Being sick sucks!

April 23, 2010

I am sick.  And, I am sick of being sick.  It seems like my son and I have been sick more this year than in years past.  What is up with that?  Sigh…we are on the mend but it is slow going…  I’m hoping to have my voice back by Sunday for work!  A big part of my job is answering the phone.  Last time I had a horrible cough and cold, work was miserable!  Sigh…

Being sick and not wanting to craft got me to thinking…what kinds of illness related items might I find on Etsy?  Check out these lovelies!

Senor Salmonella Pet Pathogen by SublimeDzign is so cute!  I just want to hug him, and cuddle him, and squeeze him!

This little squirrel illustration, Sick Day, by doodleandhoob is absolutely adorable!  Is it just me, or does this remind you of Beatrix Potter as well? So cute!

Maybe we should scrub ourselves clean with some Happy Pill Soap by LoveLeeSoaps?

Wouldn’t you just love to get a cute card like these when sick?  I just adore the cat’s expression! Get Well Sad Cat card set by SkribblyKids.

Saying Thanks and Upcoming Projects

April 11, 2010

I want to take a moment to extend a huge THANK YOU to those of yout hat take the time to read my blog posts, and a double THANK YOU THANK YOU to those of you that have also taken a few extra seconds to comment.  I truly appreciate it!  Those people include:

* Megan of Studio M.M.E. – I am so looking forward to your business series!

* Nicole of Blue Bicicletta – Always inspiring graphic art illustrations and fantastic poetry podcasts!

* Rebecca of Rockknitmomme – So lovely to meet you!

* Katja of Tinkelstein – I’m carefully (though slowly) improving my German!

* Spinndiva at Rambling Designs – The recipe on your blog right now looks so incredibly yummy!

* Penny from Pocketcarnival – I just found your fan page on Facebook, via Helena Tay’s Little Mo page!

* Pippit from Giftbearer – Yours was my first blog comment ever!🙂

You are all fantastic and, even if I don’t comment every time, please know that I read your blogs and visit your shops regularly! 🙂

Now that I’ve said “Thanks!” I have some upcoming projects that I want to share with you all!  I’m so excited! I wish there was more time in the day and fewer “real life” things to take care of so that I could create all the time (or read all the time…I’m not sure which I love more!).

First up, perhaps you’ve seen some of my “Hypno” illustrations?  Right now most are art card size or on badges (or buttons depending on where you grew up!).  I cannot stop drawing these little darlings!  It started with this young lady:

From there, I haven’t been able to stop! I’ve got more hypno-girls and hypno-animals too!  I’ve decided to branch out and create two story-lines with the Hypno’s at the center of both.  One will be literary inspired, and the other more like a hypno-zoo.  Speaking of these two lines, what are your favorite literary genre’s or authors?  And, your favorite animals?

I also have several other illustration ideas floating around and hope to unveil new illustration based art and stationary illustrations before my BIRTHDAY on April 20th.  But…in bigger news:  My son has been drawing up comics like nobody’s business!  So much so that I am going to help him create some mini comic books – I guess you could say zines but he wants to say comics – and related products.  We are both super excited!  He’s only 11 and already a pretty sharp little man!  He has story ideas, character development, and more down!  Hope to unveil the first in his series before May 1st!  Right now mini-comic books, tote bags, and t-shirts are in the works.  So fun to see my little guy’s mind blossoming like this!  Yay!

A sample of JP’s art:

And, on a final note, I’m starting to freak out a little bit!  You may or may not know that we are moving from the West Coast to the East Coast this summer…all the way across the United States…nearly 3000 miles!  Our official move date is not entirely set but we will be going sometime in mid-July.  We are taking a cross-country road trip and hauling all of our stuff behind the car in a U-haul trailer which means we have tons of stuff to get rid of!  You may periodically see “Virtual Garage Sale” posts on our blog. If you see something you want, please let me know!  Or, if you have made such a move yourself and have any tips, again, please let me know!  I’d especially be obliged!  It will just be the boy, myself, and our black labrador, Mattie!  Excited but nervous!

As always, thanks for reading!  Have a fantastic April!

