Thursday, February 09, 2006

the merging has begun!


you are not seeing double... i've just transferred all the posts from here onto my typepad account... yes, i seem fickle but ideally, its best to have one main blog... and i like typepad (no offense, google)... soooooo, if you click on the above picture, you will be linked directly to my site.... (and you can steal this button too if you want)

please all who have bookmarked me as greenbean mama, change the url! i really appreciate you all standing by all of this... i will keep this blog up for awhile but typepad will be the one updated...

yes, i am a tad embarrassed to have to switch it up on all of you (like there are a thousand people i am affecting, right?! haha) but you know, i am new at this blogging world and i am psyched! yes, i said it! i read whip up's craftblog advice and decided no more time to dawdle... i dont mind if a kazillion people read this because my main goal was to get out there (you know have a place where if i got a client, i could link them to a site)... meet others .... get invigorated... and truly, brush up on my writing skills! and i really want to learn!! learn how to juggle more than one project and a family, learn how to knit better, learn about life! this is the cure to cabin fever (along with caffeine, my mom and sister, and hiding in my studio)

(now, to email everyone and share the news *let your jaw drop to your lap*)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

participation can be fun...

i am so excited! i just joined miss paper princess' gifty swap!!! i am already partnered up with someone and can't wait to ship out her gifts... i better not say what it is just yet but i put alot of time and got to go shopping... i really hope she likes it... i wanna do more swaps now... i want to participate in so much
and I MADE IT IN!!! I MADE THE KNITTING OLYMPICS!!! i'm so darn excited!!! i can't wait until the 10th when i am allowed to cast on... and what am i making?! a blue felted flap bag with knitted flowers in the front... i don't know if it will work out entirely but i really hope to get it done by the 26th... (i am moreso worried about knitting the flower)... i even bought circular needles which i am not sure how to use them, but no doubt, will figure it out... and i loaded up on thick yarn, have my #13 needles stabbed in one skein... and am revved to go... that means, lotsa knitting in 16 nights...

february is jam-packed and i am as excited as a kid getting $30 worth of free candy

a crafty substitute

i was tired of getting stabbed with my knitting needles shoved in a bag... so i decided to create a simple needle case... i really wish i could find the site where someone made beautiful knitting cases that were already sold out... they were to drool for! but alas, i cannot find the blog, and cannot give her the credit... anyhoo, i do not have thread, or a sewing machine so i had to figure out how to make something suitable for the time being... (eventually i will make a better version, or maybe buy on)e... in the meantime, i used hot glue, bias tape (i bought a whopping bag of retro tape at the thrift the other day), and the iron... i know, i know, its not the best craftsmanship but for now, it should do the trick... i don't have many knitting needles, and i need a couple crochet hooks as well... but in time, right?! so here it is, something manageable for when i work on my yarny projects... and yes, i said yarny...

homemade valentines...

this is the first year that valentine cards were made by ellia... and they are quite different from my normal style... refreshing for the change, in my opinion... this is the first time i was able to put my sizzix to use for real.... and on top of it all, these cards were quick and simple to make, and a tad retro-scrapbooky... i even used felt, with the inspiration of miss plumpkin originally, i wanted to make cards that said "will you be my valentine?" with al capone's picture on the front... or maybe the infamous slaughter picture that took place on the st. valentine's day massacre... but i went with a more conservative style...

the sizzix is a dandy thing... i've had it for over 2yrs and rarely ever used it... working in cut paper, i figured everything must be handcut... diecuts and paper punches are cheats... but in the past few months, i've used my flower paper punch religiously... and my circle & oval cutting systems are timesavers... with my sizzix though, it felt like a waste of money... better sold on ebay to pay bills than to have it collect dust... but i kept it anyhow, and am finally putting it to use.... jo-ann fabrics has a store going out of business so i loaded up on felt and made all the flowers with my nifty sizzix... and later, maybe i will make some hearts... it's finally paying off...

now, to mail them off to the people i intended for... that is probably the hardest part yet... procrastination doesn't work well when a holiday is involved...

happy birthday, mom!!!!

