Thursday, March 30, 2006

May Classes at Cat's Craft Cupboard

I'll be teaching a self-portrait class using Claudine Hellmuth's new Poppet stamps at Cat's Craft Cupboard on May 20th. Look for samples soon!

Johanna's Secret: Hint #1

It's in the most recent email update from Cat's Craft Cupboard. If you don't receive the email updates, you can sign up right here on her web site. But since I'm feelin' generous, I'll post the update for you:

-----Original Message-----
From: cats_craft_cupboard
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 10:27 PM
Subject: Greetings from the Cupboard!

Hello Stampers!

I hope this message finds you well!

Just a few quick notes for you:

1. Classes are filling quickly! If there is a class you would like to take, please reserve your spot soon so you don't miss out.

2. The Latest News section of the website has been updated!

3. Watch your email for a GRAND announcement in the next few weeks or so . . .

4. Don't forget to stop by and cast your vote (if you haven't done so already) for the March Cat's Challenge entries.

5. Finally, April Challenge submissions are due by Wed., April 12 . . . see website for full details.

That's all for now. . .until next time, keep stamping . . .it'll keep you healthy!



Cat's Craft Cupboard

Monday, March 27, 2006

Tonya's Web Site

I swear I saw this long after I'd drawn the first round of concept art for my site. Glad I decided to abandon the design - too similar! Tonya is my cousin. She's an artist who lives in San Francisco. We hardly ever talk. I think the last time I saw her was about five years ago. She has these whimsical bird sculptures all around her house.

Yeah, I should be sleeping...

But I had 2 cups of coffee this morning at Original Pancake House (the good stuff) and then a soda with lunch. I'm just starting to feel sleepy. In 4.75 hours when my alarm goes off, I'm certain I'll feel sleepy. I may be hitting snooze a time or too. I hope Scott will be forgiving.

Anyway, I just clicked through a few Illustration Fridays (monster this week), and found this fun blog. Of course, I was drawn in because the name of the artist is Johanna. It must be good, then, right? Not only are the images wonderful, the text description are fun, too! Check it out:

He looks friendly enough, but I'm not sure how close I'd want to be to those teeth, if you know what I mean.

Once, I was swimming across a lake at my grandparents house, and I thought that I was about to be eaten by this guy. Things like that can happen when you're in the middle of a lake and something slimy touches your leg. What was that? Can seaweed even be in a lake? Thoughts like that start running through your mind, until you are maybe even thrashing wildly and freaking out your cousins.
... and this fun one from last week's Illustration Friday topic - Feet:

It's sad when your feet turn into wheels. Very, very sad indeed.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Happy Birthday Tim!

It's my brother's birthday today. My little brother who somehow grew to be bigger than me. He's 32. It's weird thinking about him being in his 30s. At almost-35, I'm still adjusting to myself being in my 30s, so it's odd to think about someone younger than me in that state.

My dad is in Chicago visiting Tim this weekend. They went to see Wicked together earlier today. Tim said the play was very different from the book. I'll have to get more details later. They were in the middle of playing some DVD trivia game. Sounded fun.

In honor of Tim's birthday, we went to the mall & bought him a present. Right on his birthday. Aren't we nice? And maybe we'll actually get it in the mail to him this week, so it will arrive somewhat close to his birthday. I used to be somewhat good at this birthday thing, but that was when I had a lot fewer commitments and responsibilities clouding my mind and distracting me. Back when I just collected Barbie Dolls, My Little Ponies, Glamour Gals, and anything cat-related (okay, not hairballs or any of the gross stuff).

Anyway, while at the mall, I returned the lovely but ill-fitting corduroy pants I got at Fashion Valley (I love that we have a mall called Fashion Valley - so ostentatiously cool) last weekend. Tank tops were on sale, so I got a beige one. And found a cute green skirt that matches the shiny green blouse and sweater that I got recently. As well as a pretty green crocheted tank top.

