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September 30, 2006

what a miserable morning

Not only do I think the world is going to hell (if there is such a place) just about every morning as I listen to the news describing one horror after another from mass genocide and war to homicide and corporate corruption — but today I had a special slide into misery as I heard a report on a Texas school teacher who was fired for taking her students to an art museum where they saw a nude sculpture (oh and I bet you anything that is was a woman's body that was deemed offensive!). Oh geezus - nudity! - the ultimate offense to ones aesthetics. Uh excuse me Mr. Prosecutor and Mr. Plaintiff (because again I'm just guessing that these two are men), are you or have you ever been nude?

This news disturbs me deeply because it invades a core value I hold dearly which is that art is to be revered. Art should be available to see (and touch when possible) for people of all ages in every place across the world. Art should be everywhere from public spaces, private collections, public museums and most especially in your mind - the most sacred of all places. Art is the representation of nature and simultaneously a powerful glimpse into the artist's mind. Sure art can offend you as some people's minds will, but that very dialogue or inner stirring is what makes art wonderful. Perhaps you'll question why you are offended or upset by what you see —ask questions and find the answers. If you can't handle your child seeing art from the conceptually abstract to the hyper realistic, then don't sign your child's permission slip to go on the museum outing in the first place. Secondly, you'd better move far far away from most civilization so you can be sure not to run into a nude sculpture or your neighbors cleavage.

Here are a mere few of the world's wonderful nudes from a variety of the worlds best museums, including Texas:

Hirschorn Garden

Detail Andersen Giacobbe

Modigliani Nude

Houston Scultpure

Sally Mann

Hirschorn Sculpture2

John Singer Sargent

Botticelli's Venus

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September 29, 2006

what the world needs now

Knit Pole

Knitting as a guerilla art statement?! I hadn't thought of that — but why not? I think the whole world needs to be decorated in a gorgeous doily or wrapped in a cozy muffler a la Christo. Not sure if the knitta ladies will allow submissions, but I'm thinking next time I fly off someplace exotic I'll knit it a gift. Or perhaps the next time I can't figure out what to do with those leftover yarn bits I'll make Rodin's Thinker a wrist warmer.

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September 27, 2006

rayon vert fleurs

Rayon Flower

Rayon Flower2

Rayon Flower3
I couldn't decide which composition was better, so here are all. I'm loving the coral, turquoise and green palette. Too bad I don't carry a fancy camera with me at all times, but I think my purse is burdensome enough! This gorgeous arrangement is in the window of a wonderfully unusual store full of strange baubles, unexpected decor, and quirky art — Rayon Vert.

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September 26, 2006

bookish bunny

window_gaze.jpg

September 25, 2006

get socks on

Ele Socks

Max found some socks in my closet and I pointed out to him that they are the same socks I used to sew his elephant. He then went and got his elephant and put the socks on it. Darling little mind.

I must share some places I've been and remember them myself. Lovely images, poetry, crafts and children's clothes by Eireann at bara design. She has loads of great links and beautiful taste in images.

Wonderful sewn and knitted art by Lisa Solomon. Reminds me of the amazing stitch portraits by Claire Heathcote.

Boiled Arts letterpress goodies. Supply shopping at Crafty Planet. Sample these delicious crafts and illustrations at Flor De Papel.
Lastly feast on these yummy paintings by Kelly Lynn Jones.

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September 22, 2006

picture perfect

Picture Perfect
Holding Hands

How could I resist posting these?! We had a wonderful day at the zoo with Lindsay and Austin. The weather was splendid and there was hardly anyone there so the entire adventure was easy and stress free. Max and Austin even held hands a number of times, so super sweet.

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September 20, 2006

vacation bunny

vacation_bunny.jpg

It's such a nice day...makes me want to watch the sun set.

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September 19, 2006

stretched bunny

stretched_bunny.jpg

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September 17, 2006

little man's first cut

Maxs Haircut
Max Cut

Max Cut2

We've had many appointments over these last 23 months and we chickened out every time. Max's hair is so beautifully fine, perfectly golden, and has precious ringlets — it was too much to think of cutting it even if people thought he was Maxine. We figured that he didn't have a job so he didn't need a do. I had to trim it every now and then to keep it out of his eyes. All my lame snip jobs were adding up. Little man was getting a heavy front end and ringlet mullet in the back. When we washed his hair it reached halfway down his back. It was time. Max was a little angel at the cutting and Scott at Acme did a wonderful job in less than nine minutes - an amazing feat. Sadly, Max looks like a big boy now, but I'm so thankful his first cut also makes him look like a little hipster.

