Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Official Goal For This Summer...

Has been to do something different every day. And so far, I've been incredibly successful. I've tried new beers. I've gone to 2 street fairs. I've gotten East Coast Custard. I've been stranded on a porch during a tornado. I attended a Sausage Fest (where I enjoyed veggie corn dogs). I've made pocket friends. I've made magnets. I've collaged. I've painted aquatic life figurines gold. I've made friendship bracelets. I've made dream catchers. I've started an Etsy shop. I redesigned my blog. I've checked out (only) 9 library books (so far). I've researched stuff for my BFA project. I've made paper dolls. I've drawn. I've embroidered portraits. I've made a [well received] video for the CIA 2011 Commencement. I've slept every night...that's probably the most unusual.

Today, I made a crown of clovers while I walked home from work. And then, being so unbearably hot and sticky in my apartment (I'm talking won't-sit-on-anything-for-fear-of-being-stuck-there-until-September), I decided to go hang out at the library down the street (not the one I work at). So I worked in my sketchbook. Looked at books. Skimmed some magazines. And then realized, as one guy walked in with his instrument, that today was the monthly ukulele jam! Unfortunately I realized this too late to go and get my uke, but I hung out and met the people. It was awesome. They let me pick some songs, too, so I was privileged enough to be serenaded by 4 ukuleles, an acoustic guitar, and a mandolin playing "Stand by Me" a la Ben E. King. My favorite song ever.

Oh, and I almost forgot. In the midst of whining about my room being a vacuum of heat, Vanesa & I were sitting on the balcony, when my cell phone magically slid out of my pocket, under the railing, and down 3.5 stories. Oh dear. And I got this phone less than a month ago. And it's touch screen. Yikes. So I walked down there and collected all the pieces: phone, battery, battery cover. Turned it on. It works. Not anything wrong with the screen. Which is amazing because my screens die even when I don't drop them from 3.5 stories. However, come 9:30pm, I realized that the micro SD card wasn't in my phone. So I sat there with a flashlight scanning my parking lot. Get this: I found it. After 5-10 minutes. I should probably be a CSI. Of course, I learned how to search for small things in big areas from watching CSI. Just saying.

Supposedly it's gonna storm tonight. Which means I'll be up late taking advantage of the cool weather, and making lots of things. Lots to do before Thursday!

New Favorite Hobby:

Making dream catchers. I made 4 today. Well, I made the centers, anyway. Maybe now I won't have dreams about insects the size of large dogs. Yikes.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mia's Magnet Set

Once again, laundry was incredibly unsuccessful yesterday. I say incredibly because I spent $1.50 to wash my clothes, in a washer that is still broken, then $1.25 for each time they went through the dryer, which was twice, because my clothes were sopping wet. Hooray. Isn't it funny how the simplest things can make your days super productive or extremely frustrating?

Today, however, I was productive for a bit. I organized my art supplies for a little bit. And I made Mia's birthday present. I'll be home for both my mom's birthday (June 2nd) and Mia's (the 5th), so I've been putting some gifts together.

Unfortunately when I went to photograph Mia's gift (pre-packaging), I realized that my kitchen has terrible lighting, and, well, I needed to use the fridge. So I'm sorry these pictures are so terrible (I even had to use the flash-gasp!), but I'll put new ones up when she opens them. And maybe next time I'll aim for finishing gifts before the sun sets and there's still natural lighting to be used.

Anyway, I free motion machine embroidered little characters and designs on pieces of felt (completely free hand...usually I at least use a water soluble marker to mark where I sew). And then sandwiched a magnet between the front and a backing, making her a nice little magnet set.

There's a little "Mia," a mermaid tail, a princess crown, a pug (or as she calls them, snugglepups!), a unicorn, a camera, a typewriter (one of our favorite "knick knacks" to buy at garage sales), a "woof" speech bubble, a "beautiful!" speech bubble, and a little heart. All of her favorite things (and her favorite thing to say!).

And here it is, all packaged up, just for her...

I hope she likes it! Now I just need to come up with a gift for my mom and a gift for Ciara's graduation. Oh, and I have a special commissioned set of pocket friends involving dancing penguins. I'm pretty psyched.

I think tomorrow I'll make a dream catcher.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Blog + New Pocket Friends!

Hooray! I've made the switch over to this here new blog o' mine. And I promise I really want this to be the very last time. Now let's talk about some things I made...