Last weekend, I got the unfortunate corduroy pants, and the cutest red bra with white polka dots and pale blue trim, and a furry white short coat (probalby will not wear it many times but looked fun for 2nd Saturday outings and other evening things when it's often a little chilly - at least through the Spring).

Aha! It's Roseola!

Well, at least that's my assessment from web research.

A child with roseola typically develops a mild upper respiratory illness, followed by a high fever (often over 103 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to a week. During this time, the child may appear fussy or irritable and may have a decreased appetite and swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck.

The high fever often ends abruptly, and at about the same time a pinkish-red flat or raised rash appears on the child's trunk and spreads over the body. The rash's spots blanch when you touch them, and individual spots may have a lighter "halo" around them. The rash usually spreads to the neck, face, arms, and legs.

- excerpted from

Fever came back with a vengeance on Friday night, peaking at a little over 105, but came down about 20 minutes after a dose of Tylenol. Rough night. Saturday he seemed better throughout the morning, but when he woke up from his nap, fever was 104. Tylenol helped again. Since he didn't have any other symptoms other than being cranky (which we attributed to not enough sleep), we didn't worry too much. We talked to some other folks who said their kids had had a similar thing recently - 24 hours of fever and then inexplicably better. The fever seemed to break solidly today and though he still had a slightly elevated temperature off and on, it wasn't over 100. He still looked kind of gray and lethargic and not quite himself though. And each time we attempted to go do something fun, he got worn out rapidly. Then this evening when changing a diaper, Scott discovered a rash all over his torso. That's when I looked up fever & rash in toddlers. Because I was having scary visions of chicken pox and measles and mysterious rashiness.

When I talked to my mom, she reminded me that Jake's cousin Alex had had the same thing not too long ago. But she thought the rash was itchy. When I talked to my brother, he said the rash was not itchy. And that does seem to be the case for Jake. Poor little guy. Just gets over one thing and then it's on to another. Are all childhoods like this?


While looking for Tom Binns web site, I found this interesting fashion blog called Fashionologie. All kinds of interesting stuff about fashion. And check out these amazing photographs of Sasha Pivovarova:

Tom Binns Jewelry

Been meaning to post this necklace for a while. It's by Tom Binns, and it totally made me want to dig out all the chunky costume jewelry I collected about 4 years ago, and to start making necklaces again. I think I might even have all the parts to create something like this one that I found in Metro Pop magazine. Love this description of the artist from the article:

Tom Binns is extraordinary in every sense of the word. He is unusual, commands attention, has a special purpose, is exceptional and remarkable - and he knows it.

Vintage Valentines

I finally got around to scanning these lovelies that my parents sent me for Valentine's Day. They have discovered a source of these little treasures that is near their mountain cabin. Looking forward to our next trip there so I can investigate in person! In the meantime, I'll have to be happy with the bits and pieces they pick up.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Johanna's Secret: Hint #1

Purple Boxers

America's Next Top Model & Jared Gold (& My Little Cutie)

Was finally able to start watching America's Next Top Model (Cycle 6) last night. 3 interesting things:

1. They did a photo shoot with the girls all dressed as fairytale characters. The interesting thing about the shoot was that they had each girl fall intentionally off a ledge onto a mattress-cushion-thing so that her photo as she was falling. Some of the girls pulled it off, and some of them really struggled with being in control while falling. Danielle was my favorite this week.

2. Avant Garde fashion designer Jared Gold participated in the challenge and both awesome clothes and awesome make-up ideas showing his collection Glinka. Plenty of food-for-thought for the fashion shoot party we've been planning.

3. Giant hissing cockroaches can be kept as pets, encrusted with Swarovski crystals, and worn as jewelry. They may live up to one year. Gross.

Scott had to work early this morning. So it was just Jake & me. The Doodlebops got old quick. So I broke out the Easter cookie decorating kit to entertain him. Didn't take him long to discover that he should be eating the icing. He didn't seem to mind that he was undecorating as I was decorating. So we only decorated one cookie. He wasn't even interested in eating it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Pretty Wallpaper & Free Too!

