Saturday, February 27, 2010



now all i can think about are all the ridiculous hats that have been popular over the centuries. and about how gross it would be to have a cephalapod on your head. my middle son asked, "you wike drawing girls wif octopusses on they heads, don't you?"

"yes," i answered. "yes, i do!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

what's on your mind

what's on your mind

i was on a roll today. 

this is a new take on an old idea of mine--one i tried to paint years ago and the outcome was...atrocious. i decided to give it another go in a different media, and i enjoyed it so much more. this was also inspired by a picture i saw of my friend susan at sea world with a stuffed octopus on her head.

who can say when and how inspiration will strike? usually i get my best ideas at three in the morning.



this is an absolutely ENORMOUS painting. i think it's like 48" x 60" or more. i had so much fun with this just slapping a ridiculous amount of paint on with a palette knife. it was sort of freeing to not meticulously dab on tiny amounts of paint like i'm gonna run out--i've seriously had the same tubes of paint for like SIX YEARS so i don't know why i'm so uptight. 

anyway, it was fun. but i have no idea where i'm supposed to put this huge thing now.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

this might sting a little try not to think about it.
this might sting a little

today was horribly boring. art had to work, and even though that's no different from any other weekday my brain refused to think of it as any other weekday, and instead went in circles all day long: "but it's the weekend! but it's the weekend!"

i don't know why it was so boring. i spent hours and all my physical strength this morning shoveling dirt and then moving said dirt from point A to point B in two hundred pound wheelbarrowsfull. i spent the rest of the day cooking, cleaning, and drawing this...thing...which is my biggest one to date. it took me, um, let's see...the space of two harry potter movies. yep. 

now it's 8:30 and the kids are all bathed and in bed, and yet...i'm still SO BORED. somebody come over and do a little dance for me or something before i go CRAZY!!

hmm...i notice my phone is not ringing off the hook with do-gooders willing to waste some time entertaining a friend. fine. be that way. see if i care.

a quilt for esther

about two weeks ago my friend esther lost her mom. i'm no stranger to pain, but this kind of grief is currently beyond my comprehension. still, i was super bummed for her. the morning after i heard the news i started working on this.

esther's quilt

i guess one of the thoughts behind this was that quilts are comforting. at least to me. nothing makes me feel as nice as wrapping up in a comfy blanket when i'm bummed. and of course, being a person who has a hard time sitting still and doing nothing, and being in a situation where you really can't do anything to help, i had to come up with something. to. do. since i'm kind of a moron when it comes to comforting words, this was my answer.

esther's quilt detail

i really liked the fabrics, and i really liked the effect of only quilting the plain gray fabric. it gives it a weird illusion of depth when you're looking at it. plus i just didn't want the quilting to overwhelm the pretty amy butler fabric.

i admit i was pretty nervous about this. there's always the possibility when making something for someone that they'll hate it, or think you're weird for making something so...i don't know, eloborate? for them. but she seemed to like it so that was good.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

missed connections

if you haven't seen this blog yet, i demand you go there RIGHT NOW. i can't tell you how ridiculously lovely and interesting i find both the illustrations and subject matter. i'm drooling over a few of her prints, so if anyone, y'know, wants to buy me one i'll TOTALLY give you my address.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


it's been a dirty few days for the grigoryev household.

our septic tank has been messed up for the last month, so this weekend my husband decided to dig up half our front yard to put in a new drain field. it was exhausting watching him work. :)  he wouldn't let me help because he didn't want me to give the baby "toxic nasties" (plus i think that as a man he just didn't want his wife digging in poop, which i totally appreciate) so i helped in my own way by making sure there was food and water available for his breaks and stuff. 

awww...look at my little slaves--ahem, i mean men--in training.

that being said, all the outdoor work inspired me to get outdoors myself. for years and years i bemoaned apartment living because you could never be outside really. then we FINALLY get a house and what do i do? find a million things to do INDOORS, of course. tsk tsk. so yesterday i decided to build some raised bed gardens and start planning out my little organic garden. 

i do so enjoy using power tools and playing in dirt, although wielding a shovel is not necessarily my favorite thing ever. these were super simple to make. a few lengths of 2 x 6 lumber, and a few grading stakes all pre-drilled and then assembled with exterior screws. i spray painted around the edges so i could figure out where i wanted them, then dug up the grass. that part was hard. so was finding enough dirt to fill up the big one. i still don't know where i'm going to get dirt to fill up the smaller one, but i'm not in a rush.

it was so nice to be outside enjoying the sun and cool weather. i actually got some sun on my pasty face, too, which was heavenly.

