 for Max and Papi]
refused to get dressed
delighted in the prospect of wearing Thomas the Train Shirt cleaned room
read 3 books
exchanged Thomas the Train Shirt or Superman Shirt
pressure-washed the shed with Papi
gone for a ride
learned to enunciate Chick-Fil-A
visited the park
met a mother of 6---how is it possible?!?
learned to identify moss
learned to identify grass
learned to identify pinestraw
napped in the car
made Papi snap
repeated first bad word
refused to take a nap at home
listened to Spanish kids' music washed windows washed refrigerator washed floor washedwalls
pow-wowed in a teeny-tiny-tent
made a pretend fire
held and, quite unfortunately, killed a baby frog
played with at least three worms
had one major 3-year-old meltdown
narrowly avoided a meltdown of my own
...and the rest---I can't even remember
It's been a dream of Edgar's for some time---a little greenhouse for our backyard, made entirely from salvaged materials. It's finally coming together! The less money we spend on this one, the more accomplished we'll feel.
The most meditative thing I can do is draw on location.
It's the one thing that completely quiets my restless mind. Earlier in the week, after particularly long afternoon, I sat out in our driveway and drew our house. It's not exactly the same as the days when I'd spend hours in coffee shops or restaurants sketching---but it's close. Not to mention it's a good feeling to sit back and take note the ways in which our house has transformed into our home over the last four years.
It seems like every other day we're needing to buy the boys new shoes. Their latest pairs pay homage to their Papi and the cool soccer-playing boys from when I was in high school. I'm doing my best to hold out on having to buy Spiderman sneakers as long as possible...
Thank you all for your kind words regarding Pokey.
Right now, we're thankful for the memories of our good/bad beagle---both here on the blog and in everyday moments. In the same way I remember my grandparents every time I smell fresh laundry, I am reminded of Pokey each time I roll my chair back from my studio desk and for a split-second, cringe, thinking I may have run over his tail---only to realize he's no longer there.
Memories (sometimes consciously, other times not) are at the root of so much of what we're creating these days. Over and over, our work is filled with visual reminders of the people and places we care about the most---from our own childhood to our children, parents, grandparents and pets.
:: reilly saying thank you the best way she knew how ::
:: church potlucks and my mom's banana pudding in her green pyrex ::
:: the flowers that dot the hills in spring, reminding me of my grandparents ::
:: sunday drives in the family station wagon--affectionately referred to as 'the mayflower' ::
:: i think this one speaks for itself...hi mom! ::
Thank you for visiting our blog and encouraging us to record and share these memories.
There has been a dark cloud looming over our home this week. We took Pokey to the veterinarian on Monday and the prognosis wasn't good.
Over the course of 11 years [8 of which have been documented here] our beagle --'The Beagle'--has grown from the bargain pup we purchased at a flea market to the first animal I've ever truly loved to a constant companion, foot-warmer and muse. In recent years, he's willingly accepted a backseat to two energetic little boys, but has forever remained in the center of our hearts.
This week, as we sadly accept the fact that he will not be with us much longer, I want to take a moment to pay tribute to our Buddy Boy. I've been looking back this morning over all the posts and drawings dedicated to Pokey and his antics. I hope you'll do me the honor of checking them out as well here. He's been such a character and tremendous source of inspiration over the years.
Pokey, there will never be another who can replace you. You were with Edgar and I from the beginning and will be with us in spirit to the end. We love you.
UPDATE : Sadly, we had to put Pokey to sleep on Thursday. He was a tremendous part of our family, and it will take us sometime to get past his absence.
This winter's bad weather has inspired us to be that much more aware of all the beauty spring has to offer.
We invite you to check out a special preview of our newest collection, devoted to just that via our Etsy shop.
We also invite you to take an extra 25% OFF during our 24-hour preview sale with coupon code: THANKYOUKINDLY Share with your buddies on FB or elsewhere? Take 30% off with coupon code: THANKYOUSUPERKINDLY
A little snippet from a project we were working on over the weekend. Care to guess who this charming young family chowing down on bagels is? :) Nothing is more fun than being able to draw [literally] from our everyday experiences in our professional work, including our morning ritual at Bruegger's.
I think blind-contour drawings, like this one, will always be some of my favorite to do. I love the absolute freedom that comes from the process. There are no expectations or mistakes, only discoveries. It's such a liberating exercise.
This weekend we're in the midst of finishing up our new products for spring. We'd love to share some of our process with you via our Instagram accounts and Facebook page.
It's the epitome of a frigid and snowy winter day here in our cul-de-sac. Brrrrr!!!!
Thankfully [THANKFULLY!], warmer weather is just around the corner---which means the opportunity to unplug and spend time outdoors doing the things we love. Our latest print, Summertime in the Park, blossomed from these moments of recharge---and more specifically, our afternoon strolls with the boys and the people we pass along our way---including a woman with four barking chihuahuas!
May it serve as a reminder to you, as well, that winter does not last forever! In the meantime, pick up your recommended dose of summer right here.
Max and Miles went to stay with their grandparents this past weekend so Edgar and I could spend some time in the studio emptying the reservoir of ideas that have been filling our minds as of late. Here's a little glimpse into our process.
:: trying out our favorite 'old' tools for new purposes ::
:: revisiting 'first year' with trace paper and chartpaks ::
:: inspired by the purple phlox that covers the ground in spring ::
:: painting fueled by sweet tea and some good ol' Reba McEntire classics ::
:: determined to find an answer to sad and dull sympathy cards ::
:: a new approach to an old print ::
:: how to paint a 'cardinal that isn't a cliché' study ::
:: marking-down many of our golden oldies to make room for the new products ::
:: stumbled upon a photo of the #twinterns 'triplet' in an old photo album ::
:: miss my boys...isn't it time for them to come home? ::