Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Crowd shot from the Art is the Key art show and silent auction--my Blue Key Code piece is the light blue one. There's already a bid on it! The show was a lot of fun. There was a really big crowd there and both my items already had bids on them when we got there. I'm waiting for my check to come sometime this week when I'll find out what the final bids were. Maybe it's like eBay and people went crazy in the last five minutes. Anyhow, it was really exiciting to see my art up on the wall and people liking it! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What I Gave Up For Lent

It's a Catholic thing. You try to strip away some crap in your life and become a better person. Some people call it "a conversion of heart." Same thing. So my crap to give up is this: stop bitching in traffic. It sounds easy. I mean, it's a stupid habit to begin with. I'm driving, by myself in the car, and I complain loudly about the idiots around me who should be ashamed of themselves for their behavior but aren't. It gets me very crabby, and it doesn't make them stop being idiots. I need to just let it go. I'm spoiled, I hardly ever have to drive in really bad traffic, so really, it could be worse. Ah, I feel like a true Minnesotan when I say that phrase: it could be worse. I deserve a badge that says I've internalized the MN way of thinking, like a Girl Scout badge for learning to make fire or something (do they do that?) But then wearing a badge wouldn't be very Midwestern, because that would be like bragging.

But I digress. The traffic. It's frackin' annoying. So many go unpunished. It just isn't right. But there it is, a daily reminder that life ain't fair. So I'm getting better. I've stopped yelling obscenities. I'm down to mumbling things like "oh, nice" or "idiot." Then I remember I'm supposed to let it go. Times like these I draw on my memory of Bill Murray in that movie where he was a camp counselor for all the loser kids. They were losing all the competitive events (due mostly to the rich kids cheating) and his mantra became "It just doesn't matter!" I think that phrase can come in quite useful. So maybe I'll try chanting that next time some geeb weaves into my lane while gabbing on his dumbass cel phone...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

FPLP Obsession is Widespread

Holy Crap, I just looked back at that listing to see how much the little fellahs went for, and the winning bid was $112!!!!! I knew I wasn't the only one obsessed with these. :)

Back in the Day Toys

I just got this picture off Ebay to illustrate what I'm talking about with the Fisher Price Little People, and I have to stop myself from bidding on them. This lot was going for $28.00 with 6 whole minutes left to bid. Must...stop...hand. I swear, it's like a visceral reaction, I see them and I MUST have them!! If only I still had the Garage, that was the coolest...and the Yacht! Oh dear, now I've done it, I've released the FPLP monster. Remember the barn that mooed when you opened the door?? If someone got me this for me birthday I'd be overjoyed. I guess there are worse addictions. I could be on crack! Posted by Picasa

Post-Vacation Thoughts

Change is good. A change of scenery was very good for me. Two weeks in Seattle was fun, and I even got to drive my sister's Hummer, which was even more of a change of scenery--I felt like the king up there above all the other cars. And like the man says, "It's good to be the king!" Okay, it's not really a Hummer, it's a Chevy Tahoe, but it's so BIG! My mom needs the running board to climb up into it, and really, she's not that short.

Vegetarian food was so easy to find there, I felt spoiled. The Sunlight Cafe on Roosevelt was fantastic. I had polenta cakes with black beans and cheese, and J. and W. had to help me finish cuz I couldn't eat it all. And they were like little vultures, they cleaned my plate good. W. had the sesame crunch waffle and that looked really yummy as well. Want to go there? Here's a map.

Another favorite was Crave, in the Capitol Hill area. I tried the grilled-cheese sandwich with honey-Dijon mustard and apple slices and it was mouth-watering good! I never would have thought to put apples in my grilled-cheese sandwich.

My favorite toy store was Plastic Passion. And when I say toys, I don't mean for little tykes. I mean weird alternative art toys for adults. And when I say adults, I don't mean porn. It's just, well, action figures that you don't play with exactly, and stuffed creatures that are so freaky they're lovable. It's hard to explain...but how can you not love the Bleeding Heart Gimp Bunny of Doom? I mean, come on. I guess what I like a lot are the Minis, and I bought a few of those. Now I have a whole little shelf of girl minis, some dark like Scarygirl, and some cute like a little Mary Engelbreit figure. I guess I like these because they inspire me to make art, and they give me alternative visions of myself as a female that counteract the Cosmo shit I am constantly bombarded with in mainstream media. Okay, plus I just like toys still. I have some old Fisher Price girl figures (and a mom) above my doorframe that guard the entrance a la St. Michael. These are the ones from back in the day when they didn't have appendages, they were just rounded dowels. "In my day, we had toys without arms and legs! And we LIKED it!"

