Friday, August 29, 2008

Duty Time

It is just after six in the mornin' and I'm dressed, sans shoes but I'm dressed. The oatmeal is on the stove and my peanut butter & banana sandwich on toasted wheat bread is already packed and waiting for my lunchtime which will be enjoyed in the busy, noisy, dusty, smoggy, dirty, niftiness that is downtown Los Angeles. I have jury duty today. I'm going to be wearing icky clashing sneakers with my wide legged jeans because I will be doing a bit of walking and it is summer and my sad feet are very unhappy right now. I am not a cell phone person, I have no laptop and there are no computers in the assembly room so I will have many hours of sitting on plastic molded chairs, shifting to accommodate the painful tail-bone. I will also read up half a dozen magazines and then move on to books for school, unless of course I get called into the room, the room that makes me feel stupid and nervous especially when I have to stand in the jury box and talk about myself. Then I get all nervous and shaky and people snicker and I want to kick them and then run away crying. I am not quite into public, with that all written while my eyes are still trying to focus, I leave you with happy colors, vivid patterns and a fun toy I made for the Birthday-Birdie. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guerilla Girls (for a day)

Last Wednesday I had a swell and fortunate time of playing with flickr folk and newfound friends. Our original plan that we made two months ago consisted of this grand idea that we would all traipse down to my local Red Cross and donate our crafty blood to the cause. It figures that Wednesdays are the day that my Red Cross doesn't draw blood from that location. Never to frown upon mishaps, we decided we will donate blood next time on a different day of the week or we would find a nifty blood mobile and do it there and then of course find a lovely bakeshop to up our blood sugar back to normal. Instead of the great big blood date (as we were calling it), I sent out an email assignment to come prepared with some guerilla art projects (this book is a great jumping off point.). We were going to get our art on and perform random acts of kindness and fun. That sounded like a delightful plan...and it was!I put together wee drawstring bags with tiny painted locks, happy lengths of ribbon, long strips of card stock and of course sharpies and keys. The idea would be to decorate your lock, write a happy message out on the paper, laminate with contact paper, punch a hole and lock it up with the lock somewhere out where the world could find it. My good gal SoMany took it a step further and added notes to the keys and left the key out there for someone to find and a note as to where to find the lock. It would be a found scavenger hunt! Yes! I know! my head is spinning I tell ya, SPINNING with ideas! I am dizzy with them...ideas that is.
Ms. SoMany brought along clear contact paper and GIANT sharpies. We wrote out messages of kindness and stuck them on walls and such. Like graffiti only not damaging in any way to someone else's property. I know, we're rebels, totally.
The problem with all these great ideas was there simply wasn't enough time to do them all. The lovely rosiefruit brought along rice cakes, peanut butter and birdseed and we were going to tie guerilla bird feeders in the park.
Then there was Ms. Jenny's idea of moss graffiti which we did not get to see because Jenny rocks her busy, busy work for the ever fabulous Craft Magazine.
After much planning and thinking of how we were going to execute all the fun, we ended up invading the space at Reform School (Thank you Tootie!), arting it up on the floor and tables, playing with the Art-O-Mat and then leaving secret messages on the telephone pole outside. It was a truly delightful day of jumping, arting, rak'ing, and laughter....lots and lots of laughter!

How lucky am I?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

a sort of week in review...

Actually just a montage of some pictures from the week to prove to myself that I was creatively productive. For most of the week I have felt sluggish and disorganized. I still feel this way but now I can look here and think "Oh yeah, I did do something!"

This week coming up will be set aside for jury duty and paper writing with perhaps a smidge of crafting thrown in. Happy weekend! Back to my scissors hunt, dinner cooking and movie watching. Hooray!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's the little things

Why oh why is it that I get my best post ideas when I'm in the car or it is three in the morning and I am too tired to actually wake up to type? I feel a need to write more but to write more upbeat and happy than how I feel most of the time. I can't even muster up the energy to stomp on over to pepper lemonade for a rant or two. How irksome!

School has been taking up a monumental amount of space in my brain, but that is a good thing. The other small parts are still consumed with anger and sadness that comes and goes with some or no warning. Sometimes, there are tiny, wee pockets of colorful flashes of creative ideas and I write those down wherever I am so in the margins of my notes on Vygotsky or Dewey you will find a list that reads:

*halloween bags
*patchwork worms
*produce bags
*repurposed art swirls for the 'do
*bake more shortbread
*onion jam

followed by a doodle or two of a star monster or belly warmer. Then, when I get a moment to actually create something I look at the piles of fabric and simply fold and arrange or I sit down with an unread magazine or I think about how I really and surely must finish that darn BIG paper! Aaack! I must do that first, I must. It has been due FOREVER! Seriously, next week while I battle jury duty, I will work on paper while at home and if I have to go in I will bring my embroidery. Do they allow tiny sewing needles into a criminal courthouse?So, while I sit and ponder all I have to do and I think about my sad thoughts I sometimes feel like I'm being pulled under and I wish so that I could crawl under the bed to hide. Then I look up for a moment and I spot a small mound of fabric scraps in yellows and pinks and oranges and I smile. I see my newest etsy acquisition and I giggle or suddenly my nose works and I can smell the cinnamon baking in the oatmeal bars I plan to bring to a friend and I take a deep breath and thank the sock monkeys that there are all these little things around me to make me smile.

