Thursday, March 31, 2005

Cookies and boxes and ribbon - oh my!

I had a great meeting today. We ate chocolate and cookies the entire time! Talk about a rough life...

Seriously, it was for work. I'm trying to coin the phrase "taste-drive". That's what we were doing; small munches of lots of food goodies, trying to decide what the perfect fit would be, which one we'd be going home with. So many delicious choices - and the prices were great! Even though we decided to go with a different option that won't be perishable, if you ever are in need of some kick-butt cookies delivered to your door or a friend, check out these two great ladies in Oregon.

I'm actually very excited about the option that we did choose! I get to do some custom packaging and I think the employees who are getting these gifts will love the goodies inside. My one complaint is that I am still trying to figure out a good local resource for those packaging needs! I have some online companies that I'll be using once we make the final selection, but right now I just need a small sampling of boxes and packaging options to give some examples to the client and I need them now! I know, everyone says "Go to Michaels or JoAnns", but I'll tell you now: it ain't happening. While they're fine for some stuff, they don't have the selection that my good ol' Packaging Specialties in Seattle has. Too bad I can't make the jaunt out there now. It'd be a bit of a commute to go those 1183.08 miles, even though it's only 17hours.

Good thing there is CitySearch. I need to plot out my fun day driving around town tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

My Boys

One of Zampa's many funny poses

"Oh, the agony of being this cute"

It's hard working on a sunny days like today when all I can focus on around me are my cats, cuddling up together and lazing in sunbeams, looking way too cute. I know I sound like the proud mom, but I think I have the cutest boys! Sure, they're a bit hairy and they sometimes drive me crazy, but all told I just love them to bits! The black one is Tut, short for King Tut, since King is his last name. Zampa (rhymes with Grandpa) is the gray one. Zampa is the Italian word for paw - he has six toes on each one. When we first brought him home, my hubby said it looked like he was walking around on catchers mitts! He is a sweetheart, though, and will knead and nuzzle for hours.

Tut is more the independent soul, not cuddling unless it is on his own terms. When he gets in trouble (which is more often than I'll admit to my husband) he twists around, backside facing me now, with his head looking back, then falls just slightly to the side and somehow up. The closest way to describe it is a flip standing still, so that he lands on his head and meows. It's not his normal meow, but one that is slightly shorter in length and higher in pitch. With his upside-down head cocked to the side and this short "see me?" phrase, how can I stay mad? I can see him in a past life as Scarlet O'Hara, eyes wide, eyelids batting, and playing the part of the innocent one.

Even though I know better, I can't help but give in to scratching his chin, forcing his nose further back and closer to the carpet where the top of his head rests. My sister claims he is the devil incarnate, having nicknamed him "Evil One". It seems every time that I try to chide her, Tut chooses that very moment to act out more of his antics, jumping up to the counter top or burrowing deep into the freshly washed and tumble-dried laundry. There are little post-it notes of black hair everywhere now, and no amount of vacuuming or brushing of the cat seems to do much good. The vacuum is simply a displacement tool, used to suck the hair in from one spot and then ably blow it out in another. I keep saving for a new vacuum cleaner, but so far both the old vacuum and the hair have been permanent fixtures.

Every once in a while I'll take the cats outside on their leashes. Yes, I walk both of my cats; we are fully equiped with leashes, harnesses and thankfully lacking in the need for pooper-scooper bags. Although they are frequently posted right next to the door and will bolt to it if anyone moves slightly in that direction. However, if you actually open then door for them to go for a walk, they only peer from around the corner of the door, safely tucked inside their home, ready to turn tail and run under whatever they come to first. I kept them in the cab with me while driving the moving van from Seattle to Southern California and tried to let them out at rest stops periodically (on their leashes, of course). When we would take them out, they would slowly scoot along the ground, bellies dragging like soldiers in training going under barbed wire. I don't know if it was the leashes or just being in an unknown world, but I don't think they peed for the entire three-day trip.

I'm on someone's blog!

I just found a link to this here blog on someone else's site! How grand is that? Thank you, Painted Princess! It's just cool to know that I'm not just writing on a wall. Yay!

I love the internet. I could spend ALL DAY just crusing around at the fantastico sites out there. You can learn anything! From mitering corners for a pillow to basic car maintenance to how stuff works. It's incredible! Sometimes I feel guilty for indulging myself by perusing these amazing worlds via the world wide web, but I can't help it! They're sinfully delicious! And I have to say, what I'd heard rumored about the world of blogging (this is prior to me jumping in to my own) is absolutely true! You get addicted. I find myself reading and discovering more blogs everyday. At night I even think about what sort of post I should blog next!

I think part of the addiction comes from being in this technology driven world and coming to depend on it so heavily. In the old days all of the activity and chatter that now takes place on a blog was pretty similar to women sitting around for afternoon teas or men hanging out at their clubs. And by no means am I suggesting that we return to those days! I like being able to hold my own in the real world quite fine, thank you very much. I just think it's interesting that there is this thread tying humanity together, no matter how reclusive we become.

All of this excitement and connection to the web reminds me that I really, REALLY need to get that ol' website up. My dear hubby has promised to help with that, since he's a bit more tech savy than I. It is so crazy to me that I used to design websites, but now that I'm doing my own, I don't know where to start! Must be why many artsy folk outsource their own sites for development.

