Thursday, April 24, 2014

Come Say Hi!

Two weeks from tomorrow! If you're in the area or feel like making a road trip I'd LOVE to see your face! I've been working very hard on so many new things! Can't wait to show them to you all!

Here's the Facebook event if you'd like more info!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Urban Archaeology

So much life happening these days its a bit hard to keep up. I'm in full on art show mode, creating as much as I can before the opening of my first solo show on May 9th. Plus we're in the final stages of buying our first house. It could still all fall through (like, say, after inspections this afternoon). But if all goes well, we'll be moving into a 100+ year old home very soon. The busyness of this season is making it hard to keep my mind asleep at night and focused during the day but I'm doing my best!

For one morning last week, however, the boys and I escaped present craziness and traveled briefly back in time. My sister was part of a music video shoot in the now vacant old Woodward High School building (also formally the School for Creative and Performing Arts). So we took advantage of the open door and went exploring.

Room after room, floor after floor. I'm pretty fearless when it comes to this kind of adventure---urban exploration. Not sure exactly where we were "allowed" to go, not sure what (or who) we'd find hidden in these spaces, the four of us opened doors, climbed staircases, peered in closets, and meandered the halls.

And we found so many treasures. An easel graveyard.

One of TWO swimming pools. One for men, one for women. That's how they rolled 100 years ago.

If I could have figured out a way to sneak this chalkboard home I would have. Finders keepers, right?

I needed this day with the boys. A break, an adventure, a memory, and lots of photos : )


Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Papa passed away yesterday. He was 93. He told my mom at night that he didn't think he'd be here the next day and he was right.

On days like yesterday I feel most comfortable on the front lines. I want to stop everything. I want to be there. I want to go see the body. I want to cry all the tears. I want to take pictures because I know it's a sacred day and I want to remember it always.  

So that's what we did. We cleaned out Papa's nursing home room (I'm glad he wasn't there too long), we made a trip to the funeral home and said goodbye to his body, we cried and laughed and cried, we documented the day in photos,

It was beautifully sunny and icy. Pictures don't do it justice.

We went back to his house and started sifting through his clothes...his old military uniforms, flannel work shirts, and leisure suits from the 70's. We got out photos and worked on the display for his memorial service.

What a stud. I see why their blind date wasn't their last.

I'm working on a "5 Lessons I Learned From Papa" post.

Til then I'll just say thank you, Papa. I'm VERY proud to be your grand daughter. Life is better because of you and won't be the same without you.

Arian : )

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Follow The Good King

I'm hard at work on my first ever solo show--YAY!! It's opening the beginning of May at Fort Thomas Coffee. Last year Daniel, Jason, and I did a show called "Love Stories" there and it was a big success. So I'm excited and a bit nervous to face the challenge of filling the space on my own.

The show is called "The Good King". I'm creating prints and characters and patterns and new products all around the idea of living in a kingdom and following the Good King.  Kind of my own tinier, cuter, girlier version of C.S. Lewis's Narnia or Tolkien's Middle Earth. : )

The hope is to use this show as an opportunity to try my hand at some new ventures, like fashion and fabric design, home goods, and paper goods. To help fund some of these new projects I'll be slyly releasing the new prints in my Etsy shop as I create them.

Testing out some samples.

Here's the first available print! Daniel had a vision of sorts come to mind at a young woman's funeral last year. It was all these tiny dots moving through space. Each one seemed small and insignificant but when you stepped back you noticed that they were all moving together as part of one form. They were parts of something bigger, being moved together to be something greater than they could be on their own.

I love that idea. And that in part inspired this print. Small dots coming together to form something bigger and more beautiful and more meaningful. When we follow the Good King we get to be apart of something grand, even if we can't always see it up close : )

It's in the shop if you're interested!


Monday, February 24, 2014

From the Weekend

It was a weekend of celebrating. Birthdays, babies, new friends, family in town. Lots of pretty little moments I didn't want to forget.

The gender-neutral baby shower I decorated for. Gold, glass, white, and moss. Gold duct tape is a gift from heaven : )

Pretty gifts from my sister.

 Happy 6th to my sweet, sweet Jude.

 Coffee shop sketches.

And the prettiest snowy view out Daniel's office window. It was like a dreamy urban snow globe.

