An Addendum Hours Later

An addendum hours later. First, I wanted to edit my previous post and then decided against it. It was true to my thoughts and feelings at the time. Now, after further reflection and another conversation I've come to face that this vacation is what it is. A time for family and friends. A period of rest after much output. A time for taking in, reading, sketching, reflecting and readying the studio for future work.
The angst of the previous post just proves to me that this time for rest is precisely what I need. And that is precisely what I will be doing. Till then my friend, ta ta.

Deep thoughts whilst on Vacation

Today finds me still in Olympia after much visiting with family and friends. The rain was cold, dark and wet this morning which coincidentally did not inspire one to jump back out onto Interstate 5 so here I am, having a quiet day at my second home. Lunch was had at Mini Saigon (best hot & sour soup and spring rolls ever!) and now with my belly full I found myself having a bit of a contemplative afternoon.
I awoke early this morning in a near panic with the realization that I have not yet painted the "horizon starts right here" painting, and nor would I be able to in time to submit to Illustration Friday unless I got home to the studio today. Sadness gripped me - sadness at letting myself down yet still not wanting to leave here to return to Seattle and her cold wet concrete.
I also just finished two books in the last two days that looked at the artistic struggle and process: The Worst Thing I've Done by Ursula Hegi and Frida Kahlo: Behind the Mirror. Quite some thick heavy reading - no wonder I'm contemplative.
I told Andy at lunch that I wished my studio was right here and that I didn't have a day job to worry about. In eager hope, I returned to his house and checked our Powerball tickets that my Dad had given us in our stockings for Christmas. Alas, no luck.
Why is this balance so hard? Why do I have such a hard time throwing myself into these paintings that my muse teases me with when I can feel the deadline of studio clean up time approaching? As in, I don't have unlimited time so I might as well not start at all? That sucks. I really need to get over it. I know what must be done but still, I cringe. I hesitate. I struggle. I pine for unlimited freedom as I'm sure we all do.
This vacation right now is so completely bittersweet for so many reasons. How to let go and just be?


Ahem...The Universe Called

Amidst all the hustle bustle and wrapping paper flow that is these holiday days leading up to the 25th, I got a call from the Universe. A little shoulder tap. A shove. And now I want to push aside all gift making plans for my studio and just dive into a painting I MUST paint.

Last weekend while driving to Portland I was listening to a compilation CD that I hadn't listened to in years and on it was a song that struck a chord in me. One of the lyrics is "the horizon starts right here" and as soon as I heard that I got a flash. A new painting budding out. Oil on wood and a couple and a horizon and glowing color. There wasn't much I could do about it while driving so I took it and tucked it away and hoped I would be able to remember it to paint it later. I returned home from the show exhausted and then immediately jumped into the holiday hustle. And as you might have guessed, I forgot the painting.
Until now. I sleepily opened my email this morning and got my Illustration Friday topic for the week: Horizon.


Taps to the Crocodile

Oh what a weekend was had by many a crafter and craft supporter alike. After my adventures at Portland's Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Sale (more on that next) I returned to the city of Seattle to hear the news that the Crocodile Cafe shut it's doors forever. And they did it mere hours before the last scheduled I Heart Rummage show. IHR had to scramble to find a new location and it is sheer force of will and some sweet contacts that I think saved their asses. They ended up cramming into BLVD Gallery one block down and still managed to have a sucessful show. Pretty darn amazing. I'm really glad for the vendors that something worked out.

But yeah - the Crocodile Cafe - home of years of local bands, one of the nation's longest running DIY craft shows and the BEST homemade veggie burger ever? Gone. Closed. No more. I toast to you Croc. Belltown will sorely miss your green glow.

Hearing this news upon my return made me doubly glad that I ended up at the show that I did though. Crafty Wonderland was HUGE! (It even got a mention on CNN!) Portland wins the "Buy Handmade" medal for sure. Not only did they have a line going around the block upon opening at 11 am, but that line remained until almost 4 pm because they could only let in so many people at once. It was sheer madness and quite a few vendors just completely sold out. Estimated crowd of nearly 5000. Whew! I was so completely tuckered out I couldn't even manage to post about it until now, three days later.

Now I'm pushing myself onwards into the thick of the holiday craze. Having the first 3 weeks of December full of art shows sure has messed up my gift organization skills. Got about three days left to attempt to cram in some last minute homemade gifties. But first, a trip to Ikea for frames. Here's hoping I make it out of there alive!


