Friday, February 29, 2008

Page I did last night while watching "The Brain Fitness Program" on PBS (which was basically an infomercial-grrr!)
The page above-There was a news report on the cutting of funding for various LA Programs (parks, libraries, schools, etc...) and how there was a supposed rise in gang violence. So, the city's brilliant idea of solving the gang problem is to cut back on social programs and increase the numbers of the police force. There was a report that came out yesterday that the U.S. has the highest prison population in the world. 1 in every 100 Americans is in jail even though the rate of violent crimes has decreased. More than 2.3 million Americans are behind bars. Yup, and let's continue to cut back on federal programs and see what happens. *sigh*

Update: March 3, 2008:
Andrew reminded me of , an organization that promotes arts and education in prison and alternatives to incarceration. Noted author and historian Howard Zinn is one of the board members.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More pages in the little book I have been working in:This says "Where are we going if we don't know where we've been?" "If we don't know our own history as a people how can we move forward?"

Did anyone catch the PBS special on Pete Seeger last night? It was excellent and one not to be missed. You can see a lot of his clips on youtube, one of my faves is this one...Poignant and still speaks loudly about what's going on in the world today.

Cracks me up that people always get upset or "shy" away from talking about what some call politics. I tend to call it "life", "real life" especially when it's something that effects all of us-here, there and all over the world. I know I'm going to get a lot of shit for this-I have in the past and don't expect it to be any different in 2008. I've never voted for a democrat. I won't vote republican. For me, there's no difference between the two. I know what all of the candidates stand for. Their voting records speak for themselves. I wrote this man's name on the ballot in the past and if I have to write it in again in the future, I will. I wasn't going to vote this year. I'm sick of it being the same shit with a different name year after year. I agreed 100% with this article on voting from last year. If I'm going to vote, then I want to give my vote to a candidate who I feel speaks for me. I'm not voting for someone just because the Press tells me I only have a choice between Brand X and Brand Z. I do have a choice, just as you do. I've made my decision and I'm going to stand by it and stand by him just as I have in the past. Mr. Nader, you have my vote.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A small sampling of my tapes...these are the ones that I hoard...
small sampling of my pens. These are pens in my "current" journal bag, which is an old purse I found at a thrift store and couldn't leave it there. It's covered by a hideously ugly faux print that I want to paint or do something to...but the bag design is cute.

This is what I see when I look up from the computer screen:

One can never have enough glue sticks (thanks Annette!):


Julie over at Children's Illustration (a blog I *heart* very much!) had a GREAT photo on her blog today. The article & more photos are here. Anyone who uses the internet needs to know about Net Neutrality and what the major corporations are trying to do. Speak out. Speak loud.
Speak NOW.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Writing in your Journal...

Pages from the last few days (I did change the page here by adding some rub ons and more text):

People often ask me how I know WHAT to write about in my journal or even just how I start. I don't do themes. I sit and make the pages with whatever idea pops into my head. Themes are very, very hard for me. I struggle with having to stick to a theme when I usually just want to do whatever! So, I have to note that right away.

Some days I write, other days I don't write. I go with what pops into my head. I pick up my pen and start writing. I write and write and write until what needs to be said is said. Here's the thing, I don't censor myself. I think that's the very first thing about writing in a journal that is the most important. When you work in your journal, it's for *you* first and foremost. It's not for public eyes. It's not for your parents. It's not for your children. It's for you. It's documenting a moment in time when decided to pick up a pen and let something take form on the page.

I usually start by dating the page. If I don't know what I write, I will "doodle" and "embellish" the page with my different pens until the "ah ha" moment hits. If I don't want someone to read what I'm writing but I need to get it out of me, I'll write in various ways:

Layering my writing by:
-turning the page in different directions
-using different color pens on top of each other
-writing very close to the previous letter/word
-writing sentences on top of each other
-painting/collageing over what I wrote

That rarely happens. Most of the stuff I write is very personal and I have worried about things being taken out of context, but I tell people to take my thoughts and ideas as a WHOLE not snippet by snippet. When you take it as a WHOLE it forms a story, a being, an idea, MY thoughts, MY story, MY life.

