Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 year in review

Came into work on this holiday weekend (tomorrow is Sunday, New Years Eve) and realized I better hustle and write this out, so it appears where it's supposed to - Dec 2017. 

I seem to have a different relationship to the blog now.  It's more obligatory -- not as exciting to keep up.  I wish I could change that mindset!  I wish I could change a lot of mindsets work wise!  More about that down the line I expect.

Always hard to write about the WHOLE year in late December.  So much happened, but it all gets condensed into my head as good or bad.  I'm inclined to say bad, but that's not really true.  Anyway, lets go through it:

Started on good footing after a great Dec 2016, but I fell into familiar patterns of malaise.  Not so creative, and not pushing hard enough through spring.  SUPER MEGA distracted by all the news of T#### and all the craziness.  We did a lot of protest marches, and that felt great.

Had this weird bright idea to do the mini dollhouse gallery.  Got so excited with all my plans, then Hallmark came calling and I dropped it all!  Got a super project of 12 cards form them.  All came out great, and I spent tons of time drawing and perfecting them.  SOOOOOOOO happy to be working with them again.

Remi started coming to the studio full time.  Super slow and old, and turned 15 In May!  What an amazing dog.  it was really hard seeing her age.  I would carry her in and out and up and down.  Months later it's all a blur, all the stuff we needed to do to keep her up and running.  I just remember slow trips everywhere - getting her to the car, up the Radius ramp, and all the headaches with Street cleaning parking restrictions in the summer. 

That last weekend with her was torture, waiting for Monday late afternoon to arrive when we took her to the vet in Potomac.  Excruciating.  But it was time - she was so weak, and it was the right thing to do.  I feel at peace about it.  I never thought I could do it, but then we just did.

Getting Emma was so easy and perfect, and I still can't believe how it all worked out.  I never knew what hex would feel about it all until it happened, and I just was so happy when we got her.  Such an enormous change for us, but a great change.  I LOVE having her and seeing her grow up.

Fall was typical with all the shows and things speeding up.  Of course I wasn't prepared like I needed to be.  Art on the Ave was good, but could be so much better.  It's sort of the theme for everything.  Last minute prep works, but isn't great.

November flew by, and then December.  Had all these plans, but kept getting behind with no time to recover.  In the end I did well - with a last minute reprint sale that worked out great.  So here I am again, looking forward to a new beginning and a fresh start!


Artomatic Crystal City - liked my location and the building, but it was a great show.  I don't really know why!  My shifts were so painfully long and boring.  I remember sitting on the hard couch hiding with my phone and stealing candy from the other display.  I guess it's just and old show.  There is no longer the same exciting energy.  It's all aged.

MCA - had higher hopes for a revival but it all disappointed.  Website frustration and terrible Open studios attendance.  Giving up on it.  Did a lot of Instagram work over the summer, but to no real avail.

Studio - last year of my lease coming up in MAY!  Hope and pray I can stay.  I cannot believe it's been 3 years already.  Space on 14th is finally getting renovated.  Miss my sign there.  A big loss business wise.

No Dolcezza this year.  Ross out, so I need to figure out.  Same with Buzz.  Practically no sales form Ballston.  Cards selling well still

Sidewalk sales -- Dog Days good, and online print sales, but all need new energy!  Shirts were a mixed bag (again).  Glad to have them again - with new paper, new shirts and the press.  But they still frustrate me!  The sizing of the shirts, the fit. And the limitations of the paper.  Love the better quality, but not how I lost the "ghosting"  Ahhhh - anyway.  More to figure out going forward.

PLUS ccnow.  Ugh.  Had big plans to switch, but all fizzled.  The alternatives just are not easy or great.  Nothing is obvious.  But in 2018 I have to make the change.  CCnow is just too limited anymore.

Ok - I'm rambling.  Best to close there: muddled.  Lots to do and figure out going forward.  Here's to a GREAT 2018.  Goodbye to you 2017.  Happy to have made it through you.

2016 Wrap up

2015 Wrap up

2014 Wrap up

2013 Wrap up

2012 Wrap up

2011 Wrap up

2010 Wrap up

2009 Wrap up

2017 Year in Pictures

NEW colorful envelopes!

Women's March on Washington post inaguaration

Remi at the studio full-time

Artomatic Crystal City 2017 site selection

Artomatic wall

Last sign up on 14th, just before they removed it : (

Remi's 15th bday (miracle)

Branddave shirts return ! ! ! !

mini gallery (still an idea I guess)

Late summer show at DC ART

Last days with Remi Martin

Bunny commission

Emma selection day!!

Pick up day August 12 2017

Art All Night with MCA in shaw

Late summer fun with Emma in the alley

Art on the Avenue!

