Thursday, September 11

Studio Sample Sale This Saturday 9-13-14

Featuring the amazing Jessica Durrant, Erin McIntosh and Michelle Armas!!

Where:

Michelle Armas Studio
Icehouse Lofts
105 Sycamore Place.
#103B
Decatur, GA 30030

When:

Saturday, September 13th, 11am-3pm.



Above: Erin's beautifully layered abstract paintings. I am also famously fond of her cut paper pieces.
Below: Jessica's sexy and playful fashion illustrations. I love her work so much!


 Below: All paintings and prints will be discounted. I can't speak for the prices for Erin or Jessica's work, but my paintings will be 25% off, and pre-stretched canvas prints will be 100usd, we don't have many of those fyi, and there is a box of stuff too, everything in there will be 50bucks and there are huge posters of all sorts.




What:

Discounts on everything in the studio from all three artists including works on paper or canvas, any medium, prints and originals. Mimosas will be served.

Special instructions:

DOOR CODE IS 1050. Studio is on the first floor, 103B. Building number is 105, we are in the IceHouse Lofts, right across the street from Felinis Pizza!!

Friday, September 5

Adoption Update: Operation The Stork is Landing

I have been so torn as to weather to spill the beans, or keep them nice and tidy in my bean jar or what. I have decided, obviously that I like messy beans, so here is our adoption update. Strap in dear friends.

These images were captured by Paige French who I knew I wanted to come and take pictures of us as soon as I met her.


So on August 15 there I am, minding my own business, basking in the glory of three commissions coming in a row...aw sweet innocence. I get an email from AIS the company we have been using to guide us in our adoption process and it states: Birth mother is due in four weeks, and wants to place her baby for adoption, and she is Spanish speaking and only couples who have at least one Spanish speaking member can apply. So naturally (y'all know that I speak Spanish right? It was my first language, my family is from Argentina, and Cuba?) Ok. Anyway, I called right away and was all like, hey, I don't have any paperwork done, don't have our book ready, nothing. But, like can we still apply? She said yes, but she was skeptical that we were as committed as we needed to be, seeing as how we had pushed out our appointments with them for months...lallygagging around. You see, I wanted to make theperfect adoption book. It was going to be designed just right....hahahhaha.

So August 15th was a Friday, and the book needed to be to our lawyer by Monday (for a Tuesday visit with the mother). So I scrambled and spent like 16 hours (we counted them up, that is not an exaggeration!) hours on the computer that weekend making and finishing this book). Not to mention translating it all into Spanish, that my wonderful cousin in Argentina, who was working in Spain at the time helped me with at a moment's notice. I totally am still trying to get my right wrist back to normal after all that computing! Next we print it out at Fedex (the graphic designer in me is sighing dramatically) and I use my trusty courier service to send it to the lawyer's office for her meeting with the birthmother.

Page of our Adoption Book: This is our "Enjoy Life" page. Its so hard for me to look at that type. I didn't have time to typeset this, so the graphic designer in me is like, fainted dead away. 


We wait. The meeting is happing that day, and I know it in the back of my mind, but I am distracted and not really thinking about it and then my phone rings. Leigh from AIS says to me "You are going to have a little girl in four weeks!"

I say "Holy Fucking Shit." I think I just kept saying that again and again while Leigh chuckles uncomfortably. O comes home from work like one minute after I hang up the phone and we jump up and down and scare the dogs and cry a little bit. Then it hits us that we have to complete our home study before our girl is born! WHAT? This process of meetings, paperwork and tedious bull honkey usually takes 12 weeks, that is what we are told anyway. Well, since I made the book, it was O's responsibility to do the home study. He rocked it, and it was finished in a week, less actually. You basically have to hand your entire life over, I am honestly surprised they didn't want DNA samples, I bet soon it will be a requirement. We worked on it every day, all day, I think we proved our dedication to this process!

Meeting the Birth Mother. Wow. Let me just say that I haven't slept well since we got chosen. I just wake up at like five am every day, and can't fall asleep until very late, bc/ there is so much to do and I am adrenalized. So I had butterflies, we arrived an hour early for our meeting, I still get a tingly chin when I think about it. (does your chin tingle when you are nervous?). We met, she is an adorable 25 year old woman from Guatemala. I love her. I really do love her. About two minutes into the meeting I start crying. Just listening to her story, listening to her talk about her choice. I couldn't help but empathize with her and all I could think of was "how do I help this woman!" Legally I can't do much, because its very tightly controlled so that you don't get into a situation where you bribe someone for their baby. Makes total sense, of course, but I fell in love with her right then and O and I just wanted to help her. Our wonderful lawyer helped me calm down, and she reminded me that we are giving her the gift of taking, and loving her child, while she is giving us the gift of her child. Its such a powerful relationship you have with this complete stranger. I was just so moved meeting her and looking into her eyes. She is a thoughtful person, quiet and introverted. But she smiles through her eyes and is so sweet and gentle. We have spent more time with her since that first meeting, yesterday we spent the entire day with her because at her routine pre-natal appointment they told us we had to go to the hospital and so we did, but everything was just fine. I like to make sure not to leave her alone because she doesn't speak English. I remember being my grandmother's translator when I was a child and I know how helpless you can feel when you need something but you can't communicate.