I didn't have enough sleep last night. There a lot to do at work today. My brain is not functioning at full capacity. I want to veg out and just surf the web. No can do. So as I scrounged a bagel for lunch, I did a little mindless wandering and found this beautiful desktop wallpaper right here.

The Joy of New Magazines

The Hatlestads are having a rough week. Some crazy busy-ness at work (Scott is doing some consulting for the company where I work). Jake came home from the babysitter with 102 fever last night. And in the middle of the night, it spiked up to 104. Tylenol brought it down to the 100-101 range. But still not completely normal yet. Not much sleep for the parents. Scott had to keep a commitment last night to fix a friend's computer, which thankfully took less time than expected. He stopped by the bookstore on the way home and picked up some lovely eye candy.

Loving this magazine that he discovered called Metro Pop. Last issue had a really interesting article about Japanese street fashion.

And also a really cool magazine called 34. I noticed in the last issue of 34 that there were ads for clothing stores that I had been to in Istanbul, and just realized on their web site that the magazine is based in Istanbul. Cool. Istanbul is a fascinating place. And also loving the 34 web site. Maybe some day I will learn Flash and be able to incorporate some nifty stuff in my own site.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Artist Statements

Most of the artists I know hate writing artist statements. Don't know what to say. Don't know how to say it. Want to speak in images, not words. Want to just create art, not promote it. Don't necessarily want to put who they are out there along with what they create.

But, that said, I read a really charming "About Me" on this blog, and it made me think a little differently about artist statements. Rather than a commentary on what one thinks about art, more a commentary on how one sees oneself as an artist - and a little view into the workings of the artist's mind. I don't know yet what kind of art this person creates, because I am at work and the images are blocked. Which may be a good thing - if I had been looking at the images I might not have seen the statement.

I live in a slightly funky historic neighborhood with two cats, a pug, a couple of ghosts and the love of my life. I am a friend, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a sister-in-law and an aunt. For my friends and family, I am abundantly grateful. I see life as a constant wonder, frequently funny, often absurd and forever bittersweet. I worry excessively, forgive easily and allow my imagination way too much freedom. My birthday is the day after Valentine's Day; I have a space between my two front teeth, and a blonde streak in my hair. Some people say that I am short, but I don’t believe it. I do believe in the transformative magic of art and language. I believe in the wisdom of nature, the healing power of yoga and chocolate, the generosity of the universe and true love. I believe there are messages in my dreams, but I can’t decode them. I work with children, write stories, make stuff out of paper, sew wonky objects, bake cakes and dream big.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I don't think I posted this image before. It's an interesting little utility that searches your blog and creates a word cloud from the blog content. Jill (who doesn't have a blog that I know of) tracked down the site. Here it is.

And since I have more content in my blog now, I created a new word cloud to see if it's different:

Campaign for Italy 2007

I want to go to Italy next Spring. Claudine Hellmuth is teaching a workshop in Cortona, Italy, that looks like it would be an amazing experience. And everyone we talk to seems to be going to Italy this year. Maybe the Olympics sparked a trend? It seems like ever since I started trying to convince Scott that we should go, all of our friends have said, "we're going to Italy!"

Here's the thing I want to attend:

April 14th-21st, 2007 - Mixed Media workshops in Cortona Italy!!
Enjoy a week with Claudine, in the beautiful Tuscan village of Cortona, setting for the film, Under the Tuscan Sun. Prepare yourself for 4 course lunches and 5 course dinners with wine tastings, all while creating with a view of the landscape of Tuscany. Strolling through Cortona, you may happen upon intimate wall shrines decorated with everyday and religious items, often to the patron saint of the city. During this workshop you'll be making your own personal reliquaries or shrines that have personal meaning to you -- whether a tribute to a family member, pet, home, travel etc, anything that has special meaning to you. While working on our shrines we'll explore collage on many levels, from the basics like color and composition to more in-depth techniques like texture and surface enhancement. Our work together will be paced to allow for personal artistic discovery as well as studio time for working on our collage artworks, plus time to travel and explore the Tuscan countryside with artful day trips to Siena and the Nikki de Saint Phalle Tarot Gardens. Click here for more information!