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September 15, 2006

knit stalking story

How much shall I confess? Really, there's an embarrassing aspect to my stalker madness, but I'll have you know that with all earnestness I just really love knit toys. Okay, twist my sticks, I'll confess and you can judge as you see fit. If you follow my blog even a wee bit you'll see that I indeed love little knitties. I've done a fair amount of knit toy research, and I feel strongly that Jess Hutch is the reigning queen designer of knit toys. Sure Debbie Bliss, Kath Dalmeny and many others have designed cute monkeys, bears and even adorable sea life but Jess — well she's truly unusual and set apart from the other designers by her cool robots, two headed freaker creatures and the sweetest knit bunny ever. So it was heartbreaking to learn that she'd printed a book with her knit toy patterns and that I discovered it after she'd sold her last copy. Wah, sad me. I wrote her some emails asking for a copy, a pdf, a xerox anything. I waited. Nope. I dreamed she was working with a fabulous book publisher like Chronicle [she's an SF'er and it just seemed like a great fit] but apparently not. I then begged. Nope, nada, negative. Then I got an email from Jess's google group saying she's decided not to reprint the book because she has other life pursuits, Hard to imagine anything more important than knit toys [!@#$%^*!], but ok as she wishes.

But I didn't give up there. Next I set out on a web quest to see if anyone would share the patterns with me, I was happy to pay of course — as I'd already offered Jess access to my bank account. I stalked a few sites to see who was knitting her adorable patterns and sent off some beggin' share requests. I must say that the three or four knitters I wrote to were all unwilling to share, as they said it went against Jess' copyright — replies full of integrity which I totally respect, but they left me feeling that all hope was lost. I'll never get a hold of this booklet. Again wah. Damn, I imagined if they were my neighbor I was sure I could've just borrowed it! Then I got an email back from Denise, saying I can't share my pattern book but I happen to know where you can get a copy — my heart skips a little — Imaginkit in Hastings Nebraska of all places. Call Karla at the store (she's there Wed-Sat) 402-462-9276. I call and leave the sweetest - I really need this booklet, please sell it to me -message. She calls back. I call again. On and on the phone tag goes. Whoas me.

A few days later I get a message from Karla saying that someone had come into the store and they wanted to purchase the booklet but she was holding it for me. However, I need to call back within 24 hours and say if I want the pattern booklet or she'll sell it to the other customer. Oh crap!! I hang up on my voice mail and freak and stress irrationally. I imagine that an in-store customer trumps a phone customer - n'est pas?! My husband thinks I'm weirder than he'd thought [secret pal knit exchange is now less weird], though I suspect he's slightly impressed by my bizarre commitment to the pursuit. Anyway I can't get a hold of Karla and I'm beginning to resign myself to the loss. The weekend goes by and I don't think of the pattern book much [but I wake at 5 am sunday morning stressing about a myriad of other problems, where is my brain off switch??]. Monday morning I remember that I need to follow up with a call — I leave a message again, begging that she keep the book for me, that I really really really want it and this game of phone tag is driving me insane. The next night I'm at home putting Max to bed and hubby hears my phone ringing in my purse, he grabs the phone just in time for it to switch to voicemail. The call log reveals it was Karla. She was calling from Nebraska at 10:30 pm. I immediatly call back and get a busy signal. Wah again. I wait. A few minutes later then I call back and get her...

Her voice is music to my ears. Karla has a great mid western accent and she has all the integrity and down home charm that I've heard about heartland folks having. We had a sweet conversation and I wished for a wee moment that I lived in Hastings so I could meet her and shop at her store. What a nice woman! I hung up the phone and practically danced in my pjs like a giddy little kid. I got the last copy and it's in the mail to me right now. Seriously, I'm so happy my knitting sticks are in flipping through the air :-) Oh yeah!! I so so happy happy, I can't wait to get this in my hands. Today I heard the message she left me right before I'd called her back, which said that the booklet was mine and she wasn't worried about payment since all knitters are honest, she just wanted to get my address and ship it to me. Karla — you are too kind. I hope to meet you one day.

