Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Counting my Blessings (in the airport)

I am sitting in the Portland airport with my hubby waiting for our flight back to San Diego....what a lovely trip home it has been. So many beautiful sites to see and times to share with family. I come back to my home on the Oregon coast A LOT - There is something about the rain, the green, the wild beaches and of course family- all have this strange pull for me that fulfills, refreshes and inspires me. Typically when I leave I cry A LOT, all the way to airport, at the airport and when I get home... but no tears today. For the first time in a very long time I am satisfied with the now, with what we have in front of us and I am so thankful for the ability to travel to the place that I love. We thought we would have been living in Oregon by now but fate has decided otherwise and our life it Southern California has surprisingly treated us well! I cannot help but be so grateful for the the many things we have. On the eve of a new year I am counting my blessings and getting excited for a fresh start for 2009! I am not one to make resolutions because I PLAN too much (like OCD too much) as it is but this year I have lots of little goals that I am excited to embrace....finally appreciating a marvelous/creative day job that I enjoy, painting collaboration with my husband, growing my purse business, pursuing illustration opportunities and lots more that I definitely will share when I am not in the airport and have more time.  In the meantime I hope everyone out there is having a safe and happy holiday!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Holiday Pics...

When you grow up on the Northern Oregon Coast you become very accustomed to rain,cold, wind and operating normal when all of these elements occur. I come home a lot but this whole area never ceases to amaze and inspire me. We have been visiting our normal haunts, finding new places to explore and having adventures despite the rain and melting snow...more to come, more to share.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Freezing My Toes Off!

I am currently in Oregon at home on the north coast, freezing my toes off but must say that it is wonderful to home! It was a crazy journey here- almost missed the plane, icy roads, snow and missed exits but well worth the effort to be finally hanging with family. I have lots of projects to be working on and thinking about while I am here- preparing a demo for CHA, a SUPER exciting freelance illustration project planning a collaborative series of paintings with my husband for some future opportunities (did I ever mention my hubby is an amazing artist?) and lots of other creative endeavors that I have to at least be thinking about while enjoying my vacation. In the meantime I am excited to announce that I will be teaching at ArtUnraveled in August 2008- Classes will be up on the site in January and registration will begin in February.

I hope everyone is enjoying time with family and friends!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Black and White

Two posts in one day- WOW! Just a little preview of some new purses that I made for gifts!

Its About Time!

I am happy to report that I have FINALLY started to simmer down and take some much needed to time to hang out and enjoy San Diego and with my partner in crime-my husband! December in San Diego is actually one of the most beautiful months of the year- it is chilly but the sun is shining, the sky is clear and blue and the light is indescribable.  One of our favorite little holiday traditions is to walk around the Coronado and visit the Hotel Del and watch the sunset.  The location never fails to provide AMAZING light, fun photo ops and beautiful sunsets!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wonderful Opportunity

What a few weeks it has been over here in my world! I have been in the midst of chaos- so much going on I can barely keep my head and my emotions in check! One minute I am having fun - the next minute there are difficult issues and loved ones in pain and turmoil to love and support - the next minute I am getting more creative rejection (yipee), then I am off to my day job- smile and be professional Alisa - back to having fun - Christmas creating and shopping- and up and down and up and down things go. Lately I have been feeling a little lost, a little restless, looking to start some new things in the new year with my life and my art and though I am not sure what these things will completely include- the writing is on the wall and it is time for some big CHANGES!