Hope you had a great weekend! This week Daniel is taking off work to dive back into our latest animated music video project. Stay tuned for lots of sneak peeks!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014


If you follow me on Instagram you've maybe noticed I'm a fan of alone time. One of the most practical and helpful rhythms we've added to our week this new year is #AloneTimeWithArian. Four or so mornings a week, while Daniel gets our kids ready for the day from 7am-8am, I head out to start my day alone, in quietness. It's not a long time but it makes a big difference in the state of my heart for the rest of the day.

(this morning in Over The Rhine

If we're in town, my favorite thing is to journal or read in one of my favorite coffee shops. That, or wander around the quiet downtown streets taking photos of the morning sunlight.

 (Four Minute Essays by Dr. Frank Crane, 1919)

If we're visiting family in the country, I take advantage of nature and take a walk in the woods!

I even got a whole 24 hours of alone time a few weeks ago. Daniel took care of everything at home so I could spend the night in a hotel downtown, stay up late watching girly movies and eating chocolate, sleep in, and spend the day wandering from coffee shop to library to art store to book store to cafe. I confess, toward the end of that 24 hours I felt kind of homeless and was looking forward to being back with my family. Go figure : )

(the view from my hotel room)

It's a luxury I didn't think I could afford. But Daniel tends to think I'm worth it even when I don't. And I'm grateful!

Another luxury I didn't think we could afford---a babysitter! Starting this week I've got 9 hours of child-free time to work on new art! I plan on using it well!

So any other introverted mamas out there have tips on how to stay sane during the child-raising years?

Arian : )

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Ongoing Quest

Happy New Year! Goodness, there's a lot I want to catch up on here. This blog has been a useful means of remembering what we have learned over the years so it's important to keep it up : )

Christmas was once again demanding. Making sure print orders were in the mail on time, everyone on our long gift list was taken care of, the house was clean and beautiful, the Christmas concerts and parties were attended, and the homemade food was delicious and memorable kiiiiiinda got the best of me this year. And on December 26th I hit a wall of sadness......REAL hard. I think the pressures of balancing work and family finally did me in and I pretty much wanted to quit both of them.

So a goal of 2014 is not to end it in the fetal position : ) Enter my on-going quest for simplicity. A lovely friend lent me this book.  Actually she's more like my secret guardian angel---I haven't seen her face in a few years (?!?!) but every once in awhile she drops the perfect note, book, or gift card off then disappears...I'm not sure she's even real. (Thanks "Debbie", if that is your real name) ; )

We've been putting a few simplicity principles into practice. One, I remixed our wardrobes to only include neutral colors. The boys each have ONE pair of pajamas and about five to seven sets of clothes. Everything matches everything else. They can dress themselves and not look homeless. Plus it's easy on the eyes and they look pretty spiffy all the time. (Note: to do this in the least wasteful way possible, I gave away the non-neutral clothes to friends and then hit up the clearance racks at Target, Old Navy, Gap, and Children's Place over the course of a few weeks and bought whatever neutral items they had marked way down)

The new color scheme makes even laundry piles pleasing to look at.

I've been making my own high-waisted maxi skirts in neutral colors too. Another way to keep the cost down-- clearance fabric or 40% off coupons.

And our house is slowly getting it's own neutral makeover. For Christmas I asked for neutral blankets, throw pillows, picture frames, candle holders, and all white dishes.

BAM, ten times more peaceful. If the picture below had sound you'd hear the 2-year-old crying to my left and the 5-year-old's 30-minute dissertation on the differences between stamina Beyblades and defense Beyblades ( I. Don't. Care.). But white makes me feel grown up and calm. And when the 2-year-old jumped me seconds later and spilled the coffee on the white blanket I just threw it in the wash with a little bleach. No problem.

We're taking baby steps.  Next is a re-do of our family schedule. I feel trapped in the domestic realm. I want to be able to work on art business more and clean house, change diapers, cook dinners, etc less. So we're redistributing the domestic tasks so that Daniel, Jason, and the little boys have more responsibilities and we're looking into some sort of shared childcare kind of thing so that I can have more time to work. While I am really thankful that Daniel has a good job and I don't HAVE to work and I GET to stay home with my kids, a little LESS time with my kids would make me a saner person and a better mom and, hopefully, a better artist!

I'm (sometimes) hopeful. I (try to) think 2014 will be a good year! I (really) hope it's a good one for you too!

Arian : )