here is the surprise listed in my february goals.... my mom's birthday present! its an 18x24 illustration of her two grandkiddos, ananda and diego... it's done in cut paper (the biggest size i've worked ever worked in) and of course, i couldn't help myself- green was used yet again... the frame was purchased in december with the plan to make an illustration specifically for her... i think it was my sister who asked if it was a birthday gift, and thus it became so... my friend, joann suggested the subject be about her grandkids and with that idea in mind, the sketch was completed in january... and the final completed on february 5th...

this was a surprise to my mom, although no doubt she could of guessed it... in fact, she did guess right but i ignored her remarks (we were yahoo'ing) because i didn't want her to know... i even dreamt i slipped up and told her, and was crying because the surprise was ruined... hah, you dream your fears at times! and i was so close to just blurting it out on sunday because it was done and i was just ecstatic! it was contained, however, and thankfully, she liked it alot!!

my mom isn't picky... she must be the easiest person to give a gift to... she collects an array of stuff, and her tastes vary even more than her house can hold... she likes retro vaccuum cleaners, toys from any era (yes, she even has a buzz lightyear...) old high chairs, rocking chairs of various sizes, bobble heads, nic nacs, pictures, my illustrations, recipe books, canisters, cookie jars that talk, containers, old mixers, old hair appliances... her house is soooo full that it requires several visits to really see everything... on top of that, she likes good candy, software, computer appliances, furniture, and a good movie to watch...

no, my mom isn't particular unless it comes to food... that is partly why i love buying for her... most times finances prevent me from splurging but now that i'm in my art groove, i am trying to be more creative... i know my mom likes my art, she has it displayed even! some days, she likes it more than i do... but ya know, she is always there to encourage and uplift...

and she is such a good gramma on top of it all... yes, there are many things diego can't touch but she has plenty of old phones she lets him toy with... and toys she bought just for when the kids come over... and she lets diego play with her piano... her magnets too.... she's got the candy too for everyone!!! she even has a special drawer that nana knows about! my mom is a young gramma with old products and new software... she is forever loving and truthful...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

when nana comes over...

meet nana, my niece... cousin to diego and a wonderful playmate as well! i babysat her for a few days as my sister recovered and rested... nana was a pleasure, as always... she keeps diego from climbing the table and teaches him how to bodyslam into his couch... they make the other chase them and scream when my hubby is trying to sleep... they both love disney's dinosaur... diego watches shrek 1; nana, shrek 2... they are truly best buds already... she reads to him (she will be 4 in march, mind you) and he will try his hardest to do the same... however, as you can tell from the picture, he is more concerned with the tv than the book... a habit he will be unable to keep for long... nana treats diego well and will say more than once, "that's okay, diego"....

occasionally, she calls me "mumma" and then remembers i'm her aunt... but now, diego is calling me "tia ellia" so somehow the roles got mix matched... honestly, she doesn't really like my cooking... prefers canned over semi-homemade... no doubt, i am the aunt that eats the weird stuff--- unless it pertains to candy... or starbucks... at age 3, she knows her starbucks! a cinnamon vanilla soy steamer... perhaps one day i will allow her to savor a half a shot of espresso... do i dare?! since i am walking distance from target, and they have a starbucks in there, that is our trek... nana with a steamer, diego with pediasure, and i with my 2% vanilla latte... (now, to get my sister into coffee)

well, other than the picky eating (which i have no axe to grind on that topic), things were fairly simple with her around... i mean, i could skip cooking all together and just feed her juice and cookies... and diego could have goldfish crackers and pedialyte... and then i could thrive off peanut butter oreos and coffee... no dirty pots or unwanted food... nana a friend to diego and he enjoys her company as well... but on top of all of this, my sister and her hubby bought a thank you gift... tim burton's corpse bride!!!!!!!! i am a tim burton fan to the tee! i have his toys, his book, his movies... i was bummed that we couldn't get the bride but here, my sister bought it for me... nearly had me in tears from such thoughtfulness!!! in the first day, i've watched it 3 times... nana and diego's habits are rubbing off, eh?! i have a wonderful family... immediate and extended... we are as tight as how i knit (and that is tight)!

february goals

this month i have a few semi-simple goals for myself.... they are not only in my nifty planner, but now, published before the world..