This is the part where O talks about me, about what kind of person I am. Pretty much fluffing me up :)

It could still totally fall apart. This is the reason that so many people don't talk publicly about going through the adoption process, at any moment it could all fall apart. In Georgia there is a 10 day revocation period, meaning the birth mother could change her mind and we have to give the baby back. About 20% of adoptions fail, and yes you loose most of your money. How have we dealt with this reality? I will be honest there: I believe that if this is our baby, then it will work itself out. So I haven't thought about it at all. mostly. This whole process has really forced me to be present, and to focus my energy on goals and not let my mind wander too much. I am doing ok, I never think about the baby part of it actually, I just am taking it one day at a time. Sometimes I see a picture of a baby and my stomach flips, but then I just move on and even little baby clothes don't really make me think of babies. I will be so pleasantly surprised by having a little baby I think, because I am not projecting expectations about it at all. That is one thing that I think is a plus from having this thing go down so fast.

Expense: Adoptions are crazy expensive, about double what it costs to have a pregnancy and delivery without insurance.** Which is hilarious to me because I was so worried about not having maternity insurance before I knew I wouldn't have an easy time conceiving. I was like, I can't pay for a delivery in a hospital with out insurance!! Oh sweet silly younger Michelle. This particular adoption is coming in much under budget due to many factors but it seems rude to spell them out here. I am happy to answer personal questions about this kind of thing if you email me, and I know you will :)

What is happening next: Our baby is due next week. But thats really just an estimate. We could get a call at any moment, or she could come as many as three weeks later than her due date. We will be in the delivery room, actually I will, only one person is allowed in there from what I understand. She will be born, and placed directly into my arms. That is surreal to even write, but thats how it works. Then 24 to 48 hours later she comes home with us. Then 10 days later we have a party b/c we get to keep her, or I update you that it didn't work out and O and I go to Acapulco and party for a week simply because we can. Either way, there will be lots of late nights involved.

I will update you when she is born, if we get to take her home, and I will let you know when our 10 day period is up, and what happened! I figure that if I have a new baby then I want your support dear friends, and if I am giving her back, then of course I will still need your support.


The Our Home page. There are lots of pages in this book that have many family photos, but for my and O's families sake, I wont post them, I am pretty sure they wouldn't mind, but just in case. 

 *The way it works is that you find out about a birth mother, and you decide if you want her to see your book. If you decide that you want her to have you as a choice for her child, and she chooses you then thats it. You have been chosen. You can't see pictures of her, or know that much, really, about her. You just have to follow your gut, and understand as much as possible the situation and circumstances of her situation. So, you don't get to choose anything really, only who gets to choose you. 

**Of course that is assuming you adopt a white baby, different race babies cost different sums. Its gross, but true. We had already decided to take the child that was the best fit for us, no matter the race or gender. So most likely it would have been a non-white child, because not many adoptive parents are willing to take a child that is a different race from them. Note, O and I are in a great position to take any child, and I certainly don't judge anyone who chooses not to do the same. I also don't share this so that you just gasp at how amazing a person I am, because you should know that I never donate to NPR, so basically I steal. 

Thats "Thank You" in Spanish. 


Glossary:

Adoption book: A book full of photos of your life and descriptions of your life together with your partner, your families, hobbies and parental aspirations.
Home Study: A compilation of legal documents confirming your identity and criminal background. Personal statements about your childhood, family, life, goals and everything in between. Three sessions with a councilor, a "home study" where they make sure you have fire extinguishers and stuff like that.
Adoption Lawyer: A person who does all the legal work, way to complex to relate here, but there are many things to consider. And if you are adopting and need a good lawyer, then you can't go wrong with ours. Email me.
AIS: We were referred to them by the lawyer. We went to a seminar. I liked them. Yes it is a business.
Revocation Period: State mandated period of time that a birth mother has to revoke the placement of her baby with an adoptive family. Some states its 48 hours, some its 30 days.
Birth Mother: Biological mother of the child. "real mother" is not the correct term.
Adoptive Mother: Mother of the child. "real mother" is not the correct term.

