Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WAR PAINT and rediculousness in one.

Hidee ho, good neighbors.

When last we spoke, I mentioned something about getting local vets photographed for a book about vets with tattoos.
The photographer is the AWESOME Kyle Cassidy and the book is WAR PAINT.

I have a friend who is on the officers board at the American Legion here and she has been instrumental in helping me locate veterans, and secure a visitor's pass for Kyle.

But tonight, she sends me this text:

The hall is booked on the 8th. It's actually the annual Elvis birthday bash! Lol! At least I know there will be bodies there! Lol!

(wait...there's more...)

Great elvis impersonator booked to preform!

You still there?

I don't....
I can't.....
There are no words for the absurdity.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

once again

i have been smacked in the face with the cold wet fish of ignorance.

it is possible that i do not know HOW to cook for vegans.

this is a startling, troublesome revelation.

Vegetarians, you guys are easy.
After my brother declared his flesh-free lifestyle, I issued myself a challenge: meat only once a day. (HEY BACON!)
Once that became easy-peasy, I limited meat to 3 days a week. And discovered that was easy too.
Now I am down to once a week, although I still cook it lots--I am surrounded by carnivores.

I have found this transition easier to bear because I LOVE CHEESE. Love it so much that I may very well forgo passing off this mortal coil if there is no cheese in the afterlife.

But vegans don't eat cheese! it all beans all the time? That seems ridiculous & mundane.
TVP? expensive for 3 meals a day, 7 days a week.
Do you guys just take A LOT of vitamins?

Fill me in here, I know nothing.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

T'was the month of December...

I went a little overboard/ambitious/crazy.

I cleaned up the studio & decided to re-organize.

I placed my fabrics where I could see them, arranged chromatically.

I thumbed through back issues of arts and crafts magazines.

I decided to have a handmade holiday*.

I have been measuring, cutting, sewing, stuffing....

I went to the fabric store and brought home MORE FABRIC.

And in a week's time, I am going to lay across the floor and photograph all I have created, before rushing madly to the post office.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why I don't belong in a post-apocalyptic world...

Mister: What are you doing?

Me: Ignoring your zombies and reading blogs.

There are many reasons that a post-apocalyptic world is not my ideal setting: indoor plumbing gone, grocery stores gone, antibiotics gone, schools gone, Internet gone....
but the biggest one is this:

I am not made to handle zombies. I do not enjoy video games with zombies. I do not enjoy movies with zombies*. I can not wrap my brain around the fiction of zombies and come to any sort of narrative in which I would be useful, except perhaps as bait.

And any future that involves me as bait is one that I am not interested in. Even if it is bait for attractive vampire types.

* Except Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What to do...

Having a chance to sleep in was a wonderful rarity. (Thank you, in-laws!)

So far this morning I have made cranberry salsa for Thanksgiving at Aunt Elaine's, made cranberry sauce for home, and enjoyed a delicious breakfast of oatmeal with (waitforit) organic dark cocoa honey. From Pixie's Pocket on etsy. It is worth every penny, if you like chocolate.

So now I have to: water the animals, change out the fish tank, sort through kids clothes (WHY would anyone need 30 t-shirts?), and get painting for MY etsy shop.

And I have 4 hours. I guess I'll tend to the beasts and then tend to the art.

(Is this what being grown up is? Doing what needs to be done before you do what you want?)

Also, I have been enjoying a new blog: Cold Antler Farm. I got the link from me ma.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sleeping in

The wee ones are on holiday at the grandparents! Today I slept until 8. It was deeeelightful. Then I had breakfast with my houseguest & drove her to the airport.

Now it is lunch, studio time, and then off to help a friend pack up his studio in anticipation of his move.

I'll probably stay up late and get wild.
(Translation: fall asleep on the couch in front of a movie)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

more, more, MORE!

I'm a busy little bee, what am I.
The boys are a bit sluggish in their roles as collaborative partners, although Mr. P handed me his finished pieces last night. We are still waiting on Mitchell, who has been busy drawing for work.... In other news, I have a few more items up on Etsy. I am currently creating a few more which should be posted by next week's end.
I have volunteered to set up an Etsy shop for some started with volunteering to do the banner and sort of snowballed from there. I don't mind setting it up, but I really don't want to be the admin....

I have decided on my next ART adventure: guerrilla art! It's an excuse to be subversive, in an aesthetically pleasing way. Also, it's an excuse to use heavy-duty adhesive and found objects. Whee!

