I got wood

As a little experiment I purchased some wood slices to paint on and yeah, I like this, a lot. I have never painted on wood so there was a little learning curve about the surface prepping but I am pretty happy with my first shot at it. I expect to be doing a lot more of this on top of all the other stuff I do.

This little guy was intended for sale but I accidentally nicked the back of the coaster when I went to make a hole for wall hanging with the drill. It’s not too bad. Now I know better, mounting solution first, then paint.

But hey, if you’re interested in purchasing this little guy here are the details: SOLD
Basswood, 3″x 3.75″ – watercolor/micron pen
Has small hole on the back for hanging on the wall
Sealed with matte water and UV resistant sealant
(larger photo here)


spooky art, costumes and back pain. oh my!

Excuse my quiet. Last week I seem to have picked up some funky bug that had me laid up for days with what felt like a horrible ear infection. I pretty much rode it out and it took all week. It was a real bummer cause I had to miss seeing Broods which we already had tickets for. Josh went though and he was nice enough to get the band to write me a little note.

On top of that I seem to have jacked up my lower back and no amount of chiropractic adjustments have helped. Today I broke down for a 90 minute massage and while relaxing, really hurt in spots. I hope some of whatever is going on back there gets hashed out, cause being in constant pain isn’t fun and makes me a pissy bitch. Add PMS to that. I am all kinds of fun.

This past weekend was Bats Day and I sat here with total Missing Out-itis. Mainly cause it would have been nice to see some friends, go to Disneyland and see how people responded to my artwork. Now that I am able to share, here are some work in progress shots of two of the pieces I submitted to the Haunted Icons show for Bats Day 2014. These were a lot of fun!

This one seems to be the favorite piece of the bunch which was actually two oval shaped frames and the silhouettes are reversed, meaning, I had a square piece of paper and cut out the negative space. I wish I had a better photo cause when I took the photos, I shot them facing each other. Derp. Their new owner is going to send me better pix soon. (Thanks Derek!)

The final, framed versions can be viewed over in my gallery.

Reza’s school participated in the Santa Rosa Luther Burbank Rose Parade this past weekend. She goes to a French immersion school and they have many kids representing all over the globe so they thought it would be cool to let them wear “cultural dress”. I decided Reza, who seems to think she isn’t Mexican (oh hell no), was going as a Dia De Los Muertos catrina. Two days, two craft stores, forever 21 and a glue gun later, I managed to get a decent costume out of the deal. 90 minutes of hair and make-up later, she was done. Boy did she eat the attention up… almost too much for her own good. Apparently lots of the local press were taking photos of them and can’t say I blame them cause their whole row was like a live action It’s A Small World. Oh boy, I just discovered she made the news. Ham.

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 5.19.47 PM

She is out of school next week. Already. Hard to believe I am the mom of a soon to be second grader. Where does the time go? DAMN.


I was kinda having “a moment” yesterday and decided to check out and catch a movie by myself. I don’t mind going to the movies by myself even though it’s nicer to go with someone so you can talk about it. In any event, I usually hate movies on Saturday nights cause they are always full of dicks and I hate paying to see a movie when all I am going to do is be aggravated by inconsiderate people yakking or playing with their phones. I took a risk considering Santa Rosa isn’t huge and I went to see an indie type film, aka less people.


I saw the new Spike Jonze movie “Her”. I hate to make comparisons but the aesthetic, color palette and art direction was very reminiscent of Lost In Translation which is funny considering it was directed by his now ex-wife. I won’t get into the story line much but it was a touching film in many aspects, emotional, kooky, funny and awkward in spots, incredibly verbal and the message undertone resonated with me.

I should go to the movies more often, even if by myself.

This is the hard part. With 2 cross country moves under our belts and both to new places, I find myself in this space where I really don’t have friends. I mean, I do, but none within immediate proximity. The days of calling up my homies and doing some last minute chicanery are long gone. I won’t lie, it’s upsetting when you are no longer a part of someone else’s world. Out of sight out of mind if you will. I can’t spend my time trying to change situations and relationships when they’re taking their natural course.

