Monday, April 26, 2010


I've been slightly obsessed with people's homes and the things they choose to decorate with to adorn their abode.   I remember clearly, being in my early 20's in England and going to a friend's grandparent's sprawling home. I asked a million and two questions about each and every piece that they so lovingly displayed.   The grandfather was clearly proud of his collections and knew the story behind each and every piece and relished the re-tell.  It was my friend's father, an Englishman who thought he was royalty descended, that pooh-poohed my obsessive interest and brushed it off as nosy-american-ism.   I've remembered that incident to this day, but now it makes me laugh.  It's true, I do push it when I enter a new person's home.  I'm instantly drawn to their shelves, or the pillows on their couch, the paintings in their kitchen, and the shower curtain in their bathroom.  It's a level of interest that is only matched by my interest in the occupants themselves.

When I walked into Kate and Saif's apartment for the first time, that overwhelming curiosity and undeniable love for great design come flooding to the surface.

I could barely introduce myself to them and their friends before I was caught up in Kate's art on the walls, and the record collection, and the furniture, and the way it all created such a beautiful scene!   

I instantly asked if I could photograph their place for my new favorite little side show:   First Girl At The Party.   This apartment seemed like the entire reason I started First Girl:  to fulfill that nosy-american-ism in me and to highlight the design genius of others to the public.  I'm a huuuuuuge appreciator of people's home- design ability and since I can never settle on the design of my own apartment, it gets the brain waves flowing when I see a bit of brilliance in others.

Kate and Saif were both terribly good-natured about the whole thing (beginning with me snooping around their entire home!) and even helpful in pointing out some hidden gems.  Much of the artwork that adorns the walls is Kate herself.   I owe them a big 'thanks' for letting me snoop, shoot, and sigh.

You can see soooo much more juiciness if you head over to  First Girl At The Party and even more on the ole Flickr site.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And now for something completely different

just because.
Well, that and my good friend, Shereif Elkatsha directed this super-cute video.

Once again, I wish I'd been this hip (or had videotape of how hip i really was) when I was a teenager!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Open Studios

Well, it's that time of year again...

I'll be at my studio this weekend, of course:  744 Alabama St @ 19th, Studio 227.
If you live in SF, or just happen to be visiting here this weekend, I would LOVE for you to come by for a glass of wine (or a coffee with Baileys, I'm easy!) and some York Peppermint Patties.

I haven't taken photos yet, but I've painted all the walls on the outside of my studio and hung a bunch of new work.  I'm diggin on it all and always love the social scene of the weekend.  It's ususally a parade of people who love to talk 'found junk' and the 'one that got away'. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I don't work for Pedigree...

but if I did, I'd hope I'd come up with these beautiful ads.

I don't think I've ever cried at a dog commercial before.  Ever.  And last night, not only did I cry at this commercial, I went in search of many, many more like them.

Stella-Marie has changed our lives. We do things we never thought we would:  sleep on the bed? heck yeah!;  pick up as many poops as she lays down, all the while whooping "good girl!";  take a bath together, not even minding a water spattered bathroom at the end;  balancing her on my lap while I'm typing.  She's really all we talk about anymore:  to each other, to other people.  We tell story after story of all the cute things she does.  We get up at 3am if she needs to go out.  We hang out with dog park people.  And we miss her terribly when we're not with her!

Though I don't know that she missed us while we were gone this past week...she was really very happy in her temporary home, hanging out with Emmylou ...

Yeah.  Perfectly happy and relaxed without us. 

But she, for us, is the living end.  I've never heard RK giggle so hard as when she's licking his neck to get his attention.  And I can just get weepy looking at her while she sleeps in my lap.  Her two front feet  stick out straight, she lays on her back and she looks like she's dreaming of heaven.

And though I always knew we'd get a rescued-doggie, if we ever got a dog at all (which, for me, up until the moment I saw Stella, was not really an idea I danced with), and while I've always had a great respect and love for all animals, I had no idea that Stella's mere presence (let alone her story of near-miss demise in a shelter) would move me so deeply.  So much so that I'm posting dog food commercials because they tell the tale of left off dogs and they totally stand behind shelter adoptions. And somebody needs to.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm reading a new (actually, old) Anne Lamott book.  Gads, I love her writing!  Every word, like angel food cake:  not too sweet, feels like a hot day with a cool breeze, you don't want to stop eating it.  
Okay, so metaphors not always my strong point. 
But, she writes and I relate. 

