Thursday, December 11

Pinterest Rando Cozy English Charm meets Cali baby

Just a random mood board for what I wish my life looked like right this second.

Wednesday, December 10

Sally King Benedict : New Website

I just love Sally's new website, her style is so eye catching. Its like finding the most perfect vintage piece of art you could ever hope to find. I am totally in love, like just lusting after this piece.

I think its always smart to have a shop where customers can buy what they like right when they see it! I get so bummed out when I love an artist but can't buy something right away, and I have to contact them, and usually they take a while to get back to me, and then its actually already sold. blah blah. I love that you can find something you love, and then buy it right up! Way to go Sally!

Another piece that I love:

also this:

Tuesday, December 9

Thank you

I am alone in the studio today, drinking coffee and listening to podcasts while I build boxes for the millions of paintings that you guys bought yesterday. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love. For those of you who are not subscribed to my newsletter, you have until midnight tonight to get either free shipping, or 30% off.

30% off: HOLIDAYS30
Free shipping (hint, large paintings): FREESHIPPINGFORME

I was kinda worried about not being able to work as much as I wanted once I had a child. So far it hasn't been bad at all, some days I get anxious because I have ideas in my brain that I don't have time to hash out right then and there, but for the most part time away from work always makes my painting better. My buddy Sally told me not to worry, that I would still have time to work but I kind of didn't believe her! How has it been for you?

In other news, I have been working on portraits for years. I have some that are ten years old in my studio, waiting to be brought out and loved on again. I am thinking maybe doing a show of just portraits? What do you think? You will notice some faces and body parts start to end up in my paintings, just a heads (hahah) up.

Sunday, December 7

New Small Paintings in the shop

There are all kinds of new paintings in the shop today! I kind of didn't want to do the whole Cyber Monday or Black Friday thing because they annoy me. I think that weekend is for being with family and not buying stuff. But thats just me I guess.

If you follow me on instagram, and you should. You really should. You know that right now I have a discount code for 25% off! Enter "hohoho2014" to get your sale price. I was going to make the discount code iamahohoho, but I thought that would be rude.

When I feel. 18x18 acrylic, oil, soft pastel on canvas 275usd.

There is still so much time left before THE HOLIDAY(S). Plenty of time to get your painting to you or a loved one, even a large painting.

Lets Meet Half Way. 16x20 acrylic, oil, graphite, soft pastel on canvas. 275usd.
Ever since I became a mom, my desire to do exactly what I feel in my gut has strengthened so much. I just have to make a million decisions all the time based only on what I feel to be right, since I am a first time mom with zero experience. This has really seeped into my work! I am more impulsive and really believe in the marks I make, and really love subtle texture over bold color. Even though, color is awesome!

That Little French Place. 16x20 acrylic, oil, graphite and soft pastel on canvas. 275usd.

I Think You Will,  is 24x24 inches, acrylic oil, soft pastel and graphite on canvas. 500usd.

Lipstick Disco 36x48 acrylic, oil, graphite, soft pastel, oil pastel on canvas. 1800usd.

There are a lot, and even more are going into the store this evening. If you are signed up to my newsletter you will get a nice little greeting in your inbox tomorrow morning with a very nice holiday sale. I am not sure yet exactly what I will offer, but it will be exclusive to newsletter subscribers, that I know for sure.

Wednesday, November 19

New York, then Seattle baby! Also, cute baby right?

Being a mommy to Alia has been so much fun! I am finally starting to figure out how to accomplish other things besides bottles, burping and swaddling. I am painting again, and trying to get some ideas going for the holidays. This is going to be my least prepared holiday season ever, but I think I can hack it. November is one of my favorite times of the year. It gets actually chilly in Atlanta, and I am a girl who likes a brisk day. Below is me excited that its cold outside.

Plus, the 15th is our wedding anniversary and we always go to New York to be alone together in one of our happy places. I didn't make a big deal of it this year, making reservations and planning an attack rout for museums I must see. Basically we didn't do very much at all except for cuddle, drink hot toddies, walk around, buy some glasses, have cozy dinners in sweet West Village eateries, and eat breakfast in bed. 

Today is so chilly and I don't have to go anywhere! O is out of town for his yearly trade show shenanegans and what does that mean for me? The house was spotless by 7am because its the first thing I do when he leaves. Clean everything up and put it just how I like it, no one is going to mess it up until he gets home with his lovable tornado-mess way. Alia is sleeping (I just jinxed it, of course) and I am painting in my home studio and taking breaks between spurts of work to get the ball rolling on an adventure that we decided on in New York!

