Friday, December 30, 2011


"There is scarcely any passion without struggle."

-Albert Camus

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Made This: Fundraising

So over the last few weeks, while I've been pulling together my Kickstarter project and getting set up to begin work on this series, I've also been working on some diddly dods for a fundraiser to help my sister Sara cope with her medical bills after being let go from her 'non-profit' job after battling stage three cancer. This experience has made me wish that more people would ask themselves, "Is this right or wrong?" before committing actions, but alas, many people do not.

But let's remain positive! My sister is doing magnificently well and has been shown incomparable support from friends and colleagues. And I've been making some fun little treasures that were auctioned off at two different fundraisers... Wanna see a couple?

It's been fun, now to sit down and finish...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Inspired By: Dance it Out

'sholgk' via Pinterest

Rickey Phoumanny via Pinterest

unknown film via Pinterest

Sometimes I forget that the best way for me to coax that tricky little muse fellow into my space is to put a record on, turn it up really loud, and dance like crazy all by myself.

Today I'm listening to Glasser, Austra, The XX, Caribou, and Young Galaxy. It's been brilliant.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Inspired by: a tiny source

I love walking and I walk a lot. Especially now with a pup. But I'm not known for my grace in movement.

My eyes are fixed to the ground often when I'm walking and rarely to the path ahead. This can be dangerous at times, but it is a reasonable price to pay for finding treasures like these. 

I've always been inspired by the universe's most tiny creations. I think that it is in these small moments that we can begin to explore and understand the complexities of our world that govern humongous  things like mountains and stars.

So I collect them in a tray on my desk. But yesterday I finally decided to take out my camera and photograph them as a way to help me see them more clearly. Isn't that funny?

There are a few more here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

inspired by: bumps and grids

Sonya Yong James

'Art in Gridirons', Studio International, 1893
via an ambitious project collapsing

Pan de Muerto recipe by Cake Walk

Susan Johnson of Avalanche Looms

Bumps and grids I guess...

I love Pan de Muerto and was sad I didn't get around to making it this year as I had hoped.

Texture and shape are lovely textile components.

And curlycues in cast iron... of course.

Friday, November 11, 2011

i spy with my little eye




It's all in the details.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Made This: Blueberry-Nutmeg Banana Loaf

Made this kick-ass banana loaf the other day.

Wanna know how?


4 bananas
1/3 c melted unsalted butter
2/3 c sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 c all-purpose whole wheat flour
2 c frozen blueberries
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg


1. Mush bananas while still in their skins and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients. Mushing the bananas in the skins causes the natural sugars to develop quickly, requiring less cane sugar in the recipe.

2. Oven to 350°F.

3. Combine melted butter and sugar. Add the remaining wet ingredients and stir well.

4. Sift baking soda, salt, and nutmeg into wet mixture and stir gently. Add flour by half cup to the wet mixture. Stir well.

5. Fold in frozen blueberries gently. Don't over mix.

6. Pour into nonstick standard loaf pan (or gently greased or parchment lined) and bake in oven for one hour, give or take. Cool for 15 minutes before releasing loaf from the pan. Slice and enjoy warm or at room temperature.


P.S. If you like to freeze loaves like these for later, try slicing them at room temperature first. It will be easier to enjoy from the freezer in the future.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Made This: Artist's Utensil Pouch

I've made a bunch of these pouches recently and I love them. I call them artist's utensil pouches because that's what they are. You can use them to collect markers, watercolor tubes, ribs and sponges, sewing notions, glue sticks and glitter. Whatever you would need for, say, a day at school or a workshop or demonstration.

To see more of these check out the recent update on my Kickstarter, which by the way, has reached $1295 of the $1500 goal with more than 35 days left to fundraise. AWESOME. I'm offering even niftier versions of these babies as a reward for the $25 level contribution. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chichimeca Dancers

Conchero Dancer via Robin Talks, Cooks, and Travels

Danza Mexica Iztac Cuauhtli via xicana_momma

Rosa Maria Hernandez Maya via Mary Clark, Traveler

Several weeks ago I went to the New Mexico State Fair here in Albuquerque. It had all the wonderful trappings of a state fair without all the people. We had come through the rain just in time for the sun to come out, so very few people were still there. It was perfect.

