Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's my birthday! It's my birthday! Yeah yeah yeah! I already celebrated with my family last week but today I celebrated first by myself by going out to some of my favorite places, and then with my hubby and toddler by having dinner and cake. GF cake at that!! Betty Crocker makes gluten-free cake mix now, did you know that? It's yummy, I'm a witness.

So I went first to the new storefront for I Like You, which is fabulous, I was in there over an hour looking at stuff. I bought some fun hair barrettes for myself, one set with big fabric buttons and one set with Japanese folded fabric flowers. And I walked around looking at things and getting ideas of stuff I want to try to make. One idea is a felt collage. Someone had done a bunch of framed collages of different scenes, using all felt. They were appropriate for kids' bedrooms, although I would put one up anywhere because I have the heart of a kid. So one was trees in a meadow, a couple were sheep in a meadow, and I forget what else. They were somewhat crude in detail, if you know what I mean, and that's what I liked about them. There really has to be a better word than crude to describe a childlike style. But I can't think of one. Anyway. Another thing I liked was a dice necklace. The artist simply put a small screw hook into the dice and voila, necklace pendant! I have a ton of dice so that might be fun to do.

Okay, so that was the first place I went. Next was MCBA at Open Book. They had a gallery show I hadn't seen yet that was all about mail art and self-published art and it was really neato. And they had part of the "None of the Above" exhibit up, which reminded me that I still have time to join in on the fun for this great assemblage. I just need to go to a print shop. So I wandered around the exhibit, and then spent a long time in their gift shop picking out a few things. What I ended up getting: a few fine line black pens for my doodling/drawing; some needles on a stick for bookbinding, several different colors of waxed linen thread for bookbinding, and a "BIY" kit for a different kind of bookbinding than I've done before (that would anything else besides pamphlet stitch).

And last, I went to Big Brain Comics ( I know, that's a really lame link). I slipped in five minutes before closing time so I tried to hurry, and even then I got a 3-issue series of The Muppet Show comics and an anthology of weird fiction that includes pieces from Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snickett, and I forget who else. I also grabbed a couple promotional posters for the movie 9, which I really want to see but haven't had the chance to yet.

There was a book at the MCBA shop that I didn't buy but I want, it's called Re-Bound and it looks really fun. Anybody out there have it yet?

Friday, September 18, 2009


Huzzah! Mr. Rogers has enough to finish his film! Good Neighbors!

I'm also happy because I'm on vacation. Yippee! Seeing my family and spending time playing with Lily and bringing her new places. Tomorrow we're going to the zoo. Then Sunday we're going to the aquarium. Or the playground. We'll see. And I have oodles of art stuff with me to read and enjoy. I went to Borders last week and uh... saved so much money! Yeah, I saved like $16 and spent $100. That worked out well for them. But I got fun stuff!

I got the first issue of a new magazine from Stampington, Art Quilting Studio. And a book called Good Mail Day, about making mail art. I haven't read the new magazine yet but it looks yummy. I've read most of the book and it's really fun. Although it doesn't have any technique ideas that I don't know about, I really enjoy the way it's presented. It's not overwhelming with complicated designs, and the authors are really skilled at motivating you to get going making art without thinking about it too hard, and focus on having fun. I put together a mail art kit with suggestions from the book, and I'm going to try to make some mail art postcards while I'm on vacation. I'm not used to just working with a few tools, so I think it should be fun. It'll definitely be a stark contrast to the Valley Ridge Art Studio class I'm taking in a few weeks. My God, the supplies list is as long as my arm! Good thing I'm not flying there, I'd have to pay extra for another bag with my supplies in it.

OMG, I couldn't believe that I had to pay $15 for my ONE checked bag on the airplane today! Jeez! It's not enough to gouge me for the ticket. But I have to say, we flew Alaska Airlines instead of the usual Northwest, and it was soooooo much nicer than Northwest. The seats were more comfortable, there was more leg room, and the bathrooms even had full doors. Like, not foldy camper play doors. I hate those.

The sun was out when we flew in and so Lily got to look out and see the mountains and trees and then the people and buldings geting bigger as we came in for a landing. The landing was a little bouncy for my taste, but the captain was fun, he actually got on the horn several times during the flight and talked about what we were flying over. I didn't know anybody did that anymore. I liked it because it made me think about the pilot as a real person, that he must be a pilot because he really loves looking out that big window in the front of the plane and seeing the beautiful landscape below him. He obviously enjoys his job and sharing his love of the landscape with all the passengers. I like that. You get some pilots who are like, don't make me talk to the people on the other side of my little door. They sound like their boss forced them to get on the intercom and at least say hello. Say hello to the nice people. Who paid extra for their frackin' luggage.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Starting now (BING!), this is my favorite time of year. There's my birthday this month, and fall, which is my favorite season. I love it when the leaves turn. And this weekend we went to the Minnesota State Fair, my favorite Minnesota event of the year. Our toddler is old enough now to enjoy it and she had a great time petting animals and going on rides and all sorts of stuff. It was fun to focus on making it a good time for her.

