Friday, December 16, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

and so am I.

I love this sketchbook by Danielle Kroll that was featured on Book by Its Cover.
Her wonderful use of color, technique and pattern have just brightened my day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

it's the Holidays again!

It's the holidays again, and I have some swell cards in the shop that would be perfect to send to all your people.

This is one of the brand new designs, designed cause cardinals are awesome, and I miss them like crazy.

These warm wishes were printed on thick soft paper, handmade in my studio from bits of scrap paper. I absolutely love the texture of the paper, and the way it prints and folds. (Expect more handmade paper cards in the shop!)

Still one of my all-time favorites, I have to admit I prefer the version with the honest sentiment on the inside ("Hope you survive.")

This year I revisited the Joy in Plaid card with cool green and blue ink.

I'm sure one of these would suit you just fine. I'm gonna be sending out millions!

Be Happy and Keep Warm!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

this one's owlsome.

Owl Lover 2012 Calendar

This link courtesy of Rachel.
Thanks, bud!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How Awesome this is!

What a great idea!

This is the best Recipe Book- and I am very modest.

No really, I am!

But seriously, I am really excited with how these turned out. The Adobe Reader templates make it easy to make all of your recipes beautiful-- and how great is it to print them out for everyone to see? (Gift for family, check.)

I am going to put up more information and photos on I hope that everyone will share a recipe or two.

In addition to the springy blues and greens, I designed one in autumn squash colors.

Each book has two options- one with a convenient USB Flash Drive to store all you best recipes, and one without. To buy one for yourself or someone awesome, visit the recipe section of my etsy store, (so there.)

I can't wait to put one together for myself!

Friday, November 11, 2011

I kinda love these....

sneak peak.

Here's a sneak peak at what I've been pouring over (no pun intended.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I live in a beautiful place.

This is your reward for reading my rant; photos from Crystal Mountain and Mt. Ranier (both within an hour or so of my house.) This place is gorgeous, yo.

Trip on August 21, 2011 with Seri and Marty.

it's a rant.

There are some blogs I read for no real reason whatsoever. Dooce is one of those, but when I read her story today, I felt the need to rant.

What better place to rant than my own site!?!?

I have been astonished, repeatedly, by poor customer service everywhere. I worked in retail for many years, and still found the energy to smile when someone walked through the door. No really, it wasn't even that hard. You don't have to pester people with service, just look at them, smile, and say something to let them know you see them. There are several place in the area that I actively avoid because as soon as I walk through the door I am glared at. (For my part I try to practice good customer-service service, I smile, make eye contact, and thank them for everything. I don't talk on my cell phone in a small store, and I never use it at a register. When I get flustered at checkout, I make some joke about being all thumbs, and apologize.) There's a serviceable coffee place in Issaquah, for instance, and the girls at the register NEVER SMILE. (This might be a handicap that I am being extremely insensitive to.)

The result of this overwhelming grumpiness is that I am actually AMAZED when I get someone friendly. We fly Akaska Airlines for several reasons; one of them being that the flight attendants actually seem to enjoy their jobs. (I have good stories about a few other Airlines; like the time one of the attendants was seated facing us and spent the whole flight lecturing us on how hard they worked and how all the people on board were spoiled by cheap flights.... etc etc. It was not a pleasant flight as I tried my best not to argue or ask her to stop griping at me. I smiled instead... it hurt.) Ask Patrick how many times I've walked out of a store saying "Well, they were nice!" simply because they tried for a few seconds to be helpful.

Of course, all of this is the result of a loss of courtesy across the board. When Patrick was injured and on crutches (broken hip) we had the displeasure of taking public transportation a few times, including a shuttle from the DFW airport during which NOT ONE PERSON STOOD UP TO LET HIM SIT DOWN. Angry Alison emerged (as tends to happen when you have mistreated one of her people) and passive aggressively glared at the people sitting underneath the "These seats reserved for those with handicaps and the elderly." One rider (also standing) mentioned loudly that "SOMEONE SHOULD GET UP AND LET THAT YOUNG MAN SIT DOWN" and I replied "Thank you for noticing, obviously they do not care to." I may or may not have smacked a few of the sitters accidentally with my suitcase. (It wasn't my fault, I had to deal with them all, and help my husband balance.)

On a brighter and somewhat related note, I'm ready to go full steam towards opening the (so, there.) shop space; which will feature amazing customer service because everyone deserves to be treated well. Inner Alison is super excited- Organized Alison is a little overwhelmed- and Positive-thinking Alison is telling you this as motivation to get it done.