We are going to spend the summer in Seattle.  Just the summer, we aren't moving but its time to start taking advantage of our freedom before Alia has to go to school, or something like that. We will see what comes of that when the time comes. But for now, I can't wait to explore Seattle and see friends, make new friends and just be together having an adventure as a family.

I couldn't help myself, and decided to start checking out some spots for the summer. I fell in love with this cozy little house and I imagine myself painting in that patio every day! What do you think?

Friday, October 17

Channeling my creativity

This morning I woke up so energized. It helps that on Wednesday through Friday we have either my mom, Mercedes, or O's mom Linda staying with us. They graciously take the night and early morning feedings and we sleep in until 9 or 10am. Sheer bliss. I really wanted to get up and just clean the house, cook and take care of Alia. This has been pretty much my every day desire. I realized all of a sudden that its just a re-channeling of my creative energy since I am not really painting too much right now. Usually I have to paint most days, but I have set up my business to create passive income (you know, licensing and stuffing my galleries and retailers with paintings so they can be selling and generating income while I take my maternity leave). I have not been feeling stressed out about not creating new work to sell. I know that time will come, and it will feel magical to flex my painting muscles. But for now I am so happy to be puttering around the house.

This is the room that started me thinking about a dark children's bedroom. I went to check out this paint "Cooled Lava by Benjamin Moore" but its bleck in Alia's room. I love the low light, the way the green goes against the wall color, the art and the trim on the walls. 

One creative project that I am excited about at home is Alia's room. So far I just have inspiration images, and I am almost decided on a paint color. Her room is tricky because it is very dark, it has one window that doesn't really let in much sunlight. The rest of our house is flooded in light.

Alias Room:

1. It is large, with tall ceilings. 13x13 feet, plus 10ft. ceilings.
2. Low natural light, one window.
3. Very old floors that are drafty and rough under foot.
4. Has very good temperature control. Cool in the summer, and toasty in the winter.
5. Tucked away in the house, so it has good noise buffering.

I am looking forward to showing you photos once I get her room going!
Here is what I think so far:

1. Flor carpet tiles. We used then in our office and it is amazing how cozy it is. I like using this insulation layer first, then use the Flor tiles over it. This pattern.

2. Wall color. I have been seduced by many colors, and spent way too much on sample pots (that I use in my paintings anyway, so I just don't worry about that). I am pretty sure its going to be either Farrow and Ball Pelt, or Brinjal



Brinjal is more burgundy, and Pelt is more purple. Like I said the room is dark, so I maintain that a dark paint is in order! I think these photos show that bright colors, as you often find in children's rooms will pop and actually look amazing against a dark wall:

So the theme for her room is victorian darkness and moodiness (layers, rich textiles, dark walls, vintage furniture, plants) with pops of bright colors and shapes (think chartreuse lampshades, geometric art, more funky art that you might not expect for a child's room).

Tomorrow my trusty contractor, Scott is coming over to build a cabinet/thingy not sure exactly yet for a murphy bed that we bought a almost a year ago! I think its a good idea to make Alias room also a guest room. Its where our moms sleep when they visit, and when Alia is older, and we have a guest come for a while she can sleep in our room and our guest will have a nice room, right next to their own bathroom. When we don't need the bed in that room, it will be up and look like a cabinet! I personally think murphy beds are genius and now that we have our old queen size Temperpidic mattress hanging around since we upgraded to a king, it will be a comfortable, roomy bed too.

Have you seen any dark children's bedrooms that you like?

Monday, October 13

Pictures of us! Everyone Look! teehee

Our generous friend Josh, who happens to be a badass professional photographer came over to take some pictures of us a few weeks ago so that they could make us a sweet book for our baby shower. Josh and his wife Shari are some of our dearest friends and we love them to bits. I have to know and genuinely like the person taking pictures of me, or else I kind of look stern or distant. We laughed a lot during this session, but I guess I kind of laugh constantly when I am with my friends so that makes sense hm. You wanna see? Sure you do.

They have eyes only for each other.

My friend described her look as "impish" Perfect!

Its hilarious to me when she cries because we kiss her.

Mommy and daughter have matching side burns!

Family time. So sweet. Also, yet another opportunity for you to scope out what is in my nose! Which luckily is nothing, this time.

I love how O looks totally disoriented in this one.

Baby feet are delicious. Obv.

Seriously I love her feet.

Miss Snuggle Button.

So sweet to see your husband with your child. Am I right ladies?

"Mommy, why do you always laugh when I cry?" hmmmm, "because you cry for no reason, and its so dramatic, and its funny dear daughter."

