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Baby It’s Cold Outside…

Winter has a way of being sort of magical. I love how pretty the trees look in the snow, the  light the snow brings, and the texture that is created- it’s all stunning. It hasn’t snowed here yet but when you look up at the mountains (that aren’t too far away)- they’re a beautiful white. I had an idea for the Winter Issue of La Petite Magazine (that should be out soon) and wanted to try to capture a little bit of that winter magic. I was a snowflake making, cotton ball stringing nut while making a backdrop to use when photographing my article For the Love of Books. Yesterday, we decided to take our Christmas pictures in the handmade wonderland- and had some snowy fun…

I’m lucky – KLTworks is a labor of love. But I’ll tell ya, December is always a complete blur and gone in a flash. I’ve figured out over the years to get my Christmas shopping done before the craziness starts and I know how to make time for the important stuff (like pre-school caroling trips to the retirement home & Christmas program). But I do feel like my head is down working through most of the holiday season and my social life consists of my trips to the post office and UPS. I haven’t gotten it together to send out a Christmas card or letter type thing for years and my posts here on the sketchbook have been spare lately.  But here it goes,  better late than never and straight from the heart… 

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!! 

{Halloween} Costume Parade …

We are costume people & Halloween is our holiday. If you have followed this blog for awhile, you know that we make our costumes every year & really enjoy the process. It never fails, but we usually end up making them all about 48 hours before Halloween (& sometimes it’s 24). This year was no exception. October is always so busy for all of us – my goal is to finish or manage making orders so I can take a break to make our costumes- Chris always comes up with something cool on his own so I don’t have to worry about that. Honestly, it goes back to art school days- I love the adrenaline rush of doing things at the last minute I think. We’ve been reading Roald Dahl books to Sayer lately (along with watching the old school movies to match). We just finished Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and Sayer came up with what we should be for Halloween this year. I love trying to wrap my brain around how to make what he suggests… like a Wonka Bar & how to make Oompa Loompa hair. This is what we came up with…. 

Speaking of Roald Dahl… I made this Fantastic Mr. Fox (Ash) mask for Sayer last year & he didn’t end up wearing it, so it became his costume for his pre-school Halloween party this year (that was a week earlier than Halloween so the other wasn’t made yet). As you may notice, the Ash costume was the beginning of the Oompa Loompa costume. It worked out quite nicely actually.
As I do every Halloween, I like to trip down memory lane a bit.  We started documenting our costume madness with a family photo three years ago. We’ll do it as long as we can pull it together. I actually didn’t think it was going to happen this year-  it was a long & rainy day into night & we were all a bit disheveled & tired.  But a tradition is a tradition…  

2011 (Circus Family 2) & 2010 (Circus Family 1)

2009 (Cardboard Robots) & 2008 (Plankton)

Wow, time flies! It’s so fun to see how we all grow. I hope Sayer looks back on Halloween fondly. I know I do…. 

What do you do for Halloween? Do you have any family traditions? Do you like to dress up?
Hope you all had a great Halloween!

Past Halloween Posts:
2011 – here
2010 – here & here & here


{Fun} Sunshine Award…

This image pretty much sums up how I felt last week when I read this post. It’s quite appropriate, given that this little girl’s mom is the person that made me feel so darn special. Jumping Keira’s mom, Chantale, gave me the Sunshine Award. She’s an avid blogger & blog reader- she’s one of the nicest designers & people you will ever meet. I’m lucky enough to be able to call her a friend- all because of blogging. So this award is particularly sweet. The rules of receiving this award is that you are asked to answer some sunshine questions & pass the award on to 5 blogs who deserve some rays of sunshine too!  So here it goes…
 
Favorite color: 
I love ALL color. I’m color driven & completely color sensitive. However, if I really think about the colors that I gravitate towards the most often- they would be blues & greens. 

Facebook or Twitter: 
Both really. I like twitter for connecting & chatting quickly-  facebook for checking out everyone’s photos. I actually cruise blogs via FB often too.  I have to say… Pinterest is #1 in my book right now. I’m a very visual person.
Favourite number: 
Hands down …. 17 – with # 7 as a runner up. I always saw them as lucky. After my son was born 11 is also up there. 

twin giraffes














Favorite animal:
I like quirky animals with interesting faces. It’s all about an animal’s eyes that draws me in. On my last trip to the zoo, I realized how completely taken by giraffes I am. I love the way they walk. They are elegant & awkward all at once… and those eyes… that face! (photo via)


Favorite non-alcoholic drink:
Coffee. It’s part of my morning routine. After I swig my morning cup…. I’m good to go. I like iced tea for the afternoon or warm days.
Favorite day of the week:
I like Fridays & Saturday. But I have to say, owning my own biz & working from home, all days tend to blur together.


Classic Owl Tee


My Passion:
Admittedly, I’m a pretty passionate person. I’m passionate about creating- making- design- illustration- books- vintage- my business- photography- my family- learning . This photo sort of sums up a handful of my passions.