It reminds me of the time I almost drowned in the ocean when I was a child. You feel the current taking you under and eventually something in you can no longer fight and you let it take you down. There comes a time where you just need to let the natural course of things take you, even if it isn’t where you want it to go. Such are relationships. You can only try so much but if you’re not being met with reciprocation of effort, there comes a time where you need to cut the strings.

Funny enough, I made this piece earlier this week.

Almost autobiographical and totally unintended. The hands I have been using are referenced from photos I take of my own. I have been pouring myself into my newest sketchbook, trying to draw daily. “Trying” being the operative word. It has been nice to have something sequential and consistent though. Most of it will be shared on my flickr account/Instagram, so if you are inclined to keep up with it, you can do so here.

In any event, this post was supposed to be about a film and somehow went in another direction. I am cool with that. That’s the beauty of a film vs a movie…. they leave you with something more than just being entertained.

“Her” is one of those.

Photo from “Her” by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture – © 2013 – Untitled Rick Howard Company LLC

holiday palmistry

I won’t lie, Christmas gives me anxiety. I do it to myself and put a lot of pressure on everything being perfect. I can’t help it. I live to make my loves happy! To compile that matter, I have Josh’s birthday three days after Christmas. Add my snail mail love to the mix and the creative whatnot, it just has potential to get overwhelming.

I didn’t plan properly and didn’t get my card idea sorted out early on in the month. Last week I decided I was going to make custom art, carve it out on a linoblock and stamp my card out. I already had most of the supplies, all I needed was to conjure an idea. Sounded fairly simple, at least in my head it was.

Art came together perfectly, carving was therapeutic save for the moment I stabbed the hell out of my finger with the linoblock cutting tool, bled everywhere…. but fear not! Art can be painful (and this was!).

Yesterday I sat around, ready to stamp out my cards and they were not printing in the manner I wanted them to. I don’t know if it is my technique, the ink, the paper, my tools, the combination of some or all, but the prints were just not making me a happy camper. I couldn’t bring myself to send out half assed art, which was intended to be a small way of gifting all of my recipients with something other than a store-bought card. Anyway, here she is… one of the more decent prints I could get on some layout bond.

This was the original idea, but the magic was in the carving cause it gave it some edge and texture.

In any event, after some thought I made the decision to scrap making my own cards this year. You have no idea how much this bums me the hell out cause I LOVE the art I had made. It is one of those things that this is supposed to be fun and instead I am all anxious and pissed over it. I just can’t do this to myself. It is kind of my fault… I blew my load on Halloween mail, plus I bit off more than I can chew and the lack of time doesn’t allow me to work out the kinks. I can’t bring myself to send out half assed shit, not when my art is concerned.

It is what it is. Next year? It is so ON. Or hey, there is always Valentine’s Day.

it’s freebie time

A couple days ago I posted a lino print giveaway on my Instagram account. The demand got a little larger than my supply. Typical. But hey! Fret not! For I have printed a few to make up for the people who missed out. I am mailing all out today in case you were wondering where yours is.

I am not forgetting about you guys though! So this morning when I was printing some more, I had a couple extras. See?

This is what is up for grabs:
2 – limited edition prints on RED. I am only making four of these and two are spoken for.
2 – on white

So there you go. I have 4 prints and all you need to do is comment to this blog post (not on fb, LJ or otherwise). Cool?

I will do a randomizer at the end of the week. Numbers 1 + 2 get the red, 3 + 4 get the white.

Also, if you already have one or have won something from me in the past, let us give a chance to those who haven’t been so lucky, yesh?

And boy do I have some shit to share… It just needs to wait a tap so I can put it all into words properly.




1+2 = red / 3+4 = white

adventures in printmaking

Do you ever spend your time trolling online, you see something, you tell yourself, “I can totally do that!” and then you chicken out? I’m looking at you fellow Pinterest junkies! Yeah. The art field can be challenging and frustrating as all hell. In fact, anything is… just cause you can make a quesadilla doesn’t make you a chef, right?

Anyway I finally grew a set and bought some printmaking supplies using linocut blocks. I am excited to give this a go because this medium really lends itself to what I do. In order to acquaint myself with the process I decided to do a trial run via the styrofoam method…. and hell, included the nugget in the process.

So this is what we did!