And I am super excited to be helping out this really neato photographer. I admire his work, and this particular project speaks to me on whole bunch of levels: as a tattoo artist, as a former army wife, and as the granddaughter of veterans. Things are in the super rough planning stages, but I am still doing the happy dance.

Oh, and the kids are going to spend Monday-Thanksgiving with the grandparents. OH THE FREE TIME I WILL HAVE. I may just barricade myself in the studio with the coffee pot and the laptop. And probably the last box of girl scout cookies. But if you're in the Chicagoland area and know of other worthwhile ventures, drop me a line. I'm down for whatever.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Birdy! Birdy!

Hello! First pair of Yule ornaments are in the Etsy shop. Pop over and bid them a friendly hello, would you?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

For reals, this time...

I am on the cusp of posting new things to my etsy shop. It's a pretty big move for me. I haven't posted anything new in quite a while, as I have been trying to figure out what I can make instead of jewelry...
quick back story: I used to make collage jewelry in a glass frame that was held together with solder. I LOVE SOLDER. there is something wonderful and primal about heating metal until it is a liquid and then pushing it around until it does what you want. However, I have asthma and the lovely toxic solder fumes were affecting my ability to breathe. And as breathing is one of those non-optional functions, I had to figure something else out.

Turns out that if I put my mind to it, there's quite a few things I can make. I have decided to arrange my shop seasonally and create for the 8 holidays of the calendar year. Yes! All eight. This took quite a bit of debate, because I wasn't sure if I was ready to share this next bit of info with the whole world.

And right here is the fun part: hey y'all! Did you know I'm pagan?! That's right: I am an earth-loving, dirt-digging, sky-watching hippie.

I celebrate 8 major holidays based off of the Wiccan wheel of the year: Yule (Dec 21), Imbolc (Feb 2), Ostara (March 21), Beltane (May 1), Litha (June 21), Lughnasadh (August 2), Mabon (September 21), Samhain (October 31).
You will note a bit of overlap between these 8 and other cultural holidays. That is not coincidental. Back before TV and electricity, ALL of our ancestors knew about the Summer and Winter solstices, and the Spring and Autumnal equinoxes. It was a way of keeping track of time, in addition to the lunar cycles....but that is another lesson for another time.

First up in the etsy shop will be Yule decorations...also suitable for Christmas, Festivus and the like.
Bird ornaments (because I am a bird loving girl), star garlands, wall hangings will start the ball rolling.
Next up will be year-round items, and then crafts and activities for children.

Monday, October 25, 2010

a way around it....

So I figured a way to take photos for posting, using my phone & gmail account and am feeling pretty pleased with myself (although fully aware that I am a few years behind my technologically advanced friends--hi K!)
Tonight I am in the studio sewing and listening to Pandora Radio, and marvelling at the adaptability of my space: it sews, it paints, it solders, it makes julienne fries in no time at all!
Everyone needs a hidey spot. When I was little, I carved out a secret spot in the back of my closet (in retrospect, probably not as secret as I thought). Now I retreat to my studio and make art. (Failing that I retreat to my head and dream of art)
I'm a lot like the sandpipers--have you ever seen them at the shore? They chase after the tide, then run as it advances. I chase after people and noise and movement, and as it turns to advance towards me I flee.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I may or may not have mentioned previously that I had a brainchild that resulted in a collaboration between myself and 2 other artists: the all-talented Mr Bob and my coworker Mitchell Paukstis.
The collaboration goes as follows:
1. Each artist preps 2 canvases and starts a work.
2. We pass one canvas each to our collaborative partners.
3. We add to that canvas & pass along to the artist who has not yet seen it.
4. At the end, we should have 6 canvases that all of us have touched.
And at the very end, I am going to the VVAC and proposing a show.
So far I have started 2 canvases and worked on a canvas from Bob and one from Mitch.
I am really looking forward to seeing the final result, as we all are working from such different styles & backgrounds.
These are the two that have one artist left to treat them.

Monday, October 18, 2010

my my my

the time does fly...
summer has faded away and now the autumn leaves swish beneath our feet.
The breeze is cool and crisp. The sun light comes at an angle and leaves before the chores are done.

