Monday, September 17, 2012

I Want Candy!

I'm super excited to announce, at long last, the arrival of my very first full scale vinyl toy, a precious few of which have traversed the seas to my doorstep, and are now available in my shoppe! I Want Candy, the first in a series of three Sundae Girls dolls to be released by the inimitable Necessaries Toy Foundation, is limited to an edition of 500 worldwide, was sculpted by the always awesome Dave Pressler, stands at nearly fourteen inches tall with five points of articulation for cute poses galore, and comes packaged in a fancy mini spot-varnished dollhouse box!
As the product of a near legendary six plus year production cycle, I hope you'll agree she was worth the wait!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pink Skies, Lavender Lava and Fools Gold...

Happy first day of Summer everyone!

Here's a sneak peek at the latest Screaming Mimis ad, with both backdrop and palette loosely inspired by the work of mid-century abstract artist (and founding editor of Artforum magazine) Arthur Secunda: whose awe-inspiring torn paper collages Jeff and I spotted for the first time at the Palm Springs Art Museum and have been in love with ever since.

Those perfect desert colors, dusky pinks, soft sands, and silvery shadows, are so dreamy and so elusive that I probably have thousands of swatches in my color libraries, so it was especially fun to sift through them all to try to capture the ever-so-fleeting tones of magic hour in the high desert!

Summer adventure wise, in what has now become basically an annual tradition of life-imitating-art-imitating-imaginary-adventures we were actually semi-coincidentally packing up the wagon and setting sail for the high deserts of Eastern Oregon pretty much the minute after I dashed the ad off to print...

On the itinerary: teepee camping, tumbleweed spotting, bird watching, scout guide assisted campfire building, sandy picnics, ghost towns, petrified forests, and, at the very top of our sightseeing list, the Painted Hills at the John Day Fossil Beds. Every section of the park has a different color winding through the landscape, from the aqua blue craters that looked like the surface of the moon to soft rolling pink and green hills that looked like something out of a 1920s German fairytale, to my personal favorite, the tiny psychedelic pink, orange, and lilac volcanic mountain-scapes that were almost too otherworldly to comprehend:

I'm so beyond obsessed with even the very idea of the lavender rhyolitic lava in that last shot that I still can't stop thinking about it, and we took a mini detour at every roadside rock shoppe in hopes of finding a tiny souvenir. Instead, we ended up with a bit of a geology bug, big chunks of pyrite, rose quartz and petrified wood cluttering up every surface of the house, and giant boulders of all of the above at the top of our wishlist for future landscaping plans. Oops.

We're already hatching plans for another high desert adventure later in the summer, in hopes of finding both the hot springs and the wild horses that eluded us this time around and taking so, so many more pictures of pretty, pretty rocks!

As always, there are oh so many more photos over at Instagram, along with the usual rotation of pottery adventures, cat portraits and new plant friends!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Les miaou miaous...

Happy first days of Spring everyone! We've had a few little strings of perfect days so far, complete with botanical garden picnics, iced chai and short sleeves, but now that it's officially real life Springtime, the weather in Portland, as it is wont to do, has reset to freezing rain and hail. Siiigh. Soo I'm spending the day tucked away indoors, warm and cozy, drawing cats, cats, cats for a cute upcoming project, which reminds me that if we're not acquainted on twitter or instagram you may not have met some of the newest members of our household, who I've been meaning to post about forevvver!

Almost a year ago to the day, we adopted this little ragamuffin, Uschi: quite possibly the worlds cutest feral Persian kitten, from the lovely Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood. She was found wandering the streets of Portland with a hurt paw, a kitty flu, and her fur all in mats, but we kind of knew she was the one and basically stalked the shelter, calling to check on her progress daily, until she was ready to adopt. We thought she might take a while to warm up to us, but she was almost immediately super cuddly, full of purrs and super excited to have a whole house full of cozy nap spots and sunny windowsills: A few months later we decided that she might like a little brother, and adopted this tiny creature, Wolfi: As the proud owner of what may be the tiniest catpaws in the world and weighing in at all of seven pounds, we thought he may have been a teacup kitten, but he's been getting bigger and bigger ever since. He was also semi-feral, and found in the same neighborhood as Uschi, so we were hoping they might be acquainted from their street cat days and be fast friends. It's taken them a while, but they now have a couple of ridiculously cute cat friend rituals, from birdwatching together on the windowsills to their daily mid-morning paw holding catnap: Also part of our new extended family, approximately one million tiny cactus and succulents just waking up from their winter hibernation and growing out of their pots: I enrolled in a ceramics program last Fall, and I think it's safe to say at this point that I'm completely obsessed. The first semester focused on the wheel, so we now have these mini vignettes of tiny hand thrown pottery all over the house, including some super awkward early glazing experiments, but these are probably some of my favorites, made just after our trip to Palm Springs, in an attempt to create teeny tiny replicas of the amazing giant white stoneware planters we spotted outside of practically every mid-century municipal building in Southern California!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Still completely obsessed with the work of Helen Pashgian, as seen in these photos, taken by Jeff on our epic Southern California art adventure last Fall:

Happy Spring!

