Tuesday, April 28

may love it...inleaf!

so i can't remember how i met lotta helleberg of inleaf but i am so glad that i did as she has been a staple in o'suz for years now. first of all, she is local to us which we love, and secondly, she is originally from sweden, which we also love, as so so many beautiful designs and designers come out of sweden. we have been selling lotta's sachets for quite a while now but lotta has also made me a few special pieces that i was able to surprise and spoil my staff and my friend jocelyn with this past xmas. (of course i also kept one) this clutch, which is beautifully lined, holds my camera and my ipod. i know, why electronics you ask, but i have to keep them safe and put them somewhere pretty at the same time and what better place then here:

here are a few words with the lovely lady herself:

what was your first job and how did you end up sewing and printing with botanicals?

My very first job was potato picking on my friend’s farm in Sweden, when I was 12. It was much more fun than it seems. For most of my adult life I worked as a graphic designer, creating print materials, logos, and websites. A magazine article about leaf printing inspired some experimentation, which soon led to my new art form. Botanical printing is the perfect way to combine my graphic skills with my love for gardening and sewing.

what is your favorite piece/group/series in your work?

I love my new queen ann’s seedpod prints. This is one of my first screenprinting attempts. The original images were handprinted with pressed seedpods on paper, which then were scanned and arranged digitally, to be used for the screens. So far the design has made it onto tea towels and hanging sachets. Pillows, totes, and wall art are to come.

who or what inspires you?

There are so many things that make my heart sing, starting with nature and plants. Nowadays I can’t take a walk without examining at how things grow, what different leaves look like, and how seeds and flowers are shaped. Everything is a potential printing plate. I am obsessed with fabric and textiles, especially vintage cloths and natural materials such as linen and hemp. My Scandinavian heritage also has a huge influence on my work. I adore simple, clean, and utilitarian design.

what three websites do you visit daily?

I don’t always have time for daily web visits, but here are three blogs that I could not live without:

describe your ideal sunday.

Sleeping in (which for us means trying to get the dogs to stay put until 7:30 or so…), lazy breakfast with lots of coffee and the Washington Post, maybe an early morning garden stroll. Later in the day we would go for a dog walk, watch my younger son play soccer, and I would do a few garden chores. A bit of work would sneak in as well (it is a hard to stay away from the studio) and the day would end with a big family meal on the patio.

what do you see outside your studio windows?

Right now there are lingering dogwood blossoms, sunlight, and lots of fresh greenery.

we have these sachets and the hanging sachets in the shop now in lots of colors. we think they make a perfect mother's day gift.

Wednesday, April 22

so sorry

a quick but sincere apology to those of you who wrote to the o'suz email address and did not hear back in time for directions to the yard sale. i feel really bad. i checked the email 3 days before but then was so busy setting up i did not check again. victoria, i can't believe i did not get to see you and edwin. i am however excited you found a cool home you love and that we will still have you around. please please forgive me.

Sunday, April 19

is a yardsale supposed to be so fun?

i dunno, but ours was!!!
the day began with a trip to starbucks for boxed coffee (and a latte)this was pretty early cuz red must have sensed how much we needed the sleep so he woke with the dawn. back home and some last minute pricing and preparation. regular o'suz customers came right at 10!!! love that, and they got some real steals. more peeps came soon after and the day got going good. lots of families came which was so fun, especially for redford who got to see other small sizes in action.needless to say our yard, todd's vintage jeep, the sandbox and the airstream got some serious love.
i must shout out some thank yous to a few lovely peeps in particular.
cindy, for the rolling racks (they are still here though)
aaron, for bringing goods from town and helping people check out while i fed red
robyn for coming and introducing me to such nice women who came and made the day special.
my husband for helping with set up and break down, as always. i love you.
and last but not least, jessica, who tirelessly came out and priced with me, entertaining red all the while.
here are some pics from the event:
thanks to all, my load is lighter and hopefully everyone is happy with their finds!