Getting or giving presents: 
Oh giving for sure! Although it’s certainly fun to receive. 
Favorite pattern: 
Wow, this is a tough one. There are so many. I’m consistently drawn to dots, diamonds (argyle), & stripes.

Favorite flower:
This is another tough question. I like all flowers. I tend to like flowers that look like they are made from lots of layers of tissue paper. I respond to texture & color combinations. Peonies, Poppies, Dahlias, Roses- when they are really open. But I love peonies when they are closed too!  A single calla lily is also pretty stunning…

(photo here)
Now to conclude my Sunshine Award duties. Here are five blogs that I would like to shine some sun on. Each blog inspires me on a daily/weekly basis…





Hope you have a wonderful week! 

{Inspiration} “Take your pleasure seriously”…

It’s no secret that I’ve been a big Ray & Charles Eames fan for a long time – so I was really happy to finally see the documentary film, The Architect and the Painter on Thursday night. As expected, I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It was the goose bump kind of documentary for me – where I was grinning & nodding without even knowing it. I found that I was immediately on the computer looking up old pictures & searching for more information when it was over. While I am completely smitten with the Eames furniture & textiles, it’s the games, playful exploration & process in the studio, & love of the circus that really speaks to me. When looking up some of their toys, I found these great  black & white photos taken in 1951 by Allan Grant, for Life Magazine, of some children playing with masks & colored panels made by Charles & Ray Eames. I just love them.
“Take your pleasure seriously.” –  Charles Eames
If you have an opportunity to see the film, I highly recommend it. It did leave me searching for more information & wanting to know a lot more about Ray in particular – but that is also a sign of a good film. I think sometimes, because of the their dynamic image as a couple, it’s really hard to remember the time in which most of their amazing work was created. Equality for women was still so far away & their working relationship was so different than the norm of the day. Maybe it’s because I’m a painter who loves design, or because I’m a woman, or because I’ve read tons of art history, but I really found that I was constantly frustrated by Ray getting overshadowed. I guess it’s the old cliche’ that we hear about so often concerning female artists that are married to creative men – I find it so annoying & I wanted to believe it was really different for them. However, it was no real fault of Charles- but again, more about the time. As an example, he gave a luncheon speech to a national assembly of the AIA, in which he said:


My wife is a painter, and a very good one…and we’ve been working together for, oh, twelve years now, I guess…and at first I used to help and criticize things she was doing, and then she would help and criticize things I was doing, and we would … pitch in and do all the jiggering for each other and get   it as people do…and then, gradually, things begin to sort of,   you know, entropy…things began to get shuffled, and pretty soon you didn’t know, sort of, where one started and the other ended,  and anything that we’ve looked at or talked about here, you know, I say that I’m doing it, but actually, she’s doing it just as much as I am, only she sort of goes under the same corporate type name…”


They were a brilliant duo nonetheless & the documentary was fantastic! It really was a perfect thing to watch in the first month of the new year. 


Who do you find inspiring? Or better yet, what do you do to get inspired?














Winter Wonderland Part II

Yep, it’s still snowing…. 



{Happy New Year} Bye Bye Rabbit…

The year of the rabbit was good… a blur really. But I’m ready for the dragon- bring on 2012! Every year I get quiet, contemplative, a little nostalgic, & ooze with extra gratitude the last week of December. This year was no different except for that I was hit with an overwhelming sense of burnout. More than usual – so I slowed down & enjoyed some time off with my little family. It felt good…


My normal routine on New Year’s Eve is trying to rearrange the whole house- room by room. I can’t tell you how many New Year Eve’s Chris & I got ourselves wedged in between furniture trying to make our spaces “bigger” while trying to effectively achieve high levels of feng shui. Not today. Although we fiddled with Sayer’s room a bit – it was nothing like the past years of my needing to change everything. I feel a little more content these days. I think due in large part to connecting with so many of you over the year. It really fills me up. So, I thank you – for stopping by here now & then & leaving comments. I appreciate it beyond words. I’m raising my glass (that’s now empty) & wishing everyone a very happy new year! CHEERS! In Sayer style, I’m going to groove my way into 2012, won’t you join me?

{Everyday Inspiration} camera in hand…

Late last week, Sayer asked me if we could go on a picnic at the beach after I picked him up from pre-school. The weather has been typical for fall in the NW- chilly, rainy, & a little dreary. However, this particular day it was sunny with a nice crispness in the air . The beach he was referring to is one that I used to go to when I was in high school – just to chill out & quiet my mind. It was one of the first places I drove to when I got my drivers license- so he didn’t need to twist my arm for me to take him out there. 

