Friday, January 23, 2009

right now

it's starting to snow.

the dogs are playing hide and seek with the horse that lives behind us.

i'm finishing up a few silhouette pendants.

and ray bear is quietly playing.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

no, not really

so whip up has been having all of these studio profiles on their site lately and I have to say I am tired of looking at immaculate, perfectly organized spaces. I don't work like that, even if I did, who has time to keep their studio that clean? No offense to the owners of said studios but I thought I'd show you some pictures of my studio, just the way it is.

Sewing table but currently hijacked for the purpose of making new journals.

Sewing corner and the other half of the bookshelf is dedicated to old moldy books and half finished projects.

More sewing table and bookshelf. Back corner is computer nook and table to the left is the 'jewelry table'. Notice the chair in the middle of the photo? No, not the green one. If it wasn't covered in fabric you could see it and you would say "my, that is one lovely chair" I would reply, "thank you, I bought it at a thrift store for $12. It is one of my absolute favorites finds ever."
This chair is the bane of my husband's existence. The other day in fact, he turned to me and said, "you know what my favorite part of your studio is?" I said "no, please do tell" and he said "the fact that that ugly chair isn't in the house anymore."  ah. true love.

'jewelry table' on right and 'mixed media table' on the left. mixed media area is especially messy because I had to take everything down out of the window to fix/shut the window the other day and it hasn't been put back yet.

The photos are blurry and sort of bad but I just walked around with my mac and took them. 
So there you have it, a real, working studio (wink wink).

Trust me, I know where (almost) everything is. 
And if I don't know exactly where it is then I know what area it's in.
And even if I don't know what area it's in, I always know for sure that it's out in the studio.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

invisible strings

I get daily quotes sent to me by email and this one really captured my attention.

"When you tug at a single thing in nature, you find it attached to the rest of the world. "
— John Muir

Can't you just see the invisible strings?
I'd love to do an art piece based on this quote.
I imagine a little boy wading in a river picking up a rock and I'm seeing the water still connected to the rock, seeing the strings of sand running all the way back up the bank to the trees roots and then up the tree trunk, out the branches to the leaves, which are connected to the birds flying over head, which are connected to another tree further down stream et cetera et cetera...


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

16 things about me

found a new blog:
fell in love with the name and decided to join her in a friendly game of tag.

1. I hate nothing in this world, with the exception of water chestnuts.

2. I remember things in pictures. probably not a true photographic memory but still.

3. I bite my nails.

4. I don't exactly love football but if you name a town I can name the NFL team.  

5. Me and Ray dance together at least once everyday.

6. I feel claustrophobic when there is someone behind me in line at the grocery store. I think it's partly the fact that their food is so close to mine. And the magazine racks are so close. It's like a funnel.

7. I was named after a ballerina my mom knew in college. In my whole life I have had only one person say "you mean like the museum?" instead of "you mean like whitney houston?"

8. When I can't sleep I rub my feet together under the covers.

9. I have broken both of my wrists.

10. I like to eat peanut butter with carrots.

11. I love looking at the stars. I think it is fascinating that they are so far away, that when we see them we are in fact looking into the past.

12. When I eat, I tend to keep all of the different foods on my plate from touching. I don't know why I just always have.

13. I don't rinse my dishes before I put them in the dishwasher.

14. I get a stomach ache if I drink cola or chew gum.

15. I like going to the airport because I think it's neat that so many people can be going places at the same time. I like to try and guess where they are going and why.

16. I count in my head when I get nervous or flustered.



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You can't have me

Awhile ago, after my cell phone was stolen I seriously considered getting an iPhone. I love them. I am so easily seduced by their clean simple lines and the promise of new and exciting "apps". My favorite? The one that tells you what song you are listening to when you hold the phone up to the radio. But the deal fell through (in retrospect, thankfully) and I found a free phone on freecycle instead.

Well, today I read this article and decided that no matter how alluring, no matter how sexy they are I will not own one.

(thanks to SouleMama for the link)

You all know my love hate relationship with the internet.
I declare here and now that in 2009 the internet will be my tool.
And not vice versa.


to hell in a handbasket

Right now my life is like the game jenga.
We're the strong tall tower of interlocking, balanced pieces and slowly but surely someone is pulling out the base from underneath us. We haven't fallen yet, but it seems inevitable.

I guess I always thought me and my husband would be immune to the free-falling economy. 
I can make things! I can cook things! In my own head we practically live off the grid. 