And the Nikki de Saint Phalle Tarot Gardens is an interesting connection for us, since one of her largest art installations is in Escondido, right where we live. And it's one of my favorite places to be in the city. It's called Queen Califia's Magical Circle.

You can see more photos here and read some more about Nikki's relationship with the San Diego & the Escondido Arts Partnership here.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Artists Discovered Today...

So, I've been hearing and seeing lots of references to Flickr, and I finally went to the site to check it out. Interesting place. Definitely more exploring to do. Here are a couple of really interesting artist portfolios I found courtesy of 12PUNT3's blog, discovered through Illustration Friday (of course):

Morran/Camilla Engman


Happy Spring!

Today is the first day of Spring. It's oddly cold and rainy here in Southern California. I'm ready for the warm weather to kick in!

Friday, March 17, 2006

And Another Thing...

We stopped by Distinction Thursday night to: 1) visit, 2) pick up cards for the new show to distribute at work, and 3) show Melissa my secret project.

Major Morris was sitting the gallery (he's such a nice man) because... Melissa was getting her hair cut! She donated it too. She seems out of sorts and went straight for a beer & cigarettes. I thought it looked fine - not like her, but not bad. I think once she washes it and styles it herself, she'll feel better about it. It's the first time in 20 years that she's had short hair.

Altered Clothing?

Hello, add one more thing to the list of things I want to experiment with. After watching Project Runway, thumbing through Belle Armoire, and especially after discovering this artist's site. Now I want to make clothes. But I have another project. And I WILL stay focused.

But look at how amazing these are!

Really Cool Photos

Almost forgot to share this blog that I stumbled on the other day. Really amazing photographs. This one is my favorite so far:

Inspirational Quote

Found this quote (and incidentally, a cool Illustration Friday: Feet piece) on this blog:

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

- Andrew Gide

May the Road Rise up to Meet You

Getting business out of the way first: Happy St. Patrick's Day! Even Google is celebrating:

Now, the good stuff. It's Friday!! Woohoo - that means tonight, if I can manage it, I can stay up at late as I want to and work on my secret project. I'm making great progress. I have a handful of very encouraging cheerleaders and I'm so stinkin' excited about it!

One of my favorite things about Friday is Illustration Friday. Not just for the weekly inspiration, or for the great artwork generated, but because I stumbled across the most interesting things through other people's blogs.

This morning I found these adorable little handmade stuffed creations, which made me think of my mom & her adorable little teddy bear projects. Check out these sweet little critters:

Not only really interesting little critters, but collage art too. And then looking around the Quiet Companions web site a little, I discover that the artist is in San Diego! And teaches classes! And is affordable! But the next class is April 9th, which is a busy weekend for us. I'll have to wait for the next one. But I'm really excited about this discovery!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Happy Birthday, Symlin!

It's been a year since the drug Symlin was approved. A whole year since we were popping champagne bottles and jumping in the pond. Okay, I didn't personally jump in the pond, but the CEO did! Exciting times at Amylin.

Poppets Are Here! Poppets Are Here!

Cat called me yesterday to tell me that the Poppets have arrived! So of course I went straight there after picking Jake up and got mine. Once I have my class designed, she'll be ordering more.

Here's what I got:

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Creative Momentum Group Update

At the PAG meeting on Monday night, Scott talked to Paul Sewell about our group - he's interested. His wife is a painter. We're going to plan to get together with them soon.

Scott also talked to Melissa about Kelly's lukewarm response, and it turns out that Kelly's response to everything is lukewarm.