But it's still my favorite season. The leaves are beautiful, the blue sky breathtaking. I have cleaned my nest and have a stack of projects waiting for completion. I went ghost walking, made shepard's pie, and watched the sun set. I am waiting and watching and being still. Absorbing all of it so that in the long, dark winter months I can pour it back out again in paint, fabric, ink, and paper.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Oh, interwebs!

hey, how's it goin?

I am momentarily distracted by the month of September (although in my head, it sounds like this: THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER). I have something going on every weekend for the next 4 weekends, so I may be overfull of noise or too busy to give you all the details.

This weekend for instance: Saturday starts with taking the kids to art class, followed by dropping one of them off for a birthday party while I clean & cook for a gathering at my house that night. After the cookig & cleaning I have to pick that kid up, get both clean & in bed before guests arrive. Sunday is a scouts day, again at our house.
Did I mention that I'm working for the next 3 days?

In 2 weeks I'll be taking a little trip to the southern half of this state to...well, I plan to post pictures & give you the run down on that.

For right now, I am going to retire to the studio & finish working on the canvases for the collaboration I'm doing. (Pictures of that as well)

Go & do something in the real world!
I'll see you back here real soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Week 5 meet week take-a-break.

I "finished" week 5's project, but it was a bit of a trial towards the end. The grommets that the author is using & the ones that I am using are clearly not the same size. This discovery was made after I drilled the holes & then tried to muscle in the grommets...which wound up breaking the balsa wood. I think I may re-do this project while I take this week to start a collaborative project w/2 friends & create a promotional poster.

I am very exited about this collaboration--3 artists & 6 canvases. I am hoping to get us a show in the local art center (which means typing up a prospectus & putting on my business shoes). I think I should be able to swing it--I have perseverance & persuasion on my side! Plus I spent a year teaching other artists how to get their work in I guess I have preparation on my side too.

No pictures today--I have to get ready to go to the shop.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Week 4

This week has been a bit wonky, between the as-yet-unrepaired sewing machine and Fiona's refusal to sleep through the night (yay 3 year olds!) But I have gotten as far as I can on this week's project, which is a "vision statement banner". I have to say the author really thought this one out because you attach your goals with velcro so you can swap them as they change. In addition to the required goals & mission statement, there's a few other bits on there that are just about me. The bird for one. That's a stamp I carved & printed on silk fusion fabric (fabric that I made with my mom). The map: I love maps. They represent adventure and freedom and a way home to me. The puzzle piece and the rune and the fabric leaves are things that I have collected over the years that feel at home here.

This is a color combination that I am enjoying. I am pretty sure that I'll encorporate these fibers in to the banner once I get past the sewing stage. That pink yarn was handspun and dyed by my mom AGES ago.
And as for the rest of my days, I have been enjoying doodling, drawing for work and painting with the kidlets. But that's all for another time. I have this other blog that I have to go update.
Oh. Also, I turned 30 this week. There was no hoopla. (which is mildly disapointing. I enjoy a bit of hoopla every now & again)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Cut & Paste

Ok, I know I am tired because my hands inadvertantly typed "cut and pasta" about 4 times. It took genuine effort to get that title out there--and i hope you appreciate that.
Anyway, of the many & varied blogs I read, one is by Kyle Cassidy.
He is a photographer and all-around interesting guy. In that he comes across as normal, but is surrounded by the most facinating people. As a people watcher myself, this is the ideal situation.

Anywho, he was asked by a reader for some advice regarding becoming a photographer. His actual response was too ginormous for cutting & pasting, but I urge you to go & read it here.

And hey! lookit the time. I am off to bed, with a side stop in kitchen.
Sweet Dreams, y'all.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Week 3, the sequel!

The kids did get to sleep at a reasonable hour, and the kitchen chores were done, so I set out to continue down week 3's art challenge.
This week it was to make a tote bag to carry around your "journal"(I call it a sketchbook. The word journal makes me think of how melodramatic and self-indulgent I used to be when I was 13...and that makes me gag)

Aaaaanyway--i love shopping for fabric. It's like shopping for paint with the added bonus of patterns & texture (wheeee!!) Ahem. So, yes. My sewing skills are passable--I've made a few quilts, aprons, skirts...a dress once long ago...I figured I could handle a few straight lines. These are my fabric choices for the front. Pattern=yum! And I love swirlies.
Here is my machine. She was a gift from my mother-in-law the first Christmas after the mister & I were married. She's probably used it as much as I have. (She sewed all the curtains for our last house) Sadly, this is ALSO the machine that got dropped off the moving truck...which leads us to:

The clusterf**k that happens inside the bobbin casing every time I do more than 2 stitches.