Unusual Toys1

Unusual Toys2

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September 11, 2006

binh danh beauty

Binh Danh

Binh Danh3

Binh Danh4

Binh Danh1

While wandering through the DeYoung the other weekend, I saw a single, beautifully subtle photographic print on a banana leaf and was intrigued. Having just returned from Asia, the image really got to me and the strange printing process peaked my curiosity. The image I saw titled the story of bodhisattva was an image of a victim from the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia [there's a picture of it here]. It was quietly painful and eerily beautiful all at once. I quickly snapped a Treo pix of the name of the artist so I could check him out later. [Oh how I love thee internet! ] I've found some sites discussing his amazing photographic photosynthesis printing process {which he calls a chlorophyll print}, information on his content, amazing images, and critical discussions. I am really moved by the powerful historical images in combination with natural objects. The unique artistic pairing makes me feel the earth —nature itself — may record our history in the very fabric of its being.

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September 10, 2006

wonderful weekend

Little Engineer

Papa Pulling

Wading Pool

I love our Healdsburg weekends. Papa's place is a marvelous wine country retreat. I really appreciate being able to escape my hectic city life and enjoy some country living —more art barn dreaming...! Max thrives on weekends like this one too. He played in the wading pool and with the many water hoses for a long long time. We picked ripe tomatoes, grapes, peppers and figs from the gorgeous garden and put them in the basket (just like Bing Bunny). Then we washed and ate them, "yummy yum yum" as Max would say. He had many wagon rides around the ranch, even papa gave him one. And I had one of those warm wonderful mommy moments when I thought about what a nice childhood memory this has been.

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September 5, 2006

my kale may brie

Bird Detail

Umbrella Mouse

Strumming Bird-1

Mr. Michael Mabry's designs and illustrations have caught my eye many a time but I had never followed through on checking him out until today. He's a bay area local illustrator with a four person shop over in Emeryville. I've searched the wide web, but haven't been able to find any info on his creative process (other than his Adobe In-Design endorsement feature) which is too bad 'cause I'm really curious if it's digitally generated or analog. I really like his use of color and texture, as well as the whimsical subjects with cleverly silly titles like: Partly Cloudy With A Chance of Reindeer, Cirque Du Fromage, Simon and Garflower, The Snow Must Go On, Hose Sweet Hose, and many more. You can purchase his commissioned illustrations at Land of Nod (and shop for fancy baby & kid home things on their well designed site too) Land-o-Nod sucked me in easily once I saw these darling $3. set of 12 party straws. I must get these for Max's second soiree. Cute eh?

Party Straws

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September 3, 2006

quilts of gee's bend

Deyoung

Denim Quilt

Quilt1

Quilt Detail

I finally made it to the new DeYoung museum today. It's only new to me, as it's been open for a while now. I was very impressed with the architecture both inside and out. The copper skin of the building is amazing and the beautiful copper leaf behind the donors names is rich and impressive, fitting. I especially love the fractured Drawn Stone by Andy Goldsworthy. His art is naturally poetic and in this case the earthquake fracture is equally disturbing. Sadly, I must complain that the DeYoung's security staff is ridiculously uptight [Max wasn't even allowed to sit in his stroller holding a no spill sippy cup!] and the overall museum design and operation perpetuates the "we're too high and lofty" inaccessibility of fine art which makes me depressed. Art should feel good, engaging and especially accessible. Boo to the snooty types. On a positive note, I was very impressed with the The Quilts of Gee's Bend. Most of the quilts were sewn from scraps of fabric often salvaged from worn-out clothes combined in extraordinary combinations of color, pattern, and texture. They've organized the show by fabric type — I love that detail. I also enjoyed viewing the quilts first and then finding the quilters portraits on the wall behind the opening blanket. For more information and images check out this site and this one too...more, more, more and more..

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September 2, 2006

let's be friends

Friends Tania

Floating through the world wide web again, I've come across another wonderful illustrator Tania Howell {blog}, whose coloring book I'm looking forward to scribbling in. You know....I have a funny feeling I've been here before.

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