hello and good-bye January 26, 2007

As I’m sure I’ve complained about mentioned before, we live in a really small place (well, small by non-Manhattan/Tokyo standards) and most of the rooms have to serve about eight work or crafting purposes — it seems like I’m constantly either setting something up, or clearing it away. The living room has a mini-sewing station by the window, and the coffee table doubles as a jewelry-making hotspot. I make soaps, bath salts, and shrink art in the kitchen, and when we’re cooking we are constantly shifting things around to buy some precious counter space. The bedroom has all of our books, so I’m always running over to reference something or track down a cool project. And since our tiny bathroom has a separate shower and a bathtub, we recently converted the rarely used tub to extra storage, hidden behind a vintage flowered sheet… so if I need random jewelry supplies now I dig through the stack of boxes there.

But our dining room, aka the small space between the kitchen and living room, is the real workhorse. Andrew and I both sit here facing each other at the table, typing away on our nerdy white laptops half the time…. and eating dinner six inches away from your e-mail is not what I’d call relaxing. So my next mini-home improvement project, after finishing the kitchen curtains, was making this room I’m usually in from morning til night a nicer place to be.

I’d been eyeing this collage-painting by Lisa Congdon every time I’ve gone to ReForm School for months. I really wanted it, but of course when you live in a small place you have to be choosy with what you bring home, and sadly we don’t have a ton of uncontested wall space. But I just loved it and every time I saw it I wanted it more… and then this month at the Alyson Fox opening, it just called my name, and this time I answered!


I found this “hello” keyholder at Branch Gallery in North Carolina two years ago, and I was immediately captivated by this little squirrel. (I wish I could remember the name of the artist to credit him, but it’s not signed and I haven’t had any luck searching online yet.) This adorable little thing keeps me sane and together when I’m traveling too much, or heading out on short notice — our Portland keys live on these hooks, and with this little guy in my life, I can just grab them on the way to the airport. And when I get back to LA, he’s there to say hi and take them back from me for safekeeping. My nightmare is realizing halfway through a flight that I’m locked out of my life in Portland, or digging frantically for my keys in every random junk drawer in our place as a cab waits (or worse, my plane doesn’t), and this squirrel has saved me from that predicament over and over again.

hello + good-bye

So it seemed like fate that I found the good-bye to go with my hello — and I think they’re lovely together! I just scooted hello over a few inches and now good-bye fits in beautifully — I can see them from my little workspot and they make me so happy!

And it really reflects how I feel these days too, always coming and going. Freelancing deals some random hands sometimes; I just found out that I’m going to the east coast for a quick work trip next week, and then I’ll get to go to Portland for a week after that… all good things, but now Andrew may be heading in the opposite direction on a different project, so kind of crazy, too. It’s hard when you don’t get to see your husband for the better part of three weeks!

But in the meantime, I have a cute little visitor here on my “desk” — pink Craftie! Marie just sent her to me yesterday and I’m looking forward to taking her on adventures over the next few weeks, before I pass her off to Kyle in Portland. So she’s cheering me up while I work today, and it will be nice to have a friend along on my next few trips.

Pink Craftie comes to visit!

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