So please, do stay tuned and I promise I'll make the big roll-out announcement when it is ready. In the meantime, if you need any cards, stationery, announcements, invitations, etc. shoot me an email to

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A Creative Life

This morning I dropped my friend Erin off at the airport to send her back up to Seattle. We had a WONDERFUL visit, as is always the case when I see her. We explored my new homeland of Southern Cali, checked out the sites and rides at Universal Studios, and did some great shopping at places like South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island, and the outlet mall on the way back from Palm Springs (talk about whetting your shopping appetite! If you ever need a shopping vacation - check these places out!). Erin is one of my best friends/old roomies from college and was one of my bridesmaids. We met on the crew team at WWU and I think one of the reasons we hit it off so well is that both of us are creative types and can tend to be a little zany at times.

On the way to the airport we stopped at the beach so that Erin could wave goodbye to the sandy shores. There is something about squishing sand between your toes with the bright sun overheard and wishfully looking at the cute little places for rent right on the beach that brings up an inner cry for freedom. As we piled back into the car with one bag more than she came with, Erin and I got to talking about choosing our paths in life. She is currently working in the retail world and part of her is torn between being "successful" and following her passion for art.

What a tough question. Let's face the reality, being in art isn't usually one of the most highly paid gigs. It is a certain lifestyle and requires a bit of support from friends and family. I was luckily somewhat forced to make the leap when the hubby got a job a few thousand miles away from Seattle, where I was working. It was the perfect time to make the leap. It was time to see how much I could do with this mind of mine. A little talent, a lot of tears, and a need to conquer my "what if", and here I am.

There are so many creative people in the world. I was just browsing on Swirly Girl, which led me to Superhero Designs, which has a whole 'nother list of websites and crafty folk to check out. There is such a great community for people who are creative and for people who wish they were, think they're not, and just like to look. My advice for anyone in any of the aforementioned categories: don't stifle the voice and don't pay attention to the "what-ifs"; we are all creative in our own ways.

Monday, March 28, 2005

So much in the world

Do you ever have those days where you stop and take a look at everything around you and realize, "There is so much here..." So many people, so much to explore, so many questions that may or may not get answers, so much to do.

I remember in college walking around campus in the evenings and looking up at some of the rooms still lit against the night sky. It always struck me that although I might not be able to see it, life was going on inside those walls. I often imagined what other people were doing, how they felt about the world, where they would go next, etc., even what they had for breakfast or what their significant other was like. It often got me thinking about all of the different possibilities that exist in the world. There are a million and one different jobs a person might have, a plethora of ideas that might shape the way they see the world, and an incredible number of experiences that, no matter how miniscule, have added to how we each interact with the world.

My reminiscent state leads to this: I want to do more! I want to create, play, explore, discover, help, lead, learn, teach, believe, and do so much. Right now I am doing a number of the things that are in that "more" pile that has been growing since I became self-aware. I love having the knowledge and power that I can actually do many of those things and not just see them as things that "would be nice if..." I wonder how many of us have those sometimes fleeting thoughts that run haphazard through our minds whispering "It would be nice to do such and such." Do we listen to those voices? Do we give in to the whims of the child in all of us and dash boldly through the sprinkler, allowing our bare feet to feel the moisture and grass between our toes?

At the moment, I am dipping my toes in the water of creativity, trying to create more than marks on a paper. I am soaking up the sunbeams of "what-ifs" and turning cartwheels on the lawn of today. I am excited to know that out in my world, our world, THE world - there are more than just 32 flavors of life to choose from.

(My appologies for the seemlingly dreamy state all of this was written in. As you can see from the time stamp, it is now past midnight and I've been at Universal Studios, a place filled with dreams, all day.)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Long Time Coming

Wow, it's been a really, REALLY long time since I posted. Luckily, I think that I'm the only one who has been reading my blog, so I can only scold myself.

Things have been busy, in a good way. Still getting things going here; it's amazing how long it takes to get all the paperwork done. The majority of my days have been spent trying to come up with some new designs, exploring the area around here while looking for good supplies, and doing probably too much internet research. There are some great communities out there, esp. for someone with a ton of questions about getting into the greeting card/invitation industry. I've been a part of a Yahoo group for Greeting Card Professionals and then also started one for Custom Invitation Professionals. It was through one of these groups that I found Paperpreneurs, which is invaluable!

It's been so inspiring looking at other people's work. True, sometimes I see something and go, "Dang! That was what I was going to design!" But there is an incredible amount of talent out there and I'm eager to prove that I can be part of it. My first big client has just signed on and already it's been a good challenge for me. I haven't done many corporate things and now I'm doing corporate birthday cards and gifts for about 140 employees. I'll be on a conference call next month to talk about expanding it to more of the regions, too! Yippee!! Now I just have to get the designs printed...

Oh, and speaking of printing, I'm so excited to announce that I'm in the process of designing two lines of greeting cards right now that I'm sincerely hoping to have letterpressed and in stores before too long! I'm not going to give away the surprizing details of what they will be, but stay tuned because I think they will be great sellers. Or at least, when I see them in my head, they appear to be great sellers. Fingers crossed!