Last night, I was up til, oh, around 3:30am, sewing. You'd think the semester was still going on. Nope. just stitching up Alfred Hitchcock. So after work today, I photographed, packaged, and uploaded my new items to Etsy. So if you're a fan of Bob Ross, or Peter Pan, or Winnie-the-Pooh, or Audrey Hepburn, you should definitely go check it out. I think my favorite right now is this Pocket Pack featuring Mr. Popper and some of his penguins:

And now I get to look forward to a 3 day weekend, which means LOTS of making things. Especially since I'm trying to add items to my shop every Friday, and I'm leaving Thursday to go visit my family in Detroit. So I have to get everything all set before then.

Tomorrow, my only goals are to (a) tidy up my room, (b) do laundry, providing the washing machine is fixed and there are no tornadoes stranding me on porches, and (c) make animated blog buttons. I'm sure I'll do more than that. Maybe I'll make some dresses with some old tank tops. Although, I do know a 4 year old that loves wearing my tank tops as dresses themselves. Whenever I'm home, Mia insists on going through my suitcase, and asking if she can have my clothes. It doesn't matter how big it is on her, she finds a way to make it work.

Alright, I've got 193 files on my desktop (not counting those in folders), so I've got some organizing to do!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Things That Did Not Happen Today

  • laundry
  • sewing pocket friends
  • finishing up this new blog of mine
  • resting my knees
Because I decided to go sit on a friend's porch and eat popcorn. Then it started raining. Then thunderstorming. Then there were tornado sirens. So we got pizza and beer and waited for it to calm down.

So I could theoretically sew up some pocket friends before sleeping, but I'm exhausted, and I would much rather leave that for tomorrow.

Four weeks until Nicholas comes to Cleveland.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Don't Read This If You're About To Go To Bed And Would Prefer Not To Have Terrible Nightmares

Nicholas and I are on very different schedules. He works at 7am or something ridiculously early. I work at noon. He likes to go to bed at 10:30. I like to go to bed at (ideally 1:30 but realistically) 2:45. And since we live so far away, we try to talk to each other as much as we can. Which means about a half hour or so around 9:42pm every night. Then I call him to say good night and he mumbles a couple incoherent statements. And in the morning, he calls me to say good morning at some ungodly hour.

So today, when Nicholas called me and I did my best to be less than comatose, I didn't expect anything other than the usual "[greeting] [weather update] [plan for the day] [sweet sentiment of sorts]." But today he was especially excited. I'm talking, I-almost-got-out-of-bed-instead-of-going-back-to-sleep excited (almost). What did he have to tell me that was so exciting?

[Stop here if you really don't want nightmares.]

Today started like any normal day. He got ready for work. He put his boots on. He ate breakfast. Twenty minutes later, he leaves and stops at the gas station at the end of his street. While pumping gas, he feels something in his shoe.

[I'm warning you to stop. I will not be held responsible from consequential insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder.]

He figures it's a pebble or something moving around. I know. A pebble. But when you find out what it was, you'll see why this is so astounding. So he doesn't think much of it, and continues pumping gas. Then he feels it again. He figures, Hey, I've got time. So he unties his boot, and as soon as he removes it...


A freaking COCKROACH flies out!

How you can put a shoe on without feeling a cockroach in it is beyond me. (His excuse is that they were steel toed boots.)

Tomorrow & Tomorrow & Tomorrow

What I accomplished today:

  • Worked at the library
  • Embroidered some wonderful characters
  • Worked on my Etsy (besides just making things for it)
  • Read parts of really awesome craft books
  • Worked in my sketchbook
  • Realized that my poor little bicycle desperately needs new break pads
  • Worked on this new blog of mine
  • Photographed some of my embroidery work
  • Worked on my personal website
  • Talked to Nicholas
  • Worked on advertising my Etsy shop
  • Roasted marshmallows over my kitchen stove
  • Worked.
What I better get done tomorrow:
  • Wake up at a decent time
  • Get some cereal
  • Sew some Pocket Friends
  • Work at the Library
  • Do LAUNDRY!!!
  • Finish up stuff for my new blog
What I need to get done Thursday:
  • Launch my new blog
  • Photograph Pocket Friends
So that Friday I can:
  • Update my shop
  • Work at the library
  • Possibly roast marshmallows over a real fire

Monday, May 23, 2011

Goodbye Bonnie & Clyde

This morning I found out my Bonnie & Clyde pocket friends were featured on this awesome Etsy Treasury list! I still haven't had any sales, but I just put items in my shop on Friday, so things will take time. But I'm especially excited about this treasury because I love Bonnie & Clyde! In high school, I wrote a [20 page] research paper about the duo and their transformation from criminals to pop culture icons and romanticized legends. I actually enjoyed the entire process of writing that paper. Especially reading through websites about them that featured banjo MIDI music in the background. Ha! But I think it's fascinating that I was interested in that kind of thing because now a lot of my work concerns the transformation from individual to character. So if you're a big fan of Bonnie & Clyde, too, then head on over to my shop and buy the pocket pack!