Friday, February 12, 2010

wake me up

right now i think i would give someone this

in exchange for this

last night i was crying. why doesn't matter, what matters is i totally dehydrated myself by leaking fluid from my eyes and nose, then fell asleep. had a bunch of crazy fever dreams, then woke up at 6a.m. to the sounds of hungry baby. it was dark outside, and rainy. my eyelids were swollen and my vision blurred. 

gah! i said. i need coffee.

but is there any? nope. can i get any? nope. it's too bad nobody has a coffee delivery business cause i'd be a faithful customer. 

i've tried working today but i just can't get my brain and body in gear. oh, and i broke four needles on my sewing machine trying to work on a quilt. so now i have no coffee and no sewing machine needles. 

i think i'll go back to bed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

thursday, and the return of frank

today i have a date with an old friend.

after nearly a year of frank living with my brother, and another few weeks of him staying with my friend james, frank is finally coming home where he belongs.
frank is my guitar. i don't even remember at this point how he got this name. anyway...

here's a glimpse of what i intend to do today.

what's on your to-do list today??

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

draw and quarter

draw and quarter


my thoughts on modern quilting

so...the modern quilt guild is asking people to write a little something on what modern quilting means to them. here are my thoughts.

i started quilting about two years ago. i know, i know, that kind of makes me a newbie but there you have it. i've been sewing since i was a kid, so it wasn't a huge leap for me, and the more i make the more inspired i get to make more. i've always loved mid-century mod decor and architecture, and modern quilts sort of go along with that (at least in my head). i literally had no idea that these kinds of quilts existed until i stumbled upon denyse schmidt's website. i saw her drunk love in a log cabin quilt and fell instantly in love. nearly a year later i had finished my first real quilt, after countless ripped seams, machine jams, poked and/or sliced fingers, and a million, "so this is how NOT to do it" moments.

for me, it's all about the pretty fabrics and non-traditional piecing. i can appreciate the effort that goes into an exact, traditional-type quilt, but they don't appeal to me aesthetically and they certainly don't inspire me to make one. no offense to the traditional quilters out there. 

i love bold patterns and bright colors. 

i love colors other than white (although white is cool, too) for sashing. i love quilts that look a little more like art and a little less like something dusty that covers your grandma's couch. 

and i LOVE LOVE LOVE how endless the possibilities are! for me the hardest part about starting a new quilt is deciding which idea i like more. and that takes me almost as long as the quilt.

Monday, February 8, 2010

i'm not gonna lie...

...i'm becoming increasingly obsessed with fabric.
today i had a car, and on my way home from getting my poor baby checked out and shot up with vaccines i stopped by the fabric store to spend the rest of my gift card. i had a coupon, too, so i got extra. and THEN when i got home, what should be sitting on my doorstep but a box from anna maria horner?

it's fun to be a winner

oh, it's so pretty, and my thanks once again to susan for having such a rad prize on her giveaway! i'm so glad i won! and see that ziploc full of scraps? well, apparently that's my reward for being patient, as the fabric took awhile to get mailed out. not only do i have a stack of pretty fat quarters, but i have some nice home dec scraps to play around with, too! 

and this weeked i got more paper and some new pens, so i'm planning a few more drawings. and i got grey fabric to finish up my stash buster quilt (ha! that's a laugh. as if it can be busted when new, pretty stuff keeps getting added to it).

Friday, February 5, 2010

susan's hexed hexagons

well now that i'm sure this quilt has arrived at it's final destination, i can post pics and not ruin any surprises.

a few months ago i decided to make a quilt for my friend susan, of the much aforementioned "whatsoever things are beautiful" blog. i really wanted to try something different from the many variations of log cabin blocks i'd done so far, and i racked my brains trying to think of what to do. i considered circles, but they kind of scare me. i didn't want to do a strip quilt because it makes my head hurt. then i alighted upon this pattern from amy butler and i was in love!

after a lot of online fabric searching, and drooling, and indecision, i finally came up with a color scheme i liked in heather bailey's new "nicey jane" fabrics. oh wait, did i mention i bought the fabric BEFORE i picked the pattern? yeah, never a smart idea. i didn't have nearly enough, which is why there are random mermaids and pink amy butler fabric thrown in. and even with the additions i BARELY had enough fabric for all those ginormous hexagons. it took me almost three days to cut out all the pieces because i had to be so...creative and uptight in order to get all the pieces i needed. hence the hexed hexagons. 