Monday was spent with a dear friend and her babe as we prepped and put together a bunting and a half for the wee one's upcoming first birthday. I finished the second one yesterday and I think it makes a lovely addition to the tiny bedroom and quite possibly I may need to keep it! Or maybe I should make up a few more and toss them into my sad and neglected shop. What do you think? Do you think these could be happy in your home?

Monday, August 18, 2008

a new month, a "new" bed

I'm running out of combos for the bed but still, I make do. I would hate to duplicate just yet! Also, I kept forgetting to take pictures so here ya go, better late than never.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

winding down

My current class is winding down, tomorrow is the last day. How sad! I have learned all sorts of nifty tricks for cartooning and such and have discovered that charcoal is not my friend. Here's today's big project in class....sigh...

Next week is paper writing and catch up week (the casa is a DISASTER!) and then the week after that is jury duty and then the week after that more school. Goodness, do I need a breath or what?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This Friday!

Anyone out there up for a visit to a 30 Minute Gallery show? My current week-long intensive class is called Foundations of Teaching Art and we are having a showing of our collective chaos! Let me know if you think you want to join us (there will be snacks!). I would love some company as the mister has to work...sigh.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


The grapes are ever so slowly coming in and the mister has already made two batches of concord grape juice! We have even stocked up on cheesecloth so hope to be in the purple stuff all month long. It's a good thing too as the blackberries are winding down and our sweet tooth needs tapping. Last year when he tried making grape juice from our concords he couldn't figure out how to get the juice to purple up. Praise be the internet and now we know! The juice is so so so so sweet and a rich vibrant purple AND it is pulpy! We a-go-gos lurve our pulp! Yesterday morning we had a delightful breakfast out in the garden, flies be damned. We were early enough that they weren't attacking just yet. As we sat in the shade of the early morning we were treated to a jamboree of nature that one assumes does not party in the city. There was a pair of morning doves building a nest (stupid birds are yet again going to be fodder for the falcon), hummingbirds zipping about, big black bumblebees nuzzling the pumpkin blossoms, angry mocking birds letting out their warning cry and then, then...the coolest thing...a pair of woodpeckers! They were hanging out in the garden, swooping here and catching bugs there and they were large and spotty and made so many different cries it was the neatest thing. Oh and the japanese beetles are back as well as a freaky newcomer to the delight of the ants. Something bigger, browner and ickier than aphids, these guys were HUGE and prickly and it was like a milking contest for our ants. Sadly, we lost a tomato plant to them but hopefully we'll get a few more oh and it looks like the cucumber is done as well. I am going to miss my lunches of tomato and cucumber sandwiches. Next up is fall lettuce, carrots and hopefully snap peas. Soon, we will have a small handfull of tangerines and next year we'll have a good dose of blood oranges. Sometimes, living in the seed can be just as charming as the country. Sometimes.This week I am off to yet another weeklong intensive. This one is called the foundations of teaching art to children.. I can't wait! Happy August everyone!

Friday, August 08, 2008

What a week!

I'm at the end of a week long intensive class at my school. The class is on emergent curriculum As defined by John Dewey and our amazing professor has us crawling around the floor tapping into our wee selves. We have been three year olds, six year olds, nine year olds and well...all year olds. We've learned problem solving as children, group projects as children and we've pulled our own childhood and adult experiences to bring to the table as we immersed ourselves in emergent curriculum. It has bee an amazing trip and I am sad to see the week come to an end. I cannot even put into words all that I have learned but I must figure out how as I need to type, type, type a whooper of a paper and a self-evaluation for this class. I had better get off my bum as next week I will be in another week long intensive. That one will be on the foundations of teaching art to children. I can't wait! Seriously, my school? It is the best.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Emergent Curriculum in Action

What I do in class all day. Don't you wish you could join me? My school is awesome!

Sunday, August 03, 2008


tea-tastic 167/365It's been a super hot week here at the wee casa. A quick hop back, Ms. Alicia was all about the iced tea and was thinking of stirring up some of the Thai kind which promptly reminded me that I had some Thai tea in the kitchen. I think I may have posted about this before but being that I lurve me some thai iced tea, I thought I'd do it again. Once the bag of tea is done, I will be experimenting with black tea and spices. The orangey-ness of the thai tea freaks me and the mister out just a tad. For now, I bring to you, funtabulous pictures of thai iced tea, scrumdillydilly style...we double brew it in the coffeemaker then add a simple syrup and some half n' half...oh and ice, of course!chai thai teain a filter in the coffeemakerbrew time round 2waiting for the creamthe final stepsuh-wirly