1. finish miss edna's clothes
2. complete my knitted bag/purse for the knitted olympics (if i get in)
3. make knitted babe #2 for my niece's 4th birthday
4. hmmm, this one is a secret but don't worry, it shall be revealed after the 7th
5. make 12 sample greeting cards for my rep
6. complete 3 illustrations this month
7. keep my blogs updated (sunday, wednesday, and friday nights)
8. brush up on my writing skills- boy, are they rusty!
9. read a couple books... (fiction, business, self-improvement)

we shall see come march, how many of these i was able to accomplish...

the gifts people gave...

she cooked us vegetarian lasagna... her kids baked bread and cookies... i was loaded up on coffee and yummy salsa... and they loved diego even when he was crying.... but what really added to their modest friendliness was the presents they gave us... her name is robin--- she worked with ramel at a wisconsin retail store... i mean, she knew him but us?! she only heard tales! she bought diego a cool truck, gave us cookies to take home, bought ramel a xbox game... but the kicker?! she bought me paper... ALOT of paper... in a perfect array of colors... a stack big enough to hold its own pile... i've been so thrilled to use them but have yet to complete an illustration fit for these beauties...
tell me, aren't they lovely?! enough patterns to compliment... and of course, there is green! i use green too much but it works too well with my work to ignore... and pink! the partners to my greens! and of course, i've been eyeing up that coral color... my artistic palettes are seeping into my wardrobe...
now, everyone around me knows i can't have enough of paper... for my 24th birthday (only last year), my hubby went and bought me a slew of paper! he knows my artwork well... he handpicked each piece, not one missing that ellia-esque flavor! i felt like i received a boxful of candy... and to top it off, he bought me specialty scissors, huge post-its for those big notes i leave around the house, and yes, crayons!!! and a coloring book to match... what a sweetheart! on some occasions i get pearls, on others paper... equally important, equally cherishing... gosh, i love him!
i can't help but mention that in that very summer, my parents bought a petite cropper for me... it's like a suitcase for paper and scissors and all the supplies needed to do illustrations... not to mention, its easy to carry so i can work in my studio, or move it down to the living room... it zips up so diego cannot find my papers and use them as toilet paper... or chase the cats with scissors... yes, this handy cropper is not only baby-safe, but it's convenient enough to escape the baby world... venture off to starbucks or barns and nobles so i can relax... anything that organizes and simplifies is the perfect gift... but ya know, what makes it even more sublime is who bought it for me... (yes, i am sentimental tonight)
lastly, i'd like to mention there is more paper than what i've shown you... i would love to do a paper swap with fellow paper-lovers... of course, nothing given as a gift will be swapped but don't worry, i have plenty... especially limited edition handmade paper from thailand- beautiful beautiful!!! i'd love to swap some paper, maybe some ribbon even to match... if anyone is interested let me know... or if you know of a blog that has this sort of swap, please share! who can resist giving and receiving paper?!

Friday, February 03, 2006

a paper fetish...



as every painter needs the perfect brushes to work with, i need "special" paper... yes, i have my favorites, and they are organized by color, pattern, size, and must- use- asap... these first papers are marcella by kay... and i am in love with most of them... the bright pink and lime green ones are too scrapbooky for a background and require the perfect project in order to bring out their true personality...
yes, i speak of potential, as if they can converse with me during my twilight zone atmosphere... but you see, we share a relationship... i must care for them, keep them unwrinkled and dirt free, i must organize and reorganize them so as to remember each pattern... so i can visualize if they will work best as a background, a dress, a doll.... i keep them in neat piles close by so that i may procrastinate while working, and just admire each and every piece...
i bought these two packages at target... gosh, that store is like another home to us! each time, both were the lone packages, waiting for a good home... i ignored them on several occasions and eventually, my hubby convinced me to splurge... a whopping $12.99... yes, he sacrificed a dvd so that i may buy more paper.... (as you will soon find out, i have enough to open a store... there is an obsession to collect)

there are times when a piece is too beautiful to cut into... a rare pc, that if cut wrong, will be destroyed and unrepairable... and there are times that this wrong choice of pattern will demolish a wonderful illustration and i am forced to begin all over... and that means, ruined paper thrown in the garbage- wasted... another tree that lost its destiny... i know i have a forest up there in my studio... and i know each tree has a potential to be a part of a masterpiece... It's finding the balance- the right illustration with the perfect pattern... nothing messed up between... and that, my friend is not easy...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

merging mama and baby????