susan's quilt

i really do love the way it turned out, though.


the colors made me happy. almost the whole time i was working on this it was overcast and depressing outside, so the cheery yellows and soothing blues really perked me up.

susan's quilt (back)

and the back...let me just say that strip of hexagons on the back took me ages. and they pull in six directions so there was a lot of puckering where i didn't really want it.still, all in all i was pleased with it, and apparently susan was too, judging by the response on her blog. which is, for me, both embarrassing and gratifying at the same time. it's always nice to know that the things you make are liked.

a fundamental lack of supplies

i hate when this happens. i'm on a roll, i'm all inspired...and i run out of supplies.

i have 48 pretty quilt blocks sitting in a stack, and i can't put then together because i need fabric for sashing. look how pretty! i love this. i need grey fabric! (right now it's sitting on another quilt so i could get an idea of what it would look like)
random quilt

i have about fifteen ideas for new drawings, and i just ran out of paper.

i'd like to bake something fun on this dreary, overcast day, but i have no butter, no milk, and no eggs.

all of these things could be remedied, if i didn't also lack a car. *sigh*

i could use some of these pretty new fabrics i got as a birthday gift (thank you again elizabeth and gina! it was really fun to go the fabric store and just blow money with no guilt!) but i'm saving them for something special. i just don't know what that will be. yet.

i suppose i could go clean the bathrooms. that is, if i haven't run out of cleaning supplies as well. one can only hope...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

sprucing up the nook

slowly but surely i'm trying to make my house feel more like home and less like an apartment. living in cookie cutter cubicles for ten years sort gives a person that rootless, transient feeling, and i'm trying to divest myself of that. it's hard for me. i don't know why.

so i decided to start putting down real roots a little bit at a time. my little reading nook seemed like a good place to start. mostly because it's small and therefore manageable. and it doesn't require new furniture or a lot of rearranging. basically all i had to do was add some artwork for the walls and switch out the old, non-working lamp for one that works. this is what it looked like before:
mendocino quilt in situ
 and after:
the nook

this is also my little "showcase" corner for artwork not done by myself. okay, a few of them are mine but the big painting my husband did, and the cool stencil that you can't really see was a birthday present from justin nelson, whose flickr photostream you should go look at right now if you haven't already. also there's something that i, ahem, don't tell anyone, just printed out on regular printer paper. i figure it will have to do till i can afford a legit copy.

nook side table

oh, and look! another birthday present i got from my friend esther--she made me this rad bible cover with trees on it. i love it. have i ever mentioned how absolutely fabulous it is to receive handmade things from other fellow crafty people? well, it is. more so because i know exactly how much time and effort it takes to make things rather than just go out and buy them. 

anyway, it probably seems like such a small thing to be happy about, but oh well. it's these little things that make me feel like maybe, just maybe, i'll be here for awhile. and that's a nice feeling indeed. 



i tried to think of something articulate to say about this, but i find it to be self-explanatory. if the meaning is murky to you, i don't know what to tell you.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

string you along

string you along

makes me think of creepy christmas decorations.



art asked me last night--"what is it?"
"who knows," i replied. "i just like the way it looks."
is there anything wrong with that? it is, after all, my modus operandi.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010



more ink and watercolor weirdness. i did this while i was bent double trying not to throw up. i think that really comes through, don't you?

i give up

i just can't make this blog look cool. no matter what i do, i just make it worse. i'm throwing in the towel.

not that i'm done blogging, but i am officially tired of screwing up my blog every time i try to change the background. it's just annoying. if anyone has any tips, feel free to let me know. otherwise--boring white background it is.

Monday, February 1, 2010


sorry, my dumb blog got all screwed up. i'm trying to fix it. come back later!!



took a break from sewing today. decided i needed to do some art. since i'm still not sure what the next step is for my giant mostly finished painting, i opted for a quick fix--which for me involve paper, my micron pens, and occasionally some watercolor paint.

for years now (like eight) i've been fascinated by things that are divided up into cells or modules--whether that be slides of skin cells or the way pomegranate seeds are separated from each other by thin pulpy flesh or the way craters pockmark the moon. i just like it. i've been doodling things like this for years. i even sewed lots of little cells into that contour mini quilt below. it's the only semi-serial work i've ever been interested in producing, even if it is sort of piecemeal. anyway, it's fun. and a nice break from the ole sewing machine. not that the break will last--i just got TWO gift cards for my local fabric shop at my little birthday celebration yesterday. the only reason i haven't spent that money already and started sewing more things is because i don't have transportation, ha.