I glove you IRL

Mugs for 2017 Holiday

Dumbarton Days with Hexy

Late year prints
B I G G E R !

Thursday, December 28, 2017

FINISHED you don't scare me reprint.  only took 4 days....

another freezing day.  Worked on reprints, and the day flew by.  Going to gym for first time in weeks.  Thought about skipping, but that is opposite of what I should do.  This time of year just always equals laziness.  I got to fight it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

the week between xmas and NY.  ugh - I always hate it.

Working on overdue prints and getting a lot of prep work done.  Always excited to start new things this time of year.  A fresh page.

F R E E Z I N G outside.  Took Em to Dumbarton but there were no dogs to play with.  cold + holiday.  On the way out one of her favorites was just coming in.  I was too cold to stay!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Pulled together my print sale today.  Finally hit it -- a reprint sale.  All the pages were set -- a perfect solution.  Instead of stressing out about making all these prints ahead, I would make them to order.  just hope I don't get too swamped so I can't finish.

Anyway, busy, which is how it should be.  late!!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

“All the tension has broken,” she said.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Disgusted by Bruce Weber.  Not hard to believe or see all along, but easy to ignore and write off.  Seeing the model discribe what happened to him is heartbreaking and real.  The pain expressed.  I can never look at his work the same.  Feel sad about that.  It's tainted.  A lifetime of reverance - poof.  What to do with my collection?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Finished bee and cobra prints.

Onto drawing the dogs on the sled.

tick tick tick.

Time goes by

Monday, December 4, 2017

terrible miserable awful few days with back injury.  so happy that is healed, just missed a lot and feel so behind now.

ALL gears back in motion today.  praying the week flows by...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beloved Hex

Monday, November 27, 2017

Big U TURN today. 

After thanksgiving, and a fun working weekend, the plan for today and this week was to buckle down on work, get lots done and move forward with christmas stuff.  But just before bed last night I sprung up and remembered I had Jury Duty today, so everything was changed.

From 200+ to 24 to 8, and I was one that was selected.  Such an interesting experience and feels so serious.  A little important bubble I'm suddenly engaged in.  So next few days work gets put on hold, and I enter a strange different world at the courthouse.

Thanksgiving was great.  enjoyed the hike,a nd not too disappointed in my semi dry turkey.  Missed Hexy of course, and Emma too.

Lots of Dumbarton with Emma over weekend.  Fun to be with Hex there too.  She had a blast.

rented Big Little Lies, and really enjoyed it.  The whole world it created.  Something to remember about the holiday weekend.

This week I have little sessions of work after court.  a lot to keep up.  Now I just want o go home and chill.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

such a wind-down for the holiday.  The spirit in the air has moved on to relaxing, and setting all things stressful and upsetting aside.

brilliant idea to send out a thank you (mass) email instead.  The right sentiment I wanted, and something not so desperate.  I like it.

late in the afternoon, and I'm thinking it's time for coffee + bagel.  Cut a bunch of small wood today, and need to continue on with my work for the day.  took emma to tennis courts earlier.  A great go-to place for her to run around off leash, and for me to not have to worry about her getting into trouble.  win win.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Monday

2 weeks behind on all things holiday.  Today I got cards pulled together after concluding that I won't have time to make any more new ones, so I souped up some old ones and sent them off to printer. 

Anxious to get my email out before thursday.  Shooting for tomorrow.  but that leads to 1,ooo problems of pulling everything together and making presentable and usable.

T-shirt angst and print angst (and card angst)  Same-old-story of not having enough NEW to show.  And not giving myself enough time to make them and pull it all together.  So I have to go with what I have and make it work.

Staring BEE reprint, and finishing long over-due paper order.  Framing will be interesting!

Friday, November 17, 2017

DETERMINED to return to blogger.

I don't know what the problem is - busy?  Computer a pain in the ass?  Not in the mood to recount my days?  Thinking that nobody cares anyway?  I think all of hte above.  It's such a pain getting photos from phone to computer with old phone and older computer.  Everything is such an ordeal with these things now!

anyway, we are already well into November, and I haven't written a word.

The time goes by super fast.  Weeks melt away.  This year I am 95% less busy then I was last year (no Dolcezza, no Artomatic), yet I'm still feeling overwhelmed by stuff I need to do.  I don't know why really, if you compare.  anyway, a run down:

working on cards for JDI and commissions.  And printing.  Ugh - that's it!  Oh and mugs.

Where does my time go?????
 Emma takes some.  Spending time taking her out and going to Dumbarton often, but still....

