Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Loving Love.

My sister is currently on route to New Zealand (because of this). I am so incredibly excited for her and proud of her for taking such a chance for love. Still, everyone who knows Jen and Ed are pretty positive it's a safe bet.

I did really well yesterday saying good-bye to her. I barely cried and only left her with two minutes of older sister advice. And then I was on Facebook and saw this message from Ed:
Farewell my friends, I gotta go see about a girl...
Instant tears. And I'm crying again just typing this. Once a sap, always a sap.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Feliz Navidad.

Just found this photo that I had to share of my brother and I visiting Santa when we were kids...before the younger sister entered the scene (I think). Holy long hair! What does a 6 year old do with all that? And seriously, are we wearing matching overalls? Yes, overalls!?! (I'm totally going to avoid the discussion of the creepiness of this Santa, his gargantuan hands and that doll on the right.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

This year, there are no presents under our tree (there are no ornaments on it either...we are simply excited that we found time to put up a tree at all...although it's artificial and hardly the same). Chris and I opted not to give gifts...it's amazing how much holiday stress that relieves. Instead, we donated our present money to a local family that needed it way more than I needed new shoes or Chris needed an Xbox.

We are headed to Phoenix tomorrow to spend the holidays with my family and hang out with my sister before she embarks on her next big adventure. I'm bringing the camera and the laptop so I hope to regal you with some silly stories while I'm away.

Hope you all have a lovely holiday and get to spend it with people you adore!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bon Jour Paris.

Recently, I've been itching to go to Paris...the fashion, the romance, the bread, cheese and wine, the macarons, the shopping (you get the idea)! I suppose it'll have to wait til after my spring trip to New York City and Thanksgiving trip to New Zealand (fingers tightly crossed). But once Chris and I finally make it to the "City of Light," I hope to stay here. Something about staying in a comfortable and calming hotel after long days and evenings exploring the city seems to call my name. And the fact that it's on the rue de l’Arc de Triomphe doesn't hurt either.

Maybe Jen and Ed will move to Paris next?!? I take that back...I want them in San Franciso with me!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Four years ago...ah, young love.

I was looking through recent posts and realized the majority of them involve me basically bragging about my husband's art career. I hope that's not what it's perceived as because it's really truly sheer pride and excitement. This is all very new to us and I'm just incredibly proud of him.

I met Chris in San Diego about five years ago. Now, San Diego is a near perfect place to live...lovely weather, beautiful people and gorgeous beaches. But because of this, it's easy to become complacent. I mean, what more do you need when you can work and then head to the beach and surf til the sun sets. Still, I wanted more for myself and Chris wanted more, too. His passion for his art and self-assurance that one day he would make it really drew me to him. Granted, it's also been known to drive me nuts, but that's another post ;)

So here we are, five years after we met and a short six months after he received his MFA and he's truly making it. Chris finally feels like he can say that he is indeed an artist. I mean, just yesterday he was featured in a New York Times article and last week he found out he's taking part in San Jose's ZERO1 Biennial next fall. And I'm telling you all this because Chris wants to make sure everyone (meaning my family, especially my brother) knows that he will be able to take care of me and support me one day doing what he loves. Translation: Don't worry...she's not wasting her time married to a slacker wannabe artist.

Anyway, thanks for reading about my journey these past few months. It's been quite a whirlwind adventure and having this online source of support has been pretty amazing. So much has been happening and I'm slowly learning how to balance it all (it all being two posts a day at AT). My posts here will most likely be a little less frequent int he new year, but I won't disappear again like these past two weeks (pinkie swear!).

This has been a pretty amazing year! I can't wait to see what 2010 holds! And I am so excited to read what great things all of you out in the blogosphere do!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Please Forgive Me.

I should really be banished to the gates of blogging hell for abandoning you all for the past 6 days! Two photo shoots, an 18 hour trip to Orange County, a dinner party, a HUGE deadline at work, photos to edit from said photo shoots, etc. have made blogging and reading blogs nearly impossible. Don't believe me? I had 789 items in my Google Reader yesterday morning. Ouch!

