Wednesday, September 29, 2010

off to the junk shop and other updates...

happy wednesday, everybody.


things have been super busy at casa leilani this last week or so...



i don't want to jinx myself, but i appear to be mending, somewhat, and have been able to work in the studio for several hours each day. i have to take it easy, ice my hand and wrist 3-4 times a day, and wear a thumb stabilizer,


which is now covered in paper clay and paint. on the positive side, the dolls eyebrows seem to be a little straighter as this thing forces me to hold a paintbrush a little steadier. tee hee!



so, i'm doing the freret street market this saturday, with the help of several good friends who have agreed to help me set up this massive ( supposedly easy-up) tent and tables.
i have an obscene amount of dolls and paper goods ready to sell, but not nearly what i wanted to have. isn't that always the way it goes - overkill?!? i always think i can do more!


i am excited to put my work out in the world and see what happens. i'm really just trying to put love and happiness and frivolity into each one of them, and hopefully send them out into the world to good and fun homes.

so, that's all the news that is fit to print this lovely, crisp fall day in the big sleazy.
i am off the junk shop to get more bottles

to decorate to hold these silly pixie sticks at market...


i hope to be back here more regular-like in the upcoming days.

ciao,

amber


Friday, September 24, 2010

i'm baaaack! sortof....

good friday morning, everyone.
gosh, it seems like it's been a lifetime since i've logged in here....

as you know, i have been recovering from some pretty aggravating wrist and hand issues.

the ganglion cyst has gone down a bit, but has not dissipated entirely. sometimes it still hurts me and i fully expect it to return over the next year. i will deal with that when the time comes.
the tendinitis just got worse after the shots. my doctor was flabbergasted and mr. b was FURIOUS! we really have no idea what happened. i guess i just bruised up real nice.
all that money on all those shots, plus the office visit and i was unable to work for almost 3 weeks. i was supposed to be back in the studio within a few days of the shots. i guess i'm just sensitive. hee hee...

anyway...i've been icing my hand and wrist several times a day, i'm taking a steroid for just this one week to help with the inflammation, and basically working through what pain i do have, because i have to work, right!?!
i don't ever expect to be fully recovered but i am doing the best with what i have.

i do get depressed and angry and aggravated because i am not able to work as much or as fast as i would like. but, i am working. i finally got back in the studio this past weekend and it's a good thing too...

i applied and was accepted to a local craft market here in new orleans on the 2nd of october. i am thrilled as this is my first real market, but i am a little scared too. it's a very laid back craft show, but still - one does want to make a good impression.
and sell some dolls, dammit!

so, we got my tent last night and i have been working not only on product, but signage and decor. i will post pics when everything comes together... but here's a sneak peak of a few little things:






so, i'm going to keep this short and sweet this morning, as i really need to pick up a paintbrush.

i hope to be back posting regularly this weekend....

have a good one, everyone!

amber


Thursday, September 16, 2010

getting back on the horse...

well, although my hand is still a little weird ( i.e. it still hurts from time to time and i am babying it a bit) i am starting to get back on the horse, so to speak...


i am trying to ease back into production by making one more piece, each day, than i did the day before. i am afraid to over do it, so that seems the best way to keep myself in check.

the cyst has definitely gone down, but i can't tell if has gone away entirely.
the tendinitis is giving me the most fits and i think i'm probably more careful (paranoid) about it that i probably need to be.
the truth is it hurts. and it's gonna keep right on hurting, so i might as well work and just be done with it.

i bought some new photo equipment a few days back and have been playing with them:





i think the pictures are turning out much better than before.
i didn't much like the guy who sold the stuff to me, as he basically berated me for not having an slr camera.
dude. have you seen the size of my hands? i can't even hold one of those things.
but, anyway... i'm happy with my purchases and the way the new pics are coming out.

i have been super duper depressed and angry the last week and am trying very very very hard to find my happy place and get back focused on putting positive vibes into the world. it's been hard though.
i feel so out touch, alone, and misunderstood that i have been wallowing in self pity for over a week.
gotta stop.

so, i'm gonna head to the studio and start painting pumpkins this morning. and dream about making a living with my art...

i've been trying to keep up with everyone and hope that all is well...

later,

amber


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

will you give me a hand?...

so, i'm typing this one handed today - and with my left hand, which is not my hand of choice.

many of you may remember that last year around this time, i dislocated my wrist as well as pulled a tendon. we still have no idea how i did it. it will forever be a mystery....
needless to say, i was out of commission for the rest of the year.  and it was the beginning of my transition from jewelry artist to mixed media artist: since i couldn't bead, i sought a creative outlet that would allow me to use my left hand and keep the pressure off my right. i ended up getting into rubber stamping


 which led to paper collage,


 mixed media collage,




 and finally art dolls


-which has fulfilled me, creatively more than anything in a very,very long time.

well, over the last few weeks i've been experiencing a bit of pain in that same wrist & i noticed i had quite a good sized bump in the spot that was injured. i succeeded in mostly ignoring it...until this weekend.
by sunday i was starting to get concerned. so concerned that the mister called my doctor & made me an appointment for 8am yesterday morning.

i was pretty scared. all i could see were my dreams swirling down the drain. i saw knives & physical therapy.


well, it turns out i do have what is called a ganglion cyst - more commonly referred to as a"bible bump" because traditionally, folks got rid of them by whacking them with a big ole bible. 
ahem. not this southern belle.
 they are most common in women ages 20-40 and usually form on the wists and hands where trauma has occurred. normally, they are not painful, but when they are ... well they do hurt.

i also have some sort of tendinitis that has a french name about a mile long to just go ahead and add insult to injury. turns out that has been where most of the pain stems from & has been making my wrist weak.
 who knew?!

soooo...i started out my tuesday morning getting not one, but TWO shots of cortisone to my tender wrist - one of which was DIRECTLY INTO the cyst itself.