Ha, this post is just a big question mark -


Gearing up for holidays, but always feel behind.  But really, I'm not.  Getting email ready, cards, envelopes, and mini prints.  All become big projects with all the details.  And the website.  So over CCNOW, but stuck with it at least through the holidays.  Really can't believe I kept it all year.  But the alternatives are overwhelming.

Ok, what a rambling mess.  Oh well, I guess that sums it up really.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

worked mos the day of E.L. project.  Little things add up in time.  Reminiscent of the catalog days.

Printing humming along.  always slower then expected.  Nice to have more screens to work with.

Emma is a challenge - keeping her away from everything in the studio.  Most of the day she is asleep, but when she is awake, she is very awake.  our big outing last Thursday and then Saturday has worn off.  She is ready to go!  Hoping I have the time tomorrow to repeat last week.  a fun new tradition.

Loving the new Pet Shop boys (old) songs.  Nice to have fresh music to enjoy while working.  So sick of all the blogs, and all the politics.  A year later, and it still has such a stong hold.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday -- working on backlog of printing and drawing, which is great.

Fun weekend with Emma and Hex.  Dumbarton first, great falls last week.  She is doing great - i love having her.

October is coming to a close.  Of course I'm more behind then I wanted to be by now.  This week I plan to catch up!  We'll see how it goes.  Hopefully I can blog my progress.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

working on prints this week - all the ones that didn't get finished to make room for Art on the Ave then MCA open studios.  

MCA was disappointing.  I think it's time to pull the plug.  I told myself I would give it another year, but it feels like it got progressively worse.  I feel so obligated to it, wish I could just drop it without some big explaination.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

I tell myself blogging is important, but I hardly make time for it.  Time is a funny thing - it goes by so fast.  November December will be here so fast.  i feel the rush.

Finished up reprint today, had a great meeting with a really interesting guy, was impressed by Emma's ball retrieving skills, and started drawing a penguin commission.  A good day.

Emma great - continues to impress!

Monday, October 2, 2017

October already.

Have lots to do next few weeks - which is great.  prints and tees.

Emma doing great.  Growing and progressing.  So happy with her.

Days getting shorter and little colder.  ugh.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thursday already!  its been another fast week.

Emma went to the vet (again) today for MORE shots.  So many shots, it's crazy.  So amazed at how well the new harness works.  Relieves a ton of stress associated with walking her properly and preventing all her pulling. 

Catching up with all my studio things - prints that were ordered, shirts, new cards.  It seems like each day is a step forward, but not a big enough step!  Still stuck in a weird no-man's land.

Monday, September 25, 2017

I try to reset my blogging, and then days go by and I don't blog.

Hopefully I can get back on track.

This past weekend was art all night.  A good time, but some things I didnt anticipate.  I decided to do all tees, so I would stand out form all the other artists.  People loved looking through them, but I understand that it's not all that easy to buy a shirt on the spot.  Everybody is worried about sizing.

Hoping for a much bigger turnout, thinking it was going to be this huge party scene.  But it was much more like an open studio - waves of people coming in, and then gaps where you are waiting around.  Last hour felt a little brutal (3 am)

Weekend before we had our annual yard sale.  Got rid of a lot of stuff with very few customers.  We were lucky!

Print sale ends today, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.  Glad to sell anything and everything.  Always feels nice to start fresh and get old things OUT.

This year very different then last.  Every year is so unpredictable. 

Emma still doing great and growing.  Stronger and more energetic, but still really calm during the day.  I love it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

1911 19th St NW // SEPT 23 //  7pm-3am

Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday!  September is chugging along.  Working towards things coming up - Del Ray and AAN and MCA.

Shirts are frustrating.  The transfers require lighter shirts, but all I want to use is darker / brighter.  Its all just a big question mark.  What will sell?  What do people want?  I never know.  yet I need to plan as if I do.

Finished up "Birds" now need to stat the print.  Came out great.

Lots to do!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Rainy day today, dental pain yesterday. 

Summer officially over. A blur in the end, taking care of Remi and gearing up for (then getting) Emma.  hallmark and story district projects heavily sprinkled throughout.

Yesterday I had my wisdom tooth filled, which was a much bigger ordeal than I had thought.  Sitting in the chair I felt very calm, but it was rough going.  Especially the multiple attempts to get everything numb.  Anyway, ended up taking me out most the day to recover.  Feeling better today but jaw still very sore.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

emma doing great.

finished up large "too easily" today and not much more.

Ready for August to be over - I always hate this no man's vacation land at the end of the month / summer.  Seems like everything is stalled, including me!

Pizza with Bill tonight.  Vet tomorrow with Emma.  fingers crossed it's nothing!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lots of time working with Emma, sometimes working, sometimes not.  Waling better on leash, but the biting is getting so annoying (and harder).