In other news, I'm incredibly indecisive. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before. Like the last time I switched my blog from Lovelier Thoughts to Yellow Bicycle Films.  So in case you haven't figured it out, I'm planning on switching to a different blog. I'll embed all of my old posts, of course, and include a redirect link from this site. I'm really hoping this will be the last time I do this. When I switched to Yellow Bicycle Films, I was planning on making a website for Yellow Bicycle Films, rather than Michaela Lynch (since I was bitter that MichaelaLynch.com was taken). But since then, I've decided that a) I don't really want to make a living doing animation and video, and b) SomeThingsMichaelaMade.com is totally available. I would rather make a living making things, or being an art director or event stylist or window display designer (basically make things aesthetically consistent and absolutely marvelous), and use my hard earned cash to fund my animation projects, which I would then submit to film festivals. And of course continue to make other art, too. I figured if I switched to Some Things Michaela Made, it's completely open and there would be no expectations. Not just video. Not just collage. Not just embroidery. Anything. And I think I need that right now. So get ready for a switch. I'll try to make it easy on you. But it's probably coming later this week. Sorry for any confusion!


Golden Cat Studios!

You'd think the semester wasn't over based on the amount of work I've been doing. Well, and if you exclude the fact that I get plenty of sleep every night. Last week was insane. It was filled with making awards, making blogs, making pocket friends, making t-shirt designs, making bonfires, and finally putting my Etsy shop up!

I've been wanting to get one up for months (like 7), but I'm always so busy. So since it's summer, I have plenty of time to make things, and I have been doing plenty of that. I'm hoping that my shop eventually catches on, because I would love some extra [tuition] money.

Right now, I have some pocket friends, custom embroidery portraits, and blog design packages in my shop, but I'll be adding more shortly. I also set up a blog for Golden Cat Studios, where you can even suggest ideas for pocket friends. Check it out here.

And because I wasn't busy enough... Yesterday was the Pop Up Pearl street fair in Old Brooklyn from noon (or 9:15 when we got there) til 7, where my friend Debbie & I handed out [absurd] awards all day. So while scoping out recipients, we walked up and down the street all day. And of course it was the first beautiful day in Cleveland in a long time, so we both ended up with some color.

After handing out awards, we caught some of Teenage Grandpa's performance (great band name, right?), then headed over to the Hessler Street Fair, because it's been awhile since we've seen hundreds of hippies in one concentrated area. It was wonderful. We ate funnel cake and kettle corn and looked around for awhile.

And then, because we hadn't done enough yet, we went to East Coast Custard for a delicious summer treat. There was also a bonfire, but I decided I was in the mood for sleep.

I'm hoping to start posting more regularly on here now that I've taken care of a lot of things. Let's also shoot for a regular sleep schedule. It's harder than it sounds.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Turning Heads

So school ended, and while I planned on either hibernating or just being comatose, that has not been the case. Which I'm totally ok with. I've been working on developing a consistent sleep schedule (sleeping every night!), and making something great every day. So after BFAs finished, this was my first big project.

At commencement each year, there's apparently a musical interlude. But this year, the plans fell through, and they didn't have a performer. So it was suggested they use a sound piece created by a CIA freshman with noisemakers his class made out of old card catalog cards. But they couldn't just play an mp3...so they asked me to make a video! I had a very short amount of time to work on it, and it had to be during my shift at the library (so I'd get paid!). So I spent 20 hours on it total. (I am totally efficient.)

At first they asked for a slideshow of pictures, showing the class with their noisemakers and other events that took place in the library. But the kind of slideshows I prefer are analog. So I used that as an aesthetic starting point and went from there.

Sidenote: animating those heads has been on my To Do list for over almost 2 years.