Here're some pretty pictures. Thanks for hanging in!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I might also need these....

Some of you might know I'm a little nuts about Andrew Bird. A few months ago I watched his performance on ACL, and I'm dying to see him live now.

Patrick thinks I should get a couple of these custom speakers. What do you think?

I need this....

Isn't it amazing????~?~?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

we had a crafty day (in the sense that we were cunning.)

I've been trying to pack in as many crafty get-togethers as I can into the end of the summer. We had an awesome paper making day a couple of weeks ago (that I forgot to photograph), and last weekend Rachel (of Camp Smartypants) and Kat came over for some more fun.

It's tricky for me to let go of my usual "plan everything to death" tendencies. Rachel and Kat can help with that. We got out a bunch of paper scraps- Rachel made some campfire notebooks, and I bound a few things I lovingly named "Uglybooks". (Handmade paper covers, buttons, and old forms and paper on the inside.)

That was nothing compared to the messy fun of tie-dyeing paper.

The paper dyeing was pretty simple, but only worked on tissue paper (none of the other paper we tried was absorbent enough.)

We used liquid watercolors and water in plastic containers for our dye. (Tried food coloring, but it wasn't as awesome.) We tried combinations of folding, and crumpling with rubber bands to hold it all together. My favorite was folding the tissue into one long strip, and then folding it into triangles. I dipped each corner into a different color and held it in while it absorbed the color.

Here's one Rachel did in Rachel colors.

If you are smart, you will wait for the paper to dry (overnight) before you attempt to unfold it. Otherwise it tears into really colorful fringe.

We were warned by professional-tie-dyer-Rachel that we may never have normal looking hands again.

We were then reassured by professional-child-educator-Kat that the watercolors were for kids, she had no permanently dyed children in her class. (Which is good, because we were a mess, and somehow all had blue marks on our right legs/feet.)

(P did not participate in the crafting; but he was very helpful, and didn't grimace at the mess.)

Here is a good example of why you should let the paper dry some. IT'S SO PRETTY but oh so ragged.

I think we had fun. I stole Rachel's idea and started pasting the pages into a journal. They are a beautiful reminder to not forget about color. I definitely plan to do this again- with more planning and patience this time...

Does anyone have any suggestions for an absorbent paper that might work for this?

it's another cat post.

Cooper's name at the shelter was "Goofy." We knew we wouldn't keep it (even though we kept Jovi's) because WHO WOULD NAME A CAT GOOFY? That's so mean.

Sometimes it's clear they had more wisdom than we gave them credit for.

It doesn't get much goofier than laying on your back in the sun, with your tongue hanging out.

Jovi brought her "Looking spooky for Halloween" act over to see what I was doing. Cooper punished her for her interest.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

of resist dye

Just saw this wonderful project over at How About Orange.

I think I'm gonna need to get my hands on some of that Inkodye.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I can still tell it's not real

A recurring theme in my soapbox dialog is computer animated film. Specifically when people try to use computers to make fake things look real. This is one of the reasons I try to limit my attendance at movie theaters. It is literally painful to contain my disdain.

Okay, so I get special effects- but instead of making it over the top, try making it believable. (I keep picturing the floating animals in I Am Legend, which was not the only frustrating thing about that movie. Read the book.) And if you are making a cartoon, MAKE A CARTOON. When you try too hard to make it look "real" all I can do is stare at the details that are just off. (RE: Hair.)

Anyways, to get to the point- check out this eye-blasting wonderful cartoon.

That is all.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

these awesome tiles reminded me of some of my awesome friends.


I just came across these on the Design Crisis blog.

They reminded me of a couple of my very colorful friends... you know who you are.

Friday, August 19, 2011

there's a new bathroom.

So, I've been pretty absent this summer... as I said, I've been busy dealing with this an that, and this is one of the good thats.

or something...

Our house has a daylight basement that we've turned into our bedroom. It all needs work, but the bathoom was the worst.

A narrow little room, made narrower by the smallest shower cubby that exists. Throw in a low suspended ceiling, leaking fixtures, and bubbled vinyl, and voila! You have a bathroom experience that darkens your every morning.

So we ripped it all apart...

moved the wall to cut into the (massive) utility room, and plopped in some new fixtures.

Fixtures that include a massively long tub.

Now I am actually excited to get up and take a shower in the morning. Yay!