"It is our birthday tomorrow!" Carinna exclaimed, by way of greeting on the phone the other week.

"Huh?" My birthday is in the winter, and while hers was coming up, it was at least a few weeks away.

Excitement not deterred, she pressed on, "Well you are leaving for Miami during my birthday, and while you are gone I will be leaving for Europe, so tomorrow is our birthday. We have to exchange gifts!"

Right. Last December, a few weeks before my birthday we went to a small local craft fair/trunk show at the Glashaus to support Britt, and look for Christmas gifts. What we found were study models made by local artist Matt Devine, mini versions of his beautiful, large installation work that he was selling as little affordable pieces of artwork. We had to have one. But, we were not supposed to be shopping for ourselves.

After much scheming and maybe too much giggling we worked out a complicated plan. We would each buy the other one as a birthday gift. Knowing that it would be impossible for me not to give Carinna another gift come her actual birthday, I would give her something that I made. And to even things out, she would also make me something for a gift, on her birthday.

Here are the little guys, hers on the right, mine on the left.

Come June, I made her the drawing on the right, and she made me the necklace on the left. It is two enamel discs that she found at a midcentury shop, they were some sort of deadstock samples. She also made herself one, since she loves matching. Guess I need to make myself a matching drawing? To top it off, we went to Arrivederci, which has been my birthday tradition for many years, and hers for the last two. I mentioned that she likes to match, right?


  1. Angela8:39 AM

    oooh, how is arrivederci? i have been to the one in east county, but i know they have one in hillcrest and don't they have one on 30th as well? anyway, just wanted to know your opinion. my fiance and i usually go with bleu boheme in kensignton or roseville in point loma for special occasions since we are such suckers for french food.

  2. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Hum...What is the little triangular mountain in the right-hand corner? I would like to see a clearer photo of that please! Very pretty drawing.

  3. @angela (sorry for delay) arrivederci in hillcrest is my FAVORITE. sit on the patio and enjoy the people watching. <3

    @oaklandstudio you can see it here


    and know the artist here


  4. oops! I am sorry i butchered your name, oaklandetsuko!