Here is what you need:

pencil, styrofoam cut to spec (take that leftover containers!), a rubber Speedball brayer (roller), tube of water soluble Speedball paint, wooden spoon and a little spatula (which I didn’t even end up using), piece of glass and the paper you plan on printing to.

Set up/Execution:
I covered the table with paper to avoid a disaster even if the paint is water soluble. Tape down the glass, you will thank me.

Take a pencil to your styrofoam and draw out your design.

Run a small, horizontal strip of paint on the top portion of the glass, distribute with the roller. Then spread that goodness nice and evenly over your design.

Once you have the paint evenly spread over the design, take it and press it on to the desired surface.

Now this is where the spoon comes in! Carefully flip it over and you take the spoon to the paper. In firm, circular motion you run the spoon all over the paper so it adheres to the styrofoam. Do this for a few minutes.

Gently peel off your paper and there you go!

Set them aside to dry and immediately go wash your roller and glass for future use. Soap and warm water will do.

One thing I will say, the styrofoam method while faster and easier to create a master, you will not get many quality prints from it cause it degrades with every use. I think I got a good 3-4 out of the deal so if you want longevity, go wood or linocut blocks.

That’s next!

jumbalaya XV

It was an interesting weekend for sure….

On Friday Josh decided to stay and work from home. I love having him around so I wasn’t about to complain. His hesitating whether to go in was only validated later on that day when he came down with some gnarly 24 hr bug that led him on a one way road to Puke Town. If you have ever heard Josh blow chunks, it is violent and sounds like wild animals are being slaughtered in the bathroom. Poor dude. There wasn’t much I can do. We were both grateful Reza was gone when it happened though cause it would certainly have freaked her out. He’s better now and thankfully the girl and I escaped getting it.

This past week we got wind that Reza was chosen to participate in a student art show. The work was chosen by current art teachers who are in process of getting their masters at The University Of The Arts in Philadelphia. Anyway, each teacher chose a handful of the best pieces per class they teach and Reza was one of the 5 from hers. Of course I am beaming about it.

I had the opportunity to talk to her art teacher and she told me that Reza grasps the concepts in class with little to no explanation, miles ahead of the other kids (her words, not mine). I like the fact she is being noticed this early on and with little to no pushing from us. We just give her the tools and words of encouragement. Thing is she likes being artsy… there have been many occasions where we wake up on the weekend, her having been up earlier than us, only I find her on the floor with her sketchbook and watercolor palette.

Two weeks ago she set out to paint a couple thank you notes for some care packages she received. I am doing my best to ensure this child knows about the art of mail and gratitude. Needless to say I managed to capture yet another priceless moment of her and her sidekick Gomez, who seems to enjoy watching her paint.

It has been a veritable rainbow of color around these parts. Spring sprung and I will be sad when the last petal falls from the sea of gorgeous, flowering trees.

The one thing I forgot about was the seasonal allergies that come with it though. The pollen count was SO HIGH this weekend, enough so that my face felt the way Renee Zellweger looks. See that photo in the middle? That yellow shit is pollen. I have never been happier to wake up to a rainy morning… wash that yellow BS away!

This month I wrote about 35 pieces of mail, give or take. That’s nuts. Will I see that many responses? Probably not but hey, you can’t say I am not reaching out and touching someone. In doing so I am kind of having a love affair with typography. I always have mind you, but lately it’s a honeymoon phase. A few people have asked me if I would be inclined to create my own fonts and the answer is yes. I just need to look into doing it right cause if I did it, I wouldn’t do it half assed. In any event here are a couple samples of stuff I have been doing. The last one is a sample of the way I have been addressing my snail mail, made up obviously cause if it was your address I would be getting a nastygram.

I also wrapped up one of branding images that I have on my plate right now, this one being for my friend Kelly. The first word is all hand rendered type, the other a typeface I found online. She was very happy with the results.

Speaking of typographic love affairs, I shot these in Philadelphia yesterday.

Good lord that one is a beauty. You can see a larger version of it here if you are so inclined.