Monday, August 11

Paintings, do you want free shipping or a discount?


Just getting paintings ready today, and cleaning up the studio. We bought a small, great new camera for the studio so that I can take my beloved Nikon home with me more often and it has turned out to be such a great move! I think from now on we are going to shoot the paintings outside in the sunlight. This way there is just no doubt at all what the colors look like. Not that we had any problems before, but I always like to put myself in the position of the buyer and think about what I would like to see to give me confidence in making a purchase. You know?



Some of these are for my store, some are for Chairish, and some are for Gregg.



Also, I do free shipping sales once a year, and I also do a deeper discount sale once a year. So which do you like better? Free shipping (you could save like 400 bucks on shipping a huge painting) or do you want like 30% off?

Monday, August 4

I fired someone // Haz-mat Suits // Pretty Tile

This weekend was a giant re-set after we decided that we had had enough of the remodel (tile guy) and we just stopped everything. In total we revamped our front porch, built a kitchen peninsula, gut and remodeled the hall bathroom and gut and partially finished remodeling the master bath. There was a massive, toxic amount of black mold in the master b/c the brilliant fuckers who remodeled it ten years ago put tile over sheetrock. In the shower. Thats it. Thank goodness I had a feeling that this was going to be the case and insisted that we pursue this remodel even though we both really weren't looking forward to what we would find. Its been so expensive. Sob. But could you imagine doing this with an infant in the house? I mean, haz-mat suits were employed!



Yup, our master bath is not finished and our tile guy is not coming back. I just couldn't take it for another second. The dust! The constant noise! Constant questions, mistakes, things breaking, the mess! Not to mention I kept making tile man re-do his work because he didn't seem to understand my direction. After a while I realized that he wouldn't ever pay attention to my direction, no matter how I explained it to him. So. He fired. My stress level is so much lower now.




I returned the white penny tile that I bought because I realized how very hard it is to install, and I was doubtful that I would find a person who would install it with the attention to spacing that I require. I picked up some marble hex tile. Honed. Carrara Bianco. Its nice. As soon as I got it home I realized aint no way in hell I am giving it to that effing tile guy. It was more than I wanted to spend. Have you gotten to the point in the remodel where you keep spending? And its kinda funny how expensive things are? I am there. Cuz you gotta finish. The picture up there shows it with dark grout. Thats how I like it, so you can see the hex pattern clearly.

Best. Decision. Ever. Its so important to listen to your gut! Instead of just plowing ahead and finishing our remodel in time, and then having the glorious "now we are finally finished" climax. I decided to just reboot. I was so distracted with it! It was so much work! I did what I could and now its time to just get organized and start over. O and I are taking our time and hiring a very competent tile artisan. We are used to having one bathroom now. Its like when we lived in Brooklyn. Fun.....ish.

It was so nice this morning knowing that I didn't have to deal with anyone in my house! I slept in my own bed, in my own room! This is going to be a good week!


Tuesday, July 29

Random List

Virtual coffee date with me! This is whats on my mind. BTW, I would order an iced Matcha Latte with almond milk. Just saying. 
1. I loved this article from Kate at Wit and Delight about my generation (between x and millennial). I have been really thinking about "*having it all" lately and "doing what you love" and how these ideas are destroying me/us. Because we can't have it all, I mean thats just not possible. Even people who seem to me to have it all bitch about not really having it all. And anyone who knows anything knows that the more money you make, the more you need. The more time you get off, the more you want. The more friends you make, the more social you have to be to keep up. Also, its not possible for everyone to do what they love. It just isn't. Fuck.

I also loved reading this post about her anxiety. I like her even more now. I finally have to accept that I am an anxiety sufferer. Fuck. Oh! And speaking of cursing, a friend sent this to me and I was like all head nodding and giggling. I. Am. A Woman. Who. Curses. SHHHHHHIIIIIIIIITTTTTTT!!!!!

Tangent alert. This totally reminds me of the word feminism. Its a dirty word I think to many people. But I reject that idea. I am a (card carrying) feminist and I think if we use and normalize the word, and associate it with normal every day women (instead of anyone who tries to use the word as a weapon against feminism) then it will loose its dirty edge. I simple, calmly and patiently reject the negative association it has, and I reject the ideas that have made it so. (interesting)

* Do people in Europe really not think about "having it all?"