Sunday, September 28

Adoption Update: Meet Alia Mercedes

If you follow me on instagram then you have been seeing some photos of Alia and also some boring stuff like my toilet. Hot right? I am not painting right now, or going to the studio much, so I don't have sexy painting photos to post. Time is flying and I will be back to work soon, but right now this is just fun as getout.

In the hospital room moments after she was born.

Alia Mercedes was born on Sunday September 7th at 8:30am. We got a call that Saturday night at midnight from our birthmother who was in labor. We took her to the hospital and after several hours they put her in a room and we got to hang with her and sleep there with her. She was so strong and brave. They admitted other women in front of her because they were being so vocal about their pain while our sweet birthmother was grimacing in silence and by the time they got her into a room and checked her she was four centimeters. She only pushed twice to get Alia out and I was right there and watched it happen. It was amazing to see her born, to cut her umbilical cord and to hold her and feed her within a few minutes of her being born! I was sort of in shock. At one moment O puts his hand on her tummy and leaned in an whispered "welcome to our team sweet Alia." It totally made me cry. She stayed in the NICU for 48 hours until she was cleared to come home with us. It has been a whirlwind of visits since then, everyone I have ever known (it feels like) has come over to see her, hold her, give us sweet gifts and share our joy. My mom has been staying with us a few days a week and that has been so nice because she is an expert with babies and she is fun to have around because we laugh a lot. 

When I was an adolescent my mom took care of infants at home, and I babysat a lot for them on the weekends. I had completely forgotten about that part of my life but it all came back to me as soon as I looked down at her and put her first onsie on. I am comfortable with babies! I totally forgot about that. I have fed, burped, changed, bathed, soothed, played with and everything in between babies of many ages before. Oh yeah! I remember how to do this! Suweet. Doing all of these things with Alia is more fun because even her cry is sweet to me. 

Our ten day waiting period for birth mother revocation has passed and we are so happy that we are running smoothly along to our court date (sometime in the next couple of months). The court date will be the final step, and Alia will be totally ours, with O's last name and everything. 

Baby feet! So expressive and adorable. 

Alia is so adorable, and we are bonding so well. She makes sweet cooing and squealing noises all the time. Loves her passy, loves to be swaddled, loves to eat and really loves to snuggle up in a solly wrap and take a little stroll. She isn't sure about bath time but she loves the drying off part of the bath. I read Moms on Call in two seconds and I am following the process. So far she eats at 9pm, 3am and 7am. If you aren't a mom then you really don't care, but I have learned that other moms really want to talk about this kind of stuff. Hilarious. We have a pack and play while we wait for a friend to give us their crib, we have one of those rock and something things that she loves (but I don't love because it is made from a flammable, not breathable fabric. What? Babies sleep in that thing guys!)

So when Alia was at the hospital they fed her Similac. I wanted to feed her a more natural, organic formula but when I did research on them I was really worried by what I found. There are so many scary, very not good things in even the best quality organic formulas. Now, I don't judge any mom who feeds her baby a regular formula or anything really. You gotta get that baby fed man, I get it. But Alia smelled so bad when she was drinking Similac. I changed diaper brands, wipe brands, shampoo, detergent. Nothing made her smell better. She didn't have that sweet baby smell, she had a "I am sweating out a bunch of toxins" smell. I can't afford to buy donor breast milk (800usd a week, on average for this age).

I know its blurry, but I love her face so much!
So I ordered some Hipp formula from the UK because they have much stricter regulations on food there and I read that it would be a good choice but it took so long to arrive (even though I spent 50usd to expedite shipping) that we were sort of stuck so I did some googling and I found a homemade recipe using cow's milk here. I spoke with our pediatrician and she says we can go for it, since we are modifying the milk to make it more digestible but I am telling you guys all of this to see if any of you have made your own formula? Note: I am not using raw milk, only organic, grass fed, batch pasteurized. I know this might seem so ridiculously overly ambitious for a new mom to try, but it is actually pretty easy to make and prepare. Keep in mind that due to my gut issues I have become very adept at making special concoctions, being hyper vigilant about ingredients, I am used to not being able to eat or drink convenient, "normal" foods and making her formula seems very easy to me compared to all of the very involved diets I have tried on myself over the years. 

She is covered in hair, even her ears are hairy! Its cute and it will fall off eventually. I hope "hairy forehead" is not here to stay. She takes the unibrow to a whole new level right?

So moms. What formulas do you use? Have you ever made your own formula? I really wish I could give her breast milk, but I just don't have access to it. I wish that it were more socially acceptable to share milk but whateves. I can only do my best. Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments and emails. I appreciate you all, even if I didn't personally reply to you, I smiled when I read them. 

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