I can't resist making a quick post to share the latest version of the Screaming Mimis ad, due out in April, starring one of my all time favorite Spring color combos, melon-y pink and dusty mint!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

L. ❤. V. E.

Happy Valentines Day!
Here's a sneak peek at this years Screaming Mimis card:

You can also check out the Spring Fashion issue of Paper Magazine for a lavender, dusty rose, and lemon chiffon springtime garden party version, which should be on newsstands any day now!

Inspired in equal parts by the Cecil Beaton and the Bright Young Things:
The paintings of Romaine Brooks:
And the fact that I've spent nearly the entirety of 2012 thus far watching practically nothing but Busby Berkeley musicals, as an antidote to both a persistent case of general ennui and an unexpectedly long recovery from a troublesome wisdom tooth operation, and I really couldn't have asked for a better prescription!

Here are a few of my favorite ultra kaleidoscopic musical numbers so far:
Hope you're all having a magical day so far! We'll most likely be found curled up on the couch with the kittens, reveling in more Busby Berkeley, and dining on fancy mashed potatoes, wild mushroom soup and ice cream sundaes, all of which sounds just about perfect to me! Meow!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Deck the Halls!

Just popping in for a quick post to share the latest Screaming Mimis ad! I spent a few weekends in a row scouring antique malls for the perfect vintage ornaments to draw (Yes, this is how I do my research!) and of course stumbled on oh-so-many that were just too cute to leave behind, so one thing led to another and we're now enjoying the warm sparkly glow our first ever Xmas tree! PS. You still have a few days to pop in to the Creative Growth Pop-Up Shop at Screaming Mimis for amaaazing stocking stuffers, one of a kind handmade ornaments, and a certain cat sweatshirt that is definitely on my wishlist!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Joyeux Anniversaire!

Jeff and I rang in our 10th anniversary last month with a quick visit to one of our all time favorite and most sorely missed places of all time, Palm Springs!

Since our anniversary falls on the same week as Thanksgiving (Yes, I was originally wooed with leftover mashed potatoes!) we usually tend to stick close to home to avoid the nightmare of holiday travel, but this occasion seemed way too momentous not to celebrate properly, plus we've both been down with a touch of the sads this early winter and kind of needed a getaway, so we decided to scrape some pennies together and head for the suuun! Yes, we did end up on perpetually delayed flights full of screaming children, and got to spend the night in the SF airport on the way home, but it was absolutely worth it!

We were luckily able to snap up some really great off season rates, and spent our first night at the ridiculously cute Jonathan Adler designed Parker Palm Springs where we were upgraded to a patio room, and accidentally greeted with the cute dessert platter and champagne on ice arranged for the rooms previous occupants, so we were off to a pretty good start! We booked the Glutton's Delight, which was utterly silly and absolutely amazing all at once, basically a race to fit in as many super decadent meals as possible to make sure we used every last shred of our food credit over the course of 24 hours, which we managed to do, and then some, just under the wire! We had an absurd amount of food, including dinner at the super fabulous Mr Parker's (Where they also make a mean Old Fashioned!) surrounded by twinkly low lights and an amazing in-house art collection, a super fancy early morning coffee service for two and an extra extravagant mimosa soaked and candied fruit bedecked room service brunch on our sun-drenched mini patio just before check out time!