One of the best parts was watching the Chichimeca dancers. Their costumes are beautiful, the drumming is infectious, and their dances are powerful, quite literally. These dancers are buff!

I walked away in awe of the headdresses that adorned the dancers. I was mystified by the craftsmanship that goes into each piece and then the care it must take to travel with them all over the Americas. They are just stunning.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Studio Panorama

This is where I'm working lately. It's been a bit rearranged since I took these shots, but it doesn't look much different. It's functional. Hopefully, if we succeed with Kickstarter, I'll be able to really make this a much more productive place. Wanna help? You can pledge here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

'Ladies Work' Kickstarter Launches Today

I am so excited to announce that today I launch my Kickstarter Campaign, "Ladies Work." Kickstarter, for those who aren't familiar with it, is a web-based, grassroots fundraising tool designed to help creative individuals raise money to fund creative projects in all sorts of disciplines. 

My project is to fund the creation of an at home textiles lab that will afford me the opportunity to complete a series of 20 unique, textile paintings that I began to work on during my last semester at San Francisco State University.  You can view images of the works on my website. Or you can hit the play button on the video above for more information on the project.

 I am hoping to raise $1500 to fund this project. The money raised will help me to purchase supplies and equipment like linen fabric, dyes, inks, and processing chemicals, electric burners and heavy pots, screen printing and block printing materials, safety equipment like rubber gloves and masks, a padded work-top, and framing supplies for the finished works. You can see more of the supplies I need on Pinterest.

Briefly, Kickstarter works like this: I launch a project page with details about the campaign including a nifty video. Supporters of the project then pledge contributions at various levels at this site. Each pledge level is rewarded by gifts from me, the artist, such as handwritten thank you's, archival prints, and even original art works. Once the pledge goal is reached, in this case $1500, the funds are delivered to me, the artist, at which point I begin work on the series and shipment of rewards. But Kickstarter works on an 'all or nothing' platform, so if the pledge goal isn't reached and the project cannot be fully pledged, no funding will exchange hands. This protects both me, the artist, from having to half-assedly produce the project, and you, the supporter, from having to fund a half-assedly produced project. It's clearly a win-win.

Thank you so much for reading this far. You are clearly interested in the project. Do you think you can help? If so head over to my Kickstarter page and pledge to the level of your choice, lots of fun incentives await you. If you would also like to share this project with others, the Kickstarter page has a number of ways to share including a link to Facebook and embedded code for the video above to post on your own blog.

Thank you, again, folk-art-life readers. I hope this inspires some of you to begin your own project on Kickstarter. If you do, let me know. I would love to support you, too. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Plenitude Economy

New Dream Mini-Views: Visualizing a Plenitude Economy from Center for a New American Dream on Vimeo.

With all this hubbub about how awfully the economy is failing us and all the interest in sustainability and DIY culture... Could embracing the later actually solve the former? Yes. Yes sir it could.

Thanks to artist Jill Bliss for sharing this on her blog. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Orange... you are glad

via Once Upon A Tea Time

via A Little Hamster

Okay, so I guess I really do like orange.... sometimes it just really calls to me. A little turquoise never hurt anyone either.

P.S. If anyone can tell me where those bags are from, extra points.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Fantastic Fox Hall

I went to visit my mom and her husband last week in Red Lodge, Montana. They live in an incredible old building that was once the Finnish Community Hall of the now defunct town of Fox. Its many charms include a fully intact stage complete with hand-painted curtains and backdrops, a tiny ticket booth turned meditation room, a green house built from old glass windows, and a chicken run crafted from old barn lumber and two original out houses from homesteading times. 

I can't explain the romance of Montana and especially of my mom's not so little home there. It is a bastion for creativity, simplicity, and joy.

While I was there this last time we picked fresh veggies at an organic 'u-pic' farm where we met the two charming piglets above. We adopted two doe goats who were very good companions while we picked chokecherries up the road and apples from our neighbor's trees. I made plenty of sun tea and baked delicious scones and generally relaxed and enjoyed myself in my mom's beautiful home whilst crocheting a lovely new scarf and reading E.M. Forster's A Passage to India

This last go around has me really thinking about what I want from my life. It seems there must be a pair of dairy goats and a vegetable garden in there somewhere.

More pictures here.