Saturday, July 30, 2011

Our laughter kept the feathers in the air.

My favorite book ever, that I consistently go back to and re-read and recommend to everyone ever is Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. It's an absolutely beautiful book, with both an amazing story line and wonderful imagery used throughout. And, there are even pictures. Who said that adults shouldn't read books with pictures? I never understood that.

My absolute favorite line from the book is when Oskar's grandma is talking about her childhood friend who was always laughing. One day when they were little girls, they had a pillow fight. And, as she says, "Feathers filled the small room. Our laughter kept the feathers in the air. I thought about birds. Could they fly if there wasn't someone, somewhere, laughing?" Sigh.

Personally, I am fascinated by the stories that happened before we encounter them. My artwork involves using pre-existing materials (found objects, cut up encyclopedias, old photos), and acknowledging their past lives as I animate them or cut and paste them or sew onto them. And this line from the greatest book ever only encourages that thought process. Now when I see feathers on the ground, I think about so much more than the bird who forgot it there on the sidewalk. Maybe that quote is the reason I love feathers so much. Or maybe I just want to fly.

I've been making lots of feathers lately for these dreamcatchers. I've even made tiny little ones out of polymer clay (that are still waiting for my oven to be fixed so I can bake them without worrying about a gas leak) for itty bitty dreamcatcher necklaces. Part of me just wants to make feathers. As in, only feathers. No dreamcatchers. Just fabricated feathers of different materials, feathers you can hold. I don't know what the purpose would be. I just happen to love their form.

Make sure you check the shop as I've been adding lots of marvelous things! Right now it's time for my weekly trip to Joann's.

Ps. Want to win a custom embroidered portrait? Make sure you check out Rachel's blog for a giveaway!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I have so many stressful dreams. Either that, or I'm so tired that I don't recall dreaming anything. And when I do, it often involves running and screaming, for one reason or another. But when I can't run when I'm awake, and I'm afraid of screaming. Last night I was frustrated. Over so many things. So I went running with a couple of my friends, barefoot, on a football field. Never in my life have I run a mile without stopping, either because I had no incentive to, no endurance, or, when I finally had the incentive to work up my endurance, reallybadknees. Even walking too much hurts them, and running is so much worse. But I was told that running barefoot on soft surfaces, like grass, is much easier on your knees. And I like being barefoot and I like running on grass.  So I went. And I kept going. And I went over a mile without stopping. And then I made up constellations and thought about Nicholas.

Sometimes I feel so lost and out of place. My ideas and morals don't line up with those of others. And I worry that they'll have an effect on me. Sad things have happened for my school this week. We have a small, close knit community, and our hearts go out to our peers who are suffering, and their families that are affected. But lately, it seems like the one that's getting more attention is so superficial. I don't want to think like that. I don't want to be greedy or selfish. I want to love people and not things.

When I was little, my grandma was really into genealogy, and told me about some long lost relative who faked his own death by putting chicken blood on his hat and floating it down a river so he could go off and be a hermit. It always seemed so silly to me, but now I understand. I wouldn't mind living in the mountains, caring for a sheep named Beatrice and making gifts for people. I wouldn't mind if Nicholas lived there too and we made up new constellations every night.

I decided a while ago that I hate capitalism. While I liked the idea that those who work hard earn more, we're only human, and humans are greedy, so the system gets messed up. But so many other -isms only allow for the system to be abused. I believe in gift economies. Give to others, and others will give to you, and it will all end up working out. But for some reason, we always expect something in return. If one day, after I graduated from CIA, I earned a grant to make art, I would spend the money making gifts for people. For now, I'm spending my money on rent, utilities, food, school/art supplies, and the occasional cardigan. And you know, I'm happy with that. Even though I have loans that I'll be paying for until I start collecting social security. Even though I don't own an iTouch or an iPad or an iPhone or any smart phone or a MacBook Air or a 5D Mark II or that $2400 tilt shift lens I am in love with. Because I am perfectly content with sitting at the bus stop using rocks to draw on the sidewalks. I could be happy on a desert island without anything, except maybe Beatrice the sheep, so I could make things with her wool. And I think this means I'm successful.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I wish sock hops were still a thing, with the same music they played when they were.

Yesterday, Kristen and I went thrifting before work, and while I had really good luck (vintage lace, some Disneyland records for my collection, hilarious cross stitch patterns, and another version of the Alice novels for my collection, all for under $6), I was a little bummed when I left. Why? Because while browsing their wonderful vinyl selection (maybe not wonderful, but there are definitely some treasures), I came across a Dion album! Why would this depress me? Because Dion & the Belmonts are probably in my Top 8 favorite musical artists ever, so naturally, seeing this record for just 25 cents caused me to be overly excited (and loud). That is, until I looked inside to check for scratches, and found a Johnny Mathis album instead.
Way to get my hopes up, Dion.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


You may remember this animated .gif I made a few weeks ago. Well, on July 3rd (which happens to be mine & Nicholas's anniversary, just saying) LeAnn posted it on her blog.
Right at the top! As rad as this little blog of mine may be (haha, ok, maybe not), it doesn't exactly get a million views a month. So I'm definitely thankful when I get some views and comments and feedback from people, and having my stuff featured elsewhere definitely helps.

And today my dreamcatcher was featured on Sarah's blog with such sweet comments.

AND, because apparently today I'm a huge narcissist, my animation Curiouser was featured on CIA's homepage recently. Which is especially exciting because it has been my goal since starting school here to have my work featured in that little window. Granted, before a thumbnail of this animation was featured on the left announcing an animation-dance-performance-extravaganza night, but I still wanted to make it into the main viewer. And I did!

