Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Monkey essentials


This monkey has an umbrella. I find that more amusing than I probably should...

.

Mmmm, pretty...


Ok: I seriously don't post about every Etsy treasury that someone puts me in (I'm always very happy about it, but you'd definitely get bored) – it's just that I'm completely taken with this one. It's so pretty. Those prints look like lollies all together like that, and I want to buy them all.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

My brother kinda looks like Matt Damon...


... I mean doesn't he, a bit? Or is it just me?



No, I know it's not just me because people have said so before. But I was struck by it when this copy of GQ turned up yesterday.

Disclaimer: my brother was mildly cross with me for taking this photo back in Australia (I'm a sneaky candid photo-taker) and would probably be even more cross with me for posting it online. Well, sorry.

...

Trunkt!


Pepperina Press is on Trunkt! Here's my profile...

Trunkt is an art and design collective whose mission is "to champion independent designers and small retailers to mainstream shoppers and to keep mass-market merchandise and big-box retailers from overwhelming the globe".

Can't beat that!

Friday, 27 July 2007

Big Zoo Fun


At last, Berry's old enough to "get" zoos. I wasted a couple of perfectly good entry fees to Point Defiance Zoo in Washington when she was a bit younger – at the reindeer enclosure she was fascinated by the grass; at the wolf den she tried to make friends with an entire school group; and at the polar bear underwater world she was transfixed... by the bubbles. Wasted, I tell you!


Well, not anymore. On the 4th of July holiday Stu and Rikki took us to the fabulous Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, and it was a hit. At the elephant enclosure, Berry made elephant noises. At the lion enclosure, she did her version of a roar. She loved the monkeys. She peered through the fence at the giraffes. She made quacking-duck sounds at the flamingos. It was all very satisfying.


It had been raining so we almost had the zoo to ourselves, which was an extra treat. (Here's Stu showing Berry some wildlife).

Two new (to me) fascinating zoo facts: a giraffe's tongue is 20 inches long (twenty) – and there are bears in Louisiana! Anyone who knows me is aware that I'm quite concerned about bears and the possibility of ever meeting one in the wild. Four whole years I lived in Louisiana and no one ever mentioned the state had a bear population! I know the chances of bumping into one in the Quarter are zip, but still...




PS: why am I just now posting pictures from 4th of July? I've been sick, I tell you! Woefully sick...

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Sooooo quiet


I've been very quiet. I blame the house and I blame Berry.

The house is taking a lot of time to get organised. We're painting first and I've figured out that 90% of painting is actually taping. Especially if the builders have gone nuts with crown molding and fancy baseboards and lots of angles. Ohhh the angles. Pretty to look at, hell to tape.

Here's Nathan, cutting in some of the corners...


So there's that... But now (thanks to Nathan's dad, who shall be sainted at a later date) the entire downstairs living area is painted and it's beeeyoootiful. So fabulous. Painting over the grey with Travertine has completely transformed it, and we're feeling luckier by the minute.

Or we would be, if we weren't so sick. That's where blaming Berry comes in. Two half-days in daycare and she brings home an array of viruses a medical textbook would be proud of. Honestly, it's like she went around collecting them. So she's been really sick and miserable for a week now, and we've been falling like dominoes ever since.

There should be a rule against having to take care of a sick toddler when you're sick yourself. I mean really. It feels impossible and very unfair, and makes me seriously consider things like how one might go about getting a nanny. And a maid. Or a sidekick of any kind, really.

Speaking of sidekicks, here is Berry helping her Grandpa put the very glamorous Ikea table back together... See? It really is child's play.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Front page (yay)


Yes! Another front page and this time I didn't let it all dissolve in one sale. I noticed in time and listed extras of the Ciao Bella Vespa card (which I failed to do the first, second and third times I made it to the front page, because I was so green).

Emilini's treasury stayed up for quite a long time (maybe because it was a weekend? maybe because it was awesome? heh) so I got a nice little rush of sales. Very happy.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Bird-Heart-Bird


They're back!

I had to give my bird-heart-bird cards a little holiday (right when they were in a rush of selling, too!) because all my block-printing gear was packed up somewhere in the mountain of boxes that is our lives right now... But yesterday I found the box at last! I set everything up in my New Studio Mk I (it's in a transitional phase at the moment) and started printing. What a good feeling!

So here they are, out in the open again, happy silver birds. I've already sold four that were on "back order" and I've put more in my Etsy store.

It's good to be printing again!


Saturday, 21 July 2007

I like Etsy Treasuries...


...and I get a kick out of finding out that someone's chosen to show my work in their treasury! A peace theme...


...a little bird theme...


...a fabulous mod theme...



Thanks to e&e bungalow, littletilegnome, starwillowstudio, starletta and TheHopeJar, who recently included my cards in their treasuries!


Friday, 20 July 2007

"Before"


I'm going to show you my new studio when it's been completely overhauled, set up, decorated and organised to the nth degree – so it's only fair that we should have a "Before" shot to compare with the "After" that will eventually appear.

