• Shop Talk,  Tis the Season

    2017 SAJ Calendar is here!


    FINALLY!! I always run a month or five behind getting this calendar thingy done but guess what?! I’m gonna give this one away for free! No more in my shop for a buck or two. I’m just putting it out there and letting you have it. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year! Remember me when you need something illustrated or designed. :)

    Let me know if I made any typos (I’m sure I did. I’m a chicken with her head cut off these days.) and I’ll fix them in a few days and then re-upload the fixed copy next time I blog which I hope is soon because I have so many THINGS to share! NO, not any big news don’t worry, just regular fun family events. Like Christmas! And a new camera lens that I can’t figure out because I’m not as much of a gear-head as I wish I was. I think I need to take photography 101 again.


    So here it is! Click, Print and Calendar!

  • crazy stuff,  Shop Talk,  the dogs,  travel

    Busy Season: business trips, Christmas prep and a winner (chicken dinner!)


    Last week was crazy busy for me. My Mettaprints partner Teri and I took on a huge spray-painting of silver snowflakes job for a big event in Santa Clara. Every year we vow not to do these kinds of jobs because they are so much work  and every year we somehow get amnesia and decide that we should take on another job like this because we are crafty and fun! And that is all very true but crafty and fun with spray paint for four days straight can get very old and tiring. Let’s just say it’s a good thing Teri and I are great friends and we always have a fun time together. Even when we are in the trenches.


    On the bright side, who can complain about working in these conditions? I mean trees everywhere like that? Have you ever seen a prettier place to work? I guess an ocean view would be nice but the canyon is just drop dead gorgeous. I love it there. I wish it wasn’t a 30 minute drive for me or I would set up office in Teri’s downstairs permanently.


    We worked for four days straight and then early Monday morning, at the crack of four am, we loaded up a rental van with all our pretty snowflakes and embarked on an epic Mettaprints trip. We worked too hard on those snowflakes to trust shipping them and after all, Santa Clara is just a four hour drive away. We figured, no sweat! Let’s make a business trip out of it!mettaprints-to-santa-clara-1

    Except we both had so much going on this week that we decided to do all the driving in ONE DAY so that we could get back home quickly. We are lunatics but we also have a great work ethic.

    I woke up at 2am on Monday morning, so worried I was going to be late and didn’t go back to sleep until 2 am the next day. I guess doctors can stay up for 48 hours straight but I am no doctor. I was wrecked. It was super fun while we were driving. Teri and I talked a blue streak both ways but the next day on no sleep I was a basket case! It’s funny how a lack of sleep can seriously alter your brain chemistry. I actually felt like I had really bad PMS and broke down crying four times over the stupidest things!  We probably should have stopped somewhere and spent the night but it is what it is and the snowflakes made it to their destination!


    There we are at the Levi stadium! I don’t know much about the client or the event these snowflakes were for (that’s Teri’s job) but it was pretty cool to drive around to the back of the stadium to their super security-guarded loading zone and have a bomb sniffing dog go through our van.  Then we loaded everything onto golf carts and kissed our hard work goodbye with worried visions of our snowflakes sliding off the golf carts and onto the ground, crushing their delicate snowflake corners. The guys working there humored us with promises to be careful while they inwardly rolled their eyes. But I think everything turned out okay.


    Then back home we went to our regularly scheduled programming: Christmas! Actually these photos were taken before we left but I wanted to get that story out of the way first since it was big news around here.

    I had so much fun decorating the house with the kids this year. It’s our second year together as a family and things are starting to feel normal instead of new. I love that we have traditions now. We have a fake tree (that I resent because it doesn’t smell pretty like a real tree but I love because I hate paying $$$ for a real tree and I hate that a real tree has to die etc.) and we have special ornaments that we love. I was busy putting up my milk carton village so I didn’t do much with the tree but Payam put it up and fluffed it and all that and the girls decorated in between phone sessions. decorating-for-xmas-2016-2

    You know, because phones are like life support these days. I can’t criticize though. They love their phones just as much as Payam and I love ours. It’s just the new normal. We are constantly checking ours too. They don’t have phone service yet but they manage to have just as many things to check as we do with just wifi.


    It’s our first Christmas with the dogs! Good times! As you can see we haven’t really figured out how to keep Cody from eating all the ornaments yet or Whiskey from darting under the tree to hunt the cat that he thinks is there but is not.  The dogs are crazy but we are starting to turn a corner on training and they actually do listen when we tell them no now. We let them roam the house more and more so they aren’t quite as crazy bananas running all over stealing things to chew on as much as they used to. Of course we still have our trouble spots (i.e.: laundry, cloth napkins, hand towels, Bug’s stuffed animals…) but they are getting better.decorating-for-xmas-2016-4

    And really, is there nothing so cozy and Christmassy as a Dog sleeping next to your tree? I think it completes us. We did buy another dog fence to put around the tree so we can actually have a fire in the fireplace instead of cardboard from mettaprints blocking it. I plan to break out the camera many more times and get some pictures of the dogs, the tree, the kids AND a fire in the fireplace. I’m really happy with Christmas this year. It’s going to be a good one I think.


    And last but not least, I have winners of the mom’s magical headache cure bottles! Payam picked them. You can yell at him if you didn’t win.

    The winners are:

    1. Ines!
    2. Heather!
    3. Jennifer Krause!
    4. Susie! and…
    5. Tamara Lang!

    Get me your addresses via email (secretagentjo@gmail.com) and I will ship these out. I’m not promising any timeliness with my shipping but the little bottles are sitting on my desk taking up space and bugging me so I think I will be not forgetting about them. I also want to note that I made this concoction on the weak side just to be safe so if it doesn’t work magically for you, do not give up on essential oils. You might just need a stronger solution.

    Bug took her’s to school on frog dissection day because she has a phobia of people puking.  She played nurse all day running around letting her classmates sniff her peppermint oil and it worked for them so I’m thinking you will find many uses for your winnings!  :)

    That’s all! Happy Christmassing! I am a wrapping fiend these days, you?