The photo shoots this weekend were awesome though! I got to shoot my friend Thuy's ridiculously cute apartment as well as all of the odd and beautiful goodies within Paxton Gate!

I hope you are all having a fantastic week getting ready for the holidays. I promise to be back tomorrow with my Christmas wish list items and the reason why we decided against presents this year. Hope you have your hankies ready ;)

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That.

Yesterday morning, I was perusing Facebook (because that's what all the cool 31 year olds are doing these days) and I came across an article written by the Mayor of San Francisco on his blog (yep, our mayor blogs...he also twitters). The article was about the Art in Storefronts projects and featured Chris' project!

I was very excited when I read it, but then I noticed under Gavin's name it said Huffington Post. Whaaaa??? I did a search on the HuffPo and sure enough, there was Chris' project in all its glory! Granted, they spelled his last name wrong and failed to give me credit for my photograph, but I guess I'll let Arianna slide this time. Chris' first national press! Very exciting!

Now, I owe you all an apology for being so flaky on the blog lately. There's just never enough time! So, I wanted to share an awesome link in order to make amends. You might have noticed that I love well-designed book covers. Well, I'm now adding DVD covers from the Criterion Collection to my list of loves.

Head over to grain edit to check out more DVD beauties.

I have a pretty crazy weekend ahead of me so if you don't hear from me, hope you all stay warm, get some shopping done and sip some hot cocoa!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Let It Snow (Well, Figuratively).

From Benoit.P.

If there was any doubt in anyone's mind, winter is definitely right around the corner. It hasn't broken 50 degrees today. In San Francisco. Before you laugh at my weather feebleness, that's a whole 10 degrees below our average temperature. So I know it could be colder, but I do take public transportation and probably walked a good two miles outside (uphill...in the snow...both ways) today. Okay, so maybe I wasn't walking "in" snow, but I did see this:


In honor of this cold weather season and gloves and ear muffs and wool and long johns and hot cocoa and fireplaces, here are some of my favorite "winter" photos I found on flickr. There is a stillness in this season that I think these photos capture perfectly.

(Click on the image below to go to my flickr favorites to be able to see each individual photo.)

From .bella.

From Christopher M.

From rikopin.

From TommyOshima.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


The train attendant (aka my husband). Isn't he dreamy?

I'm still riding the high of yesterday's event (even though I'm riding it while feeling like crap). Everything went 100 times better than Chris and I could have ever imagined. It was fun, magical, interactive and absurd. The public really reacted positively to the project. Most never knew about the train so they were very excited to learn why so many buildings were built at such funky angles (the line used to run through the parking lot we were stationed in). And then when they found out they got a ticket...and we would punch it for them, well everyone got excited like kids again. It was fantastic!

Here are some more pics from the day, but if you want to see them all you can check them out here. I have yet to edit them in Photoshop, but I'm too tired right now and too eager to show them to you so you'll just have to deal ;)

Here's a little shout out to Southern Exposure and all of the other artists that were part of Passive/Aggressive. They all made for an amazing experience.

And a huge thanks to my readers for all of the kind words over the last few weeks. This entire process has just been awesome and having this online support has made it even better!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We Survived.

Oh, being an artist and the wife of an artist is way more stressful than I anticipated, but we made it! We are packing our things up to head out for All Aboard today. Thanks for all of the support and sorry I've been missing this week.

It's been a long week of missteps and no sleep, but at the end of the day I'm truly thankful that this is what I'm stressed about...creating art with the man I love. I'm one lucky lady.

P.S. If you follow me on twitter, I'll try to post some iPhone pics today.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Checking In.

Cheerio! (My sister is dating a Brit so I feel that I'm allowed to say that...and also add u's where they aren't needed as in colour or flavour.)

