I've been busy the last few day preparing for this holiday bazaar at Grace Preschool. Printing and signing and archiving prints, organizing cards, making a sign... so many details to think about. I hope I haven't forgotten something very important.
I've also been mailing out packages to wonderful customers across the country and around the world. You know who you are and I love you! Thank you for shopping at Mermaids and Moss!
I've added a trio of Seaside cards to my shop and they seem to be a big hit. I think the quality of the print turned out really well. I love tying them up with string and shipping them out to a new home.
I'll be adding quite a few new beachy photographs to my shop soon. I'll be testing them out tomorrow at the bazaar. Cross your fingers that my little table does well.
In other news, I was so flattered to be included in Lisa Solomon'sfeature on the Instagram blog. I'm so happy that her show is getting so much wonderful attention. Yay, Lisa!
And thank you to Catherine Lewin in Belgium for mentioning me on her blog Petite Pimprenelle. Welcome to all the new visitors!
I've been following Catherine for quite a while now on Instagram because I love to see her many beautiful crochet projects. And I also love to admire her daughter's pretty clothes. When Lisa Solomon was recruiting helpers, I knew that she would be perfect for 1000 Doilies. I'm so happy that Catherine was a part of the project, too, and that I was able to connect her with Lisa. I love small worlds.
We went to a really lovely Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania called Elizabeth Farms. It was quite a drive out to Lancaster County, but so worth it, because we got to ride in horse-drawn wagons out to the tree fields. The kids loved it. And, I think, the adults loved it even more. So peaceful and refreshing to sit back and relax as the horses carried us down a little road and over a bridge to the trees.
It was so nice to spend time with the kids' grandmother, aunt and uncle as we explored the tree farm, searching for the perfect Frasier Firs. We loved the tiny horse and donkey in the petting zoo, the complimentary hot chocolate in the gift shop, Santa and his workshop and the miniature trains and village.
Oh! And prints and cards are 20% off in my shop today and tomorrow. Coupon code: HOLIDAY
While in California, my friends took me for a most breathtaking walk at Fort Funston. It's a dog-friendly beach where the puppies could run wild. We brought Harrison and Clyde with a tub full of water and lots of treats. The puppies were thrilled. The trail leading down to the beach winds through cliffs and sand dunes covered in succulents. So beautiful.
Curious about the fields of succulents that were growing above the beach, I posted a photo on Instagram. A friend in Australia said that they have something similar in Australia called Pigface... giggle. I've since looked it up and this plant is known as Hottentot fig, ice plant and the infamous Pigface. It's a native of South Africa that was introduced to California in the 1900s to slow erosion along the railroad. It's terribly invasive. I was so worried about injuring it while trying to photograph it, but I guess there was no need.
The skies were filled with swallows and enormous black crows...
The puppies led me to a hawk sheltering on a branch. Nearby, sat one of those enormous crows squawking loudly. Those birds are crazy. They're nearly as big as the small beagle I was with.
I'm so glad that I got to spend some time in the ocean air, and to even get a little bit drenched during the Dungeness crab escapade. Thank you to my friends for patiently standing by while I photographed rocks and seaweed. You're the best!
Oh! And I was so pleased to wake up to a message from Melissa of Tiny Happy letting me know that her daughter loves my Her Walk Along the Lake print and that it's found a home in her new bedroom... on the other side of the world... in New Zealand.
I just returned from a most fabulous trip to San Francisco, California. This was my first time traveling without my husband and kids since the beginning of parenting, with the exception of flying back and forth to Ohio a couple times to care for my mother during the final stages of cancer. And of course, that was not any fun. No fun at all. But this trip was fun. So much fun.
In addition to meeting up with old friends, I wanted to attend Lisa Solomon's solo exhibition "SEN" at the Fouladi Projects. You may remember me writing about the 1,000 doilies project here and here. Earlier this year, Lisa had mentioned that she needed help with the doily making and I jumped at the opportunity. I'd "met" Lisa through instagram and explored her website and blog. I knew that I really liked her work and that I wanted to be a part of it. I also knew that it would be a great excuse to visit San Francisco again. I love San Francisco.
The show was really very lovely. The wall of 1,000 doilies crocheted by 45 women from around the world was a huge success. The doilies were beautifully laid out in rows of color with threads leading to spools gathered on the floor. The tiny pins and shadows created the illusion that the doilies were floating. I was so glad to be there, and to have been a part of the process. Though I only made 20 doilies, each doily took nearly an hour to make, so a lot of patience and time was put into this piece. But it was all worth it.
Below is Lisa's artist statement for "SEN":
Lisa’s art practice is an ongoing investigation of gender archetypes and hybridizations, as well as an examination into her own personal history. Through obsessive repetition and re-contextualization, she takes traditional feminine handicrafts and elevates them into the realm of fine art.
For this exhibition, Lisa, who was born to a Japanese mother, hones in on Japan’s historical and cultural fixation on the number 1000. She has created a unique interpretation of the 1000 cranes, and stitched a playful version of Senninbari, the “good luck” belts traditionally composed of 1000 knots, made by women and worn by their husbands to protect them while away at war. In a similar vein, she will be installing a wall of 1000 doilies, hand crocheted from 10 different hues of thread, sewn by her self and over 45 different women from around the world, and then arranged in a manner which will explore color and color theory. From each individual doily will dangle strands of thread, left purposefully to hang as a tangible testimony to process, functioning both as a remnant of the passage of time, and as a way to coax the work into a three dimensional space.
Opening reception for the artist 6 to 8pm Friday, November 15th Show runs through Dec. 21st, 2013
I especially loved the pieces that included tiny hand-drawn paper cranes and beautiful French knots.
I met up with my old friend Thea and made a few new friends. Thea and I hadn't seen each other since high school. We were in the same art magnet program for a couple years. She now lives in the Bay area and runs a lovely letterpress business: Kavamore Press.
Not only did she take me out for drinks at a cute bar, but she generously gifted me one of her beautiful prints. I love it so.
I also had the opportunity to meet up with a new instagram friend Courtney Cerruti, who happens to be friends with Lisa and Thea. I love funny small worlds. She has recently written a book about image transfers and I can't wait to get a copy. I see a new obsession in my future.
And best of all, I'm so glad to be home with my family. I think everyone really missed me. I know I missed them.
I'm so happy with the progress I've been making on this apple painting. I've started to work with oil paints again, I'd avoided them for so long because of the turpentine fumes. But now, I've discovered that Winsor & Newton have developed a water-mixable oil paint. Yay!
We went on a lovely hike Sunday morning at Rocks State Park in Harford County. Our destination was the beautiful and impressive Kilgore Falls. The drive out was through beautiful farmland, perfect this time of year with the colorful fall foliage. The hike was super easy and short, so easy, in fact, that the children needed to do several off trail excursions to use up their endless supply of energy. We love hikes that include moss-covered boulders and abandoned stone foundations.
I'm so excited to share that I've added some greeting cards to my etsy shop. I've added two seaweed cards, a barnacle card, two fairie cards and the popular "Her Walk Along the Lake" card. I hope you'll take a moment to visit my shop: Mermaids and Moss and spread the word to your friends.