Cutting and priming wood, and planning for more printing.  Such a lull right now, a good time to get ready for FALL.

Rainy day today.  We can't help but be sleepy after all the middle of the night puppy action.  Coffee helps.

MCA meeting tonight.  Hope it goes well and is direct.  So often they go off the rails in 1000 different directions.   

Thursday, August 24, 2017

day 13 with Emma! Things going great, with exception of the nighttime crating.  She has us worried she will bark, so after we take her out, we stay up with her while she settles back down (around an hour).  Needless to say it's a little unpleasent.

So interesting to see her changing.  Things she easily did last week 9walk on leash) she is less inclined to do now.  Now she sits and won't move, until time goes by and she gets bored putting up the fight.  But then sometimes she will walk afew steps, and start the whole cycle over again.  Not fun.  And much more distrated by things on the ground.  Plants, trash, tar, stones, whatever.  Form thing to thing.  Ha!

What worked as toys and distractions last work no longer have the smae power.  So we need to go to plan B.

Ha, she is running around studio, ready to go!  More later

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Emma doing great!  Normalcy is kinda sorta returning.  Still fussing at night, so we are losing sleep.  but during the day at the studio, she is a dream.  So easy to care for.

Growing and learning fast!

Time going by.  Summer is fading away, which I always hate.  But having Emma makes everything fine.  So exciting to wake up int he morning and see her little fuzzy body.  So happy.

E M M A ! ! ! !

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hit a WALL of sleepy after whirlwind weekend in a string of whirlwind weekends.

This saturday we picked up BELQUEST REMINGTON EMMAPEEL (emma)!!!!!
Super exciting and very overwhelming.  All is going fantastic, just sleep deprived.  Today was her first day at the studio and she did so well. 

Last night (or second) she barked in the cage, which I was so hoping she wouldn't do.  So we got up and spent a lot of time trying to sooth her down.  Think we know the drill now, fingers crossed it works out well tonight.  She is testing us in the car and at night.

But overall, she is doing great!  The future with her is bright.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tuesday already!  What a crazy few weeks this has been.

Saturday and Sunday DOG DAYS went OK - diminishing returns?  I don't know.
1.  I didn't have enough variety, and didn't have time to prepare
2.  I've had the same designs for way too long
3.  I didn't reduce prices very much
4.  i didn't promote it.

but still, seems like there wasn't the same vibe as years past.  Only a few times did we get into busy mode.  Most the time it was just a steady steam of lookers and shoppers.

Anyway, all this to say I NEED TO DO BETTER ! ! ! ! !  Next big sale is Del Ray, two months away.

- - - - -
monday was a big day, picking out "cooper'  Emotional and draining.  Losing Remi still very hard.  A big giant hole.
 today I was back at the studio, finding my way out of the weekend fog.  A good day to reset, and move ahead.

Friday, August 4, 2017

after a long day with a big gear switch right in the late afternoon.

Finished up my first batch of story district illustrations from past few days, then went to preparing for Dog Days tomorrow.  Shirts ordered Monday didn't show up, so we have to make due with what we have.  Bummer, but really the only option anyway with the time left.

I worked on some shirts and cards, but mostly fizzled.  A little coffee break helped.

Hearing back that Amy loves the illustrations was a big boost.

- - - - -

Hangover of sadness form the past week hits at weird times.  Can't believe only a week ago we were fretting about Remi's condition, and then a the gut wrenching feelings as the weekend progressed.  Only a week ago!  Feeling gradually better about it all -- getting through it, which is good.

Project Echo Lady is an obvious distraction, and something to be really excited about.  More about that later.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Working on Story District drawings and having lots of fun.

Distracted by Belquest!

Thinking about Remi and missing her.  I feel like August is going to go by quickly.

Dog Days this weekend - lots to prepare.

So much to do, sometimes I feel swamped.  Then I tell myself I can do it.

But things are getting missed, and that gets me down.

Each new day is another chance to right my course.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Wow - last time I wrote Remi was doing fine (kind of).  In just a few days we made the decision to put her to sleep, and finally yesterday at 6;30, we did.

What a horrible and sickening few days.  She was weak and couldn't do much, and all we could do was wait, and say a long goodbye.

A huge understatement to say that everything feels so weird now.  She isn't home, or in the car, or at the studio.  We no longer have to feed her, carry her, move her, clean her, get her to drink, take her out.  She is just gone.  there is no schedule anymore.

All of our lives were dedicated to taking care of her, which took more and more time and attention the past few months and weeks and days.

But when I pan back from recent memory and think about all the years and memories and "loves" about her I get overwhelmed.  She was so intertwined in our lives and happiness.  We already miss her terribly.  We will always love you Remi!