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and let you know I'm alive and breathing. I'm not really sleeping much. I took a personal day today to do other work. I love taking vacation time to work. Isn't that grand?

If the lighting was better (and using my flash didn't give me hives), I'd show you what I was up to today. Let's just say I've printed individually numbered, two sided tickets, cut them all out by hand and given each one four nice rounded corners. I know there are some of you that will appreciate the hell this was. For the other ones, it's taken 12 hours to make 90 tickets. 12 hours! It's a pain in the ass (sorry for the language but it's 12:37 and I need to wake up in less than 5 hours). Oh, and I still have 30 to go. Sweet!

But it'll all be worth it, right? It will. I know it will. The tickets look amazing. The vinyl is getting cut right now. Saturday will be glorious!

Thanks for letting me vent. And if you were curious, this is exactly what happens when bloggers have too little sleep and a glass or two of wine.

Monday, November 30, 2009

All Aboard.

Chris and I were hard at work this fine holiday weekend. As I mentioned, our Southern Exposure piece is all about an old train line that ran through the Mission. And since I love you guys (and apparently love talking about myself), here's a sneak peak of what this Saturday will look like.

The first thing I've been finishing up is the design for the vinyl markers that will follow the old train route. The markers will featured a little blurb about the history of the route and also tell participants where the next "stop" is. The final stop will be a train depot that my handy husband built.

Mock up of vinyl markers as installed.

There, Chris (dressed in a great old vest and tie combo along with a pocket watch) will greet the "passengers" and give each of them a ticket. Chris has been busy drawing old trains and stations from the route. I then scanned them into Photoshop and played technicolor wizard to make them look like old postcard images. They will go on the back of the train tickets with a nice little anecdote about the line. There will be four different ticket designs. Two of the original drawings are below.

The front of the ticket will be fashioned after old train tickets. Chris will write the passenger's name on the ticket and then punch whichever "stop" that they boarded the train. Each ticket will be numbered and lettered differently so each ticket will in fact be an original. Who has two thumbs and is super excited to print and cut out 125 of these bad boys? This girl!

Click on ticket to see more detail.

So that's where we are at today. I still need to finish up the research, design the last two tickets, finish the vinyl, get the vinyl cut, print the tickets, cut out the tickets and prep the vinyl for install. Oh, and Chris gets to finish the depot. You know what I'm thankful for this year? Caffeine!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Obsess Much?

Nautilus Cowboy.

Are you ready to say uncle with my current collage obsession? It's getting to the point where I should start a side blog, "The Wife of an Artist Who Loves Collage." It would probably be quite tedious to type that in all the time though.

I think my obsession stems from the fact that collage is something I think I could be really, really good at... it encompasses everything I love about design that I'm good at, but also allows you to create imaginary, impossible scenes. There's something about flipping through magazine after magazine to accumulate all of the components for your piece and then being able to arrange and rearrange and remove and add. It's like Photoshop...but in real life ;)

I wish I had the time right now to really foster this art form. And perhaps I should just set a meager goal...one new collage a month? That seems doable. But until I'm able to give it the attention it deserves, I'll just search for inspiration online. The work of Able Parris seems like a good place to start. I love how Able creates scenes that I know I would question...do these elements belong together? But somehow he assembles them so that I can't imagine how the final piece would work if one of them was missing.

Sometimes I'm too practical for my own good. Maybe collage will help me find my imagination again.

Old Lady.

The Shapes of Numbers.


Hands of Creation.

The Future is Bright.
All collages by Able Parris.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Passive Aggressive.

Click on the image to see more detail.