Here are a few snapshots from our stay, mostly via my beloved Instagram:
And a few slightly more epic vistas via the Parker website:
We spent the next couple of nights at the slightly more budget conscious (Thank you!) but equally adorable Ace Hotel & Swim Club where we pretty much instantly fell into full relaxation mode (and possibly slightly delayed food comas), lounging by the saltwater pool with our morning coffees, watching the crazy pink sun rise over the mountains, swanning to and from the hot tub in their cult-y robes and napping by the cute patio fireplace at dusk. Sooo perfect!
We also went on a ton of mini nature adventures around Palm Springs, like hopping the Aerial Tram up into the snowy mountaintops at sunset, hiking up to the Indian Canyons palm tree oasis, and visiting one of my new favorite places in all of Southern California, the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium, where I took so, so many photos of super rare cacti and succulents that it led to a mass exodus of my Instagram followers! Little do they know, I actually took a few hundred more on another camera, so here are a few of those too: And of course we had to run through practically every antique store in town, leading to a) maybe a new picker job spotting cute NW specific goods for one of the cutest shops in town, and b) my new all out obsession with the Ib Arborg Parrot Chair:
On our way out of town, we stopped in at the Palm Springs Art Museum for their awesome 60s and 70s Geometric Abstraction show, including my all time favorite early Judy Chicago, Rainbow Picket, a great Helen Frankenthaler (See below!) and a piece from one of Jeff's recent faves, Piero Dorazio. The museum itself, designed by Palm Springs architect E. Stewart Williams (See here for an adorable story about a jaunty sailor cap adorned Frank Sinatra commissioning his fancy new abode from him whilst enjoying an ice cream cone!) is an absolute mid-century modern gem (This blog has some great interior shots, including the perfectly 1974 tangerine orange restrooms!) and totally worthy of a visit all on it's own, complete with the original decor including the Panton-esque tangerine and olive carpets and a majestic poured concrete grand stairwell with what could only be the largest Sputnik Starburst chandelier all of the land: This stop kicked off the agenda for the rest of our trip, which mostly involved seeing as many of the Pacific Standard Time shows as humanly possible over the course of a few short days in a crazy whirlwind of nonstop art! I think I've discussed my obsession with Postwar California art movements here before, and the Pacific Standard Time initiative, spearheaded by the Getty Foundation, with the participation of 120+ other museums and galleries all across Southern California, just so happened to be a totally unprecedented convergence of absolutely all of my favorite art of all time, and most of the shows we had been dying to see just so happened to coincide with our trip, so we definitely couldn't pass up this possibly once in a lifetime opportunity to see it all in person! If you happen to be in, or are going to be in Southern California anytime soon, I would definitely, definitely recommend it! Here are a few of the highlights from the rest of our trip, in no particular order:

The flagship Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950–1970 exhibition, amazing Greetings from LA, Artists and Publics, 1950-1980 ephemera show, and De Wain Valentine's Gray Column at the Getty! Here are our reflections in Gray Column as shot by Jeff, and a few of the smaller companion pieces in the show: Sage Organic Vegan Bistro cashew alfredo spinach basil raviolis, KindKreme honey chai / salted caramel raw brownie sundaes, telekinetic teen movie slumber parties and apple / champagne cocktails with one of our oldest and bestest mutual friends!

Discovering new favorite artists like Helen Pashgian, whose impossibly luminous resin pieces were on show both at the Ace Gallery Beverly Hills (Along with some early De Wain Valentine's!) and represented by a piece or two in most of the major museum shows; and new super fave Terry O'Shea at Cardwell Jimmerson whose dark, organic, and extra-smartassy work, despite also being cast resin based, was in a league all its own compared to the super glossy and super serious work of his contemporaries (Don't miss the story about how he "donated" a requested piece to LACMA by chucking it over the fence into the tar pits!)

Daily smoothies and a free Thanksgiving lunch buffet alongside Weird Al and tons of cute LA raw foodies at Cafe Gratitude, followed by chasing peacocks at the LA Arboretum and amazing vegan Chinese Thanksgiving dinner out in the Valley, via an unexpectedly awesome Yelp recommendation!

Basically the entirety of Phenomenal, the epic Light and Spaaace show at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, including tons of mind-bending James Turrell light wells, Robert Irwin, John McCracken, and my favorite Craig Kauffman, followed by fresh caught cute surf shack lobster chimichangas in La Jolla and a long drive up the coast at sunset!

The amazing ASCO retrospective (Imagine the Cockettes meets super tough proto-punk bubblegum performance art troupe meets renegade Echo Park urban planning committee!), the California Design show (Including a full scale replica of the Eames House living room!), and the Broad Contemporary at LACMA!

Kenneth Anger Icons and Under the Big Black Sun at MOCA!