You know that Etsy item, Featured Seller? I decided to do one of my own…

April 3, 2010

I love the Featured Seller profiles on Etsy.  There are so many amazing and talented artists and crafters out there and it is so fun to learn what makes them tick!  I love it so much that I decided to go through and answer the questions myself!  I think every seller on Etsy or anywhere else should do this…I also think it should be a requirement in school that students write their own letter of recommendation.  I firmly believe that you must know how to sell yourself before you can get anyone to take you seriously.  So, here goes!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well, I’m Malea and my son is JP.  JP is 11.  We both love to draw, read, play with Legos, and watch movies.  JP is homeschooled by me and we both LOVE it!  I wish we had homeschooled from the beginning!  We started halfway through JP’s fourth-grade year.  By age, he is at the end of his 6th grade year.

We are about to move from California to New York so that I can attend graduate school.  My goal is to earn an MFA in Writing and eventually teach online writing classes.  I also want to teach poetry and self-expression to women and children who have escaped from abusive home situations.  In fact, I hope to make that a major part of my graduate thesis project.

We are both incredibly excited about moving and seeing and experiencing new things!  We are going to drive cross-country this summer to get from Cali to New York and it will be an amazing experience!  I love that I have my son to share it with and I love even more that he is excited to do it!  We are also taking our black lab, Mattie.

Black lab, Mattie, and my mom's dog, Callie

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

As stated previously, we both love to draw, play with Legos, and watch loads of movies.  We just finished watching “Kabluey” on Netflix and it was hilarious!  We couldn’t stop laughing!  It was hard to watch the serious bits of the film because the rest of it was so funny!

We also love to travel and see new things.  Lately we have been exploring Berkeley, California and found a great park with cement slides!  We also found a yummy deli/cafe called Poulet.  On our next trip we plan to stop at Adventure Playground and at Ici – an ice cream shop that supposedly has awesome sorbet as well (we are both allergic to dairy).

What first made you want to become an artist?

When I was a kid, I had horrible hand-eye coordination.  My mother enrolled me in drawing and dance classes to help.  I hated drawing!  Hated, hated, hated it!  But then, something magical happened…a great teacher, a subject I *wanted* to draw, and the rest was history!  That was probably in 3rd grade or so.  I’ve been drawing and creating ever since.  I think my son was born an artist…

Please describe your creative process.

I’m not sure I really have a creative process.  My best ideas usually come to me at the most inopportune times…when I’m in the shower, driving on the freeway, falling asleep…  And, of course, there is never anyone around at those times to jot down a note or two for me.  I can’t tell you how often I’ve had to pull off the freeway to get an idea on paper before it’s gone.  I keep a pad and pencil next to the shower and next to my bed now as well.

After I have my ideas on scraps of paper, I later mull them over and tweak them with more notes.  Eventually I get around to creating whatever the idea is, usually while watching a movie.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

My most cherished handmade possession is….um….I have too many to count.  They all are things JP has created for me though.  I could never choose just one.

Name your top five books, movies, musicians, and websites besides Etsy.

BOOKS:  The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg; Shopgirl by Steve Martin; House Like a Lotus by Madeline L’Engle; Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain; The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

MOVIES:  Shopgirl; LA Story; Stranger Than Fiction; 27 Dresses; Amelie

MUSICIANS: U2, Peter Gabriel, Sinead O’Connor, Annie Lennox, The Chieftains

WEBSITES:  Facebook; Wardrobe Refashion; Letter Writer’s Alliance; Poor Girl Eats Well; Postcrossing

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

BEFORE starting your shop, think very carefully about your shop name/username.  I wish I’d considered this much more before starting.  My username/shop name isn’t what I call our shop…it’s not memorable…it’s not anything interesting.

Also, read through all of the guides and how-to’s you can find both on Etsy and on other websites.  If you don’t understand something, ask another Etsy member…most are very helpful and supportive.

Network with other Etsians.  You can do this on Etsy via the Forums.  Use Twitter and Facebook.  Meet other local Etsians in your geographic region.

What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?

I love the ability to rearrange my shop.  I would love to be able to drag and drop in the ranking feature.

How do you promote your work?