The other day I was sharing with Josh about how on two separate occasions this weekend, I was addressed by older men with terms like “kid” and “baby”. Normally, I don’t like those kinds of terms coming from people who don’t know me but honestly there is something much more endearing when it comes from an older gent. It comes down to the fact that there are so many ways to convey a message, it can be the nicest of messages but if the delivery is wrong, well, your message is pointless. Besides, when you reach a certain point in your life, you realize you got nothing to lose but speak your mind as you see it. So you call me baby Mr. Dude in a wheelchair, playing the guitar on the street. You go.

Yesterday I managed to coerce Josh into watching “This Is 40” with me. We got some good laughs out of it, especially when homie farts in bed, cause you know, I know NOTHING about that. It was funny in spots but it left me with a couple of thoughts:

1) Are there really people out there in marriages that dysfunctional? Holy crap, glad I am not one of them.
2) I have my moments where the guilt lays in but overall I am glad I stopped at one kid.
3) I don’t care how long Josh and I have been together, there is no way in fricken HELL that I would ever engage in this “watching each other poop” shit. I am sorry. I am all for intimacy but I am more for that little sense of mystery. I don’t need that visual in my head if he wants me to view him in that *sexy time* kinda way if you catch my drift.

And you know what? It wouldn’t be a new season without me bitching about something. Want to know what it is? Geese. These evil Canada geese are breeding, the goslings are adorable but they also park on the trails I ride my bike on. You will not feel a greater anxiety attack until you see a flock of these assholes parked on your trail. Them bitches are MEAN!

I leave you with these parting thoughts.

This week you should….

Listen to a new song and enjoy it. May I suggest “sweater weather” by The Neighbourhood. No shirt, no blouse.

Revisit with someone you haven’t “had the time” to do so with. We all know “no time” is an excuse. I am not exempt here.

Pay a compliment to someone.

If you see a blatant example of idiocy running their mouths (i.e. on facebook), ignore it. You’ll feel better for it instead of poking the bear at the zoo. Arguing with the uneducated and unevolved is about as pointless as giving a fish a bicycle for Christmas.

Flirt with someone shamelessly. Yes, even you married people. It’s an art form.

Oh yeah, and if you are one of the many recipients of my snail mail: let me know it arrived? That’d be cool.

On that note I have an arsenal of laundry to take care of. You have no idea.

Have a great week!

a month went by

Wow. I didn’t realize it, but it has been almost a month since the last time I opened up this here posting box. A month! Crap. Check it… I have a tendency to get caught up in my own head and when that space gets dark, I feel it is better to take a step back and sort out my feelings before I go opening that door out on to the world. I’m not one of those people who sits around and openly complains about stuff. There is far too much of that on the internet and I try my best to not be one of them.

You got some time? Cause you’re going to need it for this long ass post.

I will start by getting the filthy parts out of the way. And no, not that kind of filth, yo. You wish.

Just like a couple of years ago, I have spent most of the past four months sick. Way too many pills, mucus, sinus and ear infection bullshit, lung bullshit, asshat doctors who weren’t fixing me and shit just kept coming back.

It is emotionally debilitating to spend that much time in a place where your body is giving you the big ole fuck you. Paired with Winter, that is thankfully on its way out, and all of the personal things that transpired in February, I was a heaping, emotional mess. I think I could go as far as saying I was slipping into depression land. Not a great place to be dude.

I finally had an “enough is enough” moment and went back to my dr a week ago and said, “dude, I want to know why this keeps happening, why am I hacking up rainbows of slime, the last guy I saw was a quack and I am doing everything in my means possible with my diet + holistic approach, I want to get better, ENOUGH.” – A breathing test, a chest x-ray, a diagnosis for asthmatic bronchitis, several prescriptions and we are back to business. Within days I started feeling better, sleeping, taking less OTC garbage… OMG dude, you have no idea how awesome it feels like I am heading back to being myself once more.

On top of being sick, I am just utterly home sick. I miss my friends, my family. Fuck this place with a splintered broomstick, for reals. Josh and I are just done with NJ. We will make the best of it till the door out West opens back up. Things are moving, I’m just a tap impatient and wish it would move faster. More on that later if and when there is something to disclose.

Other than that I am dealing with:
still processing my brother dying
the rehashing and reminders of the loss of Nena
the fact that being laid up on/off so much for four months has me feeling like a swollen version of who I am
the fact I am disappointed in a few people. You know, when you give people more importance than they give you? Yeah. It’s bummer town.

