Julie Maida

ART & DESIGN

Month: December, 2012

Snow Day (not really)

Today I woke up and it was snowing. This doesn’t happen nearly as often in Virginia as I would like, and I LOVE snow, so needless to say, I was pretty stoked.

“We must go for a snow hike!” I say. My husband (who was much less enthusiastic about the hike), was coerced agreed to accompany me on for this glorious adventure. I had the morning all planned out. We would get up, eat eggs and coffee, put on layers upon layers of clothing (I hate to be cold, even if I love the snow), and our hike would commence!

Here I should mention that I spent the previous 10 years of my life in Pennsylvania, and therefore, had certain expectations for the magnitude of our snow accumulation. Apparently, though, Spotsylvania (my current county of residence) and Pennsylvania are not the same, (even if they both end in “sylvania”). In my head, I imagined a white sparkling wonderland. I imagined that I would bring my camera and see artistic scenes of snow capped pines and icicle adorned tree branches. I envisioned the multitude of subtle colors and interesting shadows that reflect in the snow drifts. I anticipated the perfect imprints that deer hooves create in the snow. The reality I imagined is captured below in these photos I took a couple of years ago. They were taken in Valley Forge Park.

sunset

deer

singletree

Alas, this was nothing like our actual snowfall. Undeterred by this, I We were determined to enjoy our Virginia snowfall! See the beginning our our snow hike below.

Josh is very excited to be out as you can see by his giant smile.

Josh is very excited to be out as you can see by his giant smile.

I am prepared to brave the cold.

I am prepared to brave the cold.

However, as were continued our journey, in search of excellent photo opportunities, my our enthusiasm began to wane a little. It started to get warmer, and melt, and our snow hike turned into a mud hike. My visions of amazing photographs turned into visions of trying not to get too muddy, and blaming Virginia for not having more snow (Virginia was really kind of a jerk about it).

snowhike3

Notice there is no snow at all in this picture. No deer. No icicles. But plenty of road and cars and empty field. I blame Virginia for not being Pennsylvania.

snowhike4

This is a picture of me standing in an oil soaked mud puddle (which is NOT the same as a pile of snow). I will say, though, that I think this picture is cool because it looks like there is a little person trapped in the water.

Notice the mud. And my lack of enthusiasm. Also, the lack of gloves and scarf because it started to get pretty warm.

Notice the mud. And my lack of enthusiasm. Also, the lack of gloves and scarf because it started to get pretty warm.

snowhike5

Really, river of mud? >;:(

The bright side? We got exercise. We got one cool picture of a tiny person trapped in oil soaked water. We enjoyed the great outdoors. I got a blog post out of it. Happy snow day!!

Booty

Todays booty. I didn’t steal anything. I am not a pirate. But I have booty none the less (not the kind on my backside. I’d like a little more of that actually). I have the kind that results from a day of creating inventory. The Ponshop asked for more stuff this week. I happily obliged. This is what I have been up to today…

jellyfishbowls

Hand painted wood jellyfish bowls

redbirdbowl

Whimsical bird bowls

squirrelldish

A squirrel serving dish. Because squirrels are funny.

trivets

Assorted trivets

mikkomarlo

A picture of the puppies for good measure.
Look at those faces.

I don’t really have an explanation for the “handmade” sign. I saw it in Joni’s shop and loved it immediately. Now I feel the need to take photos with it. That is all.

People, Places, and Inspiration

What a month! I will admit that I was not properly prepared for November/ December for a number of reasons. My inventory was not full enough. Etsy was much busier than usual. My coasters were featured in Stitch magazine’s gift issue which gave me more Etsy traffic than usual. Both of my money pits dogs had a major ACL surgery and a long recovery. Also, my husband and I went on our honeymoon (it may have been a year late, but it was definitely worth the wait) right before the holiday season began.

Recovering puppies. They even rock the cone of shame with complete and utter cuteness!

Recovering puppies. They even rock the cone of shame with complete and utter cuteness!

We climbed this banyan tree!

We climbed this banyan tree!

In addition to all of that, I agreed to work in a local retail shop for two weeks. Mix that up with a big bunch of standard holiday craziness and you have one very busy, somewhat stressed out, me. All that said, I am not complaining. I had a great month, I still have Christmas to look forward to, AND the world has not ended! (Yay, world still existing!)

One of the best parts of this month has been all of the inspiration. Sometimes, when all you do is sit in your house all day and make things, you forget to eat and shower  enjoy the people and places that inspire you in the first place.

I met lots of people at the shop in Fredericksburg (Visual Treats), which was great. There is nothing that feeds creativity like being around other artists. The (former) owner of the shop, Joni Ulman Lewis, is an artist and entrepreneur who has a particular affinity for repurposed and vintage items. She is witty, inventive, and funny and I am especially fond of her hand sewn greeting cards. She closed her store so she could spend more time making things, but she will still be running her business online. Check her out here www.joniulmanlewis.com or, www.joniulmanlewis.etsy.com.

I also met a cartoonist and digital animator (he has worked with all the important people like Nickeloden and Cartoon Network) named Frank (www.frankgresham.com), an artist named Blair (www.blairjacksonart.com), who does amazing colored pencil work, and a graphic designer named Anita who has an affinity for paper products and custom invitations (www.2bsquaredesign.com).

Despite the craziness, I am really grateful that I met so many creative people. I feel renewed, refreshed, and ready to take on the next year. What a great way to end 2012!