What do I write about?
My life. My family life. Growing up-things that happened. Thoughts that flicker in my head. Real life. Life going on in my neighborhood. Life going on in my state. Life going on in the world (what some people call "politics", what I call "Life-REAL life."). I might hear someone say something that needs to be written down. I might ponder their words. I might hear something on the radio that pisses me off and I'll write that down and why it struck me so hard. I might hear about something that happened in the past "this day in history" or something that happened historically on THIS day, documenting my reaction to the news. In other words, I write about it all. My journal isn't a "bitch fest". It's not a "vent fest". It's not a "rave fest". It's a place where I gather ALL of my thoughts-the positive, the negative, the little flickers that pass through my head in the middle of the night. It's me. It's what we all are-the good, the bad and the (some times) down right ugly or glowing radiant beauty.

What happens when I die or if someone reads the journal and gets bent out of shape? First off, I re-iterate, it's MY journal. If you read something and you don't like it, that's your problem. You need to realize that everyone has good days just as everyone has bad days. We all have moments where we get into a tizzy and may write down something "Hubby pissed me off." or whatever, yet if that person that you wrote about really loves and knows you, they'll realize that it was just a fleeting moment-a blip in your life where you were annoyed, upset, and emotionally hurt enough that you cared to document it and write it down. Someone reading MY book will realize that for that one bad moment, there are pages and pages of "I love you" moments where my feelings for that person shine and glow. When I croak, I want my son to have my journals. After all, they are a document of my "Blip" in time on this planet. They're proof that I was here, that I existed, that I was human.

Isn't that the most important thing? Documenting your life. Being human. Sharing experiences. It really doesn't hurt. Pick up a pen. Try it. Play with your writing. Don't give up. Don't judge. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

Lynda Barry talk in MN about being a writer... She's so fucking funny. Lynda Barry Love Fest time!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

More recent artwork-
This is a journal on my journal ("on" meaning lying on top of, not "about"). I'm working on a new class and juggling a few different balls at the same time. Now is what I call "thinking cap" time. I have my thinking cap on and am brainstorming ideas for new workshops for April-August 2008.
Speaking of brainstorming, I'm not sure where I found this article but I wanted to point it out. Interesting article by HOW magazine on inspiration. Inspiration really is everywhere. You just have to open your eyes and slow down a bit. Oh, and don't forget to have your journal or notebook handy. You'll need it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

(All Artwork above used with permission & is copyright Juliana Coles)

I thought that by posting Jules' artwork, I'd get your attention!

Make sure you check out Juliana's NEW etsy shop! We want to encourage this extremely profound, prolific and totally unique artist to keep adding MORE to her shop! Not only does she have her class booklets in her shop, but also her artwork! I own several of Juliana's postcards. I'm a firm believer in supporting artists and the arts when I can. Juliana is limiting her 2008 teaching schedule so please check out the booklets in case you can't make it to a workshop (and she's definitely worth going out of your way to take a workshop from her!)

Of course, you could get all linear on me...This was one of my faves growing up...

More cartoons here

Oh and kudos to CBS for putting Star Trek, Twilight Zone, etc.. online free!

Everyone's a critic...especially on a day like today ;)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Stuff I like-

Piles of books by the side of the bed-instant inspiration! Taylor, save this photo for your husband. I may take photos of MY Husband's bookshelves as well and post them here.
CRAP HOUND zine. One of the best zines. Ever. (shh did ya know Powells in Portland has copies of some of them?) Read an article about Crap hound here.

Saturday nights-Saturday night monster flicks on KDOC.

Star Trek on NBC at 11.