I use Facebook and Twitter quite a bit.  In fact, most of my sales have come from these two avenues.  I try to be interactive with both and not just add listing after listing.

In ten years, where would you like to be?

In ten years, JP will be 21!!!  I would like to have a successful university level teaching position but to be teaching primarily online. Hopefully I will be traveling a lot and with JP.  I would love to have a couple of books published by then too.  And, I’d love to still be creating and selling on Etsy.


Sooooo long since my last post!

February 17, 2010

Well, we have been quite busy and I’m not the best of bloggers.  Eep!  I have a couple of things to blog about today, however!

First of all, I’ve had a little bout of “I suckitis” which has thankfully come to an end this week!  I was just feeling so overwhelmed with appointments, a little drama with a group I’m in, extra hours at my day job and more.  I’m still super busy this week and for the next several.  But, I’ve scaled back a few things (some out of necessity, some by choice) and have been working to refocus.

I feel like I also got my creative mojo back.  It was hiding under a blanket in a corner of the closet for some reason!  My mojo returned and appears to be channeling Keith Haring, my friend Nicole, and other artists who use either simple lines or simple colors.  When I was a teenager I was madly in love with all things Keith Haring.  I mean, I could not get enough of the stuff….and it began to show in my own art.  My lines were simple and clean, my colors were bold and bright.  Unfortunately, I don’t have much of my own work from that period in my creative life. :(  But, look at these images and just sit with the simplicity and boldness of it all:

Ain’t it grand?  So simple, so pure!


Recently I became acquainted with the fabulous Nicole Docimo who is also crazy talented and loves to work in bold black and white.  Her work also combines bold with simple, classic with modern.  Take a moment to check out these fantastic pieces.  Then, pop on over to When I Grow Up and enter a giveaway of an Everyday Creative Kit made by Nicole.  Please visit Nicole’s Etsy shop as well for even more great art!

I bought one of the “Ride Bikes” buttons and love it!  I get compliments on it every time people see it on my tote bag!


Later this evening I hope to have a few new items in my Etsy shop and on Zazzle…all featuring simple lines, black and white, and maybe the tiniest splash of color.

Halloween is just around the corner!

October 30, 2009

Tonight M and J decorated pumpkins for Halloween!  Yay!  We also went to our homeschool group’s first trunk-or-treat party!

Halloween 09 3

J scooping out pumpkin guts.

J carved his pumpkin all by himself this year…a first!  He also went back and forth over wether or not the goo was fun or gross.


Halloween 09 4

J's finished product...

I decided to draw on mine instead of carving.  I plan to turn it into pumpkin pie and muffins later…

Halloween 09 5

Front of M's pumpkin

Sharpie marker on pumpkin is quite fun!

Halloween 09 2

Back of M's pumpkin

This will be J’s first year of not trick-or-treating (his own choice…).  I’m a little sad but it is a great excuse for a mother-son date night.  We are planning to start with dinner out and then will come home to pass out candy for a bit and maybe go out to a movie.

However you spend your Halloween, and wether you celebrate the holiday or not, we hope you have a safe and happy weekend!

Recent Etsy Purchase…Thank You!

October 15, 2009

This past Saturday I purchased three items from a fellow Etsian – Kylie Parry.  The BEST and EASIEST online purchase EVER!  Seriously…  The products look exactly like what was promised.  Communication was super fast (I asked a question and had a same day answer…actually within only a few hours!).  And, even with no mail service on Monday (due to Columbus Day in the USA), I received my items today, Thursday!

Really, I can’t imagine a smoother transaction.  And, when I opened the mailbox and saw my little package waiting for me, I was pleased to see a little personal touch on the envelope – a little stamp marking.  Inside, things just got better!  Here is a photo of the package that I pulled out of the envelope:


Do you see the extra little trinket attached to the business cards?  Isn’t that sweet?  So unexpected!

And, inside the box, were my three items:


Help spread the love and visit Kylie’s Etsy shop TODAY!

First Event for M and J!

October 11, 2009

We went to our first event tonight as street vendors.  It was quite fun and we learned a ton!  We found a good space and set up our table, networked with a girl and her mom at the table next to us (thanks for all the pointers!), had quite a bit of good feedback, sold a few plush toys, and learned a lot about what people are interested in.