2. Other things I loved was seeing Jenny Vorwaller's studio through Jenns eyes. I wanted so much to see her studio when I was in Seattle. It didn't work out logistically, but I love the energy in there from these photos. Jenny is like a deep, still ocean to me, and her work totally reflects that. Her instagram is full of beauty as well.


3. These pants are the tits. I like styles from the past, and I was about to hire someone to make pants like this for me. I bought both patterns, and the black ones I have in two sizes for a fitted look and a looser look. Didn't Audrey Hepburn say that she always bough something in every color when she liked something? Well if she didn't, she did now.

4. These shoes are inexpensive, very comfortable, a great walking wedge hight and cute too. I mean.....


5. I bought the best rug from esale rugs last week. (Its a Hamedan Persian style). It arrived in less than 24 hours and is clean, and exactly what I wanted. I think the only thing that could make that site better, is if they photographed their rugs outside in natural light. It would really help with getting an idea of the colors. I have a lot of experience with photographing things inside, and with colors too. So I had a very good idea of what I was getting.

Also you look great! How is your summer going?

Monday, July 21

Seattle


Two weeks ago I went by myself on a beautiful trip to Seattle to visit with friends. It was going to be a much longer, different kind of trip, but plans change don't you know. I decided to keep my trip booked and shorten it so that I could see some people who I have been wanting to meet for some time now!


My friend Katie is an internet friend. Meaning we made friends by emailing and calling each other even though we had never met. I just love her. She is so sweet, has such goofy energy and is so freaking talented. I got such a good vibe off of her and I am not the only one, she just attracts talented, wonderful people to her like butterflies to a vine. I was so lucky to get to meet her in person, along with Jenny, Lydia, Dorothee, Jenn, Theresa, Brian (check out his talent here and vote for god's sake) and many more dear, sweet, funny, movers and shakers. Dorothee is a photographer and thank goodness that she was able to be there to capture so many moments so that I can remember the night so fondly. (I have an adorable photo of her, but since she prefers to stay behind the camera, she goes undocumented except for her exceptional eye).


We gathered at Theresa's adorable apartment affectionately called The Hacienda for its rad Spanish style architecture and Katie made the most beautiful arrangement of flowers and food. She is so chic, she can't help but make things beautiful just by being involved! I know, its getting sickly sappy, but I love her, what do you want from me? Check out Katie's beautiful (temporary) space on Apartment Therapy recently. I love her style, and I love that even though they are not in their forever space right now, she still makes a beautiful, homey spot for her family.

Anyway, I thought that you might like to see our sweet little party.



Jenn is such a looker isn't she? Plus she just radiates joy, she is a rare find. I really wish I could have spent more time (move to) in Seattle.



Theresa is endlessly chic. She just has great taste, and its effortless. I wish I could be like that!




Katie, Emily, Lydia, and Jenny. I love this picture! Hi sweet friends.



I am so hungry now for those delish potatoes Katie!


Can you tell how happy I am here? Having a freaking blast!

Thank you lovely ladies so much for making me feel so welcomed, for sharing your joys with me and for embracing me so lovingly! I miss you guys.

Tuesday, July 15

July 17th, Rosemary Beach Florida New Modernist Show!

Featuring yours truly. My paintings will be hanging at the Hidden Lantern Gallery in beautiful Rosemary Beach starting this Thursday, the 17th, for a few months (until October). I will be there opening night, huge grin on my face, swanky dress on my arse, and high fives for everyone. Seriously though, I wish I could see all of your sweet faces there.


Who: Michelle Armas

What: Abstraction Solo Show featuring canvas and paper paintings

When: 5-7pm Thursday July 17th. (Show will be up until October)

Where: The Hidden Lantern Gallery // 84 N. Barrett Sq. // Rosemary Beach // Florida 32461






The imprints that Michelle Armas’ abstractions leave on the psyche are long-lasting. An interplay of adventurous line + form results in compositions that seem to have sprung from hidden places in the imagination. It is a mode of expression that integrates abstraction, movement + an exceptional range of color – and it is unabashed color that is infectious + exciting, almost to the point of being fantastic.
In many ways, this is an exhibition about paint itself – how it drips, pools, stains + runs to the edge, how the artist masters + employs it. Armas takes up the Modernists’ call of the mid-20th century that paint should declare the surface on which it is painted. Armas answers with intense visual sensations that offer a direct + evocative summoning of paint. The results are like visual symphonies of punctuated bursts, gorgeous swaths + plumes, intermittent with frenetic lines or scribbles.
Armas, whose star is on the swift ascent in the worlds of art + design (she now counts four galleries that represent her work nationally), works from intuition + instinct, producing an extraordinary output that is both vital + ever-changing. Known for her brilliantly-hued, sprawling canvases, some of the best examples featured here, this show also debuts Armas’ explorations in oil + oil pastel on paper.

