Friday, December 21, 2007

Sweet Cake Love

I love animals that talk and I also love any general inanimate objects that are given human characteristics: Emotions, facial expressions, language. Which is why, when I came across Jessie Oleson's art work of cupcakes and other sweets scattered amongst "real life" situations, I fell for them. They crack me up! A cupcake walking other little cupcakes, having parties, hanging out in pine trees--their simple smiles and little dot eyes seem to speak volumes. It sorta feels like they might be up to something, harmless of course, but a little mischevious nonetheless.
You can see some of her artwork and purchase it for yourself at her Etsy shop. Or check out even more sweet-cake action on her flickr site.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

All Things Considered

He's a purveyor of everyday life. And, since I get a pretty humongous kick out of everyday life, I think I have to declare it one of the best blogs out there, in this everyday life. His name is Jon Rolston and his blog started years ago. I'm very lucky to be able to say, in real life, he's as great as his website. I don't think he actually refers to it as a "blog". That word is so au currant and he's waaaay ahead of au currant. Or, maybe he's behind it, by choice. Either way, it's worth a daily check in, as he sometimes posts more than once a day. One of the many intriguing posts is actually a series that Jon will dole out slowly to us, bit by bit. Probably the only way you could take it all in, anyway, so I appreciate that he makes that decision for us ahead of time. It's a letter, or letters, written to Jon from an old high school pal/friend/acquaintance who's doing time in prison. Mixed in amongst the other brilliant bits of random photos and sparse details of Jon's life as a PA, it's like icing on an already fantastic log cake. He has a great eye, and lucky for us, he carries a camera.

This is another favorite. His empathy for others is heartwarming.

And, finally, that's his truck up there, which features quite a bit in his posts. As does his ever changing facial hair.

That's all I can really say, without posting his entire website here. I think you've seen enough to know if you'll find magic here or not. I know I have.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride*

It's not exactly like me to leave the blog world for a week or more. So, you know, it's been that kind of week.

Last week, when I last posted, I was still riding high on the fabulous profile from Apartment Therapy. and excited about the upcoming show at Reaves Gallery....I was also in my last week of my teaching residency, which was sad, but oh so fulfilling! And quicker than you can say "raindrops keep falling on my head", the ride took a quick turn into a flood!

Standing in our living room, I heard this drip, drip, drip and looked around to find water speedily falling down from our ceiling. Within minutes, I heard it raining, hard, and took another few steps to find it pouring water in our front hallway, pounding down on our piano. Different emergencies feel different. This one felt akin to the sinking of the Titanic for me. I didn't know which way to turn (now, it's funny to note, this is not the first "flood" that has happened in an apartment I've lived in, it's actually the fourth or fifth, but this one was definitely the worst). I rolled up my pants legs, did a few frantic runs between rooms to see the extent of the river running under furniture...and then I flew upstairs, skipping steps, to see what had happened. There were contractors working in the apartment upstairs and I came in, harried as all get out, and said, "Do you know what's going on?!" Well, by the look of the guys, covered in water, head to toe, I think they were quite aware of what had just gone down. What they didn't realize was that it was torrentially pouring down into our apartment below. So, I grabbed them by the arm and said, "Come on, we've got to save the piano!" They were extremely nice about it all, especially since none of us spoke the same language, and proceeded to do whatever it took to save my apartment first. In the end, we didn't loose anything. The piano is a little worse for wear, and every once in awhile, you get a strong whiff of wet wood, like an old boat, and yes, the floors, in many places, are warped beyond repair, which is desperately sad to us ...but, really, we're darn tootin' lucky. And, so, it was time again, for the ride to turn the other way...

We attended the Reaves Gallery show which was a blast and really successful. I always love having the chance to meet the people who buy my work and are so extremely effusive about it. Great ride, that show. It's still up thru the 28th. And it wasn't just successful for me, but for all the artists who are showing. It seems most of the artwork sold that night. If you have the chance to swing by, please introduce yourself to Sharon, the owner, who's wonderful! It was a great night, that we finished up by sharing some holiday cheer with family and friends. But, you must know by now, the ride takes another turn...

We arrived home to find that our apartment had been broken into. This, too, was not necessarily a new experience for either one of us. Over the years, we started to recall, we'd both been ripped off a number of times in various situations. But, it still stings. And feels incredibly violating. Not much you can do, of course. Call the police. Make a report. And move on.

Of course , the wild ride takes another crazy turn, as we wake up the next day to a fabulous bit of press for our little card company. RK and I had worked very hard over the last few months putting together a new website for the card line, 8mm Ideas, and got it up and running in time for a really fabulous write up on Daily Candy. We were both so thrilled at the profile. It captured the card line perfectly. It spoke volumes to these little pieces of work and I felt like they got it just right. Daily Candy was one of the first websites I knew about when I really started checking out the world wide web and it always held a high spot in the world of press for me. It was a true coup to finally appear on their site and with such a lovely review, I feel like last week's ride came to incredibly sweet conclusion.

*Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is a "dark ride" at Disneyland.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

So, what're YOU doing this Thursday?