Next time: bring a flashlight or other source of lighting just in case; have some sort of wall display so art is up and hung rather than leaning against a support on a table; have a better way to display shirts;  more sizes of shirts and onesies; MORE PLUSH MORE PLUSH MORE PLUSH!!!!!

2nd Saturday 1

We also learned a lot about territory!  One woman, who never did identify herself, seemed to take offense to street vendors and tried to insist that we move.  But, basically she would have had to clear an entire city block to get what she wanted, which ultimately would backfire as the street vendors helped bring traffic down her block and to her door.

Everyone I have spoken too has never had territory problems so I am not too worried.  But, on the other hand, from what she was saying, and from a flier passed out by a city representative (came around after the first lady), street vendors are *supposed* to get permission from the stores or businesses that they set up in front of.

We were in front of an office that was closed for the weekend.  It looked like maybe a real estate office or some sort of financial office…?  I plan to contact them and ask if we can set up in front of their location.  If they hesitate then I will either go elsewhere or offer to pass out fliers for their biz in exchange for their *official* approval…  We shall see how it goes…


We capped off our evening with sodas and pizza from a local pizza joint…this is JP waiting for our order to be ready to go…

Blog pet peeves…

September 30, 2009

I just read an interesting thread in the Etsy forums about blog pet-peeves.  They ranged from instantly playing music to light text on a dark background and all topics in between.  One complaint was not enough personal information and photos on blogs.  So, I am going to share a little photo with you…here we are, M and J…  M is “mom” but my real name is Malea.  J is my son, park after tech museumThis picture was taken in a park in San Jose, California, just outside of the San Jose Tech Museum.  It is a great little place if you ever get the chance to visit!  When we went, tickets were only $10 USD which INCLUDES admission to an IMAX movie!  In our hometown IMAX movies, without anything else, cost more than that for one ticket! The exhibits ranged from computer technology to energy conservation and alternative energy production to to water technology.  It was pretty cool and very hands on.  Fun for both JP and I!  In this picture JP is pretending to eat his sour apple rock candy…as soon as the picture was taken he ripped the wrapper off and crunched away at that green, sugary goodness!


September 30, 2009

If you like M and J’s ACEO‘s (Art Cards Editions and Originals…ours are originals) or have an interest in our OOPS items (ones with mistakes), we would like to announce FREE shipping!  ACEO’s ship free within the USA and for a mere $1 USD to the rest of the world. the OOPS’s, well, we’d just like to get rid of them, and are shipping them for FREE to anywhere in the world!

Missing and Found: Creative Mojo!

September 24, 2009

Yep, that’s right…I’ve been missing my creative mojo!  J has still been coming up with great ideas and feeding them to me but everything I’ve attempted until literally an hour ago, has just not worked out.  Sigh…does anyone else have several days in a row like this? How do you handle it?  My solution has been to overdose on independent and foreign films.

An hour ago, however, I was fiddling with several in-progress ACEO’s (art cards – editions and originals; baseball card size) and watching “Dreams” by Akira Kurosawa.  And, suddenly inspiration knocked me over and climbed up my arm, over my shoulder, up my neck and into my ear.  Inspiration bored its way into my brain and decided to take a seat.  Within minutes I found myself cutting bristol paper to make ACEO’s, busting out paints in shades of blue and green, and getting to work.

These new ACEO’s will actually be designed as meditation or prayer cards.  Seems several people I know are going through some stressful times and a few have mentioned prayer and meditation recently.

So far, the cards are just in the early stages and have a lot more to be done but here is an early photo:

meditation cards 3

By the way, some of the best films I’ve watched over the last few days are:

  • Dreams – Akira Kurosawa (but skip the creepy short about a nuclear power plant explosion…it became gross and I had to fast forward)
  • On a Clear Day (British)
  • Pearl Diver
  • How to Cook Your Life (documentary about Buddhism and food)
  • Wendy and Lucy (depressing but good)
  • The Constant Gardener
  • What About Bob? (an oldie but goodie…)