Golden State of Craft at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, mostly featuring works from the Pasadena Art Museum's California Design exhibitions, whose catalogs are some of the most prized books in my collection! Here we are defying the strict no photos rule (Sorry guys!) to sneak a quick shot next to Pamela Weir-Quiton's Georgie Girl, which is not only probably my favorite piece in the entire California Design series, but one of my favorite things ever made in general: Finding the softest, slouchiest vintage Russian sailor shirt to end all vintage Russian sailor shirts at the impeccably curated Mohawk General Store, super extra discounted United Bamboo cat calendars at Opening Ceremony, and a super thematically appropriate mini collection of amateur resin art from our favorite semi-overpriced but always amazing LA antique mall on our way to the airport!

All in all, basically the best anniversary ever!

Here's to many, many more!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Into the Trees...

Happy waning days of Fall everyone!

I started this post at the first tiny flutters of fall-hued leaves, when I was absolutely ecstatic about daily sweater weather, blustery days and hot cocoa times, ready for foggy days at the shore and for the squrrels that live in our chimney to don their tiny acorn hats. The time has been slipping away like crazy ever since and I'm finally posting just as the first frosts set in, while the sun sets at the extremely untimely, forever surprising and ever-such-a-bummer hour of four o'clock in the afternoon.

In any case, I didn't want to wait until the first snowdrifts to share the Fall Screaming Mimis ad, inspired partly by Laura and Kim's epic West Coast road trip, partly by legendary 70s California rock climbers The Stonemasters:

and partly by our mutual obsessions with vintage canteens!

Not to be outdone by my own illustration of the perfect imaginary camping trip, Jeff and I cobbled together a last minute itinerary built around a friends magical woodland wedding in Arcata and set off on our own dreamy early Fall impromptu wander of the Northern California and Oregon coastlines:
Despite being armed only with a few scrawled post-it lists of hastily researched campsites, a couple of vague sightseeing recommendations, a recently acquired super cute though not-terribly-mechanically-sound future veggie oil powered station wagon, a list of camping supplies that consisted, in its entirely, of 1) marshmallows and 2) fire, and a borrowed tent that resulted in a comedy of errors the first time we tried to set it up, or maybe even partly because of those things, we kind of had the best trip ever, an absolutely epic ramble through some of the most amazing landscapes the West Coast has to offer!

Here I am, wayfinding, as snapped by Jeff:
After a mini inland detour for a quick peek at the Oregon Caves and Chateau, a Wildlife Safari and hopeful but sadly not-to-be Treesort adventure (Note to future wanderers, the treehouses are sometimes booked up to a year in advance!) we decamped to the coast for a few days of beachcombing in Humboldt County, whiling away the hours along a few of my new favorite shorelines in the world, watching the surf from a redwood lined perch at Moonstone Beach and barely making it back up the cliff to camp at dusk weighed down with every pocket full of insanely beautiful rocks, gemstones, and petrified driftwood via Agate Beach at Patrick's Point State Park.

Here's Jeff, hobo camping at Moonstone Beach, as snapped by me: We saw a million giant trees, veered off on every scenic highway and byway, and hiked through a million ancient forests and fern lined canyons. A few of our absolute favorite spots in the Redwoods were Fern Canyon, the Big Tree Wayside, and Ladybird Johnson Grove, but I would love love love to hear about more secret spots and local favorites for next time! Of course, we also had to pull off at literally every single tourist attraction along the way, from a quick stop to visit Paul Bunyan at the Trees of Mystery to new favorites the Prehistoric Gardens and the West Coast Game Park Safari, reported to be the largest wild animal free range petting zoo in the country, where we had an extended hangout with the cutest herd of baby deer, got chased around by angry swans and had all of our clothes gnawed on by tiny Satanic goats, which was maybe kind of the best thing ever?

Here I am posing for the classic tourist shot at the Prehistoric Gardens:
Since this recap has just barely crept across the Oregon border, I should probably save the rest for another time. Stay tuned for foggy cliffs, baby seals, deco bridges, neon tidepools, clam chowder and lots and lots of antiques!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

California Dreaming...

Happy first day of summer everyone!

The mailman just arrived at our doorstep bearing the Summer issue of Paper Magazine, containing my latest ad for Screaming Mimis, which was ever so loosely inspired, in both subject matter and palette, by the dreamy impressionist boating scenes of 1930s California artist Edward Cucuel:

all of which make me hope for at least a few sunny afternoons spent floating down a lazy river this summer, parasols, straw hats and tiny tea sandwiches in tow. In the meantime you can find me doodling away in our new backyard, which is currently a meadow of buttercups, lounging on our newly estate sale begotten and freshly lemon yellow spray painted patio set with a homemade meyer lemon simple syrup italian soda, my new summer beverage obsession!