NOT PLEASANT


but, my doctor thinks that will break up the cyst and  hopes it forgoes the other lovely option of having my wrist cut open.

ME TOO!

not good timing on this as i have sooooooo much on my plate right now.

sooooooo.....i am icing my wrist, trying to rest it, taking anti inflammatory meds, and hoping to be back crafting by the weekend.
surprisingly enough, the tendinitis hurts more than the cyst at this point ( i think because my doctor messed with it so much yesterday).

it's hard for me to sit around and do nothing. i keep walking back to my studio trying to find a way to work. but i haven't.

i woke up completely panicked at 3am wondering when & how i will do all the stuff done that i need to for my shows & retail orders.


and you know what - i WILL get it done. i may not have as many pieces as i would have originally liked to have, but they'll be good pieces.

i keep thinking about a friend in town who has a degenerative muscular disease. her nerves don't work properly.
she lost her job because of this & has had to go on disability.
has it stopped her going & doing? no.
has it crushed her positive attitude? absolutely not.
she is my role model for staying positive & focused.


i realize a little hand discomfort is nothing compared to a degenerative disease, but my hands are my livelihood. i'm an artist. a crafts person. i don't know what i'd do if i couldn't make things. so, i must say this has been very upsetting for me to think about loosing all of that.

but, hopefully i won't.

i'm supposed to take it easy for a few days; let pain be my guide; wear a thumb restrainer - which i hate; and take more breaks in between working.
that's doable.
except that thumb thingy. that's going to take some getting used to.

so, thanks for letting me share this with you all. i try not to bring the negative in here anymore - i want this place i have built to be one of creativity, joy, exploration, and whimsy.
but this is important to me, so i wanted to talk about it.

i WILL stay positive. and i WILL work through this.
and i have such a loving, wonderful partner who is taking such good care of me. i could not ask for more!



hopefully, i'll see you all this weekend with new work & positive results....

till then....

amber

Thursday, September 2, 2010

a few new things and tour around mi casa...

so, as i told you yesterday, i have been getting some last minute pieces ready to deliver to PLUM here in new orleans. i am very excited to have my work in dannal's store! it is super cute, clever, and retro inspired. i hope that my pieces will do well there and i am thankful to dannal for taking a chance on them!


since i am waiting on most of those last minute pieces to crackle, i thought i would take a moment and share some pics with you from around our humble abode. i was in a picture taking mood yesterday (and a procrastination mood as i could not summon the will to paint early yesterday morning)....so i flitted around the house and took some random pics of some random stuff that appeals to or delights me.
 so, let's begin our tour:


this is a tag that was on my 40th birthday present from my friend, laurie. it's a zozo the magic queen tag and absolutely one of my favorites. i have a few of her marie antoinette pieces scattered around and they really keep the inspiration flowing.

these books are on my night stand. a go to when i can't sleep or just need a bit of eye candy.

i found this laying on one of the mister's bookshelves and if memory serves, we drank this bottle during the holidays. it was very good, needless to say...

this is MY bookshelf in the studio. well, one of them, anyway.
as you can see, i read a lot of mysteries. i haven't read all of those elizabeth peters or anne perry books, but i am sure i will one day. always good to have things on hand, just in case.

these little hats just make me smile!

my good friend, ande, makes me mixed tapes to listen to while i work.
these are some of my favorites. i miss mixed tapes, don't you?
although i do luh-uv my ipod....

since we have these two curious, hyper active kitties, we aren't really able to keep cherished collectibles out and about. everything you see here is locked safely in a teak armoir.

so, i guess that's the tour for today. sometimes you spend so much time looking at things, you forget to see them...

i will leave you with another shot of some new pieces headed out tomorrow:

i loved these so much i tried to keep them. the mister wouldn't have it! he keeps me focused, no doubt about it!

well, i'm hungry and tired of painting, so i think i'm gonna go see what i can do with these:



have a great evening, everybody!!

amber

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

goodie bags rock!

wow! is it really wednesday?
 it seems like it was just friday, yesterday!
the weekend will be here before i know it.

speaking of weekends---- i had a great visit this past weekend  from my friend laurie who dropped by on saturday- braving a severe amount of rain, drank some wine with me, shopped in the studio, and brought me this wonderful bag of goodies:

she knows i love frida kahlo, so you can imagine i was thrilled beyond words to receive a box of frida magnets!! and of course, gorgeous han solo on a community coffee bag! delight!!! harrison ford and a cup o' - now that's my idea of a good time!

laurie is an amazing paper artist - here is better example of the piece she made for me:

thank you, laurie! you totally rock!!!

i also arrived home from errands on friday to find these treasures waiting in the mailbox for me:


thank you wendy for such a treasure trove of lovelies!  wendy is, it goes without saying, an amazing paper artist, as well.   i've featured her work on here before...in fact, that's how we met.
so, thank you again, wendy! you're awesome!!!


as for today, i am in the process of updating the ETSY shoppe with more halloween goodies (i just can't get enough) and finishing the pieces that are to be dropped off at PLUM on friday.

tomorrow i want to share some pictures with you of little things around the house that i find delightful or inspiring. thanks to vanessa over at a fanciful twist for inspiring me to do so.

see y'all tomorrow ...

amber