Monday, April 13

yard sale scoop.

so the yard sale is a go. inquire at o'suz or pop us an email for details.
lots of loot to be had so grab some cash and head up north!!!!

Friday, April 10

hippity hop! easter hours

we will be open regular hours on easter sunday, so come see us between 12 and 5! 

Wednesday, April 8

yard sale at suz's house!!!!

ok, so i am gearing up for a big yard sale at our home in ruckersville. i decided to separate the concepts of "swap" and "sell". there will be some freebies but this first date will be about selling lots of stuff, from both the shop, and my house. anyone who wants to throw in can but i am keeping this one simple. i have lamps, rugs, props from the shop, jewelry, cds, clothes and shoes, (some free but a few things priced), baby stuff, pillows etc..i may add some pics closer to see if anyone wants something but can't come.
i plan to do it sunday april 19th from 10-4. hopefully the weather will cooperate. we might know closer if rain is a definite and then i will have to reschedule but i'm crossing my fingers. we want to list our home soon and this lady needs to purge! the shop will have details as we get closer as well but check here for directions and follow up. melissa, kate, nicole, cindy, patty, aaron, helen, jen, margot, mom hope ya'll will come. i am sending out some emails too so if this overlaps a bit hopefully it will make it on your calendar. i will have coffee early and iced tea in the afternoon but no real food this time. i just want to keep this easy. i plan to do a swap as well but maybe in the summer sometime. let me know if u plan on coming and bring as many friends as will fit in your cars!!!!

Wednesday, April 1

april"love it" boy girl party, starring susie ghahremani!

if you don't already know who susie ghahremani is, this is your lucky day. if you do know susie, and or her amazing website: boygirlparty.com, maybe you will learn a tidbit you did not know because...drumroll.... she accepted our invite to be our "love it" artist for april!!!!! interview to follow, but not before we shower her with some april showers of adoration (and well wishes, she broke her shoulder last week!) no shortage of props here. she is a superstar in our eyes, plain and simple. before we were selling her goods, we were buying them on her retail site. we still do actually, when we can't get our piggy little hands on them at o'suz. her prints are my weakness lately as i am obsessed with collecting art. i have 2 prints in red's bathroom

and 2 in his room.

let me tell you, i am not alone in my love of susie's talent. jessica, who works at o'suz and does at least half the blog tending, may need an intervention, ha. i'll let her tell you in her own words.

jessica here to share my boygirlparty obsession. as suzannah suggested, an intervention might be appropriate right about now. as i was collecting all of my boygirlparty goods to photograph, i realized that i have something in every single room of my house, from an owlie necklace to magnets to notepads to stationery to prints. it's just that it's all so painfully adorable, and i mean that in the best possible way. i love susie's subject matter, which is predominantly various kinds of animals, including my two favorite animals: hedgehogs and dogs. i love her style as well, that her little creatures are often depicted in various forms of human activity, like cooking, getting down with some tunes, or talking on the telephone. i hope one day i will be able to own one of her original paintings, or at least get to see one of her shows, which always seem to be amazingly installed. here are two of my favorite boygirlparty possessions:

that's right, it's boston terrier time. on the left is a print of one of susie's paintings, and on the right is my beloved one of a kind pouch. the pouch has its own little story. a few years ago i came across a boston terrier boygirlparty pouch on flickr and, um, kind of flipped out, because i couldn't imagine a more perfect combination of two great loves: boston terriers AND boygirlparty. i immediately emailed susie to see if there was any way i could get one because i knew i NEEDED this little delight, and she told me that she didn't have any at the time but she might make more in the future, which led to my stalking of her shop. then, in december 2007, one went up for sale, and i missed it. it was devastation station. i emailed her again, and told everyone at o'suz how sad i was to have missed out again. unbeknownst to me, suzannah had already commissioned a boston pouch from susie for christmas, and everyone but me was in on the scheming. i almost died of excitement when i opened it at our party -- it was all too perfect! so now i have my pouch, and i love it so much because it reminds me of this dude, mick aka mister puppy (1994-2008), whose lovely countenance you see here being held up on my fridge with boygirlparty ipop magnets that we sell in the shop:

we have tons of magnets in the shop, including a new series of cats, dogs, forest animals, and hedgies. i am trying to resist, really. but these few things really only scratch the surface of my boygirlparty collection. here is my assortment of notepads and recipe cards from susie (and yes, i do use them):

yes, that's a squirrel playing the guitar. these come straight from susie herself, and they always go quickly whenever we get them. in the past couple of years, susie has been partnering with companies like chronicle books and madison park greetings, which brings her work to an even larger audience. here are a few of the goodies we have in the shop, some of which are brand new:

the owl journal is so snazzy, it's also illustrated on the inside! aaron and i love love love the mini notes, because, yes, that is a kitty napping while all wound up in the telephone cord on a card that says "call me!" a lot of susie's work features not only her imagery but her handwriting as well, which is just amazing, simple and sweet. we also just got a whole new series of cards like the ones on the right, for various occasions from birthdays to anniversaries to new babies.

susie also does a lot of book illustration, and one of our favorites is this baby book for adoptive families for chronicle. isn't that the sweetest cover ever?

while we aren't able to carry the prints in the shop, that doesn't stop suzannah and me from being cuckoo about them. here are a few of mine:

hedgehog playing piano. nothing more need be said. now that we've gushed about our love for boygirlparty and susie herself, please keep reading to learn about how she ended up working as an artist and what inspires her to keep keeping on. thanks so much, susie, for taking the time to answer our questions!

what was your first job and how did you end up painting and creating paper goods?

My first longterm job was at a mom&pop art supply and framing shop outside Chicago, IL. I took the job for the employee discount, of course! The second question is a little harder for me to answer, I've always painted - as far back as I can remember, and I also have some pretty early memories of making paper goods. "Susie Cards and Gifts" circa 1985 was alarmingly on par with what I do these days... I guess I took painting & paper professionally around graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002 as a natural progression of what I had been working on the time, which was album artwork and t-shirt designs for my band, and making zines.

what is your favorite piece/group/series in your work?

The musical animals series is my favorite to work on, but I'm most proud of my polka dot owls paintings that appeared on the covers of various Chronicle Books projects -- I just know I put every ounce of my energy into those. I was very proud of my installation and exhibition "The Wild Life" from the fall as well..

who or what inspires you?

I love to mix colors and often rely on memory and nostalgia for inspiration...I'll be mixing paint and unsure of what to make next and suddenly a certain blue will remind me of something I've known... a pair of socks or a plastic swing.. it could become the basis for new work.
Also, animals and nature consistently amaze me and influence my work. Any hike, climb, swim or David Attenborough series does the trick. And my pets, I love my cat and finches.

what three websites do you visit daily?

90% of the time I'm usually wikipedia'ing or googling something like Tiny Tim or the grammar rules for "addictive/addicting". I recently joined
Twitter and like to check in on there, especially when I feel confined! (Working at home can make you pretty unsocialized.) I love Flickr, too.

describe your ideal sunday.

Sleeping in, tofu scramble for breakfast - my most coveted breakfast favorite, but sadly rarely available here in San Diego! Then, a bike ride with my fiance where no cars go (cars are scary to me when on bike) Possibly stumbling upon a garage sale with incredible mid century finds. a picnic in the shade with plenty of opportunities to birdwatch and/or see wildlife, a nap, a crossword puzzle, a funny movie. Simple, cozy. I'm lucky to say this accurately describes most of my Sundays!

what do you see outside your studio windows?

Bougainvillea, a bamboo fence, and a lemon tree that refuses to cooperate. A perfectly clear typically San Diego sunny day.