So here's the finished piece!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What's Making My Room a Mess Today:

Alright, here it goes. Why my room is messy today. These are all the things I have out (and yes, I'm working back and forth, using all of them).
  • sewing machine
  • embroidery hoops galore
  • basket of fabric
  • linoleum blocks
  • Speedball carver
  • gold ink pad
  • gold paint
  • dissolvable fabric
  • typewriter
  • colored pencils
I'm making some marvelous things...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Behind the Scenes of Marvelous Things!

In case you were wondering, Marvelous Things That Should Have Happened In 2001 was made completely by myself. What do I mean by that? I mean I came up with the idea. I set up and ran the lighting and video equipment. I made all the pieces for the set (technically Mia helped me paint the cats gold last summer). And I sat there for hours, with all the pieces in a circle around me, picking up one piece after another, and hoping they got in the shot. I shot it over and over, and just prayed that by the time I filled my mini DV tape, I had one decent run. And then I edited it. Obviously this is the kind of thing you should have an assistant for, but for now, Yellow Bicycle Films consists of me and Mia when she's around to help. And, you know, she's not even in kindergarten yet, so some tasks are a little advanced for her. Anyway, here are some behind the scenes photos to give you an idea of what I was dealing with.

It was set up on a desk in the studio. And everything takes place in my lunchbox.

I used a series of library books I had laying around to hold the backdrops in place and help balance the curtains in the beginning and end.

Everything was laid out in a circle around my feet and then put down on the other side after they went through. Then I rearranged them and did another shoot. A million times.

There they are. The golden cats. Or, as Bill & I referred to them, the Astro Cats. (Not to be confused with the Catstronaut.)

Speaking of CATSTRONAUTS! In my lunchbox.

This is the mess I had been living in.

Library books about the Old West.

Pieces from my set.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Marvelous Things

This semester I didn't do as much animating as usual. Most of my work was developing a thesis for my BFA year (which starts in three and a half months--yikes), 16mm film, video, and fiber based works. But I did make this gem of a piece. I've been [mostly jokingly] saying that this is the best art I've ever made. Haha! Seriously, though, I feel happy everytime I watch it. It's based on [how bored I was while watching] Stanley Kubrick's 2001: a space odyssey but more...marvelous. It's basically a visual inside joke. If you've seen the movie, chances are, you'll agree.

But if that isn't marvelous enough for you, watch my little sister's reaction to the video! (Yes, I video taped my computer screen, but as soon as she said, "Holy cow! Is that a cat in outer space? What were you thinking!?" I knew I had to.)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pink Pig & Pink Ukulele

Fun Fact #1: CIA likes pigs.
Fun Fact #2: I like pink.

This is Josh. He draws cows and stuff.

This is Scott. He likes when tables line up with ceiling tiles.

This is Scot, Vanesa, and me. Sometimes we don't sleep.

This is Vanesa and Clare. Sometimes they find everything ever funny.

This is Vanesa. Sometimes we race on inflatable obstacle courses.

This is Fran. Or Amanda. Sometimes she's in my animations.

CIA has this annual end of the year shindig to celebrate not dying of sleep depravation. Hooray! It's called the Pink Pig because, supposedly, at one point, and maybe still, they roasted a pig. I've never seen a pig, but as a vegetarian, I don't often go looking for one. Anyway, a bunch of art kids take a bus (yes, yellow school bus; I know, AWESOME) to a place where people don't get almost hit by cars every day, aka, a lovely county park area, for free food, free beer, and free inflatables. How can you go wrong?! Well, depending on the order of your activities... But let's make good choices, kids.

So last night I got back from said pig roast, left my studio around 10pm (so early!), went home, and stared at my mess. After completely emptying my studio & fibers locker into my room, there is no floor, no bed, no desk... Well, it's bad. It's just pigment and fabric and lunchboxes and spray glitter and all sorts of stuff. After staring at this mess last night, I decided the best thing to do was go to bed. Haha.

Today I helped install work in the Coventry gallery, where we're having a show for the art education program I was a part of this semester. I'll share more Tuesday when we finish hanging the work.

After arting all day (it's a verb), I decided I wouldn't sleep until my room was clean. Well... There's a floor now! And part of a bed! I'd say that's fair, right? Then again, I was hoping to start rotoscoping tomorrow night.

In case you couldn't tell, I've been procrastinating (because I have time for that now!). By writing this blog post. By updating facebook. And by playing my pink ukulele. Maybe it's time to go back to that.