My Etsy Shop

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tiny Surprise Packages

Hey, I'm back! And not only did my plants not die while I was gone...I actually have some tiny tomatoes starting to grow...woo hoo! Thanks so much to the efforts of my substitute gardening tag team: Steve, Chris, Jane, Greg and Lonnie.

I planted 6 different varieties of tomatoes in my raised bed this year: Stupice, Early Girl, Sungold (cherry tomatoes), Sweet 100s (cherry tomatoes), Black Krim and another one called Muskovic or something. The three that have tomatoes already are: Stupice, Early Girl and Sungold.

My dad used to grow about 40 tomato plants every year for our family. He never did anything halfway. At the end of the season, we were always trying to foist bags of tomatoes upon our hapless guests.

I have fond memories of taking a bite out of a tomato warm from the sun after a turn of weeding the bed. I have dreamed of growing tomatoes like that, but sucess has eluded me these past years that I have lived in the fog belt.

Here's a photo my mom took of a tiny fraction of my Dad's harvest one year. I love this photo, because she did something with the flash, so it looks like the tomatoes are levitating.

I'm growing these Alpine Strawberries in my garden too. They are very tiny, but very delicious. I first tasted them in Venice at Trattoria Alla Madonna. I've searched for them every since. They are also called "fraises des bois."

My foxgloves are looking pretty foxy too. It's nice to come back home to a beautiful garden.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Surtex Photos

Here are a couple of photos from Sharon of me and Sharon and Deb in our booth at Surtex '08. I have more photos on my camera, but I didn't bring the connector to download them to the computer. I'm going to have to post about how the show went later, as I am busy having FUN for a few days and unwinding.

I'm in Marblehead at the moment. It's Memorial Day and we're going over to see my niece Lily march in the parade as a Daisy. Daisy is what you are before you become a Brownie, which is before Girl Scouts. Lily is 6.

It's a gorgeous summery day here. Later we are heading up to Farnham's: (can't figure out how to link on mom's computer) You must pronounce it FAHHHHH-nums for the correct effect. It's a huge battle here over which is better, Farnham's or Woodman's. Everyone has an opinion.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hottest Day of the Year

How hot IS it? SF Gate says that it's 94 degrees, but it feels even hotter. Poor Ms. E. is so miserable, she let me put an ice pack on her. All we have is one box fan to cool off our little oven of a house. Where is the fog when you need it?

What happened here? Did a cyclone hit the studio? No, it's the countdown to Surtex. We leave tomorrow for NYC, and it's crazy trying to get ready, especially in this heat. I had to shut down my Mac. It started overheating while I was trying to print out my pages and displays today.

Here are a few of my displays. I still have to figure out how they are going to fit in my suitcase without getting destroyed en route. I think I'm going to have to cut a lot of them in half and reassemble them at the Javits Saturday.

We designed bird buttons for our giveaways this year. Cafe Press did a fab job on them this year. I am really pleased with how they turned out. Last year we did flower buttons and had them displayed in a giant flower pot.

This year Sharon designed a cute little birdhouse for our buttons. People liked picking out their favorite.

Last year we went to M&Ms World in Times Square and got M&Ms in our logo colors. The store was overwhelming...merchandising to the Nth degree on 3 levels.

Having the M&Ms was pretty cool, except that we kept eating them when we'd get bored in the booth. The smell of chocolate was irresistible, especially on the last day of the show. This year we ordered custom M&Ms printed with the company name, and we are packaging them in cello bags in advance so we won't scarf them ourselves.

Well, wish me luck. I'll report back later. My Mac's overheating again. We're melting...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Barbara Bradley, 1927-2008

Very sad news...Barbara Bradley, who founded and ran the Illustration Department at Academy of Art, where I got my degree, died on May 2 from injuries sustained in a car accident. Her husband Neil was driving and he also died in the hospital.

Barbara was an amazing teacher. I had the privilege of taking several classes from her. She was very tough and perceptive. You couldn't sneak anything past her. I have tremendous respect for her and for her legacy.

There is a website, Thank You Barbara Bradley, which was set up last year when she was selected as 2007 Distinguished Educator of the Arts by the Society of Illustrators. Ironically, Barbara had just retired from teaching this past winter. She's really going to be missed by many. I will never forget her. I can still hear her voice in my head whenever I'm painting. She was a huge influence on me and many others.

(I swiped this photo off the TYBB website, I hope they don't mind.)