Punk Rock Commission

Alrighty - it's storytime. While at the Punk Rock Flea Market two weekends ago, I agreed to take on my strangest commission work yet. The table I was at was situated kind of kiddy-corner from a fellow selling some very punk stuff - raggedy ol teeshirts for a buck, utilikilts, studded belts and the like. Very amiable fellow - he was quite taken with our tablecloth - but I digress. Anyways, there was a girl who quite liked my bag design. She chatted with us at our table for a bit and then off she went into the market. About a half hour later she came back with a wad of black cloth in her hands. It was one of the tee shirts from across the way - and she wanted to know that if she bought this tee shirt if I could turn it into a bag. I was like,
"hmmmm... yeah I probably could..." all non-comittal like. She got pretty excited and then went to look through the shirts some more. She then came back with another one:
"And could you turn this into a pocket on the back?"
I contemplated it for a moment and then figured what the heck?

Which is what led to this brightly grinning face shining on my studio table. The aforementioned bag in progress. It's been a bit more of a challenge than I thought it would be - these things always take more time than you figure on - but it's been blast. And I've gotten all addicted to sewing again. In fact, it's all I wanted to do today at work. To sit with the whir of the sewing machine going, pushing fabric through and watching the stitches thread through.

The only thing that cured me - at least for now - was making this:

Ah the sweet addictive beauty of a traditional "Polish Star". This one was made from the pages of the holiday JCrew catalog while sipping wine and chatting with 4 lovely ladies in a beautiful old Capitol Hill apartment. More than anything so far this season, tonight's ornament making party finally got me into my holiday spirit.
Course, now I just want to sew and fold little bits of paper instead of sleeping... bugger.


Swank to it

Whew! Yesterday's SWANK show was so much FUN! Had a few good sales but the bestest of all for me was all the great trades I got to participate in. I swapped for some holiday gifts and some other vendors got some holiday gifts from me. This little bunny to the left, along with some garments off the clothing rack have made it out of my studio and into the world where I know they'll be loved.

The clothing rack is starting to look a little bare so today I'm getting some work done to fill it back up. I'm focusing on some new Rekoj Kid clothes. Based on just how many babes in arms I saw at the last Crafty Wonderland show I've got a hunch these little cuties will do well at the Super Crafty Wonderland show next weekend. Hop to it!

P.S. A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my oldest and bestest friend. I am so lucky to have been blessed with you as my Mom =) Love and Hugs!


Rekoj Goes to SWANK

Isn't this picture just marvelous? Marlo M of IMakeCuteStuff convinced me that my previous pendant pictures were blurry, cuz, well, they were blurry. And in the process of convincing me we worked out a trade - a pendant for some of her mad photography skills. And now I've updated all of my Etsy photos and the shop is well on it's way towards looking well, better. Plenty more to do though.
But first, is the SWANK show tomorrow! These past two weeks have just been nuts. I'm not sure if I'll ever schedule 3 shows in a row again like this. It hasn't been bad... just challenging. And a little all consuming. Hence the slow down on the blog front. It's all momentum though. It's all just rolling along.
Happy Friday all. Enjoy this second weekend of December!


Holiday Season Kick Off a.ka. Weekend Recap

Look at these two crafty ladies! This picture was taken last Saturday at the I Heart Indie Holidays show by Thea Starr. She has posted a wonderful photo blog of the event here if you want to see more crafty images of the event. Thanks Thea!

Yesterday found a whole slew of us crafty types selling and chatting and freezing and drinking way too much coffee in the Underground events center for the PUnk Rock Flea Market. My oh my was it a fun show. I shared a spot with Betsy of Baddins Design, across from us was Sycamore Baby, next was Ambika and ScaryWhiteGirl and next to them was EtsyRain newbie Spiderfelt. It was a regular crafshow party! Despite the snow and the chill there still managed to be quite the crowd of shoppers that came out to find that something special for that someone special - half of which I swear were my own housemates! Thanks to EVERYONE who came out to support. It was a super fun show and I can't wait to do it again!

Today the wind is wailing and the rain is raining. After a great dinner with friends, a double feature movie fest and sleeping in quite late this morning I've pretty well planted myself on the couch today. A day of rest after all the melee of the last few days? Priceless.
Tomorrow we'll start back up again for preparations for Saturday's Swank show.
Till then, enjoy the rest of Sunday!


Rekoj Books at Punk Rock Flea Market

Come check out these books and more at the Punk Rock Flea Market today!

Underground Events Center

2407 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA

And I apologize about lack of posts this week - having my wallet stolen in the midst of prepping for the first of three weekend art shows REALLY messed me up. Not to mention pissed me off. Good ol' office front desk grab and go. Pooey on you wallet theives. Pooey on you. Your $10 theft has cost me 4 times as much. Shame on you.