I'm reading Blue Shoe and, while the entire story is fantastic, one paragraph jumped out at me last night.  The little six year old boy, Harry, who has a baby sister named Ella,  is talking with his mom in the kitchen,

"So, will Lee die at the same time as me and Ella?  Or just you?"
"Won't you and I die at the exact same time?" he asked in rising panic.
His mom placed food on the table.  "No, honey.  Where did you hear that?"
"From Stefan.  He and his mom are dying at the exact same second."
"No, they're not, darling.  And besides, I'm thirty years older than you.  So you and Ella-- and Stefan -- will probably live much longer."
Harry gaped at her.  He pushed his eggs away.  Then he covered his face with his hands and began to sob, which got Ella started too.  "If I had known that,"  he cried, running back to the window, "I would never have agreed to be born."

I know exactly what Harry means.  I feel the same way.

It's my Pop's birthday today and he's got everything one could possibly want.  But, if I could give him one thing it would be a "live forever" card with a  "+1"  for mom. 
Happy Birthday Dad.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Barely A Sample

(i don't know if that's a picture of Barber Judi or an example of the Civilian Hair Cut, but it doesn't really matter)

There are A LOT of amazing signs here in the desert.  And these are only the ones we happened to be getting gas near.  I wish I could stop for every single one of them, but then, we'd never get anywhere!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

have you ever....?

I have this funny little kids book, old-school, maybe from the 40's, called "Have You Ever Seen?"  And it lists the strangest little things:  a monkey at the front door?  a rabbit playing bongos?  Tries to play them off as somewhat real.  One of them is "have you ever insect fly?" or something along those lines.  Anyway, it turns out to be a caterpillar that one of the little girls has picked up and that turns into a butterfly.
The whole thing that made me think of it are these:  Have you ever seen a spectacularly blue and brown striped caterpillar?

I never had.  We thought these things were, at first glance, little spider pods.  But got a much closer look and saw the brilliant stripes.  And the tiny little legs.  Tons of them per silk pod.
Call:  Caterpillars!

and all their frass to go along with it.

of course desert caterpillars would be this beautiful!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stopped Time

A week in the desert should make everything all right again. 
Slow down the heart rate, soak in the mineral pools, lay out in the sun and run through Joshua Tree. 
Starting the 4-0 off just right.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

An Ask

Per special request, I post these recent photos of Stella Marie.

Stella in a bag
(taken by our good friends and amazing doggie-sitters, T &C)

J.  was dying for Stella-Marie to sit on her lap, which turned out to really be too little to contain all now-12-pounds of Stella.  So, she clung to her for dear life, saying her name over and over,
"stella, come here, stella, stella, stella..."  
It's amazing to watch how kids react to Stell, and how Stell reacts to them:  
with pure love and happiness.

oh, stop it, stella! you're so cute i could eat your nose!

Just a straight up beauty shot.  Stella with her "S".

Turns out, she really likes to sleep.  And once she's out, she's pretty well out.  
(A dog after our own hearts)

Stella as Gortans Fisherman:  It was pouring rain and we found ourselves without any umbrellas and had a big night ahead of us.  Stella didn't mind it a bit.  
Reason 4,059 why we can't get enough of her.

whoop, there it is.

(to make stella lifesize:  click photos!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

mary poppins said it best when she said...

Anything can happen if you let it
Sometimes things are difficult but you can bet it
Doesn't have to be so
Changes can be made
You can move a mountain if you use a larger spade

Anything can happen, it's a marvel
You can be a butterfly
Or just stay larval

Stretch your mind beyond fantastic
Dreams are made of strong elastic
Take some sound advice and don't forget it

Anything can happen if you let it
You won't know a challenge until you've met it
No one does it for you
No one but yourself
I wear the badge in
Honour of this world's free thinkers
Those who see beyond their blinkers

Jelly isn't jelly
'Til you set it
Anything can happen if you let it
What good is a whistle
Unless you whet it

Broaden your horizons
Open different doors
You may find a you there that you never knew was yours
Anything can happen 

 if you let it

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Supreme Beings Of Leisure

What is it about running after each other that little kids love?