OOh, and there's Halloween and Day of the Dead and--oh wait, before that there's my vacation to go see my family and then in early October I'm going to Valley Ridge Art Studio to take a class from Michelle Ward. The supply list is as long as my arm and it's a bit spendy, but I'm sort of glad we were pressed into making a decision about making it a vacation weekend when I forgot to cancel it. We need more vacation. We're going to stay at this place called Life O' Riley, an old farmhouse and we'll stay in what used to be a schoolhouse.

And then there's Christmas, and I've already been stockpiling gifts for my tot. It's too fun to buy toys, I tell you. And now Woot has Kids Woot! I've already bought about five things from them, including a train set, which I can hardly wait to play with. She loves trains. And cars. That's my girl, no Barbies.

Ah, it's good. And my new meds for migraines seem to actually be helping. I didn't have to take pain pills this weekend, the first weekend in months I haven't had to do that. And I got to go to church with J. and L., which I've missed so much this summer--mass is my calming happy place, at least at our church. And they even sang one of my favorite hymns, There Is A Balm In Gilead , which always reminds me of this wonderful movie we saw eons ago at the Sundance Film Festival, with Ashley Judd in it. I can't find it now in any movie database, but I remember it had something about "at the xx cafe" in the title. And when I say she sings, it's not like it's a musical. It's just this scene where she's outside walking and thinking and not even facing the camera, and she just starts humming and singing this hymn. She doesn't even know all the words. It's very realistic, and sweet. And I guess it reminds me of myself, because I love to sing, and I don't know all the words.

The first film I ever saw Ashley Judd in was Ruby in Paradise (1993), which inspired me to start writing a zine and really get out there as a writer. Ruby won a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival (we saw it there) and this other film was the second film I saw her in and I think it also won some audience prize. I'm not making this up. Anyway, her characters in the two films are very similar, extremely vulnerable and trying so hard to pick up the pieces of her life and start over. At the time I saw them I was doing the same thing, trying to start a new life, and it was hard. I was trying to get a divorce from a crazy person who I was also trying to hide from, I was alienated from my family, and I'd just moved out of state away from everyone I knew to follow a sweet man I'd unexpectedly fallen in love with. That was almost 20 years ago. And I think of that singing so often now.

I married the sweet man and now we have a sweet baby and a good life. Some balm has made the wounded whole. I feel brave again. Today I applied to be in two art shows. They're unjuried, so I know Im in, but it still feels like a big accomplishment that I got it done, all the paperwork and photos and fees. Okay, then! Something to talk about tomorrow, the art fairs I'll be in this fall. Now I gotta go to bed.

Oh, and look at Mr. Rogers! He might just make it, the last I checked, he was 81% funded! Hooray for Mr. Rogers' good neighbors, way to go, people!

Mr. Rogers: A Little Help From His Friends

All right, I know, I know, I haven't posted in years. Well, at least it seems like it. And it seems like longer to me than to you, because my GUILT from not updating my blog and from not writing in general (thus calling into question my status as a "writer") increases exponentially each day that passes without a new entry here.

But today is a good day. I have a laptop!! I've never had one before. I just got this one a few days ago and it's beautiful. Thank you Woot. It's wide and so it has a full-size keyboard and a gorgeous wide screen and I just love it. I can hardly believe I have it, it's so much fun!! Now I can update my blog late at night, which is the only time I usually have to do it, which I haven't been doing because my desktop computer is in baby's room and I don't want to wake her up once we get her to sleep.

Anyways, let's talk about this Mr. Rogers thing, which I somehow found by accident while playing on swap-bot. You know who Fred Rogers is, right? He's the real deal. I grew up watching his TV show (along with Sesame Street--oh, btw, I watched Elmo in Grouchland the other day with my 2-yr. old and I no longer despise Elmo. He's okay. And it's a fun movie. Mandy Patinkin rocks as the villian who takes everyone's toys because "it's mine!" But I digress) and he was Good. So these people made an independent film about him called Mister Rogers and Me but they don't have enough funding to finish making it. They're 10K short. This often happens with wonderful independent films. Don't let this one die! You can help out by pledging your support in any amount from $5 up, but it has to be by September 18th!! And the way it works is that they don't actually charge your credit card until they know if they raised the 10K they need. If they don't make it to 10K, which would be a horrifying shame, they don't charge you. I pledged $20 today and they were up to $7725, which is great. Please give if you can. King Friday thanks you, loyal subjects.