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

ATC: You Know Why

I made a bunch of these for Christmas. Posted by Picasa

ATC: Red Barn Blue Sky

technique: paper engineering--oooh, doesn't that sound difficult? It's just weaving paper. I love this stamp, it's so gorgeous. Posted by Picasa

ATC: Fox in Sox

created with a cancelled stamp Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 06, 2006

Close-up of algebra section: on the right is a die I painted and stamped, and on the left is my favorite part of this, a little abacus I created out of a slide holder, copper wire and beads. Posted by Picasa

Close-up of middle section on music: glued on the left side is the mechanism for a music box. If you turn the white knob it actually plays something, although I couldn't figure out what. This is also a good shot of the stamping I did inside each section: you can see on the right side a big F for forte, and then some other music-related words or abbreviations like cresc. and presto. I did this for each section, coming up with appropriate terms for that code. Posted by Picasa

Close-up of chess section: I found a travel-size chess set at the thrift store and used a couple pieces from that in this section, painting them the same colors as the box. I also carved several rubber stamps of chess pieces, the impressions of which show up in black here. The paper in the back is from a book of chess moves. I have no idea how to read it, but I thought it looked fascinating. I inked, crumpled, and mod podged the paper before glueing it in place. I didn't flatten it out so it sticks up 3-D like with the crumples. The key is attached to the box with copper wire that goes through a hole in the top and winds around a twig. Posted by Picasa

Blue Key Code

My second entry for the "Art is the Key" exhibit for KFNA, a local neighborhood association. This one is called "Blue Key Code" and I went with a more abstract idea of key as translation of code, and presented three different types of codes, or what I think of as codes: chess moves on the far right, music in the middle, and algebra on the left. The piece is 13" x 4" x 1.5" in size.
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Friday, March 03, 2006

Wow, time got away from me there and I haven't posted in weeks. First there was a 2-week period of nasty migraines, then there was the cold that I'm still trying to get rid of. Now things are calming down. I go on vacation next week and I can't wait to get out of here--Minnesota in March, yuk.

Taught my first Community Ed class this week, on making Artist Trading Cards, and it went great. Only had 4 students, but it was fine. I just wish it paid a bit more. But I'm already signed up to do the same class again in June, so we'll see if I get more students then. And I'll actually be employed at the end of this month, doing test scoring part-time for 20-30 hours a week. I keep applying for library jobs and keep not getting them. One of the most recent I applied for had over 50 applicants for 1 position. Oy. So maybe I can forget about that for a while and enjoy being employed for a couple months and not feel like a big loser who can't find a job. I know a lot of it is just dumb luck but it does exhaust me, looking for a job and not finding one. The scoring job is an annual temp thing that I did last year so they basically asked me if I wanted to do it again this year, which is nice. Anyway, maybe I'll stop having those stupid dreams about being fired from jobs and feeling like a bad bad person. I hate those!

The only bad thing about going on vacation is not being able to take Cocoa Puffs with me. I spend more time with her than really any other creatures, including my husband, I think. And she's my buddy. I love walking her, even in crappy weather, because she's always so happy and grateful. When I get home from walking her she waits for me to sit down so she can jump in my lap and give me hugs and kisses. It feels so good to be loved by a dog. :)

I've been listening to a book on CD and it's so funny, I love this story. I don't want it to end! The book is Neil Gaiman's latest, Anansi Boys. The guy doing the reading is brilliant with the voices, he brings it alive much more than if I'd just read the book myself. I don't know how to describe the story, I guess it's sort of magical realism but really funny. The main character is sort of a nice dopey guy that gets into a big mess of trouble and has to find his way out of it by trying to navigate this magical world he doesn't really quite believe in. I love Gaiman's sense of humor about gods.

Arctic-looking Falls on Feb. 11 Posted by Picasa

Duck tracks next to the creek. Aren't they cute?? Posted by Picasa

Cold ducks from mid-February above Minnehaha Falls Posted by Picasa