Alright, since I'm done boasting about myself, which I really don't do too often, I'm gonna switch gears a little bit. Right now, my blog has exactly 0 followers on Bloglovin. And I know I get views, but no subscribers. So I'll make you a deal. If I get 50 followers, however long that takes, I will post a coupon code for my Etsy shop. And if I ever get 100 people to subscribe, which may take awhile, I will hold a giveaway for some things that I made (trust me, I will make it worth your time). So here's what you need to do. Click THIS and subscribe to my blog, then comment on this post and let me know you subscribed (and leave your url if you also have a blog or shop--I'd love to check it out!). That's it. Easy, right? Oh, and you might want to pass the word along to your friends to get the numbers up sooner. Just saying!

Sometimes I'm really proud of what I make.

Especially when things go according to plan.

I've been working on a short little video for our school's library, showing how to set up a PIN so you can renew your books (17 times in a row...) remotely and do all sorts of wonderful things. They gave me creative freedom, so this obviously isn't going to be your run of the mill tutorial (as you can see from the dock I made above).

I should work for Not really. Except maybe a little bit.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nap Sized Dreamcatchers

 I've been having so much fun making dreamcatchers that, on a whim, I decided to try making really tiny ones for necklaces. So while at Joann's, I picked up a small pack of rings to use, and got to work last night. Well, between last night and today, I've used up my entire package and need to buy more. Aren't they adorable? I think anything miniature tends to be seven times as cute. 
They're only about an inch in diameter, so they really are pretty small. I have yet to add feathers and put them on a chain (or string?), but when I do, I'll be sure to share.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I'm Just Saying...

Why is it that whenever I go to Joann's, my receipts also seem to come by the yard? Yesterday's was a good 22". On the bright side, absolutely everything I bought was on sale (I'm talking buyonegetonefree sale, clearanceforfiftycents sale, seventypercentoff sale), plus I had a coupon for 20% off your total including sale items (hallelujah), so I ended up saving $29.38.

(Don't worry, Mom, I still have food money.)

I have been quite lazy today for no apparent reason, so it's time I get to making some things. I know a special little girl that wants to be pen pals now. She draws the cutest pictures and I think my room could use some of her decorations.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Some Reasons You Should Buy A Dreamcatcher

1. They're beautiful (if I do say so myself.) 
 2. They have embroidered feathers, which means no risk of germs.
 3. They're all one of a kind.
 4. Their design is unlike any other dreamcatcher.
5. The tradition originated from Native Americans. 
6. (Therefore,) they're American. 
7. They catch your bad dreams. 
8. So you'll sleep a million times better. 
 9. Sleeping better means you can sleep less which means you can stay out later.
10. They're handmade with love.
 11. They're made by me, and from what I hear, I'm a big deal. (Joking.)
 12. You'll be showing your support for handmade and independent artists.
 13. Supporting handmade earns you extra karma points.
14. Jesus would buy handmade. 
15. Your home could use some decoration.
16. I like being able to pay the rent.

(No pressure, or anything.)

But really, they are pretty rad.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tips For Being Really Super Productive And Making Lots Of Things

(And a sneak peak at my newly painted, newly organized room!)

1. Have a clean work space, so you have lots of room to make a mess. Also, don't stress about making messes, or you'll be more focused on being neat and tidy than making cool things.

2. Get rid of distractions. That means if your hair is ridiculously long and layered and tangled (like mine), get it out of your face.

Put on good music. Especially music that fits the mood of what you're making. Note: for marathons of making things, vinyl is not recommended unless you love Dion & the Belmonts so much that you don't mind listening to the same side of the record over and over. Otherwise, save the time you would spend flipping to side B, and put on Pandora.

4. Make goals, and make them possible. If you know they're less than likely, then you're already telling yourself that you won't finish them.

5. Keep a water bottle handy. Every time you drink it all, take a small break to stretch, refill it, and talk to your roommates about the damn cat's farting problem (or whatever). I like this because I'm trying to be better about staying hydrated, and I like taking breaks.

6. Reward yourself. For every 6 dreamcatchers you make, go ahead and splurge on that box of Dunkaroos. YUM.

7. Sign out of Facebook and get to work!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I started dating this boy in 2005.
We were only 15 and knew everything.
Now we're 21 and know nothing.
He's worked consistently as an electrician and doing heating/air conditioning. 
I've worked at flower shops and the mall and a library and a production studio.
He's gone to two colleges and plans on transferring to a third, making the most of it.
I have one year until I graduate from the Cleveland Institute of Art.
He studies electrical engineering.
I study animation and fiber & material studies.
He likes to fix things.
I like to make things pretty.
One day we will have a beautiful home, and nothing will be broken.
One day we will live in the same state.
But for now we'll get by. We've made it six years so far, and had so many adventures along the way. We may be complete opposites, but we like it that way. Otherwise, he would never know how stop motion works and I would never know how to tack and jibe. I still would have never been on a plane and he still would have never ridden public transportation in Cleveland. And neither of us would have attempted to make the most delicious cookies ever.

But together, we make it work. We're perfectly happy seeing each other only 3 times a year. We find nothing better than sitting at home watching the Jack Daniels documentary twice in a row and playing rummy. We look forward to road trips, just for the mandatory stop at Cracker Barrel. And sometimes we play ukulele. And he makes me happy.