This was my BEST result after 3 tries. As I am already mid-week, I am thinking about getting out the fusible interfacing & altering a bag I already own. I just have to brave the fist-sized spiders in the storage area to get to the bin that holds all my out-of-rotation bags.
And the machine? She will be headed to the repair shop. (Say a little prayer, won't you?)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

week 3

Is off to a rocky start.
As I type this at nearly 10pm, I am STILL battling the 3 year old with insomnia.
Which means no art-hour for mommy....
which is kind of okay b/c this week's project involves sewing and my sewing machine is prone to devouring my projects. Which is completely not her fault. You'd be touchy if someone dropped you off a moving truck, too.
And fear of bills keeps me from taking her to the sewing machine repair place with all the nice old ladies.

Today was a wash.

I am hoping for a better tomorrow, which may involve sewing on the dining room table while the kids entertain their ownselves. They gotta learn at some point, right?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hello you!

So I found this book, while shopping for art supplies for my scouts group.
And I figured "hey, a 12 week art challenge is just what i need to get my ass in gear", so I bought it. I am in week 2 of 12. Usually I try to avoid these types of things, as they lean towards campy "gradma's white elephant sale" type crafts...but this book seems to steer away from that through the use of the recipient's own artistic judgement. And week one's crafts was a useful little thing....

A TO DO list. I have uploaded it here for you. If you like, you can print it out for your own use. It has 6 slots per day and I have made the executive decision that 6 things/day is more than enough for anyone to accomplish. On my own lists, I like to include things like "eat chocolate". This is merely a suggestion, however. You can put "scrub toilets" on yours if you like.
I have also slated a time each week for BLOGGING. So you will see me regularly for the next 12 weeks. Perhaps even more so once school starts (August 25--woo hoo!)
Cheers, lovelies!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


the words "bijou" and "yak" really don't belong together.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Back on track!

I am back on track with my hour-a-day in the studio plan, EVEN on days when I am working at the tattoo shop. I have posted only tattoo pictures today...and lets start at the top, shall we?

This is my right arm. Designed by me, inked by my boss, the very talented Richard Kocis.
This was one of my clients this weekend. It was a pretty ballsy piece to get as your first tattoo. Those are his kids names.

And this is the Mister's back. We finally finished it a few weeks ago. It's the angel of death from Hellboy: The Golden Army.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pictures. And more pictures.

There's not really any sort of stories to go with these....scroll & enjoy. I have to go draw up a dinosaur chest piece for one of my regulars.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day

I am covered in glitter.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

It's May!

I have half a dozen projects on the board, and another dozen distractions. (Isn't that the way?)

I think I may have finally beaten the dreaded pneumonia, but a final chest xray on Monday will either confirm or deny that.

We are quickly approaching my FAVORITE season, and I am planning to set up an outdoor studio so I can work while the kids play.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hey hey!

I am through with medication! I have a follow-up appointment on Wednesday, just to double check that the pneumonia is actually gone.
Tomorrow I am going to clean out the studio so it will be ready for me--the mister is switching to night shift soon, and i find myself in the studio more frequently when he's gone.

So here's hoping that April is the month of my triumphant return!

Friday, March 19, 2010


One of my boss' clients is in a band. Its a metal band, and if you're into that sort of thing you should check them out. I quite like them. They're Habit of Force.

And I heard back from the doctor's office. The radiologist finally got around to looking at my chest xrays from last Friday. Hey! I have pneumonia. I have to go back to the doctor's office on Monday.

My life is a never-ending rollercoaster, man. Try not to be too jealous.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not dead yet!

I am on the mend!

I am recovering from bronchitis! I am loaded full of medicine. I am hoping that by this time next week I will feel the energy to get back to the studio & finish all of the things that have been waiting for me.

My mom will be here on Saturday. We usually try to spend some time making art together. Probably she'll be the inspiration I need to get back to it.

More later, dears.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where the art is...