So, I think a dinner with Paul. Then we schedule a meeting of our seed group and talk about what we want to get out of the group. Unless we're able to come up with a plan when we get together with Paul.

Local Gossip!

A little bird told me that someone bought the old movie theater on Grand Avenue in Escondido (right next to Distinction Gallery). Yay! It's been empty for a long time. Apparently the owner didn't want to sell it to anyone who wouldn't commit to using it as a theater.

So a small group of investors got together and are going to remodel the theater. Art films during the week. A liquor license. Live music on the weekends. So so so excited about this. Yippee!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Thank you, Paige Pooler!

I Googled and found this blog with these instructions on how to change my banner. Think the banner may still need a little work, but it's progress!

Adorable Packaging - Tea Forte

Look at this adorable packaging - I've got to figure a way to work this into my secret project, possibly on a larger scale.

Christine Adolph is a Blogger too!

I stumbled across her blog on the Illustration Friday site. How cool is it that blogging makes my favorite creative people dimensional and accessible? Her blog banner is so beautiful! Maybe tonight I'll revisit creating one for myself.

I love the Pharmaceutical Industry

I'm going to the annual conference with a couple of coworkers in June. We're working on planning our stay. Got this hilarious email this morning:

Here are my URS regarding business functions, networking opportunities, etc. You are right on the money. Start collecting the invitations as they role in and compare. Here are a few more thought on how to maximize your experience.

1.1 Determine if the event location is cool (i.e bar, atmosphere, clientele, etc.

1.2 Find out in advance who else plans on attending. Are they people that you like or think would be fun, or are they obnoxious and rude? I find that the people that go to these establishments are often good indicators of the type of experience you have.

1.3 Have a contingency plan. In the event you get there and it's a complete nightmare, have a disaster recovery plan that you can implement in a moments notice. Find out what other cool places are in the vicinity so you can bolt if necessary.

1.4 Try to attend at least 3 events per evening if possible, saving the best for last. Hollywood is all about this, especially for the award parties thrown after the Oscars, Golden Globes, etc. Jump from event to event - that way it never gets stale. Cover more ground and you meet more people. Also, it drives the hosting vendor nuts if they find out you're leaving their soirée early. They'll want to know what other parties are you going to, who's throwing them, etc. Watch the free drinks flow at this point.

1.5 Make sure they know you're from Southern California. That way none of the locals will try to pull the wool over your eyes trying to convince you that a party/venue is cool when it's not. They won't mess with you because they'll know that you're well informed and armed with knowledge!

The Husband is Blogging!

Here's the linky-link: Fotog

Monday, March 13, 2006

Still Working on My Web Site

I started out with the intent to make a banner for my blog, but I got distracted. For several hours. And now I think time's up. Scott should be home soon and I'll be heading to bed. But here's the progress I made on my home page concept. We're going to buy Dream Weaver so I will finally have some decent web building tools. Really looking forward to that.

Adventures in Mommyland

Scott left me alone with Jakob while he went to pick up late lunch yesterday afternoon. Since Jakob had a new Elmo video, I thought he'd play quietly in the living room for about 1/2 an hour, and that I'd be okay working on my secret project. I don't know why I was thinking this. I know better. Definitely a lapse in judgment on my part. Especially, given that as soon as Jake took ownership of the new DVD, he wanted to put it in something and make it work. He got in the right ballpark. He pushed buttons on all the machines under the TV, and finally opted to pull out the small drawer just under the TV and stuff the DVD in there. Luckily, I saw that happening and was able to leap over the coffee table and prevent the DVD from being snapped in half and Jake shoved the drawer closed with the DVD hanging out. But then I left him alone.