By the time we had packed our little picnic & got out to the beach, the sun was rapidly going down. The lighting & color was gorgeous- not to mention we had the whole beach to ourselves. If you haven’t noticed yet, I really love taking photos of Sayer – particularly at the beach. So, I was in heaven just snapping away while Sayer explored & threw rocks into the water. He even brought one of our vintage cameras from our collection that he likes to play with. It was just what we both needed. This place still has the power to calm me down & I’m glad that Sayer enjoys it as much as I do. On the way home, we chased the full moon taking back roads off the beaten path. I kept pulling over, trying to get a good photo. But I think the chase was better than the actual photos. It’s pretty amazing how my kiddo knows just how to make my day. Is there a special place that you like to go to chill out & unwind?




{Photos} all about the costumes…

Every Halloween since Sayer was a baby, we took photos of him in his costume. But last year we started a tradition of taking a family portrait of the three of us in our costumes- by setting the timer on our camera. This Halloween Sayer went as the same thing as last (as much as we tried for something else). He was an Aquabat at home & a fireman in La Connner last year. He actually didn’t wear the Aquabat much – he was the fireman most of the time & this year he enjoyed the Aquabat costume a lot. As for Chris & I, we dipped into our costume trunk. Chris has always made costumes for himself at Halloween & I have my fair share stowed away- so our trunk is full of options. I actually ended up wearing my mom’s old clown costume (circa ’70’s) that she wore when I was Sayer’s age- it even smelled like her old Charlie perfume even after several washings. I had my old clown costume from my pre-school days out for Sayer to wear- but he wasn’t interested at all. There is something about dressing up that I really enjoy- particularly as a clown. It brings out the ham in me. So I took a few photos of myself – some without the goofy glasses (or my own for that matter) before the Halloween festivities started. I have to say, I enjoy having really big hair! Chris was somewhat taken with my clown self. He told me that when he looks at these pictures, he sees the woman that he married…. hmmm. I know what he means though- I feel the same way actually. I might have to revisit being a clown every now & then…

I think it’s important to dress up & goof around. Life can be too serious sometimes- so it can take the edge off. Sayer seems to enjoy it too. We recently went to a pre-school Halloween party with him & we were some of the only adults that dressed up. Sayer told us that he was really proud of us & enjoyed the fact we dressed up with him. You don’t really have to twist our arm much. I suppose we had better enjoy it now before he is a teenager & pretends that he doesn’t know us.

Yesterday afternoon there was a Halloween parade in the town of La Conner – where my parents live (& we used to live). The town is charming & small – perfect for a parade. Sayer has not developed my sweet tooth yet – so we just cruised the streets without stopping for candy at the shops, but a lollipop caught his eye & he was quite excited to try one. He held on to it the whole time & it turned into more of a prop. 

It’s pretty cool that Sayer gets to enjoy hanging out with his grandparents so often (my dad is above) & the joys of a small quaint town. I was really glad to have met up with the three of them in time to walk with Sayer down the street during the parade & enjoy a little of the small town charm myself. Chris met us later to go trick or treating in La Conner before we all headed home. What a way to start the week! What did you do last night? Do you like to dress up in costumes?

{photos} a day at the beach…

I love the beach. It’s always been a place that I gravitate to. No matter where I’ve lived, I’ve found where the nearest river, lake, or ocean, quickly. Romping around in the seaweed, sand & water calms me right down. Yesterday the three of us headed to a nearby beach to revel in it’s goodness. Why are my guys dressed the same you ask yourself? Do we always go places dressed alike? Well, I admit, this was one of my multitasking ventures. I’m in the middle of a flurry of new klt:products & needed photos of the new adult sized owl cardigan. I thought I would get some updated photos of the kiddo cardi too. So, I brought the camera with me on our adventure- hoping to capture a little something special. It was a bit overcast so the cardigans were perfect for the beach. Oh, & we don’t always dress the same, but we do find on occasion that we are all wearing an owl tee (just different colors).
Beach photos are some of my favorites & add these two guys to the mix, it’s a recipe for me to go a bit nutty with the camera.  250+ photos later & I have some keepers that I think capture the day. It was just what we needed… & I felt lots of seaweed & sand in my toes. Where is your favorite place to escape to?

{photos} a day at the beach…

I love the beach. It’s always been a place that I gravitate to. No matter where I’ve lived, I’ve found where the nearest river, lake, or ocean, quickly. Romping around in the seaweed, sand & water calms me right down. Yesterday the three of us headed to a nearby beach to revel in it’s goodness. Why are my guys dressed the same you ask yourself? Do we always go places dressed alike? Well, I admit, this was one of my multitasking ventures. I’m in the middle of a flurry of new klt:products & needed photos of the new adult sized owl cardigan. I thought I would get some updated photos of the kiddo cardi too. So, I brought the camera with me on our adventure- hoping to capture a little something special. It was a bit overcast so the cardigans were perfect for the beach. Oh, & we don’t always dress the same, but we do find on occasion that we are all wearing an owl tee (just different colors).
Beach photos are some of my favorites & add these two guys to the mix, it’s a recipe for me to go a bit nutty with the camera.  250+ photos later & I have some keepers that I think capture the day. It was just what we needed… & I felt lots of seaweed & sand in my toes. Where is your favorite place to escape to?