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Baking a Cake

Posted on 2010.05.04 at 13:27

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
Originally uploaded by mLee*
I've been inspired to start baking again. I'm off the Artisan Bread for a little while as I let my bins linger and haven't felt motivated to refresh them. Right now I have two sitting in the back of my fridge with about a loafs worth of old dough needing to be tossed. Shameful I know. Ever since I burned a batch of sprouted wheat a couple of weeks ago when I put the newly sprouted berries in the oven, set it on low and then proceeded to go to the gym for three hours. You see, in order to dry one out one must have the oven at around 125 degrees and mine only goes to about 225 so the idea is to turn it on low for five minutes and then turn it off and sit, repeating the process every hour for six or so hours. Except I didn't turn it off before I left the house. Thankfully I didn't come home to a burned down apartment only a bunch of stinky black wheat berries. And I don't respond well to personal failure.


I call it my Happy List

Posted on 2010.02.23 at 10:08

Happy List
Originally uploaded by mLee*
I've been following the The Happiness Project blog since a friend tipped me off on it at the end of the year. It is interesting and worth a blog read, but so far not enough for me to buy the book. I can't help but ask if this obsession with personal happiness is a very middle class problem? Plus as a Christian I don't want to fall into a trap of serving myself as I do not feel that is the right path for happiness or life in general.

But I am using it to inject some positive habits in my life, something I started at the end of 2009 and with success want to continue. One of those is an obsession with list making. I've found some great computer, online and iPhone list and note programs but long for something attractive and simple to put up on my wall. Enter the HP Blog with a link and now I have a that I print out every Sunday. Yes, I swiped the idea from an Etsy seller for this to-do list, but at $14 (it is now $16 just two weeks later) I just couldn't afford to buy one when I knew I could make something decent even with my limited Photoshop skills. I knew that I would need a new one for Spring when going out in nature is an important activity that often trumps the gym, and just with general life changes so $14 could easily turn into $30 or even $50 for a jpg to print out. I have already tweaked it and this is version three or four that I am using now, adding new items and taking away others. So if you are going to buy one online I suggest trying out a list for a week or two so you know exactly what needs to be on it.

When I'm done with a list I circle any goals I didn't meet and put them in a note for the week. Then I spend that next week giving those a bit of extra attention.

Now if only I could get myself featured on The Happiness Project blog I might be able to raise my Etsy prices too! Maybe I should put that on a to-do list.

So how is your 2010 going? Did you


Why thank you App Store!

Posted on 2010.02.10 at 21:29

iPhone doodle
Originally uploaded by mLee*
My iPhone and I are best buds, we are quite literally attached at the hip. It has been a life changing product, and I don't say that lightly. My name is Marissa and I am a bit of an AppAddict. I'm constantly looking for the ones that will somehow complete my phone and quite possibly my life.

And this Brushes one is just one of those life changing near perfect apps. I just ponied up the five bucks for it the other day and it is true love. But what makes it even better is pairing it with other well matched apps such as the accurately titled Awesome Note.

I am a bit of a computer art flunkie. It is hard to get more old school than woodblock printmaking and moving my vision into the computer has never gone well. Not that I am making any masterpieces on my phone just yet. But this is intuitive to use and I find it easy to make something quickly and it either works or it doesn't. And fixable. The layering of colors and the spontaneity of it does work with my style.

And then comes in the note program. I have used it for awhile to replace the junk native note app and I am always looking for new ways to use it. This time I added a folder specifically as an Art Sketchbook for me to post these images plus write any text along with them. Loving it! This morning I did a quick Brushes doodle and then imported it into my Awesome Note Sketch Journal and wrote about the experience.

Everything is super low resolution so nothing is going up on Etsy, Artfire or any wall. But what does that really matter. There is more to art than making a product. This forces me to focus on the process part more than I have in a long time.

Now I just need a good app for blogging from my phone!


5 reasons why leaving Boston is awesome!

Posted on 2009.12.21 at 06:14

first snow
Originally uploaded by mlee.etsy.com

1) Blizzard!

2) Florida sunshine in December might not be the warmest, but the contrast to here more than makes up for that.

3) Avatar! Movies and dinner dates out! Free babysitting from family is a rare and wonderful thing.

4) Getting to leave the house without some big production. Unless going to the beach and then it is worth it.

5) Having family fawn all over Alex.


1) Having a six am flight and having to get up by four am with a sleepy and most likely grumpy toddler.

2) Packing is never fun.

3) Cleaning the house.

4) No more green smoothies in the morning. Vitamix doesn't travel well and I don't think the stick blender will cut it.

5) Wasting my membership to the Gym. But I think there is one that I can use at my Grandmother's complex. Actually using it is another story.

As you can see the pros far out way the cons! We're not bringing the laptop and will have limited internet access, mostly from our phones. See you next year! Hope everybody has a great holiday and New Years!


And it's perfect

Posted on 2009.12.06 at 19:10

so clean looking
Originally uploaded by mlee.etsy.com
While the entire move isn't complete by any means, my studio is all set up and ready to go. Now I just need to take care of that pesky rest of the house problem. Gotta say that I am pretty pleased with how it turned out and with myself a little bit. But most of all I feel very blessed and privileged to have such a great space. This downsizing and moving was something we always knew I would have to do as soon as I found out I was pregnant. But it was such a daunting task and I wasn't exactly thrilled to be giving up my studio. But I got over that selfishness a long time ago and have been itching to move for ages now. What stopped us was the hassle of it all. But we had an opportunity to get it started the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when Jon was home from work and Alex was at her toddler group so we started moving our furniture. But we couldn't move the 200lb press, that had to wait until he had a friend come over to help on the following Tuesday.