Josh decided to start testing the waters on vegetarianism and in turn, I have followed suit. It’s supportive and makes cooking easier. It’s not a permanent lifestyle change by any means but testing the waters is making the both of us figure stuff out. It’s kinda cool but I won’t lie, when you grow up in such a meat-centric culture, it can be a little daunting. I have felt a lot better and I don’t know if it’s psychosomatic or what but I am definitely going to abide by more dietary changes this Spring/Summer.

Not all was lost being sick and holed up in the house. It seems that the one thing that didn’t suffer, in fact picked up with force was my art. I have been drawing/painting/creating on an almost daily basis. If you follow me on instagram or facebook you have probably seen a great deal of it.

This is my problem with my creative stream… I do a lot of different things and because I like so many different looks and mediums I find myself dabbling instead of honing my personal style.

Last week I had a total epiphany. I posted a couple pieces that I was super proud of, they poured out of me totally organically and it hits me. This is it Ivonne, this is *YOUR* style. Ironically if you saw some of the stuff I drew when I was much younger, it looks like an evolved style of those drawings. Case in point…

I drew this when I was like, 20? 21?

This is the recent stuff…

I see the similarities and I just think maybe I need to continue to explore this avenue while still keeping the toes in the other puddles to stay challenged. I really like this direction.

Now I just need to get some $$ together to get a decent printer to run my own prints cause a lot of people are asking. And before you suggest kickstarter, it’s not my m.o. – It makes me feel like an e-panhandler.

I have some commission work in the pipe and I am going to get to it lickety split.

Girl turned another corner and thankfully for the better. She has been in a funk as much as I have, partially attributed to the fact she had a sinus infection for a month. She got treated and it came back with full force. So a month of snot and hacking up for her too. She is doing a lot better now.

She has been busting ass in karate and recently was upgraded to orange belt. She was super stoked. I am just bummed cause if and when we move she may have to start over or lose her rank. But dude this face… look at it.

We recently went bowling for the first time and she absolutely loved it. Girl is pretty decent with the bumpers up 😉

She finally got to make her first real snow man. We got a freak of nature snow day that kept Josh home. It wasn’t the best now but Josh, Tom and her got in a slushy snowball fight. Plus, it was now or never! her first snowman was born. She christened him “Snowdirt”

Her current favorite songs are:
Pure Imagination and I Want It Now from the original Willy Wonka soundtrack
Big In Japan – Alphaville

She pretty much reads on her own now, blows through her flash cards, is getting infinitely better at the first grade level math books I have been working with her on. Girl is so flipping smart it blows me away.

Oh yeah and she is a hairline under 4′ and about 55 lbs. Dude.

And here is a bunch of Jumbalaya I want to share…

Stryper has a new album where they re-recorded their old whatnot and I have to say this dude still sounds really fucking good. Well played, even if you’re God Squad, I forgive you.

We finally took the plunge and cancelled our cable and do not regret it one bit. Time is scarce to get sucked into that shit, more when I have tons of far more productive business to tend to.

Filter has a new album coming and the single is awesome. Here’s to hoping the rest of it is just as promising.

I made this crockpot chicken enchilada soup and it was really good.

If you are a coffee connoisseur, I came across PT’S Coffee and their beans are ON POINT. A little on the pricer side but absolutely worth shelling out for a small bag. The Villa Loyola is tasty freeze.

Josh finally got to fulfill his lifelong dream of seeing the Air & Space Museum at the Smithsonian Complex in DC. Nerdery ensued. It was so cool watching him be that stoked on something. In fact we all shlepped down to DC for the day, did some museum, walking, met up with Diana and ended the day with some amazing Burmese food. If you’ve never had it, GO.

Are you paying attention? Let’s see how much you are. As you know, every once in a while I do giveaways on my blog and like past occasions, I am giving away another conjoined gingerbread man cookie cutter (like this one). All you need to do is comment saying you want it and I will enter you in a drawing. That is it… and only to this post, not on fb, livejournal or otherwise.

I spent the past couple of days writing notes, making cards, postcards. I am all about reaching out and touching someone. I like being honest, telling people I know and love how awesome they are. In the past 2 days there were 16 cards and a postcard… you lucky recipients will know who you are when they arrive. I hope I get some responses, my mailbox could use more than pizza joint menus and bills.