Having a really good day teaching! I had an awesome day teaching today (thanks Ladies!!!) in Thousand Oaks at one of my student's homes. Staci graciously invited me to teach at her home on a regular basis opening up a wonderful opportunity for mixed media art classes in the Thousand Oaks & Ventura county area. It was a blast!!! I'm looking forward to teaching there again later on in the month with a new class with a twist!

What will I be doing on Oscar day? Staying home while it pours out! Staying in my pjs. Making cinnamon cake (take a "vanilla" style box mix and add cinnamon to it.) Making art. Nothing difficult. :) Have a great weekend y'all!

Friday, February 22, 2008

A few photos of some of my bookshelves:

Note the 4th shelf down has been commandeered by Tristan. Second shelf has a Gorey cat, some kidrobot figures, and some other treasures...

Close up of the 5th & 6th shelf:
Different bookcase:

Does anyone else have a hard time cutting up their old Somersets and Cloth Paper Scissors? I have every issue of both...the problem is, I don't go back to them enough to justify keeping the whole magazine. They take up several rows of shelf space, too! But *eeps* cut them up? Would you? Do you? I can do it with any magazine but those two!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My book came! My book came!!! I have been waiting (oh, since about 5 seconds after I ordered it) for this wonderful book by Abigail Hendrickson called The Birdfeeder. I found out about this wonderful book via Book By Its Cover-a site that just makes me drool (love it and totally agree with their tastes especially since I own a lot of the books they talk about-LOL!!) I ordered it last week as a Valentine's Day, get over the stressful week, and oh look a new book present to myself-c'mon, it's called retail therapy, we've all done it. ;) and I'm SO happy that I did!!!

I can't tell you how much I *love* this book. Art that spills and floods out to the edge of the page. Color, Texture, Layers-I can't wait to just spend some time later on today going through it, savoring each page slowly. Thank you Preacher's Biscuits Books and Abigail Hendrickson for making this book available!! Yum!! Save your pennies and grab it while you can!!!!

Hey! Did y'all see that Juliana Coles has opened an ETSY shop! Check it out here. I found out about via Traci Bunkers' blog (which I love!) as Traci also has an awesome etsy shop!! Remember, buy handmade and support artists!

Off for part 3 of Tristan's Amazing Dentist Adventure. Today's adventure? A Cleaning! Next week-who knows but stay tuned for more details of this ongoing saga of Tristan's Amazing Dentist Adventure (not in theaters).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Journal page from yesterday...couldn't quite get a good photo of it so here are two one with a flash and one without.

Interesting article about yesterday's news...

It's raining here (yay!) It's supposed to be like this all week. I'm an odd ball that loves the clouds and the rain. 60/70 degree weather is perfect. Anything warmer then that has always been "too hot". Funny that I live in So Ca. You'd think that No CA, Portland or especially Seattle would be perfect for me.

Did you guys see that Danny Gregory has a new book coming out this Fall? You can scope it out here.

I have been having a Lynda Barry lovefest recently, re-reading her books. I spent some time Monday curled up in bed (in my pjs!-yes!) reading The Greatest of Marlys. There is a big pile of her books by my bed...I even caught Tristan with the Marlys book the other day. Good interview with Linda from 2002 on NPR here.

Hey! If anyone in the Thousand Oaks/Ventura, etc... area is interested, I am teaching my SNIPPETS book workshop THIS Saturday at a private home in Thousand Oaks. Space is limited. You can drop me a note for more info. :)


Please do me a huge favor today and just keep my Aunt Sis in your thoughts today...Dad phoned last night and said she checked herself into the hospital again as her doctor said she wasn't getting enough oxygen (Only my Aunt Sis would drive herself to the hospital!!). So, they checked her in last night and she is going to undergo surgery today. I'd appreciate any good thoughts going her way!!! :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More journal stuff from recent classes...

Some funny videos that had me laughing here and here.