Thankfully over the weekend I had one of those special moments that stopped me in my self obsessed tracks and sparked a different kind of inspiration- A friend of my brother who works for the International Rescue Committee in San Diego told him the story of Fartun, a 7 year Somalian refugee attending ESL classes in San Diego who comes to school in the same clothes everyday- binder clips holding up her skirt, one pair of pants and shirt, no jacket for the chilly weather, no socks - one thing to wear and to wash. As my brother told my husband and I her story, naturally my heart broke- I think all of our hearts broke and collectively the three of us decided on the fly that our gift to each other would be new clothes for Fartun. I got up and went directly to the store (this was not a situation to procrastinate with!) and spent a LONG time trying to find some appropriate things for a 7 year old to wear. I wandered the store for a few hours, looking through the kids section completely overwhelmed by what it means to have to nothing, to only have one of something. Not gonna lie- I was pretty rocked and held back tears as I looked through the racks of clothes- picking out clothes for a little girl who has none felt very daunting but I snapped out of it and succeeded with the task at hand and collected a pile of brand new clothes!! It was the VERY least that we could do but such an important thing for Fartun. I received this picture today from my brother and it made my heart break all over again- but this time with joy! It is so easy to get caught up in ourselves, so easy to take for granted the money that we spend, so easy to put off giving or making giving a priority. This wonderful opportunity to give to Fartun reminded me how small my own struggles are, how good it feels to do ANYTHING for someone in need and how important it is to stay connected to those struggling in our community. 

The IRC has tons of amazing programs and opportunities to volunteer and to give for more information visit-

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time for a Good Laugh!

I have my good friend Anna to thank for introducing me to ElfYourself because I am not sure that I have laughed this hard in a REALLY long time!!!! I just spent the last hour making a video with pics of my family!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Marketing Monsters

So for anyone out there who doesn't not know- I work by day at the University of San Diego in the Marketing department.  I juggle a lot of stuff in my life and thankfully I have a creative job in a creative department with fellow creative souls!! As busy as the holidays get I just can't help making things for as many people as I can (its a problem!) and I decided for my 9-5 peeps I would create something straight out of the pages of my book Canvas Remix- Messy Monsters (which happens to be my favorite project ever).  With a little painted canvas cut into whimsical shapes, two buttons and simple stitching you have funky little creatures full of character!!  I decided to call them Marketing Monsters and created little gift tags for each creature!  A fun cheap and easy way  to create a small handmade gift!   

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Shop Update!

I've been very productive this weekend and am happy to say that I added some new ornaments and new clutches just in time for your Christmas shopping!! Check out my etsy shop!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Cheap and Handmade!

I love Christmas because it always inspires my creativity!! I love making ornaments, decorating and creating all kinds of gifts for people. I have lived in San Diego for 7 years and often it is hard to get in the holiday spirit when it is sunny and 80 degrees in December!!  Both my hubby and I have always been out of town for Christmas or too busy for decorating! After purchasing our first home this spring and all the hard work on our house I decided that this year we would get a tree, decorate and not be distracted by being busy...we would decorate OUR WAY!!  Living in a beach town we decided to go for a funky beach cottage tree to match our white wood floors and cottage home!!  Instead of buying a fresh tree I opted for a $20 fake tree from Target and then I spray painted it white (can you believe that fake white trees cost $199.00?!?!?!?) I sprayed the tree with white primer and while it was drying I created all the decorations!  Like a garland made from junk mail painted pink, colorful hand painted painted glass balls, canvas flowers, ornaments that I have made through the years, a little silver tinsel and a hand sewn canvas star for the top!  All hand made and very cheap- just what I like!!!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Design Phase

I've been working on a whole bunch of new ornaments that I can't wait to share! It starts with what I call "the design phase" which is usually doodling or sketching simply and then the next step is creating and finding a way to make my sketches and everything in my head into something real! I am in the middle of this phase and will hopefully have a whole bunch of fun stuff t share in the next couple of days- stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Test of Stamina!

What a crazy week it has been!! Family drama to start the long weekend - Arizona for Thanksgiving - back to San Diego - family time in San Diego - working on art – more family time - meeting deadlines - up to Somerset Studios - back to San Diego - more family time and back to work....long sigh...deep breath...I can’t believe it is December!!! The last week has been a test of my stamina, patience and my ability to multi task but we made it through and now it is time for the crazy build up for Christmas which means more activity, hustle and bustle and insanity!!! I will be adding some fun new stuff to my etsy shop very soon so stay tuned!!


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