Thursday, November 18, 2010
It's official, we have a new house! Well... not so new, but you get my drift. There's a lot to do before we can move in, this will be the first time we work with contractors. We've mostly done improvements and repairs ourselves, but this project is well above our heads.
Oh yes... There's LOTS to do! You can count on me for a blow by blow of the remodel.
We also have a huge backyard! This will be the site of my future studio :) We had put a bid in on this other home, but the bank pulled the listing after we made our offer. They decided to auction the home instead. It was a scummy deal and we felt uneasy doing business with them. It has been HELL dealing with the banks & escrow company. It seems like there are no rules to the game and the banks make it up as they go. They do whatever they want and there are no other way around it. You have to just jump through their hoops and suck it up. Hopefully this will be the last time we have to do this. No more moving around for us.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
My mother will still occasionally bring food by the house. She wants to make sure I'm well fed. This time we got some fresh eggs from her hen house and a huge bag of winter chard... some Vietnamese ham, Banh-mi sandwiches and some roasted pork. I think I'm good for the winter thanks mom!
I LOVE fresh eggs. We used to raise chickens for eggs when I was little and mom has recently taken up the hobby again. The yolks are an amazing orange color, not like the pale yellow ones from store bought eggs. The taste is also much richer... you can definitely tell the difference when making things like Hollandaise sauce.
They are fun to keep and not too much work. The only downside is the smell and noise... and having to decided what to do with them when they stop producing or fall ill. You can grow very attached. My grandfather ran a farm and my grandmother/mother have done a lot of slaughtering. If I had the choice I would much rather kill my own food. All of the "family's" slaughters have been done very respectfully and quickly. My grandfather would say a "thank you/prayer" to each animal before it was killed. The focus was to do it as cleanly and quickly as possible and no other animals were ever present.
I'm a meat eater and struggle with the idea. I know what "meat production" is like in the US and how animals are kept and how they're killed. We mostly eat chickens and when we buy meat we try to stay to the free range, organic, yada yada... It's not an issue of "it's wrong to eat animals" with me, but I do have a problem with how they're treated. We go through phases of not eating meat, but I'm a bacon ADDICT and have HUGE MEAT CRAVINGS! Imagine a starved out vampire next to a juicy neck. LOL
Well thanks for the eggs mom! I'm hoping to have enough yard space to have our own chicken coop one day.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
A recent commission for the Ryono family. It's a surprise gift for Colin Ryono, who recently finished his first graphic novel. I hope he's not reading this... if so SURPRISE!
Amy in the Spring of 1990
The figure is based on his main character from the book. Good luck with everything Colin & Mark!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I'm getting back to work. There are some very cool commissions coming up. This will be a set of 10 crayons based on 10 different world currencies.
Some plates for a set of embroidery pieces. I love this design, it's Poppytrial by Metlok, made in good ol' Cali-forn-nee-ay.
Thank you for being patient guys!!!
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saw this while I was walking Guy yesterday. It stuck out like a sore thumb. I thought it was 2 clover stems twisted together but as I got closer I realized it was one mutant clover. It was the first time I saw more than 4 leaves on a single stem. Very cool.
There are 4 main leaves and 2 smaller leaf-lets that stick straight out of the middle. It just happened to be next to where Guy did his business.
A nice underside shot of how the leaves come together.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I came home from some work travel and found this lovely book in the mail! Indie Craft features artists, designers and crafters who bring a contemporary eye to traditional techniques. Many of them are redefining the art of craft and I'm honored to be featured among them. A big thanks to Jo Waterhouse, Faythe Levine and everyone at Laurence King Publishing!
The cover art is by Jenny Hart, my favorite embroiderer :)
A few of my pages.
Congrats TaDa!!! If you've not seen Tada's Revolution you're missing out! It's always good for a Awww, Eeee, Oooo or just a plane old chuckle.
Unbelievably beautiful and the execution is spot on!
I met Erin last year at Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle. It was the first time I saw her whimsical beards. Want your own beard? Check out her shop on Etsy.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
My uncle asked me to help him with some interior design work for his new office, Chau Plastic Surgery. He's an amazing plastic surgeon in Berkley, MI (near Detroit). I'm quite in awe of what he's gone through and his accomplishments. At the age of 16, during the Fall of Saigon, he boarded a helicopter at the US Embassy in Vietnam to flee the country. He was alone and perhaps did the hardest thing anyone had to do at any age. When he arrived in the US he faced many years of discrimination and racism. He washed dishes to pay his way through college. He eventually ended up in medical school and became a surgeon. He's never forgotten where he comes from, although at times I feel he's haunted by his past. Success is a hard thing to grasp, he still peers over the fence to see how green the grass is on the other side. If he reads this I'd like him to know he's standing on a lush meadow of green, there's no better place than the one you've built for yourself. We're all very proud of him.
More about Dr. Bruce Chau
I picked the color palate and did a concept sketch for him. I wasn't involved in any of the construction process. He had the help of many friends and staff members. Thank you guys, I'm sure you held it together for him.
They wanted a calming and welcoming feel. When I left everyone was very happy with this new space. It was great to meet you all: Ashley, Maria, Amy and Allison(?)... also Dr. Barak! Good luck with everything.
Another shot of the room.
I painted a tree mural in the center of the room. There was a column that juts out and we wanted to make it more of a feature and less of an intrusion.
Close up of tree mural.
This is the space before any construction.
There's more furniture in the room... but I thought I did a good job of outlining the design elements. They still need to frost a huge wall of windows.