Can someone please tell my building manager/landlords that when they change ALL of the locks including the lock to the trash bin area AND the lock to the laundry room, that they should kindly give the tenants a key? Oh, and it should be a key that WORKS. Thanks. I'd appreciate it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Some journal pages that I have done in classes recently (I always work alongside the students as a way of "demo'ing" the techniques and ideas I am trying to get across).
Tristan and I went to Chinatown last week before his dentist appointment looking for the yellow scalloped paper below (I would like some of it in pink/purple). We went to several stores and found joss paper (didn't buy any) but that was it. Oh, and we found a reason why Tristan "never wants to go there again." He was in a pissy mood because I wouldn't take him to the Lego store (Um, spoiled!) until Thursday (this was Wednesday. He had to wait a whole 24 hours). So, he was taking his time walking up and down the aisles with a pouty face on. We went into one store that was food and one of the items was a squished, totally flat, buggy eyed squid. I saw it and said "I hope Tristan doesn't see that." Next thing I hear is "Oh God" and "run run running to Mom" type sounds. He ran up to me and asked me if I had seen the squid and said "I don't ever want to come back." Well, we're going back later this week. One of the ladies in class yesterday (thank you!!) told me where to get some of the papers (I'll post if I have luck!)

I had a GREAT time teaching at Zinnia & the Art Bar this weekend. FUN FUN FUN!! I bought some fun goodies at both locations this weekend. I will try to post a photo of the goodies later on.
Thanks ladies for a GREAT weekend!! :)

New book to look out for in March-At a Crossroads by Kate T. Williamson

Sunday, February 17, 2008

We filmed this Summer of 1999. My boy was 2. Hard to believe he's now 11. This just makes me laugh so hard...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I was very saddened and upset to learn of the death of artist Lenore Tawney tonight. We were at Borders tonight and I was checking out the latest issue of Fiberarts magazine when I read the one page tribute that they had to Lenore who passed away 4 months after her 100th birthday in September of 2007.
She is famous for her amazingly breathtaking sculptural weavings. I have never seen her work in person, but have high hopes to do so one day.
It was her postcards that caught my eye many years ago...

Lenore's book, Signs on the Wind, is one of my most favorite books *ever*. She sent many a collaged and dimensional postcard via the US Postal system, not considering it "finished" until it was left at the post office for the clerks to hand stamp.
She was definitely an extraordinary woman and one who will be very much missed.

Friday, February 15, 2008

LOL I never thought I would be sick of paper...BUT, I spent most of today hunched over the bed sorting piles of paper and took a long time but YAY! I'm DONE! I made 24 grabbags! I have sold 18 so far, and that leaves me with 6 left! If you are interested, drop me a note. Once these are gone, I will not be selling grabbags for awhile unless my landlord wants to really give me crap and makes me get rid of ALL of my paper (EEK!!-I don't think so). Any ways, I counted the papers in one of the bags and stopped at 130. It's not that I can't count higher then that, it's just that I got tired on top of already being tired MAKING the bags. :) Trust me when I say-not only will you get color copies and images to use but you will get PAPER, Paper and MORE paper. And it's GOOD paper-top notch, high quality stuff from MY stash of FAVORITE papers. :)

New locks! Yup. We all got new locks today...Fun fun fun...My favorite part was that they left everyone who wasn't home, they left their doors wide open for a fair amount of time. Glad WE were home. I also liked how I had an appointment to meet my friend Kara (LOVE the fabric paper doll and charm she gave me for Valentine's Day-so thoughtful of her!! I always feel like making Valentines about 2 weeks AFTER Valentine's Day) AND the locksmith had TWO vans blocking my car. People like to block us in parking where there isn't a space. Ce la vie. Hopefully they won't be bugging us for awhile...
Oh, and I forgot to mention the spat I had with our Favorite Neighbor. He has someone living there (in a studio apartment) who isn't supposed to be there (non family)...AND they both have taken to smoking right in front of our window/door. They have to come UPSTAIRS to do this. SO, he was talking on his cellphone LOUDLY to a prospective employer (it was funny the stuff he said-we were laughing at him...stuff like "I'm a Gemini. I can't sit behind a desk. I have to have my hands moving.") Once I started to smell his stinky ass cigarette (Cheap brand) I open the door and say, "Excuse me, would you mind not smoking in front of my window?" to which he blew smoke IN my face and gave me the finger. I yelled as LOUD as I could "Same to you!" and SLAMMED the door SO hard in his face that the whole building shook. I hope whomever was on the phone heard that! So THERE!