I apologize in advance if my posts are few and far between for the next week. It's crunch time for next Saturday when Chris and I present the world (or the few folks that walk by) with our first collaborative piece for Southern Exposure's Passive/Aggressive Urban Intervention Day. Our public art piece is called "All Aboard." Here's a bit more info:
The train was once the main method of long distance travel that forced riders to sit, wait and take in their surroundings. This project follows part of route of the historic South Pacific Railroad line along Harrison Street with markers acting as “stations” inviting participants to "hop on board" while providing interesting facts about the railroad and its long history. The route will end at a train depot (NE corner of 24th and Capp Sts.) where participants will be greeted by a train attendant and given a uniquely rendered ticket, each featuring a different destination that the Southern Pacific Railroad served.
I'm going to be busy over the next week designing train tickets, printing and cutting said train tickets, designing vinyl markers for the sidewalk, installing markers and trying to keep myself from freaking out. It's going to be a ton of work, but once all is said and done it should be a fabulous project.

So if you don't hear much from me, that is why. I had to clarify so you didn't think that I got lost at the mall. I hope everyone out here had a fantastic Thanksgiving (or Thursday as it's known outside of the US). Thank you all so much for taking time out of your undoubtedly hectic schedules to stop by here. It means the world to me. And this little blog here will definitely be one of the best things I decided to do in all of 2009!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

From whorange via fabulon.

Wishing all of you a day filled with family, friends, fun and food (and football...if you are into that sort of thing)!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Watch. This. Now.

As the guy at Peet's so eloquently put it, Animal's existential crisis is just so evident in the way he says, "Mama? Mama!"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Freaking Obsessed.

Le Monde des Livres.

To say I have a preference for all things collage, retro-inspired and absurd with a bit of Dr. Strangelove and astrophysics thrown in (I stole that from Julien Pacaud) would be an understatement. I think infatuation is a much better word. So my design aesthetic is a little predictable if you've been around these parts once of twice, but can you blame me?

Case in point...French illustrator extraordinaire Julien Pacaud. Sorry Chad and Mark, but I just found a new obsession. Is genius too strong of a word? Damn these illustrators leaving me at a loss for words. Here's the first four I could come up with: I want it all.

Good Girl.

Memories of Tomorrow.


World Construction Kit.
All images from Julien Pacaud found via Design Crisis.

About Inspiration at My Sparrow.

The lovely Christina Fluegge of My Sparrow recently asked me to answer some questions regarding what inspires me. Inspiration is such a hard thing to pin down. If you want to know more about mine, you can read it here.

After you finish reading that, make sure to check out Christina's beautiful eco-friendly online store, also called My Sparrow. She also sells her jewelry on etsy and I need every single necklace in her shop.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Dream Team.

Image from Dr Curry.

Chris and I often talk of becoming the next power art husband and wife team. Okay, we delude ourselves over margaritas, but it's still a fun conversation.

Last week, the world lost one half of the world's most prolific art couples, Jeanne-Claude, the woman with the orange-dyed hair and Christo's wife. The duo, having worked together for nearly 50 years, was most well known for their environmental works. From wrapping the coast of Little Bay in Australia to creating a 24 mile fabric fence that spanned from Sonoma County to the Pacific Ocean to wrapping the Reichstag in Berlin, their work is unique in that it lasts only for a brief period of time. Of this Christo said:
Do you know that I don't have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they're finished. Only the preparatory drawings, and collages are left, giving my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.

Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art (1968-69)

Running Fence, California (1972-76)

Reichstag, Berlin (1971-95)

Rifle, Colorado (1970-72)

Little Bay, Australia (1968-69)
Images from the New York Times.

There has been much controversy about their work. Critics equally lauded and denounced The Gates in Central Park. But regardless of its aesthetic value, there is something about their work that does indeed represent courage. Artists aren't great because they make things that are particularly hard to make. Artists are great because they make things that are hard to think. They don't know the word can't.

An artist's mind constantly astounds me. There is nothing that Chris thinks is impossible. Any time he presents me with an idea, my mind starts a running list of the logistics required to make it work. This is why I'm not an artist. I instantly see the hurdles. Chris just sees the finish line. But who knows, maybe together we will make something great.
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