We lose the passion for it sometime around the 5th grade, I think.  But every day at my job, when recess comes around,  all the littlest kids run after each other.  Constantly.  Chasing anyone who's moving, with "catch me!" and "you can't catch me!" echoing off the walls.  There's rarely a moment that the chaser feels they're being run from.  Which is so interesting to me.

Imagine this in adulthood:  You're walking up to your fellow co-workers, men in suits, women in nylons and skirts, they hit the break room and suddenly they scatter and run in every direction.  You start chasing one of them and then run through the whole office, arms flailing, laughing hysterically.

Would this really fly?  Does it even sound interesting?  In adulthood, we usually refer to 'chasing' as something that happens in a dream.  I have nightmares about being chased, they're awful!
Or, when we're single and dating, we talk about how so & so is 'chasing' someone.  He usually chases her until he catches her.  Or the other way around, of course.

But, as a kid, it's the most fun thing in the world.  The actual act of chasing and running away.  Often it's in the context of a tag game, but more often than not it's just the mere request "chase me" that can get anyone under age 8 to go crazy with happiness.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

For The Love Of Posters

So super excited!  Decided to make some card designs into heavy stock posters (thought to be like the infamous posters they give out at The Fillmore when they sell out a show).  I'll be giving them away at the National Stationary Show as promo pieces, but plan to be offering about 4 designs to order, as well.

At the bottom of each, in a color from the image, it says:  send a real card -

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

40 Things, in no particular order, kinda like the first 40 years of my life

Ten things I'd like to do for a living
Host a talk show
Read to kids 
Greeting card designer
Start a T-shirt line
Public Speaking (motivational speaker)
Be an Artist

Ten things I'd like to do in my next 40 years
Do more stand-up
Sing with a small band at a little nightclub
Live on a farm
Learn to sew (on a machine)
Go paragliding with RK
Buy a car
Find a 'regular' camping spot we go to every year, without fail
Travel to Greece, for a month or more
Publish a book
Make a documentary

Ten things I think about fairly often...
Winning the Lotto
Moving to NYC or LA
Sailing around the world
Becoming a mega-healthy person that doesn't eat pizza & always does sit-ups
Bike riding with RK
Finally finishing the apartment (paint, shelves, book cases, etc)
Leaving a mark in the world
Moving house, just to have a yard

Ten things I will prolly do today, on my birthday
Go to work
Eat too much cake
Eat too much pizza
Party with friends
Firmly believe that this is day is the first day of the rest of my life
Cry (out of happiness, of course)
Open a present
Laugh with great gusto, as only a 40 year old can
Marvel at my age
Fall into a blissful sleep

Monday, April 5, 2010

Appreciating the Immediate

~ Little M. drew this and I think of it as my own little guardian angel.  When she saw it on my computer, she barely reacted, just quietly saying, "oh hey, i drew that." ~

Lately, with all the time I spend thinking about what's next in life, it's sometimes good to just reflect on the current state of things.  It came to me this morning that one of the perks of teaching 1st grade is that the amount of cute things that happen in a day, a week, a month or a year, are pretty much endless.  These are just some highlights:

~ an apology note from one little girl to another little girl ~

~ field trips in the city can really be a kick, especially when we break up into small groups ~

~ The kids had to write a story about things they see in their everyday lives.  This little girl had spent the day before throwing up in the garbage can.  The next day she was fine and thought it would be a good thing to write about.  I love how the little drawing of her looks so desperate.  But who's the girl in with a feather in her cap?! ~

~ I wanted some of the girls who are always in after-care to use some of that time for reading and decided they could start a little "reading club".  I made them membership cards that they'll decorate and then laminate.  Some say it's their favorite part of the day. ~

~ I will not argue.  I will smile more.  I will work on my math.  I will be more patient. ~

A Valentine's card from one little boy to another little girl:
~ I hope you always have a wonderful time for your whole entire life ~

more great moments here