My oldest sister got attacked by a german shepherd the other day. The owner said his dogs were cool and they were walking around them and then all of a sudden the fucker clamped down on her knee. 25 stitches later. Fucking sucks… sadly this happened in Mexico so there are like zero legal repercussions. She is ok but a little upset for obvious reasons. Hey universe? Throw Liz a big bone yeah? She could use some happy pie.

And no, I am not being paid for any of the linkage. I should be! But hey, I still share the love where it is due. Si!

“A Different Arrangement” by Black Marble. It’s really fricken good, kind of a synth-like Joy Division. Hard to explain but really damn awesome.

Also the self title by Jatun.

This track that Spencer made under ZYXT – Josh on vocals.

Spring is here and even though the air still bites, the color is returning to this dreary world, in more ways than one. If I have been distant, crabby, uncommunicative, I am gonna pull a total dude breaking up with his chick… “It’s not you, it’s me”. Trust me, if it was you I would fucking tell you.

Thanks for waiting around for me, it means the world.

Oh and Spencer, I love you. I know you read every single line. Josh? Thanks for putting up with my coughing, hacking, cranky self. You are the sun in my universe.


DC is one of those places… You want to see it but would never go totally out of your way to plan a vacation to visit. It’s not my kind of vacation and a trip from San Diego to Washington isn’t the cheapest if you know what I mean. It was never something I wanted to do. But now? I live three hours away and it would be a complete sin and travesty to not go. I have spent more time sitting in a Los Angeles traffic jam. Sad isn’t it?

Diana and I spent Sunday morning pouring over a delicious brunch of steak and eggs. My only plan that day was to spend a few hours at The National Art Gallery at the Smithsonian Complex. Dude… Ok. Let’s get this clear: I am not a “America fuck yeah” kind of person but that moment when Diana turned the corner and the Capitol building was right there? Awesome. It’s one of those moments when you finally see something you have only seen in photos and movies… and then BAM! In your face! It’s a rad feeling and I count my blessings that I have the opportunity to see things like that. I hadn’t felt like that since standing across the valley from Mount Fuji.

The National Mall is enormous and there is no way you can do it all in one day, not even two. The sheer size and museum volume is impressive. It is absolutely amazing and also absolutely FREE. How people have this under their nose and never go is something I will never understand. But hey, I was there and went with my favorite genre… Art.

National Art Gallery… Good lord. Two massive buildings and we spent hours in there and didn’t even see it all cause there are some art periods that weren’t our thing. But my god, I cannot even begin to explain how giddy I was. Again, when you finally see the real thing, the one in the book or website… and then she is there, you cannot help but pour yourself into the detail, the nooks, the chunky texture of Van Gogh, Monet and his brilliant brushwork. No books will EVER capture the feeling of having it across from you in all her full sized glory.

There are two wings and they’re connected by an underground tunnel…

At one point Diana and I turned a corner and there, in a conspicuous spot by the elevator was Salvador Dali. Holy shit. I felt like I was hit with this sledgehammer of emotion. There he was, no big deal, hanging by the damn elevator. Needless to say that is when it all changed for me. That one painting pretty much made my entire day and I am not even religious.

The collection is extensive and there are far too many to even take photos of… I was grateful we even could! But here are a few I enjoyed seeing. Pictures do it all no justice.

After spending far too much time going through the amazing gift shop (!!!), we walked out cause I wanted to see the Capitol Building and Washington Monument.

Josh picked a good weekend for me to go. The inauguration is a few days away and already the city is a buzz with planning for the festivities (read: setting up port-a-pottys). The only bummer was a weird, foggy haze that despite its mild drizzle was actually warm, for these parts anyway. So foggy that I couldn’t see the Washington Monument from The Capitol Building so we had to walk all the way down there to get photos.

With the fog not letting up, I decided to call it since I had a long drive ahead of me. It was an absolute great day and mad thanks to Diana for being an awesome host and Josh for holding down the fort.

I plan on returning for sure cause Josh was a tap jealous I was close to that much nerdery without him. Soon DC, the Carley triangle will be in you!

the rest of my photos can be viewed here