Earlier, while Scott was out getting Jake some new clothes and this lovely new Elmo DVD, Jake & I ate my leftover breakfast for lunch. And ketchup didn't get everywhere, but it did get all over Jake, especially his shirt. So when I left him unsupervised he was down to diaper and shorts (no more clean pants that fit). I don't know quite how long it was silent before I noticed - probably not long, as my experience-to-date in mommyland has taught me well that silence equals mischief and should be investigated immediately. As I approached the baby gate that keeps my little Tasmanian Devil within the boundaries of the living room, I saw little naked shoulders. To be expected, given the previous state of undress as a result of the ketchup encounter. But I did NOT expect him to be completely naked, which he was. Yep. No shorts, and no diaper. And not even the usual "uh-oh" warning.

He had managed to pull his shorts off, and they were discarded near the sofa. But then he actually unhooked the diaper velco and removed his diaper as well. Okay, that's okay with me. But he peed a big puddle on the floor in front of the TV! Flashbacks of the days-of-seven-kittens from just before Jake was born. Scary stuff, I tell ya. So I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to explain to him that he should tell me, "Mama, pee-pee," when he has the urge. He was able to repeat the words, but was clearly mimicking. He did seem to be a little sheepish when he saw what a panic it sent me into. And when Scott got home, I tried to convince him that he needs to show Jake how to pee, because I don't have the right kind of plumbing to demonstrate.

Stuff On My Cat Dot Com

Silly web site I found through a link in the comments on Claudine Hellmuth's blog.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Sold! & 2nd Saturday Summary

Saturday night, Scott dropped Jake off with the grandparents, then came back & picked me up. We had a quick dinner at McDonald's, and then headed over to Distinction for Escondido's monthly "Second Saturday" gallery/studio artwalk-like event.

Lynden St. Victor's show is still hanging in the main gallery.

Kelly was hanging new art in the hall when we arrived. This is the piece:

And when we were doing the walkthrough to see who was around, Melissa was in Kelly's studio, and introduced us. Her significant other was there too, stretching canvases onto wood, and playing with Legos with her son, so we got to meet them too. Scott thought the guy was Kelly's studio-mate, but I looked that guy up just now & it wasn't him.

Back up in Scott's studio, Chris stopped by. It was the 1st time I'd met him. He had his girlfriend Shawna with him. He's the one that's going to do the mural on the outside of the building.

Cat & Mike met us there.

While we were out & about, Scott sold one of his prints. Yay! What a high that produces.

Cat, Mike & I braved the rain/hail to get coffee at The Blue Mug, and to see if Shiva had anything new & exciting. Usually they do. This time they didn't. Bummer. Also, my favorite sculpture piece there was gone. I loved visiting it monthly, and was sad it wasn't there. Maybe when the new shows are up next month it will be a livelier showing.

On the way back, I noticed that The Pink Flamingo has closed up shop. Gone. Poof. We got scoop later from Olga that the store moved to Encinitas. I hate it when cool places move out. I hope another cool place moves in. And I'm so looking forward to the art supply store opening just around the corner from Cat's Craft Cupboard.

Anyway, back at Scott's studio, the guys chatted while we flipped through a pop culture kind of magazine looking for ideas for things to wear to the photoshoot party. I really want to start thinking about invitations, but have so much going on right now, I just can't allocate the mental bandwidth to that activity - otherwise I'll never get anything done. Cat and I also chatted about my secret project. I'm going to design t-shirts for the unveiling the secret. Mike told me to make sure to make guy's t-shirts too. So maybe less girly than I was thinking... or possibly 2 versions. Cat is requesting orange. She's currently obsessed wtih orange. I'll see what I can do.

Cat & I went downstairs so I could show her Kelly's studio, especially the sideboard where she used Basic Grey Motifica paper on the inset panels. Awesome. I got up the courage to start a conversation with her. I told her about the creative group we're working to form. She sounded lukewarm, but open to considering the possibility. She just got Claudine Hellmuth's 1st book, so we chatted about that a bit. She collects old photos. She went to art school. And she gave me some really interesting advice... 1) if you're intimidated by a blank canvas, spill something on it, do a color wash, draw on it and then erase - just do something to mess it up so it's not a blank canvas any longer, and not so intimidating; 2) if you get too attached to something you create because you've invested so much time and energy into it, try working on 3 to 5 pieces at a time and keeping them all at the same level of completion - so you have several pieces completed at once so it feels like you are producing more and you won't get so attached to just one project.