I'm gonna be lifting a glass with friends while I have a huge goofy grin on my face at this fabulous art opening! My work is sharing the walls with some preeeety big peeps and I'm thrilled that a percentage of the proceeds goes to Toys for Tots. Not to mention, it's reving me up and getting me all excited for my solo show in February (the pieces I made for this show were definitely influenced by the theme I'm creating for that show)!! If you live in SF, come by for a drink and look-see!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

a warm, fuzzy sunday

A friend sent me this email filled with these photos. Normally, I'd hit delete faster than you can say 'puppy'. I'm not usually a big sucker for photos like this. But something about these ones, did it to me. In fact, RK said he thought the frog/snail one was a fake and I got all defensive: "no way! look at the little slime trail! that frog is totally real, i can see his little sweat glands! it's so totally real!" I'm just too taken with the ridiculous level of cute in these things, I can't even remotely get jaded and think any of them were posed or set up or fake in any way...and if you know something I don't, just let me have this sappy moment. Try to get into it.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Flying with Friday

Recently, my sister-in-law broke a worlds record. Did you catch that? A WORLDS RECORD! My niece gets this worlds record book every year, and every Christmas, I find myself wrapped around her finger as she reads off these amazing, sometimes insane, things to me. So, It occured to me that, next year, my sister-in-law would be in that book.

It all happened over Thanksgiving break; While the rest of us were soaking up a real winter home visit, she was driving down to Florida, to start jumping out of planes with her friends. 'Crazy', I kept thinking to myself, remembering the time(s) I jumped off a bridge, bungee jumping. My stomach still rolls when I think of it. But, my sis-in-law has been doing this for years. She loves it. And she's a pretty big achiever, as well. So, I'm sure, when buzz got around that the world record was nigh, she was destined to be in it. Of course, she's not a newbie to this. They've broken the worlds record before. But this one, this one was big.

One hundred parachuters would link together to form a humongous diamond shape in the sky. A sight to be seen. We'd talked about it with her over the year, leading up to this past November, but mostly, we sorta boo-hooed we wouldn't all be seeing each other for the holiday. I know I, for one, did not quite grasp the concept of what she'd be doing while we were stuffing our faces with turkey and bowling, on safe land.

Luckily, there are another set of people that will film things like other people jumping thousands of feet and falling into the sky. These people wear cameras on their helmets. Gotta give em props. Really. So, thanks to the photographers who capture it all and to the wild, thrill seekers that race thru the sky to thrill US down below, we end up feeling like we're at the competition.

You've really got to watch the video, which was my main motivation for this in the first place. I tried to post it here, to no avail, so it's best to go to the site and watch it. Yes, it's awesome they broke a record, but what's even more awesome is the excitement, fear and freedom you feel from watching the video. I watched this video and got completely teary. Granted, I'm a pretty emotional person, some might even say a pretty big cryer. Anyhoo, it reminded me a bit of a video my brother made when he was running his bungee jumping business. They're not Warren Miller films, by any means, but they get the feeling across. It was frightening, and exciting and breath-taking and I was just happy that everyone made it through. The same way I feel when I watch my brother's old video. And it's less about the actual video than it is about what is actually going on. Catapulting yourself into the sky is giving over control to the universe in a pretty major way. Granted, we take all our human-like precautions...but, come on, man is not invincible.

If we get another go around in this world, I've always wanted to come back as a bird. That doesn't mean seeing this video made me want to jump out of planes or jump off another bridge... but...I did really love paragliding. I love flying--not falling.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Today, a little therapy

The week is almost over and I've been going to and fro with the ending of teaching residencies this month. It's sad to have to say goodbye to all the kids, K-5th graders, but being able to act out the 5th grader's plays and watch the 4th graders perform their monologues makes it all worth it. Next semester, the plan is to work with the advanced play writing students and maybe work on a girl's oral history project. I cannot wait!

So, while one thing ends for awhile, other things come pouring in. Today I was featured on Apartment Therapy, a really cool website that highlights all sorts of things around the country. There is a one section called House Calls and they interview and profile artists and their homes. You can check out my little interview here.

One thing I must do, before I go any further, is give a HUGE shout out to the publicist of all publicists: Christina. Her word-of-mouth gets more done in a day than I have in a year. So, thanks T.

I'm heading over to Candystore (who has a brand spankin new website, by the way) right this moment to deliver packets of xmas cards in case you still need to write your 'happy's' to friends and family! I wanted to include photos here, but don't have the camera to do so--you can check out an idea of them on Comfies post.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lovemakers Unite!

Today's the big day of the Lovemakers Craft Fair! We're all very excited 'cuz, though we'll be working, it's sort of like playing hooky together too. T, D, and I had a craft night on Friday in anticipation of this big day. Word has it, it's supposed to rain, but no matter: we're stocking up on provisions, we've got our home-made goods in hand and we'll be amongst the beautiful redwoods of Mill Valley. I think we'll be just fine!

Here's some of the one-of-a-kind state cards I made for the fair.

I'm really digging on the reaction most people had when they found out a state's motto. There were so many beautiful ones and some funny ones and inevitably, someone would come across one that would just make them shake their head and smile. That was cool to watch. It was a bit of work to type on the bottom of the piece with my groovy old typewriter (rk's), but they remind me a bit of like old primer cards somehow: how to learn your states.

I really love how they turned out. I wanted each one to be framed, but time got away from me, as I've also been spending lots of time in the studio making all new pieces for the upcoming group show at Reaves Gallery. I'm really happy with what's come out of the latest studio time. And I'm so looking forward to being in a show alongside mike mcconnel, matt frederick, and blair bradshaw! Lucky me!

In the meantime, Ambatalia here we come!*

*Well, in the meantime, "today" came and all the days before it, of course, but here I go a 'postin: We had a great day, tons of fun, amazing cheese cake, Molly of Ambatalia was in great form all day on into the night, and christina, danica, katie and I hung out, met a bunch of new people,sold stuff, and were thrilled when friends and family alike showed up to hang out and enjoy the party. D, in particular blew up today, introducing these dudes to the world at present, and I feel so dang proud of her!