But here it is, knocking on my front door and not waiting for me to answer before it comes barging in. 
Me still in my PJ's caught all deer-in -the-headlights style. 

What? wait, no job? 
Wait, what? the transmission went out in your truck?

I can't make a new one of those.

I can feed us and I can clothe us but the mortgage company doesn't take cookies.
There's an answer out there, just out of reach.
I think I'll go on a long walk today and try to find it.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

two weeks

Do you know the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut?

Two weeks.

I think I might have pushed the universe too far. On Friday I decided I wanted a haircut NOW. I went to this cute place I'd been eyeing. It was about 1:00 and she said she could get me in at 3:45. I stopped by one other salon on the way home to see if they could get me in sooner but no luck. I thought about canceling the appointment a hundred times but decided to keep it and just get it done. 


It's not a bad cut. It's a great cut. Very well done. But short, oh so very short.
I keep re-playing it in my head over and over and I have no idea how it got this short.
I showed her a picture of what I wanted, the same picture I used last time, but this time it is so very, very short.

I'm still getting used to it. I feel very self conscious, like I have nowhere to hide. Not that my hair was very long before but I guess I just feel a little exposed. Honestly, it is growing on me, I still surprise myself in the mirror though. One of the strangest things is that it is all my natural color now. I usually have highlights or dye it blonde. I'm in denial about how brown my hair has become. My husband loves it. He keeps calling me his brown haired-blue eyed beauty. He said I look like a model.

I keep telling myself to just own up to it. Be the haircut. Be bold, be confident.
But the other half of me thinks I should knit a new hat.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

mondo beyondo

I've been procrastinating in writing this post because I wanted to make sure I had just enough time and was in just the right mood, but that day will never come so I think it is better to just start. In retrospect, I think that is one of the most important things I have learned this year. Just let go, don't cling so tightly to the plan. Just do. Just be.


In the year 2008 I learned:
a lot. 
I had a baby, I have been learning things every minute of every day. 
I've learned that I am stronger, wiser and more patient than I thought I could be. 
I learned that it is always best to listen to your gut. 
I've learned that the smell of baby poop first thing in the morning is probably the grossest thing on earth. 
I've learned that having a child is a fantastic, wonderful, magical thing.
Most importantly though, I learned that my heart can hold an infinite amount of love.


10 things I am grateful for:
my husband.
my son.
my brother.
my mom.
my dad.
my inlaws.
a roof over my head.
my backyard sanctuary and the horned skull that guards it.
my studio and all the crap that fills it.
my brain and all of it's never-ending ideas.


In 2009 I want to:
Build a chicken coop and raise chickens.
Plant a food garden.
Ride my bike more.
Build an earth stove.
Bake bread.
Make more of my own clothes.
Spend more time outdoors.
Read more books and watch less TV.
Expand my custom silhouette business.
Knit an article of clothing for myself.
Go back to yoga.
Perfect my yogurt making skills.


My mondo beyondo list:
I am going to write/illustrate and publish a bestselling book based on my blog The Belly Chronicles.
I am going to create and publish a keepsake children's book for parents and grandparents.
I am going to sell my artwork internationally.


2008 was fabulous. a hell of a year.
I only hope 2009 can keep up.


Friday, January 9, 2009

my man

Jan28, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.

I love the afternoon light in winter. It's warm but cool and crystal clear. I took mr. man for a walk to the nearby lake yesterday and it turned into an impromptu photo shoot! There are tons of pictures on flickr but here are my favorites.


almost a full smile

Jan2, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.


Jan18, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.


Jan21, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.

hi momma

Jan11, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.

ooh bugs

Jan3, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.

baby blues

Jan1, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.

hammer and nail

Table, originally uploaded by whitneyphippen.

(written yesterday, posted today)

Here I sit and it is now 1:53pm. Ray bear has been napping since about 11:00
So far today I have paid all of our bills. I cleaned the kitchen and made green eggs and ham. I cleaned up all the wind blown debris outside from yesterday.
Then as I was getting ready to start my latest project (building terrariums!) I realized that it would be best to do such a project in our mudroom. Unfortunately it is the least hospitable area in our home. But I started to clean and sweep and dust anyway when I realized what I really needed was table.

So I made a one!

It's a little crooked and maybe not perfect. But I love it and it will work great. I cleaned up the rest of our mudroom, carried all of my vessels and plants out there.

Soon to be terrariums:

I made some little goodies to put inside too:

I'll post more photos when they are finished.