Home may be where the heart is, but my studio is where the ART is.
I took these a while back, and don't have photos of any of my current works, so I am going to give you a good case of shelf-envy. Marvel at my 9 feet of floor-to-ceiling shelving! This is my tiny bookcase that sits atop the giant workbench that came with our house. This workbench was a big motivating factor to purchase said abode. I have photos, supplies, and things I like to look at up here. I don't think of it as an inspiration board (although I should get back to that practice), as much as a place to put a whole mess of stuff that has been living in boxes for years.

And here is a long view of the studio...of course you can't see what is behind the camera, which is my soldering station and MORE SHELVING! Because if you are a pack-rat/book lover with 4 different artistic callings (5 if you count tattooing) there is no such thing as too much shelving. So this is where the art is. And I try to get here an hour a day. Usually that hour is spent painting, collage-ing, soldering or cleaning, but today I thought I'd do a little blogging, too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


It's halfway through February!

And I haven't posted AT ALL this month. I am a very distracted girl indeed. I have been in the world of the 3 dimensional people...which is full of zombie cupcakes, bells, and ribbons. And tattoos. There's been a bit of that lately as well.

And I seem to be in the minority of people who genuinely dislike Valentines Day. I find the holiday to be a bit rude, really. I mean, what are anniversaries for? Saying "I love you, and I'm glad we're together" or "hey, wow! you're still here!" or "I have restrained myself from beating you with my shoe when you do that mouth-breathing thing at the dinner table for another 12 months--hurrah for me & pass the bubbly!"
So why do we need a day of hearts and cupids and candy? Why can't it just be another Halloween? I would be down for another dress up candy day.
Valentines Day just makes me think of all the people who are alone on that day and I feel very sad that there is this sugar-induced, mass-marketed day of schmooze that really just makes the alone feel more alone.
Bah! Humbug!
Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go to my studio with a cup of tea & a pound of m&m's.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Let's meet in the middle...

shall we? I know I said that when I posted these they wouldn't be upside down...and they aren't! Nor are they right side up, so do a little warming up before you scroll down--it'll make me feel better. (This is the cover up on the leg of the lovely Miz P that we started in October) We'll start with fall! Purple scarf, twirling leaves... And then winter, with his crown of holly, and cup of steamy goodness....
Next comes Spring! Flowers and a bird...or a skeleton of a bird...

Lastly, my man Summer...beach towel & a margarita. Holla!

In other news, we will be celebrating the Mister's birthday next weekend. He hates birthdays (and Christmas) so I am trying to create an all-out ridiculous bash. Something so goofy that every time he thinks back to it, he will laugh out loud. My current brainstorm involves zombies & cupcakes. Probably not 2 things that you would normally put together, but the man is near obsessed with zombies. And he's pretty peeved that he didn't think to write the zombie book first.
Other than that, my hour-a-day for art only seems to actually happen when I don't spend 8 hours at the shop. And should I count uploading to etsy & updating blogs towards that hour? Tough call...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A little luck...

A pair of Ravens. For Luck. And since it comes in 2 forms, I went ahead & wrote "good luck" in the tail feathers.
Now what I need is some motivation to do more art-at-home. My lovely studio was once again reduced to "storage at large" in order to clean up the front half of the basement so the kids had a place to do kid things...which seems to mainly consist of getting in each other's way and then having a shoving match. I really only intervene if it seems that doom is inevitable. But that is a whole other blog. This one is for ART, and for me to use curse words when I really feel the need. (You have those days, right?)
My mom has set herself the goal of one hour of art a day. I may try to follow in her lead (she's steered me well so far), but it'll have to start tomorrow. Tonight I have an hour of cleaning...or "finding new homes for crap". Crap being a term my father often employed--the translation: stuff that's not mine.
So I'm off to de-clutter. The next time we speak (or I ramble at length & you read it) I will try to have uplifting news! Or at least more pictures.
Cheerio, dearies.

Friday, January 08, 2010

New Year!

Hey hey!
It's 2010! And you know what I'm not going to do? Recap 2009. Or make resolutions for 2010. Because I am no good at witty recaps (there's a reason I like to hang around good storytellers) and I am utter crap at keeping resolutions. I still havent completed my resolution for 2008, which was to learn to make creme brulee (b/c it is my favorite, that is why). And it's not that hard. I've read the recipe at least once a month for 2 years. I have the skill set necessary. I just havent done it.
So! No resolutions! Just a reminder (which I totally swiped from Ani DiFranco, but I'm pretty sure she'll forgive me)

now go!
make art, make love, or make some creme brulee & mail it over here!