I Have a Secret!

I'm giving wings to something I love. I will try to post hints here as I make progress, and I will let you all in on the secret as soon as I can. Look for something tangible hopefully later this Spring.

Guess Who's 2?

I was supposed to be at Cat's Craft Cupboard around 11:00. But I didn't even finish getting my hair done until around 1:30. Then I had to go home & get my things. So I got to Cat's around 2:00. It was dead. Between the Carson show and the awful weather, the shoppers had been sufficiently frightened away. Cat was hanging out with her sister Sue. I joined them until closing time, and did a little shopping too. But I was off the hook for make 'n takes.

A few other people came in while I was there, including Jill with her daughter April & daughter's boyfriend. April was unusually quiet. Jill brought balloons and encouragement, but didn't stay long. And she bought the adorable Stampotique stamp I had been eyeing! But Cat said she was going to order more. I think I'll live. But look how stinkin' cute it was:

The End of Scrunchiness

I got my hair cut. Really cut. I donated 12 inches to Locks of Love. Apparently a very trendy thing to do in Escondido right now. The Loft is promoting Locks of Love - if you donate at least 10 inches, your cut & style is free. Since I added color too, it was not free. But that's okay. Since Scott had his hair highlighted there, I've been wanting to try it, and also to find a salon I like that's closer than Mermaid Salon & Day Spa (which I LOVE). When we saw Melissa later at Distinction, she told me she was feeling very guilty walking around with long hair, and playfully suggested that people might think she was snob for not being willing to cut hers off. But her husband is firmly against the cutting-off-of-hair, and scolded me, "I thought you were my friend!"

Here are the before and after shots.

Not loving it, but very okay with it. I feel like I've had this haircut before, like in 3rd grade. I think it makes my head look too small for my body. I asked for "edgy" and something that looks less conservative and more artsy. I also asked for red (not meaning literally red), but what I got was literal red highlights with light brown highlights - that other people seem to see, but I think are very subtle. When I look in the mirror, the haircut surprises me, but color I hardly notice. So far, everyone else has noticed. My father-in-law even asked me, "was your hair always red?" Funny. So I guess it looks natural.

So, I think I'll go back in 4-6 weeks, have another lighter color highlight added to the color, or maybe even an all-over lighter color. And I think I'll take some pictures of what I think of as edgy or artsy. I was thinking more along the lines of messy, unkempt, wavy, textured, jagged edges, layers. I was very specific about not wanting to use a hair dryer or flat iron and about not wanting to look overly groomed. So it was weird when she said she was going to flatiron to check the length, but then after she did that, she said it was done and put some smoothing stuff in my hair that made it feel greasy.

The question is, do I give her another chance, and just take pictures with me next time of the kinds of things I like? Or do I try the next level up of stylist and pay a little more and hopefully get something closer to what feels like me? Or do I go back to the stylist at the salon that I trust but is an hour away? Decisions, decisions. I have some time to mull it over while it grows in a little. It seems to be nicely cut. We'll see what happens after I wash it.

I even made myself a new doll with my new look.

On the brighter side, I made a good connection with the stylist (which is the only reason I may be giving her a 2nd chance), and she & the receptionist, Gia, are willing to do the make-up for the gallery photo shoot/party that Scott and I have been planning. New target date is end-of-May or early-June. She said she loves to do high fashion make-up, and would be grateful to have headshots of her work. So it looks like we can exchange photography for make-up services. And later, telling this to Melissa, she told us about her stylist, who is well-known for hair-shows and even does Paula Abdul's hair. So, we may be exploring that option as well.