OH! Don't forget yesterday, not only was it Valentine's Day but it was also V-DAY! Thank you Eve Ensler for what you do for women everyday! Please, please read the article or listen to it. It is something not only that women should be aware of, but also men. You need to hear what is happening not only in New Orleans, women in the military but also women and girls in the Congo, and all over the world. We need to speak out and speak LOUDLY now. In fact, we need to be screaming over what is happening.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!!!
My friend, Roseann sent me the coolest ATC and card for Valentine's Day! She's always so thoughtful about sending me art!!
Recently I won a contest (!!) and look what came in the mail yesterday!!!!! It's a GORGEOUS necklace made by Kim Boehm, aka Art Dog's Life. Make sure to check out her blog and her etsy shop, too!! The necklace is GORGEOUS and I can't wait to wear it today!!!!! Thanks Kim!!!
A couple of other things-

I went to the "girlie doctor" yesterday. NOT fun. I swear I always get the sweats and just want to go out and buy myself a big present afterwards (um, which I did. I will write about it when it arrives). Found out that, just like I predicted, my blood pressure would be up. I've never had high blood pressure...but it was 140/90. They even made me lie down for a half an hour. Who can be relaxed and comfortable lying down in a gynecologist's office on one of those half tables surrounded by photos of men and women's genitalia?? I mean, I'm not against naked pictures but can't they have something pretty at least and interesting to look at? Who designs these places? They took it again and it was still high-130/90. Any ways, my doc would only give me 3 months of my pills and I have to go to a regular doctor (which I haven't in years because David and I do not have health insurance) to get a note from the doctor saying it is ok for the gyn to give me b.c. pills. FUN FUN FUN!! I am going to up my exercises and try the natural way that my husband got his blood pressure down-eating an orange, a banana and exercising more daily. I also am trying to drastically reduce my stress level. The last week it has been bonkers-and I told the doc that but she wouldn't listen. SO I told David that I am not going to let anything bother me...I'll just respond with a nice "fuck you and a smile" to anyone that pisses me off and walk away. Yessiree, Bob.

Oh wait. Did I tell you that we got a note last night from the building manager saying that tomorrow (Friday) they are going to be changing all of the locks in the building? There are multiple reasons for that. One of which is that the building manager lost the keys during the inspection. Makes you feel safe and fuzzy, huh? I know this because he came into our apartment twice-once asking for his bag of batteries that he left on my kitchen floor. The second time to ask if we had his keys (ummm, no). Did I also mention that the "inspector" couldn't find her umbrella (I think she had the umbrella on a day that it was 84 and sunny to "poke" and check the smoke detectors with-that's my assumption)? So, she couldn't find her umbrella while it was hanging from her arm. These are the people that conducted the inspection. Yessiree...

Tristan's dentist appointment went well...we found out it was part 2 of many. Next week is his cleaning. They told us we would be back for several weeks that will be filled with:
-sealing his back molars to prevent decay
-flouride treatment
-um something else I can't remember
-and an orthodontist (yay!) will see him

I think I am at my max of grabbags at the moment. I am still behind on emails so if you don't hear from me, please give me a few days to respond. :)


Valentine's Special on Democracy Now-they do a report like this every year...Books (and paper) are ALWAYS better then chocolate and a ZILLION times better then uck, diamonds for me!!!