It is in this new paper series that Armas’ treatment of color on the two-dimensional picture plane is brought to its most dramatic effect. Palpable + active, this definitive new collection deems Armas, above all, a wildly inventive  + exceptional colorist.


Maybe you don't care about art? Hm? Maybe you just wanna go to the beach?


Wednesday, June 25

Guest Pooper Re-do

You may have seen some pictures on instagram of our gutted guest bathroom. Its a bathroom that we never really use, but when we have a new human in the house its gonna get constant use. Our 100 year old home was remodeled about ten years ago, during the housing boom and it was done very sloppily. You know that we already changed some of the flow of the house, and pimped our kitchen a little bit. But aside from that and some basic things like installing insulation we haven't done too much. (Well, we updated the facade, and created a deck off of the bedroom, so I guess I lie).

I thought I would show you my ideas that I have for the space, since I kind of like to decide things as I go. I chose 4" white tiles, to be laid in a brick pattern like this because it was like practically free.



My very favorite feature is the blue grout! I saw yellow grout somewhere recently and it really got my wheels spinning. I decided that since this bathroom has no tile accent colors, that I could kick in some  colored grout and it would be playful and fun! I chose Ocean Blue grout from Custom Grout. but of course that might change b/c I haven't actually seeeen it yet.


So, blue grout on the walls, and then very dark grey grout on the floor. I bought these same hex tiles. Also because of how cheap they were: like 3usd a square foot from Floor and Decor. I went to a fancy kitchen and bath place that wanted 13usd for the exact same tile per square foot. C'mon Son!


I had bought an Ikea vanity b/c I thought I had to sacrifice what I wanted for more storage. But then I realized screw it. I wanted a pedestal sink so I bought one, and returned the ikea sink/faucet. You know what? I have learned that I regret decisions that I make because I think its what I am supposed to do. Instead I have decided to do what I want and trust myself. I got a medicine cabinet to go over it. (I have no.freaking.idea why med. cabinets are so expensive. I really don't get it. )


I bought this faucet.



Yeah, I just bought all chrome hardware. I didn't really want to deal with trying to match finishes and all that crap. I like the brass look but its a bit too allovertheplace right now for my taste. 

PS. My dream shower curtain. I can't bring myself to spend this, but dude! Where else am I gonna be able to use this fabric? I am like yearning for it! I should probably use it somewhere when I don't need 3 yards of that shit. Dayum, that is expensive! The price has gone up at Just Scandinavian too :(

Tile is happening today! They assure me that the bathroom will be finished by Friday but I don't believe that! They will have to put back the pooper and the sink and all that noise. We are having a party for O's 40th on Saturday, and I suspect that our friends will be peeing all over the place in our bathroom. It will be like college again I guess. Why does everything have to happen all at once? There is never a convenient time to do a remodel at your house, its just a freaking mess! But its worth it for the end result. I am just dreaming of the day when it is all done, and clean and I get to just bask in the glory of many good decisions. Send me positive energy though cuz lordy I need to just be at the beach right now!

Sunday, June 22

They Don't Have Any Proof



New painting in the store today! 48x60 "They Just Don't Have Any Proof." 

I had so much fun painting this, my friend Erin says its a perfect synthesis of my abstraction style and geometric style. Y'all know how much I love geometric, linear and graphic shapes. Sometimes I try to be restrained and just make clean shapes but then I can't control myself and I have to scribble or I will scream! Its a metaphor for life peeps. I just am having a lot of fun having this painting in the studio. I will be sad when she sells.

Saturday, June 14

Ashley Westrich Wedding with my Wise Math painting

So like two years or so ago, a graphic designer named Ashley Westrich contacted because she wanted to use my Wise Math painting for her wedding invites. I said sure thang, she made super pretty invites and collateral for her super cute wedding, pictures were taken then New York Magazine Weddings picked it up, and now I am blogging about it. Circle of life friends. 




The rest of the wedding is super pretty too! Love her dress, and the table settings too. How cute are they!



I wanna go! pouty face.


Beautiful dress, looks like she chose the perfect silhouette for her shape and style. I can see from this pic that she chose the Wyeth Hotel to get ready, loooove that wall paper.


I officially need to get my mitts on a gold cake now! Also three piece suit, way to go Mr. husband. Also also, that bought has anemones in it: bonkers. Thank you Ashley for doing Wise Math proud, thank you for being such a great client, and for keeping up with me and showing me how your wedding turned out!



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