There is so much natural light I rarely have to turn the ceiling lamp on and I have no need for any of the clip or desk lamps like the old studio. I was able to hang my SAD light up on the wall so it can illuminate the entire room. This space was a blank slate for me to build on and I think I did the best I could with the space and without buying anything new. I made a lot of mistakes with the layout of my last studio, mistakes that I learned from.

And I finally framed and hung some of the art I have collected over the years!

Alex so wants to be in this room and that cannot be as there is way too much for her to get into. So we removed the door and put up a gate. Now I can be in there while watching her at the same time. We might hang a curtain for privacy and decor at some point in the future. I don't know how much work I will be able to get done when she is awake as she still requires a ton of my attention, but it has to be better than before.

Hopefully I will be back to making art sometime this month. There is still so much to do.


The Studio that Was

Posted on 2009.12.02 at 05:01

Printing Corner
Originally uploaded by mlee.etsy.com
Is dead and gone made into our bedroom (makeshift at this time) and I now have a space that is about one fourth the size. We finally gave Alex a proper bedroom and in order to do that I had to downgrade my studio.

And it is awesome! Instead of feeling sorry for myself like I was I actually am loving the new space! Some would call it cramped but I call it cozy. There was a lot of wasted space in my old studio so everything is fitting a lot better than I expected it would. Originally we expected to need to keep my press outside the room in the neighboring livingroom. Not so! No inches to space, but the beast fits.

Jon moved it with a guy friend last night while I was out and I am going to work to make it usable today. Starting from scratch is great because I learned what to do and what not to do when setting up my old space.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on 2009.11.28 at 19:26

found hat
Originally uploaded by mlee.etsy.com
Hope all my friends in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and didn't get too bruised up if you did participate in Black Friday. Other than a few choice Amazon purchases we abstained from shopping on Friday. And I won't set foot in a mall until next year.

We're really busy right now totally re-arranging the apartment, but are well. It is going well and I am feeling good about it.

Alex says hi!


continuing on

Posted on 2009.11.12 at 04:08

#2 with #1 in background
Originally uploaded by mlee.etsy.com
The letter/ alphabet series can officially be called a series now. The second one is up for sale on Etsy and Artfire.

I found myself dawdling with this one after I got it going two weeks ago. I guess I have commitment issues. But really, I just have so much to do it is hard to find the time when I am in the right frame of mind to work on art. The timing is often just not right.

But with Alex going to her Toddler group every Wednesday that leaves me 2 hours and I should be able to use at least an hour of that to work on art. If I am diligent about it I might even be able to get back to making a piece a week. Not quite the same as the 20+ pieces I would make every week or two back in the day, but these are collages not prints. And my life has changed since then and I accept what comes along with those changes.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this piece as there will be more following it. Keep watching!


The past made current again

Posted on 2009.11.10 at 05:14

Night Falls on Two Trees
Originally uploaded by mlee.etsy.com
It may not be new, but this piece is still lovely to me. I've always loved how the colors gently moved into and around each other. The coolest blue I could mix combined with a bright pale orange. Finished off with dark purple. And the mysterious shapes that overlap it all. It speaks to me now because this is basically the point in autumn that we are at here in New England. There is still some beauty, but it is fading quickly as the cold airs come in. But there is still this crispness to hand onto.

It was a lovely weekend filled with as nice as the weather is going to get until well into next year. Hope all my readers, wherever you may be, had a wonderful weekend as well with gorgeous weather. And if not, here's hoping for next weekend.


My Box

Posted on 2009.11.05 at 04:27
Tags: , , , ,

Lettering #2 Mosaic
Originally uploaded by mlee.etsy.com
My project box that is. Through all of the not part of reality silliness in The Creative Habit I found a few gems. I finished it on my Kindle iPhone app the other day and am putting what I learned to use.

1) Start a morning ritual to get myself going in the right direction. My first thought and attempt was for this to be making green smoothies and then working out doing The Shred. But that was just too much to do every day, especially on days following a rough night with Alex. So it soon got whittled down to just the green smoothie part. Much healthier than a cup of coffee and a more long lasting energy, plus it is for the entire family. And Alex needs all the veggies I can get her to eat. Plus we are fasting for the next three weeks and coffee is out.

2) A box for my creative project(s). One box for each one to keep things focused. Right now I am using a shoe box, but when I get the chance I will probably take her advice and get the kind you can buy at Office Depot. In this box goes all the papers I have found that could possibly work for my project. And inside of that I have a two tiered pencil case that keeps the small pieces so they don't get lost in the shuffle. And at the top level of the case are the ones I think I will be using. She just suggested a box, but she is a dancer not a visual artist, so I felt the need to expand to suit my needs.

3) I also have an computer based tool that I am trying out as a way to gather and organize various materials. I can save websites and images and put them into folders so they are easy to bring up whenever I need them.

Have I mentioned how much I love the Kindle app yet? Because I do, yet it actually keeps me from getting an actual Kindle rather than making me want one. I'm a minimalist when it comes to what I carry with me and having it in my phone is perfect. Now I read my physical books at home, but I always have something as backup on my phone.

Now along with a novel (The Blind Assassin for you curious types) I am reading another book to boost my productivity. This time it is a book that is practical for all people called Getting Things Done. The latter is on my Kindle app again which makes it handy for a quick read and note taking.
I plan on always having one fiction and one non-fiction books going at all times. Funny how just six months ago I could barely find the attention to finish a book in six months and now I am reading books within a week tops.

Just another sign that things are improving.

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