okay, i have two blogs... this one and then greenbean baby, which is for my paper art... however, seeing as to how i pay for my baby one (typepad) i wonder if its wiser to merge the two... i love typepad's overall designs and the simplicity in comparison to blogger... but i don't know if i should leave my illustration separate completely from the rest of my life... or to smorgasbord it all as how my REAL life is....

as usual, i feel fickle... i don't know if i should wait til march when i will have a whole month to think about it (and possibly get some feedback)... i am new the blog world! and half of this world is blogger, the other half typepad... so either way, its good to be a part of both right?! or am i wrong? *sigh* i've been debating this for some time already... eventually if i merge, i will just have transfer all the info here onto my other one, huh?! decisions decisions- i can make life difficult, wouldn't you agree?

fearless at 18mos

i can't quite call my house child-proofed... i really wanted to just home-proof diego but in some cases, it doesn't jive... of course i keep my tremendously lethal stuff away such as knitting needles (ever see the csi episode where someone was stabbed and killed with one?)... and my x-acto blades and scissors are put in my closed off studio... but then there are things that need to be protected from diego... such as my papers, books, dvds, game controllers, the memory cards that hold our oh-so- precious games that my hubby and i play on our date nights... (yes, i play mortal combat, star wars battlefront.... smash brothers and mario party... halo 2?! well, that one i cannot manage to capture the flag)

but i have a climber on my hands... and a jumper at that!... he jumps off the couch, somersaults onto his spiderman couch and ends up laughing... he has climbed on the kitchen table, my old record player, my living room tables where again, he attempts to perhaps, fly?! it can't be all those batman cartoons i watched while i was pregnant, right?! (because then he'd have to do weird things because i watched tons of twilight zones too)... and all this is manageable until he climbs somewhere that lands him in the hospital.... no broken bones, only injured skin that leaves my stomach in a mess every time i change the bandages... give it a few more days and all will be back to normal....
yes, this is truly the "no fear" stage... and i know that regardless of cuts, bruises, burns, bumps, and scabs, my lil guy will come out a trooper... i think its harder on the moms than on the kids sometimes... learning how to keep your cool as a toddler is screaming... and by the time you get them to the hospital, your the mess but the kiddo is happily conversing with the nurse... i know this is all normal... it comes with parenting... but somehow, seeing my child in a bandage due to climbing on the stove, isn't comforting... i suppose by the time he is older and chooses sports, there may be injured bones... or if he goes into art, lethal chemicals... i guess there is danger everywhere so i better muster up the coolness needed to handle these situations skillfully and smoothly...

inspirational books

since i've discovered the world of cut paper, i've hunted for children's books illustrated by those with the same medium.... of course, nothing under the sun is new and yet, i was shocked by all the retro illustrators who chose cut paper as a way to create such alluring storybooks... leo lionni is one of the main artists whose books have received awards and have been the center of storytime on the rug for decades... you know, i first found out about lionni in my senior year of college as i was writing my thesis... when i worked at an elementary school, they had a wonderful rummage sale where i snagged up every lionni book in sight (six, to be exact)... and every keats book too (i could only find 3)... one teacher yelled at me for buying too many books... i'm an artist, a rusty writer, a child at heart, a mom, and a lover of children's books and yet i am not supposed to buy books from their rummage sale?! sorry, but these books are going to a good home, and will be loved greatly for their beauty, their sincerity, their skill!!! it is these books that give me hope that maybe one day, my cut paper will be found in a child's book, found on a bookshelf, cherished...

and meet ezra jack keats! another award-winning author... his retro illustrations are in my opinion raw and he uses his cut paper in the same method as his painting... loose... a style i'd love to imitate but am too much of a precise perfectionist... i always thought mr. keats was african-american just by all his characters in his book... most times, we artists look like our characters in some way..... and was shocked that he wasn't... but then again, my hubby is black and he doesn't draw many african kids... and i am hispanic; most times my girls are just tanned... so maybe my theory is wrong...

but i am venturing off... i really enjoy reading these books to myself (and to diego if he is listening)... i study the types of papers he uses, his composition... his layouts... i need to refuel myself in order to regain my skill as a writer AND illustrator... i need to remember the importance of composition; of size, of looseness... you know, i really just need to learn how to relax... i want too much too quick and get disappointed when i fail... in the meantime, if i could just sit back and watch something other than sesame street, maybe my creativity will flood into my brain, my blood, my marrow...