Thursday, December 4, 2014

Where I've Been


A slight (six month) hiatus from ye olde blogge but I'm back. 

"What the heck, Arian," you say. "I've been clicking refresh on my browser non stop waiting for an update! Where you been, girl?"

Thanks for the dedication. A couple big life changes---1. we are now home owners. We bought a 116-year-old house in need of "just" cosmetic help. Turns out, though, when your face is 3000 sq ft big and you haven't had a makeover since before the dawn of Hammer Pants, "just" cosmetic help is A LOT of work!

Thankfully under all the carpet we found (mostly) pretty wood. It "just" needs refinishing.

Unthankfully under all that wallpaper we found MORE wallpaper (and more and more). Wallpaper is now enemy #1 and despite the countless hours we've devoted to scraping inch by inch, there is still so...much...more. Anyone looking for a free upper arm workout look no further. I've got just the job for you : )

And, what the hay, lets go ahead and rip out some walls while we're at it.

But progress IS happening. Not on the timeline we originally hoped but it is happening.

Some walls are finally stripped and some walls even have a few pretty coats of Lincoln Cabin Black paint on them.

And this chandelier now hanging in our entryway is a reminder that even prettier things are yet to come.

Also still to come---Armstrong boy #4! Due mid March. I'm feeling a healthy mix of excitement and "oh my gosh what are we getting ourselves in to?!?". Which is better than the yucky mix of nausea and hormone-induced depression that plagued the first trimester.

So this past summer/fall was a very busy and overwhelming season. And now Christmas is just around the corner. Our house is covered with a substantial layer of dust, wallpaper scraps, legos, crumbs, and glitter. We've got some big tasks ahead but it's all good.

I hope you're enjoying the chaos of the season!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Heaven On Earth

It's been exactly 4 years since our father/daughter meet in Asheville trip. I had two kids, Andrea had none. Now she's getting ready to have boy #2 and we wanted to get away before it's newborn season again.  So we hopped in the car and headed down to meet dad for four sweet days away.

Getting six hours of uninterrupted conversation time with this girl on the way down AND way back is sister GOLD. The rolling hills of Kentucky to the mountains of North Carolina, iced coffee, a cooler filled with La Croix, Andrea's killer playlist, laughing, and non-stop talking. Perfection.

 We ate delicious slow food at every meal (that someone else made!), wandered aisles and aisles of antiques, poured over magazines, drank coffee for hours, and explored the streets of Asheville.

 And! AND! We went to my new favorite place on earth---The Biltmore. Magical. Literally heavenly. As in, I went back to our room at the end of that day and re-read Revelations 21 and felt like I had seen a tiiiiiiiiiny glimpse into the beauty that is to come. (Also John 14:1-4)

I mean, seriously.

I don't know when I'll go back but, oh, I'll go back.

This is the souvenir I brought back--a silky vintage grey slip with lovely pleated lace details. When I'm not wearing it, I'm pretty sure it will be hanging on our bedroom wall. It's art.

I think the trip changed me a bit. It inspired me to be more intentional about raising our boys to be cultured gentlemen with a love for art, music, literature, history, travel, food, and adventure. It reminded me that I serve a very extravagant God. Every castle, every designer gown, every ornate silver serving dish set, every epic feast I've ever had the pleasure of pinning on Pinterest ; ) is quite plain compared to the stuff God comes up with.  Read God's detailed instructions for building the Tabernacle---it was faaabulous. He knows what He likes. I spent a lot of time thinking and talking about God as a designer. I mean, Genesis 1:1---this whole thing starts as an epic story about a (the) Artist. And He's very VERY good.

Arian : )

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Follow The Good King poster

I usually don't hang my own art up on the wall. Not sure why, exactly. But as soon as this poster arrived back from my local screen printer, up it went! I love how the metallic gold ink looks on matte grey paper. And the printing process captured my brushstrokes perfectly. I'm itching to get more things screen printed!

If you love it too it's now available in my shop!

A little "in progress" shot : )


Monday, May 12, 2014

The Good King Opening Night!

Oh man, Friday night's opening of my first solo art show The Good King at Fort Thomas Coffee was soooo sweet. When I first decided to do a solo show, I contemplated not doing an opening night because, well, it's risky. What if no one comes?? But man, people came! There was a steady flow of folks the whole evening--old friends, new friends, family, strangers. So. Cool.

Andrea manned the square and took orders all night long.

I can't wait to show you pictures of all my new products, including leather goods and super cute baby things. Til then I've added new The Good King prints to the shop!
 (Heads up, I have plans to do a more ethnically diverse line of these son/daughter prints!)

I hope you had a great Mother's Day weekend! 

My boys gave me chocolate. They know me well : )


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Come Say Hi!

Two weeks from tomorrow! If you're in the area or feel like making a road trip I'd LOVE to see your face! I've been working very hard on so many new things! Can't wait to show them to you all!

Here's the Facebook event if you'd like more info!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Urban Archaeology

So much life happening these days its a bit hard to keep up. I'm in full on art show mode, creating as much as I can before the opening of my first solo show on May 9th. Plus we're in the final stages of buying our first house. It could still all fall through (like, say, after inspections this afternoon). But if all goes well, we'll be moving into a 100+ year old home very soon. The busyness of this season is making it hard to keep my mind asleep at night and focused during the day but I'm doing my best!

For one morning last week, however, the boys and I escaped present craziness and traveled briefly back in time. My sister was part of a music video shoot in the now vacant old Woodward High School building (also formally the School for Creative and Performing Arts). So we took advantage of the open door and went exploring.

Room after room, floor after floor. I'm pretty fearless when it comes to this kind of adventure---urban exploration. Not sure exactly where we were "allowed" to go, not sure what (or who) we'd find hidden in these spaces, the four of us opened doors, climbed staircases, peered in closets, and meandered the halls.

And we found so many treasures. An easel graveyard.

One of TWO swimming pools. One for men, one for women. That's how they rolled 100 years ago.

If I could have figured out a way to sneak this chalkboard home I would have. Finders keepers, right?

I needed this day with the boys. A break, an adventure, a memory, and lots of photos : )


Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Papa passed away yesterday. He was 93. He told my mom at night that he didn't think he'd be here the next day and he was right.

On days like yesterday I feel most comfortable on the front lines. I want to stop everything. I want to be there. I want to go see the body. I want to cry all the tears. I want to take pictures because I know it's a sacred day and I want to remember it always.  

So that's what we did. We cleaned out Papa's nursing home room (I'm glad he wasn't there too long), we made a trip to the funeral home and said goodbye to his body, we cried and laughed and cried, we documented the day in photos,

It was beautifully sunny and icy. Pictures don't do it justice.

We went back to his house and started sifting through his clothes...his old military uniforms, flannel work shirts, and leisure suits from the 70's. We got out photos and worked on the display for his memorial service.

What a stud. I see why their blind date wasn't their last.

I'm working on a "5 Lessons I Learned From Papa" post.

Til then I'll just say thank you, Papa. I'm VERY proud to be your grand daughter. Life is better because of you and won't be the same without you.

Arian : )