Consider this the badly-lit shot of the glum-faced model failing to suck in... Nope, can't do it. It's still looking all fabulous and full of potential to me! I promise, it will be genius in a month or so.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS


I just got off the phone and that's how much "bond" the state of Mississippi requires to register the business down here! Five. hundred. dollars.

I opened Pepperina Press in Washington State last year for the princely sum of, oh, $50 (yes, that's just 5-0).

But for the privilege of doing business in Mississippi, I have to part with $500. Which I don't get back unless I close the business (uh, no) or move out of state (don't tempt me).

I mean please, don't beg people to come back down here and start businesses and help rebuild the economy if you're just going to pull this kind of trick once they're here.

Apologies for the rant. Ah Mississippiiiiiiiii... why can't you behave?

Monday, 16 July 2007

Moving In


This weekend, while other people went fishing and to the movies and out to bars and riding in parks and did all kinds of other fabulously relaxing things, we moved into our house. And... we moved into our house.

We went to Sherwin Williams and Home Depot and scrubbed cupboards and went to the storage place and carried boxes and assembled furniture and unpacked boxes and did trash runs and met neighbours and emptied suitcases and arranged the kitchen and swept and mopped, and met with security people and cable guys and cleaned the bathrooms and unpacked more boxes.

et cetera....

We're still working on it. It's really hard but that's offset by the excitement element – all the planning and decorating and the wow, this is really ours feeling. My least favourite parts are the moments where you find yourself surrounded by half-unpacked boxes, open cupboards and chaos, and you think this.will.never.end.

Disorder makes me deeply nervous, and it renders Nathan slightly unhinged – so for us moving house is awesome.

Yeah. If Nathan's ever-amazing dad hadn't driven down from Dallas to help us, we might well be rocking in the corner by now, and need some therapy.

Oh – the picture above shows part of upstairs. The architect who designed this house was known to have an abiding affection for angles and interesting (but functional) floor plans, so it's tough to show the full effect. The picture below is our bedroom. Those curtains have got to go. The very small girl can stay.


It's still not Take Your Baby To Work Day...


A little picture of Berry supporting our troops -- or rather, our troop (yes, just our favourite one) off to work to support her. They run a mutual admiration society.

I'd like to also mention that this terribly attractive "front yard" is not our fault. We've been living in Air Force temporary lodging while waiting (and waiting and waiting) to move into our new house. This picture was taken then.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

My first ad!



I've done my first advertising ever – thanks to the lovely Sarah, who writes For The Love of Birds. It's a great blog with hundreds of gorgeous and fun bird-themed finds. That's my ad in the top right corner.

Exciting!

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Registry: yay!


I've always wished someone would invent an Etsy gift registry, so when I saw someone mention that the official Etsy blog was publicising a new registry idea I clicked right over to see what it was about. My Happily Ever After card came up on the screen and I thought, Oh no this link's taken me to my own shop – but no! Etsy staff had chosen my card to go with the story! I was thrilled.

Also thrilling is the fact that you can now set up a gift registry for Etsy items at MyRegistry.com. Genius!

And do I have gifts? Sure I do. Here, have some Card Candy...

Sailing


{Berry – in the orange lifejacket – and her new-best-friend Lily set up camp by the snacks. Clever girls.}

We went out on an old-style schooner in the Gulf of Mexico with a bunch of people from the hospital. I thought it was ambitious taking the kids along (Berry in particular, maybe!) but things went well till the last half-hour of the 2.5 hours. Boy oh boy was it hot and airless. Blazing sun and not a breath of wind for the sails. But we saw lots of dolphins (woohoo!) and met some great people who've just moved down here, like us.

Also, the pelicans made an effort to be picturesque...


Thursday, 5 July 2007

All About Orange


Orange is...

...my father-in-law's favourite colour
...my baby's favourite food
...a bad colour to paint a kitchen (studies show it stimulates appetite and encourages overeating!)
...one of the most-used shades in my colour palette (the others are pink, blue and chocolate)
...the signature colour of Etsy, which is one of the great places I sell my work
...always fresh and eye-catching
...on every single one of my Bella Figura cards!

Ta-da...


I've been working on a whole lot of new designs – some for Christmas, some year-round – so you'll be seeing more orange (and pink and blue and chocolate) in my Etsy shop soon!

{This orange-y post brought to you by the first Etsy Blogger Group Writing Project, themed... yep, orange.}

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

4th of July


Happy flag-waving, Americans!

Enjoy your freedom and your startlingly unfettered access to all kinds of fireworks.

In Australia, that'd never fly...

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Back to New Orleans


We went back to New Orleans. It's been almost two years and thousands of miles since Hurricane Katrina sent us to the other end of the country, but despite all the changes it still felt like an old friend. A bit like coming home.

New Orleans was the first place I lived after moving to America, and it took me a long time to realise that really, New Orleans is a bit like a country of its own. You won't find a city like it anywhere else. I know, I've looked.




The people and the buildings and the culture and the city as a whole have all taken a battering, through Katrina and ever since. But it's the kind of place that's hard to keep down. Some parts of it will never be the same again, but I'd like to think in the end the optimism and irrepressible spirit of the people will win out.